Minutes of the April 18, 2009 meeting of the Tampa Chapter SAR


President Bell called the meeting to order at 12:03. Jack Bolen offered the invocation. Cadet Cedric Street led the pledge to the flag and the President led the pledge to the SAR.


Members present: Jack Bolen, John Sessums, Ira Ward, Marty Miller, Ed Neugaard, Cy Gamber, Walter Lane, Allen, Bell, Robert Yarnell, and Kevin Yarnell. [Note: please let the secretary know if a member was omitted from the list.]

Welcome guests:  Prospective members Chuck Hawley, Calvin Martin, seven cadets and their guests, as well as Commander Walsh from Brandon High, Sgt. Major from Hillsborough, and the area Army recruiter.


The President asked the cadets introduced their guests.


The minutes of the March meeting were approved.   


Secretary’s Report

The secretary reminded the members that the FLSSAR annual meeting will be next weekend, April 24-25. Eight changes to the society bylaws as printed in the Patriot magazine will be considered. He offered to discuss these with interested parties during the luncheon or after the meeting.

            We still have a few schools to cover regarding JROTC awards ceremonies. The secretary has the master list and details for those interested.

            A personal letter was written to the SAR Executive Director, Joe Harris, regarding the Center for Advancing America’s Heritage discussion held in March. It was thought a personal note, rather than a formal letter from the chapter would be the best approach. No response has been received as yet.


The Treasurer reported a balance of $2,705.12 and petty cash of $59.84.


The registrar, Luke Lloyd, emailed his report to the secretary which was shared with the membership.

“On 10 April 2009, I spoke to the Tampa (DeSoto) Chapter of the DAR about the Military Family Support Trust (MFST).  I am the Chairman. At the end of the meeting I went on a recruiting binge and promised all sorts of things if they would like to get their children and/or  husbands into the SAR.  Had a great time and I am hopeful some will take the challenge.  I have been working with Shelly Jakes for several months to get a friend of hers into our chapter, but she is having trouble verifying the parent/child relationship between the 5th and  6th generation.  She has done a great job and appears to be determined, but alas the connection is not what National will accept.

49 Potential Members are in the lineup

4   Applications are at National


Copeland - Original Receipt Date at National 26 Nov 08; Pended 2 Mar 09; Info Provided 17 March 09 - No Answer to date


1 Application for LG Bassett forwarded 12 April from State to National.

No Supplementals currently in the Mill”


President Bell reported that the Color Guard had two events planned, the 4th of July parade in Lutz and the presentation to the scouts discussed earlier.


The meeting recessed for lunch.


The President reconvened the meeting and introduced Secretary Yarnell to provide the program. Entitled: “A Flat World: The Role of Technology in Maintaining Freedom”, the presentation was inspired by the book “The World is Flat” by Thomas L. Friedman. In the book Freidman argues that technology is “flattening” the world and the implications of this are many. The goals of the program were to first look at what is meant by the term “flat world”, and then examine some of the consequences of this for us personally and then to the larger issue of the maintenance of our freedoms.


The following are adapted from the speaker’s notes:

What is a “flat world”?

The adults will liken this to a “shrinking world” thinking in terms of the vast changes in the speed of communications. The speaker made a comparison between the time needed for communication in the Revolutionary period and the present. But what Friedman refers to is more “leveling the playing field”- a situation where people in many parts of the world have access to the same tools and therefore can compete nearly equally in a global marketplace.


The 10 “Flatteners”

Friedman lists these ten events / items as the things that have combined to flatten the earth. The speaker did not spend a great deal of time on each but did offer illustrations where needed to clarify the thought for the audience.

1. 11/9/89 – The fall of the Berlin Wall

2. 8/9/95 – Netscape goes public; birth of the World Wide Web

3. Work flow software

4. Uploading – harnessing the power of communities

To illustrate this the speaker shared the story of Goldcorp given in the book. Rob McEwen, CEO of Goldcorp; owed a tract in Canada called Red Lake and needed to attract world class talent to the problem; he came up with the Goldcorp Challenge. The company posted on their website all the data they had about the Red Lake tract and challenged anyone to submit a proposal as to where the firm should dig to find gold. An Australian geoscience consulting firm in West Perth Australia won the $105,000 contest and Goldcorp hit gold on the first 4 sites suggested by the winners.

Another excellent example of “uploading” is Wikipedia which the speaker explained more to the benefit of the adults than the youth in attendance.

5. Outsourcing – hiring a firm in another part of the world to do a specific job for your company

6. Offshoring – moving the entire manufacturing process to another country

7. Supply-chaining

The best illustration of this is Walmart and the concept is well expressed by this quote from the book. “Walmart is the biggest retail company in the world, and it does not make a single thing.”

8. Insourcing

The book uses UPS as the prime example of this concept and the speaker briefly shared an example of how UPS is integrating with companies to aid them in their business

9. In-forming – Web search

A brief comparison between the access to information experienced by the members as youth and the cadets’ experience today brought this point into clear focus.

10. The steroids: digital, mobile, personal, and virtual

            Friedman argues that these items bring the previous flatteners down to a level where the individual is impacted personally.


What does all of this converge to?

- A world where information is widely available to those who want it

- A world that rewards collaboration

- A world where people from vastly different parts of the world can compete for the same job

- And much more


What does this mean for us personally?

In short, the speaker suggested the answer here is enormous opportunities and enormous challenges. As with so many things it is how we use something that determines whether it is good or bad. He offered some specific ramifications: One for the adults – we may need to change how we view outsourcing and protectionism; and one for the youth – the issue of employability vs. a job for life


What does a flat world mean politically?

Friedman makes a fascinating case to suggest that, at least in part, the unrest in the Arab-Muslim world and the rise of extreme elements is due to a lack of opportunity in a flat world. In particular he suggests that “This anger also has to do with the frustration of Arabs and Muslims at having to live, in many, many cases, under authoritarian governments, which not only deprive their people of a voice in their own future, but have deprived tens of millions of young people in particular of opportunities to achieve their full potential through good jobs and modern schools. The fact that the flat world enables people so easily to compare their circumstances with other only sharpens their frustrations.”


The speaker shared some of Friedman’s statistics from the book showing how Arab countries are behind the rest of the world in international patents, average number of scientists and engineers working in research and development, numbers of computers, and Internet access.


Conflict Prevention

Friedman offers two interesting theories on preventing conflicts in the world. His first, the Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention, stated “No 2 countries that both had McDonald’s had ever fought a war against each other since each got its McDonald’s”. He refined this later to he Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention which states “No 2 countries that are both part of a major global supply chain, like Dell’s, will ever fight a ware against each other as long as they are both part of the same global supply chain”.

The speaker used the India, Pakistan standoff in 2002 as an example of how these theories might play out. He also pointed out that North Korea, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are all not now part of a major supply chain and thus, according to this theory are not tied into the global economy as are other nations.


Are we for or against a flat world?

The speaker then moved to the question of where our ancestors would have “approved” of a flat world. He concluded that they would favor the wider dissemination of knowledge and the power which this gives to citizens. He shared several quotes reprinted below and remarked on the ease with which he’d been able to find these as a small illustration of flattener #9, In-forming.


“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”  Thomas Jefferson to Archibald Stuart, 1791


“The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to.” Thomas Jefferson to Lafayette, 1823


“Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” James Madison


“When you're finished changing, you're finished.” Ben Franklin


Where do we go now?

The speaker concluded with some thoughts directed as each age group in attendance. For the adults he suggested that the key to our future success was to continue learning, thinking, and applying new skills to tried principles. We need to use the flat world to further our freedoms.


For the youth the speaker ended with a quote from the book. “… so my advice to [my daughters] in this flat world is very brief and very blunt: ‘Girls, when I was growing up, my parents used to say to me, ‘Tom, finish your dinner – people in China and India are starving.’ My advice to you is: Girls, finish your homework – people in China and India are starving for your jobs.’ And in a flat world, they can have them, because in a flat world there is no such thing as an American job. This is just a job, and in more cases than ever before it will go to the best, smartest, most productive, or cheapest worker- wherever he or she resides.”


The speaker then moved from the program into the presentation of awards pointing out that the unit commanders chose these cadets for the qualities of character and leadership demonstrated in their units. “We know that isn’t always easy to do and so the chapter wants you to know how much we appreciate your efforts. So the next time you get a bit discouraged, you’re tired, you don’t feel like doing whatever it is that you know needs to be done, we hope you’ll remember that there is a group of men who value their heritage and value the work you do in perpetuating the ideas of our founding fathers.”


The President presented the awards to the cadets.


Alan Bell won the 50/50 drawing.  The chapter’s share of $11.00 will enrich the treasury.


Jack Bolen gave the benediction. The President led the recessional and adjourned the meeting at 1:40 pm.


Respectfully submitted,


Kevin Yarnell

Chapter Secretary