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Archive for September, 2008

        Well, the powers that be have failed to pass legislation to authorize the “bailout” of the economy.  Now, we have all been told that something has to happen before the financial meltdown of the economy takes place.  With the failure to pass some kind of resolution, the DOW plunged 777 points as it became increasingly understood that the plan was not going to pass.

         Of course, there is the typical finger pointing on both sides of the aisle…Republican-Democratic each blaming the other.  Get over it, get back to work and get this mess figured out.   We don’t have time for those stupid games that politicians play.   The public is scared, they are angry and they are nervous…this is only going to make the situation worse. 

          The thing of it is..the longer this situation goes on…the worse the situation becomes.  Even those movers and shakers who WERE going to vote for this bailout plan…were saying how awful it was.  You know what that means…none of us are going to like it.  We are going to be hit where we hurt.  Many Americans are already living in the financial equivilancy of a critical care unit. 

           I am imagining it somewhat like a cancer patient who is told…that their disease is going to kill them.  But, aha…there is a treatment for you…it is dangerous, it is painful, it could have serious side-effects that no human being wants to endure…but, maybe, just maybe “You would like to give it a try?”

           What are we to do?   It is time to get back to the drawing board and fix this situation in a way that more House and Senate members can get behind…and soon!   Someone had better get back to work figuring this out…or the election in November is going to take on a whole new significance.  It might just be the election that no-one wants to win; as it could be like being told you get to be the captain of the most elite ship ever built…but, the name of that particular ship is called “The Titanic”.    Who wants to take on that legacy and have their name tied to it for all of eternity? 

          What is going to be the impact of this failure to direct some kind of stability in the financial well being of the United States of America?

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       It can’t be helped; tonight, i am going to miss Dancing With The Stars.  It is my guilty pleasure to watch this show.  I look forward to the season; when it is out of season.  I need to run to the airport to pick up my hubby from a business trip.  He is more important than watching television…but, on the other hand, i am glad that Dancing With The Stars always has a recap on Tuesday nights, of the show the night before.  This way, i can catch up…since i am going to miss it tonight.  I hate to have to miss it; in it’s first showing…but, at least i will get to see the stars in action tomorrow night.

        Since this is the second week of the season, i hope that they haven’t changed their formula from the previous season…or, i will be very disappointed.  The early stages of the season…it is supposed to run fairly predictable with who leaves week by week according to skill or lack of skill…although, some have fallen for Cloris Leachman’s personality; and, kept her on a week or so longer than they should have in my opinion.  No matter, in a few short weeks, the true competitors will be in place and you will begin to see real growth in those who remain in the competition.  In the meantime, the show is an enjoyment for the most part. 

          In having Cloris, the oldest competitor in the history of Dancing With The Stars…maybe they should have called it Risky Business!  After all, a fall could be serious business for someone who is in their 80’s.  It is somewhat inspirational to have her set an example of remaining active in body and spirit when we age; however, Cloris has set a bad example with her behavior and her salty language.  

          Maybe Dancing With The Stars should have a clause in their agreement with the entertainers on standards of behavior allowed on the television show; since it is watched by families with young children as audience members. 

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        Titanic, the US economy & rescue boats; what do they have in common?  Much!  Do you remember seeing the pictures of the Titanic ship as she prepared for her maiden voyage?  It was large, it was the ultimate in luxury and it was celebrated as “unsinkable”.  The US economy has sort of lived in luxury even if it has been on “borrowed/credit” monies.  I think many thought the structure of the US economy was unsinkable as well.  We now know differently because of the financial crisis that many have been working so hard to “rescue”.  It is common sense, if you live outside of your means to pay for it…you will loose it all.

          While i think we will probably be saved from the fate of most of the passengers and crew of the Titanic; there are some who will definately suffer.  This morning on the news programs it was announced that the biparisan effort to “fix” the economy has reached a tenative agreement on the way to do that.

           What we need to do is wait to see the methods that are employed in this fix- it solution.  Waiting feels a bit wrong because things are so very important and desperate for many Americans.  There has been suffering already.  Some of the suffers have already been in extreme situations…loosing their homes, filing bankruptsy, working more than one job trying to make ends meet; some have been successful in changing their financial direction and some were not.  Hearing that taxpayers are going to have to fix this problem with more taxes when they are already pushed against the wall is terrifying.  So, some quick explanations of this “bailout”  is very important to calming the fears of the public.

           It is going to be crucial to learn lessons from the Titanic experience.  Even now, knowing that it sunk, knowing that lives were lost…do you think that if the passengers and crew on that ship had each had a bucket and a will to survive that they would not have made the trip up and down the stairs to make an attempt, several times over, to try to bail out the water in the bowels of that ship?  Of course they would have. 

           Had that ship had more lifeboats (rescue boats in our case) would more lives have been saved?  Certainly.  So, What does the Titanic ship and the US economy have in common…they both needed rescuing, they both carried movers and shakers, people had a vested interest in saving them both, lives were and are at stake in both situations.  Can the US economy survive when the Titanic ship did not?  It is possible!

          Let’s pray that the bi-partisan plan has figured in enough rescue boats to save not ONLY the large banking systems, the mortgage companies, the credit card organizations; but, the people at the base of each of those situations…the taxpayers…the recipients of those services.  The little people who are drowning in the flood as we speak need their own rescue ships; or, the overall plan will fail. The future impact of this bailout is not only important to the US but to the global economy as well.

         We must not forget that any of those businesses cannot possibly make a comeback if the little people can NOT afford to make use of those services…and, they can’t do that if they are loosing their jobs, their homes, their families to the high cost of living!  We all want and need to survive…the will to survive is there; if there are enough rescue ships in this plan, we may just be able to keep the ship of the US economy floating long enough to make it healthy again.  We all may be traveling at a lower level than luxury or first class…but, that is alright…at least we will have the chance to recover.  We just have to adjust how we think and make choices in our day to day lives that are within our means to pay for them…what a novel idea!

            

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       I have said it before, and i will say it again…cancer is a thief…it steals from us those that we love and it takes from us the talents & gifts that they were blessed with, as well.  Yesterday, cancer stole another well known person of talent, Paul Newman passed away.  Every person has merit and it isn’t that we acknowledge only those who are well known…but, because this is such a large world…it is important to mention that cancer steals people from all over the world; rich-poor, well known-and lesser known, married-single, old-young, male-female.  Cancer does not care who it takes…it just takes.  So we lose laborers, artists & musicians, educators, inventors, doctors, lawyers, researchers, librarians, farmers, janitors, we lose mothers/fathers, sisters/brothers,husbands/wives, and we lose children…we lose so very much that it hurts the tapestry of our lives!

        It would be a great day to make a donation to one of the charities that battle back against such an enemy.  http://www.standup2cancer.org/ or http://www.holeinthewallgang.org/ or http://www.cancer.org/docroot/home/index.asp.

        I love that Paul Newman was a person of integrity and dedication.  He supported charities for many years that benefitted those afflicted by cancer and other devastating diseases…long before it affected his own physical being.  He cared; he cared enough to do something about it.    Paul Newman and his business partner created Newman’s Own line of salad dressings and other food items and donated the profits from that company to charities that benefitted many. 

        It is with grace and dignity that he battled the disease that took his life.  He lived his life as he wanted and didn’t appear to play games that some celebrities do regarding their status.  I liked that about him.  If that means that we didn’t get to know all kinds of personal and private information about him and his family…so what.  It just means that he didn’t buy into all the hype of being famous.   So, he had a long line of acting credits to his name, he made a name for himself with his race car driving, and his charities.  What matters most is that he loved his family and he positively impacted others with the gifts that he was blessed with. 

           That is the way we should all hope to be remembered…we lived, we loved and we left the world a better place by giving back in the ways that matter most! 

         

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My good friend, Ken McArthur is standing in a circus tent today
asking 2,000 people to spread a message of hope to teenagers who
don’t think that life is worth living.

I think it’s a great message of hope for anyone and would love to
see all of my readers think about spreading it today.

Here’s Ken’s simple message for for giving hope (and maybe saving
someone’s life!):

G – Greet and meet: talk to others, smile, say hello, ask
someone how they are doing

I – Involve yourself and others: find a cause you can support,
volunteer, pledge resources. Get the people around you
involved, especially if you see someone beginning to
withdraw. Invite them to participate in some activity, to
“get out” of their comfort zone

V – Validate others: tell others that they matter – especially
family members and friends that you tend to see daily but
may take for granted, give genuine complements

E – Empathize: be a listening ear, take time to be fully
present, don’t try to solve – just acknowledge someone’s
feeling/hurts.

Spread this message today!

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         What a stinking mess we are living with.  Fear smells up a place…we have a huge financial crisis, a huge political crisis; and, it could be a privotal moment of rescue or a plunge into the abyss and truthfully, the whole thing could go either way!

          Huge meetings are taking place in Washington…panic is like a throbbing headache…it is there making it presence known…threatening to turn into something much worse than a mere pain.  Into the frey, we have a bailout plan that was possibly agreed upon, until some say McCain derailed it with the House Republicans who disagreed strongly with parts of the plan. 

          Throw on top of that…a debate that is scheduled for tonight between Sen. McCain and Sen. Barack Obama.  Battle lines have been drawn, in a somewhat blurry manner.  Sen. Obama says he will definately show up for the debate…McCain says…we should reschedule the debate and focus on this immediate crisis with a plan for the financial stabilization for our country.  Our leaders have been in financial denial too long to let this negatively impact our country any longer.  It is time for commitment to understanding the problem and taking action.

          Who is correct…Obama says the debates are important to help the people understand how the Senators would handle things if they were the chosen one for the Presidential office.  McCain says, these meetings in Washington are critical and that they should be involved in them.  This whole thing is larger than a difference of opinion.  Does it say something very basic about Obama’s nature to hold to the plan for the debate when all of the rest of the country is focussed on this crisis?  Does he feel set apart from it all?  Or is he making a statement by letting the others take the action behind the scenes?  Is he right to stay out of it?  Or should he be more involved? If he doesn’t get involved in the planning of the bailout…will he understand best how to run the country if he should win the election?  Will Obama will the voter’s approval in November for not going to Washington at this time? 

        Is McCain right to be in the middle of things?  Should he be in there fighting for the things to be included or excluded in the bailout plan?  If he wins the election will it help him to run the country by being involved in the planning of the bailout?  Should he back out of it and go do the debate?  Will McCain’s involvement hurt his chances for election in November?  Or will he be seen as trying to make a difference?  Does his involvement help or hurt his chances for election?

          What i don’t understand is why they both can’t be right?  Why can’t the debate be moved to Washington and take place there…while the rest of their time could be focussed on the meetings to keep current on what is happening behind closed doors.  Those meeting are going to not only impact the country in deep and profound ways…but, will also impact whoever does end up in the Presidential position!  This is real, this is so much bigger than either of the candidates and they both need to understand that the American people are going to have their decision made for them by the end of this crisis!

          This is no time for game playing, no time for political mud slinging, no time for experimentation…this country is looking for someone to take the helm of this country and be proactive in guiding the ship to a safer, less rocky course than it is on at this very moment in time. 

          Wall Street is in turmoil, the American tax paying public is in no position to fund a bailout when most of it’s residents are barely surviving as it is.  Banks are collapsing, housing is bottoming out, businesses are busting out all over the place, people’s investments and retirements are in jeparody…this is shaky ground; reminescent of what happened in Russia just a few short years ago. 

          Other countries are getting nervous as well.  Beware of the person who says they have all of the answers…because no one possibly can.  This is uncharted areas of expertise.  The last thing we need is a knee jerk policy…however, we need to start doing some major corrective action or things will not be able to recover. 

           Anyone with half of a brain knows that you don’t make crucial decisions when everything is imploding…because you need to make rational choices.  How in the heck did we get this far gone in this country before the “experts” in the markets and financial infrastructure sent up a red flag or a flare?  Couldn’t they see this coming down the road early enough to start changing the direction of this disaster?

           People’s very quality of life is slipping through the cracks of our governing body.  Something has to be done…but, who knows best?  Who do we trust?  Are we going to waste time having a political showdown between the two very people who could possibly be running the government in less than two or three months?  The sky is falling people…the sky is falling…for real this time; we are not crying wolf when we say…we need an immediate comprehensive plan to stop this country from disappearing into a black hole in the universe!  It is time to pray for the leadership of this country and ask that they be given wisdom in their decision making!!!  update:  Breaking news…McCain now says: he WILL attend the debate this evening in Oxford, Mississippi!

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        Another family has made the news by dropping off their children, 9 of them from ages 1 to 17 at a hospital in Nebraska.  It is in my mind, in cases of abandonment, almost as if the children are treated like a litter of unwanted puppies.  In mid July, Nebraska made its own news headlines by instituting a “safe haven law”. 

         Most states in the US have some sort of a safe haven law which is designed to protect children who are either unwanted; or, in unsafe environments regarding living conditions, or in situations of neglect or abuse.  The safe haven laws are meant to allow a safe place for children to be left such as a hospital or a fire station.  What is unique about the new law in Nebraska is that it doesn’t clarify who has the authority to drop off said children…it could be a baby sitter, grandparent, parent, neighbor or what have you.  Another important point, most of the states that implement safe haven laws usually are set up to protect infants.  Nebraska made headlines by not limiting the reach of the safe haven laws to infant only drop offs…it basically says “minors”…leaving the new law open to interpetation.

         The courts will have to clarify the definition of the safe haven law so that the protection of the children and the people who abandon them is more clear.  At the moment, anyone under the age of 19 is allowed to be dropped off in a safe haven.  There will be no legal repercussions as long as abuse or neglect is not involved.  In some ways, this may help those situations where we read about newborn infants born to teen mothers who are dumped in a garbage can or left outside alone.  Maybe in those cases, some children will be saved…but, this new law opens up a whole new set of issues regarding children and their families.

         I know that the law was set up in good faith…to protect the children.  However, you have to wonder about the psychological damage to those same children who are old enough to understand that they have been abandoned by the people most trusted in their lives.  An infant does not comprehend the abandonment until they are older and the information is presented to them…an older child certainly does understand the idea of abandoment and there certainly will ensue emotional and psychological damage.  However, i will say an infant may not understand the full scope of abandonment; but, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t affected by it; when they are affected, it is often called an attachment disorder…where the baby has trouble bonding with their caregivers, either giving or receiving love…sometimes, it is even turned into a failure to thrive.  All human beings deserve to be loved and wanted.

         Studies have been done on babies or infants who have been abandoned in other countries and left in orphanages…if they do not get enough human interaction that shows love or caring…those children can actually die from the lack of human, loving touch.  Don’t think that when an infant is dropped off, even at a safe haven…that they won’t know the difference between being wanted and unwanted.

         People who find themselves in desperate circumstances may be tempted to go the route of the safe haven in a moment of extreme duress.  However, the long term consequences make me wonder whether this is a viable option.  People who abuse or neglect their children willingly or freely are not going to be so very concerned about making sure that the place they abandon their child is considered a safe place.  It would be better to put into place programs that facilitate helping families who are in danger of imploding. 

         Not to mention, those parents or caregivers who are feeling desperate…say…in a financial crisis…they can’t afford to feed or house their children…may think that this safe haven is an option for them.  The consequences of such an action could be considered permanent…even if their circumstances change in time.  Their custody could be forever impacted by that one moment of temptation to abandon the children in a safe place. 

         I wonder if other options are being given as much media & legal attention, such as making a short term placement with social services; for short term foster care in cases where, say a housing or financial need is threatening the ability to keep a family together? 

          Children aren’t like litters of animals…not that animals should be abandoned either!  Being a pet owner or a parent is a huge responsiblity…the demands are serious.  People should not enter into the role of a pet owner or parenting without alot of thought!  Parents need to take their commitment to parenting seriously. 

          If a parent is considering abandoning their children…wouldn’t it be better to work with an agency and make a permanency plan such as adoption?  Definately, if that were the case, doing it in infancy is better than waiting until a child is old enough to be scarred by an emotional and physical abandonment by their parents or caregivers.  At least by making sure that the child/children were placed in a safe and loving home…a child would have a chance to grow up and to be nutured in a loving environment. 

          No one should ever be made to feel unwanted, unloved or unprotected.  Abandonment leaves permanent scares that impact their young lives and often, other generations of lives as well.  What are your feelings on the safe haven laws?

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       With all of the economic shake ups taking place in the United States…i was just wondering…is anyone else feeling a rising, fearful sense of dread and panic?  It has building for the last year and a half with the mortgage crisis, rising costs of food, gasoline, home heating fuels, foreclosures, and job downsizings.  Now on top of all of that…we are seeing the fall of the major financial instutions in our country.

       Some Americans, in portions of our country, have been seeing and feeling the economic sense of dread and panic rising for quite some time.  It started with many job markets closing down or moving out of country (outsourcing) and then we started to see the domino effect from credit card lapses, missed mortgage payments, vehicle repossessions and then, foreclosures of homes that probably never should’ve been financed in the first place.  It has been, and continues to be, a chain reaction.

       The culture of over-indulgence, and pay later, mindset has decided to reveal it’s consequences.  There was no safety net in place to cushion the blow.  Once again in America, our quality of life is being threatened in a way that has the potential to bring our country to it’s knees; similar to the Great Depression that we all studied about in history class as children.  It has gone beyond a wake up call and moved to a place of drastic correction.  How are we going to deal with that as a nation?

      Tonight, President Bush is going to be speaking to the American citizens on the economic crisis that this country faces.  Minutes ago, Sen. John McCain made a statement saying that he is suspending his Presidential campaign to go to Washington to help deal with the historical financial crisis; McCain is calling on Sen. Barack Obama to put the campaign aside for the time being to focus on a bi-partisian solution.  Now is not the time for political game playing.  Anyone who dares go there…will loose the election for sure just because of it.  A commitment must be made to work on the issues that we are facing and stop playing word games and power plays to get attention.

        Time is of the essence at the moment; the impact has the potential to deconstruct the global economy.  Not only are our citizens watching and waiting to find a solution…other countries are doing the same.  Is there any possible way that we can as a nation and as individuals recover from this mess?

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       I just heard an amazing thing…Google wants to impact the world with fresh new ideas…and what’s more…they are willing to reward those ideas of positive impact with some major money that could turn this world side ways on it’s axis!  This is to celebrate their 10th birthday.  The winning suggestion will come up with an idea that is able to help many people in the world.   Do you have an idea; one that, if it had some major money and some expert guidance behind it, could improve some area of life for a whole lot of people?  Here is what you need to do then…go to:http://www.project10tothe100.com/index.html .

         Tell them your idea…answer their questions and wait to load up the cannon of impact to explode some positivity on the universe.  There is a potential for $10 million dollars to be used to implement the ideas…but you have to hurry…go to: http://www.project10tothe100.com/index.html .  There is $10 million dollars allotted to making this happen…they can divide that amount between up to five different ideas…or they could choose to support one idea.  The funding would be divided accordingly if they went with multiple ideas.

          We live in a world that is filled with need; Google just wants to make the world a better place for as many people as possible.  Do you have an idea that can help make that happen?

          Submit your ideas before October 20th, 2008.  You don’t have to have the skills to implement your idea; whether it be a humanitarian, technological,environmental,agricultural, artistic,economic,medical or any other kind of idea.  Just post your idea…answer their questions and wait and see how it will take shape if your idea is accepted as an idea of promise.  The future impact is only limited by the quality of the ideas submitted.

           Put on your thinking cap and come up with something that will make the world a better place to live in…for the most people; from now, and into infinity!  Good luck…and many blessings to those who will be impacted by the thought, the guidance, and the money.  Thank you Google for shinning a light of opportunity for the recipients of this wonderful project.

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        Did you ever stop to think about the ways in which a driver can be impaired?  I mean besides the obvious impairment of drinking or drugging, and then driving?  I read a very sad news story recently about an elderly driver who ran a stop sign and killed another person.  That elderly man has recently had to go before the court on charges of killing another human being.

         Did that driver intentionally kill the other person; no, he did not.  However, it is alleged that because of his age…his driving skill was impaired.  It is said that his reaction time was greatly diminished and he should never have been driving.  This man is in his 90’s and will possibly, upon sentencing…be serving time in jail.  He didn’t mean to cause the death…but still, someone else’s loved one died. 

          It is a fine line in knowing when a persons driving is impaired because of age, disability, irresponsibility, or illness.  I think about all of the young men and women who have physical or mental disability who see their peers hitting the milestone of turning 16 and getting their driver’s licenses.  I know their heart aches to do the same. 

          It is up to the parents to decide when and if their child is able to drive and make appropriate choices when doing so; whether that child is disabled or not.  If they are disabled physically, emotionally, or mentally; and, it will impair their driving skill…it is up to the parents to withhold the priviledge of driving.  It is hard to deny them that priviledge but sometimes necessary.  It is better to have them dissappointed or angry than to have them dead or causing the death of another person.

           The same holds true when it comes to being the adult child of a parent who is past the ability to drive safely.  No one really wants to give up their freedom to drive when they have done so throughout their adult years…but, when an elderly person has gotten to the point to where their driving skills are in question…it usually falls to the adult child to have a discussion about giving up the right to drive.  Maybe there is a medical condition that causes concern…or a medication that hinders safe driving.  Precautions must be taken for everyone’s sake.  This is a delicate subject; care must be given to not treat the person as a child.  Alternatives have to be considered for how that elderly person is going to come and go in their everyday lives.  Think about how they feel…get their input on how to resolve the situation. 

            That is not an easy conversation to have with an elderly parent.  It is not an easy conversation to have with a child who has disabilities.  It is not an easy conversation to have with anyone who is impaired by anything that affects the drivers safety or the safety of others on the road…yet, it is a conversation that must take place if you care about that person.

             Back to the elderly person in the news who now bears the responsibility of having taken a life with his driving.  The picture of that man in the police booking photo would break your heart.  It is the picture of a broken man.  It is terribly sad to look at that photo and put anyone that you care about in that picture frame.  It is sadder yet for the person who lost a loved one to such a situation. 

             Please take the time to evaluation the decision to allow the people you care about to drive.  If your teen wants to drive but makes reckless decisions…wait a while longer until they prove more responsible.  They might be angry…but at least they wont be in the position of that elderly man.  If your disabled loved one is not ready to drive…don’t let them just because they are of age.  It is a burden they might not be ready for.  If you know someone who is consummed with road rage…talk to them about not driving.  If you know someone who is constantly distracted on the road…they should not be driving.  If your aged love one is past the age of safe driving; and, is making mistakes on the road…have that conversation with them in a caring way.  Respect them…but, be sure to explain your concerns.  Take their feelings into account and think about how you want to be treated in the same situation when the time comes.

           It is hard…but, if you know that accidents are happening that shouldn’t; and, you don’t do or say anything to them…and something horrible happens…can you live with the consequences of death or jail time that will affect that person? 

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