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Archive for the ‘Labor’ Category

Well, it seems as though a hobby of mine and some friends has turned into a labor of love.  We started making some gifts and accessories at the sewing machine for an upcoming craft show and it has turned into something over and above; as people have been viewing our crafts and then…requesting things of their own.  To continue reading: Write Where You Are

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Where I live in Michigan, winter weather gets to be a little overdrawn.  Winter seems like it is never going to end.  My way of coping is to dive into seed catalogs and gardening magazines.  It is like feasting on dessert after you have been on a starvation diet.  All of those plants with their lovely greenery and colorful blooms just lights up the soul and lifts the spirit.  Not only that, but when you are trying to buy fresh produce you quickly realize the high cost of fresh fruits and vegetables during the winter.  Cold frame gardening can help relieve the burden on your wallet if you build a couple of frames to supplement your produce needs.
Continue reading here:  Write Where You Are

 

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Well, this past week has been a lesson on nurturing my blog.  This past week was a week out of the ordinary and I was not able to nurture my blog in the way that I normally do.  I began to think on that thought.  A blog is a bit like a baby…it needs to be nurtured to grow and prosper.

How do you nurture a blog, you ask?  First things first, if you have a blog already you need to evaluate it’s well-being.  If you do not have a blog…begin one.  You need to think about what your blog is intended to accomplish.  Mine was initially set up to develop some discipline, commitment, and to help improve my writing.  As it evolved, I learned more…and therefore; I have discovered what I want and need.  Some of those things have changed with time; and now, I know that  my blog needs some adjustments.   That is ok, it is called growing pains; things that don’t grow become stagnant…they wither and die.  If your goals change for your blog, then you must make changes.  That knowledge requires some re-evaluation.  (more…)

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         Ok, I dont understand this whole financial mess…I admit that.  I am no financial genius.  However, I do know that if you keep spending money that you dont have…you go deeper in debt.  How in the heck is the government going to get money from people who dont have it to give?  From taxpayers….correction…from taxpayers who have JOBS.  What about all of those people who dont have JOBS  or will soon be loosing their JOBS?  The American family is in crisis.  Many dont have jobs or they have to have more than one part time job to make ends meet.   Some don’t even have homes because they have lost them to foreclosures.  Some of their family members dont have jobs or can’t make enough to pay their bills.  But when you are barely making it…you can’t help anyone else out in a meaningful way either.  The Government financial recovery plan (mess) is mirroring our personal lives…they just dont know it yet!  Still, some of the leaders are using fear to try to get people to put their stamp of approval on their plan of action; they are saying that this might not be the right answer…but we have to do something or else!

         Obama’s treasury chief has announced that this country needs 2 trillion dollars to save the banks.  This is on top of the bailouts that have so far shown little return on the investment for the average American citizen.  Where is this whole thing going to end?  Why not give the money to the citizens and let them dig themselves out of their own very deep holes first?   That in turn might just have the added benefit of allowing them to pay off their loans and homes to those banks and businesses that made the bad loans in the first dang place!

          We are being told that all of this lending and loaning may or may not work….that they might make mistakes.  But that doing nothing would be a catastrophe.  How do we know that?  Maybe those businesses and banks should go under.  After all….once this money is loaned to these businesses and banks…they are going to expect tax payers to go into debt once again with these banks and businesses to circulate the money.  Who in their right mind is going to create an even bigger debt load on themselves with such uncertainty hanging over this country’s head?

        After President Obama’s treasurer spoke the Dow Jones dropped 3.5%.  This is traumatic news to everyone.  Confidence is more than shaken….it has suffered severe trauma.  We may never recover from this extreme mess as a nation.  This isn’t some meaningless recession.  We are bleeding money and we dont have the confidence in our leaders, our banks, our businesses to recover from it. 

         Former Presidential candidate, Senator John McCain calls this plan “generational theft”.  He says we are stealing from future generations their hard earned dollars and laying on them debt of incredible proportions.   He is right.  Where will it end?

           The Government thinks it is going to help everyone out by creating JOBS and bailing out banks and certain industry giants.  Helloooooooooooo…is anybody home out there?   How in the world are they going to do this?  By hitting the taxpayers out even more than they have already.  So far, no one has had a solution that has made a positive enough impact to change the direction of this massive financial failure!  What makes them think that throwing more money into the mix is going to make things better?  Can a government file bankruptsy…cause that is what it feels like is happening here…what is the old saying….borrowing from Peter to pay Paul?

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       Grrrr…I am a bit torn on this news item; whether to feel more anger or sadness.  It seems that a young 18 year old woman found out that she was pregnant.  She went to a clinic to have an abortion and was given medicine to dialate her cervix to prepare for an abortion procedure.  Before the doctor could perform the abortion…the medication caused her to deliver her baby daughter at just 23weeks of pregnancy.

       A clinic owner allegedly came in and cut the umblical cord and put the child who was struggling to breathe into a red plastic biohazard bag and threw the child in the trash…all as the mother watched in horror.  Allegedly a doctor came in and gave her some medicine to calm her down and sent her home in shock.  The police were called and the child’s remains were identified by DNA as being related to the mother.  Now the mother has sued the doctor and the clinic where the delivery/abortion took place; the doctor has allegedly lost his license.

         This procedure took the life of a human baby almost three years ago.  That child would be walking, talking, singing it’s abc’s , potty training…and maybe even going to pre-school now.  She would be making her mother or another mother figure (she could have been adopted by another mother) mother’s day cards in May…she was not a blob of flesh like so many of these clinics try to tell young women.  She would be a daughter, and a granddaughter; if she could.

        The mother allegedly has said that she changed her mind about the abortion, once she saw her daughter  alive; now she is traumatized by the memory of watching her child struggle for breathe and being tossed away like a bag of garbage.   I am sure that the legal question was did the abortion come first/or the birth…was the child actually born alive?  Testing supposedly revealed that the child did actually breathe, so that means that she was born alive.

        So, who is to blame for this child’s death?  Is it the clinic owner, who by the way did not have a license to practice medicine allegedly?  Or was it the doctor who was not present?  Was it the mother who went in for an abortion in the first place?  Is it society who allows abortion in the first place?  Do we blame the makers of contraception for possibly having failed the mother and father of the child?  Who exactly is at fault?  I say, it is all of the above; at least morally, if not legally. 

        First of all, I believe that abortion is wrong.  I think that if it is true that a clinic owner, who was not a medical doctor, did what has been alledged, then they are also at fault.  I think if the doctor perscribed the medication that caused her to go into labor and deliver a live child that was indeed tossed away in a plastic bag when it was struggling to breath…they that doctor is also wrong.  Was there contraception used in the first place?  I dont know.  I do know that if the teenaged mother was having sex..she should have understood the consequences of her actions that resulted in a pregnancy and that by going to have an abortion…that that child’s death was a direct result of having medication that was designed to result in the death of the child; it should not have shocked her that the child died as a result of taking medication designed to cause said abortion.  Is society at fault here?  Yes, because we allow these things to happen …because we don’t stand up and scream bloody murder that it happens every day around the world. 

        Which came first, the  abortion or the birth?  Does it really matter at this point regarding this particular child?  No, it died needlessly.  If that mother was truly horrified by this situation…then maybe some good can come out of it by her lawsuit, by her speaking out…maybe even by doing a special service announcement on television or in the schools. 

         It is outrageous.  Yes, that child was only 23weeks in the womb of it’s mother…and yes, it may not have survived even had the clinic called for medical help or intervention for that baby…it was pre-mature…not by nature’s designs but by mankinds design.  However, it may have had a fighting chance if it had not been aborted or if it had been taken to a neo-natal unit.  Life is precious…dont abort.  That mother will relive those moments for the rest of her life.  The child didn’t get to have a rest of it’s life. 

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     I don’t know about you…but, I find it heartbreaking that businesses here in the US are dropping like flies.  Today, it was announced that Circuit City has gotten the go ahead to liquidate their assets, since they were not able to secure a buyout or a refinancing plan.  

     Five hundred and sixty seven Circuit City stores in the US are involved; and, that means that over 30,000 employees are now going to be unemployed soon.  The thing is that the merchandise will now be liquidated and it will unleash an ongoing picking of the bones of merchandise; until that merchandise is sold off to help offset Circuit City’s debt load.  There are always those who will take joy or glee from someone else’s misfortune; or find a way to benefit from it.   Just this past week, Osama Bin Laden released a tape where he appeared to gloat at the United States’ financial chaos.  That just doesn’t sit well.

        I hate to even hear about liquidation sales.  In theory, I don’t like the fact that people will flock to those stores to get “great deals” that most of them really can’t afford; but, can’t seem to resist since the prices are at “rock bottom”.   Often, they really aren’t…it is all in the perception.  Still, those kinds of sales feel like vultures are picking the bones of a carcass on the side of the road to me.   

     I’ve often thought to myself…if all of those people who flock to those liquidation sales would have shopped there previous to the liquidation sales; then, maybe they wouldn’t have had to file bankruptsy, and gone out of  business in the first place.  That might be a bit judgemental…but, it is my opinion…nothing more.    On the other hand, the stuff has to be sold to “help” Circuit City meet the financial demands of their creditors.  Therefore, the liquidators are providing a service to the owners and operators that is badly needed.

          It is still sad though that the stores involved in these situations, often even look like skeletons.  They have the heavy environment of sadness and depression.  The workers that stay- -stay because they need every day on the job that they can get, in this economy; before having to pound the pavement looking for a replacement job or filing for unemployment.  The stores begin to take on the appearance of a person who is terminally ill; but, is fighting to survive no matter the cost.  The shelves are bare in spots and the products are often sold without their boxes or original packaging; and, off of display shelves…meaning they are sold as is…with or without instructions, adaptors, cords, or add-ons.  It is terribly sad.  Eventually, there is nothing left to sell but display racks, shelves, registers and lighting. 

     All in all…it ups the pressure on those trying to steer the economy of the US, as it struggles to regain a foothold on the slippery slope to financial stability.  This sad news will add another 30,000 job seekers to the already saturated job market…and, add burdens to those families who are fearful and struggling to survive the financial woes of our country.   It is bad news to those who hoped that 2009 would be the beginning of  a financial recovery period for those who are trying to earn an honest living.   I wish them well.

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      This is a terrible example of how China is wiping away the future of some of it’s children.  This week, a woman is sitting in a hospital under control of the authorities awaiting a forced abortion.  Her crime; she already has two children.  The authorities in China control the population by limiting the amount of children a family is allowed to have.  Parts of China enforce this control by limiting a family to one or two children.

       The woman’s name is Arizgul Tursun.  Arizgul is six months pregnant.  She ran from her village to avoid the forced abortion; however, her family received threats; and, she was taken and placed under custody in the hospital.  Human rights organizations are protesting this treatment.  China says publically that it doesn’t endorse such extreme means of controlling the population; however, this case will shine a light onto the Chinese government’s sincerity.

        This is cruel and inhuman treatment to both the mother and the infant.  At six months, this child could live outside of the womb; however, the authorities will give her a shot that will cause her to deliver a child that will not be allowed to survive.  We need to pray for this woman, her “caregivers”, her child and the authorities in charge of enforcing this abortion. 

          Decisions about family growth should be left up to the parents in a family…not outsiders.  Every life has value and it is immoral to force an abortion on a woman who does not want it.  God help her and her child. 

          Is it right to allow this kind of treatment to take place; without protests and sanctions against countries that allow it?  If China allows this abortion to take place…what should other governments around the world do to demand more humane treatment of individual rights in China?

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      I have been thinking about leadership alot lately and it’s direct connection to success or failure.  Leadership whether it is in government, business, organizations, religions, education or, in personal relationships is very important.  Not everyone can be an effective leader.  There are more followers than leaders; so it is extremely important to follow the right person. 

       Whether a leader is skilled in certain areas determines how successful his/her leadership is.  Leading is not for the fainthearted; you can’t please everyone or, be their friend.  Some of the decisions a good leader has to make are extremely unpopular.  You can have productive relationships though, that are built out of respect, authority, compassion and hard work.  Those who are under your leadership have to know that you are informed and that you respect & understand their sacrifice to get the job done. 

        A good leader knows how to inspire, how to instruct, how to encourage, and how to redirect someone who is misguided, ill informed, has a poor work ethic or is saturated in a poor attitude.  A good leader knows when to use incentives and when praise or recognition will be more effective. 

        I know our country is in the midst of some deep and difficult issues.  Positive and productive leadership has never been more important.  A good leader also recognizes when they are out of their league and seeks a higher counsel…someone who is an expert in the area of concern.  I hope that those who are taking the reins of government leadership in our country are willing to lead with proper education and guidance… it is not a failure to admit that you don’t know all of the answers; it is a failure to not be willing to be educated in those areas.  We have much to accomplish and overcome in a short period of time.

        There is a great new book out by Lee Iacocca on leadership called, Where Have All Of The Leaders Gone?  I recommend reading this one.  This book gives some great advice on leading.  It also gives a bit of background information on the automotive business. 

         With the financial crisis hitting our country and the obviously failing auto industry…Lee’s book is timely.  I suggest that the new President elect Barack Obama consult with Mr. Iacocca on any proposed government bailout loan of the auto industry.  There has been some criticism about President Bush’s alleged lack of response to the auto industry’s struggles.  Now, if the American auto industry fails to succeed…we all will suffer the consequences.  I think that we already have been …but, it is only going to get worse without addressing the issue in a real purposeful way.  They are many businesses and employees who will be affected in a trickle down kind of action if and when the auto industry hits the roadblocks. 

        It would be wise to remember that whenever one major industry fails it generally has a domino effect on those sub-supportive businesses that supply the chain of industry.  We need to figure out some answers before we are all out of jobs.  We must demand competent leadership and hold them to a higher moral & ethical standard of conduct.  We are tired of those in business and industry who are content to take the money at the top and move on when they get their rewards…not caring about the outcome for those under their leadership.  Enough of the high salary CEO’s (or politicians) who don’t look long-term at the consequences of their decisions and their actions.  Americans must demand success in our leaders because the potential impact of failure is unacceptable!

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       Slavery exists even today; i know that that sounds like an inflammatory statement but it is true.  It is just not talked about in any kind of real, life changing way.  I read a book recently which opens up a whole new way of looking at the world.  It is rather frightening.  Slavery exists today in what is called, modern day slavery….human trafficking.  People are bought and sold all over the world…but, it is not a subject that has been addressed in the fullness that it needs to be; to face it and, attempt to overcome it.

        The book is called, A Crime So Monstrous; it was written by author Benjamin Skinner; published in 2008.  He has traveled to places around the globe to educate and inform the world of the human injustice that is perpetrated against those who are vulnerable, and can not fight back without help.  It is a moral call to action.  Once your eyes have been opened up to the extent of the evil that is human trafficking…you will never look at the world in the same way.  Children, women, men, young and old…it doesn’t matter…crimes against humanity should never be tolerated.

        So what is modern slavery-human trafficking?  It is the forced sale of human beings to be used and abused.  There are many forms of it…from sexual slavery, prostitution, forced labor, to forced child marriages and the list goes on.  There are very real networks that cross continents buying and selling humans against their will; it impacts well over 800,000 individuals a year.   Sometimes repeatedly; without concern for the well-being of those who are being transferred like a piece of property.  It is illegal, it is immoral and it doesn’t stop there…sometimes, in many cases it is multi-generational.  In those cases, debt forces multiple generations to work to pay off debts…doing hard labor, with little or no pay.  In conditions not suitable for proper human living conditions.  Often, violence is used to coerce people to do things against their will.  They do not get proper food, shelter, health care or healthy human interaction.  It is not right.  Many of the victims are the most vulnerable in society…the weak, the poor, the disabled, the homeless, and those who are without protectors.

        Do you think it doesn’t affect you?   What if it was happening in your town?  What if it was in your neighborhood?   What if one of your loved ones came up missing?   Missing family member…what if they have become one of the invisible slaves bought and sold for someone else’s gain and pleasure?  People who patronize the prostitutes on any street, in any country, around the world did you ever wonder if …are they doing it because they want to?  Or, are they being forced to perform as a prostitute because they are in fact, someone’s slave?  If you purchase their services…you could be part of the problem. How about people who purchase the servant to cook, or clean in their business or home, especially those  individuals not legally present in that country; are they working for them willingly, or have they been bought and paid for?  

         Our country, the United States of America, is involved in war.  Our military men and women have seen things in other countries that would shock you.  In some of those countries, when war breaks out…rape is used as a tool to destroy cultures and to break down the resistance of the opposing fighters.   Our military men and women have seen what happens to the women in those countries that have been warring with one another when they have gone in to establish some kind of peace-keeping.  Women and children, as well as men, are raped and used horribly.  Some of them never recover, physically or emotionally.   This is unacceptable behavior…no matter what country it takes place in.  These are issues to think about.  No-one is guaranteed safety from these predators.  http://www.humantrafficking.org/updates  This is a global issue.  It affects us all.  If you met one of these individuals in person… how you could be unaffected?  Yet most of us live our lives unaware of their plight.  Their stories of abuse would horrify you. 

         Many of the hotbeds in the modern day slavery networks, are on the news everyday…either they are points of travel destinations, or glamour spots that the rich and famous travel to and from…others are known for their sexual tourism…PLEASE STOP FEEDING THE MONEY MACHINE.   Someone’s “tourism” is someone else’s nightmare!!!   Do some research…don’t travel or support countries that are known for trading the services of human beings, illegally, for money.  Governmental leaders must take a stand and enforce those who would disregard the value of human lives by their inaction.  We must expect legal consequences and demand it from the authorities who can make a difference.

         Ben Skinner’s book, A Crime So Monstrous, touches on some of those people and their situations.  It breaks your heart.  And yet, you know that it is just a way of outlinning the scope of the problem.  You can find out more about the book here:  www.simonsays.com  It is also available as an e-book.  Take the time to educate yourself…read it; and, understand how this affects us all.  We need to stand up and demand that our leaders help to wage a war against those who would commit crimes against humanity in such a vile, and dehumanizing way.  Thank you to those who fight the fight against such inhumanity in our world.  

See possibly related story:  http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/WireStory?id=6081857&page=1 or http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=6121646

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       Labor Day is celebrated traditionally on the first Monday in September every year in the United States.  The original idea came about in 1882; it is a bit of a controversy who came up with the idea but most agree it is one of these two men, Peter J. McGuire a carpenter or Matthew Maguire a machinist brought the idea to the American forefront.  The reasoning behind a Labor Day was to celebrate the men and women in this country who work so hard to contribute to the infrastructure of our country by the manual labor and the sweat of their brows.  This Day is to honor them by giving them a day off from work and to recognize all that they do for their families, their employers, and their communities.

        It has become a national holiday, that over the years …the reason for the celebration has been diluted by the activities surrounding it.  There are picnics, festivals,tele-thons, fireworks, cookouts, parties and get-togethers…all of which are wonderful.  However, the reason for the Labor Day needs to once again be brought to the forefront; as people work harder than ever to build businesses, products, and services…but, seemingly the American Worker gets farther and farther behind in their earnings and their savings.

         Today, it was announced in the news that personal incomes dropped by 0.7% in the month of July alone…this is the most noteable drop in income, in over three years.  This comes as a disappointment as the government had issued those tax incentive rebate checks that were supposed to stimulate the economy.  It just goes to show that the fine balancing act that is the American economy, is more than just a little off kilter.

          The American worker works longer hours, and has more financial burdens than they need; and, are saving less than ever before.  The uncertainity of job security hangs over everyone’s heads as corporations and businessess outsource work to citizens from other countries, or outright move their businesses overseas to save money.  It costs more to do business now just as it costs workers more to exist. 

            The cost of living seems to be raising the stakes as workers struggle with rising gasoline, food prices, health care, education costs, home heating fuel and fluctuating mortgage payments, foreclosures, and bank failures. 

            Business companies and workers alike need to come back to the idea of the solid  American work ethic and the celebratory rewards from their employers for loyalty of service to their employees by investing back in the American economy.   CEOs and Administrators need to stop demanding and expecting so many perks and rally up behind some sacrifices that pump some new lifeblood into the network of reliable work histories of the American people.  Workers need to work hard to build up the assets of their employers.  We can learn alot from our forebearers in how they earned, saved, and how this country was built from the ground up.  The American worker who went before, often worked in unsafe working conditions. 

              We have come a long way in making working conditions safer due to labor unions and the worker creating an awareness about those issues, as well as child labor laws.  We can learn from both the good and the bad.  People who work hard and are reliable and trustwory as well as dependable; should be rewarded with job security, appropriate income, and benefits.  Companies who value their workers and develop stability should be praised and encouraged.  Together they are what this country needs to get the balance back where it needs to be.  We need to encourage more teamwork between employers and employees.

               So this weekend, as you celebrate your well earned time off to spend with your friends and family with a variety of R & R…let’s keep our priorities straight.  Celebrate and honor the traditions of those who came before and helped to trailblaize for the American worker of today; when you work…work hard and give your best quality.  Companies…if you have workers who don’t do their jobs and don’t give of the appropriate level of work…let them go…there are plenty of workers out there who will. 

                America has become a bit off balance.  There are those who work hard and are proud to do so…and there are slackers who are proud to be slackers.  There are companies who struggle to provide good products, and services who honor their workers with appropriate rewards and there are companies who don’t.  Unions sometimes will get behind a worker who shouldn’t necessarily be backed up if they are in the wrong.  There are occasions where it is hard for a company to dismiss a worker who isn’t working up to the appropriate standard of employment…don’t back up the worker who is in the wrong…it costs the company money, it costs the laborers in morale and it takes jobs away from workers who really want to work and would work hard for what they earn. 

                The next American President needs to create more opportunities for workers to have jobs and not just in the large metropolitan areas…there are plenty of potential employees who live in the suburbs and in the country areas who need good paying jobs.  We need to teach our young people how to work, how to take pride in a job well done and how to respect those in authority over them so that they learn how to be a good employee.  Maybe the next American President could take a page out of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s legacy and create something like the CCC or Civilian Conservation Corps which created an environment of employment, did amazing things for our environment, provided for families, and built a generation of dedicated hard working individuals who gave something meaningful to their country and their communities.  That would be amazing!

                We want to celebrate the best of the best.  Whether you are an executive, a laborer, a clerk, a stock person,a doctor, professor, janitor, or a truck driver, etc…it doesn’t matter, it is about the quality of person that you are; your integrity, and the willingness you have to earn what you are paid for. So what does Labor Day mean to our country today?  It could very well mean the difference between building up our economy or the total collapse of the very infrastructure that this country was founded on.  Buy American… Happy Labor Day weekend!

           

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