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Posts Tagged ‘Americans’

       As a person living in the midwest, in one of the coldest, snowiest winters in the last 25 years…i have to say i was irritated when i read that since President Obama moved into the White House the thermostat has allegedly gone up.  For a man who made it part of his campaign to encourage Americans to sacrifice for the world environment and to take on a personal responsibility regarding climate changes; I am offended by an article that i read today that says the Oval office is like a tropical hot house, warm enough to grow orchids in.  Someone needs to hold this administration accountable in these types of areas…turn down the heat on President Obama.

       Across our nation right now, many Americans are without electric or typical normal heat sources because of an ice storm, that is going to take weeks to fix.  This is during some truly challenging temperatures as our country transitions between winter and spring.

       Part of the perception of the recent, more relaxed environment in the Oval office…meaning that visitors no longer have to wear suit jackets when they enter in like the former administration; is really more about personal comfort levels.  It isn’t mainly about being relaxed in that room as much as it is about it being warm; so that wearing a suit and tie would be really uncomfortable.  While I applaude the more informal feel to this Presidency…I have to say that even the White House staff and aides have commented on the temperature change; including his chief of staff, David Axelrod who  allegedly, made the statement about the orchids growing in there.

         The article I read said something to the effect that even though President Obama comes from Chicago…he was born in Hawaii, and he likes being warm.  Well, no fake…most of us don’t enjoy being colder than is comfortable…but , what about that personal sacrifice he was talking about before?  I dont want to bust his chops on this or any other issue just for the sake of it…but…this subject is a little close to home when my own family has to keep the furnace set on 58-60 degrees because of the necessity of the high cost of heating our home.

        Another, more important reason this is so maddening is that in my home state…there have been several people who have frozen to death.  A man by the name of Marvin E. Schur, 93 years old, froze to death recently in Bay City, Michigan because the electric company put a limiter on his electric service and his home power was shut off…effectively causing his heating source to stop working.  He died…come on…was that President Obama’s fault….no!  However, when i hear polyanna remarks justifying his higher temperature on the thermostat in the Oval office; it makes me angry to know that others are SUFFERING AND DYING when there are others who have so much and are wasteful with it.  It is not right.

        So please President Obama…you have so many other more important things on your plate…turn down the heat in the White House so that your actions match your words and your call for personal responsibility.   That way, those who would otherwise be inspired by you and your goals of helping our nation turn towards more green living and a more positive use of our energy sources can get on board without having to defend your conflict of words and actions!  Be an inspirational leader so that you can have a powerful impact on our country with responsibile energy use.

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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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      This past week’s political temperature has left me feeling a bit feverish.  The final Presidential debate was held on Wednesday evening.  The debate finally covered some topics that helped to clarify the Presidential candidate’s political positions.  This was good.  It is too bad that it took 3 debates for us to get to the nitty gritty.  In this election… having a clear understanding of those positions is very important.

       During the debate, John McCain brought up a reference to a question that was asked of Barack Obama earlier in the week, in Holland-Ohio, while campaigning.  Sen. McCain nicknamed the questioner “Joe the plumber”.  Well, needless to say…Joe the plumber became a focal point of this back and forth between Obama-McCain.  “Joe” became an instant celebrity…much to his surprise!  His question to Sen. Obama was to the heart of taxation…a topic of contention in this election. 

       Well, Joe the plumber’s real name is Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher.  He asked Sen. Obama, when he showed up in his neighborhood stumping for the campaign; “Your new tax plan is going to cost me more money, isn’t it”?  He told him he wanted to buy the business that he worked for; in the future and would hope to make 250,000 dollars or more in business. 

       To make a long story short….Joe the plumber has taken on the personna of every-man.  This ignited a firestorm of interest in Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, which amazed him and triggered some natural curiosity about him.  However, since that time…he has become the focus of some real background, investigative work.

       Whether this is from the media…or both campaigns…who knows.  The problem is…that Mr. Wurzelbacher has been put through a ringer.  He is not a public person…nor is he a candidate.  Is it fair for him to be put under a microscope?  Somehow the information has come to light that he is not a licensed plumber; even though he works for one.  He is about to receive chastisement for working without a license from the city of Toledo.  There could be repercussions for his employer i would think.  Information about his income was reported on.  As well as personal information such as a lien because of owing back taxes.  All of this attention has turned public focus on a private citizen. 

        Just by asking a candidate a question in this election, “Joe the plumber” has become an unwitting political pawn.  This reminds me a bit of the old political tactics called McCarthyism; where thousands of Americans were very aggressively investigated and put under suspicion…many loosing their jobs, some careers were negatively impacted and some were even imprisioned after the investigations.  This should be considered unacceptable!

       Is this the kind of America that we want to live in?   Why can’t political campaigns run on issues and political stances alone and skip all of the negativity?  Why can’t they spend their advertising dollars on more important things and do good with that money.  They just might find the American voters more receptive to those tactics and avenues than they are to all of this destructive negativity!!!  What’s your opinion on this subject?

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       It appears that since this season of Dancing With The Stars has begun that dancing pro Cheryl Burke has been getting criticized for gaining some weight.  Today on several television programs Cheryl voiced her shock and discomfort with viewers who felt that they had a right to criticize her appearance.  Some of the questions she faced even went so far as to ask if she was several months pregnant.  Other comments were just plain rude and were meant to make her feel bad about her appearance. Her skills were not being questioned…just her appearance.

        Cheryl took off the summer to work on getting her dance studio opened.  While she was off from her normal schedule…she says that she gained about 5 pounds.  Some of the comments that Cheryl heard were very hurtful to her.  She said that the comments online and in tabloids were very in her face and she could not avoid hearing about them.  She said it caused her heartache and made her cry.  When she is on DWTS she is dancing approximately 7 hours a day.  Going without that regular schedule is what caused her to gain the extra pounds.

        Even though Cheryl said that she is comfortable in her own skin and has always been curvy since she hit puberty…those hurtful comments definately affected her.   She said, even with the weight gain..she is still able to fit into her size 4 costumes for the show. 

        I think it is unfortunate that people would feel it necessary to write in to her or about her weight gain.  I think as a society we are becoming conditioned by constant exposure to multi-media venues viewing celebrities and models who are setting a poor example of what is a healthy weight for their bone structure or frame.

         Americans are on a national trend heading towards obesity and that needs to be curbed.  However, we need to educate people not attack them.  Cheryl, as a size 4, is by no means hugely overweight.  As she stated on the television interviews…now that she is back regularily training in her dance routines…she is loosing the weight gain naturally.  She has no intention of going on some radical, unhealthy diet that will appease her critics.  I applaude her for that.  She has a healthy self-esteem and it comes across.

         Shorter stature women, who have the physical characteristic of being short- waisted, tend to show any amount of weight gain quite quickly.  I think, that combined with the television cameras ability to add 10 lbs to a person’s appearance and skimpy costumes that expose many of a womans trouble spots to the camera lense has put an unfair spotlight on Cheryl.  She is a beautiful woman who is talented and active. 

        Those who are quick to judge her, by the weight gain, should take care how they voice their opinion.  None of us would be too willing to trade places with her and be the person who is being judged.  There are few of us who would wish someone we care about to be judged by this same harsh standard.  What kind of an impact does it have on our young people to pick at someone’s appearance because they have gained a minimal amount of weight?  We have far too many people who struggle around the world with their body image; and because of that, they often develop eating disorders such as bulimia/anorexia.  This is a very serious blackmark on our culture.  Do you think it is fair for people to publically chastize Cheryl for her weight gain?  Has someone else’s opinion of you negatively impacted your self-esteem?

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        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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        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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        Oprah has been doing an “experiment”…she has been following a vegan diet for 21 days to increase her spiritual awareness of food.  The experiment was induced by author Kathy Feston of the book, Quantam Wellness.  The diet puts into practice the removal of alcohol, animal products, gluten, and sugar and caffeine from a person’s daily meals and snacks.  (more…)

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