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Posts Tagged ‘jobs’

         Ok, I get it…the Oscar awards are supposed to be about recognizing the best in the film industry; however, over the years…the Oscars have turned into an industry unto itself.  There are Oscar parties, pre-Oscar and post-Oscar parties, the Barbara Walter’s pre-Oscar interviews, the morning shows that preview the menu’s and the decor of the dinning areas…come on!  Enough already.  (more…)

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       People are funny; when things get tight…their fists often get tighter; but not always.  This year, like no other year in recent memory, people are hurting.  They are hurting in many areas financially.  Many have lost their homes, their jobs, their savings…along with medical coverage.  It is a difficult time for many in our nation.

        Most everyone has something that they have been blessed with that they no longer use.  Those things that you have been blessed with and no longer use just might be terribly useful to someone else.  Have extra blankets (or sleeping bags) in the closet or attic that you have no use for?  Someone else has need for them; donate it to a shelter, a church, or an agency that gives to those in need.  Don’t forget places like the Salvation Army or Goodwill.  Let’s challenge ourselves to find ways to have a positive impact on those around us.

         What about checking out deals, when you grocery shop, that make use of buy one get one free…then, donating that extra item to a food pantry?  In fact, things people often run out of and have a hard time replacing are necessities such as laundry soap, shampoos/conditioners, toothpaste, dish soap, toilette paper; when money is limited…having those things donated to a food pantry can really be a big help.  Maybe you have a baby or toddler that has outgrown their diapers or pullups…and you have a partial package left; donate it, don’t let it set on a shelf somewhere unused.  What good are those items doing sitting there collecting dust?

          Do you have warm clothes that either don’t fit, things that aren’t your style; or, perhaps you just have an extra set of clothes that you could pass along?  What about coats or boots, mittens or hats/scarves?  Items such as these are desperately needed in colder temperatures and climates.  The fall and winter weather is unforgiving if a person is not sheltered and dressed appropriately for cold temperatures.  Children and adults are both in need; so, please check your closets and storage areas for things that you are not using.

          Here is another idea; have you had a tree fall on your property that you would like removed?  Offer it to those who heat their homes with wood for free…just for the taking.  Wow…how wonderful to get it removed and bless someone else with the wood who could use it to heat their homes. 

          So you say…you don’t have anything physical to give.  How about donating your time or possibly a service like raking leaves/shoveling snow for an elderly person who you know isn’t able to do it for themselves?  Maybe you could offer to get their mail so they don’t slip on the snow and ice or offer to run some errands for them.  There really are so very many ways to help another person who is in need. 

          Think about the homeless who are living on the streets.  Do you perhaps have a shelter or tent that is not going to be used in the near future?  Can you live without it?  Find an agency or charity that will use it to house those folks who cannot or will not live in a shelter.  We have many veterans and run-aways who live under bridges and tunnels all around this nation.  Is a tent or a shelter from your basement or garage an ideal place to live?  No but, it may just keep someone safer from the extreme elements, temporarily, until they can get back on their feet.

           Are any of these suggestions going to cure the ills our nation is facing; probably not…but, it may just help communicate caring to someone who is feeling desperate and alone.  Think about what you can do to help someone who has it a bit worse than you and yours.  Your donations could mean the difference between life and death for someone; and it doesn’t have to cost you more than a bit of compassion for others!

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        How many of you have ever had knowledge of an emergency situation where someone is bleeding profusely?  Emergency training teaches to apply pressure; or, to use a tourniquiet to temporarily stop the blood loss.  It is no different with our financial crisis; yet, apparently in a move that goes against common sense…we are bleeding green…sending more and more money to problematic areas that are already bleeding out.

           What we need is a check and balance here…someone to triage…find out who we can afford to let go on to their great reward.  We can’t save everyone here financially speaking.  So, if we are going to attempt to try to turn the tide with this financial mess…we need to find the most effective way to pump money back into the economy in a way that is going to repair the situation.  Not prolong the agony.  Those companies that would abuse the help provided them should be held accountable.  The governmental leaders who are in charge should be held accountable if they fail to serve honorably; by not keeping track of the ebb and flow of the bailout plan.  It should be considered a crime to fail at accounting for each and every dime of the bailout money that does not produce a positive outcome on the economy.  It would challenge those who benefit from the rescue plan to strictly monitor the use of such money entrusted to them!

         Americans are angry about this whole situation.  They are struggling and there is no safety net waiting for them when they fail financially…so, their expectations of our leaders who are guiding the ship in regards to the bailout, are high.  Those expectations are not currently being met…and Americans have had their fill of leaders and organizations who abuse their power and influence over our society.  The impact of such irresponsible behavior is what has brought us to this place and time in history; it is unacceptable.

         Allegedly, reports have surfaced, twice now, on AIG as having pricey get-to-gethers since they have come knocking on the government’s door begging for bailouts to keep them from filing for a $150 billion dollar bankruptcy.  This is seen by many as an excessive fly- in- your- face disregard for the sacrifices that tax payers are taking on, by dolling out the $40 billion dollars that the treasury has set aside to help put AIG back in black.

          What is madness is that this kind of behavior seems to go without consequences except to the country as a whole.  We are drowning in poor choices, in excesses that failing business expect others to dig them out of.  If a small business owner took on that kind of attitude…there would be nothing but financial ruin in their future…not a reward of an all expense paid trip to a spa on the taxpayers!

           The average American is drowning as well.  There are no individual life rings being tossed to the middle class taxpayer.  We are being hit from all sides by the economy, taxation, educational funding, rising cost of living bills, home heating costs, gasoline, medical costs; and still, more and more people are loosing their jobs or their investments.  Home foreclosure is at an all time high.

           How in the world are taxpayers going to pay more to bailout anyone when they are barely keeping afloat themselves with the drain on their incomes?  If people don’t have jobs, they can’t pay taxes.  Common sense dictates that we examine closely where all of this bailout money is coming from; and, limit those who are benefitting from the rescue money. If some business or organization is not being fiscally responsible they should not then be given a blank check to continue the party.  

        This is not a free for all…We need someone in a position to regulate the flow of green; apply some pressure.  We are living in an unprecedented time of national debt…it just makes sense to be watching our bottom line.  There is nothing wrong with taking a little time to evaluate the situation and make an informed decision about the best way to tackle this mess.   Remember Russia and the collapse of their union?  Are we looking to make history as the next nation to collapse from the inside out?

          

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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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        The Sky is falling…the sky is falling…does anyone remember that saying from the children’s story…Chicken Little?  That is how I am feeling today about the hysteria surrounding the money markets.  The more that the warnings go out…the more hysteria that takes place, which then makes the markets more unstable.  The dow is beginning to resemble a roller coaster ride.

          I fell for it…and i am sure there are others who are biting the bullet as far as the panicked feeling.  Everyone is panicking.  Other countries are panicking too.  Because of it…the instability is contagious.  Everyone needs to stop….take a deep breath and let things settle for a few days.  Don’t sell out of panic…don’t buy out of panic…just stop and let things settle into what they are; do what you normally would do.

          I know the need to protect what you have worked for, i know the need to keep your personal finances bubblewrapped to the best of your ability, i know the fear that won’t let you sleep because you may not be able to send your kids to college, retire, or live without too much heartache with your daily spending.  Truth is, most of us needed to tighten our belts and live the way we were taught which is to save up to buy what you want…not overextend yourself with credit and pay as you go.  This is common sense.  It is also common sense to establish some credit…but you must be vigilant and pay it as it comes due…not let credit become the disaster that it has become.

          Businesses, banks, real-estate companies all are in the position that many of us regular people have been in.  The problem is that they can’t operate if their customers can’t pay.  We can’t pay if we don’t have jobs or homes to live in.  It is a vicious cycle.  Everything needs to stabilize long enough for an honest evaluation of where we are at.  At the moment, it is like a lake that has had a boulder fall from the cliffs into the center of the lake; there are ripples that are still rocking the boat floating on the surface.   The shifting that keeps taking place is definately keeping the extent of the damage unclear.

         Putting measures into effect to try to “correct” the market is just going to continue to keep things out of control.  This whole financial crisis is scary as heck…i won’t deny that.  But, we have no accurate way to measure the actual scope of the damage.  There is something to be said for an old adage such as, moderation in all things. 

         The people & companies that put us in this situation are going to have to make better decisions, they have to have consequences for the mistakes that they have made, and they are going to have to put procedures into place to prevent repeating the same mistakes.  The housing markets, the oil companies, the credit card companies and the banking industry all need to take stock of how they have each added to this disaster, and do a review of business 101.  Make more than you spend, lend less than you can afford to lose, and build trust and relationships with your customers!  What a novel idea…we can all learn from those practices.

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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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      Here we go, the Republican party is gearing up for next weeks Republican National Convention.  Sen. John McCain is ready to announce his running mate.  Conservative supporters are warning that funding and advertising support can, and will, be withdrawn if he chooses a running mate that is pro-abortion.  Two of the people he is considering as a running mate are pro-choice…that is Sen. Joe Lieberman and former Pennsylvania Govenor Tom Ridge. 

       Of course, abortion is only one issue.  There are many issues to consider such as gay rights, health care, the war and bringing home the military men and women, economy, bank failures, terrorism,foreign policy, housing market, joblessness, federal bailouts in the lending and in transportation, education, cost of living and social security issues…but, with many Democrats unhappy with the elimination of Hillary Clinton as a running mate for Sen. Barack Obama…many of her supporters have pledged their support over to John McCain.  All of these issues is important to voters; but the Republican party is typically conservative.  Conservatives are looking for leadership that is going to reinforce the party’s basic standards as well as provide some economic stability in the country; while at the same time, correcting some of the perceived errors in the present administration.

         Also in the realm of possibility is Minnesota Govenor Tim Pawlenty and former Massachusetts Mitt Romney…both anti-abortion proponents.  With all of the difficulties since the last election, it is a little frightening to be standing on the edge of the unknown this time around.

         Sen. John McCain has to be very careful about who he announces as his pick.  He doesn’t want to exchange many of his supporters, with deep pockets, for those unhappy Democratic supporters.  If he is wise in his choosing of a running mate…those Democrats will be additional voters not replacements for those who were supporters in the first place; it could have a big impact.  

          I guess we are about to find out…as it has been announced that Sen. John McCain has picked his running mate and will announce it to the American public on Friday at noon in Ohio.  His running mate will get the word on Thursday!  I don’t think that people have been this anxious about the political arena as they are this year…but then, most people agree…the climate in the American culture hasn’t been as critical as it seems, at this time…for a great many years.  The outcome is terribly important.  Let’s hope that the running mate is a pick that many can get behind without controversy taking away from the issues at hand.        

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        It may just be a bit presumptious to say so…but, i think that there are so many people who are dissatisfied with both the Republican and Democratic parties that we are going to see something that i tagged as a DemoPublican.  That is to say, that people’s value systems lie somewhere in the middle of these two parties that have become so out of touch with their constituents.  Alot of conversations that take a political turn tend to reflect the consensus that people are unhappy with the choices.  The reasons for that statement are varied.  Some don’t like the personality, or the past mistakes, or the perceived lack of experience…on and on.  That is not new to this particular election..that is always the case to a certain degree; people pick the person with who they consider will do the country the least amount of harm and promote the most positive changes possible.

         In this particularily historic Presidential election; people have  been trying to come to terms with issues that have plagued our country and tried to find the alignment within the party that they most closely associate themselves with.  That has become harder and harder to do with the economic reality that faces our nation; not to mention, constantly changing boundaries relating to levels of personal privacy as it has been invaded on the pretext of safeguarding our country in matters of national security.  Add into that mish-mash the polarization of voters applying personal religious belief systems towards determining which candidate to vote for.  Many people are conflicted on that issue; which candidate’s actions most closely reflect their own belief systems. 

          There are so many issues that have not even begun to be addressed by the candidates that it is a little worrisome.  Issues that demand addressing include things such as joblessness, homelessness, health care, education reform, addressing issues that impact the banking systems, transportation systems, homeland security, terrorism, how to provide and manage energy costs and concerns, etc.  These are the issues that people care about and base their votes on…not which celebrity gives them a personal endorsement or what music the candidate listens to; come on…get real and deal with the things that matter!

         Underneath those issues, runs a very heated debate about who should have been the Democratic nominee; experience or the lack of is important.  When Florida and Michigan delegate votes were discounted…this changed the course of the competition between Sen. Barack Obama.  There has been a strong battle between supporter of Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama.  The split has been protracted and continues today…going into the Democratic National Convention this weekend.  Even some of the speakers have privately expressed unhappiness with the process; such as Bill Clinton, former President of the United States.  He says after the election he will speak his piece; of that, i have no doubt.  Sen. Hillary Clinton…now, I can’t even imagine how much pressure she is under.  She wanted to be in the place that Sen. Barack Obama is now standing; barring that…she, i am sure would have been happy to be his running mate…that did not happen. 

           How difficult it must be to stand up there and promote unity in the party when i am sure….that has to be the last thing she wants to do is encourage support for Mr. Obama.  Add into the drama, all of the “celebrity” endorsements that Sen. Obama is getting and it is turning into a bit of a 3 ring circus.  Today there was a report on a CNN research poll that said since picking Sen. Joe Biden… the run for the Presidency has become tied at 47% between Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama…compared to percentages that showed Sen. Obama in the lead with 51%, just last month.

         Everyone has an opinion on how this will play out.  Some attempts have been made calling for unity in the Democratic party…but, there is great unhappiness still under the surface.  Those that thought Sen. Hillary Clinton should have been the front runner, then fully expected Sen. Barack Obama should give her due consideration for the position of his running mate.  When it became obvious that she was passed over; and, he chose Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate those who felt slighted have pledged to vote for Sen. Obama’s competitor Sen. John McCain. 

           The Republican party has to get out their position on the issues as well.  We dont need to see a few months of showboating by either of the candidates…we need to get down to the nitty gritty and quit wasting everyone’s time on surface nonsense.

          There is much work to do on both the Republican and the Democratic side to convince voters that the person that they choose to cast their vote for is deserving and capable.  In the meantime, DemoPublicans are going to be the deciding factor in this election…God help us all to make the correct choice, without compromising the things that are most important.

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     Nine years is a relatively short amount of time to change lives, community, and environment.  Luckily, Franklin D. Roosevelt didn’t let that thought stop him when he created the Civilian Conservation Corps through his impactful New Deal which created over 59 agencies that worked to help America get out of the Depression Era.

      The Great Depression was a devastating period of time in America that impacted every facet of family life.  Food was in short supply, jobs were scarce, families were large and hope was wanning. 

       The year 1933 began to change that…the Depression had already dumped four years of hardship on families and the country.  Franklin D. Roosevelt became the President and promised the country a New Deal.  He created many agencies that would ultimately turn the country around…but those things took time. 

         When he created the Civilian Conservation Corps it was intended to take young men out of the city who were on the “help” line or what would today be called welfare.  The CCC did in fact help many young city men to leave the city life and got plenty of young men out of an environment of trouble.   When some of the young men/boys didn’t want to leave the city…boys from the country also went.  If the young men couldn’t work during this time, they were a drain on the family food supply; the CCC provided a solution to that by sending the young men to the camps…not only didn’t their families have to feed them…they could in turn, send home money helping to support their family at home. The requirements were such that the young men were supposed to be 18 years of age, collecting help or welfare benefits, and were willing to leave their families to go to the CCC camps.

         The work was hard.  The environment was sometimes empty lands that the “boys” had to clear and build their own shelters that would eventually become the camp barracks.  The discipline was tough because it had to be.  The camps often were blending boys from city life with boys from country life.  The times were tough…and many men and boys came without much clothing.  The camps provided uniforms to wear, food to eat, a place to stay, and a purpose for the young men and boys during a time when left to their own devices, many were prone to get into trouble.  The uniforms helped to instill pride in the work that they performed…for their families, their communities, and their country.

         The work that the CCC did was varied around the country…but, basically, they built roads, dams, installed telephone lines, paved roads, built state and national parks, built dams, constructed fire breaks to help control fire damage, planted forests and so much more.

          In return for the priviledge of being clothed in uniform and taking pride in the work that they were able to accomplish, the young men had to agree to the payment plan.  That payment included three meals a day, housing, clothing, and $30 dollars a month…the men were allowed to keep $5 dollars of that money and the rest was sent home to help their parents; or, if they were married with dependents, then they sent home the $25 to their spouse to help take care of their responsibilities.  Many of the young men had to not only leave their homes but some even had to go to camps out of their home states.

          This program, the CCC was wonderful at rebuilding a sense of pride in young men who did not want to take help from the government…it allowed them to feel as though they were once again restoring their families by the manual labor that they did.  At the same time, the CCC used the young men to construct projects that impacted the country in ways that; to this day, we are able to reap the rewards from.  The work ethic that the men exibited during this time was to set a standard for generations to learn from.  It was run with a military type environment…not quite a boot camp…but strong discipline and lots of physical labor.  Often, the men went on to join the armed forces and used the skills they learned through the CCC to help the military in other areas around the world. 

          Many of the parks and dams still exist and are enjoyed.  The CCC camps lasted 9 years; this year honored the celebration of its 75 anniversity.  The CCC put over 2.5 million young men and boys to work.  They planted over 200 million trees…my own grandfather was a part of that.  In the area where he worked…they planted pine trees that still stand to this day.  In the area where he worked…those trees were instrumental to helping to stop the progression of a 10 acre parcel of desert which turned into over 1000 acres before the trees were able to do their job.  That gave farming families a chance to regain their farm land which provided their families a place to live and plant their food supply.  

          All of the men who joined the CCC did work to be proud of.  They worked hard, they sacrificed time away from their families and they provided for other members of their families by doing so.  Many formed long lasting friendships with their co-workers and all had stories to tell when their time was done.   It is a legacy that should not be forgotten.  All of the work was important and should be honored. Many of the workers are gone now…some are living still and to them all…we owe a big thank you!   Do you know anyone who worked for the CCC?  How did it impact their life?  How does it affect the environment where you live today?  Should we organize something similar today to help our economy, our youth, and our country?  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/07/30/impact-action-team-makes-a-difference-in-the-world-through-boot-camp-training/

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       What if you were convicted of a crime and you knew you were innocent; but, no one else knew or cared once you were convicted?  Worse yet, what if you were wasting away in prison for a crime you didn’t commit; while the real criminal was free to continue doing what you were accused of doing?  Wouldn’t you want someone to dig until they found proof of your innocence?

       Many people think that is the job of the defense attorneys of the accused; but that is unrealistic.  Oh, they do their job in court to protect your rights, best way that they can…but, for the most part…once you are convicted…you are there until your time is served. They have so many people to represent…unless your case sticks in their craw and they believe in you; and, they have powerful, political connections to movers and shakers…you will sit in prison until your time is up!

        What if someone dared to believe in your innocence and was willing to investigate until irrefutible proof was found that proved your innocence?  That would be a gift…a miracle.    That type of commitment costs money and lots of time.  Most people don’t have an unending supply of wealth.  By the time they have gone through the court system and paid to defend themselves…they have nothing left.  Often, even family and friends have moved on with their lives…not ALWAYS…but, by the time that the person has sat in prison a few years…family and friends have been forced to go back to work, finish growing up, getting married, having children, going off to college; you get the idea…life keeps moving on.  (more…)

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