12/29/2013

The new year is right around the corner. What changes are you going to make in your life?



Everyone believes they need to make big changes but the only big change you need is the change to your thinking. 

Change your thinking and you will automatically change dozens of small things you do every day. That’s because action follows thinking. 

Things to Think About in 2014:

(1) Why?  Why am I doing things the way I am doing them? Why am I using that media? That message? Who suggested it? Am I testing it?

(2) Think of each day as a gift. What you do with that gift is up to you. Will you waste it? Make it productive? Enjoy it?

(3) Consider that who we are is determined mostly by our environment — until we become aware of this fact — then it’s up to us.

(4) Remember that you can’t eliminate all mistakes, but you can stop repeating them. Are you repeating mistakes? 

(5) Just because something has never been done doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Maybe you were meant to do it.

(6) Share what you learn. Share the credit. Share the success. Take responsibility for the flops.

(7) Spin sucks. Do not "spin" mistakes. Apologize for them. Do not "spin" bad news and try to make it look good. Put your best foot forward — but be honest. Geez, who raised you? 

(8) Good communication can solve most problems at home, at work and in your community. Good communication starts with listening. Listening starts with caring about the other person.

(9) A good life has a positive impact on others, even after you are gone. A great life makes your children proud of you and shapes their values.

(10) Finally, Reflect over the past year. Think about things you'd like to do better this year, new things you'd like to try and people you'd like to make amends with or start over with. Have you achieved the things you wanted to in the past year? What specific things would you like to change or redirect? Asking yourself questions about progress, change and where you want to be right now can help to keep your perspective fresh, giving you new motivation to make this year a more fulfilling one.

Anything you regret saying? Anyone you wish you could apologize to? If there is, apologize and make things right with them. You don't want to worry or regret anything when you start the new year.

Was this past year so great you don't want it to be a new year? Great, make a scrapbook or diary entry about how great this year has been. But tell yourself the new year will be even better. Build on the lessons you've learned and keep the good things coming.

Was this past year such a terrible year for you that you worry the new year will be more of the same or even worse? Thinking that way may be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Nobody expects you to fly when your wings feel broken but it's important for your own well-being to start finding small ways to mend your dreams. Treat yourself with greater compassion and hang out more with folks who have kind hearts. Focus on making this coming year a much gentler, kinder one. This might include letting go of things that are causing you anxiety––scary at first, but really liberating when you finally do it.

12/28/2013

Rep. Trey Gowdy Lectures The Media On Benghazi


The Justice and State departments  cite a year-old FBI investigation and a future criminal prosecution to block access to survivors of last year’s Benghazi terror attack.

The Obama administration is "changing names" of the Benghazi survivors and "creating aliases" to keep them hidden from congressional investigators and the American people.

Rep. Gowdy  said the administration is "dispersing them around the country" to keep them out of sight.

CNN revealed there were "dozens" of CIA operatives on the ground in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, the night of the deadly attack that killed four Americans. Meanwhile, the CIA is taking "unprecedented" steps to keep whatever it was doing in Benghazi a secret, according to reports.

These Benghazi revelations come at the same time that the Obama administration has decided to start referring to the Benghazi and IRS scandals as "phony."

12/24/2013

On Dealing With Sin and Forgiveness


According to a friend of mine, this is biblically accurate:

 
 Matthew 5: 22:24 
22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

12/23/2013

Let's Take A Closer Look at Gun Deaths in the United States

This is the kind of emotional rhetoric and propaganda promoted by the progressive liberal anti-gun movement:

"Over 11,000 people died from guns this year, Over 200 were children. 2014 needs to be the year we put pressure on the House to represent our desires to tighten gun safety, background checks, penalties for unsecured weapons and limit weapons of war on the streets!"

But let's dissect the facts, and remove the emotions from the equation, shall we?

There are roughly 32,000 gun deaths per year in the United States. Of those, around 60% are suicides. About 3% are accidental deaths (less than 1,000). About 34% of deaths (just over 11,000 in both 2010 and 2011) make up the remainder of gun deaths. Sometimes the 32,000 and 11,000 figures are used interchangeably by gun control advocates. Clearly, the 32,000 figure is a far more dramatic number and is often used for impact. These numbers are also regularly compared to other countries' gun statistics. But are they true? Here, we will examine some of the most common gun control arguments used and put those figures into perspective.

To hear gun control advocates speak, one would be led to believe that gun violence is a widespread problem whereby the mere existence of a gun is as much a problem as the person who intends to wield it. But the reality is that gun homicides are overwhelmingly tied to gang violence. In fact, a staggering 80% of gun homicides are gang-related. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), gang homicides accounted for roughly 8,900 of 11,100 gun murders in both 2010 and 2011. That means that there were just 2,200 non gang-related firearm murders in both years in a country of over 300 million people and 250 million guns.

The 2,200 figure is perhaps the most relevant of all gun statistics in the gun control debate given that the gun control laws are specifically targeted to this segment.  Most of the gun laws are aimed at a segment of the population that is mostly law-abiding and outside of the gang culture and would likely do little to stop any of the violence.

Suicide is often a secondary reason gun control advocates use for wanting to "control" guns. It is true that roughly half of suicides in America are done by use of a firearm. The suicide rate in Japan (where guns are almost nonexistent) is more than twice the United States' suicide rate. The US suicide rate is about the same as Great Britain, Canada, Denmark, Switzerland, and Iceland and well below France and Greenland. In reality, suicide rates seem to have little to do with the availability or accessibility of guns.

Most gun legislation is politically motivated and not logical. Politics is often a processed-based and not results-oriented exercise, where "doing something" is often rewarded more than actually ever accomplishing anything.

12/20/2013

Good Bye

I still think about you.
I feel badly about how things
didn't work out for us.
But - it wasn't my fault, and
I no longer dwell on it.
You were the one who lied,
and cheated, and betrayed.
You were the dishonest one.
At one point you told me that I was
the only one you were interested in.
But sadly, you lied.
I've cut you off forever
because of that and
I still believe it was
the right decision for me.
There is no room
in my life for
untrustworthy,hypocritical people.
You cannot come back -
You will have to live with
youself, your dishonesty,
and reconcile your betrayal
of my love and my trust.
You lied to me, to your husband,
and to yourself.
I wish you well, but Good-Bye.

12/14/2013

On Intimacy


Intimate relationships play a central role in the overall human experience. Humans have a general desire to belong and to love, which is usually satisfied within an intimate relationship. These relationships involve feelings of liking or loving one or more people, romance, physical or sexual attraction ( but not always) or emotional and personal support between the members. Intimate relationships allow a social network for people to form strong emotional attachments.

Intimacy generally refers to the feeling of being in a close personal association and belonging together. It is a familiar and very close affective connection with another as a result of a bond that is formed through knowledge and experience of the other. Genuine intimacy in human relationships requires dialogue, transparency, vulnerability, and reciprocity. It does not have to be sexual in nature. It also requires honesty and trust.

I've met a lot of people on Google+ and the vast majority of them are friends, but we are not intimate in the above sense. Of the married  people I have learned to trust and confide in, the number one reason they state for not being happy in their marriage is "a lack of intimacy".

I think this underscores just how important achieving and preserving real intimacy is -- in any kind of interpersonal relationship.

Robert Sternberg said, "Passion is the quickest to develop, and the quickest to fade. Intimacy develops more slowly, and commitment more gradually still." When you can achieve true intimacy with either a friend or a lover, it is something to be cherished and protected.

12/04/2013

Why Minimum Wage Hikes Increase Unemployment

There is no clearer demonstration of the differences in the two major political parties than their position on the minimum wage. Democrats generally are in favor of a higher minimum wage, Republican generally oppose it, although in recent times they have certainly caved.

In truth, there is only one way to regard a minimum wage law: it is compulsory unemployment. The law says: it is illegal, and therefore criminal, for anyone to hire anyone else below the level of X dollars an hour. This means that a large number of free and voluntary wage contracts are now outlawed and hence that there will be a large amount of unemployment. Remember that the minimum wage law does not provide any jobs; it only outlaws them; and outlawed jobs are the inevitable result.

All demand curves are falling, and the demand for hiring labor is no exception. So laws that prohibit employment at any wage that is relevant to the market must result in outlawing employment and causing unemployment.

If the minimum wage is, in short, raised from $7.25 to $9.00 an hour, the consequence is to disemploy, permanently, those who would have been hired at rates in between these two rates. Since the demand curve for any kind of labor is set by the perceived marginal productivity of that labor, this means that the people who will be disemployed and devastated by this prohibition will be precisely the "marginal" (lowest wage) workers, e.g. blacks and teenagers, the very workers whom the advocates of the minimum wage, such as president Obama, are claiming to foster and protect!

The advocates of the minimum wage and its periodic boosting reply that all this is scare talk and that minimum wage rates do not and never have caused any unemployment. Okay, if the minimum wage is such a wonderful anti-poverty measure, and can have no unemployment-raising effects, why are you helping the working poor by such piddling amounts? Why stop at $9.00 an hour? Why not $20 an hour? $100? $1,000?

It is obvious that the minimum wage advocates do not pursue their own logic, because if they push it to such heights, virtually the entire labor force will be disemployed. In short, you can have as much unemployment as you want, simply by pushing the legally minimum wage high enough.

The fact is that they have always been shrewd enough to stop their minimum wage demands at the point where only marginal workers are affected, and where there is no danger of disemploying, for example, white adult male workers with union seniority. When we see that the most ardent advocates of the minimum wage law have been the AFL-CIO, and that the concrete effect of the minimum wage laws has been to cripple the low-wage competition of the marginal workers as against higher-wage workers with union seniority, the true motivation of the agitation for the minimum wage becomes apparent.

This is only one of a large number of cases where a seemingly defective persistence in economic fallacy only serves as a mask for special privilege at the expense of those who are supposedly to be "helped."

Once in a while, AFL-CIO economists and other knowledgeable liberals will drop their mask of economic fallacy and candidly admit that their actions will cause unemployment; they then proceed to justify themselves by claiming that it is more "dignified" for a worker to be on welfare than to work at a low wage. This of course, is the doctrine of many people on welfare themselves. It is truly a strange concept of "dignity" that has been fostered by the interlocking minimum wage-welfare system.

Unfortunately, this system does not give those numerous workers who still prefer to be producers rather than parasites the privilege of making their own free choice. Minimum wage laws guarantee more unemployment. Period.

sources: Murray Rothbard, Thomas Sowell, studies