Category Archives: U.S.

Will the @RealDonaldTrump please stand up?



When rumor surfaced in 2015 Donald Trump, reality TV star, billionaire and man who apparently loves his name on lots of buildings, hotels and golf courses may again be thinking about running for president, I just brushed it off. It had been said before and so far, no president trump, not even close.

Then, on June 16, 2015 when he and wife Melania came riding down on the escalator at his very own Trump Tower in New York City, (quite a sight to see) Donald Trump actually did announce he would be running.

OK, so he wanted to run. There were a lot of people running to be the eventual Republican nominee and nobody would take Trump seriously, right?

I myself don’t have a “cookie cut out” version of who should be president. I do think there are qualifications but also a president should be enough of a person to understand the people they are meant to lead, work with and work for.

Being president of the United States of America is not a prize or popularity contest but instead it is about truly knowing, loving and believing in your country and ALL the people of your country. Being president is about sacrifice and honor, about always putting others first and thinking about how each decision, every order and all your words have an effect on all the people not only in the United States of America but so many people all over the world for many generations to come.

The United States is very unique and is indeed a great nation. What makes this possible is also why the person elected as our president must understand what has brought America to its present and how we all must stand united to move forward to our future.

You see, the United States is made from the world. Many of its citizens have come to our shores from many generations back, most recently and will continue to do so.


The stories fade through the generations and often times we forget the struggles fought before us to provide the life we may now take for granted.

Freedom of religion, speech or escaping persecution, wars and genocide. Fleeing famine, disease or seeking the rights for education and better opportunities. Looking for safety from dictatorships, gangs, sex and/or human trafficking. In someway or another seeking that “American Dream”.

A person born and raised here may just as well wonder when will they find that “American Dream”?

What happened to being able to get a job, buy a house and have a family? Is that not possible anymore for the average person or is it just the elites? The lucky few?


So here comes election time again and what does that mean?

This time is totally different and I don’t say that lightly. I mean this time it has me asking myself, “How far are people really willing to push things?”

I watch the “news” and it has turned into an entertainment industry and its own reality show of sorts bringing on ‘talking heads ‘ to just argue and bicker about the same old thing day after day which resolves nothing in the elections, doesn’t share much of anything going on in our world and either feeds hate, causes confusion or inspires conspiracy and stupidity.

CNN used to be the “reliable news network”. But sharing the news means sharing actual stories and facts with updates and information.

To leave CNN on now for 24 hours means a person would hear a lot of the same old couple of stories all day, currently arguments about Hillary Clinton’s emails, Donald Trump’s language and those making excuses for him and a broad spectrum of talking heads sharing their opinion while interrupting, yelling, talking over each other and the host.

In all the world there is much more going on and if CNN or America really want to know if Hillary Clinton is qualified to be president, her resume goes back decades long before email was even around and Donald Trump has been and will continue to be the same person he is and has been. Stop waiting for Donald 2.0 to be released.

While people are waiting for the real or the new and improved or maybe a “more presidential” Donald Trump, you can catch the @RealDonaldTrump on Twitter, any TV station, years of past You Tubes blurting out whatever he feels.

If that makes you warm and fuzzy, feeling secure and thinking he should control our country, military, nuke codes and make laws based on his years of business experience while not knowing how to run a fake university, answer where his own shirts and ties are made or, as a supposed Christian even believe in regret or asking forgiveness of anyone including God, then November is not far away.

This is a land of free voting rights… Pretty much, for now.

However, Hillary Clinton has endless references of working on behalf of children’s healthcare, people with disabilities, healthcare reform, fought for the 911 first responders healthcare, has fought endlessly for women and girls’ rights around the world, has fought for human rights and equality… The list goes on.

Hillary Clinton has been a daughter, wife, mother, student, teacher, lawyer, first lady, senator, and Secretary of State.
She has exceeded expectations and gone above and beyond everywhere she goes leaving a vast resume and trails of references, lifelong friends and grateful people along her path.

After the complete clown show, referred to as the Republican primaries, somehow Donald Trump actually emerged as the Republican nominee??
I mean, really??

As each of the others got knocked out of the heap, it made some sort of sense but Donald kept sticking around.

He insulted Mexicans, women, muslims, (people in general really) while also calling the candidates and countless others names. He openly made fun of the disabled, insulted veterans… just one thing after the other and his third grade grammar and bullying behavior kept landing him in the news and somehow the foul mouth bully was making his way closer and closer to being the Republican Nominee.

I guess if people didn’t like anyone, they chose the entertaining one?

But this is not a reality show or a joke. This is serious business with very serious consequences!!

Republicans have threatened for years Obama was going to take everyone’s guns away. They swore on it. There were threats of death camps. They swore on that too. Donald Trump himself swore Obama wasn’t an American Citizen. There were always reasons to scare people into voting against Obama and then against anything he pushed or the Democratic Party pushed.

Now there is Donald Trump as the Republican’s candidate for president and they are still trying to distract away from how insanely crazy and dangerous this idea of him even being this close to being president actually is. If they could replace him tomorrow, they would. If they could go back in time?  Things would not be taken so lightly when he announced his running. They wouldn’t shrug off so much of his hate speech. I hope not.

While his followers like his way of speaking like a “normal” person? What normal person??

And THIS person is running to be President? Maybe someone should inform Donald Trump’s mouth about that.

The world is listening. The world is watching.   –>>Words matter.

The media is not twisting his words or using them out of context. They spill from his lips out to the screen for the world to see. They spill from his fingers out to his tweets for the world to read. Then he speaks and/or tweets to confirm his ridiculous thoughts, opinions and absurd ideas on how he, alone would be able to make America great, and fast. Believe him! Ugh!

Donald Trump is unapologetic and out of control.

Donald sees winning the presidency as a contest and not as a sacrifice it actually is because Donald Trump does not know what sacrifice is, at all.

Donald Trump doesn’t respect the diversity of United States at all.

Donald Trump puts himself above all else, winning before working and shooting off at the mouth ahead of thinking about others or consequences.

I keep hearing leading republicans say they somehow hope he will change, become more “presidential” after this event or that event. Voters supporting him seem to think walking into the White House will do the trick. No, what you see and hear now will just be relocated to Washington D.C.

This is not a Disney movie and even Disney doesn’t always end happy.

Either people need to wake up and realize the blubbering, third-grade speaking bully that somehow has gotten this far is not only incapable of being president but needs help just being nice.

This election your has been like no other. This decision isn’t just about who to vote for but what is our country about? Are we going to stay true to who we really are? What so many have bought fought and died for?

My vote is for more than just me.

As an American, we stand together.

As an American, we stand united.

As an American we remember our past to guide us to through the present and lead us into our future.

So, one may ask, who is the best person to lead our country but also represent us around the world?

This is very clear… It is not Donald Trump!

The @RealDonaldTrump can sit down!

Stop waiting and wondering if he will magically become something or someone he clearly isn’t. People need to see this isn’t a contest, a one night event.

The “morning after” will last 4 years and have influence on our lives and so many lives all over the world for generations to come.

This is serious and the Republican Party needs to accept responsibility for their part in this, the media as well and as voters we need to put aside the hoopla and finger pointing and really see what is clearly in front of us.

If anything matters, votes matter because its our voices and we can’t let those be drowned out by side shows and games. This is serious.

@RealDonaldTrump has said if he doesn’t win, he will just go on a long vacation. How many of us can say that? Really?

 

 

 

 

Time for a discussion: Guns, mental health, violence

24 Hours Ago… So much can change in a 24 hour period.

Throughout the world, lives are lost each day due to diseases, wars, drugs, mental and eating disorders, famine, violent crimes and so much more. What makes today different is not only is this happening just after the other recent tragedies in a mall, a theater, hair salon, etc but these were children, teachers a principal and those there to help our children.

They lived in one of the top 10 places to live in America. School should be a safe zone. No hate, violence, bullying or fear of dying due to any senseless act of crime. Mental disorders or not. That is not a reason or excuse for violence.

People live with mental disorders everyday without causing harm. People have guns responsibly. The fact is, not everyone is held accountable. Not everyone is responsible with a gun or keeps it away from the wrong hands.

Not everyone has proper medical diagnosis, care and/or treatment for their mental illness. The discussions and resolutions can’t be avoided. Prayers shouldn’t have to continuously go out for lives lost and communities affected by tragedy.

Prayers and attention need to focus on one thing, SAVING LIVES.

Put the politics aside.

People deserve to live and people deserve proper medical attention.

Side note:

I wanted to post this now but I was working on an article following the recent shooting in Clackamas…then this happened, the shooting at an elementary school. I will follow this up with a further article.

Please share your thoughts on this matter. Worldwide, people have been affected in different ways. 

It is time for a discussion.

Elections, the GOP and more craziness!

Capitol Hill, Washington D.C. : Photo by Ashleighb77

November 6th has come and gone with another Presidential Election behind us!

Wait! Not so fast! We did have an election and Barack Obama was elected to another term in office as President of the U.S.

However, votes are still being counted… Yes, I know we are over 10 days beyond the election so how could that still be going on?

Well, even as Mitt Romney was making his concession speech and President Obama was making his victory speech, people were still waiting in line to vote. Yes, that is true. In South Florida, many people were in line until 1:00 AM. But, they stayed and voted so their voices would be heard.

Why? Voting is their right. People know their vote matters and nothing or nobody will detour them from their vote being counted, at some point… hopefully.

Every election the message gets pushed about the importance of registering to vote, getting out to vote, having your voice heard, etc. But, more and more, it is becoming a divided message.

Plain and simple, who you’re voting for, possibly could determine how much your vote may be sought after or “blocked”.

Laws to protect voters from simply being turned away at the polls on Election Day, based on who you are voting for, but the GOP is working tirelessly on passing new laws to put strains on selected groups depending on different demographics.

As much as one may think law and order is here to protect our nation, preserve our rights and honor our freedoms, that is something that is not only questioned but questionable.

Watch this clip from HBO’s “The Newsroom” to see their look at a very real issue that is only growing worse with each election cycle and is an enormous part of why “Washington” seems to be so bogged down and unable to get anything substantial moved through in a reasonable (if any) amount of time.

“THE NEWSROOM”

Do you think they have some valid points in the segment?  What?

First, the voting fraud issue. The New York Times identified out of 120 voter fraud cases filed by the Department of Justice in five years, only 86 resulted in convictions. In the 2008 elections, between 126.5 million and 128.5 million Americans cast ballots, according to a report by the electorate study center. Compare the numbers.

Rick Hasen, UCI Professor of Law and Expert on Election Law said, “When you do see election fraud, it invariably involves election officials taking steps to change election results or it involves absentee ballots which voter ID laws can’t prevent.

Does that mean there are absolutely no instances of voter fraud that could be caught by enacting voter ID laws? No, that isn’t what I am saying. I don’t think anyone would make that point because it would just be inaccurate.  So, why all the hype?

Well, let’s look at the big picture for a moment.

You have a group of GOP leaders in Washington that have made pledges all over the place. Their biggest job in Washington had nothing to do with the people who elected them but everything to do with some promises, pledges and their possibilities for re-election. Period.

In 2010, the Tea Party took them on and made deals with them. They campaigned to get them into Washington as long as they played by the Tea Party rules. Make President Obama a one-term President, get the government out of our lives, never raise taxes and we will get you re-elected.

It is pretty difficult to go discuss things in Washington and make decisions when your mind is made up for you without having heard both sides of what is actually going on but that is what happened and they willingly signed on the line to get re-elected or elected into Washington.

What was the pledge? It was the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” from Grover Norquist. Two people on the list are Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. You can see everyone by visiting the link.

The problem with this pledge is it includes and excludes too much to be anything close to reasonable. By signing the pledge, it shows an unwillingness to work together, discuss the issues of a very diverse nation or the ability and desire to compromise and/or find solutions.

It is a simple pledge.

The house and senate members basically say this by signing;

ONE – oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses, and

TWO- oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates

The governor says this by signing;

I will oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes.

The state legislator says this by signing;                      

I will oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes.

 

 

How crazy is that!

These people’s decisions would and have been affecting people and our entire nation now and for a very long time. Signing short, little summed up pledges with the words, “any”, “all”, “oppose”, “veto” and the rest of the neatly and all-restrictive wording tucked in the little Norquist pledges are unacceptable.

This isn’t new information. This has been known and even so these people have been holding things up with no viable reasoning other than they have Norquist to answer to, voters are still electing them…

As it stands right now, our leaders (I hate to use that word when I am talking about these that sign these pledges) are about to go into their “Lame Duck Session” and try to figure out how to avoid a fiscal debt crisis. How can this be accomplished when all of these who have signed pledges are basically blocked from any type of reasonable negotiations? I mean why are they in there? Why not just send in Grover Norquist? They are basically representing him, right? How do these people get re-elected?

Maybe, some voters need more convincing than others to show them their Party of choice is a complete train wreck at the moment. And, we do have more elections coming up in 2014.

As much as the GOP would like everyone to believe the Democrats, the Liberals or whatever term is being used are trying to take over healthcare, the Internet, the school system or whatever else HASN’T been taken over like it was predicted to be in 2008, let’s focus on what the GOP has been dedicated on changing, pushing through and making into laws.

This is from the same party that says the government should be out of people’s business but somehow want to be a big part of women’s lives when it comes to health care, birth control, unplanned pregnancies and abortions.

This is the same party that can tell a woman if she has been “legitimately raped” or whether her life is really in danger enough for a pregnancy to be terminated to save her life. Yes, they are suddenly ready to jump in the middle of lives there.

These are not doctors or families here. These are just elected officials who are supposed to be doing their job in Washington, not holding someone’s hand at the visit with the OBGYN or at the ER after a rape.

But, are you confused here? I’m not but I will go on.

If they are really so concerned about these unborn lives as they say, then why are they not just as concerned when they are born? Why are they not concerned when they are 2, 5, 10 or getting older? You see they oppose funding healthcare programs, early education programs, free lunch initiatives, student aid and many other things that help along life’s way. They oppose any gun legislation that would limit “the capacity of clips or magazines”. Are they for or against life? Their choices and stance on many issues do not make sense with their stance on others. If they want to protect life, why don’t they believe in helping in assisting those who require assistance and protecting the American people from gun violence? It is one thing to have a weapon to protect yourself. It is another thing to have a weapon that causes massive tragedy in seconds.

Many can say laws of these types or programs for assistance are unnecessary for everyone. How does anyone know? How does anyone know what tomorrow may bring?

A person, or unborn person, can’t decide who or where they are born. Nobody knows what life may bring their way. The fact is everyone deserves opportunity so if this “unborn person” doesn’t end up in a successful, well off family, living in a good area near good schools with access to good healthcare coverage and college, then the care needs to continue past the campaign slogan and stump speeches.

A person watching a movie in a theater, visiting a congresswoman or attending classes at college shouldn’t run the risk of being gunned down in a senseless and often preventable act of violence.

A Party can’t say one thing and live another thing. A Party can’t stand up for what they believe when all they believe in is winning votes.

That is why Mitt Romney didn’t win. It isn’t because Obama bought votes or Americans are looking through “rose-colored glasses” or anything like that. The fact is Mitt Romney was saying whatever it took to get votes from the people he was speaking to on that given day, in that particular location. Different days, different promises, different Mitt. That isn’t compromise or a change of heart.  Those are lies. That much flip-flopping is straight up lying.

It was sad, really.

Mitt Romney was like a GOP experiment to see it just isn’t going to work anymore. Americans aren’t going to buy the promises and lies.

He did get a large amount of votes though. I am not convinced in the least those votes were all for Mitt Romney, not even half. Many of those votes were against Barack Obama. If that was on the ballot ( _ Against Obama), that would have been checked.

Voters need to understand they elect these people into Washington that are keeping things so out of balance. Signing outside pledges is not a way to represent the American people.  That is self-gratification.

Signing pledges is a campaign slogan. Saving unborn babies and turning on them after birth is a campaign slogan. Having smear and fear campaigns are nothing but showing the Party has nothing to promote with their own Nominee or with their own Party. The time for slogans, bickering and pointing fingers as to why Romney lost is over.

Americans voted. We voted our President back and we want action in Washington.

Everyone has slogans. Ours won this time. #Obama2012 #VoiceForChoice #Obamacare

America is strongest as a nation. Stand together to keep it united. Division is never the answer. 

Let Washington be the example.

Romney’s Women “Issues”

My thoughts going into Tuesday’s Presidential Debate was whether Mitt Romney would be up front when questions were asked about Women’s Health Care issues. On many occasions he either avoids answering the question or takes an indirect approach giving a broad answer to leave a person wondering his answering is referring to.  It’s not  that he is confused about the question but simply avoiding answering. You see, Romney has either changed his position on policies so many times it has become difficult to say where he stands on many topics of Women’s health choices or he won’t flat out admit his position and risk losing a large amount of votes.

Here are some facts as Mitt Romney states himself.

Romney wants to just get rid of Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is made up of more than 800 facilities across the nation that have been providing affordable healthcare to millions of young adults, women and families. This was started 96 years ago with one clinic opened by Planned Parenthood’s Founder, Margaret Sanger.  Services provided include lifesaving screening for breast and cervical cancers, affordable birth control, pregnancy testing as well as testing and treatment for HIV and access to safe abortions.

They are and always have been around to help young people learn more about their health, sex education, making the right choices and staying actively involved in their communities and reaching out to rural areas. For many women, this has been their only access to regular healthcare.

President Obama realized our country had a serious issue. Millions of Americans had no health insurance. Millions more were insured but were still unable to meet their financial obligations or were filing for bankruptcy due to overwhelming medical cost after their insurance companies had stopped paying claims. The reason stated was they had reached the policy’s “lifetime cap” or “yearly cap”. There were also the millions of Americans who were unable to get insurance coverage or become reinsured after becoming ill or surviving an illness like cancer, diabetes, COPD and numerous other diagnoses the companies would list as “pre-existing conditions”. It was as though the insurance companies were looking out for themselves.

Video- What does the new Affordable Care Act do for me? How does it work?

So, we have this crashing economy, people losing jobs, homes and President Obama made it one of his top priorities to fix the healthcare issue in the United States. Not his only priority but one of his top priorities.

Why?

If people are sick, they can’t work.

If people can’t see a doctor, they can’t get better.

If they go to a doctor, without having insurance coverage, they run up enormous bills which eat up their earnings, run into debt and can lead to bankruptcy

If their child is sick and they have no insurance, they can’t go to work, have to chose to either not take the child to the doctor or go without insurance and run up enormous bills (you see the pattern here)

If people are sick with something that is a preventable illness, don’t go to the doctor, the condition becomes chronic and often becomes fatal (i.e. blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, asthma)

So, the idea of fixing the issue with affordable health care for those millions with health insurance doesn’t just get people insured. It helps people stay at work, know their kids can be healthy or see a doctor when they are sick, manage their income better, stay in their homes instead of losing them to bankruptcy due to medical bills and get people medical attention before many conditions become chronic or life threatening.

Well, Romney has some plans too…

Mitt’s idea of providing care for those without coverage – “We don’t just let them die…We pick them up in an ambulance”

Where could women receive care if Mitt takes away Planned Parenthood. He says, “They can go anywhere, it’s a free society.”

Romney doesn’t have much respect for women especially when it comes to policy but he smiles and says nice things for their votes, sometimes.

He does however have very opinionated views on Moms staying home to care for their children…

Get a job…to have some dignity…

Not sure how his wife feels about that statement but I feel my job, as a Mom, has been extremely important and my “Dignity Cup” is very full. Thanks, Mitt! Get some dignity for yourself.

Much of this election will certainly have effects on women. Since President Obama has been in office, he signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a bill the GOP blocked in 2007. To this point, Romney hasn’t said whether HE, HIMSELF supports this Bill or not. His campaign has bounced around statements recently finally landing on one saying Romney will not repeal it if he becomes president…

President Obama also extended funding for The Violence Against Women Act, something Romney has stated he wasn’t “familiar” with and still leaves unclear where he stands on this very important issue. In fact, if you go to Mitt Romney’s Campaign Website, look through his “issues” area, WOMEN are not even listed!! There are listings for regular things like; taxes, education, healthcare and foreign policy but then there is; Court and The Constitution, Gun Rights, Human Capital and Values (that is where abortion, Stem Cell research and marriage are).

There is always a lot at stake in any election. This election can bring about many changes that will either allow women to continue in the advancements that have already been made. These not only benefit women but their families, their businesses and all of America. Or, this election can bring about an unraveling of the progress that has taken place over decades for women, their rights, the ability to choose and the overall approach we take as Americans in what we are willing to give up and for what?

This is not just about women and their choices but this is about every American, our choices, our freedoms and our rights. In America, we are one. We are strongest when we see the strength within ourselves and in each other.

Women are all over America, Mr. Romney. We are in all job markets, Fortune 500 companies, every income bracket, the armed forces, teachers, doctors, scientists, engineers but that isn’t what makes us who we are. We are each individuals, living our lives, making our choices, struggling through situations and helping those we love along the way. The fact is we know who we are.

I promise you, we aren’t in binders or just sitting around in women’s groups waiting for someone to come find us as worthy for something. We are already there. We are voters who will be a major deciding factor in this election. We know who we are. Do you?

 

 

UPDATE:

Visit http://tracysolomon.me to read my response to some comments on this article.

Finding a long-term career in today’s unstable economy

Susanne Goldstein - The Career Artist

As Washington continues its debate of who will “win” in something that is not a game at all, many Americans are growing more exhausted of the way this is not only getting hashed out on Capital Hill, but also how it seems to be leading up to yet another campaign period with more promises, pointing fingers, no accountability and the American people being left in the dark. And, the same question has still gone unanswered, where are the jobs?

Does the average politician have any idea what is really going on in our country? Have they totally lost touch with what they have actually been elected to do? When is the last time they have stepped back from their debates and political rivalry to really focus on what is going on in the average American household (not statistics or numbers they are handed) and take that into account?

In an AOL article entitled, “If the stock market is so up, why are the jobs so down?”, by Amazon best-selling Author and Career expert, Susanne Goldstein writes about what is occurring within the American workforce, job market, Wall Street and Washington DC. Goldstein points out how this is affecting all who are seeking not only jobs, but careers and a stable future.

During my interview with Goldstein, we discussed this must-read article which is chalk full of information for those who have an established career and for those who are looking for a job. She makes it very clear that during these last few years is necessary to always be prepared for things to change. The best way to know what is going on is to stay informed, always be willing to learn. Look at each day as a new chance to learn something that will most likely benefit you in the future if not now.

Goldstein points out in her article that the Dow Jones has grown nearly 200% while the economy has continued to flounder around since March 6, 2009. With job growth nowhere in sight she says, “Americans feel like they are watching the fat cats of Wall Street cash in once again.”

With the news on a 24/7 cycle, it can get to the point that a person only hears either one side of what is going on or an overwhelming amount of bad news. This can convince anyone “their situation” is so bad there is no possible way for something as simple as securing a new job or setting out on a new career path. However, finding a job and “painting the door” to your career is the answer to each person’s life and the American economy.

When it comes to the economy and the jobless rate, Goldstein points out the importance of taking the lead in making changes, with the way you approach a job search or even a promotion in a current job. Are you at the right place to make the most out of your skills, education, passions and strengths? If you aren’t making the money or getting the promotion you feel you are entitle to, it may be time to access your job with your qualifications. Also, “if you are miserable at your job and have qualifications for another career, it is possible you could find further growth some place else. The fact is, the person most connected to your needs is you and the person most concerned for your needs is you.”

It’s interesting, if you watch the news, you will often hear nearly everyone who has run and/or will run for an elected office say, “What the American people want” or “What the American people need”. These statements have basically turned into campaign slogans more than actual words of concern.

Discussing what is going on in Washington today with Susanne Goldstein, I asked her opinion on why politicians seem to be so out of touch with their constituents and are not even listening to what the American people seem to be openly voicing? She feels that the politicians in Washington aren’t as “localized” as they were and as “tuned in to” what may necessarily be going on in their districts. “Many politicians will say one thing during the campaign, possibly even mean it but when they get to Washington, things change”. The main reason for this change is due to the way the system works in Washington.

The voters have their say for who goes to Washington but is the voter making a decision on who they want to represent them in Washington or what political Party they want to go to Washington?

As the overall economy has changed in America, many Americans have also changed. Businesses want to get the same amount of business done using fewer employees for less pay and fewer benefits. Many Americans want to get more done, in less time and for less money. One side says it is being tight fisted because the economy is forcing it to do so but, at the same time, is it just holding onto the money, not wanting to pay for the services rendered or for something that rightfully cost money? Is this coming down to overall greed?

The problem focusing on quicker returns with lesser investments, of either capital or time, has led to the overall loss of innovation in America. The less time and commitment an employee, business owner or investor puts into a company or into our markets, the less they feel they have to ultimately gain or lose.

Throughout history, our continued desire for innovation has led us to focus and invest in higher education and research. This has led America into areas we would have never realized had we not had the ability to grow and learn. This desire came from people wanting to go beyond what some felt were only dreams but others realized were possibilities. The ability to dream and achieve cannot be stomped out because of low points in our economy or the feeling of inability to rise above a lack of finding a job or career.

I will close with this line from Susanne Goldstein’s article and her best-selling book, “Carry A Paintbrush”. It is talking about Darwin’s quote “survival of the most adaptable.”

Quote: “Until you are ready to take charge of, and own, your career, you won’t have one.”

You can find out more information about Susanne Goldstein at: http://carryapaintbrush.com

Her Best-selling book “Carry A Paintbursh” is available on Amazon (Kindle version too!)

Communication breakdown

Another day
Photo by: Marshall Astor

Do you get up each day wondering how you will make it through another day of repeating the same steps you repeated the day before?

Did you drop into bed the night before wondering why something just doesn’t seem to be “clicking into place” or that certain moment isn’t happening in your life?

Your “moment” may be different from someone else’s and what may seem repetitive to you may not to someone else but what is lacking more and more in society today is genuine interaction, conversation, listening, being heard and that feedback from someone on a level that is not only listening but being heard and really being tuned into to what is being said.

Genuine interaction with friends
Photo by: Philm

No, this is not an ad for Match.com but our society is changing everyday and with those changes come many benefits but also struggles if there isn’t the ability to adapt. However, is there always a way to adapt an entire society to an ongoing cycle of change?

Let’s look at one part, communication.

How many ways could one communicate 40 years ago?

Write a letter, make a phone call, telegram, or face to face pretty much.

"Old fashion" ways of staying in touch still do exist....
Photo by Muffet

Many people knew people in their neighborhoods, communities, schools, families and kept more in touch with the people around them on a more personal level.

Today, we have grown in the ability to have a much larger number of ways to stay in contact, at anytime, with nearly anyone, all over the world, even meet complete strangers.

We have the Internet which has given us numerous social medias like FaceBook, Twitter, Tagged, messaging, email, live chat, Skype, multiple online dating services, and countless ways which I am not intentionally leaving out. The fact is, the ability to communicate via the Internet is huge!

We have cellphones which allow us the ability to receive and make calls from anywhere and to anywhere which, even if it may seem rude, could mean a quiet movie theater, the bathroom, or in the middle of “nowhere” (can you hear me now?).

Contact ability goes everywhere we go....
Photo by: Anthony Quintano

Plus, with cell phones, there is texting…lots of texting! I’m not so sure if that counts as “communicating” but there are words being exchanged…so I am including it here.

It almost seems old fashion to mention the fact someone can send a Fax but it is a way to communicate….

So, here comes another point. It seems today there is less actual communication. There is far less listening and the ability to communicate and reason a point seems to be going down the drain.

Relationships are being built on the Internet, carried out through texting, and more of what was once built face to face is lost. That emotional connection, expression is becoming more of a lost part in our society.

Again, I’m not just talking about dating relationships. I mean real relationships with friends, family, people with similar experiences.

How well do you really know those you are “in touch” with?

How well do you know your neighbors, schoolmates, coworkers, distant family? Do you just keep up with their FaceBook, Blog or text here and there? Do you ask them questions?

Most of us have become very accustomed to today’s way of life. It’s easier and more suited to our busy schedules.

Our kids have the same way of life. Seriously, we text each other in the house (I have!)

But, we can’t let go of the need to sit down face to face and communicate, really let things go for a while. Ask people how they are doing and about their goals or what they are facing.

Discuss issues at work or social events
Photo by: Gelatobaby

People right next door or at our job may be facing hunger, a death in the family, domestic violence, loss of their home, divorce or a crisis but without asking or showing concern, the day may pass by, a week or a month and just the same, “I’m fine” until one day, they just aren’t at work.

In our country, we are facing some of the toughest times ever. This is not the time to say, “It’ll pass,” and just leave everything up to our leaders in Washington.

These problems started a long time ago. It is not a party problem or a political problem. This is a communication problem.

As many of us have lost close contact with those in our workplaces, schools, communities and even our own families and may not be listening to what is always being said, these leaders aren’t listening either. How can they be making sound and solid decisions without hearing what their constituents, the voters are really calling for, asking for and needing? This is causing consequences for everyone and needs to be understood and addressed. Each person taking responsibility for their own actions and what they have been given the opportunity and trust to uphold.

Here’s an example. As an adult, you have a choice of whether to go to work or not. You can choose to never go. There will most likely be very strong consequences for you choosing not to go and they will probably go into effect pretty quickly.

However, when an elected official in Washington has a job to get done and keeps procrastinating and all of America is on pins and needles, it is okay for them to put it on hold, bicker back and forth like babies and continuously act as though they can’t decide on whether it is more appropriate to help keep funding for those who need it or those who can afford to give up some breaks?

Either way, no matter what, their job isn’t on the line, their pay isn’t on the line, the health care isn’t on the line and their homes aren’t up for foreclosure.

Do they talk face to face to the people who are going through these things or do they just go by reports being fed to them by those working for them? Have they lost the ability to listen or be genuinely immersed in a conversation and have that desire to do something that matters or is it just more important to win?

Washington shouldn’t be about winning. It was supposed to be about representing but you can’t do that if you can’t listen to those you represent.

Instead of just using the phrase, “What the American people want,” maybe it would be to everyone’s benefit to find that out again by actually learning to communicate the old fashion way.

Talks, talks and more talks but who are the discussions about and who are they listening to? How long is this acceptable?

Help stop bullying Pt. 1-The time to talk is now!

Photos from "Stop Bullying Now! One Mile Fun Walk"
Photos courtesy of: Mental Health America of NE Florida

According to Gayle Eckerd, CEO of River Point Behavioral Health, “Bullying among our children and adolescents has become an epidemic and something needs to be done now.”

To stop an epidemic, there is often a source where a treatment can be implemented and then spread out from there. But, with bullying, each and every case is different because it is not only dealing with the victim of bullying but also the person or persons behind the act of bullying. It is also looking at what is causing this person to act out in this way and we also must ask a few questions; Why is this becoming such a growing problem? What is bullying? Where does the problem of bullying begin? Who is responsible to address these concerns?

The first question to address is the last one. Who is responsible to address these concerns? We all are. This is a concern for everyone to not only realize but to be part of the overall solution. The first thing to recognize is the problem. Look around. Bullying is not something that only happens on the school playground or during playgroups at the park. It is not something that is happening only amongst our young people. This is a problem in homes with siblings, at school within all age groups. Bullying is a problem within the workplace, within our political system, between parents, between parents and their children and the lists go on. What happens is, it isn’t always considered bullying and therefore the issue is getting beyond our grasp and out of control. But, it isn’t beyond help.

Preparing for the walk, everyone can be part of the solution to stop bullying.

In today’s world, anyone who wants to bully someone else can do so in a buffet of places and even without ever showing their face. Once a person becomes aware of the problem bullying has become in our society, it becomes hard to avoid or overlook this issue. The problem is so many people have begun to accept it as a way of life or have learned to overlook it until the problem becomes unavoidable or irreversible. Too many people are getting physically, mentally and emotionally hurt and many are committing suicide over it or living in silence and unspeakable pain on the verge of a meltdown. But, there is help.

Everyone who participates, tells someone else and the word spreads...
that's a good sign!

On Saturday, May 21st, Riverpoint Behavioral Health in Jacksonville, Florida joined forces with Mental Health America of Northeast Florida to organize the “1st Annual Stop Bullying Now! One-Mile Fun Walk” to raise awareness in their community and beyond.

With 200-250 walkers and their tremendous success, this is one of the most powerful ways to make a difference in the battle against bullying. They are reaching out to the younger generation, their friends and families, starting necessary conversations and letting it be known that it is not only okay to talk about bullying but also making it known that bullying against anyone, for any reason, at any age is never okay!

Studies have shown 15-25% of students report being the victim of bullying while 15-20% of students report they engage in bullying. These reported numbers are often low due to victims’ fear of retribution keeping them from coming forward.

Bullying is a form of abuse and can have immediate and long-term effects.

Recently, as seen on the news, reports of suicides have been on the increase due to bullying. Young people who are victims of bullying are more likely to drop out of school, abuse drugs and/or alcohol, have mental health disorders such as depression, eating disorders, self mutilation, thoughts of suicide, anxiety, etc.

Youth who bully are more likely to engage in violence, get involved in gangs, criminal behavior and become abusers as adults. These traits can often effect the next generations as well.

Mental Health America of Northeast Florida has been working to raise awareness of this epidemic of bullying in our country beginning with our local communities. With sponsors like, River Point Behavioral Health who paid for this event, allowing all proceeds to go the Mental Health America of Northeast Florida for their amazing work in not only this event but also working within schools and summer camps, this is an amazing example of what can be done to stop bullying, prevent bullying and everyone can be involved.

Mental Health America of Northeast Florida has found the necessary treatment is to not only treat the victim but also those that feel the need to bully. There is very often a reason behind the bullying but also to get people talking and raise awareness to this growing problem.

Take time to listen. Take time to talk. Talk about bullying.

The more people who get involved and the more help made available, the better the chances for everyone.

In this series of articles, I’ll share different stories from people who have had their lives affected from bullying in one way or another. The only way to effectively stop bullying is to show its hiding places, bring them out into the open and let people know the best thing to do is speak up and get the necessary help when needed. Let people know it is okay to say they need help because they are not alone.

What many people see as harmless fun is very hurtful and has long-term effects to others. This is bullying. This is causing many people a lost childhood, lifelong trauma, physical harm and as we are learning it is more often leading to suicide. This has to stop. It must stop now.

See the signs, read the warnings and act. Don't ignore what is right in front of you.




The first story is something that is horrible and should be unheard of but it is a situation that very much needs to be recognized for what it is.





This is about a young lady that had been bullied by not only one person but multiple people. She was bullied to the point of victimization in both a medical facility and her family environment. She is disabled and required help for much of her daily care.

During what should have been a 5-day admission to a hospital for medical testing for a diagnosis, she was instead bullied, made fun of, called names and left in unsanitary conditions. In the end, due to the lack of care from the medical staff, the correct tests had not been done which led to a long delay of the correct diagnosis. She said, ““It was an awful experience; the mental games were terrifying and I was stuck there because they did not want to discharge me.”

At the hands of her family, where she should have felt the most secure, cared for and loved, she was instead bullied most by her siblings until she was later sent to live with other relatives. There, she was often left alone as a live-in babysitter, neglected for her own daily medical needs and left to fall into the hands of a family friend who raped her.

When she couldn’t take anymore and tried to leave, she was locked in a room, slammed against the wall, unable to use a phone or a bathroom until she eventually crawled out a window and escaped. Yes, escaped. She said, “You hear about human trafficking nowadays, but that was kind of the case, even within my own family.”

At the time, this woman was wheelchair bound. Since getting better care after these experiences, this has changed. She has chosen to remain anonymous for very clear reasons.


The second story is about Lynda in Parkersburg.

Lynda’s has quite a different side of things. At first, in middle school, Lynda was having a lot of troubles at home and this led to troubles at school. During her 8th grade year, Lynda ran away.

This ended up getting her moved to another relative’s home and also to a new school. The kids at the new school didn’t treat her too well, in fact, they were just mean. She was poked, tripped, had her books knocked out of her hands and threatened about showing up places outside of school. So, she decided to just stay quiet and stay to herself.

In the 9th grade, she moved back in with her grandparents and returned to her old school. However, she had taken on a new attitude. She was loud, mean and a bully now. She wasn’t going to be picked on anymore. She took things to a new level you could say. Name calling and harassing was an everyday part of her demeanor and she’s sure she made the daily lives of some of her classmates a living hell.

“So many things that I look back on in shame,” Lynda says, “I cannot believe the intolerance that I showed back then.”

Now Lynda has her own children and would she never want to see them be bullied”, but she says, “I cannot stomach the thought of one of my kids being the bully.”

Lynda is making this known to help stop bullying.

Many people are stepping forward in efforts to help stop bullying. Below are some excellent links to visit for information on how you can speak with children, friends, coworkers or reach out for help.

Please feel free to comment on your experiences with bullying and how it has affected your life as well. Together, we can help in the effort by sharing information, speaking up, getting help and bringing an end to bullying in our own local communities which will prevent more victims and help save lives from the hurt or worse, from the loss of life. Please pass this along and keep an eye out for part 2 of this series.



AHMIR ANTI-BULLYING VIDEO – “Perfect”
Purchase this song on iTunes and 20% of the proceeds will be donated to the Make Laughter Count foundation (an organization that brings comedians & entertainers together to increase awareness about bullying and raising funds for charities)




SEE PART 2 OF THIS TOPIC



Help stop bullying Pt. 2 – Bullying effects everyone




Please see links below and feel free to share comments below.



StopCyberBullying.org

TakeAStand.StopBullying

ItGetsBetterCampaign

StopBullying.gov

PeaceBuilders.com

TheTrevorProject.org

WelcomingSchools.org

Let’s Move.gov

Teach for America

MakeLaughterCount