Tag Archives: Voting

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!)

America is more than a country Pt. 3

As elections are nearing for November 2nd, more and more campaigning is going on and it is everywhere a person goes. To get away from campaigning or news about campaigns or candidates, someone would have to “unplug” from society.

However, voting is one of the most valuable and important rights as an American and although it does seem one candidate is saying one thing and another turns and says the exact opposite, the process is an important part of the ultimate outcome, your vote.

As an American, of legal voting age there is a big responsibility of being involved in the decision being made in your district, state and the country. Many decisions will have a lasting effect for a vast amount of people for a very long time, often generations.

For instance, the ability to vote was not granted to women until 1920 and African Americans were not fully able to vote until 1965 after Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act. 

Voting is not something that should ever be taken lightly because it has taken a great deal to have the freedom to vote.

People in many countries do not have the freedom to vote and often times in countries that allow voting, not all citizens are allowed to vote (most often women).

The United States holds Federal Elections every two years. Every member of our House of Representatives and nearly one-third of the senate is up for either re-election or replacement on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

Our presidential election takes place every four years and is watched internationally.

In the U.S. we have numerous political parties and more continue to be organized.

In office at the moment is the Democratic Party. By visiting democrats.org a person can learn more about the Democratic Party. There is a quote from John F. Kennedy on their site.

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” President John F. Kennedy

The Democratic Party has this statement on their website as well.

“For more than 200 years Democrats have represented the interest of working families, fighting for equal opportunities and justice for all Americans.”

When going to the RNC (Republican National Committee page), which leads to gop.com, there is an area called “who we are”. It is lengthy so the link is there to click on and read.

A few things I picked out most from reading the “who we are” section though is the mentions of past presidents that were republicans because times have changed, parties have changed. Although the republican party of today may honor a past president does not mean those presidents would stand behind how their “party” is running things today. Of course, one could say the same thing of past Democratic presidents but the GOP website and party takes pride in talking about its past presidents so I am mentioning this.

Also, a disturbing fact is that the Republican party itself (of yesterday) did have a great deal to do with freeing slaves thanks to Abraham Lincoln and those that helped push the laws through that led to voting rights. Due to continued discrimination in many areas, especially the south, Lyndon B. Johnson, in conjunction with the Civil Rights Movement, was able to convince congress to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and in 1965 passed the Voting Rights Act which outlawed discrimination in voting. This would finally allow many southern blacks to begin voting for the first time.

This may be something that was totally overlooked but even so, it is something that shouldn’t be overlooked by any party that is expected to be representing all of America. In their “A Pledge to America” agenda book, there are no minorities pictured. If there are, they are in some back corner somewhere and very hard to find. It seems to represent just a part of America. There are a good amount of pictures so there were plenty of chances to represent all of America and all the diversity America represents. Their pledge to America should be speaking to all voters unless they aren’t targeting their votes or not planning to work to assist the needs of minorities. Take a look.

With voting as not only a privilege but also a responsibility, a lot of emphasis is placed on elections. As years have gone on though, more and more emphasis is being placed on campaigns and less is being placed on the actual outcome of the process, the candidate that wins and how they will actually do in the office they are elected for. The fact is, during campaign time, the candidate will do just that, campaign. Promises will be made and each side will in some way or other attack the other side, often times saying lies or telling only part of the story which is purposely being done to mislead the voters. The excuse given is that, “this is just part of politics.” Does that make it right?

Too often, many people are listening to the candidate or those campaigning in their party and not checking the actual facts. Too often, the misleading campaign ads are taken literally. Too many people pass around false emails, edited and chopped off videos that when not seen in full become not only misleading but are used to spread lies. As a voter, a responsible voter, it is up to you to get the facts before casting your vote.

One good place to start is at factcheck.org which is a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. That is taken directly from their website. Their reports are updated regularly on all sides of politics and cover campaign ads, speeches, debates, etc.

The simple fact is there are many people who vote and many people that are qualified to vote that aren’t registered. The solution to having more people making a real difference is not simply getting more people registered but getting more people educated on the voting process, how to double check the candidates and the facts and the importance on being involved both at the time of campaigns and elections but also in between times.

People are always very concerned about what is going on in Washington but the concern for everyone should be what is going on around the nation, from coast to coast and with the people that live within these United States.

Who is helping keep our country safe? Who is looking worldwide to see how each nation is developing their safety, energy improvements, market stability and are we moving forward at the right pace to gain ground? Who has already made a difference in education and working to develop new ideas and more opportunities for our students and not only build a better tomorrow for them but also for our teachers to have access to a better curriculum, more advanced materials, more incentives, job security and better pay? Where do we stand with other countries in international relations and communications? Who is seeing that not only are they doing what is right for their own career but more importantly what is right for the American people? Who is making sure that the America of today will be a more advanced and healthy, educated with a strong military, financially more secure and internationally respected America of tomorrow?

Whether a candidate is running for Congress, Senate or the office of the President these questions should be asked. There should be an abundance of inquiries and one of the least important questions should be their political party. At the end of the day, it is clear to see how insignificant their party really is when it comes to getting things done. Getting things done has to do with working with others and the group of people that have ended up in Washington D.C. The problem right now is so much focus has been given to which party each candidate is on and which party has the majority in the House or Senate which is causing a total distraction from getting anything done in Washington and is not only hurting the country but also hurting individual Americans. Voters are also getting too caught up in casting their votes for a candidate not due to their qualifications but moreso for their party and/or being lead by false advertisements and campaigns.

A leader should be able to lead and work with anyone and put their political party aside because America is made up of people from all political parties and those with no political party. A voter should be able to put aside their political party for the same reason. Those in Washington are working for EVERYONE, not just those in their party. When party is standing in the way of progress, America is the one getting hurt. America is more than a country. America is families, children, students, sick individuals, people with hopes and dreams and people that will be leaders of tomorrow.

In Florida, October 4this the last day to register to vote for the November 2ndelections (some states differ). If you aren’t registered and want to take part in these elections, please register to vote. There is sure to be an abundance of campaign ads, debates and articles but remember, double check what you hear. Get the facts. Your vote represents you. The ballot you cast is private and the ability to vote is a privilege and a responsibility. Honor those that fought for that right.

Campaign ads aren’t meant to educate or be fair. They are meant to win votes.

For U.S. voter registration, please visit this link.

For Florida voter registration, please visit this link.

 

Who is Running Our Country?

When I think about “running the country” the first thing that would come to my mind would be “voting”. One of the most important rights we have as American Citizens is the right to vote. Although that right hasn’t come easy. And the word right is often thrown around without much thought as to its actual meaning.

Right: a justified claim or entitlement, or the freedom to do something.

Okay, so the right to vote. Basically, as American Citizens we have the ability to vote for a great number of things in our community, our state and our Nation. We can elect our Local School Board Members, Circuit Court Judges, Commissioners, Supervisors of Election, our Mayor and Local City Council Members. We also vote for our Governor, our State Representative, our State Senator, Supreme Court Justices, and many other important elections which is why it is always good to study about and know ahead of time what you will be expected to vote on like Proposed Amendments for example.

Originally, under our Constitution only white, male citizens over the age of 21 could vote. Women were denied the right to vote until 1920 when the nineteenth Amendment was passed. Voting was first extended (though not totally equally permitted) to African Americans once the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments were passed. The Fifteenth Amendment is specifically dedicated to protecting the right of all citizens to vote, regardless of their race.

This was not the end of the voting rights struggle for African Americans. Because of widespread discrimination in some states, including the use of poll taxes, grandfather clauses, and literacy tests, African Americans were not assured full voting rights until President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act in 1965.

Federal Elections take place every two years on the second Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Every member of our House of Representatives and about one-third of the Senate is up for reelection in any given election year. Every four years we hold a presidential election.

So, why did I ask, “Who is running our country?”

As always, I believe in getting some information before jumping right into a topic of conversation. I could talk about Democrats, Republicans and Independents. I could say something about the Tea Party or the Progressives. I can use Statistics and throw in a few graphs. The fact is it really irritates me especially when people use statistics. I will tell you why. The other day I was reading something that said, “Ninety-six percent of black voters, many of whom are Christians, cast their votes for Barack Obama.” Lloyd Marcus

What he didn’t add to that was the fact that isn’t HOW President Obama won. Here is a good article to read that came out the day after the election, one of the best turnouts ever for voters.

Whether or not you are for President Obama or you were for John McCain, the fact is you should be for the United States of America. Something that has happened in this country time and time again is CHANGE. It will happen whether you want it to or not. We don’t have to be ready for change but we have to recognize it and deal with it. I am not talking about the changes that come about that people consider to be immoral or those changes that make us all say, “What is this world coming to?”

I am talking about things like when Pearl Harbor was hit, President Kennedy was assassinated or the World Trade Center was struck down. Those moments where our Nation, together paused and remembered, we are in this, together. We can overcome anything. Day to day differences and arguments at the office can be put aside. The meaning of forgive and forget is much more clear. Listening to someone who is trying to drive a wedge into the heart of our family, our workplace environment or between us and our Nation is not going to be acceptable.

I am talking about the Media here. I guess it really depends what you want to hear or watch is up to you but whatever you decide your preferred media outlet is, the great thing about today is we can always have multiple sources and not just someone’s opinion or one angle on any given topic. Just because we hear it on the news, read it on a blog or even in a “Hard Print” Newspaper (they do still make those), doesn’t mean it is real. And, just because you didn’t hear on the news, didn’t read it in a blog or didn’t see it in a “Hard Print” Newspaper doesn’t mean it isn’t real.

Mark Twain once said, “If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed.”

He does have a point. When you read something or hear a person on the news, you are hearing their translation or even their viewpoint (you are getting my viewpoint right now with a side dish of my opinion) and at some point you have to weed out what is actual news and actual biased opinion. What someone is leaving out from what they are telling you and what they are adding in to what they are telling you.

Here is a great example. How many times do you see a clip of a video shown on a news network (or non-news network) showing some speech of President Obama or from something that was being covered through the day? Speeches are always a good example or interviews because of how I am going to use this. Okay, so they give you some information on what they plan to prove to you by showing you some clip from the video and then they show you maybe 15 seconds or even up to a minute of the video. Let’s say it proves their point. But, do you ever go watch the full video and see if when the video was watched, was their point proven looking at the full context of what was actually said? Or did they pull out just a piece and use that to manipulate their point? Think about it. A lot of full videos can now be pulled up on YouTube so there really isn’t a reason to not look at the full video. Especially when it comes to interviews with the President. Just go to the White House Website (whitehouse.gov) Would you want your words used out of context? Is that really telling the news? Or is that trying to turn people against the President of the U.S.?

If someone has a position that they can speak to millions of viewers, they should use it wisely and do good by it. They should take the time to research, to learn and to do something to benefit everyone as a Nation, not tear it apart. I take a fair amount of time watching the different news networks and I can see why they do certain things if I look at it from the point they are worried about their ratings but then that doesn’t give them the right to lie or to push hatred or fear. They have something that other countries can’t dream of. Millions of viewers for 24 hours a day.

Who is running this country? Partially the media. Too many people allow them to make their decisions for them. They listen and they take the words of the news commentators as the facts.

So, where else are all the answers. The Internet is a great resource of information…if it is used wisely. For one, everything on the Internet is basically put there by someone and backed up by someone’s server. So knowing where the source is coming from is always good and having more than one source (two or three agreeable sources) is something very beneficial. I always like to link to something when I am giving any facts because I don’t want to seem like I am just saying something like I know it all. I obviously don’t. It is impossible to know it all and hardly to know a great deal about much more than a few areas of interest these days. Someone can be an absolutely genius in their field and quite smart if a few different areas and then not understand something I am quite knowledgeable on and I just know I wouldn’t want to play a game of Trivia with them. The fact is we have to chose our battles when it comes to learning because in today’s world, there is SO MUCH information out there! But, my theory has always been, “Half of knowledge is knowing where to find it.” I used to say Google but now, try BING! Anyway, I won’t go into why…

Okay, so the Internet has all this great information so how could we go wrong? We have information, we have people on the Internet, the great Social Media gathering place! There’s the problem. People?? No. It is just the same thing as the media but more of it, a lot more of it.

The Internet is the biggest opinion gathering place ever! Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have a problem with opinions. I just gave mine. What I have a problem with is when someone feels they know everyone else’s suddenly and throws it into a statistic or when someone knows what everyone needs. Or when someone feels they need to rip someone apart for their opinion by publicly humiliating them. The fact is one of the biggest issues going on today is a complete lack of respect for others, tolerance of others and the understand that WE DON’T KNOW EVERYTHING. When someone feels they do know everything and everyone around them has it all wrong, they really need to self-evaluate. We all have flaws and we all have room to learn every day.

Don’t let the Internet and everyone around you in Forums, Twitter, Blogs, Facebook, MySpace make decisions for you. Don’t copy and paste something just because everyone else is doing it or because it says if you don’t, then you don’t care. Being a part of a working government and knowing what is going on your community, your state, your Nation means a lot more than passing emails, messages and copying and pasting.

Who is running this country? The Internet and those who habitually just copy and paste forwarded emails.

When you receive a negative email about a candidate, an upcoming vote, some edited or clipped video, take the time to look it up, study it. Don’t just pass everything along. Know what is beneficial or not. When it comes to voting, know about Proposed Amendments that will appear on the ballot. Know about your local officials you will be voting on. Don’t just vote with your party. When you have the choice to get the ballot ahead of time, do the homework, fill it out.

You see, that is your time to have your say. Call the phone numbers and ask your questions. They do usually answer. If someone doesn’t call and ask then that person can’t say they were lied to. If someone doesn’t vote about a Proposed Amendment they knew for sure what it was about, they shouldn’t have voted. We are thinking human beings who can make up our own minds. We are not just followers. To make a difference, most of the time, you have to take a big step out of your comfort zone and make a lot of changes. If you are already like this, then great! You are doing what you should.

We don’t always get what we want even when we do all the correct steps but were involved. We didn’t sit idly by.

Then we can ask, “Who is running this country?” We can say we are doing our part, know what we are voting on, showing up to vote, asking others to register and get out to vote. If we don’t do that part, we should have no complaints because we took no part in being any part of a solution.

Lastly, when we do vote, there is always going to be a winner and a loser. When it comes to every office we are trying to elect. That is how the democratic process works.

The President of the United States of America is also the Commander in Chief to our Armed Forces and when he is disrespected and unaccepted by many, to me that is disrespectful. In every election that I have taken part in, the outcome has always been the person elected was MY PRESIDENT. Plain and simple.

There have been so many disagreements and reasons people have given as to why they say they disagree with President Obama being President and when one thing is answered, there has been another one brought up.

The earlier ones was he was Muslim and that he wasn’t born in the U.S. Both have been disputed but no matter what anybody says, it seems neither will ever be dropped. Since only God can know somebody’s heart and President Obama and others have said he is not Muslim, that has to be left at that. The State of Hawaii has gone above and beyond to give President Obama’s Birth Certificate and even with that handed over, this will not be dropped.

OBAMA’S BIRTH CERTIFICATE (VIEW ONE)

OBAMA’S FULL VIEW BIRTH CERTIFICATE (MULTIPLE VIEWS)

Not even to mention the fact that his Mother is a U.S. Citizen. It really doesn’t matter to the people that have dragged this issue out if God himself came down and verified the birthing place of Barack Hussein Obama, the fact is there is a large group that don’t want him as President and will try to stop anything he tries to do as long as he is President, will try to ensure they cause radical movements to grow larger and larger, making anti-government movements flourish, and in the meantime who is this benefitting? It isn’t like in the school days that you have to pick one team or another. This isn’t about Democrats or Republicans, the Tea Party, Independents or Progressives. This isn’t about President Obama, John McCain, Sarah Palin, or Hillary Clinton even.

When it all boils down, when you look at yourself in the mirror, this is about the United States of America. It isn’t about some hate movement or which team is going to win. This isn’t about Glenn Beck everyday at 5PM trying to prove his point of how everyone he doesn’t like is out to get him. This isn’t about fear and the end of time. This is about being accountable for what each of us does person to person, what we say to one another, what we pass via the Internet, our participation within our community and the fact we can make a difference. Reaching out to others and living our lives with a purpose really is much more than just words. I am not saying that as a cliché. It really is beneficial. I don’t mean you have to volunteer in Haiti or build a House for Humanity (if you can, do it) but just somehow reaching out to someone else really does something inside you. It ties things together in some way. Connects us. It lets you know there is a reason for each day beyond just a daily routine.

We are this Country. We are what make this Country great! Don’t be fooled by what you hear. It takes everyone, just like on 9/11 helping each other, reaching out to strangers and thinking beyond our differences and minor grievances. It takes putting a lot of things aside and seeing the good in others and letting them see the good in us. It is all that good that makes our Country what it is.

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!