Saturday, January 01, 2011

A New Year

Making New Year resolutions is a cleansing ritual of self assessment and repentance.
For all the wrong doings that I have done throughout the year, forgive me. Some might say, Blame the devil. He made me do them. Honest... And the good deeds that I have done were all from this humble self. No bluffing... For this New Year my wish is the same like any other new year. I wish for life fulfillment, lots of happiness, abundance of wealth and of course the best of health.

I am no Nostradamus. I can't predict what will happen in the future. But it's going to be a new chapter of my life, a new journey to be taken. Turbulence or not, I'll stay on course.... God willing I shall stay on course and where will that journey end? I don't know. A journey's End is the state of mind wherein I realize that nothing about me has changed at all, its more of a personal perspective. And yet, from this or any new point of view, my world and my own self appear in unfamiliar territory.

It is like taking a side step and, gaining an angle on the scenery, and discovering there is another side to it all that is quite different from the face of reality in which I had come to know every line and wrinkle.

This additional information does not invalidate my own past understandings, but adds to them. Every event in my life is still as it was, but now there is extra meaning. The gears that have propelled me on earlier quests are suddenly seen as wheels within wheels, and every object that seemed so palpable becomes three dimensional as it extends from being a flat prop to gain the attribute of depth.

At Journey's End I feel that I will see that everything is as it should be and all components are in their proper places. And so, a new kind of endeavor emerges. It is not yet another expedition into uncharted lands, but a revisiting of every path I have taken previously. Each key event, insight, or trauma that I had earlier experienced, considered, and resolved is now known to be only partially grasped. In all honestly I cannot fully comprehend my own nature without re-examining it in this new light.

Journey's End is not a destination at which I arrive, it is process of looking back at the journey through the eyes of wisdom to seek enlightenment. First there is a mountain, than there is no mountain, then there is. At times I can't step into the same river twice. To become enlightened is not to come full circle, but full spiral.

This, then, is a story of my reflections on a journey already taken, and the insights I may discover along the road to "knowhere". Happy New Year to all that reads and understands my ramblings.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Twiddle dum and Twiddle dee

Twiddle dum and Twiddle dee--"spending on things that matter" Each election cycle, hope springs eternal. Candidates promise change and voters buy it. Intelligent ones. People who know better or should. The current campaign highlights it. A surge is building for Obama, not for what he is. For what people think or hope he is - a populist, progressive, man of the people, a new course for America.

Do you remember that phrase after the last election? "Now maybe we can spend money on things that matter," by rejoicing, teary Obama supporters. What a laugh. The welfare state grows no matter who is in office, sometimes more under Republicans, but definitely under the less-than-conservative two Bush presidencies. Once a human services program is in place, who controls the White House or Congress makes little difference in its growth.

"The most significant growth in Human Resources spending is attributable to Medicare and "Health Care Services," an OMB category dominated by Medicaid. Still using constant dollars, these two categories combined to account for 8% of Human Resources outlays under Kennedy and Johnson, 15% under Nixon and Ford, 17% under Carter, 21% under Reagan, 26% under George H.W. Bush, 31% under Clinton, and 34% under George W. Bush. Measure all the Human Services outlays from 1962 (the first year of more detailed OMB historical tables) through 2007 in constant dollars, and it turns out that Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security accounted for just under two-thirds of the total."

More interesting facts about the persistence of poverty and the corresponding growth of the welfare state at "Reforming Big Government."

The point I am trying to make is regardless which party is in the white house the outcome is always more of the same.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I hope Limbaugh gets his wish...

“Are conservative talk-show hosts eager to go on the attack, after years of defending Bush?” asks the Louisville Courier-Journal’s Larry Muhammad. The answer is clearly yes.

Barack Obama had not yet taken office, and Rush Limbaugh is already rooting for his failure. On his radio show, Limbaugh said, “I disagree fervently with the people on our [Republican] side of the aisle who have caved and who say, ‘Well, I hope he succeeds.’”
Limbaugh told his listeners that he was asked by “a major American print publication” to offer a 400-word statement explaining his “hope for the Obama presidency.” He responded:
So I’m thinking of replying to the guy, “Okay, I’ll send you a response, but I don’t need 400 words, I need four: I hope he fails.” (interruption) What are you laughing at? See, here’s the point. Everybody thinks it’s outrageous to say. Look, even my staff, “Oh, you can’t do that.” Why not? Why is it any different, what’s new, what is unfair about my saying I hope liberalism fails? Liberalism is our problem. Liberalism is what’s gotten us dangerously close to the precipice here. Why do I want more of it? I don’t care what the Drive-By story is. I would be honored if the Drive-By Media headlined me all day long: “Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails.” Somebody’s gotta say it.

It hasn’t taken long for Limbaugh to reveal his core hypocrisy. In July 2006, with conservatives in power, Limbaugh offered one of his common screeds against the left. “I’m getting so sick and tired of people rooting for the defeat of the good guys,” he complained.
During the Clinton presidency in the 90s, Limbaugh would begin his show with a gimmick, purporting to count the days America had been “held hostage.” In May 2007, Limbaugh recalled:
Back when Clinton was inaugurated in 1993 and we began our America Held Hostage countdown, the number of days left until Clinton was gone so we’d all be released from bondage, the joke, do you remember how mad the liberals got at that? Do you remember how mad the Drive-Bys got at that? Then they started running stories how I, Rush Limbaugh, was destroying the respect for the office of the presidency that the American people had.

A disastrous Bush presidency has come and gone, but some things haven’t changed a bit. Except People bringing guns to town hall meetings and presidential events has received a fair amount of attention, but I think it deserves quite a bit more. Although the people carrying weapons to political events probably seem like little more than fringe elements of an already a lunatic fringe, they may be better described as an early warning of far deeper and systemic problems in America. If we don't sit up and take notice now, we may be forced to do so when an armed liberal meets an armed conservative but then when bullets fly it will be to late.

America has benefited from a relative lack of purely domestic violence over the past decades; we may not have been violence-free, but it's also not been a daily concern for most people. Carrying weapons to political events threatens to turn all that around because weapons are inherently violent — even when they remain unused in a holster, they communicate an unmistakable message of potential violence. Indeed, that's clearly part of the point of carrying them: to communicate a message of violence for the purpose of intimidation. So who are the real Americans?

So I say again, I Hope Limbaugh gets his wish because the majority of Americans want change and change will come to this nation.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tax credits?

For those that feel that tax cuts and tax credits are the only options to job growth. Here is a story for you to think about. Dish Network, a fortune 500 company is eliminating 600 local jobs in Pennsylvania’s technological center. When the bottom fell out of the Steel industry in McKeesport for cheap labor market of China the state gave Dish network a ten year deal of tax free status for locating a call center in the state. For ten years this company paid no taxes in PA even through cable premium rates increased year after year, that ten year tax free deal runs out Dec 15th 2009. The only taxes paid to the state and the city of McKeesport was paid by the employees whom got paid the sum of $9.00 a hour. Oh but some Dish Network call center jobs headed to New Jersey or at least that was as of Monday, November 16, 2009 but more then likely the jobs are India bound.

The company sent a letter to the state and to McKeesport Mayor James Brewster Nov. 9 to comply with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.

In a letter addressed to employees, the satellite television company said it planned to move those 37 positions to another call center location in Pine Brook, N.J. The letter said the company was analyzing the best ways to run a more efficient operation.

"Through this analysis, it has been determined that based on growth considerations in the McKeesport Dispatch location, we can relocate dispatch job responsibilities to obtain the optimum effectiveness," the letter said.

The company encouraged employees to apply for other jobs with Dish, but did not guarantee them a position within the company. Golden parachutes are for CEO and others who made the bad decisions that lost the company money.
The company's announcement last week that it would shutter its call center in McKeesport means the city, already saddled with a 10.3 percent employment rate, will lose one of its top five employers. The company occupies a space in the Industrial Center of McKeesport and employs more than three-quarters of the people that work there. So my advice to the people of McKeesport is this: way your options and be prepared to move if it means a improved quality of life. And don’t rule out a move to international locations because economic growth and higher standards of living can be found outside of the USA

Monday, November 23, 2009

Something to think about

This is in no way my vote of support for Rush Limbaugh, or as I like to call him Boss Hogg. I find Rush, an useless, hater monger but In the early this year, I was listening to the Rush Limbaugh radio show when a young man from Youngstown, Ohio, called in to complain about... well, life.
The caller was upset that, since the company had closed years earlier, there was no opportunity for him in his beloved hometown. Youngstown. It was also the town that his father and grandfather had raised families (back in the heyday of the steel Mills) and where he had hoped to raise his own. So he was attracted to the protectionist rhetoric of presidential candidates promising to erect trade barriers in the hopes of resurrecting U.S. cities. But, short of attending a political rally, the young man from Youngstown didn't know what to do.
Noting that our most daunting obstacles are often self-imposed, Limbaugh gave the caller some simple advice: "Move!"
Brilliant. But moving isn't always easy. At various moments, some of us have felt inextricably bound to our hometowns by a loyalty that defies logic. That can be charming. Yet, especially in a sour economy, it can also be self-defeating.
Now I read about a new trend: More and more Americans are responding to the wobbly U.S. economy by fleeing the country. It seems that when the U.S. job market gets tough, the desperate get going -- to wherever the jobs happen to be.
According to a recent article in USA Today, with the nation's unemployment rate at a 26-year-high of 10.2 percent, many Americans are looking for jobs outside the country. In fact, U.S.-based staffing companies and executive search firms say that the job outlook abroad looks brighter than it does here.
The most welcoming job markets: India, China, Dubai, Brazil, and Singapore. The jobs that are most often taking people abroad: engineering, management or consulting. As the article points out, a survey by Korn/Ferry found that 54 percent of executives said they'd be either likely or highly likely to accept a post in a foreign country. Four years ago, in better times, it was just 37 percent. At MIT's Sloan School of Management, 24 percent of 2009 graduates found jobs overseas, a jump from 19 percent last year.
Sure, leaving the United States is an extreme measure. I'd be happy if most Americans were more willing to just leave their comfort zone. If you're unemployed, the secret to survival is to know where to go -- and where to steer clear of.
According to one set of job growth projections, in 2010 the three most promising states will be Idaho, Colorado and Texas -- with Wyoming, Washington, and New Mexico not far behind. The three least promising will be Nevada, Florida, and West Virginia -- with California, Illinois, and New York not much better off.
For me, this subject hits close to home. No pun intended. You see, I was once just like the guy from Youngstown. I was in love with a hometown and a nation.
The lesson I learned along the way: Jobs don't just come to you. More often, you have to go to the job. Too many Americans resist that truth and instead wait for their dream jobs to come knocking at their door. They treat the idea of living in a certain city or state as an entitlement that they're not willing to surrender.
A few months ago, I found myself having lunch next to a middle-aged man who told me that, when he was starting his business, he had moved all around the country until he arrived at what he considered the destination city of La Jolla, California -- north of San Diego.
He was frustrated because his son, who had grown up in that ritzy ZIP code, was now in his early 20s and considered it his birthright to keep living there. Shaking his head, the man said: "He doesn't understand that I had to work my whole life to get here, and that he has to move to a more affordable city and work his way back."
Multiply that story by 10 million, and you get a sense for what we're up against. Here again, the native-born could learn from immigrants, foreign students, and anyone else who has the moxie to leave behind family, friends, and the familiar in search of a better life. Those people may struggle, but they'll survive and get ahead. It has always been this way. And in a global economy, this is how it will remain for as far as the eye can see.
The sooner Americans accept that, the better off they'll be. The better off we'll all be.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Is Life Always Going To Be A Challenge?

I hate to burst your bubble, but yes, life is always going to be a challenge. But there’s good news: some days will be better than others!

There are times I would ask myself, why does life have to be so tough? People are imperfect (there are those that feel with sin) and basically selfish and proud, and seek to serve themselves rather than God.

I had this misguided idea that once I acknowledged Christ as the leader of my life (also referred to as “Becoming a Christian” or “Being saved”) my life in the land of milk and honey would be trouble free. Well, I was wrong. Being a Christian isn’t a guarantee of a trouble free and perfect life.
But it is life full of promises, one of the greatest being that I will never be alone. God promised both in the Old Testament (Joshua 1:5) and the New Testament (Hebrews 13:5) that He would never leave us or forsake us.

As a matter of fact, God also directly addresses this issue of a challenging life. In Matthew 6:34 Jesus states, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” There you have it, even Jesus Christ acknowledged that each day will have enough trouble of its own, acknowledging there is trouble and that is simply a fact of life.

This got easier for me to accept when I really started believing God was available to me 24/7, that He wouldn’t leave me or forsake me. And that my communication with Him wasn’t just one way, (either the perception that He was telling me what to do, or that I could go to Him with nothing but favors) but I could go to Him in dynamic communication which includes questions, misgivings, rantings and ravings in addition to praise and thanks.
So, yes, life in this imperfect world with imperfect people will always be a challenge, but as long as I remember I don’t have to mutter and complain to myself but I can talk directly to God those challenges are a little bit easier to swallow.

Life becomes much more live able with good friends.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The journey begins...

The world is like a book, and those who do not travel read only one page When I first thought about having a blog, in which to post my own feelings,so that people all over the world see what I go through, I had this statement in my mind, because I trully believe it is making much more sense than all the other personal sharing quotes I've been reading on so many other blogs.

The world is like a book... Where the "books" are the people, all the people that cross the street together with us, or that are going to the same school, workplace, shops we do, but in the end, not the cover matters the most, but the content, the story inside that can captivate you or can leave you as empty as before reading it. Day by day we are living in a huge library, in which books are surrounding us, present there to be "read" so that one can have a first glance of an experience even before going through it in reality. And those who do not travel read only one page! By choosing to "travel" you choose to "read" more "books", to listen and capture more stories, experiences, knowledge from the people around you. If you choose not to do it, not to travel from human being to human being, and searching for the beauty that lies in the content, I congratulate you for being another cover reader (and just say hello to the other eighty percent of the human population that strives to travel in life from tourist site to tourist site.. and not to understand the history, the past, the mistery lying behind an experience. I have been to many nations, England, Ireland, Costa Rica, Nicargua and soon I hope to add Lithuania, as well as the other Baltic Republics.