Thursday, April 13, 2017

Alleged Gay ‘Concentration Camps’ In Chechnya Spark Global Outrage

Over 100 gay men are said to have been detained and tortured.

International human rights activists are decrying reports that at least 100 gay men have been arrested, and three killed, in the Russian region of Chechnya. 
A Moscow-owned Russian opposition newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, cited claims by federal law enforcement officials who said the men, ranging in ages from 16 to 50, were detained “in connection with their nontraditional sexual orientation, or suspicion of such.” Those arrests apparently began when a local LGBTQ rights group,, applied for pride parade permits, which were immediately denied, The Independent reported April 3.
The reports, however, were quickly dismissed as “absolute lies and disinformation” by a spokesman for Chechnya’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov. The spokesman, Alvi Karimov, then suggested that no gay people were living in the Muslim-majority region. “You cannot arrest or repress people who just don’t exist in the republic,” he said, according to The New York Times
As The Advocate points out, however, Karimov’s statement failed to quash the arrest claims. An April 4 Novaya Gazeta report doubled down on their initial report, with a source telling the newspaper that the Muslim-majority region’s anti-LGBTQ efforts include concentration camps. Detainees in those camps, which have been likened to those in Nazi Germany, are allegedly being subjected to physical abuse at the hands of government officials while being ransomed to their families. Those who are released, sadly, may face additional persecution, as extrajudicial “honor” killings have been known to take place, according to The Washington Post
Details of the alleged detainments remain frustratingly vague. Chechen activist Kheda Saratova, who is on Kadyrov’s human rights council, dismissed the claims, saying she hasn’t had “a single request” on the issue in a Russian radio interview cited by The Guardian. Much like Karimov before her, however, Saratova downplayed the existence of gay people in the region at large. “In our Chechen society, any person who respects our traditions and culture will hunt down this kind of person without any help from authorities,” Saratova said, “and do everything to make sure that this kind of person does not exist in our society.”
Meanwhile, a number of leading human rights organizations have spoken out against the allegations. On Tuesday, GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis called on U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley to condemn the alleged attacks and press for an investigation.
I’m calling on @nikkihaley to speak up against the reported #LGBTQ concentration camps in Chechnya. RT to join me.
— Sarah Kate Ellis (@sarahkateellis) April 11, 2017
The New York-based advocacy group Human Rights First echoed those sentiments, calling upon Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to speak out against the reports. “In his confirmation hearings, [Tillerson] responded to a question on the human rights of LGBTQ people by noting that ‘American values don’t accommodate violence or discrimination against anyone,’” advocacy counsel Shawn Gaylord said in a statement to The Huffington Post. “Now is the time for him to put the power of his office behind that statement and raise this issue directly with his counterparts.”
The Human Rights Campaign had similar words for Tillerson. 
On visit to Moscow, Sec. Tillerson can’t turn blind eye to citizens being tortured, killed on suspicion of being gay
— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) April 11, 2017
Amnesty International, meanwhile, launched a petition of its own, demanding that Chechnya to “stop abducting and killing” gay men.”The Chechen government won’t admit that gay men even exist in Chechnya, let alone that they ordered what the police call ‘preventive mopping up’ of people they deem undesirable,” the petition, which had over 25,000 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon, read. 
On Wednesday, LGBTQ rights activists in London will stage a protest outside of the city’s Russian embassy in response to the reports. “We are seeing very little response to this in the mainstream media, and government action so far is poor,” Steve Taylor, who is the communications director for the European Pride Organizers Association (EPOA) told Gay Star News. “We must not be bystanders, and we must challenge this inhumanity.”  
For the latest in LGBTQ news, check out the Queer Voices newsletter.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Prayer to Saint Martin de Porres

To you Saint Martin de Porres we prayerfully lift up our hearts filled with serene confidence and devotion. Mindful of your unbounded and helpful charity to all levels of society and also of your meekness and humility of heart, we offer our petitions to you. Pour out upon our families the precious gifts of your solicitous and generous intercession; show to the people of every race and every color the paths of unity and of justice; implore from our Father in heaven the coming of his kingdom, so that through mutual benevolence in God men may increase the fruits of grace and merit the rewards of eternal life. Amen.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

An issue of Infallability

The news reported today that Pope Benedict XVI condoned the use of condoms in certain circumstances...and I quote "There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants," the pope told Seewald."

I think there is a major flaw in this thought process. Saying that a male prostitute may use a condom implies condoning the action of a male prostitute: namely that he is selling his body for sex. This goes clearly against any sense of morality. Use of such a grossly erroneous example is tantamount to saying that a doctor that practices abortion ought to use gloves in the process to avoid infecting the woman / mother who is killing her baby. Clearly, the issue of abortion supersedes an issue of hygiene. It doesn't erase it, but it does supersedes it. And so that is also a very poor example. The Pope could have used a more current example: such as condoning the use of condoms when a husband or wife is HIV positive.

But the issue is bigger than a simple error. The Church teaches that the Pope is infallible in matters of faith and morals. It is clear that in this case, the Pope failed. We are left with one of two alternatives: either the Pope is NOT the true Pope or the Pope IS fallible or can make mistakes in matters of morals. I think the Pope is the true Pope. That leaves us with the alternative that many cannot accept; the Pope is subject to making mistakes just like the rest of us. As a matter of fact , this bring the Pope back to our level.. that of being a mere human being like the rest of us and humanizes him to the point of making him more endearing to his flock. Unfortunately, the clergy does not agree with this assessment and chooses to instead dispute the fact that (at least in this case) the "dogma" of infallibility FAILED. Lets admit it and correct what's wrong and move forward instead of holding on to old and erroneous theories. It is what it is.
Ah, but there is a caviat. Did the Pope speak "ex cathedra"...!!!! Apparently he didn't and so, he is "off the hook". But nevertheless this is a major error coming from a Pope who is also a Theologian. Maybe Popes ought to be either elected when younger or be able to retire so as to avoid embarrassing some of us Catholics who know a little more that our average Sunday Catechism Class...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Diccionario de Modismos Cubanos (Lexico Cubano)

Este diccionario es necesario para poder comunicarse efectivamente con el pueblo cubano.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Optimus Prime

The name of the leader of the Transformers is Optimus Prime.  He is the ultimate hero.  Fair, compassionate, caring, objective, strong, etc.  What a concept!  My alter ego!  I hope I grow up to be "just like him"!  Entertaining movie.  Has many moments.  Spielberg thought it out well.  Go see it!


The tempest of my life explode
A realization time forebode
The violin nay played life's strife
The prayers for me had spared the knife

The rain that fell upon my chains
Were blessings that caressed my skin
Some eyes were good, some eyes were vain
In time I learned they were my kin

The questions swam within my soul
Who was my id? Should I endure?
To find the answers was my goal
A tragic end this would procure

Was Titus' fate my future's lot?
Was Hamlet's doubt what I had bought?
Valjean's redemption's what I seek
Valhamtus's thus the man you'll meet

I wrote this poem a while back (this is actually a re-post) and it didn't get any attention...was it too difficult to understand?  I hope it not.  I don't write poems was my first attempt and is what it is.  Songs are more the kind of thing I for those who enjoy poems...I hope you like this one!

Debunking the Mystery

There is no mystery here. This is the man behind the pen. I am a mere writer of blogs and songs, nothing more, nothing less...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

15 Principles to Creating What You Want

1. Never compromise your integrity for anyone or anything.

2. Don't try to be all things to all people. Learn to say no politely and pleasantly , but immediately and firmly.

3. Never wait for something to happen; make it happen! Do it now!

4. Do not be overwhelmed by the tasks before you. Don't try to do everything; just do something.

5. To accomplish your objective, first begin. Secondly, concentrate exclusively on the project at hand. Third, don't stop.

6. Let circumstances dictate your priorities; let priorities determine your actions.

7. Focus your efforts on the root of the problem. Don't expend energy on peripheral issues that are not crucial to producing results.

8. For maximum effectiveness, do only what you do best and let others do the rest.

9. Concentrate on long-term, permanent solutions rather than stop gap measures.

10. Don't waste time telling people what you are doing or what you are going to do. Results have a way of informing the world.

11. Don't make promises you can't keep; once made, keep them.

12. Don't be tempted to take the easy way out. Have the self-discipline to do the right thing rather than the instinctive thing.

13. Don't become lax; play every point as though it were matching point.

14. You are not through until you have dotted all the I's and crossed all the T's.

15. Avoid premature celebrations. You are not through till the check has cleared the bank.

Job appraisals

Have you ever wondered what they really meant at your job appraisal? Here's an a - z list of common performance appraisal terms and their meaning:-

  • Active socially: Drinks heavily.
  • Alert to company developments: An office gossip.
  • Approaches difficult problems with logic: Finds someone else to do the job.
  • Average: Not too bright.
  • Character above reproach: One step ahead of the law.
  • Competent: Is able to get work done if supervisor helps.
  • Conscientious and careful: Scared.
  • Consults with superiors often: A pain in the butt.
  • Demonstrates qualities of leadership: Has a loud voice.
  • Deserves promotion: Create new title to make him or her feel appreciated.
  • Enjoys job: Needs more to do.
  • Exceptionally well qualified: Has committed no major blunders to date.
  • Expresses self well: Can string two sentences together.
  • Gets along extremely well with superiors and subordinates alike: A coward.
  • Happy: Paid too much.
  • Hard worker: Does it the hard way.
  • Indifferent to instruction: Knows more than superiors.
  • Is unusually loyal: no one else wants them.
  • Judgment is usually sound: Lucky.
  • Keen analyst: Thoroughly confused.
  • Keen sense of humour: Knows lots of dirty jokes.
  • Maintains professional attitude: A snob.
  • Meticulous in attention to detail: A nitpicker.
  • Not a desk person: Did not go to college.
  • Of great value to the organisation: Turns in work on time.
  • Quick thinking: Offers plausible excuses for errors.
  • Slightly below average: Stupid.
  • Spends extra hours on the job: Miserable home life.
  • Strong adherence to principles: Stubborn.
  • Tactful in dealing with superiors: Knows when to keep his mouth shut.
  • Takes advantage of every opportunity to progress: Buys drinks for superiors.
  • Takes pride in work: Conceited.
  • Uses resources well: Delegates everything.
  • Uses time effectively: Clock watcher.
  • Very creative: Keeps finding reasons to do anything except original work.
  • Will go far: Relative of management.
  • Zealous attitude: Opinionated


  1. A bicycle can't stand alone because it is two-tired.
  2. What's the definition of a will? (It's a dead giveaway).
  3. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
  4. A backward poet writes inverse.
  5. In democracy it's your vote that counts; In feudalism it's your count that votes.
  6. She had a boyfriend with a wooden leg, but he broke it off.
  7. A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.
  8. If you don't pay your exorcist you get repossessed.
  9. With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.
  10. Show me a piano falling down a mineshaft and I'll show you A-flat minor.
  11. When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
  12. The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.
  13. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.
  14. You feel stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.
  15. Local Area Network in Australia: the LAN down under.
  16. He often broke into song because he couldn't find the key.
  17. Every calendar's days are numbered.
  18. A lot of money is tainted. 'Taint yours and 'taint mine.
  19. A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.
  20. He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
  21. A plateau is a high form of flattery.
  22. The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was a small medium-at-large.
  23. Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
  24. When you've seen one shopping center you've seen the mall.
  25. Those who jump off a Paris bridge are in Seine.
  26. When an actress saw her first strands of grey hair she thought she'd dye.
  27. Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.
  28. Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.
  29. Acupuncture is a jab well done.
  30. Marathon runners with bad footwear suffer the agony of defeat.

What is your doctor really saying?

  • "There is a lot of that going around." - That's the third one this week. I'd better learn something about this.
  • "Well, what have we here..?" - He has no idea and is hoping you'll give him a clue.
  • "Let me check your medical history." - I want to see if you've paid your last bill before spending any more time with you.
  • "We have some good news and some bad news." - The good news is, I'm going to buy that new BMW. The bad news is, you're going to pay for it.
  • "Let's see how it develops." - Maybe in a few days it will grow into something that can be cured.
  • "Let me schedule you for some tests." - I have a 40% interest in the lab.
  • "I'd like to have my associate look at you." - He's going through a messy divorce and owes me a bundle.
  • "I'd like to prescribe a new drug." - I'm writing a paper and would like to use you as a guinea pig.
  • "If it doesn't clear up in a week, give me a call." - I don't know what it is. Maybe it will go away by itself.
  • "This may hurt a little." - Last week two patients bit off their tongues.
  • "Well, we're not feeling so well today, are we..?" - I'm stalling for time. Who are you and why are you here?
  • "This should fix you up." - The drug company slipped me a fiver to prescribe this stuff.
  • "Do you suppose all this stress could be affecting your nerves?" - You're crazier than an box of frogs. Now, if I can only find a shrink who'll split fees with me...
  • "If those symptoms persist, call for an appointment." - I've never heard of anything so disgusting. Thanks goodness I'm off next week.

And don't forget that doctors can make mistakes too!

You know what they say...


Interesting words and languages

  1. The first word spoken on the moon was "okay". (Or not - see comments).
  2. Seoul, the South Korean capital, just means "the capital" in the Korean language.
  3. The name of all the continents end with the same letter that they start with.
  4. There are only four words in the English language which end in "-dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.
  5. The "you are here" arrow on maps is called an ideo locator.
  6. The dot over the letter 'i' is called a tittle.
  7. The symbol on the "pound" key (#) is called an octothorpe.
  8. The symbol used in many URLs (Web addresses) is called a tilde. (~)
  9. The word "lethologica" describes the state of not being able to remember the word you want.
  10. In English, "four" is the only digit that has the same number of letters as its value.
  11. Q is the only letter in the alphabet that does not appear in the name of any of the United States.
  12. The word "trivia" comes from the Latin "trivium" which is the place where three roads meet, a public square. People would gather and talk about all sorts of matters, most of which were trivial.
  13. TYPEWRITER, is the longest word that can be made using the letters only one row of the keyboard.
  14. "Speak of the Devil" is short for "Speak of the Devil and he shall come". It was believed that if you spoke about the Devil it would attract his attention. That's why when you're talking about someone and they show up people say "Speak of the Devil".
  15. The word "Checkmate" in chess comes from the Persian phrase "Shah Mat," which means, "the King is dead".
  16. Only three words have entered English from Czech: polka, pilsner, and robot.
  17. The sentence "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter in the English language.
  18. Stewardesses is the longest word typed with only the left hand.
  19. The most common name in the world is Mohammed.
  20. The longest word in the English language, according to the Oxford English Dictionary is:- pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.
  21. The only other word with the same amount of letters as it is its plural:- pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconioses.
  22. The longest non-medical word in the English language is FLOCCINAUCINIHILIPILIFICATION, which means "the act of estimating as worthless".
  23. The longest one-syllable word in the English language is "screeched."
  24. The longest place-name still in use is:-'Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturi
    pukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwe-nuakit natahu' it is the Maori name of a hill in New Zealand.
  25. The longest place name in the UK is Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, it means The name means: "St Mary's church in the hollow of the white hazel near to the rapid whirlpool and the church of St Tysilio of the red cave".
  26. The longest word in the Old Testament is "Malhershalahashbaz".
  27. Mafia in Old Arabic means 'sanctuary'.
  28. A pregnant goldfish is called a twit.
  29. Karaoke means 'empty orchestra' in Japanese.
  30. The first message tapped by Samuel Morse over his invention the telegraph was: "What hath God wraught?"
  31. The first words spoken by over Alexander Bell over the telephone were: "Watson, please come here. I want you.
  32. The first words spoken by Thomas Edison over the phonograph were: "Mary had a little lamb."
  33. "Papaphobia" is the fear of Popes.
  34. The Academy Award statue is named after a librarian's uncle. One day Margaret Herrick, librarian for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, made a remark that the statue looked like her Uncle Oscar, and the name stuck.
  35. The three words in the English language with the letters "uu" are: vacuum, residuum and continuum.
  36. "Underground" is the only word in English that begins and ends with the letters "und."
  37. A baby in Florida was named: Truewilllaughinglifebuckyboomermanifestdestiny. His middle name is George James.
  38. 'Dreamt' is the only English word that ends in the letters 'mt'.
  39. The word 'Bye' is used in both English and Spanish meaning the same thing.
  40. "Pogonophobia" is the fear of beards.
  41. In Chinese, the words crisis and opportunity are the same. (Or not - see comments)
  42. The infinity character on the keyboard is called a "lemniscate".
  43. The salutation 'good bye' came from God bye which came from God be with you.
  44. So-long came from the Arabic salaam and the Hebrew shalom.
  45. The word 'nerd' was first coined by Dr. Seuss in 'If I ran the Zoo'.
  46. Before Jets, Jet lag was called Boat lag.
  47. The word "monosyllable" actually has five syllables in it.
  48. There are no words in the English language that rhyme with month, silver, purple or orange.
  49. The letter "n" ends all Japanese words not ending in a vowel.
  50. It is believed that Shakespeare was 46 around the time that the King James Version of the Bible was written. In Psalms 46, the 46th word from the first word is shake and the 46th word from the last word is spear.
  51. 'Zorro' means 'fox' in Spanish.
  52. The verb "to cleave" has definitions which are antonyms of each other: to adhere and to separate.
  53. The verb "sanction" also has definitions which are antonyms: to sponsor and to ban.
  54. You won't find a "6" in Cameroon phone numbers--the native language has no sound for "x.
  55. "The only 15-letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is "uncopyrightable."
  56. There is a seven-letter word in English that contains eleven words without rearranging any of its letters, "therein": the, there, he, in, rein, her, here, ere, I, therein, herein.
  57. Rhythm" and "syzygy" are the longest English words without vowels.
  58. Clans of long ago that wanted to get rid of their unwanted people without killing them would burn their houses down - hence the expression "to get fired."

    Hmmm - I wonder what to get sacked refers to?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

30 Things That Take 30 Seconds Each: Which Will You Do To Change The World?

Attitude is foundational to success. A generous person with a positive attitude will thrive. If you change your attitude, you change your perception, change your actions, and change your life. As every life changes, you change the world. Over at Lorelle On Wordpress she challenges bloggers to create a list of 30 things that can each be done in only 30 seconds. Imagine if millions or billions of people each did one of these- how would the world be different? In keeping with the theme of personal development, I have put together ways to improve yourself or others and create a better you in 30 seconds or less. Imagine if everyone did just a few of these at once? Here is my list.

1. Change your tone of voice. For 30 seconds, speak softer, calmer, or just more pleasantly. You might be surprised at the results. Did you know, for example, that a softer voice giving clear instructions commands more authority with children than a yell? If frustrated in a business dealing, try a more peaceful tone, even if only for 30 seconds, and see if it leads to a quicker resolution.

2. Choose one idea you gave up and re-visit it. For 30 seconds, consider giving it one more try. Was there an invention, a project, or some task that just seemed too daunting or frustrating? Choose one and decide to try it one more time. Imagine if everyone mustered up the courage to use their God-given ingenuity in whatever their giftings. What new things would the world see created?

3. For 30 seconds, give someone another chance. Listen for just one more time, re-evaluate a first impression, or give one more opportunity to see if they have changed. You may be surprised.

4. Tell your children "I love you" or "I am proud of you". Make it meaningful, look them in the eye, and show how you value them. It will mean the world. Imagine if every parent said affirming words to every child, for 30 seconds, everyday.

5. The next time you find yourself wanting instant gratification, impatiently wanting something you cannot have at that moment, give thanks to God for what you already do have for 30 seconds. It may change your attitude.

6. For 30 seconds, stand up straighter and with your head held high. Look others in the eye and walk with confidence. See how great it feels?

7. Choose one thing you were putting off for another time that could be done today, and decide to do it! It only takes 30 seconds to make a decision to act. Be sure you value keeping your promise to yourself, and then know that this will lead to action.

8. Clean up someone else's mess.

9. Compliment someone with a genuine comment on what you appreciate or respect about them.

10. Stand up for someone or something you believe in. A quick sentence of support can do wonders and expand your influence.

11. Find a way to authentically encourage someone in their efforts with a "you can do it!" comment. Believe in them and show it.

12. Invite someone over (or a group of someones) that you would like to get to know: set a specific time and day for a dinner together. The world could use more socializing. What about you? Take the initiative and make the invitation to a new friendship.

13. Give your spouse a physical sign of affection for 30 seconds in public. Brush your hand softly on her cheek, run your fingers through his hair, give a soft hug, a gentle squeeze of the hand, or a quick kiss. It is good for children to see their parents comfortable with quick displays of affection, and great for strengthening intimacy in marriage. Imagine how closeness might grow in marriages if every couple deliberately showed affection for 30 seconds? Better yet, do it several times a day.

14. Learn 1 new word (preferably from a different language than you already know) or learn a quick and wonderful fact about another culture or country.

15. Write a check for 10% of your monthly income and place it in the mailbox. Send it to your church, a charity, or a worthy cause, but give it away.

16. Pray every morning for 30 seconds to conquer your fear and courageously face all your opportunities, keep your mind open in setting goals and keep your attitude positive. Quickly judge your plan for the day against your priorities (be sure your choices fit with your focus- remember in business and for your family, time is one of your most valuable assets). After the 30 seconds, you may be inspired to make a change.

17. Ask someone "how are you doing?" and then be ready to truly listen.

18. Put $20 in an envelope (or $50 or $100), write "from anonymous", and secretly (and quickly, to fit in 30 seconds) leave it with someone you know could use it. Doing good deeds without public recognition feels great.. Try it and see!

19. Do something quick for the environment: refuse food in styrofoam, tear apart those plastic things that go around cans and choke birds, or help an animal in distress break free, etc.

20. Choose a great breakfast (your best energy starts with a 30 second decision). Choose to eat no sugar and foods low in starch. Eat more protein and fruit. Start your day right to be more productive.

21. If you have been indoors, get out and feel the sunshine on your face for 30 seconds- it will elevate your mood quickly (if it is 100 degrees outside then feel the sunshine from a more comfortable temperature if possible).

22. Say yes to giving a charitable donation at your local merchant when asked (give one more time than you had planned to give).

23. Register to vote. Just fill out a 30 second card! As you follow this or any registration process of your country, determine to take advantage of the opportunity to vote when it comes, if you are able to do so.

24. Plant a seed (or plant a plant or tree if you have the skills to do so this quickly). Imagine if millions did this at once.

25. Turn off the lights in a room where you are not (turn off the water when not in use, etc.). Every 30 seconds matters.

26. Place a bag by your trash and put a recyclable item inside it. Congratulations, you have now started recycling!

27. Stop any bad habit in 30 seconds. Then keep repeating at 30 second intervals.

28. Seek out laughter and laugh for 30 seconds. Repeat as needed to release tension.

29. Drink water.

30. Imagine for 30 seconds being content with everything you have. Then imagine balancing contentment with striving to continue God's purpose in you, take an attitude of perseverance, and determine to go for it!

Monday, July 03, 2006


"If I hold an opinion only because someone else told me it was true, and I myself do not have any other reason for thinking it to be true, then that is a mere opinion on my part.  The statement may be in fact be true.  That does not make it any the less a mere opinion.  So far as affirming it is concerned, I have no grounds that provide me with reasons for thinking it to be true apart from the authority of someone else." Mortimer Adler in Aristotle for Everyone.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Wake Up In A Good Mood – By Kathy Gates ***

Every day is a gift, but some sure don't seem like it, do they?

I often suggest to my clients that they use this higher goal to help them
achieve a happier life: "Wake Up In A Good Mood."

Now in order to achieve that, you'll have to get personal. My waking up in
a good mood will be different from yours. For example, one client decided
that she needed to purchase two things. And no, going on a shopping trip
is not what I generally had in mind, but if you have a broken alarm clock
that continually makes you late, then yes, DO IT!

(Oh, you want to know what she bought? A coffee maker that starts the
coffee automatically, and a thermostat that raises the temperature for
those cold cold mornings.)

But that's about her; what about you? What do you need? What if you made
that your filter for all your decisions today" "Wake Up In A Good Mood

Maybe these tips can help.

1. Morning Routines.
Oh, yes, you have one; it's just whether it's working or not. As mentioned
earlier, decide what you need for those so important first minutes of your
day. Some people need time to chat, read the paper, 'putter' as my mom
used to call it. Others can be out of the house in 15 minutes. What do you
need (to buy, to ask for, to put into place) to help you wake up feeling

2. Stick to the present.
I find that it's all too common for people to be running around trying to
clean up the leftovers from last week, last month. Get yourself into the
present. Commit to doing your daily work completely, fully each day. As
minutes or pockets of time present themselves, take care of something
that's hanging over your head. But don't sacrifice the present to do it.
If you want to wake up in a good mood, it's important that you're facing
the front, not looking over your shoulder. (If your present is *too* full
for you to keep up with, then that's a bïgger challenge that must be
handled first.)

3. Life is fluid.
Listen up -- it's not that opportunïty doesn't come your way, it's that
you're not in a position to take advantage of it! I know, that sounds mean
doesn't it, and it gives me a headache too. But the reality is this: The
only way you'll ever be able to take advantage of the good things that
come your way is to be ready. That means you'll need to have some reserves
backing you up. When the interest rates hit an all-time low, were you in a
position to buy if you chose to? Could you accept a great job, or Mr/Mrs.
Right into your life right now? Reserves give you freedom to make choices,
and when you wake up knowing you're in the driver's seat, it's a whole lot
easier to be in a good mood. Get prepared!

4. Accept yourself, warts and all.
A happy life is being able to accept that you aren't perfect, and "they"
aren't perfect, and taking responsibility for how it affects those around
you. "This is my problem, and this is how I'm handling it." If you're
messy, accept that, and do what it takes to control its impact on other
people. Understand that others have problems too; they aren't perfect
either. Help each other take responsibility for their own challenges as
you do your own. They will be encouraged by you.

5. Be your own friend.
I know, how many times have you heard this by now? And you're still not
doing it, are you? Ask yourself how you'd treat a good friend if she was
at your house this evening? Determine to treat yourself like you are
someone you *like* and want to take care of. Get enough sleep, eat in
moderation, love yourself, and be kind to yourself. A good mood will be
your reward.

Waking up in a good mood has everything to do with you, and your choices.
If you think the world is a bad place, that's what you will see. Every day
you create your life, minute by minute, thought by thought, action by
action. If you eat candy all day, you'll be sick. If you put bad thoughts
into your mind all day, you'll be sick.

Feed your mind good "food." Feed your heart, your spirit. Look for the
little things that you need to help you rise each morning feeling happier,
more satisfied, and more efficient. And waking up in a good mood will be a

10 Life and Leadership Lessons I Learned from Superman (and How They Changed My Life Forever) – By Eric Taylor ***

For many, the actor who epitomized the character "Superman" is Christopher
Reeve, and as millïons know, at the height of his career he suffered a
tragic accident that left him totally paralyzed, unable to care for
himself or, initially, even to breathe unassisted.

With the support of his wïfe, Dana, Chris persevered and battled back,
becoming a vigorous advocate and the public face for research that
develops treatments and cures for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury
and other central nervous system disorders. The foundation that now bears
his name has awarded over $55 million in research grants to the world's
best neuroscientists and Quality of Life grants worth over $7 million to
nonprofit organizations that help improve the daily lives of people living
with paralysis, particularly spinal cord injuries.

Christopher Reeve redefined courage and hope. His strength, determination,
and compassion inspired the world, but what I think is the superhuman part
of the story has not been fully told. There's more to this story for me
and greater lessons for us all--in fact, 10 of them.

It was my distinct privilege to produce Chris's last public appearance in
New Jersey, where he filled a baseball stadium. I'll nevër forget it--or
him. He died 10 days later. He is my hero.

Chris Reeve taught me 10 lessons on that day. I know that they apply to
you, and when you decide to take them to heart and act on them, they will
change your life, too.

1. Empower yourself first! The only way to truly connect with another
human is to connect with yourself first. Compassion, rapport, and caring
all come from allowing, understanding, and knowing yourself first.

Action Idea: Take time out of each day (even if by self-appointment) to
reflect on the day, week, month, or year, evaluate the words you chose to
speak and the actions you chose to take, and ask yourself the critical
question, "Am I being congruent with what I truly believe and value?"

2. Refuse absolutes. There are no absolutes! Anyone who says "that will
nevër happen" doesn't understand faith, persistence, and belief. The world
was once thought to be flat; Christopher Columbus debunked that myth and
created a paradigm shift for mankind. Christopher Reeve should not have
survived as long as he did and accomplished as much as he did after his

Action Idea: Have you embraced false absolutes with "security thinking,"
believing that absolutes actually exist? Remove all self-imposed
limitations and boundaries that you or someone else have placed in your

3. Become a respected and feared competitor. Both are equally important.
Have the respect of your peers, but be sure that they are aware that you
are playing to wïn every time!

Action Idea: Get close to your competitors, and let them get close to
you—but only in physical proximity! Treat them with kindness and respect,
but keep your eye on the prïze.

4. Get moving as soon as possible. There is nevër time to get ready. When
you set a goal, make a decision, or experience adversity, get moving on it
immediately! Christopher's tragedy was something for which he could not
have prepared. Chris knew that if he didn't take action immediately to
find a cure and to move toward walking again, he might begin to think that
death was a better alternative.

Action Idea: Decide! Once you make up your mind to achieve a desired
outcome or goal, nevër let anything or anyone stop you.

5. You have more talent and gifts than you realize. You possess all of the
resources to lead an extraordinary life. Accept the gifts, and use them to
Action Idea: Ask "what if" questïons. "What if I could discover the cure
for AIDS?" "What if I could run a three-minute mile?" "What if I give love
first without expecting anything in return?"

6. Give yourself a chance--you are worthy. Let the people who love you,
love you. Share your dreams and desires with those who can, will, and want
to help you. Don't beat yourself up when you fail or create an undesirable

Action Idea: Everything is an experience, not a test. The events that take
place in our lives are not a thermometer to gauge our self-worth. The most
important opinion you must possess in your life is the opinion you have of

7. Nothing is impossible--use your personal power, and have faith that you
can overcome and achieve anything you set your mind to. The phrase
"nothing is impossible" is a mind-set each of us should embrace.

Action Idea: Faith equals persistence. If you believe you can, you can.
Walt Disney said, "You will see it when you believe it."

8. Ignore your own feelings of inadequacy. There is always someone doing
better than you are. What's more important is what you are doing and what
your goals are. The grass always looks greener on the other side, and it
is almost always a false assumption. If you honor self-promises and stick
to your dreams and goals, your time will come. Beware of negative
self-talk and negative thinking. The real truth is that the glass is
always half full, and it is always partly sunny. These small distinctions
can pay huge dividends in your life.

Action Idea: Protect your mind and your body and what you allow to enter
it; they are your most prized possessions.

9. Negativity will kill empowerment. Avoid negativity at all costs:
negative people, negative news, negative thoughts, and all the things and
people in your life that are dream-stealers. You are a leader. Become a
leader in your life first.

Action Idea: Just as empowerment begins with you, positivism in your world
begins with you as well. Negativity drains energy, diminishes hope, blocks
creativity, and steals faith and one's ability to persist. Surround
yourself with everything and everyone that makes you feel good. Life is
too short not to be happy.

10. Giving up is not an option. After Dana told Chris, "I still love you,
you are still you," his giving up was not an option. He knew that he had
only one choice and one life to leave his legacy. Quitting does last
forever--quitters nevër wïn, and winners nevër quit. You are not
automatically entitled to everything in this life, but you are entitled to
become your personal best. What will your legacy be? What will you create?
What is your purpose for being here?

Action Idea: If you have yet to discover your calling, get excited! It is
about to be discovered. If you know your calling, go there with passion
and serve!

Those, in a nutshell, are the 10 life and leadership lessons I learned
from Superman--my real-life hero, Christopher Reeve. I strive to live them
every day.

There's one more quote from Chris that takes a bit of thinking to
understand, but I'd like you to consider it.

"If there is no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters,
then all that matters is what we do."

Now, go forward!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Say Yes to You – By Julie Fuimano

Have you ever had anyone speak to you in a tone that made you feel
uncomfortable? And yet, you said nothing. Have you ever done something for
someone or with someone that you really didn't want to do? And yet, you
did it anyway, only to become resentful later.

Every time you say nothing, every time you let it slide, every time you do
something for someone else that you don't want to do, you tell yourself
that the other person means more than you. In essence, you give yourself
(and others) the message that you don't matter.

How it begins
One of the first words we learn to say as infants is "no." We learn this
word partly because we hear it so frequently and it's an easy word to
pronounce. It becomes a popular word as we move into the toddler years.
Then we learn that it's not nice to say "no," that we need to do as we are
told. As children, this is how we learn right from wrong; it's how we
learn acceptable behavior.

As we grow, we allow people to convince us to do things that are not
congruent with the way we want to be. Somewhere along the way to
adulthood, our ability to say "no" gets lost. It becomes easier to tell
ourselves "no" than to say "no" to others, so we ignore our own feelings
and go with the flow. What matters is that we please others. So we take on
projects and additional responsibilities that we'd rather not do, and
after awhile we become proudly known for 'getting it done.' Over time, we
become resentful and unhappy. We continue to repeat the same messages we
were taught as children and nevër question whether they serve us as

Paying the price
Saying "yes" when you'd rather not means you're really saying "no" to
yourself. This undermines your self-esteem. You unwittingly tell yourself
that the other person's needs come before your own and you devalue
yourself. And, until you are ready to take responsibility for yourself, it
will continue.

You may be accustomed to placing the needs of others before yourself. And
yet, can't you be just as caring when you care for yourself first?

When I met Susan, it was just before Christmas. She told me that 45 people
were coming over for Christmas dinner. She was excited to say that her
mother was coming, but her demeanor changed when she said her siblings
were coming with their spouses, children and grandchildren. She was
clearly not looking forward to this dinner; it was a lot of work and she
was expected to cook every year -- family members did not take turns,
although some of her sisters brought food. I asked her to tell me what the
perfect Christmas dinner would be like. She said it would just be the
seven of them -- her husband, her children, and her mother. So I asked her
what would happen if she told everyone that she was no longer going to
have Christmas dinner for everyone. Interestingly, she had not considered
it as a possibility. She just figured she'd be stuck having this dinner
every year, ad infinitum. She didn't realize that she could choose to do
something different; she just needed to give herself permission.

Just as she believes that it is her duty to have this dinner, it is
possible that her relatives attend out of a sense of duty. She might find
that once her true feelings are exposed that others share the same
feelings of obligatïon. Either way, she is entitled to spend Christmas
dinner in a way that brings her the most joy. Until she is honest with
herself and others, she will continue to suffer needlessly.

What things in your life do you continue to do over and over because
that's how it's always been? Not only is it all right, it is imperative
that you question the things you do and consciously choose how to spend
your time and energy. It's your life. You can live by design or by
default. Either way, you only live once.

Learn to follow your heart
How do you learn to say "no"? By practicing. Learn to pause before you
answer any request made of you, whether it's for your time, energy or
monëy, etc. Then search your heart for what you really want. How do you
feel to say "yes" to this request? How do you feel to say "no"? Which
feels better? Even if you're not sure why, go with your gut. Learning to
listen to your inner self is critical. Every time you say "no," you say
"yes" to you. This builds self-esteem, and as you honor yourself, you
reclaim your personal power.

Learning to say "no" to things you don't want means you're able to say
"yes" to things you do want. Eliminating things that you don't want in
your life, things that don't make you feel good, gives you the time,
energy and space to add things that you do enjoy. When you say "yes" to
meeting your own needs and wants, you validate yourself; this builds
confidence and inner strength. When you feel good, you're happier, more
productive and you have more fun!

You can say "no" with grace and love. As you say "no" to others, don't
make them wrong; simply state your Truth. And don't apologize! (You're
doing nothing wrong!) Simply state that you are unable to take on any more
projects and that you have stopped doing things that are not your
responsibility or not in your best interest. If you can, refer them to
someone who can help them or show them how to do it for themselves.

Do unto yourself as you would do unto others.
The highest level of respect you can give is the respect you show
yourself. People often say that you must give respect in order to get it;
in order to get it, you must give it to yourself. As you treat yourself
with compassion and love, you teach others how you expect to be treated,
and by raising your standards, you permit others to do the same.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Are Your Goals Exciting? – By Jim Donovan

This may sound like a strange question, but are you really excited about
your goals? Of course, I'm making the assumption that you have already
invested the time to think about what you want your life to be like and
identified some of your goals in several areas. If not, please do this
immediately. If you don't know where you're going, how will you know when
you get there?

Having written goals will change your life; I guarantee it! Spend some
time thinking about what you'd like your life to be like. For the sake of
this exercise, let's set goals you'd like to have accomplished one year
from now. Of course, you can set shorter and longer term goals as well.

What would you like for your relationships? How about your health, career
and finances? How about your mind and emotions? What would you like to
experience? What would you like to do, be or have? Invest some time now to
identify these things and write them down. This will greatly increase the
likelihood of your accomplishing them. If you want to know more about
this, there are lots of books, including mine, to help you. That's not
really the topic of this story, however. I'm asking you now to revisit
your goals, particularly your short-term, six-month to one-year ones.

Do they make you want to jump out of bed each day eager to get going?
Recently, I was feeling "less than great." I was even bordering on
becoming depressed, something I rarely experience. I felt unmotivated, and
wound up being pretty sick for a week. Upon closer examination, and
because I agree with Plato that an unexamined life is not worth living, I
realized one of the things that I had done was to reset some of my
short-term goals to be "more realistic."

I think I believed what I was hearing about the current economic
situation. Of course, some of what "they" are saying is true. Some people
are experiencing an economic downturn. Interestingly enough, the Horchow
Catalog, a collection of some of the highest priced, one-of-a-kind items
you can find, is expecting another year of double-digit growth. This is as
compared to a 1 or 2% for the rest of the catalog industry. They were
quoted as saying that "there are always well-healed people willing to pay
for fine things." Obviously, not everyone believes in the economic

What I had noticed about myself was that in the interest of being
realistic, I had lowered my expectations. While this may seem like a
reasonable thing to do, in reality, it left me totally uninspired and
feeling pretty unmotivated about my goals. For example, if you have a goal
of making enough money to "pay the bills," how exciting is that? Is that
going to make you jump out of bed in the morning saying, "Oh wow, I can't
wait to get going, so I can make money and pay the bills!" I doubt it.

Year after year, the average salesperson will set a goal of earning the
same as the previous year plus 5% for inflation. I sense these are the
people Henry David Throeau was speaking about when he said, "The mass of
men lead lives of quiet desperation."

Interestingly enough, the top salespeople in any industry will set
outrageous goals like, "Doubling my income" and then go out and do it. I
believe a big part of their success is the excitement they've created in
themselves by setting the huge goal.

When I understood what I was doing, I immediately set new goals. I set
goals that were way beyond my reach. Goals that were huge enough to really
get my juices going. Now, when I think about my new, bigger goals, I get
excited just imaging what it would feel like reaching them and what my
life would be like having accomplished them. I get jazzed just thinking
about my new income goals, for example.

I get excited just thinking about how I will use this new level of income.
I spend time getting into the feeling of having this level of income. I
ask questions like, "Where will I go on vacation? What will I buy my wife?
Which charities will we contribute to?" and so on. I really step into the
new income level and see myself enjoying the fruits of my labor. I have
been using these techniques for many years and have experienced enormous
change in my life. And even if I don't reach the exact amount, I know I
will go way beyond what I might have accomplished and will feel better
along the way. After all, isn't feeling good what it's all about?

Now, go get your journal, and let's start setting some new goals for the
coming year. Following is a simple exercise to help you become clear about
your goals and begin creating the life you've always wanted.

1. Write what you don't want. Often, it's easier to become clear about
what you don't want. For example, "I don't want all these bills; I don't
want to work in a dead end job," etc. What you do want is generally the
opposite of this. "I want an abundance of income. I want my own successful
business," and so on. Afterwards, you may want to throw this list away.

2. Write what you do want. List everything you want to do, be and have for
the upcoming year and beyond. Really let your imagination run wild. Never
mind how you will do it. That will come later. For now, just write what
you want without editing.

3. Pick two or three goals from your list and write them in the form of an
affirmation. For example, "I am enjoying our fantastic summer house by the
ocean." "I am so happy growing my own business. This makes me feel in
control of my future." Do this for all the major areas of your life --
spirituality, health, relationships, social, business, things and money.

4. Next to each one, write why you want this and how you will feel when
you have accomplished it. "I want this business to have more free time
with my family and be in charge of my destiny. I feel powerful and

5. Write at least one action you can take right now to move toward your
goal. What simple step can you take immediately (today)? Maybe an
immediate action would be to investigate a new opportunity you learned
about in this newsletter.

Each day, devote some time to reading your list of goals, concentrating on
the feelings associated with having them. Feelings like free, valued,
loved, secure, safe, prosperous, etc. The more you can feel the feelings
your goal will produce, the faster you can draw it to you. After you
reread your goals and are feeling the good feelings associated with having
them, ask yourself, "What is the next action I can take to move toward
this?" Do this daily and watch your life change.

Play To Win – By Jon Gordon ***

There was a time in most of our lives when we had no fear--that feeling
when we jumped from the jungle gym and slammed our little bodies to the
ground. Perhaps it was when we went on our first roller coaster, or when
we were in high school or college and felt that there was nothing we
couldn't do. No goal was unattainable. We were an unstoppable wave of
energy that would think of something and then make it happen

Then, as time goes by, the world tells us more frequently that we can't do
anything we want. In fact, the world gets more specific and says you can't
do this and you can't do that. The doubters laugh at our goals and try to
persuade us from going after our dreams. They say, "You're crazy. It's too
hard. It's too much of a long shot. Why don't you do this instead? You
should play it safe." They act as if dreams were meant for others but not
people like us. They surround us with negative energy and try to instill
their own fears and insecurities in us. We not only begin to know the word
"fear," we start to understand what it's like to be fearful. With so many
people telling us we can't do something and so few telling us we can, it's
hard not to let fear into our lives.

Unfortunately this is how many of us go through life. The fear starts as a
thought and the thought then becomes an emotion that affects our body and
entire state of being. We have mortgages, rent, responsibilities, car
payments, college payments, medical bills, and jobs. Many of us have even
more responsibilities with families and children to support. The doubters
point all of this out and inject their doubt and negativity in us. "You
can't start your own business. What if it fails? How are you going to feed
your children? You can't start a new career. You know how hard it is to
make money acting. Why would you want to do that? You shouldn't go after a
promotion. They'll never give it to you. You're too old to change careers
and learn computers. Why would you want to do a silly thing like that?"

Whether you are 20 or 50, many of us become so scared of losing what we
have that we don't go after what we truly want. We allow the negative
energy of fear into our lives which cuts off the flow of positive energy
and paralyzes our desires. We play it safe and hold on so tight to the
status quo that we never experience what could be. We believe the doubters
and don't take chances that will move us one step towards our dreams. I
call this "playing to lose." We see this in sports all the time when a
team has the lead. They start to think about how not to lose instead of
how to win. They hold on so tight to their lead that they start playing
safe and scared. You can see it in their energy and body language. As a
result the other team takes chances, plays with no fear and eventually
gains the momentum and wins.

To live a life filled with positive energy we must learn to repel the
negative energy of fear. Whether it comes from within or from another
person we must eliminate fear from our life and replace it with a "play to
win" mindset. While fear serves no purpose in your life, a play to win
attitude will allow you to create anything you want. Playing to win
requires a commitment to yourself that even if you fail, you will never
give up and never let your goals and dreams die. Those who play to win
know that success is not given to us. It is pursued with all the energy
and sweat we can muster. Obstacles and struggles are part of life and only
serve to make us appreciate our success. If everything came easy we
wouldn't know what it felt like to truly succeed. Obstacles are meant to
be overcome. Fear is meant to be conquered. Success is meant to be
achieved. They are all part of the game of life, and the people who
succeed play to win and never give up until the game is over.

I have seen this power first hand. Two years ago, I was working for a
technology company, fearful of losing my job and going bankrupt. We had
just moved, the company I worked for was in financial trouble and I had an
expensive mortgage, two kids and no job prospects. One day I told my wife,
"I'm not going to live like this. No fear anymore. I'm going to do what I
was born to do." My plan was to open a restaurant that would provide us
with the funds to pay our bills. Once it was successful I would have the
foundation to begin my life's work of writing and speaking. Of course part
of me was scared, but I knew I didn't have a choice. For me living in fear
was like dying. Thankfully, two years later, I have two successful
restaurants and I am doing what I love--making a difference in other
people's lives by sharing energy.

I stopped the fear from flowing through my life and I replaced it with an
attitude that "I was going to make my dreams come true. Whatever it took,
I would make it happen." Once I changed my attitude, positive energy
started flowing into and out of my life and everything began falling in
place. I thank God for all of the blessings I have received, but I also
know that it started with me deciding to play to win. If I can do it so
can you.

** Action Steps **

- Identify the fear in your life. What makes you fearful?
- Remind yourself that this fear serves no purpose. It only weakens you.
- Say to yourself "I have no fear."
- Remember that it is OK to be scared at times, so long as this feeling
doesn't control you. You feel it and then you replace being scared with
thoughts of positive results.
- Decide to play to win. It's as easy as turning on a light switch.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Sphere (Blog Searches)


Soda and Michael Jackson

Today there was an agreement between the school districts and the major pop drinks stating that beginning in 2009, there will be no soda sold in public schools.  This is due to the fact that the excess of sugar consumption in young people is creating a slew of obese and diabetic children.  I remember when Michael Jackson and Madonna endorsed Coke and in so doing encouraged many young people to drink soda.  I don't see them apologizing or taking responsibility for their contribution in the onset of obese children today.  They ought to give back the money they were paid to help these children and try to undo the damage they contributed to by endorsing products that are actual poison to the human body.

The Death Sentence & the Moussaoui Case

It is fitting that Mr. Moussaoui has been sentenced to life in prison for his involvement in the 9/11 attacks.  There is no worst punishment than to have to live the rest of your natural life in solitary confinement without ever having human contact.  There are many people who don't agree and choose to favor the death penalty.  I must say that everyone who does might as well be a murderer.  This is because killing is morally wrong, regardless of who does it: another person or the state.  Murder is not mitigated when the circumstances show the victim is guilty or deserving of death.  It is still murder.  The only case where one can be exempt of being a murderer is when one kills in self defense.  Any other situation makes the killer a murderer.  And supporting the death penalty also deems one a murderer because doing so means one has already committed murder in one's heart and that is akin to having pulled the trigger oneself.  This argument could even be extented to include WAR, but I don't intend to write at lengh about that now.  I completely believe this to be correct and wish anyone who does not to challenge my thinking with a solid logical reason explaining why they disagree.

Monday, May 01, 2006

A Day Without Immigrants

I'm a Citizen, but I fully support immigrants because immigration laws are UNFAIR.  These people just want to work and are NOT ILLEGAL, but undocumented people.  They are abused, underpaid and exploited for the mere fact that they do not posses the documents required to work in the U.S.  More power to them!  May they succeed!

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Gasoline Prices

Gas prices are rising consistently.  What can we do about this?  Since it seems the reason is demand is higher in the summer, maybe we should limit our driving, so that we spend less gas and as a result demand wanes and therefore prices drop or at least don't rise as much as they are going now...Any better ideas?

Saturday, April 29, 2006

United 93

This movie is riveting and done in real time, giving you the sense that you're right there experiencing what happened on September 11 all over again, but from the perspective of those close to the events themselves.  I came out of the movie feeling exhausted from the intense emotions I felt throughout the movie.  It was well done and acted.  I only found one familiar face in the whole movie.  One of the passengers was a known actor.  However, I don't think it deserves to be called one of the best movies of the year because it is like a docudrama, where we all know the basic story and the outcome.  I recommend it to all those who feel they are strong enough to re-live the events of 9/11.