Wednesday, November 22, 2006

What are your next 90 days - 11.22.2006.1

“Every day mankind has learned something new. 1500 years ago people thought the world was flat, one day we discovered that mold on bread could give us penicillin, and today you have found me. What do you imagine will happen tomorrow when you learn what I can do for you?” – Michael Vass

I was recently talking with a dear old friend and we were discussing her new business venture. In this conversation I mentioned a few things and I thought I’d pass them on. One of the most important thoughts is to believe in your own success. I mean deep down believe it. You can only be as successful as you think you are, that is the only real limit. If you believe you can do it, it can be done; it’s just a matter of when in my opinion.

Another is don’t be afraid of your passions. When anyone buys anything that was sold to them they bought the salesperson. The passion of the salesperson is what makes the deal. I’ve sold clients positions in a stock that I believed in and sounded like a maniac. I was bouncing back and forth on the facts (meaning from describing the company and providing the financials) like a rookie, but the passion and excitement I had was never in question. Often that was the reason, or the critical factor in the purchase of the stock. If people will buy a stock, an immaterial item at an arbitrary valuation that will be held for an indeterminate timeframe and sold for an unknown price, then anything else is an easy sell, if you believe in it and yourself.

If you apply yourself you will be in a better position in life in 90 days. This works for every aspect in life. You want a better body, lose weight, learn a language, memorize the dictionary, or improve your business it can all be done in 90 days. All you have to do is apply yourself. Even if you fall short of the target by a bit, you will have improved. But you have to stick to it, every day. Focused and dedicated. Self-disciplined and motivated. This has worked in my life many times. I’ve seen it work for others.

Every day we all have a choice. In the next 90 days we can do one of 3 things. Go forward to our goal, ignore our goal and do nothing, or go down and spiral out of control. Whichever you chose you will achieve. If you want better you can get it. If you do nothing you can be assured of getting nothing. And if you want to fail nothing in the world will prevent it.

That is not to say that everything will be smooth sailing. That everything will go your way when you do these things. These are not the secrets to success. You must still overcome your fear of success. Everyone has that fear; just the threshold is higher for some. Someone like Donald Trump may have a fear of success in the billions; a kid in elementary school may fear becoming class president. Overcoming the fear is part of the strength in you. And everyone has that strength.

In my opinion 95% of the people in the world are unwilling to try, for whatever reason they will give. Virtually all will not be willing to go and spend the 90 days and improve. Fear and ill-defined goals get in the way and excuses slip in. For those that do make it through the 90 days, they are that much further ahead of almost everyone else.

And only you can do it. No matter what I say, or what example I can give, YOU must make the changes and the decision. Think about it, you can learn a language in 90 days. It can’t be given to you. You can create a business that is yours. You can improve your life. But you have to do it.

I can’t really say more than that.

This is what I think, what do you think?

Labels: , , ,

Ask for ad rates

Monday, November 20, 2006

Why not a draft - 11.20.2006.1

Ok, just a few quick thoughts as getting everything set for the holiday purchases and work are keeping very busy.

I have to speak about Congressman Charles Rangel. He has renewed his efforts to pass a reform in the military re-instituting the draft. Of course virtually every Democrat has come out and stated they won’t support him in this decision. Representative Rangel has made his case based on the fact that there would be no war, in his opinion, if the sons and daughters of our nations’ politicians and the citizens they represent were potentially in harms way.

While this line of though has some merit, it is not my reason to agree. Yes, there is a fear among politicians to increase the number of white American sons and daughters that may be killed in fighting in defense of the nations’ policies. That seems factual considering the press to highlight the military as an option for the poor and minorities.

I find that serving in the military is an honor, and possibly an obligation. In times of peace I have no problem with a volunteer military. Those that do chose this option help to maintain the rights and lifestyle that is the daily life of every citizen. It has been the blood and sweat of all those that have and continue to serve that drives millions to seek out our nation as the best place in the world to live. This choice to offer their lives to support and enable citizens to make poor choices, or beneficial ones, is not something that can be bought and definitely not cheaply. On this point I disagree with Rep. Rangel, to a degree. Some do chose to join just for the future potential benefit in gaining an education, and many are minorities. But I feel more do so because they realize that for all the faults of the nation, this is the greatest nation in the world.

But I need to add that this is not a time of peace. Also the youth of this nation, whether African American, Latino/Hispanic, or any other minority, are in desperate need of self-discipline. In the world today we have the rampant use of drugs by kids of all ages, as young as 13 in some places. Kids today look up to and idolize violent entertainment figures, and the slang is filled with derogatory language that is misused to convey common pleasantries. For Black American kids there is a huge amount of dropouts (in males – 70%) and single parents. In the inner city many teens and young adults seek out lives in criminal pursuits – due to the money and public image portrayed in music videos and media. This says nothing of the failure in education across the nation. This screams a need to improve the self-discipline in the youth of the nation.

Given that, and the fact that I love this nation, I feel no reason why a draft would be a bad thing. To my knowledge every NATO nation has some form of draft. Like Greece, where everyone serves 2 years after high school. Not a big commitment, but enough to change a life. Is that to much to ask of a citizen. President John F. Kennedy once said “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” Perhaps we need to teach a bit more than ask for rote memorization and the question of a draft wouldn’t be fearful.

I’ll speak more on this shortly.

This is what I think, what do you think?

Labels: , , , ,

Ask for ad rates

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A couple of Holiday Shopping ideas - 11.16.2006.1

Great news for the holidays. I’m sure many of you have thought “that t-shirt would be a great gift” or “I know someone that would love that Inspire Journal.” But the holidays were far off and of course shipping was a problem. There is nothing worse than the added cost of shipping, especially when shopping online.

Well there is something that may help you out. For the holidays there is no shipping cost when you order $50 worth of consumer goods found at my online store. That’s right, you can ship within the United States for free standard shipping as long as the total bought is $50 or more (after discounts and/or coupons). Now that is a great deal.

So if you wanted to send out the A journal for her, inscribed with a poem on the cover that matches the feelings you put within. journal to your sister in Los Angeles, or the Not merely a jewlery box, but an expression of your feelings. jewelry box to you niece or mother in Chicago, or perhaps the Have fun look great. Model Amanda Chestnut.
Have fun look great. Model Amanda Chestnut. You’ll Do T-shirt for your girlfriend or wife in Miami – better yet sending all of the above – now is your chance.

And don’t forget the men in your life. Your dad or boyfriend who’s been hoping for the If it can look good on me, It will look great on you.
If it can look good on me, It will look great on you. I am The Myth sweatshirt. Your brother in college will stand out in a Character is Forever long-sleeve tshirt while in that dorm up north.

And what Black African American man would not want the Here is the I Rejoice poem framed and bold. A beautiful item for any African American male..I Rejoice framed poster and mug?

When you can take a look and get that holiday shopping done. I’m sure there is something for everyone you know. And remember there is something new almost every month in either the MISC., MEN’S or WOMEN’S sections, so check back often.

If you have any ideas or comments about the online store or the site please let me know on the survey found via the sitemap, or email me via the contact information.

Thank you for your support.

Labels: , , , , ,

Ask for ad rates

Friday, November 10, 2006

Marine Corps are 231 years old

Just a quick thought here. To all the Marines of the nation, past or present, I wish you a happy birthday. Today the Marine Corps is 231 years old. Throughout this time the Marines have safeguarded the nation.

Regardless of what any citizen may think, Marines have defended the ability of citizens to question and argue about the politics of the nation. It is the sweat and blood of all the armed forces that allows the freedoms all citizens enjoy.

So for all those that have given the ultimate sacrifice, or served with the knowledge that such a sacrifice may be needed, I say thank you. Like my father and myself, the fact that this is the greatest nation on the planet has not been unnoticed.

For all the problems that may exist here I am glad that this is the nation of freedom. I’m glad that there are still some of us that are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure the nation continues.

So to all the armed forces and the Marines directly, I wish you a great day. You are not forgotten and you are appreciated. Thank you for what you do. I could not have this blog, nor convey my thoughts without you.

Happy Birthday Marine Corps. Simply said “God, Country, Corps, Family.” Or in other words Semper Fi.

Labels: , ,

Ask for ad rates

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

What may the next 2 years look like? - 11.8.2006.1

So the Democrats have won the mid-term elections. Yea for them. Now what? I mean this seriously. What exactly is the Democratic platform on Iraq. No longer can the statement “we need a change” be the answer. The fact is we need a detailed description of what that change is. And it will be the Democratic Party that must be held accountable for what they define as needed change.

If taxes go back up in the next 2 years, don’t be surprised. If we exit Iraq and a massive civil war breaks out, leading to Iran and fanatical religious groups taking over sections of that country, don’t be surprised. If due to the above Iraq ceases to exist, oil prices rise dramatically and the Middle East becomes even more unstable, well you know.

I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be a re-evaluation in our current plans. I am saying that walking away with things unsettled because the political advantage was to do that, is not the best plan. I do believe that various fanatical groups find comfort in the current push by Democrats to hide at home [my opinion of the ‘plan’ implied by many of the winners of the elections]. It may be an over-simplification, or perhaps a misstatement of the goals; but based on the lack of an actual platform it’s hard not to make assumptions.

I also will ask something of both parties. What are you doing for Black Americans? In the last several Presidential Administrations I’ve seen nothing. I’ve heard about so called reforms in welfare, yet I haven’t seen a change in the families supported solely by the program. I’m not talking about those who need help temporarily, I mean the grandmother, mother, and kids all living on welfare for the last decade (or more). Fathers and sons are in this too there are just less fathers, living with their kids, for this to apply to. Where is the inner city improvements in education? I’m not talking about making a stupid list of things for kids to rote memorize, I mean actual improvements in class size, age of books, retaining creative programs [football is a gym activity not a creative program. I mean art, music and such] and reducing the number of kids dropping out.

Looking forward, what are we going to do about our soldiers that come home and become veterans? Assuming that within the next year our troops are home (most of them) they need to be re-integrated into society and retrained to join the work force. And where will we get the new military forces we will need if we are out of Iraq (maybe Afghanistan too) in the next year and the region isn’t stable? The people will be in turmoil and such instability fuels fanatics and those nations that hate us. And that means attacks on America.

I would also remind people that the markets may soon be hit. If the minimum wage is increased, lay-offs and slower hiring will ensue. Unemployment will go up. Why? It’s economics that should be apparent from high school classes; small businesses can’t afford the increase. Yes those living on minimum wages will have more money, there will just be fewer of them for a while. Net result in my opinion is that unemployment will increase, as will welfare, and the economy will slow as fewer people will be spending the extra cash. That is no gain for many, at least for 3 years after the increase. Oh, did I leave out that there will be fewer small businesses, some closed due to the increase and others unable to start because the increase creates a ceiling of minimum cost that they can’t cross.

In addition it seems that there is a desire to remove the tax cuts currently in place, so expect higher taxes. That doesn’t help spending and thus slow the economy and increase small business closings. And the healthcare move to lower drug costs. [I kind of agree with this, on generally needed life-saving drugs. Beyond that, if you want a cost cut on Viagra or an allergy medication you are out of your mind, in my opinion.] Of course that means pharmaceutical profits are down, and a slow down in new drug research to try to balance the lower profits so shareholders will be happy. So a major sector of the market will be hit.

Overall the economy may not improve, if all the initiatives wanted by Democrats are passed. And the nation will not be safer, I think, if we cut and run as many are hinting at. Hinting because they want to look strong on security, yet many wouldn’t stand up and say any plan before the elections. I see nothing that will keep African American kids in school, or give them a job if they leave. I see no plan that will remove the ease of letting the Democrats take care of Black Americans, with welfare and such programs, in the potentially difficult time ahead.

So the Democratic Party won the House, and may hold sway in the Senate. Yea for them.

This is what I think, what do you think?

Labels: , , ,

Ask for ad rates

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Did you think of this before you voted? - 11.7.2006.1

So it’s election day. Politicians are running amuck trying to convince people how wonderful they are, or how deeply they believe in whatever gets the voters out and for them. I hope everyone has considered what the candidates really are standing for before they made their vote.

Here is an example. There has been a lot of legislation out lately about trans-fats and concern over energy drinks. Trans-fats are supposed to be so terrible that they cannot be used in restaurants in New York City. Of course there is no legislation preventing trans-fats from being made or sold. So politicians have put a lot of time into deciding what food you should eat. [Remarkably I didn’t notice any comment from Senator Hilary Clinton. This is rare for her considering it was in the news and dealing with NYC. Probably some pollster let her know that it would make her look like she was a Senator for New York and could separate her from voters in the mid-west.] I expect to hear about how the 500 energy drinks will be limited soon as well. The reason being that some choose to use them like a drug, trying to get a buzz. The reward for such actions are heart-palpitations or caffeine poisoning. I don’t doubt this will be another hot topic that will get resolved near term. Not like there was much else for local, state or federal government to do.

Some might say why didn’t I discuss any of this before the election. I simply have to mention this: Election year stories for 2006,Commenting on Sen. Hillary Clinton's Dr. Martin Luther King Day speech, Senators Obama, Clinton and McCain, War on terror poll - Part 1, Which woman for president?, Immigration and student aid for college.

And yes I know the archives are a bit off. I’m working on getting it fixed. Lots to do, little time. Bear with me please.

Labels: , , ,

Ask for ad rates

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Barbershop thoughts on politics and the world - 11.1.2006.3

Continued from Barbershop thoughts ...

Other than vague recollections of soundbites from television news broadcasts they had no knowledge on any of the subjects. They had not considered the ramifications of any of these events, nor any of the causes. They had not considered how often Hilary Clinton pops up in the national media on a popular subject, but makes no headway on those items or how far she has progressed on her healthcare initiatives she has often campaigned on. They were unaware that the Korean War ended in a ceasefire or that for 50 years North Korea has prepared to finish a war with the United States. They did not realize that North Korea is believed to export weapons to anyone who can pay for it, or that the nation is struggling to feed its people as well as provide basic resources.

Even in regard to the Duke rape case they were unaware of the full comments made by the second stripper. This was not an isolated thing. None of the men in the barbershop appeared to be aware of these facts, just the curiosity of the youngest men allowed them to ask questions where the others seemed to listen but refrained from asking. So why did a group of African American men that were under 30 have none that were aware of current facts, nor familiar with any background either.

I’m troubled by this lack of knowledge. The ramifications in terms of politics is horrendous. For all those that say the system is horrible which some in theis group inferred I have to say, how can you complain if you don’t even understand what is going on? How can the system improve if you aren’t involved?

I also have to ask what is going on with education. How can these men not be aware of recent history of this nation? The Korean War was not that long ago. Many veterans of this war are still living today. The repercussions of this war still resonate today.

The level of misconceptions that were accepted as fact was huge as well. Things like America is out of oil, that Hilary Clinton has voted consistently and advancing her campaign issues, that rich kids don’t join the military, that the victim in the Duke case had nothing more to say than a single soundbite (mis)quoted on the news and more.

Does this disturb anyone besides me? The youth of America, and in particular Black America, have no idea what is going on nor what has happened in the past. That doesn’t mean these men are unintelligent, but it does mean that they are ill-prepared to deal with the world. In 20 years they will have to help guide the nation and their own children, where might they lead them? How long will it take them to correct these false concepts, if ever? What prevents abuses in the system that will deter their advancement and that of their children?

Binghamton may be a small town (or city as those from this area call it) but it is also a college town. There are 2 colleges and a community college found here. Most of the men appeared to have jobs (half were working in the shop, most of the others dress seemed like office attire except the 2 youngest which were in thuggish attire – it was lunchtime). Given this what conclusion is there to be made? Do you think this represents the nation? If so do you feel the same discomfort I do?

This is what I think, what do you think?

Labels: , , ,

Ask for ad rates

Barbershop thoughts - 11.1.2006.2

Continued from Senator John Kerry 'jokes' about the military - 11.1.2006.1 ...

Considering how I feel on this matter I asked several people their thoughts. An older taxi driver thought Sen. Kerry should learn to ‘shut up if he can’t figure out what to say’ especially since there isn’t a Presidential race for another 2 years. Not too far from what many election-motivated politicians are saying. But as I received a haircut I saw a major revelation.

The barbershop is African American owned and run. Everyone in the shop was younger than myself, beyond that I can’t say more as I don’t know. When I brought up this subject, not one person out of the 9 there knew anything about the issue. I found this surprising as I do know the barbershop has a cable fed television. When I mentioned the comments, the response from President Bush, and the follow-up by Senator Kerry I asked what were their thoughts.

Virtually no one had a thought. One man did say that he though that Kerry was wrong, but he disagreed with President Bush. When he was asked about why he felt like that he said he wasn’t sure. So I pressed on. I asked if there was a draft would he serve, his reply was I wouldn’t have a choice. I corrected that he could refuse or run away like some did during Viet Nam. Given that option he thought about it and said yes he would. 2 other younger men (I’m guessing 18 -23ish in age) said no. Their reason to not do it was that they disagreed with President Bush. These young men felt that the war was about oil and that President Bush failed to protect the nation, as opposed to President Clinton. Then they asked me if I thought Senator Clinton could win an election for President.

I mentioned a couple of choice comments on her, and I mention that while we were not attacked in America there were many things happening during the Clinton Administration. This was confirmed by another man.

In an effort to be more consice I’ll summarize the rest of the conversation that basically only dealt with the two 20-somethings. We discussed Senator Clinton (and her voting record as well as announcements on popular subjects), North Korea and its nuclear weapons, the future oil needs of America (and the untapped reserves in Alaska) and the world, the media’s manner in providing information, and the full comments of the 2nd stripper in the Duke rape case (some of my comments can be seen at Duke allegations part 1). In each case and on every subject these men had no idea about the background of the subject.

To be concluded in Barbershop thoughts part 2 ...

Labels: , , ,

Ask for ad rates

Senator John Kerry 'jokes' about the military - 11.1.2006.1

I had quite the experience today. The initial action that started of the chain reaction was the news on Senator John Kerry. As long-time readers may guess, I have serious and massive reservations on many Democrats and no love for any politician that degrades the men and women in the Armed services of this nation. Suffice to say I have anger with the comments made by Sen. Kerry.In essences for those that have not heard this yet Sen. Kerry basically said, ‘If you get a good education, study hard, you will do well. If you don’t you will go to Iraq.’

Like many, in service and not, I find those words insulting. It infers that those in the military today are less than intelligent. Perhaps Senator Kerry should have had someone do the research because the facts are that the Armed Services are better educated than the general American public of the same age group. As reported by Fox News and other sources 99.3% of the U.S. forces have a high school diploma or the equivalent, as opposed to the 88% in the general U.S. population age 18-35. In addition 99% of the military officers have had at least some college education, while 19% of the Air Force, 12% of the Army, 6% of the Navy and 3.7% of the Marine forces have at least some college education. This compares to the 56% of 18 – 35 year olds in the general populace. I hardly call that a force of idiots.

In the defense of Senator Kerry, he does claim that his comments were a failed attempt at a joke aimed at the President. I have seen the video footage of his entire commentary, and in my opinion neither his words nor his tone/phrasing gave any impression of a joke. On top of this, Senator Kerry refuses to provide the written remarks he says he misread (which would show it was intended to be a joke) and has refused – publicly – to apologize for his statements. His response to criticism was to say that the President should apologize for having the troops in Iraq.

I do not agree with why the troops were sent to Iraq. I find fault with the manner in which the war is being handled. Yet I would never assume that those who have volunteered to join the military were ignorant. Those overseas in this war made a choice to defend the views and values of this nation, in effect supporting the causes for this action. That takes thought and critical thinking. To confer otherwise is to belittle the sacrifices these men and women have offered to do for those of us sitting comfortably at home. It is this sacrifice, made by all who have served their country, that allows Americans to complain about what the government is doing and the policies of the nation.

And I am tired by the excuse used by many, especially Democrats in office, that they support the troops but not the war and its cause. Those that have, and continue, to volunteer for military service have done so knowing what is the potential cost. In doing so I believe they are standing by the war and the cause, expanding our form of democratic government. So in supporting the troops one is obligated to support the war and its causes. That does not mean agreeing with the current strategy blindly. It does not mean failing to question ways to improve the situation or find a positive resolution. But hiding your head in the sand when things are not going was well as hoped is both useless and detrimental.

Continued in the post Barbershop thoughts...

Labels: , , ,

Ask for ad rates
Ask for ad rates