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Thursday, October 1, 2009

As a Mom I Understand Things Congress and Others Seem to Have Forgotten

by Daniella Nicole

As a mom, I understand the importance of thinking through actions and understanding the laws of consequences. I understand the importance of values such as honesty, integrity and personal responsibility. These are the concepts I teach my child and practice myself, as a mom and an example to my child. I expect no less from our elected public servants.

As a single mom and sole bread-winner, I understand the importance of balancing budgets, not overspending and making careful choices about time, prioritization and money. I teach these concepts to my child and expect our public officials to adhere to these same concepts when dealing with our time, our issues and our money.

As a mommy-preneur and sole proprietor, I understand the business world, the importance of reading documents before signing them and the importance of adhering to the law. I understand the difficult choices that sometimes must be made and the fact that you cannot please everyone. I understand the importance of communication with those I work for and the importance of doing my homework so I can give the best of myself and my work to those I work for. I also understand that even when it isn't popular, it is still important to do what is right and to stand up against what is wrong. Torpedos be danged! I expect the same of those elected to represent we, the people.

As a mom, I understand these are all very basic principles that are at the core of success in any personal or professional venture. They should be at the heart of all our elected officials do in their capacity as our employees. It is time they remember these values and principles as well as what their role really is - as our employees - not our masters.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering 9/11 – Why its Important

Image from FEMA - Public Doman. Wikimedia Commons.

I will never forget the events of 9/11 – nor where I was and how I felt that day and in all the days that followed. Few things have caused me to cry so long and so hard as I did then.

Today, I have been reflecting and remembering. For me, its about so much more than us being attacked. Please understand – us being attacked is horrible and I in no way mean to minimize it. It IS a big deal that we were attacked.

There are also other aspects of what happened that should be considered.

In the months leading up to the attack, we were being attacked around the world. Do you remember the U.S.S. Cole incident? There were others, too. Americans were being targeted. Since 9/11 things have changed a great deal and the terrorists and the war they launched against us were taken off our soil.

When the World Trade Center towers were hit, it was not just Americans who died. In the towers and on the planes were people from many other countries, too. The World Trade Center was just that – a place of business for people all around the world. When the towers were chosen as targets, war was declared on the world.

News reports that day and in the days following as officials struggled to find out who was behind the attacks showed people in some countries in mourning – sending prayers for those they lost and for us, or just shedding tears and sending prayers for the losses we experienced, guiltily feeling grateful that their country did not experience losses, too.

Other clips showed people in other countries taking to the streets, celebrating and cheering. It wasn’t just the ‘radical Muslim al-Qaeda members’ who wanted us dead. There are other groups, people and countries around the world who share the sentiment.

We need to remember this – not to stir up anger and hate, but so that we can be aware and prepared. If we know who ‘the enemy’ is it’s a lot easier to know how to protect ourselves and defeat them in their efforts against us.

The people who died that day and in the days following due to the attacks are numerous. The pain still felt to this day by those left behind is immeasurable. We cannot change what happened, but we can stand strong and show those who wish us harm that they have failed. We can honor the memories of those we lost best by making their death more than a senseless tragedy. Let us use it to be better, kinder, more united and stronger.

Let us honor them by rebuilding the towers – bigger, better and stronger.
Let us honor them by remembering the days following 9/11 and reclaiming those feelings of love, kindness, compassion and togetherness we had. We are Americans, first and foremost. United we stand – divided we fall.
Let us never forget this day; using every anniversary as a renewal to our commitment to be united and to never let ‘our enemies’ (foreign or domestic) destroy us.

Let us keep the focus on the day as it should be and not allow the impact of 9/11 be minimized by calling it “A day of service”. We already are highly charitable and service-minded as a people. A day of service can be proclaimed any day – do not dishonor those who died or give a win to those who attacked by repackaging this day and ignoring the history of this country.

Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Let us not condemn ourselves by forgetting, whitewashing or repackaging this day and the important lessons we have learned. Those lessons and how we became united, strengthened and inspired is why remembering this day is important.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Try Again, Mister President, Try Again

Not only did President Barack Obama use his time at the AFL-CIO to push his healthcare agenda on Labor Day, rather than celebrate the day/event, but he stood in front of the massive crowd (10,000 tickets were distributed for this) and told bold-faced lies. Get the full video and text HERE.
"But I've got a question for them: What's your answer? What's your solution? The truth is, they don't have one. It's do nothing."
The Republicans and some Democrats have been presenting other ideas for the healthcare bill. Additionally, “We, the People” have been voicing our concerns with solutions and answers in person at town hall meetings and at the offices of our elected officials; in protests; and in letters, email and faxes. That, Mister President, is ‘the truth’. Solutions and answers are being presented, you just aren’t listening. The truth is not that no one else has an answer, its that you are not interested in hearing any alternatives. Its your way or no way.

Apparently, we need to remind you, Mister President, that this is the United States of America and you are the elected leader of a constitutional republic. You are not the king, emperor or dictator. It is not a position that allows or entitles you to rule the country by whatever whims you decree.
“I want a health insurance system that works as well for the American people as it does for the insurance industry. They should be free to make a profit. But they also have to be fair. They also have to be accountable."
Your plan does not accomplish this, but suggested changes from others do. If you have read your own bill and know what is says, you know this. If you have not read the bill, you have no business pushing it.
“That's the lesson of this day-that some things are always worth fighting for. Equal pay. Fair wages. Dignity in the workplace. Justice on the job. An economy that works for everyone, because in America there are no second-class citizens. An economy where you can make a living and care for your families. Where you leave your kids something better.

Where we live up to our fundamental ideals-those words put on paper some 200 years ago. That we are all created equal; that we all deserve a chance to pursue our happiness and achieve our goals.
That is the calling to which we are summoned this Labor Day. That is the cause of my presidency. And that is the commitment we must fulfill to preserve the American Dream for all of America's working families.”
That would mean upholding the Constitution and supporting capitalism in this country – two things you have spoken against. A capitalist system works for everyone in that everyone who works can benefit. Those who only want a hand-out do not. If your idea of the American dream is a system that rewards laziness, punishes ambition and hard work, and collapses the entire economic system with entitlements, your idea is flawed in addition to not being in line with the Constitution.

Right now, you are ensuring that what we are leaving our children is not ‘something better’ but debt that even their children cannot pay off. Try again, Mister President. Try again.

Friday, September 4, 2009

7 Easy Steps to Government-Subsidized Healthcare I Strongly Support

Did you hear about this? On Facebook, Myspace? Obama’s got your e-mail

My initial reaction was outrage for the American Public – IF this is true. Then, a light bulb clicked on in my head. I checked my cookies and sure enough, there were two government cookies on my computer – one from the Department of Education site. I had gone there to review the lesson plans being given to teachers and administrators for the upcoming presidential address to schoolchildren (Sept 8th).

I am a single working mother. I am also living in a capitalistic society and am a total opportunist when it comes to effective legit ways to get some more revenue flow into the family coffers.

Since I am an outspoken conservative American who publicly posts disagreements with the government and the POTUS, I am likely already on some list. If they were into tracking people, well, heck, I could be one of them.

If that tracking is turning into clicks on my websites and blogs, well, baby, I am about to get free healthcare forever!

First: totally monetize, to the hilt, all my blogs and websites. Create more, if need be.
Second: make sure to post stuff with certain keywords to really get their attention
Third: throw in some stuff just to entertain them so they will sneak back for a good laugh
Fourth: subscribe to all their email lists and visit all their sites every day
Fifth: make sure to visit the NRA site (I am a member, by the way, Mr Spy), and other harmless but likely ‘flagged’ sites.
Sixth: watch the dough roll in from all their clicking
Seventh: have all my family’s medical costs covered by the income I am generating from their paranoid spying

This is one government-subsidized healthcare plan I can totally get behind, baby! ;-p

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Liberals are Not the Devil and Conservatives are Not the Enemy

Though we may have different views about how to do certain things and we may have different views about certain issues, there are some things that most liberals and conservatives have in common:

We recognize there are problems with our government and want to see them fixed
We love our country
We want to see those less fortunate than ourselves helped
We care about international matters and want to help
We want all Americans to have the opportunity to be successful!
We want our children to be well-educated
We want all Americans to be able to afford/receive quality healthcare
It hurts us to be the target of hate, name-calling and character assassinations
We are tired of spin, agendas, lies and hate
We want to be judged by our character – not our religion (or lack thereof), sexual preference, gender, age, politics, race, etc.

If we can focus on our similarities and not let the hate-mongers drive us apart, we can accomplish a lot together. We don’t have to see eye-to-eye or agree on everything in order to solve problems, engage in civil dialogue or help others. Our differences are what make us unique and interesting. Learning to have great working relationships with those with whom we differ is just part of life.

Its time to ‘get over’ our differences and start MAKING a difference - together.

Being a Hot-Blooded Greek Pays Off!

I was in the hospital with my son and the surgeon was commenting on how my son’s blood pressure was high. Not only does it shoot up when he goes to the doctor, but the prospect of impending surgery could not have been helping it any!

The doctor and I were discussing the things that can cause elevated blood pressure and he noted that genetics and ethnicity can play a role in it. I told him we were of Mediterranean descent, but I had never heard of high blood pressure being one of the things linked with that. I asked him if our Greek heritage was a factor. A second surgeon had walked in as we were having the conversation, and quickly chimed in with something to the effect that Greeks are not known for keeping things in – their passionate, expressive nature probably does wonders for managing stress . . .and blood pressure.

I had to laugh. Then I laughed harder.

Now no one can ever tell me that my feisty, outspoken, passionate nature is a negative – it keeps my blood pressure low! Lol

This is a neener-neener to my son, as well. He harasses and teases me all the time about this quality of mine. HA! Looks like he will need to be more like dear old mom from now on! ;-p

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Line between Ugly Truth and Mean-Spiritedness

by Daniella Nicole

Those who cherish truth understand that it is not always pretty. As humans, we are prone to do things that are not kind, compassionate or honest, at times. When others refer to these things, they are speaking the truth about us – as ugly as it may be. Part of being an honest person entails taking responsibility for those ugly truths that apply to who we are, past or present.

However, there is a distinct difference between an ugly truth and downright mean-spiritedness. Truth is based in fact. Mean-spiritedness can contain elements of truth in it, but it is always accompanied by something more. There is always a seed of contentiousness mixed in. When labeling, name-calling, humiliation, hate, jealousy, pettiness, hostility or any other type of negativity are present, the line has been crossed from presenting an ugly truth to displaying sheer mean-spiritedness.

There can be great purpose behind presenting ugly truths. There is none, other than being ugly, in being mean-spirited. Ugly truths say something about the person to whom they refer. Mean-spiritedness only speaks about the person being so. If you truly feel it is relevant to share an ugly truth about someone, the focus should logically be on truth and fact – not opinion, not spin and not humiliation. If you find yourself launching into character assassination, perhaps the character you should be reviewing is your own.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The White House is Requesting YOUR VIDEOS About HealthCare Reform

I am subscribed to the White House email list. I did so after the inauguration because I like to keep up on the latest news coming out and I like to get it directly from the horse's mouth, so to speak. Getting news from news sources is great, but too often they spin or leave out stuff. I'll take my facts straight up, thanks!

Here is a copy of the latest emailing from the White House. What are YOUR thoughts?
"The White House, Washington

Dear Friend,

Our latest Reality Check video features Vice President Joe Biden addressing the biggest whopper of all: that our health insurance system works just fine and Americans don’t care about reform. Nothing could be further from the truth.

So we’re trying something new. You can help the Vice President debunk this myth by uploading your own video on why reform matters to you. This is an opportunity for Americans of all backgrounds and situations to make the case for reform in your own words.

Watch the Vice President’s video and then respond with your own:

A Reality Check from the Vice President

Need some help? We also have a new online quiz to help set the record straight about health insurance reform. Find out what’s in reform for somebody like you by answering a few questions.

What does reform mean if you already have insurance? What if you don’t? What does it mean if you’re young? If you’re a senior? If you have children?

Take the quiz and then share it — simple tools like this are a great way to cut through the noise and get the facts about reform:

Thank you,

Nancy-Ann DeParle
Director, White House Office of Health Reform

P.S. No matter your age, where you work, whether you have insurance or not, you’ll be surprised at how much you’ll get out of health insurance reform. But don’t just take my word for it — take the quiz:"

Personally, I have not heard anyone say our current system is just fine. What I have heard loud and clear is that we do need change, just not the change that is being rammed down our throats. The current bill will NOT help us - it WILL make things worse. I wonder if they would post/allow such videos?

What are your thoughts? What are the problems YOU personally experience with our current healthcare system and what things do you think will work . . .and fail . . .and why? Please comment - and if you send in a video to the White House, please let me know. I'd happily post it here, too! I'd love to hear various points of view, so please feel free to comment or submit a video even if you think you and I may disagree. As long as it isn't personal attacks and spewing venom, I'll post it. The more facts (with sources); the stronger your case (just FYI).

UPDATE: Here is a link to the pdf file of the health care bill, so you can read it for yourself. It is over 1000 pages long. Please don't feel too 'intimidated' to read it. It takes some 'digesting' so you can 'get' exactly what it means in application to you and me, but it can be done. Just take one bite-sized piece at a time. Start with sections that are of most interest to you and go from there.

Here are the sections I am reviewing first (due to a head's up about certain issues):
Pg 30 Sec 123 Gov't committee determines benefits/treatments
Pg 42 HC Commissioner chooses your benefits for you
Pg 50 Sec 152 Illegals get free care
Pg 170 lines 1-3 Illegals don't pay taxes, citizens do
Pg 241 Lines 6-8 All doctors, regardless of specialty, get paid same pre-set rates
Pg 354 Sec 1177 Gov't restriction on enrollment of special needs people/children (stop assistance to special needs kids?)
Pg 425 lines 17-19 Gov't controls living wills - people can't determine own living wills
Pg 425 Lines 4-12 This is the end of life counseling stuff

Page 50-51 also contained language that stated no one will be discriminated against based on age, health, etc unless they can be (as stated elsewhere in the bill - that they can be!).

PLEASE read this and voice your thoughts and concerns, whatever they may be. Pick one issue or address the whole bill - but please get involved. This will affect YOU and YOUR FAMILY! Don't think you can undo it later if it passes - once the government gets the power they NEVER give it up - think "Social Security" (supposed to be a temporary fix).

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tossing Out Desensitization

by Daniella Nicole

Over the course of my life, I have often heard talk of people becoming ‘desensitized’ to the evils in the world. It is in this process of becoming desensitized that the horrors increase. This is due to no one ‘batting an eyelash’ at them any longer, assuming they are commonplace, because, well, the media says so. It is in this process that those who would push the boundaries of common decency continually cross the accepted lines, telling us its ok because its their right to do so and we can just not look or buy.

Perhaps it is the right of those who prefer the evils of the world to those things of value to pursue their own downward path, but it is not their right to inflict it upon others. There are those who cry foul when any effort is made to stem the tide of indecency into society, apparently believing they, and only they, have any rights to speech, belief or action.

Somewhere along the way, it became acceptable in society to launch personal attacks against those with whom we disagree – even justifying it as ‘truth’ and ‘free speech’. It is hard to support any move toward societal decency or change when such efforts are also laden with those things that are in direct conflict with the goal. It is so rampant that people are becoming desensitized to it, accepting it and even jumping onto the dogpile of attacks.

We have the right to our own thoughts, feelings, perspectives and beliefs. We do not have the right to verbally or physically assault others. We have the right to speak freely and passionately about issues – whether based in fact or opinion. We do not have the right to defame others.

You lose all ground in any debate of any issue when you season it with hate, name-calling and judgments. The wise stick to facts and use critical thinking to make their point.

Morally speaking, none of us is without sin and none of us is wholly good. We all have faults, sins and flaws that lessen the greatness of who we are. To label someone as ‘evil’, ‘a sinner’, or some other name associated with wickedness is the epitome of hypocrisy. Who are we to shout about the mote in another’s eye when we have a beam in our own?

Let us focus on acts, not people. Let us focus on facts, not opinion. Let us return to a time of civil discourse when people took the high road and refused to be sucked into less than civil behavior. Let us toss out desensitization and stand up for those things that are decent and good . . .and kind. One person can make a difference and one courageous person can inspire a multitude.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

God, Country, and the Inauguration

Photo Courtesy Senator Barack Obama Press Kit

I do not think it will surprise many for me to say I am not a fan of President–elect Barack Hussein Obama. That being said, I love this country. I am a patriot through-and-through. I love that we are a melting pot country and I love our constitution. Did you know that our Declaration of Independence is a model for other countries that seek freedoms and democracy?

As a patriot, I can say that regardless of our initial impression of the man, I cannot think of a single president in history who has been perfect. I cannot name one who has not made a decision that turned out badly (despite his best efforts) or who has not at some point in his term of office acted on some human frailty – the way all of us do in our daily lives. By that same token, I cannot think of a single president who has not also shown, at some point, tremendous wisdom, courage, or leadership for this country. Every incoming president is bound not only to disappoint, but also to inspire.

Soon Barack Hussein Obama will be our 44th President. Those who wish ill upon him are unthinkingly wishing ill upon us all. His blunders will affect this country in ways that could do serious damage. His triumphs will change lives for the better, possibly in profound ways.

In loving this country and her people, I pray for Barack Hussein Obama. I pray he will be blessed with the wisdom to clearly see what is best for the people of this country as a whole, and with the courage and strength to act on that wisdom even when it is difficult or unpopular.

I pray for his family. I pray they will be able to endure the sacrifice and challenges that come with being the family of the President of the United States of America. We do not need family challenges or stressors to be adding more pressure and workload upon our president. We need him to be at his best and able to focus, with a clear mind and heart, upon the needs of this country. We also need him to be able to be there for his family and to have that source of comfort and peace in his life. Those moments will help him to better endure all he must as our president.

I will be watching the inauguration as he is sworn into office. I care not for the Hollywood elite and the hoopla, but I am very much interested in the swearing in ceremony of our new president. Every swearing in ceremony is an historic event, and while some cling to that label because he is black, I use it because it is the hallmark of the democracy in this country that I so treasure. Each swearing in ceremony means ‘we the people’ have a voice and a choice in our own leadership and government. I hope to never take that for granted.

As an American, you can protest and boycott the inauguration or you can attend and cheer with tear-filled eyes. You can watch in the hopes he will commit a major blunder, or you can watch for the history-making aspect. You can do something that has nothing to do with the inauguration, or you can even change the channel and watch something else. Those, too, are other great parts of this country – you have the freedom to choose how to respond to this event, and it won’t be broadcast on every channel.

God Bless America!

PS. Those who wish to watch do not need a television to do so. Hulu is one of multiple online sites that will be broadcasting the event live.

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Friday, January 2, 2009

New Study Claims Thinking Makes You Fat – Studies on Obesity Doom All

Silhouettes representing healthy, overweight, ...Image via WikipediaI read this report about a study claiming that thinking hard makes you fat. It reminded me of other studies and reports over the years I have read that claimed this, that, or the other make people fat. In each case, it was something weird like this study about thinking.

Drinking Water Makes You Fat
Insomnia Makes You Fat
Diet Sodas Make You Fat
Sugar Substitutes Make You Fat
Holiday ‘Spirits” Make You Fat
Healthy Food Makes You Fat
Shampoo Makes You Fat

In the end, it appears that pretty much everyone is doomed to be fat as most people have at least one of those fat-makers in their lifestyle. These studies could lead one to develop a new life strategy:

“Eat, Drink and Be Merry – for Tomorrow You May Be Fat!”


Don’t Think Too Hard – You Might Get Fat
FoxNews. Wednesday, December 31, 2008

How drinking too much water can make you fat. 2008.

Does the Lack Of Sleep Make You Fat?
Science Daily. December 13, 2004

Can Diet Soda Make You Gain Weight?

James M Klatell. CBS News. January 4, 2007.

Can Sugar Substitutes Make You Fat?
Alice Parker. Time Magazine. Sunday, February 10, 2008.

Drinkers Beware – Holiday ‘Spirits’ May Make You Fat
FoxNews – Health Blog. Dr Marc Siegel. December 17, 2008 10:19 a.m.

Sneaky Foods That Can Make You Fat. Valerie Banner.
Quality Health News. 2007.

Can the Methyl Paraben in Your Shampoo Make You Fat?
Terressentials. 2009

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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Science Proves that Family Get-Togethers Warp Your Brain

This new study is one to consider the next time you feel stressed rather than refreshed by time with your family. Now, I thought brain-warping only applied to those of us with dysfunctional families. Who knew it applied to y’all, too? *laugh*

Home for the Holidays
FoxNews – RedEye
December 31, 2008

If the video does not display, please try this link

So, speaking of time with family, does time with your family stress you out? If so, is it only certain members or is it being in a big crowd of family that does you in?

And the big question, if your family stresses you out, what have you done to change it or what do you do to handle it?

My method for handling it is that I am an equal-opportunity eliminator. I eliminate from my life all sources of serious stress.

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