Archive for March, 2009

Sweet Springtime

‘Spring is nature’s way of saying  “Let’s party!” ‘ — Robin Williams

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Wishing you the most wonderful party ever …..
And all the joy your heart can hold !!  🙂

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I woke this morning to the most awesome sound ….. birds singing their beautiful melodies at the dawn of day, so happy and carefree.  Do they know something we don’t?  Yes, the gray winter is finally gone and sweet springtime is here …..

The days will warm, and the sun will show her face more often, and when you look around you, you see trees and flowers rejuvenating in colorful dress, and yesterday I heard a sound I had almost forgotten ….. a lawnmower  :-).

Spring (and love) is in the air ….. It will fill your day with happy feelings and put a smile on your face ….. Let it be a renewal, or even a new beginning for better things to come …..  :-).

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SPRING,  THE  SWEET  SPRING          by Thomas Nashe  (1600)

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Spring, the sweet spring, is the year’s pleasant king,
Then blooms each thing, then maids dance in a ring,
Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds do sing,
Cuckoo,  jug, jug,  pu-we,  to-witta-woo!

The palm and May make country houses gay,
Lambs frisk and play, the shepherds pipe all day,
And we hear aye birds tune this merry lay,
Cuckoo,  jug, jug,  pu-we,  to-witta-woo!

The fields breathe sweet, the daisies kiss our feet,
Young lovers meet, old wives a-sunning sit
In every street,  these tunes our ears do greet,
Cuckoo,  jug,  jug,  pu-we,  to-witta-woo!
Spring, the sweet spring!

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“A Time For Global Action” by President Barack Obama

More than 30 papers around the world ran an op-ed today by President Obama arguing for “the urgent need for global economic cooperation.”

According to the White House, the op-ed ran in the following papers:

1. Al Watan (Gulf States)
2. Arab Times (Gulf States)
3. Asharq Al Awsat (Arab-wide paper in Arabic)
4. The Australian (Australia)
5. Baltimore Sun (United States)
6. Bangkok Post (Thailand)
7. Chicago Tribune (United States)
8. Clarin (Argentina)
9. Corriere della Sera (Italy)
10. Die Welt (Germany)
11. El Pais (Madrid)
12. El Mercurio (Chile)
13. Eleftyropiea (Greece)
14. Estado de Sao Paulo (Brazil)
15. Gulf News (Gulf States)
16. The Hindustan Times/ The Hindu (India)
17. International Herald Tribune (London)
18. Kristeligt Dagblad (Denmark)
19. Le Monde (Paris)
20. Lidove Noviny (Czech)
21. Los Angeles Times (United States)
22. The News (Pakistan)
23. NRC Handelsblad (Netherlands)
24. Saudi Gazette (Saudi Arabia)
25. South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)
26. Straits Times (Singapore)
27. Sunday Times (South Africa)
28. Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden)
29. Syndey Morning Herald (Australia)
30. WProst (Poland)
31. Yomiuri Shimbun (Japan)

Here’s the full text of the piece:

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A time for global action
By Barack Obama
Monday, March 23, 2009

WASHINGTON: We are living through a time of global economic challenges that cannot be met by half measures or the isolated efforts of any nation. Now, the leaders of the Group of 20 have a responsibility to take bold, comprehensive and coordinated action that not only jump-starts recovery, but also launches a new era of economic engagement to prevent a crisis like this from ever happening again.

No one can deny the urgency of action. A crisis in credit and confidence has swept across borders, with consequences for every corner of the world. For the first time in a generation, the global economy is contracting and trade is shrinking.

Trillions of dollars have been lost, banks have stopped lending, and tens of millions will lose their jobs across the globe. The prosperity of every nation has been endangered, along with the stability of governments and the survival of people in the most vulnerable parts of the world.

Once and for all, we have learned that the success of the American economy is inextricably linked to the global economy. There is no line between action that restores growth within our borders and action that supports it beyond.

If people in other countries cannot spend, markets dry up — already we’ve seen the biggest drop in American exports in nearly four decades, which has led directly to American job losses. And if we continue to let financial institutions around the world act recklessly and irresponsibly, we will remain trapped in a cycle of bubble and bust. That is why the upcoming London Summit is directly relevant to our recovery at home.

My message is clear: The United States is ready to lead, and we call upon our partners to join us with a sense of urgency and common purpose. Much good work has been done, but much more remains.

Our leadership is grounded in a simple premise: We will act boldly to lift the American economy out of crisis and reform our regulatory structure, and these actions will be strengthened by complementary action abroad. Through our example, the United States can promote a global recovery and build confidence around the world; and if the London Summit helps galvanize collective action, we can forge a secure recovery, and future crises can be averted.

Our efforts must begin with swift action to stimulate growth. Already, the United States has passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — the most dramatic effort to jump-start job creation and lay a foundation for growth in a generation.

Other members of the G-20 have pursued fiscal stimulus as well, and these efforts should be robust and sustained until demand is restored. As we go forward, we should embrace a collective commitment to encourage open trade and investment, while resisting the protectionism that would deepen this crisis.

Second, we must restore the credit that businesses and consumers depend upon. At home, we are working aggressively to stabilize our financial system. This includes an honest assessment of the balance sheets of our major banks, and will lead directly to lending that can help Americans purchase goods, stay in their homes and grow their businesses.

This must continue to be amplified by the actions of our G-20 partners. Together, we can embrace a common framework that insists upon transparency, accountability and a focus on restoring the flow of credit that is the lifeblood of a growing global economy. And the G-20, together with multilateral institutions, can provide trade finance to help lift up exports and create jobs.

Third, we have an economic, security and moral obligation to extend a hand to countries and people who face the greatest risk. If we turn our backs on them, the suffering caused by this crisis will be enlarged, and our own recovery will be delayed because markets for our goods will shrink further and more American jobs will be lost.

The G-20 should quickly deploy resources to stabilize emerging markets, substantially boost the emergency capacity of the International Monetary Fund and help regional development banks accelerate lending. Meanwhile, America will support new and meaningful investments in food security that can help the poorest weather the difficult days that will come.

While these actions can help get us out of crisis, we cannot settle for a return to the status quo. We must put an end to the reckless speculation and spending beyond our means; to the bad credit, over-leveraged banks and absence of oversight that condemns us to bubbles that inevitably bust.

Only coordinated international action can prevent the irresponsible risk-taking that caused this crisis. That is why I am committed to seizing this opportunity to advance comprehensive reforms of our regulatory and supervisory framework.

All of our financial institutions — on Wall Street and around the globe — need strong oversight and common sense rules of the road. All markets should have standards for stability and a mechanism for disclosure. A strong framework of capital requirements should protect against future crises. We must crack down on offshore tax havens and money laundering.

Rigorous transparency and accountability must check abuse, and the days of out-of-control compensation must end. Instead of patchwork efforts that enable a race to the bottom, we must provide the clear incentives for good behavior that foster a race to the top.

I know that America bears our share of responsibility for the mess that we all face. But I also know that we need not choose between a chaotic and unforgiving capitalism and an oppressive government-run economy. That is a false choice that will not serve our people or any people.

This G-20 meeting provides a forum for a new kind of global economic cooperation. Now is the time to work together to restore the sustained growth that can only come from open and stable markets that harness innovation, support entrepreneurship and advance opportunity.

The nations of the world have a stake in one another. The United States is ready to join a global effort on behalf of new jobs and sustainable growth. Together, we can learn the lessons of this crisis, and forge a prosperity that is enduring and secure for the 21st century.

Barack Obama is president of the United States. A Global Viewpoint article distributed by Tribune Media Services.

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Jon Stewart To CNBC: STOP THE BS !!!

‘There’s an old saying in Tennessee–I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee–that says, fool me once, shame on–shame on you.  Fool me–you can’t get fooled again.’ — George Bush, Sept. 17, 2002

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If you haven’t seen it, yet, I urge you to watch Jon Stewart’s interview with Jim Cramer of CNBC  (link at bottom of this posting…)  which in my view exemplifies well prepared, good interviewing skills, so very much lacking in today’s media world.  Those who want to dismiss Jon Stewart as a  ‘comedian with a variety show’ completely miss the mark.  Certainly, Jon Stewart is a comedian and hosts a  ‘fake news show,’  but he is so much more…and after bringing to the forefront the misdeeds of the financial network CNBC and the ensuing Jim Cramer interview, he certainly has catapulted himself into the category of serious and effective interviewers.

I consider myself somewhat of a political junkie, and try to catch the  ‘Daily Show’  whenever I can.  Even though they obviously try to make their points in a funny, often hilarious way, they most always hit the mark and point out the obvious, so often missed by the traditional media.  And by the way, statistics have shown that people who watch programs like  ‘The Daily Show’  can be counted among the politically best informed…  Maybe there is something to mixing serious news with laughs…

In his interview with Jim Cramer, who now has become the poster child for the ills of CNBC, Jon Stewart pointed out that CNBC, instead of being cheerleaders for CEOs and their failed companies, should be in the business of informing the public about what’s really going on… And he showed in detail, how  ‘financial experts’  like Jim Cramer, knowingly misled the viewing public, by telling them to buy a certain stock right before that company went bankrupt or had to be bailed out, and how they not only enabled fraud and market manipulation being committed, but actively participated in it, while people’s 401-k  funds were used as market manipulators’ personal piggy bank.  And that, as Stewart pointed out, is negligence at best, and bordering criminality at worst…

If you ask me, the likes of Jim Cramer and CNBC have done enough damage, and now, after some of them publicly attacked President Obama’s economic plan, have become flat out dangerous, and should be taken off the air.  I have a feeling that a lot of people who feel misled, will stop watching, and the free market that CNBC loves so much, will take care of it and we’ll soon be rid of all the  ‘experts’  who were so wrong about  EVERYTHING … and that’s a good thing …  🙂

Thank you, Jon Stewart…..  And message to CNBC:  You can’t fool us again!!!

Here’s the link to the Jon Stewart/Jim Cramer interview:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwUXx4DR0wo

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Just because …..

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A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words…   🙂

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Food For Thought For Bigots, Racists & Homophobes …

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Some time ago, I had a very interesting conversation with a lady in her sixties.  I barely knew her, and this conversation took place over coffee after I had given her a massage.  Somebody was so kind to have given her a gift certificate, and she laughed when I called her a  ‘massage virgin,’  as this was her first massage.  She seemed to enjoy it very much and invited me to a cup of coffee which I accepted.  We had a very nice conversation up to the point when she started to rave about then President Bush.  Now, I’m always careful with clients, not to get into deep subjects involving politics or religion, because they often don’t end well   :-).

Anyway, I did end up asking her why she was a Republican as they don’t do anything for people like her, judging from her modest home.  Her answer, I have to admit, took me a little by surprise, and left me speechless for a few seconds  ‘Well, I can’t vote for the Democrats, they are the party of the Blacks…’

I want to leave alone for a moment whether that’s factually even correct, but I did understand what she wanted to imply, and it ended my coffee break very quickly.  In this part of the country, you run into open and hidden racism quite frequently, so statements like these are not at all uncommon.  And the truth is, if somebody is prejudiced, it often shows in more ways than one, involving race, sexuality, nationality, gender, etc.  Some people never seem to find a way to get past their narrow-mindedness, whether caused by lack of education, ignorance, being brought up in an environment breeding these unfortunate character features, or a combination of all the above.

I always believe  the best way to deal with people like that is for them being in a situation where they have to confront these prejudices, like the daughter bringing home a black boyfriend; the son telling his horrified and homophobic parents that he is gay; people who don’t like foreigners, all of a sudden getting neighbors from Mexico…you get the picture… Then their inner demons have to be confronted:  Do I abandon my daughter because of her black boyfriend, and what if she gets pregnant…will I not love my grandchild because he is mixed?  Will I disown my son because he’s gay; will I not speak to my new neighbors, just because they are from another country?  Just some food for thought…

Well, to make a long story short… I hadn’t seen this lady for quite some time, when I just recently received a phone call from her out of the blue.  She wanted me to work on her back because she was in pain.  So I went over to her house and gave her a massage.  While I was putting my stuff together, I noticed pictures of a baby all over her place…a mixed baby…couldn’t have been more than a few months old.  As I didn’t remember seeing them the last time I was there, I asked her about the baby  ‘Oh, that’s my grandson Michael, my little darling…’  and then she went on for minutes telling me everything about him, and how wonderful the father was, and showed me a picture of him, a very nice looking black man, and went on and on… I was listening to her with a smile on my face… It’s nice to be witness sometimes to people changing their tune when being confronted with reality… and I was very happy for her.

Now I wonder whether she voted for the Democrats in the last election….    :-).

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How To Shower Like A Woman ….. Or A Man ….. :-)

HOW  TO  SHOWER  LIKE  A  WOMAN:

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*Take off clothing and place in sectioned laundry hamper according to lights and darks.
*Walk to bathroom wearing long dressing gown.  If you see husband along the way, cover up any exposed areas.  Look at your womanly physique in the mirror, make mental note to do more sit-ups.
*Get in the shower.  Use face cloth, arm cloth, leg cloth, long loofah, wide loofah and pumice stone.  Wash your hair once with cucumber and sage.
*Shampoo with 43 added vitamins.
*Wash your hair again to make sure it’s clean.
*Condition your hair with grapefruit mint conditioner.
*Wash your face with crushed apricot facial scrub for 10 minutes until red.
*Wash entire rest of body with ginger nut and jaffa cake body wash.
*Rinse conditioner off hair.
*Shave armpits and legs.
*Turn off shower.
*Squeegee off all wet surfaces in shower.
*Spray mold spots with Tilex.
*Get out of shower.
*Dry with towel the size of a small country.  Wrap hair in super absorbent towel.
*Return to bedroom wearing long dressing gown and towel on head.
*If you see husband along the way, cover up any exposed areas.

HOW  TO  SHOWER  LIKE  A  MAN:

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*Take off clothes while sitting on the edge of the bed and leave them in a pile.
*Walk naked to the bathroom.  If you see wife along the way, shake wiener at her while making the woo-woo sound.
*Look at your manly physique in the mirror.  Admire the size of your wiener and scratch your butt.
*Get in the shower.
*Wash your face.
*Wash your armpits.
*Blow your nose in your hands and let the water rinse the snot off.
*Fart and laugh at how loud it sounds in the shower.
*Spend majority of time washing privates and surrounding area.
*Wash your butt, leaving those coarse butt hairs stuck on the soap.
*Wash your hair.  Make a shampoo Mohawk.
*Pee.
*Rinse off and get out of shower.
*Partially dry off.
*Fail to notice water on floor because curtain was hanging out of tub the whole time.
*Admire wiener size in mirror again.
*Leave shower curtain open, wet mat on floor, light and fan on.
*Return to bedroom with towel around waist.  If you pass wife, pull off towel, shake wiener at her and make the woo-woo sound again.
*Throw wet towel on her pillow.

….. TIME  TO  TAKE  A  SHOWER …..   🙂

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Motivation — Not Just A Ten-Letter-Word

‘People often say that motivation doesn’t last.  Well, neither does bathing.  That’s why we recommend it daily.’ — Zig Ziglar   🙂

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Chinese symbol for motivation

HOW  TO  GET ….. AND  THEN  STAY  MOTIVATED

Thinking about starting a new project, endeavor, job, business, exercise program?  No matter what it is, applying the following simple suggestions will help you with keeping motivated on the way…..

1.  Keep a positive attitude and surround yourself with positive and motivated people ….. You can’t choose or control your circumstances sometimes, but you can choose your attitude towards them.  When obstacles arise, use them as stepping stones to move forward, rather than setbacks.

2.  Treat your mind like a parachute ….. It works best open.  Broaden your horizon and keep learning new things.  It will give you confidence when starting a new project.  Once you started a new project, track your progress.  Not only will it stimulate and motivate you when you see how far you’ve come, but it will also help you with making adjustments when you see what works and what doesn’t work.

3.  Help others ….. One of the best motivators is to help other people get motivated.  Seeing others do well will in turn motivate you to do the same.

4.  Just do it!!! ….. Once you get started and you see the progress you are making, and the success you are achieving, you just want to continue on your path.  So, if you ask me, out of the four suggestions, this is the most important one.

JUST  DO  IT !!!

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