October 7, 2011
The Huffington Post
By: Emma Gray
It’s true. We all turn into our mothers (or fathers) as we age, and by that logic our kids will one day grow up to be … just like us? How much influence do parents really have on their children? Although it’s no secret that some kids are more easily swayed by their parents than others, a new study suggests that how much you affect your kids may actually boil down to genetics.
Published this week in Translational Psychiatry, researchers examined 1,900 kids between the ages of 9 and 15, reports HealthDay. Focusing on a version of the seratonin-transporter gene, the study found a significant link between this genetic variation and the degree to which a child is affected by his or her environment.
A 2003 study got a lot of people talking about this gene. The media nicknamed it the “depression gene” because research showed carriers were more likely to feel sad when faced with “life stressors.” These results were exacerbated when it came to individuals that had experienced childhood trauma. Subsequent research on the subject has consistently focused on backing up or refuting this claim.
Benjamin L. Hankin, lead author on the most recent study — and associate professor of clinical child and developmental cognitive neuroscience psychology at the University of Denver — said that he views the gene in a slightly different way. “In this research, we took the same gene … and said, maybe it doesn’t just put you at risk for negative outcomes,” Hankin told The Huffington Post. “It might mean that you’re more sensitive and responsive to environments [in general].” Instead of calling the shortened version of the 5-HTTLPR gene the “depression gene,” it might be more aptly referred to as the “sensitivity gene.”
Children who carried the long version of the 5-HTTLPR gene seemed to be able to maintain a positive attitude in the face of less-than-supportive parenting. Kids with the shorter variation were hit much harder. On the flip side, when their parents were more responsive and accommodating, these same kids’ feelings of happiness surpassed those of their long-gene counterparts. Hankin compared this phenomenon to the botanical difference between weeds and orchids:
Some individuals are orchids, some are weeds. Weeds will grow anywhere; they’ll be just fine. Those are the kids who carry the long version of this gene. The orchid, if [it has] a wonderful, flourishing environment, [will] grow up into a beautiful flower. If not, it’ll wither.
Clearly kids aren’t plants, but Hankin’s study is far from the first to tie our dispositions to factors beyond our control. In 2008, TIME reported University of Endinburgh researchers had found that happiness was determined by a set of innate personality traits. Other studies have linked happiness to age or socioeconomic status.
The ultimate takeaway from this recent research seems to be that providing a supportive environment for your kids to grow up in is more important than ever. If you’re thinking, “well, duh!” we understand — this “lesson” seems like little more than parenting common sense. However, Hankin was quick to point out a caveat to this PSA-sounding message.
While the researcher — who is a father himself — does not suggest getting your kid genotyped, he does suggest that parents pay extra attention to children with more “irritable temperaments,” as these kids are more likely to have the shortened gene. “[With these children], your input has a greater impact,” he says. “As your child grows up, the challenges are going to change, but you can put your kid on a trajectory for more adaptive, positive mental health.”
October 7, 2011
By: Walter Brandimarte
* Higher-than-expected US data rekindles appetite for risk
* Euro rallies for 4th day, also supported by ECB measures
* Thirty-year Treasuries fall nearly 2 points in price
(Adds oil prices rising, updates prices)
World stocks and the euro rallied on Friday after stronger-than-expected U.S. employment data eased fears of another global recession, stoking appetite for risk.
Hopes for a stronger policy response to the euro zone debt crisis also supported the European single currency, which rose against the dollar for the fourth consecutive session.
Prices of U.S. government bonds slid after the U.S. Labor Department said nonfarm payrolls rose by 103,000, above expectations for a 60,000 rise. Jobs gains for prior months were also revised higher. For details, see [ID:nOAT004877].
“It’s a breath of fresh air and should allow the risk recovery we’ve had this week to continue,” said Brian Dolan, chief strategist at Forex.com in New Jersey.
“All in all, it suggests a continuation of the risk recovery and that the U.S. will outperform other developed economies,” he added.
Markets should remain volatile, however, while European policymakers debate how to shield banks in the event of a Greek debt default. In the run-up to crucial summit talks on Sunday, Germany and France still disagreed on measures to strengthen the banking sector, diplomats said. [ID:nL5E7L714R]
Key Wall Street indexes traded higher, although the Nasdaq seesawed between positive and negative territory.
The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 76.10 points, or 0.68 percent, to 11,199.43, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index .SPX climbed 2.17 points, or 0.19 percent, to 1,167.14. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC was down 0.86 points, or 0.03 percent, at 2,505.96.
World stocks measured by the MSCI All-Country World index .MIWD00000PUS gained 1.1 percent.
U.S. crude oil prices CLc1 rose 0.68 percent to $83.15 per barrel.
Earlier, German data showed industry output in the European giant dropping 1 percent in August, a smaller-than-expected decline. [ID:nL5E7L711S]
The euro EUR=, which has fallen back from a 2011 peak near $1.50 in May, rose 0.47 percent to $1.3494.
Hopes of a more robust policy response to the two-year-old euro zone sovereign debt crisis rose this week after euro zone policy makers pledged to present a plan for a coordinated recapitalization of the region’s banks.
Aggressive liquidity measures that the European Central Bank (ECB) unveiled on Thursday to help lenders facing straitened wholesale funding conditions further emboldened risk appetite.
Safe-haven investments such as U.S. Treasury bonds sold off as a result. Thirty-year Treasuries US30YT=RR led losses, falling nearly 2 points in price to yield 3.0438 percent.
October 7, 2011
It’s sticker shock in the mail. Tax bills went out to Cook County homeowners this week and the big jump in the amount due to many homeowners has some wondering if they can keep their house.
CBS 2′s Dana Kozlov takes a look at how the dramatic jump in property tax bills is affecting people and what you can do about it.
According to the Cook County Clerk’s office, tax rates are up for schools, park districts, municipalities and other government bodies. Some of those tax levies have made double-digit increases in tax rates.
The property tax reality was setting in with Markham homeowner Patricia Taylor on Wednesday.
Asked if she can keep her house after receiving an $8,100 property tax bill, Taylor said, “I don’t know right now. It’s bad right now, it’s really bad.”
That’s because her property tax bill for her three bedroom, one bathroom house shot up from $6,400 last year to $8,100 this year — a whopping 27 percent jump.
Taylor took time on her day off to head to the Cook County Assessor’s office to see if anything could be done for herself and her mother.
“What do they expect? I don’t live in Beverly Hills, I stay in Markham and this is ridiculous,” Taylor said.
Kelley Quinn, spokeswoman for Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios, said the office has had thousands of taxpayers like Taylor walk through their halls this week, wondering what was going on with their bills.
Countywide, property tax bills will jump an average of almost 2.7 percent, according to Quinn.
“What we’re seeing are a lot of anxious people,” Quinn said. “But what we’re also seeing is once they leave here, they’re satisfied and many of them are happy because they are seeing a tax bill that does go down a bit.”
Quinn said many of the people voicing complaints about their tax bills are senior citizens who didn’t apply for their senior exemption, which they must do every year, because of a new law.
Those seniors can still get their exemption with help from the county.
But everyone else? They could be out of luck, because taxing districts — from schools to parks — needed the extra revenue and the taxpayers were forced to foot the bill.
“So your local tax rates are going up, even though your assessments are going down, which results ultimately in a tax bill that could be a little bit higher,” Quinn said.
People who believe their tax bills are incorrectly assessed can appeal through the Cook County Board of Review, but dates for that are very specific and depend on your township.
October 7, 2011
USA Today Your Life
Food ads have a powerful influence on children’s food choices but parents can lessen that effect, according to a new study.
It included 75 children aged 3 to 5 who watched two cartoons, with a commercial between each cartoon. Half the children saw a commercial for apple slices with dipping sauce and half saw a commercial for French fries.
After watching the cartoons and commercials, the children were allowed to select a coupon for one of the advertised food items, with input from their parents. Half of the parents were told to encourage their child to select the healthy food, while the other half were told to remain neutral.
Among the children who saw the commercial for French fries, 71 percent chose the coupon for French fries if their parents remained neutral, while only 55 percent opted for the French fries coupon if their parents encouraged them to choose the healthy food.
Of the children who saw the commercial for apple slices, 46 percent chose the coupon for French fries if their parents remained neutral, while only 33 percent picked the coupon for French fries if their parents encouraged them to make the healthy choice.
“Children were clearly influenced by the commercials they saw; however, parents are not powerless,” noted study author Dr. Christopher Ferguson of Texas A&M International University, in a journal news release.
The study appears in The Journal of Pediatrics.
While the impact of food ads on children is considerable, Ferguson said that parents “have an advantage if they are consistent with their long-term message about healthy eating.”
October 7, 2011
By: Paul Joseph Watson
During a Fox Business interview with Judge Andrew Napolitano, Senator Rand Paul warned that Barack Obama’s implicit support for the grievances of the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protesters could provoke them to turn into a violent mob.
Scaling the heights of hypocrisy once again, Barack Obama – whose 2008 campaign was funded by Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley – sympathized with the OWS protesters yesterday while grandstanding as the man to bring Wall Street back in line, despite the fact that his own cabinet is full of former Wall Street executives and he is even more reliant on Wall Street for his 2012 presidential run.
“He’s almost saying, I support them, I’d be out there with them,” Napolitano remarked in reference to Obama’s speech yesterday.
“As far as this Occupy Wall Street movement goes, you know I see it sort of like a Paris mob,” Paul told Napolitano. “I see the president’s rhetoric of envy inflaming the public.”
“I see this enflaming this Paris mob that I hope ultimately doesn’t result in lawlessness where they say ‘gosh those nice iPads through the window should be mine and why don’t I throw a brick through the window to get them because rich people don’t deserve to have them when I can’t have one,” said Paul.
Napolitano pointed out that the protesters, besides calls to raise taxes which is nothing more than an Obama administration talking point and would only serve to cripple the middle class, do have legitimate grievances and that a proportion of them are End the Fed advocates.
The Kentucky Senator highlighted the hypocrisy of some of the protesters vowing not to work for a corporation while carrying around expensive consumer products.
“They’re on their iPhone made by Apple incorporated, they’re wearing designer jeans their parents bought for them, that’s the kind of stuff I’m annoyed with when they say corporations are evil – corporations are businesses.”
Paul then added that he does agree with the protesters in their opposition to taxpayers being forced to pick up the tab for banker bailouts. The Senator has vehemently supported efforts by his father Ron Paul to audit the Federal Reserve and has spoken at End the Fed rallies.
While the riots that hit Paris and other metropolitan areas of France last year were driven by genuine grievances against the state for raising the age of retirement and other harsh austerity cuts even as European banks received trillions in bailout funds, the demonstrations were quickly discredited when black-hooded anarchists joined in and started smashing up private property.
In addition, as we documented at the time, although many sought to mischaracterize the London riots as the spearhead of a new revolution, the event quickly fizzled out with the participants having targeted their rage not against political or banking institutions, but against outlets of JD Sports and Apple stores. The entire episode was exploited by petty criminal opportunists to loot high-end consumer goods.
That’s why it’s important the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ demonstrators don’t allow their movement to be hijacked by self-proclaimed anarchists who are actually Marxists, and the deluge of Obama campaign fronts who have attempted to infiltrate and misdirect the protests – with MoveOn.org prime amongst them.
October 7, 2011
By: James Kirkup
The world is facing the worst financial crisis since at least the 1930s “if not ever”, the Governor of the Bank of England said last night.
Sir Mervyn King was speaking after the decision by the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee to put £75billion of newly created money into the economy in a desperate effort to stave off a new credit crisis and a UK recession.
Economists said the Bank’s decision to resume its quantitative easing [QE], or asset purchase programme, showed it was increasingly fearful for the economy, and predicted more such moves ahead.
Sir Mervyn said the Bank had been driven by growing signs of a global economic disaster.
“This is the most serious financial crisis we’ve seen, at least since the 1930s, if not ever. We’re having to deal with very unusual circumstances, but to act calmly to this and to do the right thing.”
Announcing its decision, the Bank said that the eurozone debt crisis was creating “severe strains in bank funding markets and financial markets”.
The Monetary Policy Committee [MPC] also said that the inflation-driven “squeeze on households’ real incomes” and the Government’s programme of spending cuts will “continue to weigh on domestic spending” for some time to come.
The “deterioration in the outlook” meant more QE was justified, the Bank said.
Financial experts said the committee’s actions would be a “Titanic” disaster for pensioners, savers and workers approaching retirement. Sir Mervyn suggested that was a price worth paying to save the economy from recession.
Under QE, the Bank electronically creates new money which it then uses to buy assets such as government bonds, or gilts, from banks. In theory, the banks then use the cash they gain to increase their lending to businesses and individuals.
By increasing the demand for gilts, QE pushes down the interest rate yields paid to holders of these and other bonds. Critics of the policy say it pushes up inflation and drives down sterling.
The National Association of Pension Funds yesterday called for urgent talks with ministers to address the negative impact of lower gilt yields on pension funds. Joanne Segars, its chief executive, said QE makes it more expensive for employers to provide pensions and will weaken the funding of schemes as their deficits increase. “All this will put additional pressure on employers at a time when they are facing a bleak economic situation,” she said.
Ros Altman, of Saga, said the latest round of QE was “a Titanic disaster” that would increase pensioner poverty. As well as fuelling inflation, she said, falling bond yields would make annuities more expensive, “giving new retirees much less pension income for their money and leaving them permanently poorer in retirement”.
The MPC also voted to keep the Bank Rate at its historic low of 0.5 per cent, another decision that hurts savers. Yesterday, protesters outside the Bank’s headquarters smashed a giant piggy bank to symbolise the situation of pensioners and others forced to raid savings to keep up with the rising cost of living.
Asked about the plight of savers, Sir Mervyn said it was more important to support the wider economy than to support them. He suggested that savers would not be helped by deliberately pushing the British economy into recession. Yesterday’s decision was the first move on QE since 2009, during the global credit crisis, when the Bank injected £200 billion into the economy.
Some analysts believe that this round of QE could be less effective than the previous one, forcing the Bank to create even more money this time.
Michael Saunders of Citigroup, forecast that there could be as much as £225 billion more QE by next year. “I think they will do lots more QE,” he said. “It’s both that the economy is weak but also that the MPC’s view is that QE is not a very powerful tool, or rather it takes a large amount of QE to have much effect on the economy.”
The Bank is supposed to keep inflation near a target of 2 per cent. Inflation now stands at 4.5 per cent, and the Bank admitted it is likely to hit 5 per cent as soon as this month. The Bank’s own research shows that as well as stimulating the economy, QE pushes up prices.
Sir Mervyn insisted that yesterday’s move was still consistent with the 2 per cent inflation target, saying that the slowing economy means inflation could actually fall below that mark “by the end of next year or in 2013”.
The Governor insisted that the MPC’s decisions had been the correct response to events. “The world economy has slowed, America has slowed, China has slowed, and of course particularly the European economy has slowed,” he said. “The world has changed and so has the right policy response.”
City traders took heart from the Bank’s move to boost growth, with the FTSE 100 rising 3.7 per cent to 5,29, its biggest two-day gain since 2008.
The Bank’s decision came after mounting political pressure from ministers worried that Sir Mervyn was not reacting urgently enough to the darkening global economic outlook.
George Osborne, the Chancellor, welcomed the Bank’s move, saying: “The evidence shows that it [QE] will help keep interest rates down and boost demand and that will be a help for British families.”
October 7th, 2011
The Washington Post
By:David Nakamura and Scott Wilson
After crisscrossing the country for weeks pushing his jobs plan directly to the American people, President Obama turned his attention to congressional Republicans on Thursday, promising to target them in 2012 if they stand in the way of his economic agenda.
“If Congress does something, then I can’t run against a do-nothing Congress,” Obama said in response to a question at a morning news conference. “If Congress does nothing, then it’s not a matter of me running against them. I think the American people will run them out of town, because they are frustrated, and they know we need to do something big and something bold.”
With his confrontational news conference at the White House, Obama brought back to Washington the fiscal debate that has been the source of bruising political warfare and left the American public disillusioned with their elected leaders during the economic crisis.
The president urged passage of the $447 billion American Jobs Act and warned Republicans who oppose the measure that they will have to explain their opposition “to me, and more importantly, to their constituencies” at a time of mounting economic uncertainty. He also endorsed a proposal from Senate Democrats for a surtax on incomes of more than $1 million a year to fund the jobs package, an idea that has already drawn opposition from the GOP.
Since unveiling the jobs package last month in a speech to Congress, Obama has touted provisions of it in appearances at schools, bridges and factories in eight states, most of them electoral swing states and some in GOP territory. On Thursday, the president spent most of the 73-minute news conference — just four minutes shy of the longest of his tenure — promoting the plan from a lectern in the august East Room.
As he has in his more feisty and partisan appearances outside the Beltway, Obama sought to highlight what he believes is Republican recalcitrance and the GOP’s role in the slowness of the economic recovery. He emphasized the support that elements of the proposal have received from both parties in the past. But the president also issued an explicit warning to Republicans that he would make any no vote a political issue in the emerging 2012 campaign.
“It’s fair to say that I have gone out of my way in every instance — sometimes at my own political peril and to the frustration of Democrats — to work with Republicans to find common ground to move this country forward,” Obama said. “Each time, what we’ve seen is games-playing, a preference to try to score political points rather than actually get something done.”
Despite Obama’s populist calls on the road for Congress to “pass this bill,” neither the Democrat-led Senate nor the Republican-controlled House has held a vote on the legislation.
The president vowed that if Congress does not approve the legislation as a package, he would seek to present the elements individually and demand an explanation for Republican opposition to each.
The warning represented one aspect of Obama’s emerging reelection message: That while he has worked to improve the economy, the Republican opposition has chosen a strategy focused on denying him a second term rather than putting the country back to work.
Republicans have countered that Obama’s government-centric approach to stimulating the economy is the wrong one during difficult economic times. The jobs proposal includes investments in education and transportation infrastructure, as well as tax cuts for small business owners that Republicans have said they might consider independent of the new spending provisions.
As Obama spoke, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) accused him of using the jobs plan as a campaign vehicle, telling an audience in Washington that “nothing has disappointed me more than what has happened in the last five weeks.”
“To watch the president of the United States give up on governing, give up on leading and just spend time campaigning,” Boehner said at the Washington Ideas Forum, an event sponsored by the Atlantic magazine. “We’re legislating. He’s campaigning. It’s very disappointing.”
Obama spoke of “the dings and bruises” he has suffered as a result of some of the steps he has taken since taking office in the hopes of pulling the country from a deep recession. A Washington Post-ABC News poll published this week found that four in 10 Americans “strongly” disapprove of the way Obama has managed the presidency. The poll also found that only 58 percent of Democrats believe Obama will be reelected.
Obama cited the damage to the American recovery caused by Europe’s fiscal turmoil, Japan’s devastating tsunami and the higher oil prices that have resulted from the Arab Spring. He also said the “debacle” of this summer’s partisan fight over how to raise the debt ceiling damaged the recovery.
“There is no doubt the economy is weaker now than it was at the beginning of the year,” he said.
But time and again he returned to his primary adversaries.
In what he called a “homework assignment,” Obama said near the end of the briefing: “Go ask the Republicans what their jobs plan is if they’re opposed to the American Jobs Act.”
October 7th, 2011
The Huffington Post
By: Delia Lloyd
Ever have one of those mornings where you wake up, jump in the shower, turn on the radio and hear the best news you’ve gotten in ages?
No, not world peace, but close.
Apparently, coffee is now good for you. It holds a host of physical — not to mention psychological — benefits which scientists are only now beginning to appreciate.
In a household where our espresso machine holds a hallowed place, this is definitely grounds for rejoicing. I haven’t been this excited since I learned that sugar made a comeback.
So hear ye, hear ye: Five reasons to drink (more!) coffee:
1. It reduces depression in women. This just in. A new study out of Harvard University shows that women who regularly drink coffee — the fully caffeinated kind — have a 20 percent lower risk of depression than nondrinkers. This comes on the heels of previous research showing that the risk of suicide decreases with increased coffee consumption.
2. It lowers the risk of lethal prostate cancer in men. But it’s not just the ladies who will benefit from more java. In another study out of Harvard (what are they drinking there? ahem!), men who drank six or more cups per day had a 60 percent lower risk of developing the most lethal type of prostate cancer, and a 20 percent lower risk of forming any type of prostate cancer compared to men who did not drink coffee. Given that prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men, that’s nothing to sneeze at.
3. It may protect against head and neck cancers. A study from the University of Utah showed that people who drank more than four cups of coffee a day had a 39 percent decreased risk of cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx combined, compared with those who didn’t drink coffee. Regular consumption of coffee has also been linked to a lower risk for brain tumors, reduced rates of colorectal and endometrial cancer, as well as liver cancer and cirrhosis.
4. It may ward off Alzheimer’s disease. Several studies looking at how caffeine affects brain development in mice have confirmed that caffeine significantly decreases abnormal levels of the protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease. When aged mice bred to develop symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease were given caffeine — the equivalent of five cups of coffee a day — their memory impairment was reversed, according to a report issued by the Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centre. Should these results be replicated on humans, it might suggest coffee as an effective treatment for this disease, rather than just a protective strategy.
5. It appears to stave off diabetes. Numerous studies have shown that coffee may be protective against Type 2 Diabetes, although the precise mechanism is not well understood. An analysis in the Archives of Internal Medicine, for example, found that people who drink three to four cups of coffee a day are 25 percent less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those who drink fewer than two cups. In the U.S. alone, nearly 24 million children and adults — nearly 8 percent of the population — have diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease and accounts for about 90 to 95 percent of these cases.
Whether these studies will prove robust in coming years — or be cancelled out by some of caffeine’s adverse effects on things like sleep and high blood pressure — remains to be seen.
But I’m going to blithely hedge my bets and carry on enjoying my cuppa (or two).
Latte or Cappucino?
October 7th, 2011
The Huffington Post
By: Kristi Blicharski
I really love my life! It wasn’t always that way. It took a lot of hard work, important lessons and many shifts in perception to get to this place. I’ve learned to step into myself and who I truly am, and I’ve learned to get out of my own way.
Something else I learned along the way is that all human beings have a single life purpose in common. That purpose is to be happy. For a big part of my life, I spent so much time struggling, trying to figure out how to feel happier, to get to a happier place, or to get my hands around the next thing or achievement that would “make me happy.” It never seemed to work. I know now that what I didn’t do was just allow myself to simply be happy right then and there.
The truth is that authentic happiness and inner-peace lies in the present moment, right now, within us, waiting and longing to be embraced. Once I finally understood this idea, my life changed profoundly.
Along my own journey to be happy, I discovered a number of ideas and tools that work extremely well to assist in embracing the joy that is always available in each moment. There are three in particular that I’ve found to be fantastically helpful.
First, view happiness as an activity. Not just as a feeling, but also as something we take active part in doing and creating. Aristotle said, “Happiness is a state of activity.” This notion entirely changed my perception. When we’re in the midst of actively doing something we enjoy, being of service to others, or taking part in something healthful like exercise, meditation, or munching down a big salad, we feel happy and empowered. This is doing happiness. It’s all about choosing how we create and live each moment.
Second, re-think mornings. Our thoughts have a deep impact on our world. I remember a time in my life when I was waking up each day in a place of complete lack, swimming in negative, limiting thoughts that left me forcing myself to get out of bed with a heavy heart on a regular basis. Skipping breakfast, loading up on caffeine, and rushing to get of out the door on time didn’t help. I was carrying that nasty energy with me into the day ahead.
Once I realized that the way I was starting my day was creating the path for the rest of it, I understood how extremely important it is to make mornings as positive as possible. I’ve now changed my thoughts in the mornings to focus on the positive, and I’ve changed my routine to include plenty of time, a decent breakfast, and reading uplifting posts from my favorite blogs. It’s worked wonders. My days, and my life, have radically improved.
Finally, open yourself to recognize and receive the limitless joy, comfort, and wonder that is all around at every moment in the little things. This is excellent everyday practice, but it’s especially helpful during challenging times. It’s so easy to get so caught up in focusing on the big stuff in life that we miss the bliss that can be found in all the amazing, beautiful small things, which actually aren’t small at all.
The orchid plant in my office is a great example. Sometimes when I’m feeling a bit stressed, I focus on the remarkable intricacy and beauty of this living miracle, and it really puts things in perspective. I also have a super cute glass flying pig on my desk to remind me to say “no” when I need to. It makes me smile every time I look at it, and serves as a great reminder to be true to myself. That little winged pig has a big impact.
Changing the way we perceive happiness can completely transform the way we experience it, as well as greatly increase its presence. I believe the same applies to balance, love, and passion. It’s all about choice, thoughts, and taking an active role in doing, creating, recognizing, and embracing. Your happiest place is right here, right now. In this moment. Live it. Rock it. Make it beautiful.
October 7th, 2011
By: Bill Humbert
The skilled labor force in the United States has set our nation apart with its skills, productivity and ingenuity. However, our skilled labor force is currently under siege; and being ravished by a punishing economy. The question for many of those workers is “When will I find my next job?”
With approximately 20 million workers out of work (both those on unemployment and those no longer counted), people are very scared and some are pretty frustrated by their lack of work. What savings they once had is now long gone. They are fighting to keep houses that they purchased during better economic times; and many are receiving some sort of welfare for the first time in their lives.
Then they read about more and continuing lay-offs. It is easy to understand their desperation.
The fact is that there are places that need their skills, possibly in their own communities. The way to find those positions is to meet and talk with people in their community every day. Don’t wait until the position is posted on a job board. When the job is posted on a website, the competition increases by a hundredfold.
How do you find those jobs before everyone else? Go to your library and chat with the reference librarian about potential reference sources of local companies, especially those that may need your skills. If you are in manufacturing for instance, look at the Manufacturers Register for your state. This directory lists every manufacturing entity in your state. They may not have an open position listed anywhere (the best kind of company!!), but if you chat with them about your skills they may create one for you. I have seen that happen many times – and it even worked for me in construction in the early 1970′s.
Share leads that don’t interest you with other people. This is grass roots networking – and if you become known as a person who shares openings, someone will share one with you. Remember the saying “What goes around, comes around!” It is true.
As a nation of workers, we cannot control what the President or Congress does (other than vote at election time). During this time, we need to use our ingenuity to help ourselves. If we help each other one by one find a new job; it will benefit every other unemployed worker find a job. After a period of time, we will create a wave of new jobs just by starting one by one.
You can be successful and you will be successful because that is who we are.