Thursday, October 4, 2012

Educational Books For Babies

Why Develop The Habit Of Reading Early?
Research in the last decade has shown that when parents read to their children, especially when they were babies, these children tend to read earlier and are more avid readers later in school. As parents of young children, we should all strive to achieve the positive effects of reading aloud to children by reading to our children for at least 20 minutes a day. Twenty minutes equates to approximately 2 - 4 stories, depending on the reading level of the child. The good news is this 20 minutes of reading time can be cumulative, which means it can be broken up through out the day - 5 minutes here, or 10 minutes there.
Further studies also indicate that students with higher reading scores were more likely to report they had encyclopedias, magazines, newspapers and at least 25 books in their home. Having books and magazines at home is important. But how do you know what books to choose for your child? Here are some tips for getting good books for young children of all ages.
How To Choose Books For Babies And Young Children
Some books help children build morals and confidence as they join in with a repeated rhyme. Others jump-start the imagination with tales about talking animals or an aunt who flies. Books about familiar objects, people, and events are reassuring to young children, while books with unfamiliar topics can excite them about new ideas and places.
Where To Get Books
Children's books can be expensive and children tend to outgrow even their favorite books quite quickly. You should consider borrowing books from the public library to start with. Many libraries now offer board books for infants and toddlers plus picture books for preschoolers. Garage sales and sales conducted by libraries are good sources of inexpensive books. Or you can organize a book exchange in your neighborhood or preschool so children can trade books. Discount stores, bookstores and Internet book sellers all have bargain sections or run specials. Your parent educator or librarian may also have suggestions for sources of inexpensive or free books in your area.
Where To Keep Books
Your children's precious books should be kept in a place that is easily accessible for them. Shelves should not be too high up or easily reachable with a stool. You may wish to buy a small bookcase where they can be proudly displayed. Nothing is more gratifying to a child then having them choose the book they want you to read and this decision is made simpler if they are neatly placed at their eye-level. Having a large cardboard box that the child is allowed to decorate with artwork or doodling is another option. Although you may want only those books with hardcover in such a box to avoid serious damage.
What Makes A Good Book
Apart from nice big solid fonts for the words, and plenty of colorful pictures, good books for young children need to be well made and durable. Young children like to really explore their favorite books, carrying them around, tugging on the pages, and even biting them. As a child grows older, he or she will enjoy photographs or realistic pictures which help them relate the book to familiar things in their environment. Preschoolers are attracted to a wide variety of pictures or graphics in books. Good stories with interesting characters and a plot with lots of action also appeal to preschoolers, whereas babies and toddlers are interested in books with just a few words on the page or ones that label objects in the pictures. Choose books for all ages that picture people with a variety of cultures, races, physical abilities or occupations.
When To Give A Book
You don't have to wait for Christmas or Birthdays for a new book! But where an occasion calls for a gift, give a book instead. Encourage your child to choose a book as a souvenir on a family trip. Encourage aunts, uncles, grandparents or other relatives to help build your child's personal library. If possible allow the giver to have the pleasure of reading the book to your child for the first time. Buy books as gifts for baby showers, children's birthday parties, or holiday gifts. No matter when you give your child a book, you are helping build a love of reading.
Characteristics Of Good Books
Books for babies to 1 year:
· Thick cardboard pages
· Pages with different textures for feel (cloth, smooth, rough)
· Small, chunky format
· Simple, bright pictures or photos
· Few large words on a page
· Themes that encourage sounds (farm animals, vehicles, etc.)
Books for toddlers and twos:
· Cardboard or thick paper pages
· Repetition of words or phrases
· Colorful pictures to enhance story
· A story told in a few, simple words
· Nursery rhymes or rhyming words
· Stories about familiar, everyday things
· Simple concepts like colors or shapes
Books for preschoolers:
· Increasingly more complicated stories
· Stories about different cultures and places
· Folktales
· Stories about issues children face (fears, separation, starting school)
· Rhyming text or poetry
· Humorous plots or characters
· Non-fiction subjects
· Color, letter or number themes
So start the happy childhood experience of reading to your baby or child. Your baby will love to hear the familiar voice of mummy or daddy even if he or she may not understand the story. For older children, there are few bonding experiences, that are both educational and emotionally rewarding, that will leave such a lasting impact on a child's development.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Suffering Financial Hardships Gain Control With Wealth Creation Education

Another fine mess we have gotten ourselves into....what I was saying to myself less than a year ago. A time when the average American is spending $1.05 for every dollar they make. No job or pension is safe and the daily news brings more pessimism on the future.
 The first step in recovery is called RESPONSIBILITY. A quote from the book "A Travelers Gift" by Andy Andrews, "The buck stops here, I am responsible for my past and my future." I made all of the decisions that got me where I am today and I will make decisions and take the action necessary to change it.
Second earn more income and that part has never been a problem for me. I am motivated, willing to work and am very coachable. That is all it takes. I have always looked for something that someone else is doing (a system) that is getting the results I want and then I duplicate their efforts and no surprise, get similar results. That is the subject for another article.
Third, do not make the same mistakes of the past; learn how to manage my own finances and especially retirement. We have been in the position of entrusting other people with our money, thinking that they will know better how to take care of it then we will, not. That is the biggest part of how I got here. Not playing the victim, just realizing that I needed to get educated about money and creating wealth and take care of my own.
That is what brought me to Wealth Masters International and the wealth acceleration program. It was easy to choose this one, because it was a home study course, gave me full control and the ability to take the action needed to accomplish the following:
1.       Save over $200,000 in interest on my mortgage, credit cards, auto loans...any and all debt...  
2.       Become debt free in 8-12 years or less.  
3.       Eliminate interest that would have otherwise gone to the bank.  
4.       Gain a fresh start in every area of my life.
The number one thing it made me do is to find out where I was right then. Put everything down on paper for an objective evaluation and plan. I can laugh about it now, because my financial situation has changed, but when I first entered all of my information this is the message that came on the screen...
"Seek Professional Financial Consultation Immediately"
The truth is that is what I needed based on my income to that point. The problem that I see with most of us is, when we are earning great income, we do not find it important to watch our finances closely and then when it goes away, we don't want to look because we are afraid of what we might find.
Staying in the dark is not the answer. We can no longer count on other people to take care of our money. With knowledge comes power and control, which is really any of us wanted over our own lives. Financial freedom is the ultimate goal and that starts with financial education. 
The wealth master's acceleration program was the answer for me. You can get a link to more information in my bio.
The decisions you make today are the foundation of your future. Make it a great life. 
I was 52 year old baby boomer, my retirement plan died with the stock market and my 20 year six figure income dried up with mortgages. Now 80K in debt no real world job skills, I turned to the internet....
It seemed too good to be true, but I received it in the mail, set up as instructed and was making money the first week. The system is a simple online business opportunity and easy to use. There is support and ongoing training by those members that are already having success and been recognized as the top internet marketing trainers in the world.
All that is great, but if you asked me what I like most about this online business opportunity, it gave new passion to my life and the freedom to enjoy it.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Foreign Exchange Trading Education

If you are brand new to the forex market and are looking to get a foreign exchange trading education, you need to be prepared for a couple of things.
For one thing, if you have experience with stocks or derivatives, get used to the idea of not having a break. The forex market simply does not stop during the workday. So if you are used to punching out 4:00 pm when the final bell is rung, get ready to put in some overtime. The market is ongoing for 24 hours a day.
The other thing to be aware of is the fact that the foreign exchange market is much more news driven than any other market. If the Fed Chairman sneezes the wrong way, a currency can go up or down 100 pips.
But the one thing that I just love about the forex market is that its price movements are a lot more cyclical than other markets.
By this I mean, if you study price charts on currency pairs, you will begin to notice that there are price action patterns that can be used to predict future price movement. No other market seems to have such strong correlative patterns.
The wonderful thing too, is that since there are so many currency pairs to choose from, and the market is always open 24 hours a day, you are bound to find solid trades across the scope of the market irregardless of what time it is. This is perfect for those that have day jobs and don't have the ability to look at charts all day.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Forex Trading Education - How to Use Support and Resistance For Big Profits

An essential element of your forex trading education is using valid support and resistance to time your trading signal. Here we are going to walk you through a live example of how to use it properly.
The currency we are going to look at on our forex charts is the Japanese yen.
If you look at the yen daily chart, you will see a very valid resistance level at the 108.00 level and since March of this year there have been numerous tests of it, over 20 and yet the dollar has failed to close above it supported by momentum.
This resistance is very valid because there have been so many tests. Resistance or support gain validity
- the more times they are tested and hold
- The more different time frames and the wider apart they are
- The traders who trade the market and the news sees the level as significant
Watch the level then confirm the Trade
The way to trade it is to wait for the rise but DON'T sell until you see momentum turn down and two great indicators for timing your trade are the stochastic and the Relative Strength Index. Simply wait for the level to be tested and wait for them to turn down.
Never just assume a level will hold, wait for confirmation via momentum indicators
Once this occurs you can be short and you know when you're wrong - if prices close above resistance.
This simple method of trading into valid resistance or support works and providing you time your entry correctly with momentum indicators, it can make a lot of money.
We have used this simple strategy to clear thousands of pips profits, this year and we have kept it simple, nothing complicated about it but it doesn't mean it simple strategies can't make money they can.
While resistance holds you keep doing it sell into the level and take profits when the dollar becomes oversold, then wait for the next test.
Follow Reality of Price Change
If the price breaks up and closes strongly above resistance, the odds will favour further strength in the dollar.
Simple and Effective
Sure it's simple but it can be very profitable and the above is a good example of a low risk, high reward way of trading into valid resistance.
You don't need to do anything else, than trade the reality of price change on the charts and if you do and you confirm your moves this simple forex trading strategy can make a lot of money.
This article was written on the 2nd Of August, good luck and good trading.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Forex Education - If You Can't Answer This Question Correctly You Will Lose

If you can't answer the question I am going to pose in this article you will probably lose all your money when you trade. The question though is one that very few novice traders consider or think about so here it is:
What is your trading edge?
Why will you win when 95% of traders lose all their money quickly?
What separates you out from the majority of losers and means you are going to succeed?
If the answer is - I have bought a system for a couple of hundred bucks, or I like to trade off the news or on recommendations of others - kiss goodbye to your equity.
The fact is most traders in forex do not get decent Forex education!
They think it's easy to win and believe the hype they read, or treat it as gambling and the market takes their equity.
A trading edge is the edge you have over the losing majority - for example, if I was to describe my trading edge it would be:
My use of sentiment and momentum indicators, to isolate high probability contrary trades and the ability to load these trades and remain disciplined.
I know I am good at hitting these trades and have a track record of doing it over 15 years. This is not meant to sound arrogant, it's what makes me a good trader and I know it and you must get one to, if you want to win.
Know Your Edge and Know Yourself
Now your edge might be something different but that's not the important point - the most important thing is you have an edge you have worked on and you know it gives you a head start on the majority.
An edge is something that comes from within and is a combination of method and the mindset, to make it work with discipline in the markets.
Or any day in the Forex markets - it's a brutal world where only the strong survive and you can only rely on yourself no one else can help you - you're all on your own.
If you don't like the above and like to blame everyone else for your losses - from your system, to your broker, do yourself a favour and don't trade Forex - it's not for you.
If you are ready to stand alone apply yourself and get the right knowledge, you can acquire the correct Forex education, get an edge and win.
NEW! FREE Trader PDF'S - Forex Newsletters and Alerts

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Since Ritalin, Humanism, And Outcome Based Education Are Not Working

There are solutions to schools gone wild that do not drug our kids, mask the truth about where feelings come from, call anything I do good or teach character as a series of definitions and posters.More...I was encouraged to see a recent article (along with several in the last few years) "The Great ADHD Myth" by Jenny Hope in the London edition of Daily Mail.
One true story: My friend J was told that both of her adolescent boys needed to be put on Ritlan if they were to continue in public school. J and her husband began researching, seeking wise counsel, and praying. They came to the realization that before drugging their boys they needed to try total parenting. J quit her corporate job and took on free lance work as a photographer. The family moved down in lifestyle and house. Immediately, not in a few months or years, when J became a stay at home Mom, the boys behavior in school improved. She was there to greet her roguish, red-headed, and totally normal boys after school, give them a snack, ask about the day, and inquire about homework.
TA-DAH! Presence, accountability, and active parenting replaced the need for drugs. Both boys proved to be positive standouts: one, a genius at creative thinking; one, a social magnet able to relate and entertain. The boys are now in their early 20's. There is power in sacrifice for the right thing. Most folks think sacrifice is a dirty word. J and her hubby found it to be renewing, encouraging, and uplifting then rewarding when it brought good fruits to the labor of rearing kids.
The school's role is not to parent! That is so obvious. Look what happens when we force that role on it in the name of "good education;" it moves to drug 'em, shove 'em, and just move 'em on out (not up). The only reason we have pressed education to take on the discipline-and-control role is that we as a nation have abdicated our responsibility. Further, we mistakenly seem to think that the kids will learn "somewhere" that responsibility character trait lost to us, that they will do the right things and, for example, honor thy father and mother... i.e., take care of us when we are old. Look again; it is not going to happen! We are and will continue to reap the rewards of our actions in high school violence, aberrant behaviors, and low test scores. All of which begin to describe our workplaces as the young move into it as "adults in body but not in soul."
Good News! All is not lost!
We can join the schools and move better directions for ourselves and our kids. We can again accept the responsibility for helping rear the next generation, particularly those already in high school who are about to hit the streets, yikes, and some literally! Each of us, parent or not, can specifically mentor the young to the truth they (the parent and/or the child) may have never been shown, that is, StrengthBank® - the plan for each life that will not harm, that will prosper, that will give hope and a future.
How do we show them and learn it ourselves? Be willing to sacrifice an hour twice a month during the school year to guide high school advisory groups to the developmental process of discovering, living, and passing on the fundamental truths upon which this nation was founded and wherein hope resides.
Hope and the sacrifice it requires to keep hope alive in each heart is better than any drug, any false accolade, or "character" definition/poster. The basic truth is that there is a plan and a purpose for each life for which one must sacrifice egotism, narcissism, and arrogance to follow; the truth will not change even if you do not believe it. Nobody gets a free ride - nobody!
Professional Speaker, CEO of Nonprofit, Executive Coach Author, and Media Guest
Sandra Shelton, BA, MEd, CTACC
Real Deal, Right Now Workforce Engagement Expert
For more than 2 decades and over 1900 presentations in 15 countries Sandra’s ingenious StrengthBank® - Ultimate People and Productivity Upgrade - is redefining how to achieve high engagement and productivity. Sandra “soundbites” her StrengthBank® paradigm as “people skills ‘workouts’ to ‘work in’ more engagement in work.” By employing then communicating StrengthBank® to her audience, she engages and reaches people in a personal, humorous, and practical way. Individuals find themselves poised in real time to extend specific steps to the job tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

How Audio Books can Help You Get a University Education

Brian Tracy is one of America's top business speakers and he used a phrase that I thought was quite appropriate in today's technological age.
"University on Wheels."
What he was talking about when using this phrase was the valuable knowledge that can gained by listening to professional audio books while driving to and from work every day.
It is well known that many people spend as many as 2 or more hours each day traveling to and from work.
What do they do during this time?? Some people listen to music, others just let their mind wander off into the abyss with their own daydreams. Either way they are spending hours each day doing nothing, effectively. However, there is something that can be done to change this.
Let me share an interesting bit of information with you.
Did you know that listening to the right professional audio books as you travel to and from work every day could give you the equivalent to a university education within some years??
Now, your first reaction may be to doubt this statement, but let me explain my reasoning behind the thought.
Many university students are only required to spend an average of 10 hours per week attending lectures. After several years, depending on the degree, they are handed their degree.
So what are they doing during these 10 hours a week??
They are listening to the lecturers!!!
Therefore, using audio books you can get similar information on the subject that you choose to learn about, and hear it all while you are doing something that has to be done every day anyway.
Now, don't get me wrong... I realize that this sort of learning is not going to be the exact equivalent of a university degree... there is more to gaining a degree than listening to a lecturer and repeating what they have said at the end of the semester, so unfortunately there are not any universities that will hand you a certificate once you have listened to a series of audio books but you will have gained a huge amount of information on your chosen topic and you did not have to take hours out of your busy schedule to read the information. You gained this new knowledge just by driving to and from work as usual and listening to the book.
Also, this new knowledge of yours is more likely to be retained as it was a specific topic that you chose to learn about because you were interested in it.
Even more good news follows, because there are, in fact, certain professional audio book series that will send you an exam to sit once you have listened to the set. Once completed the audio book company can issue you with a certificate of completion, which, in some cases can be used as confirmation of your expertise in that area.
So, now that I have told you all of this, are you going to continue to "waste" your valuable time on your daily commute?
I challenge you to use those hours to learn a new skill or get informed on that subject that you have always been interested in.
Just ask yourself what topic has always fascinated you, jump onto the internet and look it up. You are more than likely to find an audio book that you can download immediately and therefore, begin your education on your next trip to work.
Don't forget that audio books are portable. They can be copied onto cd for use in a car or a portable cd player as well as mp3 players. This means that you can listen to your audio books in more places than on the trip into work. Try listening to it while exercising or even doing the housework. There is plenty of activities you do every day that can now become more valuable.
A website that I recommend for audio books is
They have a massive range of books, fiction and non-fiction.
There is no membership needed, therefore no monthly fee that is charged by many other sites.
There is also no software to download to use their audio books. So the only thing taking up room on your hard drive is the audio book itself.
It is an easy 3 step process to download the audio book you choose, and there is a full support staff on hand to answer any questions you may have.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Answer To The Educational Crisis Is Creative, Passionate, Happy Teachers

I come from a long line of teachers. These women were creative, passionate, joyful, multidimensional human beings out of necessity. That's what it takes to be a really good teacher, and they were some of the best. They loved their students and their work. They believed in the children they taught. My grandmother taught in a one room school house when she was a young woman in Iowa. I loved listening to her stories and
all the different things she had going on in one room with children of so many different ages and abilities.
When I was in graduate school I would tell her that it sounded impossible to do the things she did with so many children. Grandma Rose would laugh deep and often. She would tell me her favorite saying "Life is messy and chaotic at best". She also said teaching reminded her of riding a roller coaster. Sometimes its easy. Sometimes its scary. But it is always thrilling and joyful if you just hang on and go for the ride.
As human beings we are hard wired to smile, jump, run, laugh, giggle, explore and ask why throughout our lives. Being too serious for too long is not only boring, it is bad for us physically, mentally and emotionally.
We have trillions of cells that create, maintain and renew our bodies and brains every second of the day.
Laughter and using your creative energy is vital to main balance in every aspect of your life.
Teachers are being made to feel powerless and stressed out on a daily basis in their classrooms, and in the news. Teachers are amazing, loving, giving, creative care givers of this planets most precious resource, our children. Recently I have reading a several great books that I would highly recommend to any teacher interested in creativity. The Element - How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything by Sir Ken Robinsion and Creative Thinkering by Michael Michalko. These books are filled with research that shows us how creativity and the body mind connection balances human beings of all ages.
Balanced, happy, passionate teachers have more influence that any other single human being in a child's life. They spend hours everyday with the children of this planet. There are so many great teachers in the educational systems around the world. It is time for them to make their voices heard in and out of the classroom. An educational revolution is in the making. It is my hope that revolution is created by balanced, informed, strong, happy, professionals who understand what real life long education is about. We need long term vision, not short sighted solutions for a few, that will improve and heal our systems for the children who trust us to take care of them.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Good News! Even Truck Drivers Can Reverse Diabetes

Beating Diabetes
Good news fellow road warriors Diabetes type 2 can be beat!
Just a little bit of history here. I began driving big rigs in 1993, I had driven 10 wheelers delivering glass and lumber locally for approximately seven years before that. In 1993 I was laid off from the local lumber company I was working for and went to work for a sea container company that was headquartered just across the street. I quickly learned that they needed a flat bed driver and that it paid more so I started my career off driving "flats" regionally on the west coast.
For the next 13 years I hauled all kinds of flats, low boys, step decks, curtain vans even a fifty three foot flat bed. Then I fell out of the cab of a Peterbuilt cab-over and pretty much destroyed my right knee. The knee was repaired and healed well but my career as a flatbed driver was over, some how perspective employers found out about the injury even if I didn't tell them.
Not being able to find flat bed work I decided to try dry vans, and since I hadn't worked for over six months no one was willing to take a risk on me except JB Hunt, if you don't already know, it's not a good idea to work for them, enough said. Next came refrigerated vans, what crummy work but I did like the company I worked for so I stuck it out with them for 3 years until a change of policy regarding home time caused me to not want to work for them anymore.
Finally, I landed where I have been for the past two years hauling food grade smooth boar tanks.
In 2001, during a routine D.O.T physical, the lab doing my blood work reported I had a blood sugar level of 600 dl/ml ( 70 to 110 is considered normal). I should have been admitted to the hospital right then.
The company Doctor that had evaluated me was as helpful as mud and I had to find another Doctor who educated me and got me started on drugs, and then through a high protein/low carbohydrate diet we were able to get the blood sugar under control without drugs. That was good for about three years, then the progressiveness of this disease caught up with me and I was put back on pills which did work for a time, however my weight kept going up and sometime after I crossed the 300 pound mark I lost all control of my blood sugar and ended up at the door step of an endocrinologist who recommended I go on insulin right away.
I am a chicken when it comes to pain so the idea of neuropathy which I was already beginning to have in my left hand, or amputation or heart attack just didn't appeal to me nor did finding a different line of work, so between a rock and a hard place, I took the hard place and went on insulin.
For those who are not professional drivers using insulin is a death blow to a drivers career, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration does not allow drivers to drive and use insulin as a wrong dose can cause a driver to suddenly pass out, not a good idea when your piloting 70 to 80 thousand pounds at 65 miles an hour. However, in recent years the F.M.C.S.A. has provided a waiver program whereby if a driver can demonstrate that he can properly administer the use of insulin (about a six month process) he can go back to driving. I did get a waiver and returned to driving but it took 10 months and I was unemployed the whole time.
The good News is it is possible even for truck drivers to reverse this disease, I did, and I will be sharing just how I did in future articles so stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

How to Cross the Financial Hurdle for a US Education

SO you've got or think you will get admission into a college of your choice in the US. Now what? The next question many students struggle with is how to pay for it.
The number of students from India studying at colleges and universities in the United States rose to a total of nearly 105,000 during the 2009/ 10 academic year, according to a report published annually by the Institute of International Education (IIE) with support from the U. S. Government.
But, the report goes on to say, 62 per cent of international students in the US funded themselves with only 38 per cent finding funds from other sources. In other words, competition for financial aid is intense. Aid comes in three main formats - full or partial scholarships, teaching or research assistantships where you work a set number of hours a week in exchange for tuition waivers and a stipend, or loans, which often require a guarantor, usually in the US. And who gets the coveted aid? It seems that winning financial aid has become somewhat of an entrepreneurial endeavor. While merit still rules, careful planning, calculated risk taking, positioning and resourcefulness have become critical.
Let's begin with where the money comes from. The top sources for aid were US colleges and universities (24 per cent), current employer (5.2 per cent) and home government or university (4.6 per cent).
Pure Science and Engineering subjects have higher demand, than say, something like education. So getting an assistantship is easier. Your schools ranking is important - most of the top schools are well funded. Where the school is located will also make a difference. The same money, which pays your tuition and part of your rent in New York, will buy you tuition, rent, groceries and leave you with leftovers in Ann Arbor. It pays, then, to carefully research the schools on your list and position yourself accordingly - what kind of funding they have offered in the past, their ranks for your field of study, their location, how many international students they take in every year, whether the school is private or public, their size of undergraduate population and their areas of research (an indication of research assistantships).
For PHDs, most universities are dying to get good students so they compete to give aid. A full scholarship sounds wonderful but is not always the option. Many students take the approach of a patchwork of different kinds of aid instead of one big grant.
Others decide to take the risk of sponsoring themselves or taking a loan for a year, transitioning to scholarships or assistantships in a few semesters. As you start your search, most recommend a broad, pull out all the stops search. Start with the universities website or admissions package, visit websites and offices of US and Indian foundations (such as United States India Educational Foundation and the Tata Scholarships), reach seniors in your target universities through social networks such as LinkedIn or your college's alumni associations, ask your professors for recommendations, write to professors (or professor's assistants) in your target university who are conducting research in your field of interest.
And in the midst of all this, beware of 'paid services' or scams out to get you and your personal information. The good news is that funding for international students from US colleges and Universities has actually increased by 9 per cent in the last year.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Untapped Potential for Debating Election and Campaign News

The political party-based system in the United States, in combination with advances in social media and information technology, should present a perfect opportunity for open and helpful debate of the issues facing us today. Instead it seems like the political views that we hear on many political blogs, other social media sites, and chats that follow news articles are so tainted by hyper partisan dogma and inflexible rhetoric that debate and respectful discussion is almost impossible.
Whether you are a democrat or a republican, liberal or conservative, or anything in between, a rational and open discussion of the facts, historical precedents, and theories behind the decisions the political parties are proposing would add real substance to the political discussion. As with any debate, this kind of factual information about political news and views might confirm what you already believe, or it might even sway you to look at the issue differently.
On an even more important level, open, honest, and respectful debate of political issues including the economy, entitlements, healthcare, and taxes, would work to bring us all together - while liberals and conservatives might still not agree afterwards, a sense of mutual respect and understanding would improve the tone and help open the door to compromise between the republican party and democratic party.
The political blogs that we link to below explore four tragic flaws in our political system that are making it nearly impossible for the democrats and republicans to truly debate the issues. In brief:
-  Politicians and the political parties seem increasingly likely to follow the party line across the board. They may fear losing party support and money for their own re-election bids, or for projects they favor if they break on other unrelated issues. They may also be concerned about alienating a particular voting bloc, no matter what they feel is right or wrong.
-  Political campaigns during election season are filled with such animosity and divisiveness that the style of governance afterwards becomes a carryover. The politicians stay locked in to the same exaggeration, omission, and attacks that got them elected.
-  Corporations, unions, and special interest groups have very quickly gained more power and influence in the political process due to recent Supreme Court rulings. Thus politicians can be worried about both losing contributions and even being targeted by these powerful groups the next time around. Thus they must vehemently hold the party line.
-  Our system has a built-in paradox where no matter what they may truly think about the political views of the other party, they want to see its political leaders fail, particularly during campaign seasons. This paradox can lead to a knee-jerk rejection of the ideas of the other - perhaps most vehemently against those ideas that may actually lead to the greatest success.
We invite you to search out political blogs like the ones noted below that are nonpartisan, independent, and respect healthy debate. Both the Democratic and the Republican parties, and liberals and conservatives have good (and bad) ideas and ideals. It is only through rational and open debate and discussion that we can truly ensure we have an educated voter base, the potential for compromise, and a feeling of working together to address important problems. Cutting through the partisan gridlock and conflict is the first step, and political blogs and other social media must become more the answer and less of the problem.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Difference Between a Mennonite School and Public Education

The core of all schools is the same: It's about educating the youth of a generation to take over in the future as the primary driver of your culture. What you teach them, and how, is what makes to difference.
In public schools, the "what" is everything from history, math, and language to geography and physics. As a child progresses and eventually enters higher education such as high school or post secondary, they eventually get to choose almost every single subject they study. The goal is to let them decide what they want to do and who they want to become.
The time they spend in school can vary quiet a bit but usually goes well into their teenage years.
Mennonite children on the other hand learn only three distinct subjects: Math, Language and most importantly, Bible. These are the cores of what they'll ever need in the community so there is no reason to waste time on frivolous topics such as arts or philosophy. All the Mennonite children in will spend their entire school career in a one classroom building with all the other students.
The years spent in school are much less though. On average, most students will attend school until they are roughly 12 - 13 years old. After that, it's time to work on the family farm.
The main and most important difference between the two forms of education is the "how." In the public system, the goal is to teach the adolescents to think. They are challenged to defend a position, form an opinion or argue a view. This is often done in the form of an essay: a way to structure their thoughts. There is not always a right answer but rather a thought to be pondered.
Mennonite schools in comparison teach children how to follow. A child is not asked, nor encouraged to have an opinion of their own. The goal is teach them the basics they need to get by in life and work on the family farm. Also, if they were taught to think, they might ask questions. A big no no. If the child was taught to reason they might have questions regarding the Mennonite lifestyle and having people question your culture can create divisions and separations. Bad News.
So, in order to continue the Mennonite lifestyle, the community has learnt that they need the sheep to follow rather than lead. Allow someone to stand on their own two feet and they may walk of in their own direction. Never good for a closed community looking to thrive from within.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Life Is Not Fair And That Is Great News

"Life is not fair!" This is a phrase commonly used by pessimists, the eternally negative, and the people who actually gain pleasure from thinking that the world is against them. And it's 100% true. Life really is not fair but guess what? That is great news!
Life Really Is Not Fair
If life was "fair" then everyone would have the exact same life. We would all work the same job, get paid the same amount, live in the same size house, drive the same car, and have the exact same chance at having fun. Zero.
Life is not designed to be fair for all and quite frankly it would suck if it was. If life was fair then what incentive would there be to try new things? Would you be motivated to start your own business and/or work 60 hours a week if you knew you were going to get the exact same reward as the guy who plays guitar and surfs all day? Hell no! (Not to mention the fact that if you were working 60 hours and some guy is not then that breaks the whole "fairness" rule anyway...)
In a world where everything was fair then education, skills, attitude, and experience would count for nothing because everyone would be rewarded the same. In fact society as we know it would cease to exist. No one would want to work in those high-stress jobs, no-one would be motivated to achieve more than the average, and science and technology advances would stop (or at least drop off significantly). Things are not meant to be fair and it is technically impossible anyway so its best if you start accepting that life is not fair. Besides that is actually a good thing.
When people cry about life not being fair they are doing so because on a deeper level they enjoy living with a "me vs the rest of the world" attitude. They like complaining about their situation and making it out like they have no control because it makes them feel like their life has been defined by some higher power. A higher power that they can blame, and people love being able to blame someone else.
But life is not like that. Life definitely is NOT fair but it is also not a zero-sum game. It is not a competition. When someone has some success in their life there is not an exact counter-balance of negativity for someone else. For you to make $1000 today, someone else does not have to first lose $1000. That is not how the world works. Your life, and its "fairness", is the sum of all YOUR actions and is not dependent on anyone else.
Find Success in Unfairness
Everyone can achieve success and happiness but only those that realise it is up them (and not pre-determined by god, fate, or any other belief system) will actually do it. These people are the ones that understand that, because life is not fair, they can stack the odds in their favour.
When you understand the positive implications of life being unfair you start to see the world in a new light. Instead of complaining about your situation, or comparing your lot in life to that of others, your mind begins to focus on creating scenarios that are in your favour. New opportunities are presented, ideas are developed, and the possibilities become almost endless.
So, next time you hear someone mutter those wonderful words - "life is not fair" - you should smile and remind yourself that it is completely and utterly true, but that it just means that you can rig life so that it is always working in your favour.
Life is not fair and that is great news!
Zac Sky is a 27 year old entrepreneur, consultant, writer, motivator, data geek, and sports-lover, with a mindset for being positive, loving life, and experimenting. He is the author of " - Positive Happiness" a blog dedicated to personal development, productivity improvement, and lifestyle freedom.
By age 25, Zac had gained two university degrees, drafted his first self-help book, and founded Sixteen Threads, an Australian software development company, which delivers custom mobile applications.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Recession Unemployment and LMS Education

It seemed that there was some good news for job seekers when the employment data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on April 1st reported that the private sector added 230,000 jobs in March, adding jobs for the 13th consecutive month. The unemployment rate fell in March to 8.8%.
However, also in March, government employment fell by 14,000, making it the fifth straight monthly decline. And local governments were especially affected, losing 416,000 jobs since the peak in September of 2008.
Although job gains are getting better, it is still exceptionally difficult for the unemployed to find work. There are almost five job seekers for every opening available.
Unemployment is highly stressful and emotionally exhausting, but it can also be an opportunity to reflect on your skills and long-term goals, and take action. If you are unemployed, you might take this time to build on your skills and expand your marketability.
Especially for women, further education helps while seeking employment to fight the gender disparity that remains an active element in the work force. For many women either working, raising children, or seeking employment, an LMS online program is not only the most attractive option, but the only one feasible one.
The increasingly financially crippling expenses of brick and mortar university education is enough to make anyone seek alternatives, but especially those with mouths to feed, bills to pay, etc.The low cost combined with the flexibility of online courses make it the fastest-growing learning method in the world.
Surprisingly, many women are finding post-recession time to be the most difficult financially. During the recession, men lost more jobs than women overall. However, now that the recession is over, and we are supposedly enjoying an economic recovery, women are losing more jobs. Why is this the case? Part of the reason is government funding-state money has been quickly running out. Government payrolls are shrinking, programs are being cut, and jobs are being eliminated left and right.
So how are women more affected by state budget cuts? Women make up some 57% of the government work force. And among the public jobs that were cut recently, two-thirds of them were held by women.
Another factor is nothing new. Despite affirmative action and other efforts to balance the inequality between men and women in the workplace, gender biases still have a place in society. Specifically, the "breadwinner bias" still holds sway. When given a choice between a man and a woman, historically a female's income has been considered supplementary, despite the case that more and more women are the full breadwinners of their homes.
LMS online training is helping to bridge the gender gap and equip job-seekers with the skills they need to find employment. However, without a concerted nation-wide effort in both the private and public sector to generate more work, education alone isn't enough to solve the unemployment problem.