Archive for December, 2011

5 Universal Truths to Ponder when setting New Year’s Resolution(s)

The New Year is just around the corner, which means it is time to decide on a New Year’s Resolution.  I find myself wondering if I should even make one.  After all, I’ve seen some stats that suggest 92% of them won’t be kept anyway.  Honestly, as I look back over my track record of keeping past New Year’s Resolutions, my record isn’t stellar either.

Nonetheless, the whole thought of this caused me to do some personal reflection.  I reviewed all areas of my life–relationships, spirituality, finances, career, hobbies etc.   I not only considered how satisfied I am with the current state  of these areas in my life, I also dared to ask how I’d like them to be.  This reminded me of  some universal truths I’ve learned and accepted over the years.

1.  My world today is a reflection of decisions and actions from my past. (or lack of decisions/lack of actions).

2.  New results require new actions.

3.  Successful people set clear, measurable, time-bound goals.

4.  The world is abundant, and everything I need to reach my goals is already available to me.

5.  Success is not a linear path.

Question—So am I going to set a New Year’s Resolution?

Answer–Is the Pope Catholic?

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December 30, 2011 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Are you paying attention? The Healthcare Reform Proposal.

Wow–from stepping lightly into communicating with the world to marching right into a political opinion.  I’m probably moving about as far along the continuum of a controversial pendulum in a 24 hour period of time as is humanely possible. However, the Healthcare Reform is high on my radar these days. I fear most Americans haven’t really tried to understand the bill, even though they understand this is  truly a key event  in the history of our country and certainly worthy of our attention.

It’s no secret.   I think the hotly debated Healthcare Reform has the same potential as “No Child Left Behind” to actually make things better.  Nonetheless I have to admit, at the surface level, it is easy to embrace the intent behind both pieces of legislation.  After all, who could argue with desirability of the idea that all Americans enjoy access to high quality health care or that all students perform at high levels?  But make no mistake, this is another example of trying to treat the symptoms rather than address root cause(s).

While I realize the proposed bill still has a long road to final approval, and it will likely undergo many iterations, here are  five surprising issues  you might want to know:

1.  The proposed bill would prohibit insurers from denying coverage to persons with pre-existing conditions.  WHAT????  Do you understand the business model upon which insurance companies maintain profitability and thereby can stay in business?  Should we be concerned about persons who can’t qualify for private insurance?  Absolutely, but government intrusion into private sector, free-market business operations will make things worse not better, in the long-run. (If you think your premiums are high now, what do you think will happen to your premiums when your insurance provider is FORCED to provide coverage for all?)

2.  The highly publicized 46 million uninsured number is misleading.  It implies that 46 million Americans are unable to obtain coverage and furthermore, it suggests this is a chronic state for them.  The reality is that when you focus only on those American Citizens  who truly lack coverage for reasons beyond their control, it is probably closer to 8.5 million.  For further discussion on this matter visit, http://spectator.org/archives/2009/03/20/the-myth-of-the-46-million

3.  While proposed taxes to fund the initiative (the cost of which has yet to be quantified) and reduced Medicare benefits would take effect almost immediately, the coverage to the uninsured population for which this is seemingly designed won’t happen before 2013.

4.  Americans would be REQUIRED to carry insurance coverage or pay a fine, the maximum of which is currently about $750.  (Let’s see now.  I can pay thousands of dollars every year for coverage or I can pay a fine of $750 until which time I find I really need coverage.  Then I’ll play the “You have to insure me card.”   see #1.   Oh, now I’m beginning to see how this can save me money.  LOL)

5. The US Government will have direct,  real-time access to individual bank accounts for electronic funds transfer and there will be fines for failure to provide this information.  (Pg. 59 of the 1,000 + page of the original proposal)

I have many concerns with this far reaching bill which some critics have even suggested is unconstitutional.  However, I think I’ll close with a challenge to this esteemed group of readers to name the last government run program that saved money and provided better service, both of which are being touted as reasons for supporting the current healthcare reform.  In fact, if you take a step back in time, similar promises were made in the 60’s when Medicare was first introduced.  If you adjust for inflation, the cost of Medicare has already exceeded original estimates by more than 10x.

December 23, 2011 at 2:08 pm 5 comments

Social Networking–Cautiously Getting Started

It’s been a long hard path but my colleagues have finally ‘shamed’ me into participating in the ‘other side of the web.’  I’m referring to connecting, communicating and networking with others around the globe.  What has taken me soooo long?  Well, it has less to do with  resistance to change and more to do with practicality.  Let me explain.

I’m not one who is ‘wowed’ or sucked into the glitz and glimmer of new toys or processes.  In fact, I’m barely even an observer initially.  Until I see how something new allows me to be more efficient, or it allows me to do things that aren’t possible without embracing the ‘new’ processes or tools, I’m not terribly interested.  Additionally, I have to admit that I’m not totally enamored with the idea that the written word lives forever.  You can retract what you write, but I understand it never really goes away.

However, the day has come.  I’ve finally had to admit that social networking on the web is no longer an option.  Rather, it is a ‘must’ in this global economy.  I’ve always appreciated the power of networking, but I’ve finally had to admit that if limit ourselves to face-to-face connections, our potential will likely be greatly diminished.  So gone are the days when I’ve played the role of a supporting cast member behind a curtain of anonymity.

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t weave in a word about education with my first official blog post.  As I stated before, the idea of the permanency of what is posted on the web is a bit disconcerting to me.  I realize that kids, in many ways,  have lead the way with social networking online, but I fear many may not fully appreciate the potential downside of what they choose to share–not just from a safety standpoint but also from the perspective that they are creating a ‘picture’ of who they are, which could serve or hurt them in the future.  Unfortunately, there are probably too few educators versed enough in this social medium to help guide students in their decision making in this social medium.

Nonetheless, I’m onboard now–jumping in with both feet.  Maybe more educators will take the plunge too.

Coming soon…….. Deb Haneke on Facebook, Twitter, Plurk etc.  Is there no end?

December 22, 2011 at 3:06 pm 10 comments


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