Sunday, April 17, 2011


Confidence can be the most powerful tool in your personal arsenal, yet few seldom look at it that way.  Lack of confidence can literally destroy someone.  Confidence can gain you political office, incredible wealth, strong relationships, good test scores and even a healthy and long life.  Lack of confidence can lose you that promotion, cause a relationship to falter, make you a bad parent or even cause you not to volunteer to help those less fortunate.  So why is confidence over looked by so many if it can be the sole cause of so much good or so much bad?

It can be hard to be confident, mostly because of the negativity of the people around you.  How often do people make fun of someone just because of something they have done.  I know I have.  I know tons of more negative people then I do positive people.  Even some of my best friends have made fun of me or talk negatively instead of supporting me or being positive.  How about a few current events to help me make my point.  Rebecca Black, an over night sensation in music.  Now, Rebecca Black wasn't trying to become famous, she just made a music video with friends for fun, but in today's world of instant communication is circled the globe fast, and she became very popular.  But, most of the comments she received were negative.  I can speculate why, but I don't know each and every person's reason.  I bet most are jealous, but will never admit it.  But either way, how can Rebecca Black have confidence in a time when there is so much negativity coming her way?  Again, it is hard to be confident because of negativity.

How about Donald Trump.  This man exudes confidence.  And look at where is has gotten him.  Recently, in an interview regarding his possible bid for the presidency, he said that the democrats are extremely afraid of his potential bid.  Now, is that true, probably not.  But, Donald Trump believes it is, because he has the confidence to go at this with everything he has, and to never accept failure.  Is it possible that he fails?  Absolutely, but he refuses to acknowledge that, at least not until he does fail.  Now, some people may believe that he is just crazy to think that, but again, I say look at where he is as in life.

I have a lot more to say regarding this topic, so look for future posts, but for now I will say this: Being negative is always easier, but if you look to the examples of the people who have extreme confidence (and not just Donald Trump), can you really afford to not be confident?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Health Guidelines and Food Stamps

The US government has once again updated their food pyramid and guidelines for healthy living.  The new report suggested lowering calorie intakes and consuming less salt... duh.  I think there are plenty of private organizations that stress these things, and far earlier then the US government does.  Not to mention the general public will probably be quicker to follow what is said about health on "The Biggest Loser" tv show rather than a report the government issues.  Before we go any further, I have one quick point to make.  Obama stated in the State of the Union that he wants to cut out unnecessary government agencies.  I have a suggestion.  How about the the people who update the food pyramid, years after the healthy suggestion are main stream.  Just a thought.

Since we do have an agency devoted to healthy eating guidelines, why not put their recommendations to good use?  How about we mandate that those people on food stamps have to purchase only healthy foods, that fall into the guidelines?  After all it is an assistance program that the tax payers pay for and the government facilitates.  And the government believes the country needs to adopt healthy eating habits (rightfully so).  We might as well start with those that need nutrition the most, right?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


The debate over regionalism in Cleveland is starting to heat up.  Here are some thoughts:

I believe the notion of regionalism and tax revenue sharing between the communities of Greater Cleveland is a great idea.  For many reasons, the strength of one community, whether it is the downtown area or an outer ring suburb, truly depends on the whole.  Most people do not live, shop, play and work in the same city.  Even if they did I am willing to bet their customers or business partners live in a different city.

But what do different parts of the region offer and how are they connected to the whole?  Downtown has everything from fortune 500 companies to entertainment venues, Lakewood is residential, and East Cleveland has factories.  Now, even though someone who lives in Lakewood may rely on a factory in East Cleveland, why would they want to support the city itself?  I could make the argument that the factory could be located in any city.  Plus East Cleveland has a history of corruption and a high crime rate.  But there is more to the equation.  For instance land in East Cleveland is cheap and that helps the bottom line of the industries that call East Cleveland home.  

How do we promote regionalism?  To give a specific example, the idea is to use the city of Lakewood’s tax dollars to not fix a side walk within their own city limits, but to instead maybe give it to East Cleveland to help maintain an aging infrastructure.  Is that fair?  To a Lakewood citizen, probably not.  But to an East Cleveland citizen, it may be a blessing.

In order for me to give up having my sidewalk fixed, I would need a terrific understanding of where my money is being used instead, and it better benefit me in some way.  This is the point where I believe regionalism falls apart.  Let’s face it, government is not organized enough, especially when crossing city limits, to implement a program that takes away my tax dollars, gives it to someone else, and tells me exactly where it is going and how it would benefit me.  It just doesn’t seem possible.  Could you imagine how large a government agency would be in order to facilitate a program that could complete all of those steps?  Not to mention we are living in a time of tight budgets and deficit spending and I am sure a large sum of that potential pool of money would have to go to administrative costs, and larger government is NOT something I am willing to give my tax dollars to.

Regionalism is a GREAT idea, but I am sorry to say, in my opinion, it’s just not feasible.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Call of Duty Myth

There is not a solider inside us all. Period! There are a very select group of brave men and woman who can claim they have what it takes to be a solider, and I thank each and every one of them from the bottom of my heart.  To make a claim that there is a solider inside us all is not only insulting to those men and women who risk their life to protect our freedom everyday, it is flat out wrong.  So who made this claim that there is a solider inside us all?  The new Call of Duty video game commercial.  Which, if I may add, has a scene with a young girl firing a shot gun and smiling about it after.  This commercial sickens me.  Don't get me wrong, I think the video game is fun to play.  I should also note that I am not one of those people who believes violent video games produce violent children (if parents took responsibly, it would be a non-issue, but we will save that for another time). I don't know how they got off making a commercial that mocks a war zone, with everyday people and show them smiling about it!

How about this, let us send a bunch of "regular" people into an actual combat situation.  Force them to kill someone and then watch their friend die next to them.  Let us see if they are smiling then.  Activision, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Don't Let Cancer Win

Do you know what "Movember" is?  If you don't, I encourage you to do some quick research.  In order to raise awareness and research funding men around the country are growing mustaches right now.  Their aim?  Prostate Caner.  Prostate Cancer is a deadly disease, affecting an astronomical amount of men each year.  How do we fight it?  We fund the research that goes into finding a cure.

If you like my friend's mustache seen here, and are willing to be selfless and save lives, I would encourage you to donate a small amount of money to a worthy cause.  Follow this link to donate:

Don't let cancer win.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I was sitting in a Starbucks a few days ago having coffee with my wonderful girlfriend.  We were having a conversation about her grad school applications.  Unfortunately, I was being distracted.  The distraction was a teenage boy trying to talk to a teenage girl.  We all know how this goes; he was trying to act really "cool."  "Cool" is in quotation marks for a reason.  "Cool" means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, and I respect most of its uses.  This example of "cool" however, was completely unacceptable.  The kid, for 20 minutes, talked about how "cool" is was to be drunk all the time.  He even bragged about this one time when him and his friends got black out drunk and drove around the city doing stupid things.  Now, I am not a violent person, but if it wasn't for my girlfriend I probably would have punched him out.  There is absolutely no need for a person like him to be a part of a civilized society.  THIS IS HOW PEOPLE DIE!  AND IT IS FUN? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

The girl he was talking to, couldn't help herself.  She was eating it up, giggling, playing with her hair, smiling.  She thought it was "cool."  There is no place for someone like her in a civilized society either.  She is just as guilty, because she is what I like to call an enabler.  I understand they are teenagers, and most of them have a messed up view of the world anyways, but come on!  You know who else I blame, his and her parents.  If only they got their heads out of their asses and raised their children in an acceptable manner.

This topic fires me up, if you can't tell.  I ask one thing of anyone who reads this post.  Please, for the love of humanity, do not enable people like these two I have discussed.  Punching someone out over this is not the answer, but if you are an adult and you are hearing a teenager talk like this, could you please remind them that they are being ridiculous and won't be laughing when they kill themselves, or worse... someone else.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

National Day of Conversation

Today I had the privilege of taking part in a great conversation, I mean, it is the National Day of Conversation after all.  The topic: What is the most important work newly elected officials can address in your community?  I sat at a table with about 15 or so strangers and discussed everything from inevitable political redistricting (and how it will ultimately be unfair) to how we could better utilize Cleveland's waterfront.  This situation was a brand new experience for myself, and it was very eye opening.  It was good to break out of my current circle of conversations and bust into a new one.  I would encourage everyone to try something like this, who knows what you might learn or who you might meet.  Better yet, your conversation might lead to some sort of action.  The type of action that may encourage your elected officials to go through fair redistricting or a brand new commercial development on Cleveland's beautiful waterfront...