Monthly Archives: January 2010

I came into this State of the Union address feeling angst and disappointment.   Disappointed in the President for not being stronger and the democrats in congress for being spineless and disgust at the pettiness of politicians on both sides of the aisle.  But mostly I feel pain for my fellow Americans and intense confusion at why we find it so difficult to care for one another.

We gather our pennies and reach into the deepest realms of our pockets and purses to help those in Haiti and our generous spirit also reaches out to disaster victims here at home in such profound ways.  We even go out of our way to help our neighbors when they are suffering, yet we refuse to provide even the most basic of health care for those that struggle among our own people and see educating our children as somebody else’s problem.

Caring for one another doesn’t just mean coming to the rescue when disaster strikes.  It means supporting one another, being tolerant of each other and lifting each other up so that we can all succeed and thrive.

I wish I shared the presidents hopefulness for our future, especially since I was so hopeful when he was elected.  I wish I saw more of this decency and resilience and care for one another that he sees.  This is a risky thing to say and please don’t bash me or call me names.  I do believe we are strong and the wheel of time will continue to turn and we will keep fighting and prevailing.  It simply pains me to see the state we are in right now, that’s all.

I wrote the following as notes to remind myself of what was going on during the speech so I would have talking points when writing this, but really with a little editing the running commentary was entertaining and compelling in it’s own right, so I left it like that.

Here we go…

Jobs gets everyone to their feet. Obviously we can all agree that creating jobs is a huge issue for the upcoming year.  Of course the differing ideas of how to accomplish that become painfully obvious when the most innovative, creative and I think best ideas are presented, the whole republican side of the room just sat there shaking their heads.

I like the idea of providing community banks funds to loan to small businesses.   This not only helps small businesses, but community banks are moderately small businesses too and this lifts them up in this economy as well.

And please please please can we please take away tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas.  Granted it might make things slightly more expensive, but it will provide jobs here and really, it is about time for all of us to get real with what things cost and what we can afford.

They need to find a better color of makeup for him.  He looks jaundiced.  His hands are this lovely caramel color and his face is the color of bile.   Get on it folks.

Nuclear power plants huh?  Off shore drilling?  bio-fuels and clean coal.  Who said he doesn’t listen to ideas from across the aisle?

Love the dig on climate change.  “Those that disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change”.  If we want to be the global power we see ourselves as we need to lead on a global level.  Set a good example on clean exports.  Increase exports.

Now I am  going to go off here for a minute and I understand that many will disagree with me and even get angry and want to say something nasty just to mix it up, but you aren’t going to change my mind about this so really, why bother?

Funny how the republicans want the “average American” to think that they are in their corner, yet any time something comes up that would help the “average American” or “hurt” big business, the republicans sit shaking their heads in disgust that the needs of the American people would come ahead of the greed of corporate America.

How so many are fooled by their retoric just blows my mind.  They aren’t interested in helping you keep your job or earn more money or put your kids through college or pay your medical bills.  They just aren’t.  What they say and what they do doesn’t mesh up and you all need to open your eyes.  Their only interests lie in discrediting democrats, getting reelected and lining the pockets of their monetary supporters.

Ok, I’m done.  Let’s get on with it.

“The best anti-poverty plan around is a world class education”.  Revitalize community colleges – Awesome!  Wow, big tax credit.  No more than 10% of income on student loans with forgiveness after 20 years or 10 if public servant.  Seems like a decent start, but doesn’t even put a dent in it.  I also think that continuing to throw money at this problem rather than reforming from the bottom up isn’t going to solve anything long term.  But that is a whole different discussion.

Health care reform must happen.  Duh.  Did her really wait this long to discuss this?

Hey!  There’s Gary Locke.

Side Rant Begin…

Small government you want?  Why then did the surplus turn into the biggest deficit ever?  Fact.

Don’t tell me what to do, you say?  But making choices about who I love, what I do with my body and whether my kids learn legitimate science in school is OK?

Let the states make these choices.  In my opinion fundamental rights are a place where the federal government should step in so that all of our citizens can depend on quality and affordable health care and an education that will further them in their lives.

Social security.  Why can’t we just lift the limit on social security tax.  It has been said that this would totally fix the problem and that a huge majority of Americans agree that this is what we should do, but yet it isn’t even on the table?

Side Rant End…

Hey!  There’s Patty Murray.

“It’s time to try something new”.  Common sense, a novel concept.  Invest in our people, imagine that.  The old way is no longer working.  Like a wise man once said, Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results.

I appreciated that he spoke boldly and directly to both democrats and republicans.  To democrats, we have the largest majority in decades and the people expect us to govern, not run for the hills.  Come on you guys, get some work done and quit being a bunch of pansies (my words not his).  And to republicans, quit acting like children (my words not his).  Saying no to everything may be good short term politics, but it isn’t leadership.  It is time to govern and stop the petty political nonsense.

After listening to the speech I feel it was very good as his speeches usually are and I even found myself buying into this hope he spoke of at the beginning.  The hope that politicians will somehow overcome the status quo and see things reasonably.  That the lies will end and the republicans will see governing the people as a higher priority than destroying the democrats.  That the democrats will stand strong in their convictions.

And then I came back to the real world as I discussed the commentary with my husband.  Seems they both think that a week from now nobody will remember a word he said and that the hope that anything will change any time soon is naive and fool hearty.

What will it take to pull us out of this mess we are in?  What will it take to put the American people first?

This American citizen is cynical and angry, but like President Obama I have the slightest glimmer of hope that the strength and love of the American people will somehow prevail.  My heart is heavy and my mind cluttered.

Before I get started there are a couple of things I need to say about Landmark for preface and transparency.

  1. I have taken the first two Landmark curriculum classes.  The Forum and The Advanced Course.  I also signed up for and completed the first work day of the third and final course (Self Expression and Leadership Program – SELP) before ending my relationship with Landmark.
  2. I got it.  Landmark transformed me just as promised.
  3. I think that Landmark has a lot to offer just about everyone.

Ok, now that that is out of the way I also have to say that I strongly disagree with many of their practices.

The teachings are incredible and if you can give yourself over to the process then amazing things can happen in your life.

  • I have found and asked for forgiveness
  • I have released a ton of my baggage and see my past for what it was and not what I made it into.
  • I have new clarity on why I have acted the way I have, chosen the relationships I have chosen and made the choices I have made.
  • I can see what is holding me back and where my failures have come from.
  • I have learned how to express gratitude and ask for help.
  • I am more comfortable with discomfort.
  • My fear is subsiding.
  • I have joy in my life.
  • I have a new level of confidence  and know that I am fully prepared for whatever lies ahead and that what lies ahead is whatever I dream it could be.
  • So so much more.

You would think with all that and more I would be shouting from the rooftops that everyone should absolutely stop whatever they are doing right now and sign up to take these courses.  Unfortunately every time I speak of Landmark I have to add a ton of caveats about the downsides of this company.

Along side a very good curriculum is a very poor marketing plan.  They are constantly pushing you to bring people to the program.   And the further you get in the better the curriculum gets and the more they push bringing people in.   It is distracting and unnecessary and I have told them so.

I spent a lot of time during the Advanced course being angry about this, but I also try to remind myself that everything they do is orchestrated to bring up certain emotions and help you face your fears.  And the expectation of bringing people to the program definitely did that for me, ultimately helping me break my cycle with expectation and failure.  So, it’s not all bad.

But, I think all that could be accomplished without pressuring me to market the program for them.  I had serious work to do and all that bullshit was distracting from that.

The thing I don’t think they realize is that our stories are their best marketing tool and if they just gave us room to tell our stories to those we think might benefit from their program without any pressure or deception they might open up new space for themselves and be able to take their company to the next level.  Seems like they need to take some of their own advice.

If you are considering taking these classes please be aware of these tactics and just put them aside.  If you just let it go, give yourself over to the process and don’t take it too seriously there are tremendous benefits to be gained from taking this challenge on.

Always best to know what your getting into, I think.

If your interested…