Monday, December 24, 2012

How to Become Your Most Powerful Self

Live Free and Be More!

"You have two choices in life. You can dissolve into the mainstream, or you can be distinct. To be distinct, you must be different. To be different, you must strive to be what no one else but you can be." Alan Ashley-Pitt

Right here, at the beginning, I want you to take a good look at your life and how you've live it to this point. Make an honest appraisal. How much of it has been spent attempting to please others or to fulfill someone else's desires or demands? No justifications here; those are too easy. Make it difficult for yourself. Really look. Really dig. Really recognize how much of your life has been wasted in trying to live up to someone or something else's standards.

Note: If you are one who has always lived completely by your own rules, have never set out just to please others, then you can leave us at this point. You're fine. But if an honest observation shows that you have not been completely in tune with your own wishes, dreams, and aspirations, read on.

Now for the grab. Everything you do, for yourself or for others, comes from a deep selfishness. That's right. You're selfish. Even as you're doing good, it's ultimately for yourself. For sure, others may benefit from your charity, or your involvement with them, but in the long run, you're the primary beneficiary. Does that seem somehow wrong to you? 

There's more...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

In Your Less Than Humble Opinion: Can You Support What You Say?

I like to play devil’s advocate now and then. (Some of you already know that!) Make a statement, I will ask you to substantiate it. Is that so wrong? Some people think so. Seems they hate being challenged, even if gently.

Devil's advocate?
But if you put yourself ‘out there’ on the social web, shouldn’t you expect a bit of, say, feedback? I do. I don’t know it all. Someone might come up with a new way for me to think, to write, even to act.

With that in mind, I humbly submit to you some of the following claims that I have challenged--and challenged vehemently in some cases--up and down the online world:
  • A Course In Miracles as words of Jesus/demon inspired/garbage/truth
  • Krishna Consciousness as cult/awakening/true path
  • Reiki as logical/stupid/healing
  • Evangelical Christianity as false/only way/apostate
  • Radical Islam as desperation/evil/way to Allah
  • Politicians as bad/good/indifferent
  • Channeling of any kind, especially Seth/Ramtha/Emanuel/Abraham/Conversations with God
  • Intuition as valid
  • Eastern philosophy as distraction/humane/antichrist
  • Ministers, priests, rabbis, mullahs as good teachers/leaders/fools
  • Social opinion
  • News opinion
  • The Bible, Qur’an, Gita, Upanishads, Dhammapada
  • Buddha as myth/teacher/demon
  • Jesus as teacher/savior/fiction
  • Muhammad as sane/insane
  • Mother Theresa as kind/selfish
  • Obama as good/bad president
  • Bush as good/bad president
I’m not saying anyone who voices their views on the above (and many more) subjects and issues is wrong; just be certain you can back up what you say. I will question not only your opinion but your motive. 

In the long run, allowing yourself to be challenged will help you grow. If you resist it, you stay in the same old stale place and becoming a boring old whiner.

So, involve me in your truth, your passion, your outlook. I want to be of service to you in my best way possible.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Knock, Knock! Opportunity Calling...

The famous hotel magnate, Kemmons Wilson, once wrote, "Opportunity comes often. It knocks as often as you have an ear trained to hear it, an eye trained to see it, a hand trained to grasp it, and a head trained to use it." Spot on.

Let's make this as simple as possible. Opportunities are literally rolling at your feet. When you actually notice them, they are ecstatic. Here's how to notice them more often:

Knock, Knock! Opportunity Calling...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Your Job is to Make Mistakes: Make Them Often, Make Them Well, Make Them Wisely

So, you've had a rough day...
“While one hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior.” Henry C. Lusk
Talk about fun. I have been contributing to a thread on Facebook about whether life has meaning or not. Is there really a God? Do we give everything its meaning? Is the universe an energetic blank slate? No one really has The Answer but the answers keep coming.
In the mean time, the whole game has spawned an article in me. No ultimate answer or anything. Just a thought or two…
“I know that chances are that it’s quite possible to think that maybe the universe has no meaning unless we give it or there is a Universal Source or not.” No, that isn’t the article sub-title. Rather, it’s the crux of the Facebook thread. Bizarre, eh?
Where is this going? With all the discussion about Ultimate Reality—on Facebook and everywhere—perhaps, by admiring rather than disliking your mistakes, you can come to a more enlightened opinion, sense, decision—whatever—about the direction your life may be taking. 

Does it have meaning?
You’ve made both large and small mistakes in your thinking, your acting, your craving for attention, your job, your religion. That’s a no-brainer and it’s OK. So have the rest of us. And we’re living the results. Let’s make some new ones together and perhaps discover a solution or two as well. You won’t be an angel at the end, but you’ll be a little closer to heaven, guaranteed.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Nine (9) Simple--and Easy--Ways to Set and Reach Your Goals, Guaranteed!

“The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get old ones out. Every mind is a building filled with archaic furniture. Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it.” Dee Hock

You want success. You want great outcomes. You want, well, whatever it is you want. Best way to achieve? Set some goals.

You may have taken goal setting workshops or read a few books on the subject, and still, you procrastinate. (If you set goals and achieve them on a regular basis, then this may be a bit remedial so see you in the Advanced Section a bit later!) So, here are some truly simple ways to get you started. You will find, as you get this project going, that it becomes easer. It will be easier still when you see your goals being reached and your objectives manifesting before your eyes. Ready?
  • First, decide you are consciously in control of this process, that your fears, your doubts, your hesitancy might rear their heads, but you are the decision maker, not them.
  • Establish a reason for the goal, then give it a deeper purpose. If it’s too lightweight, it’ll be too easy to give it up.
  • Choose a first step; make it your primary cause. Make certain you have defined exactly want you want this first step to achieve, what you want it to look like when completed.
  • It’s essential that the goal you set is something you really want to attain. Too often, we set goals based on other people’s opinions, desires, needs. Don’t do that. Make this your target, not someone else’s.
  • Once you know what you want and have made certain it’s your decision, your choice, imagine the successful outcome. Get a picture of it in your mind’s eye. See it clearly. Release it. Begin the journey. Having a clear vision will allow the necessary steps to show themselves.
  • Get your goals down in writing. Writing tends to make them solid. It doesn’t mean you can’t make adjustments along the way; in fact, you’ll probably do a lot of that as you aim toward your destination. But this gives you a firm starting position.
  • If possible, set a deadline. Give yourself a timeframe. Tough, but it works!
  • Create a simple starting point. Move forward from there. Don’t make it too difficult or you may not get off the ground.
  • Finally, even if you can’t quite believe that you can achieve your goal, give yourself permission to believe it anyway.

These simple steps can make the difference between manifesting your desired outcome and sitting on the sidelines, wishin’ and a hopin’… It’s up to you. You have what you need, you have what it takes. With just a goal or two, you set the direction. And soon, the world will become your oyster, guaranteed.

“You enjoy as much happiness as you believe you're worthy of and you suffer as much pain as you believe you’re worthy of.” (Attrib.) 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

What the Heck Is a Positive Thinker? Find Out Here...

You might just be one of us!

“Positive thinking is just another way to deny the realities of life,” said my friend Lucy one Sunday morning on the way to Starbucks. “They can’t accept that the world is full of pain and suffering. They’d go down in flames laughing!”
But Lucy has it wrong (except for the laughing part). Positive thinkers are not pie-in-the-sky optimists yet they are quite optimistic. Their feet are planted firmly on the ground while their imaginations play a major important role in their lives. They know without doubt that creativity is at least as important as practicality and the cold hard facts. And they display certain characteristics. See how many of them apply to you. You just might be one of us!
  • Positive thinkers tend to take excellent care of themselves physically, mentally, spiritually.
  • They assume responsibility for their actions and get over disappointments rapidly.
  • They are trustworthy and deeply honor their personal, business, and professional relationships.
  • They know they have high potential and live into it continually.
  • They have learned how to communicate well in all areas of their lives.
  • They know that real love is compassion in action; they are empathetic more than sympathetic.
  • They enjoy life, laugh a lot, and have fun. When necessary, they work hard and enjoy the benefits.
  • And they are life-long learners. The vast majority of successful people would call themselves positive thinkers.
A lot more can be said of positive thinkers but the above short list covers the major basics. You don't have to live up to anything on the list. (You might even think they're pie-in-the-sky!) Simply consider them. What might be your personal benefit for working some of the practices into your own daily walk? (#1: You’ll smile more.) If you don't like these characteristics, you can always go back to the way you are now.
Positive thinking is more than a list. It is a way of life, a commitment--a habit that is joyfully cultivated continuously. It begins again, every morning when you look into the mirror. Gradually, more and more, you're happy with what you see. Then, you take that joy into the world where it is needed--now, more than ever.
And it is, more than anything, a choice.
“First we make our habits; then our habits make us.” Charles C. Noble

Monday, September 10, 2012

How To Create--and Love--A Very Old Kitty

Friday, September 14, 2012, will mark the first anniversary of the death of my beloved cat and friend, Annie, who died of kidney complications at the ripe old age of 22. Yes, 22! And up until the time she got sick, which was only a couple of months before she passed, she was still bounding up onto the bed, the sofa, the kitchen counter and jumping back down as well. At times I thought I had an old kitten on my hands. She was also severely independent and would actually bite me once in a while if I crossed her.

We had a love/like relationship.

So, how did I get her to such a high number of years? Simple...

First, I fed her organic raw beef and ground chicken, a little chopped salmon or cod once in a while, and some organic dry treats from Organix products I usually bought at Whole Foods. A little wheat grass now and again and plenty of filtered water.

No vitamin supplements and definitely no canned foods. The only additions were some small amounts of ground flax seeds in her wet food and a few pieces of veggies that she liked: A bit of shredded carrot and some mashed chick peas. I learned her veggie tastes over the years and gradually settled in on the few that she really liked.

Along with all that, I exercised her by the traditional string pull around the room, up and over the furniture, two or three times a day when I thought about it, totaling around 15 times a week. She had good lungs and strong bones, right up to the time of departure. I got stronger, too.

Above all, I let her know with certainty that she could trust me. I loved her and she knew it. She would often talk gently to me while I was working at the computer and rub against my leg when she wanted attention. When hungry, she would yowl just enough to be annoying. She was well aware!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

How to Become THE Expert In Your Field In Five Powerful Steps

Jim Rohn, author and personal development trainer for more than 40 years, said, "If you read one book every month about your industry, in 10 years you'll have read 120 books. That will put you in the top one percent of your field." He's right, of course, but you can become the expert much faster than 10 years. Here's how...
  • Select the top five current books in your field and read them each twice. Take notes. Research any references and resources listed at the back of each book. Examine any suggested websites or blogs. This should take about six months, if you're diligent.

  • Then, read each new book that comes out in your field for the next year. You'll have lots to choose from. Just go to or to the Barnes and Noble site, get on their mailing list for your topic, and then read their recommended titles. (Actually, even once you become the expert, continue reading all new materials in your field.)

  • Begin visualizing yourself as the expert, the one to whom everyone turns for advice, for leadership, for inspiration. This step is key. If you can't see yourself as the expert, no one else will either. You can begin this particular practice right now.

  • Create a journal to keep track of your progress. Write questions and answer them from your readings. You'll look back on this effort later to chart your evolution.

  • Begin writing a page a day about what you now know. Don't worry; you're not ready to submit anything for publication yet. These pages are for practice only. Writing everyday will help to solidify your new knowledge and expertise. As you write, you'll discover what you still need to learn. Eventually, you'll pull your writings together into various forms of publishable content. (That's a whole other subject for another article.)
These five steps are practical, simple, and powerful. But you must make the decision to do the work. Once you commit to practice, you'll begin to see opportunities to learn more, share more, and be more. You'll also notice more obstacles. These are what I call your "learning stones." Each obstacle presents the possibility of failure, and also the probability of success, if you do not give in to fear and doubt. They can strengthen your resolve or they can reinforce your weaknesses. It's up to you to keep the faith, so to speak, and to always know the difference. It's called entropy. Something will always be trying to drag you down. Resist. Regroup. Reform. Move on.
There are lots of people who want to be the best in their field, and some of them are your direct competition. Keep them in view, but concentrate more on your own journey. Obsessing about what others are doing will only slow you down.
No matter who you are or what kind of life you've had to this point, you can become the expert. And the expert is always in demand. Start now, don't quit, keep practicing. A great concert pianist is at the keyboard every day, often for many, many hours. The dedicated mathematician does equations every day. The professional athlete trains every day. The expert presenter researches and prepares confidently for the next presentation, the next audience.
So, Jim Rohn suggests 10 years, eh? This simple process that you now are going to implement will take about a year and a half to help skyrocket you to expert status. A year and a half. And that time will speed by no matter what you do. Might as well spend it wisely and productively. I get the sense that, in your mind, you're already seeing yourself as the expert. You've already begun the journey. Will you do what's necessary? Only you know the answer.
The path is now clear. Your success, with determination and continued practice, is assured.

Friday, September 7, 2012

New Web Address Coming...

Beginning tomorrow, Sept. 8, 2012, this site's new web address will be:

The format will be changing to include articles and other kinds of posts on executive presentation and communication skills. You'll pick up all kinds of tips on how to present yourself in just about any professional or personal situation. Speaking, dealing with employees, board members, clients, customers, contractors, consultants, donors and all the people you come into contact with during the course of your day. You may not realize it just yet, but your ability to present yourself well determines the levels of success in your life. So, subscribe today and welcome!

You are what the world sees. Be your best. Share your best with the world!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

God Awful: How To Choose Your New Minister From The Bible

If you had decided to pick your new minister from the Bible, who would you choose?
Good man but problems with his wife. Also one reference told of how he and his wife enjoy walking nude in the woods.
Seldom stays in one place very long. And, of course, he's single. Has a messiah complex.
Prone to unrealistic building projects.
A big thinker but a braggart. Believes in dream interpreting, and has a prison record. Had been accused of adultery.
A modest and meek man but poor communicator, even stuttering at times. Sometimes blows his stack and acts rashly.
Complains a lot.
The most promising leader of all until we discovered his affair with his neighbor's wife. His kids are out of control.
Great preacher but too many wives. Good with building projects though. Rather extravagant.
Prone to depression. Collapses under pressure. Spends too much time in wilderness. Loner. No wife that we know of.
Hair is way too long. Would probably collapse if it was cut.
Refused God's call into ministry until he was forced to obey by getting swallowed up by a great fish. He told us the fish later spit him out on the shore near here. Known to pout when things don't go his way.
Says he's a Baptist but definitely doesn't dress like one. Has slept outdoors for months on end. Has a weird diet. Provokes denominational leaders. Is too social and political minded. Offends politicians and is 
known to lose his head on occasion.
Too blue collar. Has a bad temper. Has even been known to curse. Had a big run-in with Paul in Antioch. Aggressive, but a loose cannon. Probably speaks in tongues. Claims to have visions.
Powerful CEO-type leader and fascinating preacher. However, short on tact, unforgiving with younger ministers, harsh, and has been known to preach all night. Controversial on women's issues. Admits to speaking in tongues. Has recommended young men to drink wine. Little chance that he will ever marry. 
Too young.
Too old. WAY too old.
LUCIFER: Definitely his own man. Doesn't take orders easily. Ready to fight at the drop of a hat. Rebellious, self-righteous, determined. (Maybe...)
Good government references. Knows how to handle money. Knows what’s secretly going on among the people. Now he’s a possibility.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Saul Alinksy: Do You Know That Name? You Should...

During the past Republican primary season, Newt Gingrich bounced around the name of Saul Alinsky like it was a dirty word, claiming Pres. Obama was way too influenced by that man and therefore not qualified to be president of the U.S. In this enlightening video, featuring Bill Moyers, Alinsky is not only acquitted of the Gingrich charges. He turns out to be one great American. Watch and be awakened...

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Volunteer Who Waited...and Wasn't Disappointed

It's all good...

By Richard Kent Matthews

Early last year, around February 2011, I applied to volunteer at a local agency doing counseling work with senior citizens. During the training, I discovered that the 'team' I was going to be working with didn't exactly take to me for some reason. Oh, well, I thought. I'm not really here for them anyway. I'm here to serve.

But I still had a negative feeling about the whole training experience.

During the last couple of days of the training, I made the decision not to work with the organization. Before I could exit, though, the leader of the training called me aside and said that I didn't fit in and they wouldn't be asking me to continue with them.

To be very blunt and honest, I was taken aback and even a bit offended! Ha! They beat me to the punch.

Later, as I rehashed the whole process in my mind, I realized my personal response was a bit childish. I made the decision to just let it go.

The sad part was, I really wanted to volunteer with the organization. I felt a sense of loss. But I put it out of my mind and went on to other things.

Forward to today, July 30, 2012.

I received an email from a Craigslist volunteer opportunity I'd inquired about. The sender asked me if I was the same Richard who had volunteered for the counseling position last year. I was hesitant to say yes, thinking that they were probably not going to ask me to interview since they most likely had talked to the trainer. But I went ahead and sent an email, telling them that I was indeed the same person.

Just a few minutes ago, I received an email from one of my 'buddies' (whom I had lightly bonded with while doing the training) who now works at the organization, containing these words:

"Hi, there...

It took a while for it to come up, but I thought that might be you!  [The trainer and her assistant], the temp office help she had for a year, both quit last year around the end of July and middle of August.  Since then we have a new program manager..., and I’m doing the office work stuff as a part-time job...  

[The volunteer coordinator] is the person who’s most involved with the [position you inquired about].  I’ll send her your name and email.  There are more of these being done each year, and the people who specifically volunteered and trained to be Senior...Counselors are mostly not so interested in this part, and overburdened by them.

This is a first for us, to be offering a volunteer opportunity that’s not the Senior...Counseling.  It might wind up being a good fit [for you]."

She closed with enthusiasm and encouragement. 

Turns out, right now is a much better time for me to be applying to this particular organization. Last year would not really have worked.

We love to plan. We love to set goals. And good for us. Sometimes, though, when we let go and step back, we will experience the Universe moving on our behalf in significant and jubilant ways. 

Over the years I have learned to do more stepping back. And the Universe just keeps sending the goodies my way.

I am grateful.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Second Chance: If You Could Do It All Again, Would You Change Anything?

Once more, with gusto!

I like surveys. So this one really caught my attention.

A survey of 200 people over 60, taken not too long ago, asked this question:

If you were given the opportunity to live your life over, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently the second time around?

The answers were telling, indeed, but not all that surprising. Only a very small percentage said they would do it exactly the same. But the larger part of the participants answered in these ways, not necessarily in order of importance to the individuals:
I would...

  • Take time to find out what I really wanted to do with my life and live my dreams. (Many thought they had not found their true purpose.)
  • Take more risks. (Some even said that 'playing it safe' had been a cop-out.)
  • Lighten up; laugh more. (Taking everything so seriously has taken its toll, they said.)
  • Be more patient. (Turns out, they would have gotten to where they were going anyway so why be so agitated?)
  • Be more open to others, less prejudiced and fearful. (They've learned that everyone is valuable.)
  • Live more in the present moment. (Worrying about the future was one of the biggies!)
  • Be more compassionate to others and to myself. (Many were acutely aware of the pain they had caused others as well as themselves.)

Bonnie Pruden wrote, "You can't turn back the clock; but you can wind it up again."What will you add to this list? What will you do to wind up your own clock? Can you begin now, in this moment, to live life on your own terms, by your own rules? Or will you continue along your present path, looking to others--like this post--to tell you what to do? It's your call. Always has been.

You still have time to offer to the world your very best. Don't let excuses, fear, and procrastination stop you from stepping out, stepping up, and moving forward. You still have time. Use it wisely. But use it.

"Don't leave this world with songs unsung." Ernie Zelinski

Friday, July 27, 2012

Drinking Mud: Your Water May Be Dirtier Than You Think

I am vegan. I do not eat meat of any kind, including fish and chicken, and I avoid as much as possible all food containing animal products. That includes dairy, eggs, honey, lanolin, and other hidden sources. I am training myself to recognize animal substances with very strange sounding, chemical-like names that show up on labels but no one really knows what they are. Good chance even the product producers don't know.

With that in mind, I want to share with you a segment from a great publication called Guide to Veg Living from Farm Sanctuary (contact info below), the nation's leading farm animal protection organization since 1986.

From page 9 of the pamphlet:
  • American factory farms produce nearly 788,000 tons of manure per day.
  • Manure from these operations contains multiple pollutants, such as heavy metals, antibiotics, pathogens, and nitrogen and phosphorous.
  • Through lagoon leaks or spills and run-off from saturated fields, contaminants enter into the environment and threaten water quality across the country.
  • Often finding its way into the groundwater supply, manure can cause nitrate levels in drinking water to rise to dangerous levels.
  • By robbing water of oxygen and killing off aquatic life, nitrogen and phosphorous found in manure can also harm river and stream ecosystems. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the run-off from factory farms pollutes our waterways more than all other industrial sources combined.
  • Agricultural run-off introduces disease-causing pathogens, including parasites, bacteria, viruses, into surface waters often used as drinking water sources for humans and animals. (My note: Don't think water in plastic bottles will save you. Most of that water is actually tap water. Plus, the plastic leaches into the water, creating its own set of challenges in your body and the bodies of those you love, both animal and human.)
If the fact that factory farm animals are the most mistreated creatures in America, perhaps the world, doesn't move you, maybe you and your kids having to drink foul, muddy, infected water will. Giving up factory-produced meat and dairy is a good way for you to help in saving our water, our air, our world.

It's your choice, of course. I'm hoping you'll join us in this movement to stop the pollution, the cruelty, the destruction.

Contact Farm Sanctuary at or call 607-583-2225 for more information on you can be an asset to global health.

Friday, July 20, 2012

What Have You Got To Lose? Your Bill of Rights

As we plunge into this 2012 election season, with the Citizens United decision now firmly entrenched, and super pac money flowing more freely than Niagara Falls, I thought it might be nice to remind you and all of us what it is we defend in the US. There are those who are trying to undermine these rights. You need to be well informed about them. So, here are your Bill of Rights. Read, remember, reinforce, and resist any attempt to dismantle them.

The Preamble to The Bill of Rights
Congress of the United States
begun and held at the City of New-York, on
Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.
THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.
RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.
ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.
Printer-Friendly Version
The Bill of Rights: A Transcription
The Preamble to The Bill of Rights
Congress of the United States
begun and held at the City of New-York, on
Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.
THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.
RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.
ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.
Note: The following text is a transcription of the first ten amendments to the Constitution in their original form. These amendments were ratified December 15, 1791, and form what is known as the "Bill of Rights."

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Amendment VII
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Five Great Ideas for Your Nonprofit Blog

By Patrick T Langley (Guest author)

Even the best writers have trouble coming up with ideas... You don't want to overwhelm the page with bland details and short blurbs. The goal is to give supporters a reason to keep coming back. If you're stumped on what to write about for your nonprofit blog, look no further....

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Do We Really Exist?

From St. Jimmy at Captain Cynic Philosophy Forum...

Think about this: 

-An atom has no intelligence, becasue it is just a collection of tiny tiny particles held together by magnetism. 

-An atom does not need any food, drink, nutrition to keep living. 

-An atom cannot die because matter cannot be created nor destroyed, and an atom is not "alive". 

Everyone can accept this. 

Now the confusing part.  Every single one of us is made up of atoms, an yet we 

-need nutrition 
-have intelligence 

How does this work out???

(Thanks, St. Jimmy. Quite a thought. If anyone ever comes up with a true answer*, we will share it here, without hesitation. In the mean time, may we each be nudged to do the least harm and the most good while we stumble along, seeking truth from wherever it may come, following it wherever it may lead.)

*At Captain Cynic Philosophy Forum, there are some attempts at an answer to these questions. It's up to you to decide of any of those answers pass muster.