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T-Shirts with a Purpose Raises Awareness of Human Trafficking PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 14:43
You Don’t Have to Be Powerful
in Order to Have an Impact, Expert Says

Slavery not only still exists – it’s a thriving big business throughout the world, says Lucia Mann, author of “Rented Silence” (www.luciamann.com), which explores slavery and institutional brutality.

She lists the following facts that have global citizens concerned:

There are more human slaves in the world today than ever before in history, roughly 27 million people.

Children make up nearly half; each year, 2 million children are forced into prostitution.

Approximately 75 to 80 percent of human trafficking is for sex.

Sex trafficking plays a major role in the spread of HIV, researchers say.

Human trafficking not only involves sex and labor, people are also trafficked for organ harvesting.

A human trafficker can earn 20 times the amount paid for a girl – at least $250,000.

“As terrible as the transatlantic slave trade was throughout four centuries, there is now more than twice the amount of slaves today being trafficked than those who were shipped to America,” says Mann, whose Sicilian mother was a sex slave in South Africa and a World War II concentration camp survivor. As a child, Mann was abducted from her mother by her biological father -- her mother’s master.

Young people are joining the effort to fight the tidal wave of human trafficking, including Emily Fulker, a freshman at Shippensburg University. She became inspired to act after learning about the Underground Railroad in the 1800s, as well as today’s slavery, in school and in her church.

Fulker and her friends decided to find a way to contribute to International Justice Mission, an organization that rescues victims of human trafficking, by selling stylish T-shirts featuring facts about today’s slavery problem. Find the shirts by typing “Buy Shirts to Free Modern-Day Slaves” into a search engine online.

Mann offers additional suggestions:

• Scholarship credits: Overachieving high school students frequently participate in charitable events and organizations to earn credits for scholarships. Students can speak with their guidance counselor to see if they can get credit for a car wash, bake sale or other event to earn money for organizations that help today’s slaves.

• Host city watches: Any city hosting major events, such as a political or business convention or the Super Bowl, among others, is at higher risk to experience prostitution and human trafficking abuses. The Catholic Sisters congregations have recently taken measures to fight slavery-based prostitution in American cities; Mann says other charity groups should consider doing the same.

• Tax-deductible events: Successful businesses frequently contribute to charity for at least three reasons – to help those in need; donations can be written off  come tax season; and it is great PR in any given community. Though there are many worthy charities, more businesses might consider tackling this relatively new and growing problem, Mann says.

About Lucia Mann

Lucia Mann was born in British colonial South Africa in the wake of World War II and lives in West Covina, Calif., and British Columbia, Canada. She retired from freelance journalism in 1998 and is the founder of the Modern-Day Slavery Reporting Centre, www.mdsrc.org, the first hotline for victims and concerned citizens. To report suspected trafficking, visit the site or call (800) 610-7035, ext. 227.

 
Morthland Receives Non-life Threatening Injuries in Early Morning Accident PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Rep. Rich Morthland   
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 14:36

Moline, IL...  State Representative Rich Morthland (R-Cordova) was involved in an accident early this morning while working on his farm in Cordova. He will undergo knee surgery this afternoon and stay in the hospital overnight. Morthland is expected to have a full recovery.

The office will remain open as he recovers and will continue to pass along information as it becomes available. Please call (309)762-3008 with any questions or concerns.

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What’s Your ‘Lie-Q’? PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 14:34
Take the Test to See if ‘Self Lies’ are Holding You Back

Prophets and philosophers throughout history have spoken of the potential calamities embedded within lies.

“Relationships are ruined every day because of lies,” says former IBM executive Cathy Holloway Hill, a life improvement consultant and author of “Lies, Love & Life,” (www.chollowayhill.com). “Think about the collapse of our economy starting in 2008 – it didn’t happen because bankers and other key players were honest and acted with integrity. It happened because of lies. But the most damaging lies are the ones we tell ourselves.”

“Self lies” cause us to perpetuate a cycle of failure, she says, and the first step in reversing the pattern is recognizing them.

Hill has developed three questions – a Lie-Q test – for people who can’t seem to find success, whether it’s in romance, weight loss, finances or just general contentment.

• Have you ever told yourself, “I’m too old for that”? That’s just one of the many common self lies. Others include, “I will never find true love;” “I’ll never get out of debt;” “I can’t change who I am.” While the briefest of analyses demonstrates how illogical these lies are – people find true love, get out of debt and change every day – we persist in believing them. If you tell yourself you can’t, you won’t make the real effort required to succeed.

• Do you pretend to be happy when you’re not? Many of us have pretended to be happy on the job or at home when, in truth, we’re very unhappy. Sometimes we pretend for the sake of others; sometimes because we worry about the consequences of expressing our true feelings. And sometimes, we do it to convince ourselves that we’re happy. Are you happy? If you’re not sure, or if you’re sure you’re unhappy, Hill recommends getting into “self-discovery” mode. Take a close look at the hobbies, relationships, activities and work you enjoy. Determining what they are and working them into your life starts the process of feeling more content, she says.

• Do you think you can’t find a more satisfying job? It’s important to find satisfaction and gratification in our work lives, Hill says. “We spend most of our waking hours on the job so if yours feels tedious, meaningless and dead end, you will be happier if you’re at least working on a Plan B,” she says. Since the economic downturn and soaring jobless rates, the mantra has been, “Be grateful if you have any job at all.” That’s the wrong attitude. “If you have an exceptional skill and are willing to work hard, chances are you can find something that makes you happier. If it’s not a paying job, perhaps some volunteer work on the side,” Hill says. Make a list of your skills and the things you enjoy. Do any of these match job descriptions in the real world? You may be surprised to find that your dream job – or something close to it --is out there. “Why wouldn’t you go for it?” she asks.

About Cathy Holloway Hill

Cathy Holloway Hill is founder of C. Holloway Hill Enterprises, an international consulting, training and professional speaking firm focusing on personal and professional growth and effectiveness. Her guidance is sought by Fortune 100 companies, youth organizations and individuals who want to transform their lives. Hill has a bachelor’s in computer science, a master’s in psychology and numerous life coaching certifications. After 25 years in the corporate world, she walked away from her successful career at IBM in order to pursue her passion – helping people live happier lives. She is a winner of Indiana’s Torchbearer Award for contributions to her state.

 
Statement from Governor Quinn on Today’s S&P Action PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Thursday, 30 August 2012 07:21

CHICAGO – August 29, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn issued the following statement regarding Standard & Poor’s action today.

“Today’s action is no surprise.

“Over and over again this summer, I made clear that if we do not act on pension reform, the state of Illinois would suffer the consequences. Now it has.

”Eliminating our $83 billion unfunded pension liability is vital to getting our financial house in order.  Today’s action by Standard & Poor’s is more evidence that we must act.

“I cannot act alone. We must work together to make the tough decisions necessary to correct poor financial decisions made by previous governors and legislatures over decades that created this situation today.

“We cannot fix these challenges overnight but, as we have shown with the Fiscal Year 2013 budget by reducing our Medicaid liability by more than $2 billion, paying down $1.3 billion in bills, and taking discretionary spending to below 2008 levels, steady progress can lead Illinois to sound financial footing.

“The only thing standing between Illinois and comprehensive pension reform is politics.

“We must put politics aside. Pointing fingers will not resolve this problem. Inaction on pension reform is unacceptable and unfair to our children.

“We must address the unfunded pension liability and we can only do it together. I am inviting the four legislative leaders to a meeting in early September to work on pension reform. Illinois cannot move forward without it.”

 

 

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The ‘Musical Chairs’ Spiritual Trend PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 14:45
Polls Show More Non-Denominational Believers; Commingling Disparate Traditions is Good, Author Says

Growing numbers of Americans are changing their relationship with religion, recent Pew Research Center polls indicate.

Consider the stats:

• Forty-four percent of U.S. adults have either switched religious affiliation, or report “no affiliation”

• More than 16 percent report they are unaffiliated with a religion; that includes those who are spiritual but not religious, and agnostics and atheists

• Twenty-eight percent have switched from the religion in which they were raised

“A full-bodied understanding of the truth does not necessarily come neatly packaged in the form of a church or a scientific theory,” says Eli Just, former physics teacher and author of Manny Jones and the Place (www.elijustsupernaturalwriter.com), which links quantum theory, biblical stories and the Mayan precession.

With science developing new concepts about the nature of reality; changing attitudes in institutional religions, and widespread sharing on the internet, more believers are creating their own spiritual narrative -- one that makes more sense to them, he says. Scandals involving sex and money in Christian denominations, which account for more than 78 percent of the faithful in America, have contributed to religious shifting, Just adds.

A recent Pew poll on religion reveals that nearly 40 percent of Americans say there is “too much” religious talk in politics. Many respondents think politicians use religion as a tool for their own benefit, which may serve to increase alienation to religion for the average American, Just says.

Despite wariness on some religious issues, most respondents polled say spirituality plays a significant role in their lives.

“Type in ‘new religious movements’ in Wikipedia and you’ll see the hundreds of religions that have popped up since the 1800s, and those are just the registered ones,” Just says. “As a man of science and faith, and I don’t think the truths of these two traditions are mutually exclusive. After all, Newton was a fervent Christian.”

One of the more recent registered religions was created in 2000 and is called Jediism – a movement based on the philosophical and spiritual ideas posited by Jedi characters in the “Star Wars” movies. Jedi churches often incorporate beliefs from mainstream spiritual traditions including Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism and Stoicism.

“Everything is connected, which is probably why so many people come up with such a variety of spiritual perspectives,” Just says. “Personally, however, I don’t think the interconnectivity of everything gives license to the notion that all religions are the same.”

In addition to the new and fascinating data coming from sources like the Large Hadron Collider in Europe, it’s important to remember ideas that are still alive after thousands of years, he says.

“Old religions like Christianity have withstood the test of time,” Just says. “That’s why the majority of Americans remain spiritual and religious in a traditional sense.”

About Eli Just

Eli Just is the author of several books including the popular “Manny Jones” series and “The Eddy.” He has a master’s in history from Southeastern Louisiana University and is a self-taught student of physics, which he taught at the high school level. As a Christian, Just enjoys exploring themes involving physics and its relationship to religion. He lives in northern Georgia.

 
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