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6 Unconventional Things You Should Do to Save Your Marriage PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Monday, 29 April 2013 15:06
Many Tips about Marriage are Wrong, Says World-Renowned Expert

The lifelong probability of a marriage ending in divorce is between 40 and 50 percent, according to PolitiFact.com’s estimates. Couples in trouble often seek advice from friends, family and counselors. But global marriage expert Mort Fertel, creator of the Marriage Fitness Tele-Boot Camp and author of “Marriage Fitness,” (www.MarriageMax.com), says much of the advice couples get is bad.

“Much of the advice people get about their marriage problems is wrong. It sounds good. It makes sense. The problem is: it usually doesn’t work,” Fertel says. “Reconciling a broken marriage is tricky. The process is not intuitive. You really have to be careful that the advice you’re following has proved to achieve the outcome you’re looking for.”

Fertel says his tips often run counter to many ideas existing within our culture’s zeitgeist.

“A lot of the advice people get is logical, but it’s not psychological,” he says. “It’s ineffective because it doesn’t take into account the unique dynamics that occur between a husband and wife who are emotionally disconnected.”

• Go at it ALONE. Most people think, “I need my spouse to work with me to fix our marriage.” But it does not take two to tango. One person’s effort can change the momentum of a marriage, and very often, it’s that effort that motivates the obstinate spouse to join in the process of saving the relationship.

• The wrong question. Many people wonder, “Did I marry the right person?” But that’s the wrong question. The key to succeeding in marriage is not finding the right person; it’s learning to love the person you found. Love is not a mystery. Just as there are physical laws of the universe – like gravity, which governs flight – there are also relationship laws that, depending on your behavior, dictate the outcome of your marriage. You don’t have to be “lucky in love.” It’s not luck; it’s choice.

• Absence does not make the heart grow fonder. That might have been true in junior high school when you went away for the summer. But in marriage, particularly in a broken marriage, absence separates people. It creates distance, and that’s the opposite of what we’re trying to achieve, which is closeness.

• Don’t talk about your problems. Talking about the problems in a marriage doesn’t resolve them; it makes them worse. It leads to arguments and bad will. Besides, you’ll never talk yourself out of a problem that you behaved yourself into. Marriages change because people change. Say little; do much. Speak in the vocabulary of your actions. New choices resolve marital problems; discussion don’t.

• Don’t think marriage counseling is the answer. Marriage counseling does not work in most situations. The success rate is dismal. Most couples report being worse off after marriage counseling. One of the reasons relates to point 4 above.

• Don’t talk to family or friends about your situation. One of the most important values in a marriage is privacy; therefore, it’s a mistake to talk about your marriage or your spouse to family or friends. It’s a violation of your spouse’s privacy and it’s wrong.

About Mort Fertel

Mort Fertel is a world authority on the psychology of relationships. He has been featured as an expert on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS and Fox television networks, as well as dozens of publications including Glamour Magazine and Family Circle, to discuss his Marriage Fitness System. His program is endorsed by a wide variety of mental-health professionals, and he has helped save thousands of marriages. Fertel graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, was the CEO of an international nonprofit organization, and is a former marathon runner. He lives with his wife and five children (including triplets!) in Baltimore, MD.

 
Branstad, Reynolds launch “Residential Relief Calculator” to demonstrate property tax savings for Iowa homeowners PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Tim Albrecht   
Monday, 29 April 2013 14:35

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today launched a “Residential Relief Calculator,” which allows Iowans to calculate their property tax savings under the Senate Democrats’ plan versus the plan put forward by the governor’s office and House Republicans.

The Residential Relief Calculator is found here: www.Governor.Iowa.gov/calculator

“Iowans are facing a $2 billion property tax increase over the next eight years, and the majority of that increase will fall on Iowa homeowners,” said Gov. Branstad. “Our Residential Relief Calculator demonstrates the significant savings our legislation provides.”

Lt. Gov. Reynolds noted that Iowa’s economy is improving, making it the wrong time to start raising taxes on Iowans.

“The Residential Relief Calculator gives Iowans the opportunity to see for themselves the savings under our property tax relief plan,” said Reynolds. “We have the opportunity to provide permanent property tax relief to Iowans, help put people back to work and make Iowa more competitive.”

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Philanthropist Lauds Unsung ‘Human Angels’ PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Monday, 29 April 2013 14:32
Sharing Their Stories Can Make Us a Better Society, He Says

It’s easy to spot the largely unsung heroes in these three recent news stories:

• Fifteen National Guardsmen run 26 miles carrying full backpacks to raise money for the families of fallen soldiers.

• An off-duty firefighter rushes to a dangerous chemical blaze because he knows the local volunteer force may not be equipped to handle it.

• A middle school student in Georgia rallies youngsters and businesses to collect comfort items for troops deployed in Afghanistan.

“But each of these stories also has a surprising twist – one that underscores just why it’s so important to share them,” says philanthropist John Shimer, founder of the Angels Among Us project (www.angelsamongusproject.org).

“If we want people to be their best, we need to shine a light on what that looks like.”

Shimer notes that in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, Americans took comfort in seeing and hearing about the many acts of selflessness.

“We were horrified by the fact that there’s someone evil enough to place a ticking bomb next to children. But, thank goodness, we were also heartened by the bravery of the civilians who rushed into danger to help the injured, and the many area residents who opened their homes to stranded race participants.”

In January, Shimer launched Angels Among Us to recognize just such people. Community “human angels” are selected from among nominations and, in addition to receiving an Earthly Angel Award and a donation to their charity of choice, Angels Among Us produces professional, high-quality videos that tell their story.

“The video productions are top quality, so any broadcast outlet can use them, and they’re compelling, so people will watch them,” Shimer says. “And that’s how we spread the word,  inspire others, and even create a society where everyone is an Earthly Angel.”

Angels Among Us, which accepts nominations at its website, has no shortage of amazing stories, Shimer says.

Consider these recent examples:

• National Guard ‘Tough Ruckers’: Fifteen Massachusetts National Guardsmen donned full gear, including backpacks weighing 40 pounds or more, to run the Boston Marathon in memory of fallen soldiers. The “Tough Ruck” also raised money for the families of deceased soldiers through the Military Friends Foundation.

But that’s not the end of the story.

The men were near the finish line when the bombs exploded April 15. They’re the guys in fatigues seen on countless videos rushing to pull down barricades to get to the injured.

• An off-duty, volunteer firefighter: Capt. Kenny “Luckey” Harris, 52, worked for the Dallas Fire Department but lived 80 miles away in West, Texas, where he also served with the all-volunteer station. He was off duty on April 17 when fire erupted at a fertilizer plant in West. He rushed to the plant.

"He was worried the volunteer guys wouldn't be safe on a chemical fire," his friend and fellow firefighter Ronnie Janek said. "He said he had to help them stay safe."

Harris was among the 14 people who died when the fertilizer plant exploded – 11 of them were first responders.

Volunteer firefighters, who put their lives on the line for their communities for no pay, make up 69 percent of U.S. firefighters.

• A boy with a heart for soldiers: As a 10-year-old fifth-grader, Remington Youngblood understood the hardships facing troops in Afghanistan and wanted to do something both to help them and to express his appreciation for their sacrifices. So he created a nonprofit, Change4Georgia, partnered with a Veterans of Foreign Wars post, and hit the speaking circuit to rally other schools, businesses and communities to the cause.

Today, the middle school student’s charity not only regularly fills troops’ wish lists for items like chewing gum and chapstick, last Christmas it delivered hundreds of gifts and foods to the children of active-duty soldiers. It also provides school supplies to those children, and even makes an annual scholarship donation to one student veteran.

As these stories demonstrate, angels surround us in many forms, Shimer says.

“If we look for them and follow their example,” he says, “who knows how we can change the world?”

About John Shimer

John Shimer is a director of Fortune Family Foundation, a charitable corporation that provides assistance to non-profits focused on fostering self-sufficiency. For 33 years, Shimer was a fundraising manager and consultant for hospitals, human welfare agencies, and similar organizations. He is the author of “Turn Right at the Dancing Cow,” the story of a “human angel” from Seattle and the vocational school she established in Uganda. He’s the founder of the new Angels Among Us Project, which seeks to spotlight the best and most inspiring of human behavior.

 
Statement from Governor Pat Quinn on the Passing of Former Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Moses Harrison PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Monday, 29 April 2013 14:05
CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn issued the following statement regarding the passing of former Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Moses Harrison:

"Moses Harrison was a great supreme court justice.

"He served as a strong and passionate advocate against the death penalty, and devoted his life to ensuring that justice was served fairly.

"He was a steadfast defender of everyday people. As he said best himself, his job as judge was to 'protect ordinary citizens against wrongdoing by the government, large corporations and powerful individuals.' He did his job well."

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Grassley addresses immigration reform PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 29 April 2013 13:42

Friday, April 26, 2013

WASHINGTON – In a weekly video address, Senator Chuck Grassley described his efforts to make sure immigration reform legislation avoids mistakes made in the 1986 legalization by making border security the top priority, giving American workers the first opportunity at jobs, holding employers accountable for their hiring practices, and leaving policy decisions in the representative branch of government.

Click here for the audio.

Here is the text of Grassley’s address:

The Senate Judiciary Committee has held hearings during the last week on the immigration bill proposed by a bipartisan group of eight senators.

As the debate moves forward, I’m committed to making sure legislation doesn’t repeat mistakes made in the legalization program that was part of the 1986 immigration overhaul.  Congress voted then to legalize the one million people who were in the country illegally with the assurance that doing so would fix the problem once and for all.  Decades later, there are 11 million people illegally in the country.  So, the legalization in 1986 didn’t fix the problem.  Instead, it led to more illegality.

I’m working to make sure that unintended consequences are avoided in other areas of immigration reform, as well.  Congress should have learned with Obamacare that lawmakers need to legislate more and delegate less authority to the executive branch.  Even so, the proposed immigration bill contains waivers that would give unchecked power to the Secretary of Homeland Security to unravel any law that elected representatives of the people might pass.

Immigration policy also is a key component of America’s national security apparatus, and every consideration should be given to how changes in the immigration system impact security of the homeland.  Securing the border needs to be the first priority.  Border security is fundamental to national sovereignty.  Any immigration reform must require accountability for border security.

We also need to fix the flaws in the current system in order to recognize the benefits of legal immigration – including the need for agricultural workers – while at the same time protecting the interests of U.S. citizens.  I’m also working to make sure American graduates and workers are given the first opportunity at jobs in science, technology, engineering and math here in this country, and that employers are held accountable for their hiring practices.

America’s immigration system is broken.  Any repairs that are made and new policies pursued need to be both effective and respectful of the rule of law that safeguards the tremendous opportunities and freedoms found in America, a country based upon immigrants.

 
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