Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy New Year

Another New Year to feel younger.



Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Futures Market On Christmas & New Years

Please feel free to use this article as long as credit is given to the resource box.
© Copyright, Arthur Levine 2008
Words: 372
Keywords: Christmas, New Years, Future, Happiness, Faith, Miracles

All three major indexes are up the sky’s the limit on the coming Holidays. They are very bullish on the coming of Christmas and New Years.

Smart investors full of faith and hope are convinced that the Holidays are coming once again this year bringing with them people of good cheer and an abundant faith in the future.

So what if the economy is in rocky shape we have survived recessions before.

So what if people are a little depressed over the loss of jobs, things are definitely going to get better, aren’t they?

So what if we can’t spend as much money on presents as the year before, that is not what the Holiday is all about, is it?

It’s getting to be that time of year when we should take a few moments out of our busy lives to count our blessings. You are blessed, aren’t you? You must if you and your family are still around to read this.

Let’s no waste time worrying about what could have been. Let’s spend our time planning on what we are going to do differently in the future.

Let’s spend our time promising to polish up our faith.

Let’s spend our time being thankful for the blessings that we do have.

Now is the season of unlimited potential. Isn’t it wonderful that so much good can come of us developing the promise that each one of us possesses to do good deeds and care about each other.

Now is the season to throw off the inhibitions that have kept us from being all that we can be.

Now is the time to make the most of our talents and knowledge.

Now is the time for all of us to use our imaginations to create a vision of how we want our lives to be and then make the effort to see that our dreams come true.

We can do it. We can make the Holidays the happiest time we have ever had. We can come together in the spirit of the Holiday and make miracles happen.

Are you ready to have some fun?

May your dreams come true.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Please join us on this Holiday season at http://johnnyoops.blogspot.com. We can have a lot of fun. Johnny is still recovering from Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Non Human Response Computer Program

We all know the frustration of dealing with a computerized response to a customer service question when the telephone program won’t allow you to speak to a real live person and the canned response doesn’t answer your question or solve your problem by referring you to option 1 or 2 or 4, but now we have to deal with the vileness of virtual email responses.

That’s right folks, some computer programming genius convinced that he has all the answers is now responding to our plaintive pleas for help via email with a programmed response. Don’t think I am telling you the truth – try asking for a manager in an email reply when your question isn’t answered or your problem solved.

These geniuses are convinced they can give us canned answers that are no responsive to our questions and that we will have no choice, but to accept them.


If I can be of assistance to you in the future, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

But they didn’t answer my question or solve my problem. I will spare you the details. All they did was give me excuses as to why they couldn’t help me and then end by offering to help me in the future. I will not be pacified by such nonsense. I want real answers from a real person; someone who can think on his feet without referring to a data bank for the wrong answer once he thinks he has profiled me. We can’t be stereotyped so easily, can we?

What does some computer program really know about me, or you for that matter: our passions, our wants, our desire to overcome the obstacles that constrain us.

I ended my reply email by asking to speak to a manager before I print this article. If you are reading this now I have not spoken to or heard from a manager by email or any other means of communication known to man such as by mail or telephone, but then what would some virtually vile software program know about a response from me that they could not possibly have anticipated or stored in their knowledge bank.

They don’t have human managers, only programs.

My question to you my friends is are we going to sacrifice out individuality to the machinations of some computer program designed to save the institution money and drive us crazy in frustration, and if not what are we going to do about it?

Would only real people please respond to my question?

Hi, this is Arthur Levine asking that if you share my frustration with programmed responses that you answer my question at the comment section of: http://answerthequestion123.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thanksgiving Without All The Fancy Trimmings

This is shaping up as the Thanksgiving when people return to old fashion values and go sparingly on all the exotic side dishes that have come to signify the opulence of the Holiday and our own sense of excess.

In a lot of respects this Thanksgiving promises to be something special – something we can really be thankful for. In spite of a recession families will once more gather to rejoice in their freedom and the bounty of their table, but this time most if not all of the trimmings will be homemade and not store bought. Is that so terrible? I rather like it, and the smells coming from the kitchen make my mouth water in anticipation.

You do remember the aroma of a home made apple pie wafting from the oven through the kitchen and out into the living room of a home you can afford to live in where a happy group of family and friends are gathered before a roaring wood burning fire, don’t you? Life can be good.

Is eggnog any better when laced with twenty-five-year-old brandy than with cheap dark rum? Does a Ford compact car get you where you want to go as well as a Mercedes Limousine?

What store bought barbequed bird can compete with a twenty-pound turkey basting in its own juices as its skin crisps and the smell of sausage and cornbread stuffing sends the dog whining in anticipation and dancing in circles?

Do the children playing games in the hallway know the difference between Oysters Rockefeller and chestnuts wrapped in bacon?

Is pumpkin and squash soup any less delectable and tasty then lobster bisque from the gourmet store? Are eating fish egg caviar what the pilgrims had in mind for their day of Thanksgiving?

If we are not alone, if we can share the holiday together, what difference does it make if we can’t spend a lot of money on some fancy trimmings? We have more than most people can hope for. We have a bounteous table of our own making, and the family and friends to share it with. We have a lot to be thankful for. We are together. We are free.

Too much emphasis on having all the exotic trimmings we can conger up may be why we got into this recession to begin with. Thank God the American public has enough sense to know when to stop spending on fancy luxuries they can do without, and start saving for their own and their children’s future.

When we all remember the lessons of the past that our parents and grandparents tried to teach us, we will truly have something to be thankful for. Then this recession will be gone, and the real trimmings of a wonderful life will come racing back to us with our heartfelt thanks. They will always be ours to cherish and remember.

May the trimmings of your heart and mind make your cup full of love to the brim and your sense of joy running over.

Have a Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving.

Hi this is Arthur Levine and Johnny Oops the principal character in my new novel wishing you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving. To read about Johnny’s escapades please join us at http://johnnyoops.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ten Ways To Survive The Coming Recession

We can’t prevent a recession from happening, but there are a number of things to do so that we survive it with a minimum of pain.

1. Have the proper attitude – you have to have faith that you can do something positive if you are going to survive the coming recession.
2. Have faith in yourself – you have to believe in your own abilities if you want to be successful at surviving a recession.
3. Don’t panic – this is not the time to start selling the investments in your 401K. We are probably closer to the bottom than the top and you don’t want to create a tax liability for yourself.
4. Think long term – You are probably going to recover most of what you have lost if not all when the recession is over. Historically things get better over time.
5. Reduce Your Expenses – Sit down and make a budget. Try and decide what expenses you can reduce if you lose your job and you need to make limited resources do.
6. Decide what’s Important – Do you know what is really important to you? Is it your home, your car, your medicines, or your life style? Something is going to have to be cut.
7. Alternate Income source – If you want to survive this recession you may need an extra source of income. Examine your talents. What kind of part time work are you good at? A second income is better than none.
8. Marshall your assets – Are you sitting around holding onto antiques or jewelry or other unused assets that you don’t like or need? Sell them and build a nest egg to give you more security in these trying times.
9. Your family – If you are really experiencing trying times it is okay to ask relatives for a loan to help get you through them as long as you intend to pay it back. Worst case you can move in with your relatives or if you are doing okay have them move in with you.
10. Debt Control – Talk to your lenders, your mortgage holders, your credit card company. They can help you spread out or defer your payments so that you both recover from these trying times.

It’s really up to you. You can survive this recession if you believe that you can. This is not the end of the world. It is only a stage in your life that you are going through. So are the rest of us. We all have to learn to cope.

To discover how to cope with and survive a recession please visit http://newmiddleagedgroup.blogspot.com or http://johnnyoops.blogspot.com.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Economy – Did We Get In This Mess Because We Don’t Read?

I was thinking about the mess our economy is in and my thoughts drifted back to some things that happened to me when I was a young man, and the similarities some of these events have to what is happening to us now.

By way of background I think it is pertinent to mention that in high school I took a remedial reading course and learned to speed read with 95% comprehension. I wish it were so for everybody.

My first job, gained by lying on my application to the effect that I was looking to make the Domestics Department of a major Department Store my life’s work, was taking inventory of the sheets we stocked. After taking inventory for 2 days I summoned all my courage and asked the manger of the department what the difference was between Pepperell and Lady Pepperell sheets. He looked at me with a straight face and told me that one had a daisy and the other an orchid on the wrapper and this accounted for the $5 per sheet price difference.

That’s how I learned that a large part of consumer buying patterns were dictated by perception. I compare that experience to buying Credit Default Swaps, which are backed by nothing to guarantee us against losing money on a stock or bond purchase. It isn’t so, but it makes us feel better until we discover that it is really a mirage and we aren’t protected.

Then I think back to my following job as a trainee in a Wall Street brokerage firm. I ran errands for one of the big producers who had big movie stars for customers and a cigar constantly dangling from his mouth. He was buying his people as he liked to call them a ton of RCA stock years ago when I worked for him. One day opening the mail I saw a big thick report on RCA. I ran over to this big producer and excitedly showed him the report on RCA. His mouth dropped open and I was afraid his cigar was going to fall out as he said to me, “Sonny do you want me to buy it or read it.”

Looking back on that moment I think I get the bigger picture. Do we really expect people to read complicated 90 page sub prime mortgage bond papers or 400 page Congressional relief legislation, or do we expect them to buy the bonds and the Congressional remedies on faith? It’s a no brainer. Who has the time to read? We have to take action or make profits, or in our ignorance generate a fiscal crisis. That’s what is happening to us now.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

I think the solution to all of this is to pass a law that no one can buy anything, invest in anything, and or vote for any one or thing until they have taken and passed a remedial speed reading course with 95% comprehension and swear that they will read everything on the subject at hand before they buy or vote for it.

The devil is in the fine print my friends. Let’s not let the devil have his way with our economy and our future. We have to read and make informed decisions if we want to pass on to our grandchildren something more than debt and financial crisis and a loss of the democracy we cherish.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Credit Monster Just Ate My Mortgage

I was sitting there minding my own business when this Credit Monster came running into the room and told me that the government was buying my mortgage from my bank and I had three days to get out of Dodge City, USA or they would be forced to confiscate the future of my children through excessive and unwarranted taxation.

How did things get this bad? I wasn’t doing anything to get myself into trouble. All I wanted was a big mansion of my own. So what if I couldn’t afford it. The bank told me that didn’t matter. So what if I didn’t have enough income to pay the interest on the mortgage. The real estate agent told me he would make up the numbers so no one would know, and no one cared anyway.

You can’t blame that on me, can you? You can’t say that I’m responsible. I have never been responsible for anything in my whole life. Now I have to live in my taxi because the Credit Monster is going to foreclose on my home. I wish I was dealing with a cookie monster. I am getting lonely, and at least that way I would have someone following me around

It’s their fault. I mean the Credit Monsters. I need help. How could anyone expect me to know what that long contract I signed said? I can’t even read. I had to get a friend of mine to take my taxi and limousine test so I could get my chauffeurs license. How could they let a poor snook like me buy a big five-bedroom mansion with an Olympic size pool? I don’t even swim. Where I grew up there were no bodies of water, only dead bodies encased in concrete.

Now they tell me it is up to me to fund hundreds of billions in debt to save the Nation. They say it’s my patriotic duty. I can’t even fund my ex wife’s alimony payments for child support. I don’t think they are my kids anyway; at least not the two younger ones. Why don’t you tax them?

How could this be happening to me? I am drowning in a sea of debt that the government made me guarantee, or they said it would be my fault that the economy collapsed. I repeat I don’t swim. I don’t want to drown in a sea of anything. I have already physically and mentally collapsed. What more do they want?

It’s not my debt I tell you. Is anyone listening? Can anyone hear me? What am I to do? I bet there are millions of people out there that feel the same as me. Who is going to protect us? Who is going to look after out interests? We need a lobbyist. I just wish we could afford one. Then we would show this Credit Monster a thing or two.

Why should the rich Wall Street types have all the fun while we pay their debts when they screw up? I can mess things up just fine on my own like they have? Don’t tell me I don’t know how to screw up. Where is our government when we need it? Who is going to help us now and look after our interests? This isn’t fair. Who is going to take responsibility for all this bad mortgage debt?

This is not our fault, is it? Who can we turn to for help when our own government isn’t really on our side? I think it’s their fault. They created this Credit Monster, didn’t they? You can’t tax a government, can you? Some one is going to have to pay for this mess and it isn’t going to be us again, is it?

All these questions and no one appears to have the answers. What are we going to do? I’m talking about we the people. We are drowning in a sea of fiscal irresponsibility and emotional despair. And these are shark-infested waters. You know who the sharks are, don’t you?

For more articles on life, literature, holidays, traditions and tricks and treats, please join us at http://johnnyoops.blogspot.com

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fire Island Homes Opens International Division

Fire Island, NY – The largest Real Estate Agency on Fire Island has started an International Division to cater to increasing International demand for prime vacation property and homes in the United States.

Fire Island, NY, nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Great South Bay off of Long Island, NY offers the finest in vacation living close to the major cosmopolitan area of New York City. It is a magnet for people who know what they want and have reached a stage in their lives when they can afford the very best.

Dedicated to presenting one-of-a-kind Properties and homes of distinction, Fire Island Homes is culling its large group of listings to offer the very best in leisure living opportunities to a demanding international clientele starting with a select few choice homes and properties that they know will have a broad appeal to an elite international clientele.

Fire Island provides leisure living in a quiet relaxed atmosphere. It offers a number of small elite communities recognized for offering its residents the diamonds and rubies of US vacation living on the shores of an emerald Green Atlantic ocean.

European and International visitors from other countries are actively looking for prime US real estate for investment purposes and to satisfy their desires to have an American vacation home. Fire Island Homes will cater to these desires with their new International Division, which will be personally managed by Brian and Laura Smith, the owners of Fire Island Homes.

Choice properties will be added to the listings for the International Division as they come up always keeping in mind the distinctive tastes and needs of an International audience. Fire Island Homes with the largest selection of listings on Fire Island is uniquely positioned to provide the finest personalized service to the International set.

Potential International buyers are encouraged to review our initial listings at http://www.fihomes.net/Fire_Island_Luxury_Sales.htm and to contact Laura or Brian Smith personally by e-mail contact form or phone so that their Individual requirements can be attended to.

Brian or Laura Smith
Fire Island Homes LLC

Friday, September 5, 2008

Answer The Question

Today with the Computer, Voice Mail, Email, and the Internet in general acting as a buffer, people don’t have to respond to a question directly.

What happened to a direct, look in your eye response? Why can’t today’s generation answer a question?

Even in person people have become non-responsive. When asked why a mistake was made the answer has become, I can’t answer that right now or I’ll get back to you.

Answer the question.

When asked if it’s going to be a boy or a girl the answer is we are not telling anyone.

When asked if you are voting democratic or republican in the upcoming election the answer is that’s my personal business or I haven’t decided. What are you ashamed of?

When asked if you are for or against the Surge in the Iraq war the answer is it hasn’t worked politically yet. Are you for it or against it?

Are you for or against defending the nation militarily if necessary?

Answer the question.

Are you pro life or pro choice or neither?

Are you prejudiced or color blind or bigoted?

Does anything really matter to you or are you just going with the flow?

Are you prepared to make a commitment or not?

Answer the question.

Do you really know who you are and what you stand for?

Do you have an opinion on anything?

We have become a nation of non-responders, a mass of zombie like blobs walking around without a sense of commitment to our families, our country, or ourselves.

We are trying to live life on the safe side by not responding to the questions life raises.

We are trying to avoid confrontation by keeping our opinions to ourselves.

We are attempting to be on both sides of the important issues of our times in order to eliminate the possibility of creating a hostile atmosphere or conflict.

You can’t have it both ways. In order to make a difference, in order to effect a more perfect union both nationally, internationally, and personally, we are going to have to take a stand.

Is this no man’s land of decision making capability the way you want to live? Don’t you want to make a difference? Do you care enough to want to do something worthwhile with your life?

Answer the question.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Venting 101

I need to get this off my chest. I’m really tired of not being able to get a live operator when I call customer service, and this is just the beginning. I’ve tried three things to get to a live person in the United State, not India.

1. Keep hitting zero on the telephone keypad no matter what the canned voice has to say.
2. Call the Presidents office and speak to a third in line junior secretary and work yourself up to a number two administrative assistant.
3. Hit number 2 for speaking Spanish, and keep shouting over the phone ‘No habla Englishe” over and over until an operator comes on. She may only speak Spanish, but at least she will be a real human being. I find this works best.

This is just the beginning. I am only getting warmed up.

I hate it when I am about to miss a bus by about one foot or two seconds, and the bus driver is studiously looking as hard as he can away from you at the traffic in the other lane because he wants to make the light.

This takes guts, but if you’re mad enough it is worth it. Jump out in front of the bus in the middle of the street, take out a pen and piece of paper, and very slowly start to write down the numbers on the bus. Be sure to take long enough for the bus driver to miss the light, and then bang on the door. This time he will open up. Refuse to get on at first. Tell the bus driver you just want his operators number so that you can file a complaint with the Mayor.

I love this one. You will get the bus driver so screwed up he will probably miss the next light trying to convince you to get on. Life can be beautiful.

If you are too old to jump in front of the bus, whack it with you cane on the side as loudly as you can. If you don’t have a cane yet you are probably middle-aged. Just be thankful you got this far and take the next bus. Throwing rocks is forbidden.

How am I doing?

If the check out girl at the local supermarket has just packed your hot barbequed chicken in the same shopping bag with your cold vanilla ice cream stay calm. Quietly ask her if she has a second bag. Remove the hot chicken and repack in the new bag. Then tell her you don’t want the ice cream because it is melting from the hot chicken. The clerk will have to call over the store manager to approve the return. Tell the manager what happened and that if he doesn’t give you the ice cream for free you will return his chicken too because to tell he truth it is not so hot either. This will probably work. If it doesn’t insist on returning both items and repurchasing new items and going to a different clerk. At this point the manager will probably give you both items for free to get rid of you.

This is only the beginning. I am just blowing off steam. I have to vent. If you have suggestions please leave them on the comment section of my blog.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Happy Father’s Day – How Am I Doing?

I have been at this Father’s Day thing for a long time, but I still get a kick out of my now grown children calling and visiting and even taking my wife and I out to dinner – when it fits into their schedule of course.

I wonder how happy they would have been if I paid attention to them and their needs and wants based on how it fitted into my schedule. I imagine they would not be too happy with me.

This is not about them of course. It is about me. I realize I have taken a long time to get around to asking myself this question, but how am I doing?

I wonder if I measure up as a father in my children’s eyes. The reason I ask this now that it is too late to do anything about it is not that I’m questioning my parenting skills, it is just that I would like to know that I did something right when it came to raising my children.

Funny, the older I get the more important my child raising days become. I don’t know how my wife feels about this since she did most of the child rearing. We don’t talk about anything except the weather any more. That conversation can be stormy enough without getting into personal events.

From prior conversations I’ve had with my kids they think a lot of the decisions my wife and I made about their future were really stupid, although now that they all have children we seem to suddenly have gotten smarter.

I tell them the reason I spoil my grandchildren by buying them too much candy is that I don’t want to make the same mistakes that I made with them. God forbid that my grandchildren grow up thinking that grandpa was a really stingy bastard.

Anyway I seem to have strayed from the subject. I do that more often now that I have gotten older. What was the subject again?

Oh yes, how am I doing? The best I can come up with because my kids won’t give me a straight answer – afraid of insulting the old man I guess – is that I must be doing all right.

I come to this conclusion because my children are all doing well and happily married and have their own children who one day they may have to answer the question to – how am I doing?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I’m Writing As Fast As I Can

I wake up every morning and rush to my computer to start writing. I don’t even stop for coffee or to make a pit stop until I get my first thoughts of the day down. I am writing as fast as I can because I don’t want to forget or lose any of the thoughts I have stuffed into my head; my dreams, my hopes for the future, my imagination run wild.

It is a compulsion I admit, but then where would we be if we weren’t driven by one thought or goal or another? Where would we be if we tempered down our emotions to the point that we were acting more like robots than humans? Where would we be if we substituted mundane function for thought provoking instinct and action? Where would we be if we let our inhibitions keep us from being the creative and vibrant human beings that we are capable of being?

I can’t imagine the day when I don’t avail myself of the opportunity to create something new at my computer keyboard. I have all these things to say; that’s why I am writing as fast as I can.

What about you? Are you taking advantage of one form of communication or another to express yourself? Are you doing all you can to add to the general good by expressing yourself? Are you allowing yourself to be creative?

You don’t have to be a writer to express yourself or your feelings. You can do it at work, or with a gesture to a loved one, or by humming a favorite tune. You can do it with a smile, or a comforting word to someone in need of your friendship and good thoughts. You can even do it just by the feelings of good will that you share with others.

I think we all need to find a way to express ourselves, and to let our imaginations run wild. We can’t keep our emotions in a box. We have to let other people know how we really feel.

That’s why I’m urging you to express yourself. Go ahead and let your true feeling out. The time is now for you to take action. You could begin to feel wonderful.

There, don’t you feel better? I know that I do.

Hi, this is Arthur Levine, to find out how I express myself in my writings, please go to: http://johnnyoops.blogspot.com.

Friday, May 9, 2008


I have been trying to calm down, but I don’t seem to be succeeding. Is the Post Office a government agency, a quasi government agency, or an anti government agency?

I go to the Post Office in New York City. It is a horror. The lines go on and on for the better part of an hour. They have something like 15 teller windows, but usually only a few are manned at a time.

Today was hot so they kept the ceiling fans off and the outdoor fans off I suppose in the hopes that some of the customers couldn’t take the heat and would go home.

After waiting twenty-five minutes the fire alarms started screeching and the manager – we will call him Mr. Blue Stuffed Suit – came running out from his four hour lunch break to tell everyone to run out of the building that this was not a drill. I never saw the postal people move that fast in my life.

Ten minutes later we were let back in. The fire alarms had sensed a melt down because it was so damn hot. Of course it was, the lines were long and the fans weren’t on. Body heat added to climate change and management incompetence had combined to produce a melt down condition. How fitting. How typical of the Postal bureaucracy.

This time I got near the front of the line because most customers gave up and went home, and because some of them were waiting behind a locked side door that never was reopened. Now there were 6 tellers working furiously and all the ceiling fans and the outside fans were working. Of course they were. Mr. Blue Stuffed Suit had been woken up from his nap and was marching up and done in the teller area looking very official.

The finale to my day was when I asked to buy 10 self stick stamps, and the clerk told me the price was going up on Monday to 42 cents from 41 cents – I guess this was a self anointed reward for screwing up how a Post Office should function because there was no notice and no signs. Was the post office – notice I no longer capitalize it - planning to keep this price increase for incompetence a secret so we wouldn’t get mad? I am already mad. Are you mad too? Write to your post office. It probably won’t help, but it might give some postal supervisor a big laugh.

This is just great. I had put 41 cent self addressed stamped envelopes in some letters I just sent out to 2 publishing agents on 2 different novels that I wrote so now I won’t get the rejection letters that usually come back in them. Maybe I am better off.

Maybe I am better off if I stop using the post office altogether. I’ll use Fed Ex and the Internet. They haven’t figured out yet that customer service is dead.

Maybe I’ll complain to my congressmen – notice I no longer capitalize him either. He and a lot of his fellow congressmen and women haven’ figured out yet that we are not voting for them any more.

We want real change, not the kind the special interests have been buying for themselves. We want the kind you can get only through the ballot box. Vote the bums out. I don’t know about you, but I am tired of being sweet-talked and taken advantage of by both political parties.

I want services that work. I want to be treated decently. I want the government to be responsible to the people. I want things to function the way they are supposed to. I want someone to have my best interests at heart.

There, I feel better now that I’ve vented, what about you?

Monday, April 7, 2008

How Does God Rate In The Polls?

God better watch out, the devil may be gaining on Him.

According to a Fox News poll, ninety-two percent of the U.S. population believes in God. This provides an interesting comparison because the PEW Research Institute has statistics that show that roughly forty-nine percent of the population attends houses of worship on a regular basis and forty-nine percent attend rarely if at all. Evidently the concept of God is more popular than organized religion or going to Church. The Gallop Poll and the Harris Poll and an ABC News poll also confirm this, but God’s popularity percentage verses the popularity of going to church varies with each poll. Sometimes I suppose it depends on how the spirit moves you, or what and who you think that God is that determines where, why and how you search for God. Unfortunately according to this poll seventy-one percent of the population also believes that the devil exists, but this doesn’t mean he is popular or that anyone is searching for him – thank God.

Of course you can skew the poll results in many different ways depending on how you ask a question and interpret the results. Perhaps this is why the same Fox News poll shows that eighty-five percent of the population believes in Heaven. It is hard to determine if this means that seven percent of those that believe in God don’t think they stand a chance in hell of getting into Heaven (92%-85%=7%) or if they just don’t buy into the whole concept of there being a Heaven, but do believe in God just in case. This same poll shows that eighty-two percent of people believe in miracles. Does this mean that they are part of the vast majority of people who believe it will take a miracle for them to get into Heaven? To make matters worse, while the percentage of people believing in God has stayed relatively constant over the last few years or in some polls decreased, the percentage believing in the existence of the devil has increased from sixty-three percent to seventy-one percent over roughly the same period of time. I can’t figure out what the hell this part of the poll means. I suppose it is open to interpretation.

I don’t think it is necessary in discussing polls about the popularity of God to mention that these polls are probably correct plus or minus 3% because I doubt that God is running against anybody. Which makes me stop and wonder why if there is no chance of anyone else but God winning, why would anyone take a poll to begin with? Do you think that the devil has anything to do with this insane desire on the part of certain news organizations to take polls about who does and doesn’t believe in God? Why can’t we leave the poll taking to the atheists? They know who they are, and since they represent such a small and unconvinced percentage (8%) of the population, they should be responsible for paying for these polls in my opinion, or do they have the privilege of invoking minority rights. And whom would they invoke them to anyway? They certainly can’t turn to God, can they?

There is an obvious Gender Gap in relationship to these God like polls with women more likely than men to believe in most categories including Miracles by twelve percent and Heaven by eight percent. The one notable exception is that thirty-nine percent of men believe in UFOs verses thirty percent of women. I don’t know what UFOs have to do with God, but my wife tells me that if I don’t get off the subject she is going to send me into outer space. I wonder if she is mad or just wants to give me an opportunity to meet my maker? Please don’t rush me honey, I think I am on a fast track as it is.

Of perhaps more value to this discussion on polls about God is the fact that Fox News says republicans are more likely by eight percent to ‘say’ they believe in God and by fifteen percent in Heaven and by seventeen percent in the devil, while democrats believe in reincarnation by fourteen percent more than republicans. What do they mean when they use the term “say”? Does that mean the republicans don’t really mean it? Why the disparity when if comes to believing in the devil? Are the republicans out to get his vote too? How should we interpret the figures on reincarnation? Does this mean the democrats are hoping they can come back as republicans or just hoping for a comeback? This is all too confusing.

Before we leave the subject of polls about God to their eternal resting place, I think it worth noting that this same poll indicates that young people are much more likely to believe in hell by a ratio of eighty-six percent to sixty-eight percent for those over seventy years old. The same applies to the devil by a ratio of seventy-nine percent to sixty-nine percent. Does this mean that for older Americans their hell raising days are over, or does it mean that the younger generations are hell bent on raising the devil with our established religious traditions? I don’t know. I don’t even know if the younger or older Americans understand their respective positions on hell and the devil any better than those of us caught in the hellish position of being middle aged, which by the way the poll doesn’t cover as an individual age group at all. I leave these weighty interpretations in God’s hands, who, without the benefit of polling statistics, I am sure, will find the grace to interpolate and understand.

The one part of the poll I am really happy about I saved for last. This one makes the whole polling thing worthwhile for me. It shows that fully sixty-nine percent of the population believes that religion plays too small a part in our lives. That’s what I’ve been saying all along.

Before I leave this exercise in my God given right to have opinions on polls about God, I should also make note of the fact that Fox News says that their poll was conducted over two days by telephone to over 900 people. What about the rest of the almost three hundred million people in the United States? Don’t we get a say? Has anyone tried polling God for his input lately? I wonder what He would have to say about His poll numbers? I bet He will have the final say.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Secret Of Fire Island

Fire Island residents have been harboring a secret that they don’t want you to know about. It isn’t the type of thing they talk about at dinner parties in New York City, or gossip about with their friends at soccer games for their kids. It is not the type of thing they discuss at school functions for their children, and if they do it is only in whispered conversation to a select few. It is something they try and keep very much to themselves.

The secret revealed - Fire Island is the perfect place to go to for your summer vacation.

That’s right, long-term residents of Fire Island have known for years that Fire Island is the perfect place to go to for your summer vacation, and they don’t want you to tell the world about it.

Just between us friends in our select group, I am going to give you five reasons why Fire Island is the place to be this coming summer. Please don’t tell everyone about this. We don’t want to spoil this beautiful haven that provides us with so much fun and contentment during our summers of pure bliss. You can keep a secret, can’t you?

1. Hidden away on discreet little paths close to the beach and the village are the wonderful and unique homes that provide Fire Island residents with the perfect place to spend their summer’s; just steps from the sandy shores, and the sparkling blue waters.

2. Car traffic is prohibited except for authorized vehicles with special permits on this dream island so you don’t have to worry about car noises or emissions, and you are only a few steps away from everything you could want from beach to quaint village stores and restaurants.

3. Your Island paradise is nestled between the bay and the Atlantic Ocean off of Long Island, New York, and is less than an hour from New York City by car or train. With a home on Fire Island you can avoid spending half of your weekend traveling on crowded highways to get to your destination.

4. This is the place to go if you want to enjoy your privacy and have the opportunity to socialize with family and friends at the same time. You can stay home and barbeque or visit the fine restaurants and nightspots in town. The choice is yours. There is no pressure. This is your casual summer to relax and do as you wish.

5. Many of the residents on Fire Island keep coming back year after year. Many of them own their own homes. Some of them rent year after year. Whatever your choice is, and whenever you make it: you will quickly become part of this special community of people who have the same goals and objectives as you do.

I just have to caution you once more to try and keep this great secret place to yourself. We don’t want the whole world knowing about it, and spoiling all our fun this summer.

Hi this is Arthur Levine inviting you discreetly to join us and discover your summer of fun and contentment at: http://FIHomes.net

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

10 Reasons You Have Failed To Protect Your Assets

If you are thin skinned and get insulted easily, this is not the right place for you. The chances are this is one of the reasons you haven’t been able to protect and grow your assets to begin with.

The purpose of this article is to help you learn what you are doing wrong so that you can start doing things right and learn how to protect your assets. The key is to acquire the knowledge and expert guidance you need to protect and preserve your wealth.

If not you, if not now, who do you expect to protect your assets while you are not doing the job you are supposed to?

Here’s the list of 10 reasons you have failed to protect your assets and what you can do about it.

1. The Proper Attitude – Are you one of those poor workaholics that think all you have to do is work 90 hours a week and you will become wealthy? It doesn’t matter how hard you work, if you are not protecting the wealth you have accumulated, you won’t have it for very long. Start paying attention to what you are doing with your assets. Start caring.

2. Your Accountant handles that – Exactly what do you expect your accountant to do if you are not telling him what you want done? He is not a mind reader. If he is such a brilliant financial advisor why is he working as an accountant? Let him know what your goals and objectives are concerning your wealth preservation.

3. Your Lawyer worries about protecting your wealth – A lawyer is supposed to get you out of trouble or keep you from getting you into trouble. What makes you think he is going to know how to protect your assets? You made the money; you have to tell him what to do to protect it.

4. You are not good at handling money – It’s time you added handling money to your skill sets. You are going to be doing it for the rest of your life. You were smart enough to make the money so you must be smart enough to learn what to do with it.

5. You’re lazy – Who isn’t lazy? You want to learn how to protect your assets so you can relax and take it easy. What do you want to do, work hard all your life?

6. The government and your wife take everything –You are not alone. Smart people with smart financial consultants can show you how saving on taxes can sometimes make you more money than growing your assets. What you do about your wife is your business.

7. You don’t have the time – You don’t have the time to live carefree? You don’t have the time to preserve, that which is rightfully yours for you and your family? You don’t have the time to be secure? What do you have the time for – failure? Make the time.

8. You’re not interested in money – Then why are you working so hard to acquire it? If you want it just to give away you should at least do it on your own terms. Have you taken the time to think out what you do want and what you are interested in? Does it cost any money to pursue your interests? Start caring.

9. All you like to do is work –Don’t you like to have fun and be happy? If working is fun to you then by all means continue to do it, but have you ever thought about all the fun you could have if you had enough assets to travel the world and not have to work?

10. You have inherited wealth from trust funds – And hopefully your children will too. Are you doing everything you possibly can to see to it that their inheritance is properly protected? Are you sure you are protecting your heirs as well as your parents protected you? Start planning for your future and your family’s.

Take the time to make a better life for you and your family. Take the time to secure your assets and your future. Take the time to be a winner. Failing to protect your wealth is not an option. There is never a good reason to do nothing and just hope for the best. It is time to adopt a positive attitude and start protecting your wealth with every ounce of smarts you and your advisors have.

It’s time to charge into the future with your best wealth preservation moves. It’s time to become a wealth protection hero. It’s time to discover the little wealth preservation secrets that can help you secure your assets.

To learn the secrets to how to successfully protect and preserve your assets please access http://wealthprotectionny.blogspot.com

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Who wouldn’t want to feel and look young in their fifties and sixties plus. I know I do. I think there are certain tricks to learning how to stay young.

1. Attitude plays a big part in your quest to stay young. You can’t expect to feel and look young if you don’t believe that you can.
2. Taking care of your body is an important element in staying young.
3. You need to watch your diet and eat nutritiously.
4. Taking multi vitamins and certain herbal medicines can help you maintain good health, and help you have a lot of energy and drive.
5. Caring about others and your own future will give you a reason to stay young.
6. Doing things that challenge your mind will help.
7. Challenging your body through exercise will help.
8. Keeping a list of all the things you want to do and all the places you want to go to will help.

Sometimes we have to motivate ourselves to want to stay young. We need to take a few minutes and think of all the wonderful things we can do that require that we have the energy and ambition to do them.

It’s always a good idea to be optimistic about all the wonderful things the future has in store for us. We can look forward with pleasure to having more time to spend with our children and grandchildren, but let’s not forget that we still want to be productive citizens whether that means continuing to work, finding new part time jobs, or volunteering our services to a worthy cause. It’s important to stay active.

Set for yourself a series of goals that you want to accomplish. Look at this list of goals in the light of your past experiences. Decide what you have accomplished so far in your life, and what you still want to do. Determine what your priorities are, and what it will take for you to accomplish them.

Be proud of all you have accomplished, and be sure you go forward into the future with the same positive attitude that got you to this juncture in your life.

Most important, be happy. You have a lot of great things to look forward to; staying young at heart is one of them. It’s time to relax and live longer.

Do you have suggestions on how to stay young longer? Please share them with us.

To discover how to stay young and live longer, and to share your suggestions with us please access http://newmiddleagedgroup.blogspot.com

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Yes You Can Work At Home

You have probably wondered whether people like yourself in their fifties or sixties who are part of the new middle aged group can find profitable work from home opportunities on the Internet that they can turn into businesses of their own.

The answer is yes, but you have to be careful. There are a lot of scams out there and it is sometimes difficult to tell the hype from the real opportunities.

Be wary of extravagant claims that you can become an instant millionaire.

Be concerned about testimonials that look too good to be true, they probably are.

Be careful if you are told the offer is absolutely free. Somewhere along the line the promoter of the package has to make a profit by selling you something.

Watch out for unscrupulous operators that say you need only work a few minutes or hours a day to make a fortune.

Setting up a new work at home business on line is like any other business development start-up. It will take work, time, effort, and due diligence on your part, just as it would with any new business.

The place to begin I think is to determine what your special interests are and what you are good at.

Then look for a niche area on the Internet where you and your new Company can take advantage of your talents, and you can become a star and get noticed by google so lots of people or traffic will visit your site to see what you have to offer.

You don’t have to worry about not being a computer expert. There are plenty of programs out there that will show you what to do and even set up a Web site for you. The trick is to determine which opportunities are real, and what offers make the most sense to you.

Specifically, try and determine which package is going to get you the results you want without compromising your principals, or costing you a small fortune in what are called up sells or add on features that you weren’t told about initially. Eventually you may have to compromise between your desire for perfection, and the need to get things done in an efficient, timely and economical manner.

Try and pin down what is included in the offer you are looking at, and what the extras if any are going to be before you make a final decision. Do some research. Check what others are saying on google about the package or program you are interested in. Be careful that you aren’t just reading glorified advertisements. And remember that most programs come with a money guarantee in case you don’t think the product is worth what you paid for it.

If you don’t end up owning your own domain name than don’t do it. You will only be building a Web site for someone else. You might want to check out starting with a blog. They are easier to do then Web sites, you don’t need to know any html and you can monetize them. .

You can start your own Web site by yourself if you are really computer savvy, but the costs of needed programs such as auto responders, SEO optimization, tracking software, PPC advertising, and shopping carts can often be prohibitive when you are first starting out. The time it takes to operate and install these programs and develop sales literature can divert your attention from offering your audience valuable information and information products, which they may want to buy, and which will establish your relationship as an expert.

Sometimes it is better to take an established product and free Web site that programs in all the tools you need to make affiliate sales of other peoples products for a hefty commission, and concentrate your energies on delivering valuable free content to your visitors by writing articles and distributing them through the top article submission services so that people are attracted to your Web site by the information you have to offer. Then you have to get them to buy something or get them on an email list by offering them something of value.

Sometimes it pays to start out by using an established program. You can always add your own bells and whistles and personal flourishes once you have learned the basics.

Start out with the assumption that you are embarking on a new learning experience, and you and your new friends and customers will not be disappointed. Try and make it a shared learning experience – a cooperative effort.

Starting over with a new work from home business can be fun and profitable if you rely on the knowledge and experience that got you to this point in your life. Don’t question your own sound judgment or instincts. You can start a new career from home in your fifties and sixties. You can enjoy a new success as part of the new middle-aged group. You can start over and make a new beginning if you just have faith in yourself and the Almighty.

To learn how to look, act, and feel younger, and work from home, please access http://www.youcan-workathome.com

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Glass Half Full

When you get to be my age the chances are that you are an optimist, or you wouldn’t have gotten to this wonderful point in your life. You have to believe that the best is yet to come, or drown your thoughts and emotions in melancholy remembrances of events past. I prefer to look to the future to get my kicks.

I think a review of what people in their fifties and sixties plus can still excel at is in order as a ego booster. That’s right, even people in the new middle aged group (fifties through sixties plus) need to have their egos massaged once in a while otherwise we might get rusty and become unhinged. Now there is a truly terrible thought. Where are my painkillers when I might need them? I am afraid I may be having a senior moment.

Let’s get on to the review of what we excel at before I forget.

1. We definitely have more experience than anyone else except for people older than ourselves if such people actually exist.
2. We usually make shrewder political decisions than the starry eyed youth who believe in anyone who is long on dreams and general concepts, and short on details and execution.
3. We have learned over time to trust our instincts when making major decisions rather than relying on the pundits or so called wise men.
4. We have learned to rely on our faith in God to help us get through the tough times, and this has given us the strength to be tough enough to rise to the occasion.
5. We have learned to rely on our spouses as the only ones we can really trust when the going gets rough. We have learned that they are our best friends.
6. We can also feel good that we have the type of constitution that has provided us with the physical well being to get this far in our lives, and can be counted on to help us travel farther down the road if we just remember to take care of ourselves.
7. We have reached a point in our lives when we realize that there is beauty all around us, but that life is not pain free. We have learned to take the good with the bad.

How many people can claim to have learned and be experienced in such worthwhile life experiences? Perhaps it is our job to provide this knowledge to the younger generation if they will only listen. Perhaps it is up to us to provide a sense of stability to our Nation as we move forward to a brighter future. Maybe we have to spend more time with our grandchildren teaching them what we know. They are after all our link to immortality. It is through future generations, and how well we have been able to teach them what we know that we will live forever.

Who said the glass is half empty. We are just beginning the best part of the journey, and hopefully everyone joining us will have a thirst for knowledge.

Hi, this is Arthur Levine inviting you to become a free member of the new middle aged group for people in their fifties and sixties plus who want to continue to lead wonderful lives. Please join us at http://newmiddleagedgroup.blogspot.com. Just leave your name and email in the comment section if you wish.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Growing Older

I am tired of people telling me how to grow older graciously. I am doing it the only way I know how. I am doing it kicking and screaming that I want to stay young and feel great. The truth is that as I grow older I have certain aches and pains. Sure I consider myself part of the New Middle Aged Group even though I am sixty plus, but that doesn’t mean that my life is entirely pain free. How about you? Do you find that your joints don’t work as well as they used to? Is your gait when you are walking not quite as fast as it used to be?

Don’t get me wrong. I love getting older – consider the alternative, but I think it is time to stop kidding ourselves that our bodies aren’t changing as we age. Our minds are a different story. In my case I am almost about ready to start feeling like a juvenile again, how about you? Don’t worry if you are starting to do silly things. If not now then when will you get the chance? If not you, who is going to enjoy your newfound sense of freedom? It’s okay to want to feel like a kid again. This opportunity only comes along once in a lifetime so don’t blow it. You wouldn’t want to limp around looking like your great grandfather, would you?

I don’t know about you, but all this talk about aging and pain, and lost opportunities is making me hungry. That’s another thing they are trying to take away from us. I like food, I like eating, but I am not a rabbit destined to nibble my way into oblivion eating a bunch of carrots. I like real food. I have been eating it all my life, and I don’t buy any of the diet guru’s personal greedy reasons to get me to take a diet.

As I stop and think about dieting it reminds me of sex. I find I don’t spend enough time thinking about sex. Is this because I am satiated from a lifetime of sex, or is it because the new erectile pills available on the market have made sex on demand a given. It’s enough to get me to stop reading my spam emails. I don’t look anything like the pictures they use as examples anyway, how about you? How sad, I vaguely remember with pleasure when I had to work for it. I had to make an effort. Now it is sex on demand. I don’t even enjoy movies on demand. I never know which one to choose. My advice to you is to be careful with the use of those potency pills; you might end up getting so sexed up so quickly that you won’t have time or the control to find your regular partner. Then God only knows what you will do or whom you will choose. If we are not careful according to some of the advertising I have seen for these potency pills we may end up having sex at the beach, in a restaurant, and sorry I can’t remember the other place. I must be having a senior moment. Oh now I remember, I think it was walking up a long stairway or down a long hotel hallway, I don’t remember. I wish I was better at filtering irrelevant thoughts out of my mind.

Let me tell you what I think we can all do to stay younger and feel better.

We can practice best care options, disease prevention, and disease outcome management to help keep us happy and healthy.

We can acknowledge that we are not going to be able to live pain free. We couldn’t really do that when we were younger. We are going to have to learn to live with the pain.

We are going to have to understand that there is a quid pro quo for eating well and continuing to enjoy a changing sex life. I just hope I live long enough to find out what it is.

We are going to have to adjust our exercise programs to ones that our aging bodies can tolerate. I think this means less running and more walking. It definitely means less jumping through hoops at someone else’s command. Yes that’s right, I am including mental exercises too.

We are going to have to accept the fact that nutritional supplements and painkillers are going to become a way of life for those of us that want to live relatively pain free. Don’t forget to tell your doctor before they operate on you, or drug interactions could leave you bleeding all over the place.

We are going to have to continue to socialize with our peers, make new friends, and make a contribution to society if we expect to live longer, and enjoy a happy, healthy life. We are going to have to stay engaged. Have you made a new friend lately? Have you spent time with your family lately? Get out there and network.

In the final analysis, this growing older thing is just like doing anything else in your life that is important to you. You are going to have to make an effort if you want it to work. This is not a time to start getting lazy. This is a time to really enjoy your life. My goodness gracious – you are not really so old that you forgot how to enjoy yourself, are you? Let’s get out there and socialize and have a ball. That’s my answer to the problems of aging graciously. More later my friends when I find my notes.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Would You Like To Feel And Look Young Again?

This is getting boring. I am tired of feeling old. I looked in the mirror this morning and I don’t think I look old. I think I am paying too much attention to what other people think of people my age. No I am not going to tell you my age. I am turning over a new leaf. I am going to be as young as I think I should be. How about you? Would you like to feel young again? Would you like to look young again?

With many people it’s a matter of attitude. If you feel you are old, you will probably look old and act old. Stop acting like an old person and start feeling young again. You can do it.

When was the last time you took some time off to take care of yourself? Do you have a plan as to how to look and feel younger? Without a plan this is never going to work.

I think the first thing to do is to start to relax. Try and let go of the stress that is occupying a good part of your life. Stress is not your friend. Your best friend is yourself. You do want to help your best friend take care of himself or herself, don’t you?

Try and think about all the wonderful talents and skills that you have accumulated over the years. Think about all the things you have done right. Think about all the constructive things you can still do. That should make you feel younger. There are probably a lot of people half your age that can’t do what your experience has taught you how to do.

If you want to feel and look younger, you have to start to act younger. You have to allow yourself the luxury of doing things on impulse. You have to allow yourself to enjoy life. You have to stop worrying about everything that could go wrong. It is time to start thinking and acting positively.

I think what we all need is a fifty year plan for the future. If you start thinking in terms of the next fifty years, how old you are now begins to become irrelevant. Let’s start planning for the future. Let’s have hope. The best is yet to come if you feel and look young enough to enjoy it.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Work At Home – Feel Young Again

It’s a matter of perspective and attitude. If you feel you are still young, and just entering a different stage of your life, than working at home may be all the medicine you need to boost your self-esteem and start to feel young again.

It all depends on how you view becoming a Baby Boomer or post Baby Boomer. Are you ready for retirement, or are you ready for a new lease on life with a new career?

People in their fifties and sixties plus are discovering that they have the capacity to make new and significant contributions to society. In the process they are beginning to start to look and feel younger. They are beginning to view themselves as part of the New Middle Aged Group – people in their fifties and sixties plus who look, feel, and act like they are in their thirties or forties.

To accomplish the transition from retired to re-inspired people need to find something constructive to do. Many discover that working from home provides the answer to what they are looking for.

Working at home in their own business allows people to pursue hobbies, interests, and hidden talents that they didn’t know they had, or didn’t have time to pursue.

Working at home allows people to set their own schedules, develop their own concepts, services, and products, and most importantly to market them through the Internet.

Don’t worry if your skill levels on the Internet are limited, there are many programs out there, many of them free, that will help you get set up in your own business.

At the same time it pays to be cautious. There are a lot of scams on the Internet with people waiting to take advantage of you, and take your money. Be wary of offers that say things like Absolutely Free or Make $10,000 a week. These programs rarely if ever work except for their owners. Be sure and google any opportunity you are looking at to see if it has any negative comments. Use the good instincts that got you to this stage in your life to begin with.

The most important thing to do is to find something you like to do and then do it. What are you waiting for? A new and brighter future is waiting for you to do something constructive about it. This is your opportunity to work from home and start to look, act, and feel younger. If you have the proper attitude, the best is yet to come.

Hi, this is Arthur Levine, encouraging you to take advantage of your talents to start to look, feel, and act younger. To become a free member of the New Middle Aged Group please access: http://newmiddleagedgroup.blogspot.com.