Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years: Funny Quotes, Resolutions Tips, Poems

Start your New Year off right with lots of laughter and some smart advice on meeting those New Year resolutions.



From Denny: Before you stay up all night to ring in the New Year, swill some good champagne and watch the fireworks on TV, catch a laugh here. I rounded up the best and funniest quotes about the New Year. Enjoy some New Year's poems too.






New Years Quotes

* New Year's Day… now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. - Mark Twain

* Youth is when you're allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. Middle age is when you're forced to. - Bill Vaughan

* New Year's is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls and humbug resolutions. - Mark Twain

* The proper behavior all through the holiday season is to be drunk. This drunkenness culminates on New Year's Eve, when you get so drunk you kiss the person you're married to. - P. J. O'Rourke

* Now there are more overweight people in America than average-weight people. So overweight people are now average... which means, you have met your New Year's resolution. - Jay Leno

* Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go. - Brooks Atkinson




* New Year's Resolution: To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time. - James Agate

* An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves. - Bill Vaughan

* Many people look forward to the New Year for a new start on old habits. - Anonymous

* May all your troubles last as long as your New Year's resolutions! - Joey Adams



* I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me. - Anais Nin

* Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account. - Oscar Wilde

* I'm a little bit older, a little bit wiser, a little bit rounder, but still none the wiser. - Robert Paul

* A New Year's resolution is something that goes in one Year and out the other. - Anonymous

* From New Year's on the outlook brightens; good humor lost in a mood of failure returns. I resolve to stop complaining. - Leonard Bernstein

* The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot. - Michael Altshuler

* Never tell your resolution beforehand, or it's twice as onerous a duty. - John Selden




* It wouldn't be New Year's if I didn't have regrets. - William Thomas

* People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas. – Anonymous

* The only way to spend New Year's Eve is either quietly with friends or in a brothel. Otherwise when the evening ends and people pair off, someone is bound to be left in tears. - W.H. Auden

* A New Year's resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other. - Anonymous



* New Year's Eve, where auld acquaintance be forgot! Unless, of course, those tests come back positive. - Jay Leno

* It is better to spend money like there's no tomorrow than to spend tonight like there's no money. - P. J. O'Rourke

* Every New Year is the direct descendant, isn't it, of a long line of proven criminals? - Ogden Nash

* Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. - Ralph Waldo Emerson



New Year's Blessings

* New Year's eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights. - Hamilton Wright Mabie

* Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

* Look not mournfully into the past. It comes not back again. Wisely improve the present. It is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future, without fear, and with a manly heart. - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

* I will seek elegance rather than luxury, refinement rather than fashion. I will seek to be worthy more than respectable, wealthy and not rich. I will study hard, think quietly, talk gently, and act frankly. I will listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with an open heart. I will bear all things cheerfully, do all things bravely await occasions and hurry never. In a word I will let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious grow up through the common. - William Ellery Channing

* We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives, not looking for flaws, but for potential. - Ellen Goodman

* The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul. - G.K. Chesterton





New Year's Poems

Happy New Year!!

A New Years toast to love and laughter
and happily ever after

A health to you, a wealth to you,
And the best that life can give to you.

Dance as if no one were watching,
Sing as if no one were listening and
Live every day as if it were your last. - Anonymous


Auld Lang Syne

by Robert Burns

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne

We twa hae run aboot the braes
And pou'd the gowans fine;
we've wander'd mony a weary foot
Sin' auld lang syne

We two hae paidled i' the burn,
Frae mornin' sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin' auld lang syne

And here's a hand, my trusty friend,
And gie's a hand o' thine;
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne




What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That's not been said a thousand times?
The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.
We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.
We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.
We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our prides, we sheet our dead.
We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that's the burden of a year. - Ella Wheeler Wilcox



Funny New Year's Resolutions


One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things. - John Burroughs

* But can one still make resolutions when one is over forty? I live according to twenty-year old habits. - Andre Gide

* I do think New Year's resolutions can't technically be expected to begin on New Year's Day, don't you? Since, because it's an extension of New Year's Eve, smokers are already on a smoking roll and cannot be expected to stop abruptly on the stroke of midnight with so much nicotine in the system. Also dieting on New Year's Day isn't a good idea as you can't eat rationally but really need to be free to consume whatever is necessary, moment by moment, in order to ease your hangover. I think it would be much more sensible if resolutions began generally on January the second. - Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones's Diary

* He who breaks a resolution is a weakling; He who makes one is a fool. - F. M. Knowles, A Cheerful Year Book

* Every new year people make resolutions to change aspects of themselves they believe are negative. A majority of people revert back to how they were before and feel like failures. This year I challenge you to a new resolution. I challenge you to just be yourself. - Aisha Elderwyn

* For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning. - T. S. Eliot

* Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each New Year find you a better man. - Benjamin Franklin

* Your Merry Christmas may depend on what others do for you. But your Happy New Year depends on what you do for others. - Anonymous

* We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called "Opportunity" and its first chapter is New Year's Day. - Edith Lovejoy Pierce






It is an amusing human observation that we are a bundle of paradoxes and contradictions, shifting so often, that it can be so swift as to exist on an hourly basis. Talk about change your mind. And, every year, when the new year is beginning, we think about "time."  We think about how we have wasted it or not enjoyed enough of it to do all things we wanted to do.

TIME

Even a temporal calendar is an attempt to grab a hold of ourselves as if to tame our temperaments. Creating artificial time of the past and the future - rather than living fully awake in the present with a lot less stress - seems to be the curse humanity has called down upon ourselves. It is ludicrous, I mean, who in their right mind chooses to curse themselves? Silly.

THE NEW YEAR

Yet, here we arrive every year at what our calendars deem to be the beginning of THE NEW YEAR, like it's a monster from a scary book. Some look forward to it with delight and anticipation, the optimists, and others, the pessimists, dread it, worrying about the future. Hey, people! It's just a silly calendar! :) Take it in stride, laugh with it, laugh at it, but, most of all: LAUGH - and laugh out loud so the whole world can hear you!

BEST NEW YEARS QUOTE

This quote is so true about human nature it just begged to be moved to the top of the line:

* Making resolutions is a cleansing ritual of self assessment and repentance that demands personal honesty and, ultimately, reinforces humility. Breaking them is part of the cycle. - Eric Zorn

CLOCK TIME

By now you have properly figured out that I don't bother to wear a watch. In fact, as soon as I graduated university quite some time ago (feels like a life time, hmmm... maybe it was...) I put away all my watches and the clocks in every room. As far as I was concerned I was done with "childhood." I made a decision then to follow a spiritual rhythm of the day and night which is basically about getting in tune with Nature, Spirit and the Universe.

NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

My New Year's resolution? They never quite sat right with me as I make course corrections all year long. There was a time in the personal "ancient" past when I tried to do as everyone else in my culture. What I found is exactly like the quote: I ended up rarely honoring the full resolution, maybe parts of it.

HONORING NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

Over the years I've often wondered why people have such a tough time with it, struggling as I did too. What I decided - I'm big on deciding what my take is on anything which I suppose that's what creates a writer or blogger - well, I thought the reason we rarely follow through well on those resolutions is because of four annoying facts.

FIRST FACT


The first fact is that we get too grandiose in our goals, creating too many high hurdles for ourselves to achieve.

SECOND FACT

The second fact is that we fail to take those resolutions and break them down into much smaller goals that are easier to achieve.

THIRD FACT

The third fact is we allow those striving for goals to drag on far too long, killing our enthusiasm that began the journey in the first place. Choose goals that can be achieved in short spurts of time like a few days or a few weeks. Once you let it drag on too long it is easy to get discouraged and then you end up abandoning your resolution.

FOURTH FACT

And the fourth fact? Waiting all year long to suddenly make a course correction is like taking an old ruin of a 100 year old house and finally deciding to renovate it and so it becomes a dizzying busy of a money pit.

NEW YEARS ADVICE AND TIPS

Do yourself a favor; make small personal Life corrections all year long and then you can do like my husband and I do at New Years: celebrate how much progress we have made for the year. Instead of piling a "To Do List" onto yourself at the beginning of a new calendar year, celebrate with a "Finished List" like a birthday celebration of good things. That way you celebrate what is best about yourself instead of worrying about what is not perfect. Well, it works for me about reducing daily and cultural stress; I never said I was conventional about my outlook... :)

BE KIND TO YOURSELF TOO


As I collected the New Years quotes, New Years poems, New Years blessing and New Years resolutions I was struck by how overwhelmed people felt by it all. Well, The Delphi Oracle here has solved the problem! Treat yourself kindly, make small personal Life corrections often all year long and then you can breathe a sigh of smug relief when THE NEW YEAR begins!

I like this New Year's Resolution the best:


* Resolve to make at least one person happy every day, and then in ten years you may have made three thousand, six hundred and fifty persons happy, or brightened a small town by your contribution to the fund of general enjoyment. - Sydney Smith





*** Check out these posts too: 

New Year Celebrations: History And Trivia - Check out how celebrating the New Year was once considered controversial throughout history.

Best New Years Cartoons 2010

Poll: Most Admired People For 2010 - Check out the most admired people in America for 2010.

72 Posts Roundup at Dennys Blogs - 20 Dec 2010

Funny WikiLeaks Cartoons

17 Christmas Music and Fun Videos

36 Christmas Posts: Music, Humor, Poems, Stories, Quotes

New Years Reflection: Wine Glass Abyss, Libations Friday! 1 Jan 2010

Wonderful Serious Quotes About Time

Funny New Years Animations and Clip Art

8 Easy Yummy New Years Recipes to Warm Your Guests

Fun Kid Recipes, Activities Keep Them Busy For Holidays



 *** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

*** Come by for a visit and check out my other blogs:

*** Check out Holiday Recipes From Dennys Food and Recipes

The Social Poets - news, politics
The Soul Calendar - science, astronomy, psychology
Visual Insights - photos, art, music
Beautiful Illustrated Quotations - spiritual quotes, philosophy
Best Spiritual Posts - my own best as well as links to other spiritual posts from all viewpoints
Poems From A Spiritual Heart - poetry
The Healing Waters - health news
Dennys People Watching - people in the news
Dennys Food and Recipes
Dennys Funny Quotes - humor

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Poll: Most Admired People For 2010

Check out the most admired people in America for 2010. How do Hillary, Oprah and Palin rank?



How do Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and Sarah Palin rank?

From Denny: Check out the recent Gallup Poll lately? Guess who are the most admired people of 2010? You would be correct if you guessed President Obama as the most admired man in America. Obama, now the 44th president, was listed as the most admired man in America back in 2008 and 2009 too. So far, Obama has risen above the usual iconic religious leaders and former presidents.



*** Be sure to check out the links in the post as it's some interesting reading on their biographies and accomplishments.


Most Admired Men 




Most admired man by group polled:

Democrats chose Barack Obama by 46 percent, Bill Clinton by 7 percent and Nelson Mandela by 5 percent.

Independents chose Obama by 17 percent (about one-third of Independents are former Democrats)

Republicans, of course, chose George W. Bush first, yet surprisingly, chose Obama as second.



Ever since Gallup began this Most Admired Man Poll back in 1946 it was sitting presidents who dominated the results. Apparently, it's typical for presidents in their second year of office to be ranked as the most admired of any living man in the world. Talk about "go to your head." That must be some heady stuff to wrap your brain around.

How Obama ranked in recent years since his election:

2008 - Americans chose Obama by 32 percent, extremely high for just a president-elect, though that percentage is similar to when Republican President Dwight Eisenhower was chosen.

2209 - Americans chose Obama by 30 percent, the highest for the first year of office for a president.

2010 - Americans chose Obama by 22 percent this year, clearly less popular, reflecting the frustration of voters with his constant compromise and weak legislation.

A religious icon making his 54th appearance in the top 10 of most admired men is Rev. Billy Graham.  That doubles the number President Ronald Reagan showed when he was in the top 10.  His score was 31 appearances.

President Jimmy Carter was not named for the past two years but showed up in this year's poll for his 27th appearance.  He tied with Pope John Paul II for the third all-time.

Most Admired Women

Who is the most admired woman for her ninth consecutive year?  Hillary Clinton.  She has dominated the Most Admired Woman title for much of the the past two decades.  She has to her credit 15 times she has ranked as number one on this poll since she first appeared on it back in 1992.

Other notables on this year's list?  The same as in 2009 (not in order of ranking):

Queen Elizabeth II
Sarah Palin
Oprah Winfrey
Michelle Obama
Condoleezza Rice

Women most admired by group polled:

Democrats chose Hillary Clinton by 31 percent, Oprah Winfrey by 13 percent, Michelle Obama by 10 percent.
Independents chose Hillary Clinton by 15 percent, Oprah Winfrey by 10 percent and Sarah Palin by 7 percent.
Republicans chose Sarah Palin by 26 percent, Oprah Winfrey by 8 percent and Hillary Clinton by 5 percent. (Remember, Hillary was a registered Republican in her youth, "a Goldwater Girl," later changing to Democrat when she married Bill Clinton)

Queen Elizabeth II has appeared in the top ten of the  poll for 43 times, the highest record for any woman.  Oprah Winfrey hasn't done bad for herself either.  She consistently polls in the top ten, around second or third, for every year since 1997.  She has always been ranked somewhere in the top ten since 1988, a tribute to the longevity of her popularity, though she has never placed as number one.




What do these First Ladies all have in common:  Eleanor Roosevelt, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Hillary Clinton?  All share a strong popularity long beyond their husband's presidencies.  Of course, Hillary Clinton has done many "firsts" like she was the first former First Lady to run for Senator and won. Clinton was the first First Lady to run for President, and was the first First Lady to become the Secretary of State.  Definitely a memorable career that will keep the history books talking for centuries.

Over the years of this poll of most admired women it is First Ladies who figure prominently in the top three spots during their White House tenure.  Unlike their husbands they do not seem to garner the top spot.  The only First Lady to win that top spot has been, you guessed it, Hillary Clinton.  She experienced six number one rankings during Bill Clinton's two terms as president.

How did Nancy Reagan do on the list? She achieved the top spot for three times during her husband's two terms.  What about Barbara Bush?  She soared to the top spot twice during her husband's one term.  What about Rosalynn Carter?  She either tied for first place or won the top spot during three years of her husband's single term.

Top overall ranking?  No one has won it since Laura Bush did back in 2001, the year of the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York City.




What about First Lady Michelle Obama, how is she faring?  Apparently, not well, turning in a single digit performance.  Perhaps she is overshadowed by her husband?  Her numbers are on the low side compared to most First Ladies, though Obama's  are as low as Laura Bush's for most of her husband's presidency.  Rosalynn Carter also experienced low numbers during the first year of her husband's presidency.

One explanation for low numbers turned in for Michelle Obama is because most Democrats give higher mentions to Hillary Clinton, someone with a longer and larger body of public work.  Michelle Obama also trails Oprah Winfrey in mentions among Democrats.  Winfrey is also another long term powerhouse in the public domain.  It will be interesting to see Michelle Obama decades from now as she adds to her current public works.  Tackling childhood obesity and diabetes is an admirable goal.  And reintroducing fellow Americans to good nutrition as an alternative to fast food is a tough sell too.  Michelle Obama, like many first ladies at this point in their husband's terms, is still in the early stages of carving out a niche for herself.

This USA Today/Gallup poll surveyed 1,019 adults over the age of 18, using random sampling from 10-12 Dec 2010.


*** Be sure to check out the links in the post as it's some interesting reading on their biographies and accomplishments.



*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

*** Come by for a visit and check out my other blogs:

*** Check out Holiday Recipes From Dennys Food and Recipes

The Social Poets - news, politics
The Soul Calendar - science, astronomy, psychology
Visual Insights - photos, art, music
Beautiful Illustrated Quotations - spiritual quotes, philosophy
Best Spiritual Posts - my own best as well as links to other spiritual posts from all viewpoints
Poems From A Spiritual Heart - poetry
The Healing Waters - health news
Dennys People Watching - people in the news
Dennys Food and Recipes
Dennys Funny Quotes - humor

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Arrested WikiLeaks Founder Signs Tell All $1.3 Million Book Deal

Rape, treason and information-dealing pay off for WikiLeaks Assange.




From Denny:  Well, Assange just can't seem to stay out of the headlines. This guy must be a media exhibitionist. Now he's whining how he isn't rich enough to pay his own legal fees? This guy is supposed to be a billionaire. So, where did all his money go?

Apparently, Founder Assange is worried he can't keep his WikiLeaks "whistle blower" site running. Why? He says it is running out of cash since Paypal, MasterCard and Visa quit allowing payment donations through their sites to the WikiLeaks site. Assange states he has lost as much as  $650,000 since the three sites blocked his donors.  Get this: Assange was raking in as much as $130,000 a day in pure untaxed donations to the tune of almost $4 million per month before the financial crackdown. What a sweet con. And now it looks like the wild ride is over.

So, what does a con man move on to next? Well, that's obvious: he moves on to the other muckrakers, the gossip publishing industry. He signed a $1.3 million deal with Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group at Random House in America and British publisher Canongate.

Assange may have good reason to worry. It isn't just his current legal costs fighting extradition to Sweden to face a rape charge. There are mounting lawsuits against his WikiLeaks site to consider. We can only wonder what fantastic stories will be told in this book, since he is known for his embellishment of the truth.

Assange also claims he does not want to write the book.  Who believes that garbage?  "I don't want to write this book, but I have to," he told the Sunday Times of London, per ABC News. "I have already spent £200,000 for legal costs and I need to defend myself and to keep WikiLeaks afloat."




In case you have been completely unplugged from technology - or living under a rock - the past few months here's the rundown on the developing WikiLeaks-Assange story:

To date, Australian Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, turned himself in to police in the United Kingdom.  He was wanted on an Interpol warrant for extradition to Sweden.  Two women in Sweden accused him of rape and sexual misconduct.  Assange is fighting extradition and is currently out on bail with an ankle monitor and house arrest, staying at a friend's house.

Assange's fear of assassins 

Assange is terrified of the American government and fears assassination squads were sent to kill him.  If that were true he would already be dead.  But then this guy ticked off the entire world and embarrassed the diplomatic community.  There isn't a government on this planet that approves of him, his methods, his so-called cause.  He reeks of selling information to the highest bidder, releasing the low level intelligence just for fun to screw with everyone's lives.  I'm sure there are plenty of Afghan families who are just thrilled with him outting them as intelligence sources.  Now those tribal people and their code of vengeance is something to fear.

Taliban seeking Assange 

Better yet, the Taliban are who Assange should really fear.  Those guys are ruthless and will kill those close to him just to get more information, especially if they are too cheap to pay for it.  Assange just can't go around claiming he is the world storehouse of all the most secret and precious information and think he has no enemies.  It's ludicrous.

Diplomatic cables released 

For several months now WikiLeaks has released low level secret documents and video regarding the Iraq and Afghan wars.  The vast majority of the information was already in the public domain.  And let's not forget the diplomatic cables between American and foreign diplomats, detailing stupid opinion that no smart diplomat would ever write and send in an electronic missive.  Those opinions and observations are only mentioned among friends or in person.  Talk about amateurs.  Who is actually stupid enough to think that electronic anything is private?

GOP labels Assange a terrorist and WikiLeaks a terrorist group 

Providing political theater lately are the Republicans like Rep. King from New York who is calling Assange a terrorist and he should be classified as an enemy combatant.  King is the incoming chairman of the Homeland Security Committee and wants a crackdown on WikiLeaks.

One of the few interesting ideas King has had is to label WikiLeaks dumps as a treasonable offense.  By so doing then the site can be labeled as a terrorist group.  And by labeling WikiLeaks as a terrorist group then it is easier to go after their finances legally.  Just this month, King introduced a bill to stop WikiLeaks by declaring its activities as criminal.

ABC Interview with Assange

In this video Assange tries to defend his actions, claiming no one has died or been hurt by the vomiting release document dumps from his site. Like that's going to become public knowledge.  Nor have we seen Assange digging to find out if it's true.

It's one thing to push boundaries to challenge possibly corrupt governments and authority, to want freedom of information. It's quite another to release information indiscriminately without regards to consequences for innocents or intelligence sources in a war-torn country. No one really cares how much these docs embarrass various countries and their diplomatic communities.

Listen to Assange work his wriggle room interview.  It's astounding anyone labels this guy as a hero, a person so completely devoid of human compassion for, well, anyone.  Is a rapist, a for-profit information dealer and a con man worthy of hero status?







*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

*** Come by for a visit and check out my other blogs:

*** Check out Holiday Recipes From Dennys Food and Recipes

The Social Poets - news, politics
The Soul Calendar - science, astronomy, psychology
Visual Insights - photos, art, music
Beautiful Illustrated Quotations - spiritual quotes, philosophy
Best Spiritual Posts - my own best as well as links to other spiritual posts from all viewpoints
Poems From A Spiritual Heart - poetry
The Healing Waters - health news
Dennys People Watching - people in the news
Dennys Food and Recipes
Dennys Funny Quotes - humor

Monday, December 27, 2010

President Obama: Executive Order 13562, Recruiting, Hiring Students, Recent Graduates


The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

Executive Order 13562- Recruiting and Hiring Students and Recent Graduates

EXECUTIVE ORDER
RECRUITING AND HIRING STUDENTS AND RECENT GRADUATES
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including sections 3301 and 3302 of title 5, United States Code, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1.  Policy.  The Federal Government benefits from a diverse workforce that includes students and recent graduates, who infuse the workplace with their enthusiasm, talents, and unique perspectives.  The existing competitive hiring process for the Federal civil service, however, is structured in a manner that, even at the entry level, favors job applicants who have significant previous work experience.  This structure, along with the complexity of the rules governing admission to the career civil service, creates a barrier to recruiting and hiring students and recent graduates.  It places the Federal Government at a competitive disadvantage compared to private-sector employers when it comes to hiring qualified applicants for entry-level positions.
To compete effectively for students and recent graduates, the Federal Government must improve its recruiting efforts; offer clear paths to Federal internships for students from high school through post-graduate school; offer clear paths to civil service careers for recent graduates; and provide meaningful training, mentoring, and career-development opportunities.  Further, exposing students and recent graduates to Federal jobs through internships and similar programs attracts them to careers in the Federal Government and enables agency employers to evaluate them on the job to determine whether they are likely to have successful careers in Government.
Accordingly, pursuant to my authority under 5 U.S.C. 3302(1), and in order to achieve a workforce that represents all segments of society as provided in 5 U.S.C. 2301(b)(1), I find that conditions of good administration (specifically, the need to promote employment opportunities for students and recent graduates in the Federal workforce) make necessary an exception to the competitive hiring rules for certain positions in the Federal civil service.
Sec. 2.  Establishment.  There are hereby established the Internship Program and the Recent Graduates Program, which, along with the Presidential Management Fellows Program, as modified herein, shall collectively be known as the Pathways Programs.  I therefore direct the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to issue regulations implementing the Pathways Programs consistent with this order, including:
(a)  a description of the positions that executive departments and agencies (agencies) may fill through the Pathways Programs because conditions of good administration necessitate excepting those positions from the competitive hiring rules;
(b)  rules governing whether, to what extent, and in what manner public notice should be provided of job opportunities in the Pathways Programs;
(c)  a description of career-development, training, and mentorship opportunities for participants in the Pathways Programs;
(d)  requirements that managers meaningfully assess the performance of participants in the Pathways Programs to identify those who should be considered for conversion to career civil service positions;
(e)  a description of OPM oversight of agency use of the Pathways Programs to ensure that (i) they serve as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the competitive hiring process, and (ii) agencies are using the Pathways Programs in a genuine effort to develop talent for careers in the civil service;
(f)  a description of OPM plans to evaluate agencies' effectiveness in recruiting and retaining talent using the Pathways Programs and of the satisfaction of Pathways Programs participants and their hiring managers; and
(g)  standard naming conventions across agencies, so that students and recent graduates can clearly understand and compare the career pathway opportunities available to them in the Federal Government.
Sec. 3.  Internship Program.  The Internship Program shall provide students in high schools, community colleges, 4-year colleges, trade schools, career and technical education programs, and other qualifying educational institutions and programs, as determined by OPM, with paid opportunities to work in agencies and explore Federal careers while still in school.  The Internship Program would replace the existing Student Career Experience Program, established pursuant to Executive Order 12015 of October 26, 1977.  The following principles and policies shall govern the Internship Program:
(a)  Participants in the program shall be referred to as "Interns" and shall be students enrolled, or accepted for enrollment, in qualifying educational institutions and programs, as determined by OPM.
(b)  Subject to any exceptions OPM may establish by regulation, agencies shall provide Interns with meaningful developmental work and set clear expectations regarding the work experience of the intern.
(c)  Students employed by third-party internship providers but placed in agencies may, to the extent permitted by OPM regulations, be treated as participants in the Internship Program.
Sec. 4.  Recent Graduates Program.  The Recent Graduates Program shall provide individuals who have recently graduated from qualifying educational institutions or programs with developmental experiences in the Federal Government intended to promote possible careers in the civil service.  The following principles and policies shall govern the Recent Graduates Program:
(a)  Participants in the program shall be referred to as "Recent Graduates" and must have obtained a qualifying degree, or completed a qualifying career or technical education program, as determined by OPM, within the preceding 2 years, except that veterans who, due to their military service obligation, were precluded from participating in the Recent Graduates Program during the 2-year period after obtaining a qualifying degree or completing a qualifying program shall be eligible to participate in the Program within 6 years of obtaining a qualifying degree or completing a qualifying program.
(b)  Responsibilities assigned to a Recent Graduate shall be consistent with his or her qualifications, educational background, and career interests, the purpose of the Recent Graduates Program, and agency needs.
Sec. 5.  Presidential Management Fellows Program.  The Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program is an existing program established pursuant to Executive Order 13318 of November 21, 2003, that aims to attract to the Federal service outstanding men and women from a variety of academic disciplines at the graduate level who have a clear interest in, and commitment to, the leadership and management of public policies and programs.  The following requirements shall govern the PMF Program upon the revocation of Executive Order 13318, as provided in section 8 of this order:
(a)  Participants in this program shall continue to be known as Presidential Management Fellows (PMFs or Fellows) and must have received, within the preceding 2 years, a qualifying advanced degree, as determined by OPM.
(b)  Responsibilities assigned to a PMF shall be consistent with the PMF's qualifications, educational background, and career interests, the purposes of the PMF Program, and agency needs.
(c)  OPM shall establish the eligibility requirements and minimum qualifications for the program, as well as a process for assessing eligible individuals for consideration for appointment as PMFs.
Sec. 6.  Appointment and Conversion.  (a)  Appointments to any of the Pathways Programs shall be under Schedule D of the excepted service, as established by section 7 of this order.
(b)  Appointments to the Recent Graduates or PMF Programs shall not exceed 2 years, unless extended by the employing agency for up to 120 days thereafter.
(c)  Appointment to a Pathways Program shall confer no right to further Federal employment in either the competitive or excepted service upon the expiration of the appointment, except that agencies may convert eligible participants noncompetitively to term, career, or career conditional appointments after satisfying requirements to be established by OPM, and agencies may noncompetitively convert participants who were initially converted to a term appointment under this section to a career or career-conditional appointment before the term appointment expires.
Sec. 7.  Implementation.  (a)  Civil Service Rule VI is amended as follows:
(i) 5 CFR 6.1(a) is amended to read:
OPM may except positions from the competitive service when it determines that (A) appointments thereto through competitive examination are not practicable, or (B) recruitment from among students attending qualifying educational institutions or individuals who have recently completed qualifying educational programs can better be achieved by devising additional means for recruiting and assessing candidates that diverge from the processes generally applicable to the competitive service.  These positions shall be listed in OPM's annual report for the fiscal year in which the exceptions are made.
(ii) 5 CFR 6.2 is amended to read:
OPM shall list positions that it excepts from the competitive service in Schedules A, B, C, and D, which schedules shall constitute parts of this rule, as follows:
Schedule A.  Positions other than those of a confidential or policy-determining character for which it is not practicable to examine shall be listed in Schedule A.
Schedule B.  Positions other than those of a confidential or policy-determining character for which it is not practicable to hold a competitive examination shall be listed in Schedule B.  Appointments to these positions shall be subject to such noncompetitive examination as may be prescribed by OPM.
Schedule C.  Positions of a confidential or policy-determining character shall be listed in Schedule C.
Schedule D.  Positions other than those of a confidential or policy-determining character for which the competitive service requirements make impracticable the adequate recruitment of sufficient numbers of students attending qualifying educational institutions or individuals who have recently completed qualifying educational programs.  These positions, which are temporarily placed in the excepted service to enable more effective recruitment from all segments of society by using means of recruiting and assessing candidates that diverge from the rules generally applicable to the competitive service, shall be listed in Schedule D.
(iii) The first sentence of 5 CFR 6.4 is amended to read:
Except as may be required by statute, the Civil Service Rules and Regulations shall not apply to removals from positions listed in Schedules A, C, or D or from positions excepted from the competitive service by statute.
The second sentence of 5 CFR 6.4 is to remain unchanged.
(iv) The first sentence of 5 CFR 6.6 is amended to read:
OPM may remove any position from or may revoke in whole or in part any provision of Schedule A, B, C, or D.
The second sentence of 5 CFR 6.6 is to remain unchanged.
(b)  The Director of OPM shall:
(i) promulgate such regulations as the Director determines may be necessary to implement this order;
(ii) provide oversight of the Pathways Programs;
(iii) establish, if appropriate, a Government-wide cap on the number of noncompetitive conversions to the competitive service of Interns, Recent Graduates, or PMFs (or a Government-wide combined conversion cap applicable to all three categories together);
(iv) administer, and review and revise annually or as needed, any Government-wide cap established pursuant to this subsection;
(v) provide guidance on conducting an orderly transition from existing student and internship programs to the Pathways Programs established pursuant to this order; and
(vi) consider for publication in the Federal Register at an appropriate time a proposed rule seeking public comment on the elimination of the Student Temporary Employment Program, established through OPM regulations at 5 CFR 213.3202(a).
(c)  In accordance with regulations prescribed pursuant to this order and applicable law, agencies shall:
(i) use appropriate merit-based procedures for recruitment, assessment, placement, and ongoing career development for participants in the Pathways Programs;
(ii) provide for equal employment opportunity in the Pathways Programs without regard to race, ethnicity, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or any other non merit-based factor;
(iii) apply veterans' preference criteria; and
(iv) within 45 days of the date of this order, designate a Pathways Programs Officer (at the agency level, or at bureaus or components within the agency) to administer Pathways Programs, to serve as liaison with OPM, and to report to OPM on the implementation of the Pathways Programs and the individuals hired under them.
Sec. 8.  Prior Executive Orders.  (a)  Effective March 1, 2011, Executive Order 13162 (Federal Career Intern Program) is superseded and revoked.  Any individuals serving in appointments under that order on March 1, 2011, shall be converted to the competitive service, effective on that date, with no loss of pay or benefits.
(b)  On the effective date of final regulations promulgated by the Director of OPM to implement the Internship Program, Executive Order 12015 (pursuant to which the Student Career Experience Program was established), as amended, is superseded and revoked.
(c)  On the effective date of final regulations promulgated by the Director of OPM to implement changes to the PMF Program required by this order, Executive Order 13318 (Presidential Management Fellows Program), as amended, is superseded and revoked.
Sec. 9.  General Provisions.  (a)  This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(b)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) authority granted by law, regulation, Executive Order, or Presidential Directive to an executive department, agency, or head thereof; or
(ii) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(c)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
BARACK OBAMA
THE WHITE HOUSE,
December 27, 2010.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Funny Life and Christmas Cartoons - 25 Dec 2010

Check out the most recent funny Santa cartoons along with some cracked cartooning minds.





From Denny: This year the cartoonists outdid themselves when it came to Santa interpretations. Is there anything, anyone or any situation they did not consider? These guys have some of the funniest perspectives on how we live from moment to moment. It's like we are all in a glass cage and they are on the other side observing, laughing and doodling to their heart's content. :)


The Santa Legend lives!


Nick Anderson




Moderately Confused




Moderately Confused




Moderately Confused




Henry Payne





Oh, that "inner world" of absurd fantasy tag:


Ballard Street


How about a little joy in the house during the holiday season? Hold yourself a "kitchen dance" courtesy of the family dog vs. The Elmo Dance off Sesame Street:


Ballard Street




Wait for it... wait for it... tax season is right around the corner! Yay!


Ballard Street




How not to dress when you retire. It's just too scary:


Ballard Street




Watch out for those DIY projects. They can really challenge you sometimes:



Ballard Street




What your dog is thinking whenever you try to lower your monthly expenses. Sounds like this dog has been talking to my cats who have started hunting down the neighborhood mouse squad. My neighbors must be economizing too because there is not a mouse to be found for miles around:


Ballard Street




Speaking of the neighborhood mice...


Speed Bump




Speed Bump




Thou Shalt Not Be Grumpy During The Holiday Season:


Ballard Street




Moderately Confused




Speed Bump




Speed Bump




Ballard Street




How not to entertain during the holiday season:


Ballard Street




Ballard Street




Ballard Street




Speed Bump




Speed Bump




The holiday Snowmen Conversation:


Speed Bump




THE Conversation of all time:


Moderately Confused




*** Hope everyone had a superb holiday this year!  Thank you for all your support because it sure has been fun writing for you!  Wishing you a wonderful New Year - Denny


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