Saturday, January 31, 2009


Just a quick note tonight about the history of education in America.

How about instead of competing with parochial schools the public schools look for guidance where success is a way of life. As far as I know most of those schools exist on far less money and fewer resources than public schools--in particular they have no unions. And yet it seems that they graduate and send on to college many more than the average public school.

This is Catholic schools week hereabouts but there are many more of all denominations plus home schooled kids whose parents want to teach certain values and get away from some of the rules that educate in some ways what they don't want or need until later in life and with family viewpoints included in the curriculum.

One of these schools in Jackson has been operating non-stop for 120 years and another for 145. Stop, if you will, and figure out how much money these parents, who sacrifice to send their youngsters to schools like these plus paying taxes, have saved the public school system through that many generations.

And then think of the hospitals started by Sisters of Mercy and other Orders who, if Obama signs the Freedom of Choice Act, (HA!) will probably be closed rather than be forced to commit murder through abortion. Perhaps it would be a good idea to start letting some of our pro-abortion acquaintances know that these might be called unintended consequences by some, but logical by us.

I have a friend who thinks that would be a terrible thing for the church to do--to deny needed services, but I hastened to tell her that no one would even think of it if a bill doesn't force the issue. The first strike comes from the Congress and the second with the President's signature before there can be any reaction. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction? Self-defense is a legitimate act.

Can't help wondering if this promise to NARAL will be kept in the dead of night without fanfare or if it will be a blaze of glory. We'll just have to wait and see.

Bye for now...

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Rush Limbaugh Flak

There was a time a few years ago that I opined that if my doorbell rang and I peeked through the curtain to see who it was, there were two people for whom I would not open the door: Bill Clinton because I don't like him and why would I bother? And Rush Limbaugh because there could be no dialogue.

However, if I am in the car between 12 and 3 Eastern, I hear bits and pieces of Rush. And it has always been so. I rarely turn on the radio in the house since we don't have one in every room so in order to listen you'd have to stay in one place and that's not the way it works around here. At any rate, I truly enjoy hearing his point of view and frankly, agree with him on most issues. It's just that he is so full of himself and how does anyone ever have a bona fide discussion with him?

As with my defense of President Bush--he doesn't need my help but sometimes the critics are so ridiculous you just have to say something or burst. And now this business of mixing it up with Obama is another example. I can't defend Rush, he does a good job himself, but I need to make a point here.

I'm scared! We've all talked about jeopardizing the first and second amendments among other topics during the campaign, but deep down we just couldn't believe it would happen. Now I believe it. If that liberal machine really targets the freedom of speech for conservatives and if they can suppress Rush, what chance do the rest of us have?

How many conservative blogs are there? How many would there be if a law were passed that it would cost $5000 a year for a license to blog? And what would it take for this Congress to pass such a law? If we are all cowering in fear over the economic "crisis" and potential job loss, etc., etc. would we even notice if they did it in the dead of night?

Let's all have a great super bowl to take our minds off this stuff for a few hours and spend time with friends and family which is really the important thing, right?
Football! The American way!

God bless....

Stay tuned for some surprising news about Fiat.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Random Thoughts--Pick One

Did you ever have one of those days when there was so much news and/or repetition of old stories that you want to either laugh or cry? Or get mad and stomp your feet? Or throw more than a foam brick at the TV or radio? How as a rational person you just turn them off and read the paper which is just as bad, thumb through a book or magazine and finally it's time to go to bed.....

1-Revisit the stimulus package with the observation that at least the Republicans didn't cave this time and allow Obama to just wash his hands like Pilate so he could lay the blame off on someone else.

2-How can capitalism or a market economy or whatever label we use these days survive when the leader of the free world is more concerned with what the rest of the world thinks of him/us is more important than the future of the country itself?

3-Couldn't stipulations on certain methods or constraints by the lender (us) be considered the collateral we should get for the money they get? Bonuses?

4-I've decided watching a Jay Leno monologue haranguing George W is self-inflicted pain so I'll forego that since he just can't seem to get over it.

5-One more comment about Geithner: when did we stop getting character references when we hired someone?

6-Some of the topics covered weeks ago on this blog seem to be in the news these days. Should I reprint or just give the date so you can retrieve them. Case in point: the Mexican drug/government/border/gang problems.

See ya--

God bless and rest well.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Roosevelt was no Magician, either!

There's no proof, but convincing circumstantial evidence, in the following story which demonstrates how much influence and how soon the public works projects of the 1930s actually worked. A little personal history, if you will.

My father's family emigrated from Germany in 1922 and landed at Ellis Island. From there they went to Chicago where they had relatives as was often the case. My parents met in 1929 and continued with their plans to marry in February of 1930 in spite of the crash.

My dad was what was called a rough carpenter, one of his brothers was considered a skilled cabinet maker, the third brother was a mason and their widowed sister became their homemaker. They were quite successful in doing everything from sub-contracting on jobs as big as schools and hospitals and as small as road building projects such as culverts, etc. Of course they were not afraid to travel and went wherever there was a job.

I was born in Chicago in December of 1930, had my first birthday in Baltimore, the second and third in Chicago, the fourth and fifth in Iowa and my sixth in Minnesota where we stayed permanently with a couple of exceptions. The exceptions started in Iowa when my dad went to California the winter I was five while we stayed behind with my aunt; the second was in 1940 when he landed a contract in California and our entire family went to California for 6 months returning to Minnesota in May of 1941. In November of 1941 my dad signed a contract for one year of work on Wake Island. And the rest, as they say, is history. He returned in October of 1945 having spent from December 7 'til August of '45 in POW camps in China and Japan.

The reason for this litany of moves? To demonstrate that this was a young man (28 in October of 1929) who was gainfully employed throughout the depression, but he didn't wait for public works. And further, to demonstrate that the double digit unemployment figures of the time lasted a long, long time.

If this administration truly believes that the nearly trillion dollars Obama wants to spend on "shovel ready" projects will put 4 million people to work in two short years...........
The approval processes to expend the funds plus the permits required from all the different levels of government will take months and months. I would so like to be able to have the faith that it will happen, but I just don't see it.

See ya...

ps-I almost feel sorry for Blagoyovich. He grew up in the middle of Chicago politics, played the game exactly the way he was taught and then they brought in a new kid and changed the rules in the middle of the game.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Time to Talk about Pelosi.......

Just can't put it off any longer. The best word that can describe this woman is "obtuse." How else would you consider that she just doesn't appear to understand even the most elementary premise whether it be economics or religion.

For anyone in her position to make statements regarding conception or abortion as a method of population control resulting in stimulation of the budget by funding other programs is ludicrous. Consider the difference there would be in this country if the 50 million aborted babies had lived to work on both sides of the supply/demand equation.

And remember when the Bishops in her church (and mine) had to correct her when she tried to put a spin on the beginning of life by erroneously naming philosophers/saints as questioning the issue and coming to no conclusion? And how she calls herself a devout Catholic?

Anyone of us could write a book about her and the examples of "obtuse" would make the footnotes take up half the pages, but it would be a waste of time. We'll leave it here, but next time she comes up with a doozy, we'll pass it on.

See ya

pa-Nick was right when he wrote about the job loss due to the CAFE standards and I'll go one step further: since Obama has ordered the federal fleet to be "green" at a cost of over $600,000 extra let's picture this scenario: When there are cars to be bought which satisfy the government, most of us will not be able to afford them so we will keep our present cars and ultimately replace them with newer used cars. Thus the used car market will go up, new cars will sit in the showroom and emissions will either remain the same or increase. And sometime after that, when the supply of used cars is exhausted, or nearly so, what do you suppose they will tell us we should do to solve the problem? Another stimulus program? A lottery? Mandatory public transportation? Your guess is as good as mine if not better. All I can see is an enormous boondoggle. Take good care of your car--you may need it longer than you think.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Ration Cars or Ration Gas?

After we learned today that the 2020 fuel averages are to be moved up to 2011, and wondering why the President would not let the auto makers make this earth shaking announcement themselves I started wondering why. When Hector was a pup it used to take 3-5 years between the ideas, designs, testing, launch and production of vehicles which means that in order to have all these systems in place ready to sell in 2 years, they must already be almost "on the shelf" and ready to go now.

As Judge Judy says, "if it doesn't make sense, it's not true." And as presented this doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I figure there are at least two possible scenarios, if not more.

1-All auto makers will have to figure out the proportions of product from small cars to small trucks and big cars to big trucks which will bring them to the average being mandated by the government. Their guesstimates as to demand will then be factored into the formula and the customers will have their choices as to what is available and what they want to spend. I call that rationing.

2-Each household will be given a questionnaire which will include the number of family members, perhaps ages (in order to determine need for travel such as school needs, medical needs, average shopping trips, etc.,) church membersship, work from home or outside the home, vacation allowances, income level, etc. Then they will be given a "category of need" number which will give them choices based on what they should be able to afford and need. I also call that rationing.

I also call the whole idea big brotherish at the least and a dictatorship at the worst. (They could also just ration the gas, but even liberals know that Americans would balk at that.)

I was half joking when I spoke to #2 son and told him my idea and he said, "Mom, I'll bet you it won't be 3 weeks before you will have a pile of letters calling you unpatriotic--you're not doing your part to save oil." My response is that (and long time readers remember my column on re-cycling) I'm a champion at efficiently planning running errands and all the other activities lumped together under not wasting anything. Those of us in modest circumstances are forced to be prudent due to economics. Only the wealthy can afford to waste even though many of the wealthy got there by not wasting.

So there you have it. Be smart. Be patriotic. But remember, there is an "elite guard" in this country who believe that they know what is best for you--don't give them permission easily.

See ya...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sec of State-Whip and a Chair or "Whisperer?"

Somehow I'm getting this vibe that tells me Secretary of State Condi Rice is like the "whisperer" who speaks subliminally and all the unspoken body language and nuances tell her what she needs to know about the tough guys she's dealing with and in return they know that this is one strong lady representing one strong country.

And the smartest woman in the world is going to charge in acting strong and using words that "prove" it all the while representing folks who are intent on a one-world philosophy. She talks about more foreign aid at a time when we can ill afford what we pay out now and it reminds me of the rich kid who tries to buy friendship.

I guess we'll have to wait and watch and while we're twiddling our thumbs does anyone want to take a bet on who wins the "we need a special prosecutor to investigate President Bush" vs the "we need to look forward, not backward" contest? The players here are Michigan's own Conyers and Levin tag teaming and a new President who is trying to take the lead in his party and his country. More watching and waiting needed. Who is really controlling this administration?

In the meantime it is vital that we let them know we are watching. Let our Michigan Senators and Representatives know we do care what is going on and we are keeping score. As it seems that we are in constant campaign mode these days, perhaps we'll get a little more than lip service.

See ya...

ps-Didja know that Fiat's 4th quarter was down 70%? And of course that was a surprise that they didn't have a clue about when they were negotiating with Chrysler? Duh!!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tidbits of Right to Life of Michigan History

Disclaimer: Having moved to Michigan in 1969 I have no knowledge of any activity before 1971 so let's start there. Brevity dictates that these are personal memories. In 1971 and 1972 under the loving guidance of Jane Muldoon many of us were active in winning an education war trying to convince the doubters that life which began at conception was a worthwhile endeavor.

In Cadillac, along with some of the Sisters of Mercy from Mercy Hospital, we spent a great deal of time speaking to any group or church that would have us. Fr. Thome even had me speak from the cantor's lectern because he thought folks would listen to a woman rather than a celibate man. We spoke at Baptist churches and many women's church organizations throughout the area. We won that battle! In november of 1972 Michigan's law protected the unborn.

Less than 3 months later the Supreme Count in Roe v Wade made a mockery of all the work we put in by making abortion legal throughout the country. We were devastated and frankly, most of the starch was just taken out of us. It took us awhile to get back the strength to get moving again.

In 1976 we moved to Jackson where another band of loyal pro-lifers were getting their second wind and I was able to join them in this noble effort. By 1986 we had commissioned a monument in St. John's Cemetery in the memory of the unborn millions. Each year since then we have had a motorcade which winds its way past the hospital where abortions were performed and ending with a short program at the monument. Last Saturday we added the Planned Parenthood building to our itinerary which meant that many more people were aware of our efforts. It has never failed to be one of the coldest Saturdays in January, but it's a small price to pay to support life.

It is never too late to come on board to work for what is right and good. Especially in this time of dire need, we need all hands on deck. We have a President who believes that if a botched abortion results in a baby being born alive the better option is to let the baby die rather than try to save its life. If that doesn't make you come face to face with a most unsavory reality I guess nothing will. But if it makes you want to do something, you'll find us in the phone book.

I realize there has been more than the usual commentary in many places on this subject, but the importance cannot be denied. We don't promise not to address the life issue again, but perhaps not as often.

See ya-

ps-If you scroll down you'll see the link to RightMichigan on the right hand side. Nick has had much in-depth coverage and video as well that I lack the expertise to supply for you. It's worth the effort to check it out. God bless....

Friday, January 23, 2009

Confidence in Government?

The following is a letter to the editor which my husband and I sent off yesterday after reading of the potential gift of Chrysler to Fiat.

"No wonder the American public has little confidence in our government!"

If there is any possibility at all that Fiat will join with Chrysler/Cerberus ifthe government gives them another $3 billion while they give only their "expertise" in small car design in exchange for 35% of the company, we are justified. Then, if they "perform" as contracted, they will be able to buy another 20% (giving them control) for $25 million. (And does anyone remember that Cerberus put up $60 billion for their present position?)

They will also benefit by having a nationwide system of present Chrysler dealerships set up for Fiat. Us old folks remember that Fiat tried to come in around 1982 and failed so this is their new plan and not only will it all go their way, we will pay for it!

Just called Sen. Levin's office who would not have a statement until legislation is involved. Sen. Stabenow was quoted as saying that she'd have to know if it would save jobs. Cong. Schauer's office took my name and number.

Is this "Pogo Time?" We have met the enemy and he is us?"

It's one thing to keep people working, but on a sinking ship? And why in the world would we just give it away? And why would we pay them for the privilege? Aaaaarrgh!

See ya

ps-haven't had return calls from any of the legislators. So what else is new?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Vote for the Crook you Know?

That's what they used to say about politics in general. When there was Tamany Hall, the Pendergras Machine and there's always been Daley's in Chicago it was the common response received if anyone were asked why they would vote for a known crook.

At this point I'm thinking that's what's happening with the Geithner nomination. Democrat and Republican alike are voting for him because he is such a "brilliant" guy. Give me a break! Anyone who tries to deduct the cost of his kids summer camp is being not only dishonest, but can't be very bright either. (With the exception of a few years when my husband was exercising a farming project)I have done our taxes. Never in a million years would I equate my kids' orthodontics with their camping.

And looking at the stock market which depends so much on confidence in the future of our financial outlook as a nation going down, down, down I'm wondering if all these smart people in Congress can't make a cause and effect relationship conclusion. The President and Congress are taking action in many areas and apparently no one has any faith in their decision making ability.

Until today I have not been particularly pessimistic, but the door has been opened. I haven't had to read in history books about earlier recessions, civil rights riots, or steroid scandals because I am an eye-witness. I've always felt that right would win in the end and that most of the government people were honest, law-abiding and wanted for this country all the best. I've trusted folks. Now I feel that I am getting more cynical day by day and I don't like the feeling.

One more thing before we close today. This is the 36th year of abortion on demand and a real black mark on our history. In the early years there may have been a question as to viability, but there are no doubts now that medicine has caught up so that pro-abortionists (there is no such thing as pro-choice)can only fall back on their rationalizations and blame games. No need to go on and on with what you know already. Just wanted to be sure we mentioned it--we must never forget what we have let happen and what is continuing to happen with regard to the most basic freedoms-life.

See ya

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inauguration Footprint--

If you've already seen these numbers, I apologize, but for those of you who haven't and who have been reading since we wrote a couple of columns on the subject, here they are:

25,320,000 pounds of CO2: The approximately 600 private jets who fly in for the festivities will generate

262,483,000 pounds of CO2: The personal vehicles being driven in for the occasion

400 pounds of CO2: footprint left by the horses in the parade

The total is expected to be about a half a billion pounds and the Institute for Liberty who compiles the figures says: "However, it would be very hypocritical for the scores of celebrities, VIPs and political elites to lecture on environmental policy to middle America and small businesses that are merely trying to survive in these difficult economic times, and then turn around and contribute to the half-billion pounds of emitted CO2."

If I hadn't seen Al Gore prancing around like the party animal he'd like to be, I would never have looked for this information, but the real frosting on the cake for the day then becomes: Thank God that Gore was not elected when he thought he should be President. Can you imagine how much worse a recession would be had a President Gore pushed through and signed the Kyoto Treaty? His avowed objective and others like him, including the new Energy Czar, is to have America back off production of products and energy use so the rest of the world can have more of the pie.

With an effectively one party system in place for at least the next four years, we must be ever vigilant and our personal duty will be to be aware of what is going on and get the word out. When Tip O'Neil said all politics is local, he was right. It is up to us to make our marks locally by informing the public through letters to the editor, call in shows, blogs and all the other internet tools available.

See ya....

After writing this I went to and suggest you do the same. Nick is right on and although I didn't leave a message on his blog I want to say that he is right on target and a hearty AMEN!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Lottery for Gitmo Bay Prisoners???

Ever play that game with yourself where you wonder where an idea came from? Today some of the pundits were talking about which campaign promise would be fulfilled first and more than one expected it will be to close Guantanamo. This leads to where are we going to put terorists while they are awaiting trial. We then take a sharp turn and talk about trials and how much they would cost, and what happens if a panel or whoever is going to judge them decides to let them go and here they are--drug runners from Mexico is one thing which might result in some violence but the terrorists have no other skills, right?

So let's go back to figuring out where they will be housed while all these lawyers are doing their thing. Hmmmmm. I know! We'll put them in the red states. All in one place? Distributed among them? Which states gave us the most trouble during the election? Aha! We'll have a lottery. Then we can't be blamed for playing favorites or punishing anyone. And that's the way it went today getting from point A to point B.

Another random thought: Now that we have Hillary for Sec of State, who would be the most logical choice for National Security Advisor? How about Colin Powell so we can show some of our famous bipartisanship. And to complete the triumverate we need to have someone who would fit as U S Ambassador to the United Nations. Whatever happened to that Jordan guy who was always next to Bill Clinton? Anyway you slice it, can you think of anyone on the left who has the moxie to negotiate with some of the sleaze balls in the world who are living it up at the UN?

Now that the festivities are over, it's time for all of us to get serious and discuss the issues. One of my kids called to talk about the Pelosi rules not to let Republicans have a voice on the floor of the House. We'll see what we can find.

As Tiny Tim says, God bless us everyone! We need all the help we can get.

See ya...

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Bit of Background on Gaza

Since January 4 when we last visited the issue I've gotten a little history from my brother-in-law who is retired career Air Force and at one time spent several years in the region of Egypt, etc.

Long story short: When I questioned whether there was a legitimate government in Gaza it turns out that the people of Gaza actually elected the Hamas as their governing unit. And yes, we can assume they were following the directions or suggestions of the people with the guns, but no matter the method, that is their government today. It has been about 2 1/2 years since the election and even though there have been periodic eruptions, since friction between Israel and the Palestinians is a way of life in the area, that may be why the rest of the world hasn't gotten too excited about it until recently.

Since the UN and in particular the US supported the Jews in developing their homeland after WWII and the Holocaust we have continued that support to this day.

Those who know the situation tell us that the Jews will not, absolutely will not, move. It is assumed that their response will be nuclear. The Israelis will not start the war, but they will finish it. We'd best all take this quite seriously.

This goes back to some of the earliest books in the Bible, so it should come as no surprise, I guess, that it is continuing today. I still don't have any answers, but at least we know a little more about the problem and should support those in our government whose responsibility it is to deal with the mess.

And speaking of the Bible, it looks more and more as though we should be looking at prayer as a first resort rather than the last.

See ya...

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Before we get to the subject this evening, we need to clear up what might be a misconception. I do know that books, newspapers, some titles, should be italicized or put in quotes. What I do not know is how to make that happen--when I click on the icon it either comes out with some gobbledy gook signs or brackets, so what's the use. I've decided that from now on I will compromise by using capitals and double spacing before and after such titles. Thanks for your understanding.

Now on to the subject. In our local paper, the JACKSON CITIZEN PATRIOT today one of their outside editorial columnists, Leonard Pitts, outdid himself. Here we have been hearing nothing from Obama but a plea for cooperation, compromise and bipartisanship. Mr. Pitts did his utmost today to destroy any good will that may have been generated and drawn the line in the sand. He is a staunch supporter of Obama and hates Bush with such passion that I hope he doesn't have a stroke.

His wish for George Bush is that he lives a long life and will spend it learning what a despicable human being he is and what a lousy president. Nature (God) did not cause Katrina, Bush did. How? By not acting quickly enough. His head must have been in the sand when the rest of us were shown photo after photo of the Mayor having left town to take care of his family while the whole fleet(s) of yellow buses which could have hauled out whole bunches of people stood row by row in their slots in the parking lot with water up to their wheel wells. And that's just one of the problems on a local level. He also blamed him for being a pawn of the Republican Party. Try telling that to a conservative. (Except for the Supreme Court nominees and things along the life lines which Pitts would consider negatively anyway.) What does he mean by saying "you poured sewage on our heads and told us it was spring water?"

This is one of the most narrow minded, mean, petty and a dozen more adjectives along the same lines, diatribes of the leftist Democrats I have heard. (In the interest of honesty, I admit I do not read left wing blogs, so I have sheltered myself from this kind of thing as much as possible.)

When this kind of writing appears in a newspaper who supposedly takes pride in their objectivity one can only wonder what is going on in the avowed left press. Their own editorial writer differed only in tone but generally agreed with the content of his column. The rest of the page had Voice of the People "One Liners" so you can see there was no attempt at balance.

So why does this bother me? And, I hope, you? Because as I wrote a few days ago, the definition of bipartisanship by Democrats is "capitulation by Republicans." Well, fellas, you make it really tough when you tell us what you think of our President and those of us who support the Republican philosophy.

I recognize that history will be made in the next couple of days but I will read about it after the fact. For me, I will spend the time reading the 753 page legal thriller I picked up at the Book Exchange in preparation.

One more thing. I have no way of knowing whether you are church-goers or not or spend much time in prayer. I would share with you that many churches are sponsoring prayer times through these days leading up to the inauguration. My personal effort goes to asking the Lord to protect this country and to foster the goodness in those who will be in governing positions. And one last thing, don't stop praying on Tuesday. This is a daily duty for all of us. God bless....

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Book Recommendation: Outliers

Outliers seems to be the book everyone is talking about right now. Just finished it a couple of days ago and sent it to one son who said he planned to read it before we talked and then talked to another son who was also reading it at the same time.

It really is a good book and answers a lot of questions, but in my opinion, it presents as many more. However, the best part of it is that each reader will be able to adapt all of the studies to his/her own profession, or children, or how to rear children, or what it takes to be successful no matter what your interests. As a matter of fact it is so logical that much of what he "proves" by actual studies and evidence is what most of us intuitively knew already, but had no way to present any proof except common sense. The only thing missing is that he doesn't recognize that success encompasses more than money or celebrity status as a yardstick--but I'm sure he expects that he doesn't have to say it--we know it.

There were a couple of researchers who had "off the wall" premises who were able to work through some actual studies and by golly, they were right! Maybe this will pique your interest: Given that over 36,000 kids want to go to Harvard each year and given that they are all pretty smart kids, what would you say to someone who posited that having a lottery for the openings among the qualified (about half fit the bill of being good enough while the other half did not) would get them the same mix of students they are looking for but presently spend huge amounts of time going over the entrance applications?

And, in view of the "Miracle on the Hudson" you would really find fascinating how plane accidents happen or are averted.

The basic premise is that it takes 10,000 hours of practice before one can become an outstanding success in any field but along with that comes a lot of luck and/or help from strangers or family plus timing, intelligence, wealth, background and what demographic as to when and where one might be born. No way can I do justice to what others can do with a legitimate review, but I hope you'll give it some thought. It can be a quick read and then you can go back and study the details that are exciting to you.

See ya...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Dear Mr. Comcast:

Surely there are enough smart people working for you to know without asking that some of your customers were not born with a calulator in one hand, a cell phone in the other and a Blackberry and IPod in their backpacks.

I have 3 quick questions:
1-How many gazillion dollars went into the reconfiguration of your internet page?
2-Did you ever hear your mom or dad say "if it ain't broke, don't fix it?"
3-Did it cross anyone's mind to do a Customer Satisfaction Survey before making massive changes?

Many of us woke up this week wondering where our email address books disappeared to; what happened to our groups such as Family, Friends, committees, etc., etc. It now takes longer to delete the trash, going to the next message requires a movement from one side of the page to the other; we just learned how to do attachments and now need to re-learn what to most of you is second nature, but for some of us is not.

Some of us compare ourselves to the CIA. We acquaint new experiences on a CIA
need-to-know basis. You know the drill. $40 and the high school kid down the street keep us going. Personally, this will be an unexpected expense which I would rather not incur. Hey! Just thinking.....are all Comcast employees Democrats who are fostering the redistribution of wealth concept? Those of us who didn't grow up in the golden age of PCs will get a "tax increase" in the form of more tech support needs. We have a local independent Geek Squad that makes house calls now. Fills a need.

My contract with Comcast was initiated for two reasons: 1) to save money and 2) for the broadband speed. Since you have changed the product does that mean that you have broken the contract?

Is there anyone out there who can write one of those "Comcast Internet Tips for Dummies?" Put my order in, please.

See ya

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Clinton/Obama Deal Nearly Complete

The Holder hearings had him saying that he would be a better Attorney General for making and learning from his mistake in assisting in the pardon of Mark Rich. Can we safely assume that he learned he needs to be more careful and not get caught the next time he wants to circumvent the law? And that he didn't consider it a mistake to pardon the FALN people? What a role model for this generation of law students....
They will probably add to the curricula courses on how to cover their tracks when taking shortcuts.

The President's Farewell Address this evening included the message that if America does not lead the cause of freedom, it won't happen. What a responsibility. One wonders if anyone on the left really cares.

The pundits were talking about the "reaching across the aisle" thing again and it boggles the mind that since Dems only recognize capitulation and acceptance by Republicans as their definition of bipartisanship what hope is there for that?

Since it sounds as though I'm feeling my age this evening, let me put it this way:
I can remember when Merrill Lynch was Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Beane. Now that's a looooong time ago.

God bless everyone and especially the folks who were in that airplane which ended up in the Hudson river. Now that's a really, really good thing.

See ya

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mexican Drug Wars

Back on November 30 I wrote about the military involvement necessary to help fight the drug wars in Central and South America and the infiltration of gangs across our borders. We later noted that it wasn't just border cities, but was traveling to the north fairly quickly. Note: we researched some of the information on line after watching a Gangland Show on the History channel and hoped that it would get some attention.

Finally! Did see a couple of short pieces about the Mexican situation, but not the extent to which it is growing. However, today there is an editorial in the Investor's Business Daily which is fairly detailed but is directed at the new administration and how they might or should react to the problem. And they brought up a point that it may require our military action given the consequences of the problem spilling over the borders.

This is scary stuff. But worse than having a problem is not knowing enough about it and being blind-sided. I would hope that enough of us are noticing what is going on and will insist that our legislators and law enforcement types do their jobs rather than sit on endless hearings only to rubber stamp the nominees.

See ya

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Is Someone Keeping Score?

It's almost like an out-of-body experience in that I'm feeling more like an observer than a participant about the upcoming inauguration and what kind of dog will live in the White House. Somewhere someone is making a list of all of the campaign promises and statements made over the last couple of years that have already been broken. The most recent? The one that was going to give a $3000 credit to businesses who either saved a job or hired a new employee--yep! Bit the dust last night. Did I get upset? Not really, it just became another item on the list.

And speaking of the number $3000 it reminds me that the Obamas are down to choosing between two breeds: a Lab/poodle mix or a Portuguese water dog. Well, talk about snob appeal. A few years ago when all the kids had grown up and left home we faced the fact that we could not provide the frenetic type exercise some breeds demand and were also looking to change from boxers (real good kid dogs) to a pet not quite so demanding. So we went to a dog show and talked to a lot of people, one of whom had a water dog which was very new to this country at the time. Guess what? The low end cost started at $3000, which of course we could not afford. At that point we started adopting labs and bouviers from rescue organizations, but that's another story.

Anyway, probably some wealthy benefactor will see to it that the Obamas get a dog worthy of living in a White House in DC. That will be good for the breeders, but I hope puppy mills don't start churning them out.

See ya

Monday, January 12, 2009

Unions vs. Unions

Due to a family member being admitted to the local hospital last week it has been very interesting to watch the interaction of the staff members, no matter what the color of their clothing. (Wearing color coded clothes would seem to be an unspoken us vs them or at least an ego feeding structure, but apparently not.

We noticed the first day, which was confirmed by careful watching on the second day, that we had not witnessed such a degree of cooperation among "workers" from Rns, to LPNs, to maintenance staff, to techs, to specialists in other disciplines the last time (a couple of years ago) such teamwork. If anyone of these people needed a hand, the closest person to them assisted--and it didn't matter if it was from a doctor to a nurse to a janitor or the other way around.

Not only do they help each other, they work 12 hour shifts and they sort of "self-schedule" and somehow everything is covered. Some folks admit to not being at their best after three 12 hour days in a row while others seem to have a different internal clock and they just seem to be able to work it out among themselves.

Having had experience with only the UAW and the teachers' heretofore, this was a real eye opener.

Our hats are off to a segment of the workforce who seem to have conquered the constant complaining in other work areas which is so prevalent. Whether it is training or the kind of work they do, I don't know, but it certainly would seem to be an area worth studying to benefit the entire country.

See ya

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Government We Deserve?

You've heard that before, right? I've always hated using that philosophy to describe what to me is an "us vs them" game. Those who vote without reason, and win, do deserve what they get. But if I'm on the other side of the argument, and end up with the same government, do I actually deserve it? I would say no.

And that's what I think we are looking at this time around.

As referred to yesterday, Obama gives really, really great speeches. His command of the language and its vocabulary is far and above most public figures of the day. (My brain tells me he has a team of speech writers, but the words come from him and its well nigh impossible to separate the two.) He just makes it "sound" so good that most people just jump on the bandwagon without giving it a second thought.

Do most people realize that voting for a dictatorship in the name of "change" is exactly what we got? I do not go with the messiah refrain, but instead look at his election as being a coronation and we have a monarchy as a result. We also have all the trappings of nobility. The keepers of the purse (The Soros, Strykers, etal,) the noblemen and women who flutter around to do the king's bidding (Pelosi and Reid among others,) the town criers who spread the word (The NY Times, Washington Post, and left wing bloggers) and followed by all the other layers of privilege until you get to us at the bottom, the serfs.

So if you voted for Obama, you got what you wanted and deserve, just don't think that those of us who believe in capitalism and a free society for all, including life from conception 'til natural death, are getting what we deserve.

We ALL deserve better!

See ya.....

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Headline: If You Think Healthcare Costs are High Now, Wait until They Are FREE!!

First saw this thought a couple of weeks ago and today read a piece about how Medicaid really supplies rationed and inferior care, which I guess we always knew, but the worst part of this is that with all this money being included in deficit spending and conjecture has it that $100 billion will be added to Medicaid without any changes in procedures for service, care or streamlining paperwork.

So why would Obama want to build on a system with poor outcomes? And what is the Daschle position? And why to they think he will do much better than Hillary did? Is it because he knows the legislators better and can get things through? To what end?

Will there be exceptions for states who do a better job than the feds or will it will be another case of playing to the lowest common denominator? And I wonder if AARP will figure they were just ahead of the game 14 years ago and their time has come? Guess we'll just have to wait and see............

One other thing--as mentioned before Obama is still in campaign mode and gave a rousing speech today on how bad off we are and how it's going to take longer than we could ever imagine to get through this. But I don't get it. There was still not one concrete idea as to how to get started or whether there will be transparency on the biggest boondoggle ever and even had the Fox news guy gushing. Never thought I'd see the day.

As long as I've been working for various volunteer organizations the most important lesson I've learned is that if you're going to ask for money, or intend to spend money already given by donors, you need to tell them exactly what is going to be done with it. Then the next time you come asking, they will know they can trust in your record. Blank checks scare me to death!

See ya...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Horse Trading?

One can only hope that when Obama talks about $1 trillion or $1.2 or $1.3 trillion deficits and stimulus packages combined with $300 billion tax cuts that it is the beginning of negotiations. I trust we can safely assume that the figure will come in lower than "trillions" in an attempt to make his administration look like they really worked hard and kept the package "as low as possible." Therefore, the President is still the champion of the people.

When campaigning, every program was intended to take effect immediately or thereabouts. Now there appear to be delays. What? Did they find out that the folks who have to give their OK (Soros, etc.) need a little more time to formulate their input? It takes time for them to talk to each other, right? Are their votes commensurate with the amount of money involved? Or is there some other formula.....

There are a number of individuals/organizations roaming the internet from Catholic and fundamental church groups reminding us that prayer is the answer and of course they are right. We should all have one request in common. That The President-elect will change his extreme position on abortion rights and that as few people as possible will be hurt by any of the programs instituted by his attempts to solve the economic ills facing us.

It is going to be very difficult for any Republican in Congress to have any effect at all and with all the rubber stamp Dems such as Michigan's 7th District guy it is going to be a long, tough, uphill battle.

If anything happens later in the day, see ya.......

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Leon Panetta--Do you Feel Safer Now?

More of the Clinton III team on board! Now, let's see....... Clinton had Osama in the cross hairs but couldn't make a legal call, right? We had the first attack on the World Trade Center -- both during the time that best buds Panetta and Clinton were running things in the White House. I don't know about you, but I have not felt less safe since 9/11.

Why do Obama and his team keep saying this is the worst recession since the 30s? I can't get the mantra of double digit interest rates, unemployment and inflation that President Carter left us with out of my mind. Thank God for President Reagan.

Remember when we chastised Sen. Shelby for being critical of the GM/Chrysler bailout? Little did I know at the time, but have since seen figures indicating that with all of the tax rebates, tax deferments, and the other enticements which governors and local governments promise to potential businesses to come into their states has amounted to astronomical amounts which dwarf the dollars advanced to the American auto companies. (At least there is the possibility of a payback.) I'll have to do a little research and come up with the actual figures for you.

See ya tomorrow--

Monday, January 5, 2009

Oxymorons? Arab Diplomat?

Political Intelligence? Senator Franken? Smart Minnesotan? (remember Gov. Ventura?
not a stretch then, is it?) And on top of all the rest, I heard Eleanor whats-her-name from Newsweek say "political wisdom." Now that's a perfect example. We could have a real contest given the mind set of what is going on in the states and D.C. At this point in time I have a real problem remembering what is good in my home state and how lucky I was to have the school system prevalent back in the day.

What I have no problem remembering, however, is how the Clintons never stopped campaigning right from the start so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Obama is following that lead as well. More campaign rhetoric from a meeting with Pelosi, then Reid and then from the meeting with his financial advisors. It used to be that the news was reported about the results of a meeting, not a campaign speech from the room itself with plenty of cameras. Just a thought........wonder who can get to a camera first from a dead stop: Obama or Schumer.

Just beginning to realize how much upheaval is resulting from the elites who decided that every one of us, whether we wanted to or not, would have to have high def TV by Feb. 17, 2009. NOT! At my age it's not in my budget nor is it on my wish list. It's just not a priority, but I will be inconvenienced by having to put in converter boxes and re-wiring my VCR/DVD units and not being able to tape one show while watching another unless I run a second set. Oh, well........

This column reminds me of the two little wrought iron plaques I have in my kitchen. In no particular order they are: "As soon as the rush is over, I'm going to have a nervous breakdown. I worked for it; I owe it to myself, and nobody is going to deprive me of it" and "God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change, COURAGE to change the things I can, and, WISDOM to know the difference."
Along with Edmund Burke's "for evil to survive, good men shall do nothing" or words to that effect plus a motto we shared with teenagers in catechism class in the 70s: If you were arrested for being a Christian would there by enough evidence to convict you? Words to live by? At least they are not oxymoronic.

See ya-

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The More I Know, the More I Know How Much I Don't Know

The "everybody knows" syndrome is apparent in the Israeli/Gaza Strip topic such as rockets, retaliation, how far can Israel let the Palestinians go before reacting, etc. And we know that perhaps due to the small size of the strip we're talking about the Palestinians saying they have no choice but to have military installations in civilian areas, right? But breaking a cease fire agreement is the starting point as far as the Israelis are concerned, right? And on and on.

However, my personal knowledge of the geography and the history and knowing the governmental structure is sorely lacking. Do the Palestinians have a legitimate police force? Or military presence other than Hamas? Who took over when Arafat died? ie., who are the leaders and players both clerical and secular?

Seriously, does anyone have a source to recommend to help us get up to speed on this?

See ya-

One more thing: I may not be as smart as I'd like to be but found out today that I am a very, very polite person. Read this: "Insisting on playing a game for which, after a fair amount of time, you show no natural aptitude is frustrating to you and annoying to all but the most complacent opponents." From Amy Vanderbilt's Book of Etiquette: A Guide to Gracious Living. (After 3 years of lessons and practice and little or no improvement I gave up on golf about 50 years ago and became the official cart driver for a really great group of friends. Now I don't even do that.)
I've never been sorry.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Saturday Afternoon Football/C-Span/the Economy

1-Watching a little television this afternoon and ran across the last two hours of a 7 day program about the history of the White House with interviews of historians and the President and Laura Bush which was very enjoyable. I'm only sorry I missed the major portion of the presentation. Much of this is available on the website and I recommend it.

2-The U. S. Army is sponsoring the East-West Best of High School football today and they are making their choices as to their college destinations. Interesting to watch these young people making choices which will affect their lives to such an extent.

3-Which led to a conversaton with my husband who related an interview he saw on a news show and which brought up our topic for this blog a few days ago. A young white kid said he was going to join the service since "they wouldn't be going broke and he would always have a job."

Now, this frequently happens in "down times." When jobs are hard to find those who can afford it go back to school for their masters, a double major or to change education paths. Those who don't, won't or can't follow that avenue turn to the armed services as a job source. (This is probably why we hear that old refrain that African American kids are disproportionately represented in the military.)

LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING! Remember the murder rate increase of 39% of teenage blacks we spoke of? Add that to accidental and natural death rates in that demographic and I'm sure that the young people of all ethnic backgrounds can look at the statistics and realize that even if they are in the front lines of a war zone their chances of injury or death are no higher than they would be if they stayed in their neighborhoods.

Bottom line--a job in the military is better than no job as a civilian in the eyes of young folks in 2009. God bless 'em.

See ya-

Friday, January 2, 2009

Gas Tax or Carbon tax--Duh! Who cares?

Added at 11:47 PM-Yippee! Skippee! Utah Wins and Nick Sabin loses (sorry for his team) now I can rest easy. See ya tomorrow--

Talk about unintended consequences!!!

Comcast has daily headlines which I usually don't access 'cuz I'm on my way to the internet, but today I stopped at the one talking about how the transportation committee wants to double the federal gas tax. And the reason?

1-people are driving less (using less gas)
2-people are driving hybrids and driving smarter

So, when all the global warming folks said drive less and drive hybrids and use ethanol, etc., etc., and we did, why is anyone surprised at the result? (And by the way, in my opinion, the changes in driving habits were disproportionately due to the fact that it became a cost/benefit situation--most of us can see the forest.)

So let's get this straight. Taxes are, or should be, predicated on future needs.
So when they built the roads they started collecting taxes for maintenance. Or did they wait until the infrastructure went to hell in a handbasket and then have to make up for poor planning and lost time? And then, did they set the rates to actually meet the needs or did they set them just high enough so the populace would not rise up? Has this been a miniature Ponzi scheme whose time just came to explode in our faces?

And on top of that don't forget that the committee was appointed by the Congress, which means Pelosi, etc. so consider the source when you consider the directives given to the committee at its inception.

Just be aware--be ready for the onslaught of press reports on the NEEDS we face in regard to this subject and most of all, don't forget that if the price goes up, the demand goes down, so the proportion of taxes to usage will change as well. The economists like to predict at what point behavior is changed by economics and it's a never-ending saga. It's really tough to get agreement, so use your common sense and demand that our government does as well.

See ya (and I may be back later today)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Random thoughts

Watching all these (boring?) bowl games certainly allows time to stray from the plot of the book I have on my lap. So here goes...

#1-Why in the world would Penn State give that old guy a 3 year contract to sit in the booth and watch his staff work? When you hear the gripe sessions from alums of other colleges you gotta wonder about the Penn State grads, right?

#2-Again on the bowl games. This looks like an industry unto itself. Wonder if anyone has put a dollar value on the average bowl game attendance/cost per customer.
Air fare, hotel, meals, entertainment, photos, souvenirs, etc.

#3-Leads to the general economy and the haves and the have-nots. The family who spends $12,000 on going to a bowl game could make the mortgage payments for a year for another family. Just an observation. A recession is just that, a higher than usual percentage of folks out of work, but most of us are not in big trouble but actually have an opportunity to think about spending more wisely. And wonder of wonders, enough people have enough to spare to help those in need. God bless us all.

#4-More on mortgage payments: A short WSJ column included a couple of websites to visit if you know someone who needs to restructure a home loan. The first note was: First, contact the company that services your mortgage. Then the websites can help find geographical aid. and They gave a phone number which I'm not sure is national or regional. 1-888-995-HOPE run by HOPE NOW, a coalition of counselors, servicers and providers and investors which puts homeowners in touch with servicers to find alternatives to foreclosure.

As with yesterday, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

See ya