Monday, November 30, 2009

Write a Book-No Talent Necessary

Not trying to tell you how to live your life, but within the last few weeks many people have shared the same regret--that we didn't ask our parents questions about their lives, hopes, dreams and all that stuff.

So if you're getting on in years, it's time to either talk to your kids or write some of your own history to leave for them. And if you're young, it's time to start asking questions and taking notes. It doesn't matter who does the writing just so it gets recorded for the next generation.

I can tell you this: it's extremely rewrding and will move you from tears to laughing out loud! I can also tell you that it is much easier to share by written rather than spoken word. It gives you a chance to search for just the right descriptive terms or just the right level of emotion.

At the computer when you're all alone you can relive the best of times and the worst of times and realize that you can control the level of honesty and judgment, but somehow you'll not be able to fudge the truth. There would be no point in doing this if it were not a completely open discourse. There's also the possibility that you may want to just ignore a particular incident because it would do no good at this particular point to cause anyone pain--for what purpose?

I haven't reached any critical decision making and I'm almost finished. I'm thinking that with large families it's pretty tough to keep secrets. Somebody's always gonna tell.....

When I decided to do this and told my husband, his reaction was "Well, you'd better hurry up!" When I'm finished I plan to advise the kids that if they want their dad's memories they're going to have to interview him--this is just not his favorite past time. And then I'm going to tell them "You'd better hurry up!"

God bless..........

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Military Morale / Gold Ponzi Scheme?

1-We talked about the morale at the Alamo some time ago but the problem isn't going away. Can you imagine putting your life and limb on the line to fight for the freedom of someone else, as Americans do so well, but how much more difficult that is when you don't feel secure and confident that the American people and the President of the country are supporting you?

He can only be in a win/win situation by supporting the troops. The only people who won't support that action are the extreme left wing voters who have no place else to go. I don't think he can take a chance on an immediate withdrawal, but because of the delay and lives lost because of it he will never get back the support of the military and their supporters. Go figure.

2-Do you get the feeling the Gold market is some kind of Ponzi scheme? Some of the people who have held gold for a long time, buying in at $300 or so are probably selling now, or at least they should be thinking about it. If they wait too long who are they going to sell to when it hits a price so high that no one wants to buy?

Any why is it that advertisers think that if the pitchman or woman speaks with a British accent they have more credibility?

3-Now the Raiders are advertising an interest in the team for sale. How do you think that makes Rush Limbaugh feel? Is there a discrimination suit someplace?

Big speech at West Point Tuesday--
God bless.............

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Gangs of America/Rare Earth Metals Political Influence

Methinks I owe you an apology. For not having told you I have been writing a book for my kids. September, October and November have been pretty much taken up by that little effort and I'm about 80% there. It probably won't be ready for them by Christmas, but I want to have it ready for print by then.

For that reason I have not put as much time in on the blog as far as research is concerned on the above two subjects. Made a good start on them, but haven't found the time to bring us up to date since first mentioned. There are a few of those topics in the archives and I promise that after the first of the year I will finish the promised Index and try to add to some of the research.

It seems as though we are treading water on some of the political subject matter. Much of the same old, same old. We can't just put them on the back burner, but there really isn't much new until the debate starts and we know what the administration and bureaucrats are planning.

One more item needs to put front and center: Michigan's education problems. Our Thanksgiving dinner table conversation and the after dinner conversation of about an hour and a half was devoted to this subject and one of my kids and his family is a veritable sea of information. We'll go into that as well. Question: Which candidate--gubernatorial, Atty Gen or SOS do you think comes the closest to having some answers on education? If we can't get them talking about it and coming up with ideas and goals, we won't accomplish much.

It's time to light some fires. By the way, have you seen the 7th District Players skit which we put on in front of Mark Schauer's office? It's a bit embarrassing, but we are hoping that you're laughing with, not at, us. It's one way to keep the topics front and center in the mind of the public and voters, if not Cong. Schauer.

Hope your Sunday is relaxing--
God bless............

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Good: Maybe we're not as cynical as we thought we were. We can tear up at the sight of the perfect landing of the Atlantis at Cape Kennedy.

The Bad: Three seals who are having to defend themselves in Courts Martial to clear their names after being accused by a terrorist of giving him a fat lip.

The Ugly: The First Lady schlepping off an airplane in shorts, sneakers and a big shirt flapping in the breeze. What ever happened to a little dignity?

Is it too much effort to just try to do things right the first time rather than having to correct what are termed "mistakes?" How many mistakes equal a gaff? How many gaffs equal an intentional, almost treasonous activity?

We really have to figure out some way to get the average voter to take things just a little more seriously. Right?

Have a good weekend--
God bless............

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Co-Presidents for a Change?

Do you suppose the "change" coming from this administration as promised is a way to move us into having a duo in the White House?

One who will make all the public appearances, call press conferences, flit around the country on Air Force I? Who can have a bag packed and ready to travel to Cincinnati to see 25 policemen get jobs with stimulus funds, thence to California for a fund raiser, followed by a jaunt to Copenhagen to get the Olympics for Chicago with destinations like Detroit and Denver thrown into the mix and don't forget the patriotic stuff like Normandy Beach with the family.

Commentaries on the stupidity of the police and a public sit down at the White House to "fix" the racist problems in Cambridge? And on and on and on. 'Cuz he really does like to go anyplace far enough away to use Air Force I. He really likes that airplane.

Michelle's staff of 26 can coordinate their activities so the celebrity status is becoming more and more entrenched. How about that State Dinner for the PM of India? How many Indian ladies did it take weeks to make that dress for Michelle? Never did hear the price, just that it took a long time for an entire team of workers.

With all of these public appearances it's no wonder he hasn't had time to deal with Afghanistan plus making a rotten decision about the Gitmo detainee trials in New York and leaving Holder holding the bag and taking the brunt of that kick in the teeth of those who lost family members and friends on 9/11. The rest of the country certainly empathizes with them. Only the lawyers think it's a good thing.

All these trips take up a lot of time so we need someone to mind the store while he is doing his celebrity thing in front of a camera.

We need someone who doesn't care about self-aggrandizement, but whose serious demeanor means that the business of the country can be first and highest priority. If it didn't cost so much it might be an idea we could support. When do you think those kids will settle down?

Hope your Thanksgiving was memorable.
God bless...........

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Looking Forward for Things to Appreciate on Thanksgiving Eve

Anticipation. Like little kids looking forward to Christmas or those of us in the adult world having the faith that things can get better knowing that it's up to us to make it happen. Remembering the "we are God's hands" concept and working to make it true.

Memories. Realizing that if it happened before, it can happen again.

Examples. There was a time a few years ago when a story was making the rounds at Christmas time. Not the kind where creches were banned in the public square, but an example of man's goodness toward others.

This one was about a business which required 24/7, 365 days a year to exist. The public witnessed what in this day and age might be considered a minor miracle. How? By learning that all of the Jewish employees of this business volunteered to work on Christmas Day so all the Christians could have the day off.

In today's climate where the atheists and Humanists are trying to take religion out of the so-called holiday "season" this kind of generosity can hardly be imagined and you can be sure the non-Christians would never volunteer to do that kind of service for friends.

I remembered this today when a Humanist was interviewed and said with Hannucha, Kwanza and Christmas sharing the same time frame the word Christmas should not be the only terminology. I immediately reacted by thinking, well, then, since it's a legal holiday but if they don't recognize it they should be working. And I don't care if they want to take off a day they can call anything they want. Maybe Halloween, of Devil's Day. Whatever.

Anyway, you will read this on Thanksgiving and although there are areas of concern as mentioned the other day, we still have more to be thankful for than anybody else on the planet and so we are. Family, friends, co-workers, even pets and the ability to help others or accept help in a very giving community whether it be large or small.

Sleep well--
God bless.............

ps-I've seen several ways to spell Hannucha and I don't honestly know which is proper. I apologize.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Terrorist Trials

I just can't get this off my mind. Looking at the huge defense team for the 5 being tried in New York just makes one wonder what goes on in their minds.

In the old days it was possible to disagree with Democrats and still respect the fact that they simply arrived at a different conclusion when faced with any given set of facts. Now, however, it is impossible to respect those whose ulterior motives are simply to put themselves in positions of power whereby they can control other peoples' lives because they are so much smarter than the rest of us.

Eric Holder and Barak Obama have really pulled a fast one. This is nothing but a slap in the face to the victims' families in New York and around the country and the world since they came from all over. The President is so obsessed with making the country look bad and his constant apologies for our behavior no matter what the topic or subject of conversation. No wonder he didn't react to Jeremiah Wright God-damning America. It was a reflection of his own mindset or world view, but we just didn't recognize it.

It seems that everything put forth by the leftist elites in positions of influence and political power are just incremental steps downward for the rest of us. Can't help wondering how long it would take Obama to react to something like December 7, 1941.

If he were to deliberate relative to the seriousness of the situation with the same thought processes he is using now, which probably would have been at least six months if not more, the entire outcome may have been reversed. Can't you just see him talking to the likes of Chamberlain and Marshal Foch? We may not have had time to enter the war. It could have been all over by the time he made up his mind.

We respected the loyal opposition from both sides from Truman to JFK to Johnson, but ever since Carter, Clinton, Gore and Kerry there has been nothing but animosity. Up until Carter we knew that everyone wanted what was good for the country. Now we know that what our leadership wants is control.

Just like Debbie Stabenow on Chris Wallace' show Sunday. I'm sure that anyone who saw that display of arrogance and rudeness figure that Michigan is getting everything we deserve if we were stupid enough to elect her. She couldn't care less about her constituents.

Hopefully we still have a little time left for Mr. and Mrs. Mainstreet America to recognize what is happening and take things back to where it is acceptable to be patriotic and let common sense reign again. And hopefully we can get in enough prayers to counteract the ACLU and their friends to maintain freedom of religion.

We can only hope--
God bless............

Monday, November 23, 2009

Scott Fenstermaker Closet Muslim?

What else can we believe when this guy goes to Gitmo to interview and give advice to the defense team for the first guy to plead not guilty and when interviewed says the potential propaganda will be heard from the U. S. side of the argument?

This guy is more than a sympathizer, he is an apologist. Says he is a graduate of the Air Force Academy and will not give his opinion other than the above and says it is up to the jury to determine. I certainly hope we aren't spending public monies to educate young men and women in Colorado Springs so they can graduate with hidden agendas. When one comes out like that it's like one bad apple tainting all the others in the basket.

He said he is "proud to defend" and "honored to be hated" for his participation in this trial. His mother must be proud.

I don't know how to start something as large as what I am thinking, but there has to be a way to boycott any reporting of that trial. They are looking for a platform from which to spew their venom and Holder and Obama have given it to them. Perhaps the rest of the country should try to ignore the whole thing. It may be tough to do, but certainly would be mud in the eye of folks like Fenstermaker.

And how much is that circus of trials going to cost the American public?

Wake me up when it's over--
God bless.........

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Unionize Politicians???

Well, why not. If the Michigan idea catches on, and each politician gets just one dollar from someone who is on public assistance, shouldn't they have to be forced to join a union like the Michigan day care providers?

Most recent take over of private industry by the unions, bureaucrats and politicians: the air and rail industries led to the slaughter by the National Mediation Board by the two new Obama appointees who wrote a rule indicating that union votes will be detrmined by a simple majority of those voting, not the entire membership of the Pilots and Flight Attendants. This was precipitated because Delta was not unionized and Northwest was so that merger needed to be "taken care of" for the unions.

Without a hearing or ivitation for preliminary views, the Obama pair drafted the AFL-CIO demand and published it in the Federal Register. There is a 60 day window for comments after which they will vote to confirm their action. This is unprecedented in over 75 years during which many times there was a Democrat majority. No one has acted in such manner before.

Now we have GM and Chrysler run by unions, all government employees from local to national are union members, if Michigan has its way as we said last night it will soon include everyone who takes even a dollar from anyone on public assistance. Doctors, lawyers, volunteer organizations--why not politicians? Can't you just see a union meeting with all those politicians fighting for control of that body?

SEIU is international. Wonder who will be next....

Do you suppose Oprah is considering a run for office? Would she be willing to start with Congress or would she make the leap for President right away? Heck, she has a lot more business and managerial experience than Obama had and she already has a built in fan club to do her bidding.

Is this the end of last week or the beginning of this week? Which is worse?

God bless............

Saturday, November 21, 2009

So You Wanna Join a Union?

Well, you're not going to have much choice if the Michigan Department of Human Services gets their way. They have their foot in the door as we speak and it's going to be downhill from here unless the new Mackinac Center Legal Foundation can stop them.

How can that be??? Easy. The DHS says that anyone who spends public assistance money at a Day Care Center puts the owners and employees in the position of benefiting from government funding. Therefore the 40,000 day care providers across the state have "recently been unionized, many of them against their will..." They consider these people government employees being paid by government funds and therefore subject to forced unionization.

So let's go through the logical steps: Doctors? Lawyers? Landlords? Churches? Drug stores? Consignment shops? Goodwill, Salvation Army, St. Vincent dePaul? Automobile salesmen or even a deal between individuals? Folks who have garage sales? Pretty soon everyone in the whole darn state!!! Fill in the blank_______.

The Mackinac Center is starting a Legal Foundation in order to take legal action to try to stop this. At the present time there is an anonymous donor who will give fifty cents for each dollar contributed to get this program off the ground. I'm asking my kids to make a contribution instead of buying me a Christmas gift. The address if you can help out is: Mackinac Center for Public Policy, Attn. Joe Lehman, 140 W. Main St., P. O. Box 568, Midland, MI 48640-9943.

Have a great Sunday--
God bless...........

Friday, November 20, 2009

Just a Coupla Things-

#1-Heard yesterday that a judge ruled in favor of some folks who are suing the Army Engineers figuring the damage from Katrina was caused by the canals for shipping designed and built by the Engineer Corps. That's all well and good, but since quite a few years have passed since that horrific storm and its ensuing mess and life changing events a lot of FEMA money has been spent to make those folks whole.

My take is this: Any lawsuit resulting in damages and payment by the government for the Engineers should be reduced by the amounts paid by FEMA. As in any court, folks should not expect to profit from that kind of action. Also, there will be many, many more lawsuits now that the precedent has been set. We've already spent a ton of money on an area where the Mayor let school buses sit in parking lots that could have carried people out of the danger zone. Let's not add insult to injury.

#2-I am tired of hearing that it's constitutional to require people to buy insurance because they are required to buy automobile insurance. Whoa! No one is required to buy a car. If they decide to own a vehicle there is am implied acceptance of the need for insurance. Health insurance which is required by the government, however, is an entirely different matter. Buying a car is not mandatory. Buying health insurance under the plans submitted not only require it, folks will be penalized by fines and/or jail time if they don't. That's gotta be the biggest apples/oranges case ever.

Have a good weekend--
God Bless...............

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Difficult Thanksgiving in the Offing

This is going to be a very difficult holiday this year. Of course, we will be deeply thankful for our family, friends, health and a job if we have one, but it is also a time for very serious introspection. It's beginning to feel like there is someone very close who is terminally ill and by next week we will be enveloped in that feeling of devastation when there is a death in the family. Our country is on life support.

It will be doubly difficult to survive the feelings of loss of freedoms and an uncertain future. Why?

The First Amendment is under attack. The ACLU and atheists in general continue their unrelenting assault on our freedom of religion. It seems to be getting worse every year. A climate of fear permeates our schools so our kids are growing up thinking their belief systems are something to be ashamed of and if defended they will be made to feel like criminals.

The freedom of speech which has been the shining beacon of this country when others have been silenced is being targeted by our own government when employees of the EPA are not allowed to voice their opinions even though they identified themselves as speaking for themselves only and not the department or the administration.

Net neutrality is in the process of attempting to neutralize the conservative voices on the airwaves or internet simply because the opposing viewpoint is not popular enough to generate revenue to support them. They already have NPR and other units supported by public funds, but they want to get rid of the opposing voices completely. Commercial viability doesn't interest them--they just want to get rid of the opposition.

The health care bills put forth by the Democrats are going to destroy a way of life for so many of us. Shouldn't they be able to take care of the waste and fraud on the one hand and take care of the 20 million truly needy folks without the means to get care on the other? Surely they can do that without taxing companies and individuals to the point of more job loss and prolonging the recession.

How can anyone who should be representing their constituents instead represent the PACs and huge money machines they owe for their elections sleep at night? America will be bankrupt and carrying trillions and trillions of dollars of debt for as long as we can imagine. Have you no shame, Mr. Schauer? $24 trillion by 2020 plus at least an equal amount in unfunded liabilities will make this less than a third world country and all the socialists will be happy. How can that be? What is wrong with this entire picture?

Pray, pray, pray--
God bless.............

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Obama said: "No one is more disapppointed than I at Unemployment Numbers" - Oh, yeah?!

That man has to be a lot more careful when he speaks without a speech writer's words on a teleprompter. Worked at a local food pantry today and I can tell you that everyone I served is more disappointed than the President. Now multiply that by whatever factor necessary to represent the millions still out of work.

After watching the first six hours of the WW II newly found film with one hour remaining on the History Channel this week I can't help wondering whether the President and First Lady have been able to garner just a little pride in this country. Didn't hear any comments after their trip to Europe for the D-Day commemoration. Also haven't heard anything since the events surrounding Veteran's Day last week.

Did hear a story from a journalist who visited the grave of a friend at Arlington and who described the view as a "Garden of Stones." Very poetic and heart rending. He also said that Obama came over to him, said a few words and left by telling him something like "even a journalist has a right to grieve." What do you suppose he meant by that?

All of this traveling around and visiting the big wigs of the world while Holder is floating the most God-awful trial balloon ever. If he tries to convince the public that it was all done on his own and the Prez knew nothing about it, someone other than Joe Wilson is going to rise up and call them liars.

Last but not least, with the national debt growing exponentially and expected to double in 5 years and triple in 10 years, as Greg O'Connor is known to say, who is going to "Stop the madness!" And they aren't even counting the unfunded liability from Social Security which stood at $9 trillion back in 2002. Don't forget to add that in. Good grief!

See you tomorrow-
God bless.............

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Automobiles, Education and Nothing Makes Sense Any More

Sunday we addressed some basic problems starting with education.

Now it seems as though we're being served up another curve ball.

Up front I admit that there is always the problem that we are talking about friends and neighbors all across the state when we criticize the auto companies. In Jackson we even have to be careful about criticizing Consumers Energy. But darn it! Sometimes you just have to speak out.

Personal opinion: never really cottoned up to Chrysler products. Don't know why, just didn't. Dad always drove Fords, but husband's first job was with GM so that was the preferred brand for many, many years. After leaving GM we did throw a couple of Fords into the mix. Absolutely loved that Focus! It could read my mind...

Now we had pretty much decided to go with Ford in the future since we didn't want to buy a product made and controlled by the government and union members. But now the union has control in a different area so I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Guess what? The Ford Foundation is going to give $100 million to "transform secondary education." Long story short, they think the way to do that is to give their first grant to the "new American Federation of Teachers Innovation Fund." It's not going to any of the successful and innovative charter schools, vouchers, merit pay or even KIPP, Knowledge is Power Program. This will certainly help ensure that teachers from the worst to the best will all keep their jobs. They think testing is a "blunt" and inadequate tool to gauge student learning.


It's a shame that the only way the public can speak to companies whose public policy appears to be disagreeable to a customer is to ignore their product and just leave it on the shelf or the showroom. Only problem? How do I still Buy American? Foreign cars may be built here but the profits go back to the country of origin.

Woe is me--
As always, God bless..........

Monday, November 16, 2009

Random Thoughts---

Following up on last night's education topic-
Watched Off the Record this week and William Mayes is the epitome of a bureaucrat who either can't or won't answer a question directly. Except to excoriate Mike Bishop. Must be some bad blood there for some reason. He talked about how everyone blames everyone else and proceeded to prove it by blaming everyone else.

We all know that most people live up to expectations, especially children. Maybe no one expects much of Mr. Mayes......
Anyway, what kind of leadership waits for someone else to start the parade?

Candidate Obama promised that everyone's health costs would go down by $2500. Heard that lately? Hardly, since new numbers came out today from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services which were in the astronomical range. So now we have the $897 billion figure which kept it below a trillion plus the $210 billion set aside to pay doctors and today we can add $289 billion which the Dems had hoped to hide by pushing the bill through before the figures came out. Now how about the promise that he wouldn't sign a bill that added to the deficit? That should be quite a dance.

Arguments abound on what to call the Ft. Hood killer. Since some want to call him crazy and others want to define him as a terrorist, how about a compromise or splitting the difference by calling him a psycho-terrorist?

A new mini series started tonight on the History channel with film not seen before on WW II. Worth your while to at least tape it and run through it later. Makes one wonder if we would be able to marshal the forces necessary to rise up against that kind of enemy today. I'm sure we would have the manpower to do it--just look at the young men and women we have in a volunteer force, but I'm not at all sure what the leadership in Washington would do. How long would it take to make a military decision? And how long to debate funding levels? And with our small industrial and manufacturing capability, could we even generate the needs of the military?

Makes you wonder--

God bless.........

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Education is Basic, Right?

So why are we worried about whether or not to send more troops to Afghanistan? Just make a list of pros and cons and like Nike says "JUST DO IT!"

As long as people are getting health care whether in the ER or the clinic, let it go until the BASIC problem is solved. JUST GET WITH THE PROGRAM!

Illegals have been coming across the border for twenty years--so send them home or let them stay, but GET ON WITH IT until the BASIC problem is solved.

The economy? Do what Clinton did--just get out of the way and let tax cuts do the job-NOW!

Any other problem lower on the priority list? Give it a band aid until we take care of the most BASIC problem we have:

Fix our Schools!!!!

Not many of Obama's nominations have been stellar, but one does stand out. Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education. It appears that he knows what it will take to give the next generation the tools they need to become productive, competitive citizens.

He, Newt Gingrich and of all people, Al Sharpton, have been visiting different types of schools and really working at figuring out what needs to be done. Unqualified teachers need to be sent packing no matter what the unions say, good teachers need to be rewarded, parents need to care enough to get their kids to school on time every day and politicians need to quit paying lip service for votes. And instead of program cuts for the kids all the administrators and teachers together need to take a pay cut until the crisis is over.

Can you believe that Al Sharpton didn't know about the atrocious drop out rates at inner city schools? Has he been living in a cave? How many more people just dont know and don't give a darn? If you live in a rich district barriers must not be erected to create second class and third class schools.

Do you really believe that this country can survive and be world class leaders without a cooperative venture encompassing the entire country including all those intellectual types in their ivory towers. Come on down! Get with the program! Help develop the program!

The old cliche of giving a man a supply of fish for food vs giving him food for a day and a fishing pole still holds true. We need to teach them how to use their fishing poles whether they be computers or welding torches.

This is only the tip of the iceberg, but we really do need to come to agreement on this basic need. Drugs and violence are two components which should not be prevalent in and around schools.

Read everything you can get your hands on. Attend school board meetings even if you are senior citizens and your grandkids live 2000 miles away and go to a private school. Bombard your State and Federal Representatives and Senators plus Governors and the President with information and demand action.

Government is only there to do those things we cannot do for ourselves or cannot do as well. Defense and transportation come to mind, but education is still the closest to the people and we need to accept the responsibility.

God bless..........

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Big (YAWN) Schauer Town Hall Meeting on Health Care

Let's see now--
We had a scheduled hour and a half program. Started 10 minutes late. Spent 20 minutes on introductions and opening remarks. Gave the Union Nurse, the AARP Rep, and the Consumer's Lady about 4 minutes each. So we got started about 2:42 leaving about 48 minutes for questions which were halted about 3:24 for a grand total of 42 minutes out of the 90 for questions. (A part of the opening remarks consisted of a power point presentation which were copies of parts of the hand-out given us as we entered.)

A good number of 7-10 were denied entrance to the building due to fire codes; there were 18 people in the hallway waiting for someone to leave so they could enter. Out of all the questions there were 3-4 which were not softballs tossed by supporters. This was a "random" pull your number out of a bowl but later found out that the general public waited 40 minutes for entry. When they were allowed in a good share of the seats were taken.

One of the early questions had to do with the donut hole in the prescription drug program. A friend of his who has MS was there and she indicated she takes 18 different medications and uses up the full amount of $2700 allowed before the donut hole in the first month. Then she has to pay $4000 before she gets to the other side. Of course this is a huge cost for her. However, what was not explained was that the other side of the hole is considered catastrophic and she only has to pay 5% of that number.

So if her monthly cost is $2700 the total cost for 12 months at that rate would be $32,400. So she pays $2700, plus $4000, which leaves $25,700. Now 5% of that is $1285 for a total of $7985 as the total cost to her of her prescriptions. So, yes, it's too bad she is ill, but I'm sure that there is help for her if she needs it. What bothers me is that Mr. Schauer didn't explain what closing the donut hole actually means. If she has co-pays throughout rather than the 5% area, I'm not sure exactly what her exact costs are or would be.

None of the questions listed on the blog yesterday were asked. One woman who lived in Canada and still has family there described the rationing and Mr. Schauer agreed that single payer is bad--he is not in favor of it. What he failed to say, however, is that it may not start that way, but it doesn't take long for folks to go with the public option and supply and demand shows that with more people in the plan and no more doctors added to the mix, good care will be hard to come by.

He also said when asked whether he and other government employees would be put on the same plan as the general public that we would have an opportunity to "choose" our insurance plan the same way he chooses his subsidized plan. He was heard to say on the radio the other day that we could all have the plan he does. A bit misleading to say the least.

Another question had to do with home care services for children. A bit lengthy and wordy to repeat. Suffice to say: read pages 1178-1196 in the bill. Schauer said it was for emergency problems having to do with birth problems. Apparently this is not true.

So there you have it--a complete waste of time, but at least we know that he hasn't changed. He said he gets his support from the people he meets and talks to in person and on the phone. If he counts his Town Hall phone calls, and I'm sure he does, we all know 77,000 people did not interact with him. He hasn't a clue.

As for the guest speakers, forget it. They were a farce and represented very few people.

Have a good rest of the weekend--
God bless............

Friday, November 13, 2009

Town Hall Question Suggestions

From Nov. 12 blog:
#1-Qualified plans, Section 202
#2-Sign without reading? Section 224
From Nov. 11:
#3-Advance Payment-Refund?
#4-Pelosi Christmas "gift" requires recipient to pay
#5-Taking $500 billion plus Medicare Advantage with no increase in doctors will necessarily lead to rationing. How can anyone deny that? (Section ll61)
#6-How can we keep our own doctors if we are forced to join Home health groups?
#7-Seniors were forced into Medicare at age 65-having learned to live with it and pay extra for "Medigap" are now said to say we are all very happy with it. The question should be "if we had it to do over again without force, would we?" Give us that choice, please.
#8-How many AARP members have quit due to their political positions? Did they do a survey?
#9-Will you sponsor a bill requiring Congress and the administration to have the same coverage you want us to have?
#10-The AMA represents about 10% of the doctors. What is the percentage of the nurses represented in your group?
#11How can you justify spending nearly a trillion dollars and still have 20 million people uninsured and forcing those already covered to change their coverage?
#12-Please address how a bill plus a separate arrangement to pay doctors adding up to over a trillion dollars won't cost anything or add to the deficit?
added Saturday
#13What is the rationale which gives preference to hospitals that are unionized in giving funds for improvements and programs?
#14-Since Obama has a precise number encompassing "fraud and waste" why is he not doing something about it now rather than waiting for a bill?

And the ONLY reason Voice of the People letters might call Schauer courageous or brave in voting for the bill is an admission that he voted against the wishes of his constituents--else why would it take courage?

Please make notes of these questions and add your own to share with folks at the Town Hall meeting Saturday afternoon at the Lily Baptist Mission.

God bless................

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Mark Schauer the Businessman?

It occurs to me that a kid with a lemonade stand, a paper route, a lawn mowing or baby sitting service has as much business acumen and requires more skills and ability to work with different kinds and ages of people that someone who runs a consignment shop. Just thinkin'.....

Tomorrow's post will have a few few facts which can generate questions to be asked at Schauer's Town Hall meeting in Jackson or other locales. According to a blurb in the Jackson paper folks will be given numbers on entering the Lily Baptist Church Saturday afternoon and numbers will be drawn at random to identify those who would like to ask questions of the Congressman.

How about something like:

Section 202 requires you to enroll in a "qualified plan." If you get your insurance at work, your employer will have a "grace period" to switch you to a "qualified plan," meaning a plan designed by the Secretary of HHS. If you buy your own insurance, there's no grace period. You'll have to enroll in a qualified plan as soon as any term in your contract changes, such as the co-pay, deductible or any benefit.

That doesn't sound fair, does it? We should also have a grace period. What happens if we don't make the deadline? Fines? Jail time?

Section 224 provides that 18 months after the bill becomes law, the Secretary of HHS will decide what a "qualified plan" covers and how much you'll be legally required to pay for it. So, isn't that like signing a contract with a bunch of blank spaces in it? Whatever happened to "read documents before you sign them?"

I'll try to find enough so that you will be well prepared. I understand there is a Town Hall/Protest in Lansing Friday. If you want to look up you'll be able to pick out something that is meaningful to you as an individual.

We'll try to post early tomorrow.
God bless............

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remember the Alamo? Update: Remember Afghanistan!

Wouldn't you think that with modern communications that our troops wouldn't have to go through the same experience as Davy Crockett and the rest of those guys waiting for the cavalry way back when? The guys busting their chops in Afghanistan are in the same position and don't have a clue if their call for help will be heeded or not. Go figure........

Mark Schauer is apparently going to try to explain his vote for the health care bill in Town Hall settings to his constituents. Questions we would like to have answered:

Since I have to start paying before the plan goes into effect, what happens if I die before it does? Will my estate be paid back? Sounds ridiculous? So does most of that bill.

How about what could possibly be the reason that I could be fined if I do not have the "right" type of insurance or even any at all and if I don't meet the government criteria I can be jailed?

His leader says this is Congress' Christmas present to the country. Does he always give presents that have to be paid for by someone else?

What makes him think that he can take $500 billion from Medicare and taking Medicare Advantage away from the 10.2 million folks who depend on it after being offered the plan by the government that they can depend on equal coverage by a public option? Taking away that much funding will ultimately result in rationing of services is a reason to vote for the bill?

There are so many questions that he didn't listen to before the vote was taken. What makes him think that anything has changed? His constituents still want those answers. This is an insult and a slap in the face to all of us. As Charlie Brown would say, "Good grief!"

God bless........
We certainly need it--

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I avoided Facebook because I thought it was something that young people used to communicate with their contemporaries. Frankly, I didn't want to intrude. However, a very good friend suggested that I would enjoy the experience and could extend my blog messages so when I received my last request to become a friend I took the plunge.

I still don't understand the entire sequence and frankly, don't understand the basic purpose. If I'm going to pursue this I need to know that folks who are on the "same page" are convinced of its worth.

So let's take a vote or a survey of sorts and if you think we should work with it, let me know.

Tomorrow let's talk about the upcoming Schauer Town Hall meetings which are so after the fact I can't see why he would bother, but maybe we can still educate him to the point that he will listen to the silent constituents next time.

God bless............

Monday, November 9, 2009

"Happiness is Elusive, but Pleasure can be Created"

Quote found as a closing comment in a letter to the magazine "Road and Track" which is not my usual reading fare, but an article on the cost of gasoline was recommended by the resident Engineer. Actually even a business/econ major found it interesting reading.

The author went to great lengths acquiring statistics to explain where the oil is found and in what quantities, who buys it and in what quantities, etc., etc. The end result was Mr. Simanaitis' premise that any place that gas is cheaper than in the good old USA is not a place he or anyone else would want to live. And I totally agree. The best part, however, was the updated barrel of crude showing the refined percentages of the contents of the barrel, from gasoline to diesel to heavy fuel oil, having changed since I last saw it.

However, although much appreciated, he certainly earned his fee doing the necessary research with interesting tidbits along the way which I won't include here because I did the same thing a few years ago with just some pretty accurate guesstimates as follows:

When I learned to drive in 1945 and Dad returned from the War, gas was $.20 per gallon. A new Mercury in 1946 was less than $1000 so I figured I'd use that as the average cost of a car. Moving forward 55 years I figured the average cost of a car
would be about $20,000 and if gas kept up the inflation price it would be $4 per gallon without taxes. Kept the math simple.

The variables would have included the fact that in the 40s a car might get 15 mpg, but didn't have A/C and a lot of electronic gizmos plus safety features. Newer cars have all of those features plus more and still get more mpg than half a century ago. So guess what! We are getting a bargain when we stop at the pump and fill up our cars with cleaner fuel and catalytic converters and all that stuff including a good 50 cents or so for taxes depending on where you live.

If you can afford a car priced at $20,000 and upward, consider yourselves very, very lucky to not be charged over $6 per gallon as is the case in the Netherlands and Norway.

I know, I know--there's a lot more to the transportation story than the price of gas, but it is one of the major griping issues day in and day out. It's all a matter of perspective. There are still laws of supply and demand even with OPEC in the mix--we should be cognizant of the story behind the story if we are going to do any complaining, right?

Sleep well--
God bless...............

Sunday, November 8, 2009

November 9, 1989 vs The Lowest Common Denominator

In the grand scheme of things that date stands out like a beacon in that which will be more important in another 20 years? The corruption in the Obamacare health bill or the reuniting of a country and the subsequent fall of communism as it was during the Cold War?

We cannot list anything new in the battle for the heart and soul of America that hasn't been said already during this time of the beginning of the takeover of our country by the socialist/marxist factions now occupying the White House and the majority of both Houses of Congress. We will continue to watch and hopefully contribute through our legislators who still look at our Constitution as an important document rather than a barrier to their goals of toppling Capitalism.

I'm not even sure that this will be a quick move to a second world or a third world country at the end of the struggle. Are there enough patriots left who will be willing and able to stop the madness? Or are we already at the point where the 51% of the takers will make lawbreakers of the rest of the citizens who support the whole bunch?

The Democrat lemmings in Congress who wake up every morning and get their marching orders from Obama/Pelosi simply have lost the ability to think for themselves. Mark Schauer sent out an email this morning bragging about doing what he was elected to do--vote for universal health care/socialized medicine. No doubt identical messages were sent from every other Democrat office on the hill with only the names changed to protect the innocent. His vote was "the reason you voted for me" or words to that effect. No way in hell.

Does Mark Schauer truly believe that the people of the 7th district voted to have our freedoms taken away? That we will be happy to have our health care insurance policies scrutinized to see if they "measure up" to what the government wants us to have? That we are willing to have our doctors take less and less money, determined by a Health Czar, until there will not be enough medical students to keep up with the need? And that if we don't pass muster we will gladly pay a fine and extra taxes to make up for it?

And if you think the Stupak Amendment won't be traded away during the negotiations with the Senate I cannot tell you how naive you are. Mr. Obama made a promise to the pro abortionists which will govern that section. Can you really call abortion "healthcare?"

I said I wasn't going to get into that topic, sorry. I could go on all day......
But can't anyone see that we are being brought down to the level of the lowest common denominator? All the elites are in a position to protect themselves while the rest of us are at their mercy by that 51% who can control any election, no matter what their IQ.

Back to what the folks in Europe have gone through because of the loss of their freedoms. The part that scares me and should scare others is that those people lived through their own persecution. In the United States we have always had freedom and the losses will be visited on our children.

Will the Boomers, Generation Xrs and their kids know what they have lost since their experiences will be limited and the history books have been watered down and actually revised so they won't know what happened through the years? How many countries actually believe the Holocaust never happened? Even seeing photos is no guarantee any more since this generation is growing up with Photo Shop and the ability to lie with impunity.

Enough! Freedom has been bought and paid for by the blood of sons and daughters through the years and right now by our brothers/ sisters and children. PLEASE! Do not let it be in vain--

God bless........

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Early Post Tomorrow

Since I have some early obligations for Sunday it's just impossible to stay up for the final tally tonight so will promise to react around Noon on Sunday.

Sleep well-
God bless.......

Friday, November 6, 2009

One Definition of Character

Character can be defined as doing the right thing whether or not anyone is looking.

It's a combination of emotional, intellectual and moral qualities that distinguish us from others.

Our nation's reputation is a reflection of our personal character. Let's keep our high standards.

We need to strengthen the concept of a person's word being as good as his bond. We need to be able to believe an individual whether or not he/she has a hand on a Bible.

We must remember that actions have consequences.

(From "The Republican Common Sense Approach to Senior Citizen Issues" 2002)

We will all have an opportunity to watch our members of Congress demonstrate their levels of character this weekend. Will they stand up for their ideals or will they follow the leadership who has control of committee appointments in order to benefit themselves rather than their constituents?

Have a good weekend--
God bless............

Thursday, November 5, 2009

AARP - Doing It Again - Self Inflicted Road to Hell

A senior citizen called the office today after having received a cold call, she is not a member of the AARP, informing her that AARP has endorsed the Pelosi Health Care bill and should she have any questions, she should call the 800 number which followed.

Since she does not support the bill she called to tell them so and to ask to be taken from their calling list. It turned out to be an automated call which thanked her for her support of their position and that her vote had been tabulated.

This is going too far. We are going to supply her with a number where she can talk to a "real, live person" so she can voice her objections to their methods.

You would have thought that they had learned their lesson back in the HillaryCare days, wouldn't you? Since the present bill will take away Medicare Advantage from a huge number of seniors plus giving the rest of us rationed care and increased costs I can't imagine any of their members supporting the measure.

I will also call them tomorrow with just that question and report back to you tomorrow.

I'm rethinking the "Catholic thing" since it's just about the same as health care--
The behemoth called the Catholic Church is like a battle ship--it's just too big to turn around without the realization that by the time it could be accomplished the problem has either been solved or been cast in stone. Is it even worth the effort? How can we change something that doesn't think there is anything wrong and they rather enjoy their power and watching people squirm in frustration.

Opinions, anyone?
God bless...........

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

There's Just No Time to Rest--

You've heard every race in the country analyzed and psychoanalyzed so we're not going to do that because guess what?

Nothing has really changed. All politics is local when it comes to putting together campaigns, working together to win seats and elections and being sure our candidates are the good guys.

Nancy Pelosi is still going to call for a vote within the next couple of days so she can fly her 757 back home where she can impress all those people who don't know any better than to vote for her over and over and over again. I'm thinking we should boycott San Francisco since those people are really making life tough for the rest of us. Oh, well-we have better things to do with out time and money.

There is exactly one year until the next election when we will be electing a new Congressman, new State Representatives in the 64th and 65th districts and re-elect Mike Nofs to the State Senate. So if you think we can sit back for a few days, think again.

We're going to have to work on that Catholic thing again since Planned Parenthood is appealing to the renegade Catholics to support abortion funding in the health care bills by suggesting they should get in touch with their Bishops to influence them to approve it as it stands. We have too many wayward parishioners who will do just that and too many clergy who will listen to them.

Tomorrow I will share with you a letter written to the "Sunday Visitor" on the issue of the positions of the Bishops relative to their leadership and shepherding of their flocks.

Let's get ready to rumble--
if that's what it takes-

God bless............

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

You Can't Out Brewer Mark Brewer!

As you can see this is being written early in the day, November 3.

Given the comments I have been hearing during the last couple of weeks the Republican State Party is flooding the 19th district with those oversized glossy postcards which are "negative" to say the least. Now Mark Brewer not only has a patent on negative, but he can, and does, go further by being dishonest.

Case in point: he talked constantly about Dick DeVos taking away Michigan jobs and sending them to China. Even after many news items in radio, television and the print media clarified the fact that the statements were untrue, he just kept repeating and repeating and repeating and there are still many, many people in Michigan who believe that Big Lie.

2009 Case in point: he started out talking about Mike Nofs double dipping as far as retirement benefits were concerned and after they were satisfactorily explained, he just kept repeating and repeating and repeating--and guess what? Yesterday I heard a guy on a call in show refer to the THREE pensions he was receiving.

Remember the kid who cried "Wolf?" Well, maybe, just maybe, Brewer will be caught in his own net one of these days and folks will stop believing anything he says since he cries wolf so often and his credibility is shot.

11:00 PM - With a decisive Mike Nofs victory it may be that the kid who cries "wolf" has met his match, but it's probably too much to ask that he might change his tactics. So we'll keep watching him and be prepared for some of the stuff he pulls out of his bag of tricks.

We'll talk more about the meaning of some of this tomorrow.

Let's hope the powers that be realize that the negativity wasn't the deciding factor here. Nice guys can finish first.

God bless.............

Monday, November 2, 2009

Don't forget to vote!

Today has been a day evenly divided between physical fitness in the pool, spiritual fitness--All Souls Day--making some GOTV calls plus the necessary cooking, etc. Not much telvision or reading involved so no really special messages for the day.

Just a very serious admonition to do your civic duty no matter how tough it might be to make decisions on millages in particular. Jackson Public Schools are toughing it out and there's a millage that got the Republicans in Washtenaw County all riled up to the point where they are actively opposing it. That is always a very tough call.

As is usual I receive a few calls from folks who want my opinion or just general information about candidates or issues. Tonight was no exception. The question had to do with endorsements. This is always difficult for folks who are not actively working for a campaign and don't realize that a candidate can be endorsed by an organization or PAC with whom he/she doesn't always agree. Sometimes there is one issue which is commonly agreed upon and they are endorsed without having asked for it. There's no way to come out ahead if you agree with that one point but try to refuse an endorsement. It just gets really sticky. Suffice to say that a good candidate who has a good conscience and good ethics cannot be bought by an endorsement.

So, as I said in my Get Out The Vote calls: This is just a quick call to remind you to vote tomorrow and ask that you make voting for Mike Nofs a high priority. Thanks.

Hope you do the same if you live in the 19th district--
God bless..............

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Senior Citizens are NOT Stupid

One of the first things I saw this morning was a new ad in support of the Senate Health Care bill. The entire 30 seconds is done in "darkness" with some profiles and some full face.

The scene at the beginning is of an older man carrying what appear to be the last few boxes from a home or apartment down a long hallway.

The second scene is of him unpacking a box, unwrapping a photo and placing it on a shelf.

The third scene is the back of the man sitting at the bedside of an older woman who turns her head and smiles very gently.

The entire sequence has no dialogue. The tagline is white on black with the message of "You shouldn't have to lose everything just because you have no health care insurance." (That's not exactly a quote, but a close proximity.) Call your Senator and tell him to vote for the bill.

Some seniors depending on their politics may agree, but whoever developed the ad reckoned without the common sense reaction of the vast majority of folks who already have insurance but are looking at a bleak future where care will be rationed, we will be taxed more and premiums will be raised in a combination to be sure that we all pay for the uninsured.

We used to talk about the "sandwich generation" who are helping their parents at the same time that their kids need help with college. We need to expand that to include helping parents with health care costs and at the same time being sure their adult children are covered adequately before they and all of us will be penalized and fined if we are not able to afford the level of coverage that the government says we have to have.

This used to be a nation of optimists but now we are faced with just being able to make ends meet due to increased cost of government programs and trying to figure out what went wrong that we are leaving a real mess for kids and grandkids.

If you don't see the danger in printing money, just look at the price of gasoline. Supplies are up, but because the value of the dollar is down and the cost of crude oil is predicated on the dollar, we are already seeing what is only going to get worse.

Don't forget to vote Tuesday--
God bless............