Monday, July 27, 2009
Obama laughed and joked, and completely dodged the question about whether or not he and his family and congress would utilize the health care plan that was being drafted for us.
The burning questions are:
1. WHO is drafting this bill?
2. WHO will oversee its implementation?
3. WHO will be in charge of national health care?
These are the people who will be making medical decisions about our health and health care! I’m not making this up! Search the people and topics yourself!
Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel-appointed health-policy adviser at the Office of Management and Budget – says:
1. Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath too seriously.
2. Doctors shouldn’t do everything for an individual patient without considering the cost or effects on others.
3. Seniors are “too enamored” with technology (angioplasty, hip/lens replacement, bypass surgery, etc) and do not need it.
4. Americans are spoiled by private hospital rooms, attractive doctor offices, and short wait times and we should do without.
He will be a major player in determining who gets what treatment from which doctor.
Dr. David Blumenthal-appointed national coordinator of health-information technology- agrees.
1. oversee the delivery of electronic instructions and guidelines about the above (and more) to doctors,
2. make sure they are obeyed, and
3. oversee the digitalization and distribution of personal, private medical records (at a $19.5 billion pricetag!).
Cass Sunstein- the new Regulatory Czar-believes that:
1. if animals can communicate, they have the right to sue humans,
2. we do not have the right to kill animals for our use or pleasure,
3. Internet communications should be monitored and removed if they oppose elected officials, and
4. Americans should be nudged towards making socialistic decisions for the common good.
The ‘nudge’ idea came from the Socialist Party during the years of FDR. The party once ran candidates against FDR until they realized that he and his desired ‘Second Bill of Rights’ were already socialistic! Norman Thomas, the socialist leader and presidential candidate said:
The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of 'liberalism' they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.
(It was FDR who introduced the idea that we should have a Constitutional ‘right’ to things such as good health care, a good education, a home, and a decent job. But our government simply allows us to ‘pursue’ these things through innovation, hard work, and free enterprise. We have the right to work and to decide how to spend our money. We can buy an education or a home or a gun!)
John Holdren – Science and Technology Czar- has advocated:
1. compulsory population control, including compulsory abortion and euthanasia of the elderly,
2. a ‘Planetary Regime’ that will control the development and distribution of all natural resources,
and his work focuses on:
1. causes and consequences of global environmental change,
2. analysis of energy technologies and policies,
3. ways to reduce the dangers from nuclear weapons and materials, and
4. the interaction of content and process in science and technology policy.
Still not convinced? Watch and listen to Obama for yourself!
Obama's response to Jane Strum's question.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
I am not sure what kind of reform is being proposed, as I've not read the 1000+ page document for health care. I'm not sure that there is a single version yet, or even a close runner! I'm not sure that the 500+ "pork pages" aren't going to be added just before the final vote, pork that could "persuade" some members to vote a certain way as the Democrats did in the House for Cap and Trade. I'm not sure how many times Pelosi will postpone a vote before she gets the results she wants.
However, I am clear on a few things.
1. SLOW DOWN! Every member of Congress, the Vice-President and the President should be required to read the entire bill. If the final bill is extremely long, the vote should be postponed until all have done so. Perhaps a signature on each page should be required. Perhaps 1 day of reading per every 5 pages of text should be required before any vote could be called. America should vote out of office all elected officials that do not do their job, which includes being better informed than news reporters and talk show hosts!
2. FIX WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE! The President said...and I quote..."the BIGGEST driving force behind our federal deficit is the SKYROCKETING cost of Medicare and Medicaid." If that is true, then the government has mismanaged its part of the health care system, and has no basis for asking us to trust them with more! So, after Medicare and Medicaid are running in the black, providing good services and requiring fewer mandates that shackle the health care providers and require untold numbers of employees just to handle the paper work, then move on to proposals for new policies.
3. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE! The 'graying of America' is upon you! The largest portion of your constituency is the baby boomer generation, and we are all about ready to take from the system that we have been paying into. We're about ready for you to keep the promises made to us. And, we were the ones leading the massive protests of the 70s! We still believe in the 'power of the people!' Respect your audience. Be our servants instead of our masters.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Very, Very Clear
In an anger management class, we were taught to defuse a situation by saying, “I’m sorry you feel that way.” It sounds like an apology, so the one in our face backs off. It's easy to say because the one saying knows it is really not an apology for any action or words for which he/she was responsible. That is what we heard today from our president.
But, I’m more concerned about the comedic (but not so amusing) side of Obama that is emerging. He plays the cute and funny, cuddly and clever guy to avoid giving a straight answer. He NEVER answered the question the other night asking if his family and congress would utilize the same health insurance they were planning to force on us. Instead, he joked about how his doctor followed him everywhere. It got a chuckle. He tried to be cute by when he described and acted out how a doctor ponders a rates chart to decide on treatment for ‘your’ child, only to insult the entire medical profession. Then he made all the jokes about what would happen to him if he got locked out of the White House, only to jump into a tirade about bigotry in police departments across the USA. The laughter died rather quickly when he toted out that bag of crap and stepped right into it!
Then, again, today, he tried humor to cover the fact that he had not apologized, or at least, was not going to tell the press that he had. Instead he joked about the size of his lawn and having a beer with the good ole boys at the White House. For the first time, I think that he left poor Robert Gibbs in a very uncomfortable position, as everyone in the room knew he had only expressed regret over the RESULT of his comments, not over his own comments, true feelings and unveiled bigotry.
I’m sorry that hundreds of thousands of people bought into that glib, clever, cute oratory and never bothered to think about what the words meant. I am truly sorry about that.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I also don't understand why Senator Obama voted against health care reforms in the past, but is wanting to push this plan through before it is even finalized, before he has even read what has been proposed! And, who are these people our President sited that had health insurance and couldn't get health care? I've never known of a soul with health insurance that didn't get treated.
He forgot to mention the letters he gets every day like this:
Dear Mr. President,
I’m not very intelligent. Hell, I’m too dumb for words. Too dumb to keep alive! Geeze! My neighbor’s German shepherd is smarter than me, and you think he deserves the space I take up. Your Tsars would rather keep the dog and kill my retarded baby!! I take up a lot of space, too. That’s ‘cause I love junk food. I want my transfats and sweet colas. I want to pick my own food, and my own truck and run my a/c as much as I want to keep my fat ass cool. I work at the gas station, so I pay my own bills. I get some exercise makin love to my wife and hiking while totin’ a gun to kill animals for steak and stew. And I drink a few cold beers while I cook that stew with my dumb buddies. For all you rich, educated, socialist, progressive folks out there who think I’m going to cost you too much money by getting fat and old and sick, let’s play tit for tat!
You want to tell me what doctor to see and what pills I can or can’t have and what temperature my thermostat can be set on and how new my truck has to be. What if I just came in your house every day and took your food and money like the Mexicans do to us? What if I moved 2 families in to live with you in your big house? What if I told your kids what school they could go to and how long they would have to volunteer in the slums before they could earn a salary? What if I were to tell you what kind of underwear you could have? What you want to do is just as personal!
Don’t worry. I won’t cost you too much money because I think I also have the right to ride my hog without a helmet and drive my truck without my seat belt. I may just contribute to the organ bank instead of becoming senile like most of you. Maybe I’ll even keep one of your kids alive! You never know. I do know, a few things, tho. I know you can’t tell folks how to live or what to buy or what to eat or how much exercise to get. Hell, do you think there’s anyone out here that doesn’t know if they are making unhealthy choices?? Do think we don’t know that smoking is bad? Do you think we don’t know hotdogs are made out of chicken butts and pig snouts? But, these are OUR CHOICES. You can’t legislate desires or values or morality or preferences.
You think I’m dumb and worthless …but I’m not that dumb. I know what liberty means. I know what the Constitution says. I know I love my pack of rug rats and I’m gonna work to become unnecessary to them. Oh, they’ll love me like I love my folks. But they won’t depend on me or on you for a life. That is, they won’t if you won’t treat them like babies and give them a government sugar-tit every time they turn around. So, I’ll just keep working to pay for the things that I want to choose for myself. If I get to the point that it’s too expensive, then I’ll either work more or choose less. Can’t get much better entertainment than rocking a baby in a cool evening breeze.
Mr. Common Man
Your Town, USA
Monday, July 20, 2009
NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!!
NO more stimulus spending!
NO Cap and Trade!
NO National Health Care!
NO Value Added Tax!
NO benefits for illegal aliens!
NO more Federal agencies!
NO more Federal departments or Czars!
NO more Federal spending!
NO ACORN in federal programs!
NO more Taxes!
NO salary for you unless you balance our budget!
Leave me and my children some kind of a future!
Thanks to many of you who still believe in and govern by the constitution of the United States!
I know what my constitutional rights are, and I know that the federal government is taking far more power and control over me right now than I want them to take. It’s nothing new. That’s why we have different political parties. Democrats favor an intrusive government that will regulate as much of our lives as possible to produce a ‘nanny nation’ that is dependent on them; and Republicans favor the individual’s pursuit of life, liberty and happiness through free, capitalistic endeavors to produce new products and a greater possible standard of living. Such a great standard of living is not a constitutional right. It is something for which we are free to strive and achieve.
The debate is not new. It’s been going on as long as the USA has been dreamed about. However, our founding fathers managed to find the perfect formula for a free nation that could grow and prosper, and lead the world. It’s called the Constitution. All of our congressional members and presidents swear to uphold it. They swear to keep us strong. They should be working to keep us as a world leader, a superpower, and an example for all other nations to follow.
Now greed has overtaken the oath to uphold the Constitution. Power begets greed. Greed begets corruption. Corruption negates our importance as individuals. The only way we have to take back our constitutional rights is to speak up! Speak with a fax. Speak with a phone call. Speak with an email. Speak with a blog. Speak with a tweet. Speak with a vote. Speak as you choose, but choose to be heard. Do not let our elected official become our masters instead of our servants!
Almost from the onset, discerning minds saw that the only flaw in this new government was complacency. In 1813, Alexis DeTocqueville said that the only threat to democracy in the USA was from within. The Communists during Eisenhower’s term said that we would lie down and take little doses of socialism, until we woke to find ourselves in the USSA (United Socialist States of America) instead of the USA.
So why are we here? Why are we allowing this administration to turn us into a socialist government? Is it because the generation that was seduced by Obama’s charisma is also the generation that failed to learn, or failed to be taught, just what our Constitutional rights are? I never really taught my children, because I never dreamed of a time when our government would try to go so far awry of democracy. I never dreamed that our government would bankrupt the next few generations of Americans. I never dreamed that a president would apologize for the grandeur and the power that the USA had accumulated through hard work, ingenuity, freedom and capitalism.
Are we here because the majority of Americans think we should be a welfare state? It looks that way.
Are we here because the majority of Americans think the government owes them a good job? There is NO Constitutional right to a good job, but you have the right to educate yourself and apply yourself to find one.
Are we here because the majority of Americans think the government owes them a good medical plan and good health? If you read the Constitution, you will find that is NOT the case! You have the freedom, however, to make decisions about how you will spend your money, how you will eat, how you will exercise, how you will educate yourselves to make good decisions about your overall health.
Are we here because the majority of Americans think the government owes them a good home? You have to right to protect your home, but you must EARN a home. You must contract for a home. You must work to pay for a home.
The federal government does not OWE us a home, food, clothing, education or recreation. It only owes us the right to achieve and gain these things through our own efforts. It’s what makes us Americans. It’s what makes our country rise above the rest. It’s what has made us a world leader, before our elected officials forgot what they had been elected to do. It’s what made us great before our President decided to apologize for our greatness.
Are you not proud to be an American?
Saturday, July 18, 2009
What in the world is this administration, Czars and our democratic congress doing??? It appears they are going to not only bankrupt me, but generations to come! And, why are they in such a hurry to do it? Why does it seem as though they are in the business of ‘ramma jamma dingdong’ governing? How can they make wise decisions when they don’t even take time to read bills? Do they really want to transform the USA into the USSA or the United SOCIALIST States of America overnight? (I think they should be required to spend one day per every 5 pages of a bill before they can vote on it. Maybe that would cut out the ridiculous pork and the NASCAR approach to duping the nation!)
I want to vomit. But, instead, I must work tirelessly to bring us back to being a free country, a capitalistic nation, a government of “we the people.”
I am very clear that I oppose big government, and I opposed the exponential growth of the federal government that we have seen over the last few months. I am very clear that I believe that the Constitution established the best possible government for people who desire to be free, desire to earn a living, and desire to think and invent and discover and improve the standard of living for themselves and others.
I am very clear that I can provide for myself. I have provided for my children. I have worked. I have paid my taxes. It has not been easy. I worked three jobs for many years after a divorce that left me with two very young children and very little child support.
I am clear that I do not want a National Health Care Plan. I have travelled abroad and have seen the yellow teeth. I have talked to people who cannot get appointments for themselves or their animals! They are willing to pay for good health care, but there is no one to pay.
Our health care system could use some reformation. Doctors should not have to pay exorbitant rates for malpractice insurance. They should not have to pay to protect themselves from people who neglect their own health, smoke, do drugs, live violent lives and come into emergency rooms for help, only to sue if any little thing is not to their satisfaction. I know that in my home town, most obstetricians quit their practice because of lawsuits over difficult births or birth defects in the children of indigent mothers who had spent the 166 days of their pregnancies drinking and/or using drugs without ever seeking prenatal care. That’s a fault of the law that allows these lawsuits, and those laws can be changed.
I also know that I have been spoiled by my medical insurance plan. I never realized it until I began to read about the “nanny nation” that our administration wants to create and began to look with new eyes at our constitutional rights.
I have the right to life (I can defend myself to preserve it, Judge Sotomayor!), liberty (I can choose to succeed and I can choose to fail), and the pursuit (may not get it, though) of happiness. The progressives of old chose for us. They made alcohol illegal and created a much greater evil in the violence of bootleggers and organized crime. Now these progressive want to extend our rights to good health and housing and adequate food and clothing and jobs. The constitution does not guarantee these things. It only guarantees our right to pursue them, as they are things that would bring about our happiness.
I do see, however, a difference in health insurance and health care.
I carry car insurance in case of a costly accident and/or injury. My auto insurance doesn't pay for oil changes or periodic tune-ups. It won't pay for a car wash or STP. I carry homeowners insurance in case of burglary or catastrophe, such as storm damage or fire. My homeowners insurance doesn't pay for normal roof maintenance, new paint or carpet cleaning. So why does my health insurance provide me with more than coverage in the case of catastrophic injury or illness? It just does. Maybe it shouldn't. Maybe this is where the system is "broken." Maybe I need to pay for my twice yearly dental visits and my eye exams and my well-checkups.
Someone suggested that we need to educate Americans about how to pursue good health. They KNOW!! You can’t watch television, listen to the news, read anything in print or online or look in the mirror without knowing you should exercise, eat more fruits and vegetables and give up smoking to be healthier. We KNOW that America is obese and that the number of cases of diabetes is rising as a result. We know! We CHOOSE however to live sickly lives. And we HAVE THE RIGHT to do so. If that costs us more, we should bear the cost. If I smoke, I pay more for my insurance. If I am obese, I pay more for my insurance.
I've never worked a day without a health insurance policy that allowed for periodic dental and vision exams, corrective lenses, yearly checkups and tests such as colonoscopies, mammograms, and pap smears. I've had to pay towards that policy and have had co-payments with each doctor's visit or treatment. It's something to which I’ve become accustomed. It’s something that has been offered.
I can live with paying for well-checkups. I am willing to take the responsibility for more of my own health issues. What I am NOT willing to abide, however, is for the federal government to tell me what I should eat, how I should live, what doctor I can see, what procedure can have, at what age I qualify for it, and/or how long I have to wait to be seen or treated. If people CHOOSE not to work, then they obviously choose to give up the benefits of a good income.
Instead of going to a national subsidized health care program, I would like to see the government back out of nationally subsidized ANYTHING!!
Don’t bail out a wino. Don’t bail out a bank.
Let those who want to succeed, and WORK to succeed, succeed. Government should do ONLY what we want it to do.
That means, citizens of the USA, that you must speak up! Don’t stay silent, wake up, and find out that your address has changed to the USSA.
You can speak out right now at: http://surveys.polldaddy.com/s/362D79E8E7A8B703/
Contact your congressional representatives: http://www.conservativeusa.org/mega-cong.htm
Sunday, July 12, 2009
I just got a tweet from a talk radio celebrity that I follow that suggested a good prank: Tweet to everyone that you are going to be gone for a week, then sit home with a shotgun!
This made me remember some really funny incidences!
I don’t know why pranks are fun, but they are. They’re just inherently funny like a public fart. Who doesn’t laugh? I never even tried not to laugh when a fart would cause an eruption in my classroom. Kids around the guilty party would jump up and start frantically waving the fart away with notebooks while some poor soul sat in his own stink with a red face. I just laughed along with everyone else, and got over it to continue.
I think it must be genetic, as my children are the same. We laugh at others’ misery. We don’t try to be cruel. We just can’t help ourselves. When our upstairs was being finished and their stepdad slipped off a ceiling joist and his foot came through to the room underneath, no one asked, “Are you ok?” He had crushed his manhood on that joist and we were laughing and scrambling to find cameras! Does that make us monsters? If so, I guess we’ve always been happy little monsters!
I love a good prank. I don’t mind being the patsy or the instigator. The first prank I can remember was when I was a very little girl. My mother had probably given her last ounce of energy for the day getting her 6 (at that time) children clean, quiet and in bed. We were all sleeping in the same room. It was summertime in the South before air conditioning, so the windows were open. DoDad pulled one of mother’s stockings on to his head and began scratching on the screen with low growls! We screamed and scared each other far worse than he scared us! He laughed until he cried. Or maybe he laughed until he saw mother’s face! She knew it was another hour before she would have us all quiet again!
Years later, my children were spending the night in a friend’s tree house. This was an awesome tree house with several rooms and real windows! They were up there with their host, a few cousins, and a few neighborhood kids. A couple of the fathers put on camo and face paint and got their deer grunts out. They sneaked up under the tree and started making horrible noises. My daughter, trying to be brave, grabbed a flashlight to look out of the window, instantly saw her own reflection the glass of the window, screamed bloody murder at the shock, and children came out of that house and tree as though a bomb had propelled them into space! I laughed until I cried as my father had done so many years ago!
Sometimes such laughable events happened by accident. My baby sister and I were drinking hot chocolate with mini-marshmallows in it once, and I did something stupid that made her laugh so hard that she spewed her hot chocolate through her nose! The big problem was that the marshmallows didn’t escape! While she continued to laugh, the marshmallows moved back and forth in her nose! We both almost wet our pants from laughing so hard. (And still do at the memory of it!)
Sometimes well-planned pranks can backfire. At age 26+ I had a very ugly but realistic, rubber Halloween mask. (I think I probably confiscated it off of a student, because I have no memory of shopping for it). But, we were having a Halloween party with our adult friends, so I put the mask in the toilet and lowered the lid. Now, we were serving drinks at this party, but for some reason, either no one used the bathroom or no one screamed, and I forgot about it. After the party, I got ready for bed, brushed my teeth and went to use the toilet, and wet the floor with a bloody scream when I opened the lid and saw the face staring up at me!!
Here are some other pranks that I’ve enjoyed through the years.
Of course, we have all tried the sleepover pranks. Get the warm water to a sleeping friend’s hand so he will wet the bed. Freeze your friends’ underwear overnight. Draw on someone’s face while they sleep. (Now, kids document the event with their cell phone cameras! Ouch! Those pictures end up in email and on the web!)
You’ve probably been a part of or witnessed the classroom pranks. Someone would move a chair back so a kid would fall on the floor. After Channel One hit the classrooms, every other kid had a universal remote in his pocket to change the channels. (I liked that prank, as I got a drawer full of these remotes from my students!) And of course, God help the teacher who had a pet peeve and let her students know about it! Complain about clicking ball point pens, and every single kid in the class would have one the next day, clicking away! We had a substitute teacher, Ms. Ruby, at Avondale Elementary. She would neglect her “chil’ren,” fall asleep, and we would all hit the playground!
DoDad loved for us to invite someone to supper. The guest always had to sit next to him at the end of the table, as that was the only place we could pull up an extra chair. He would spread butter as thickly as he could on a piece of bread, sniff it, and look confused. He’d then ask the unsuspecting kid if the butter smelled funny to him. It was all we could do to contain ourselves, knowing that, once the kid leaned over to smell it, DoDad would shove it into his face and leave two plugs of butter in his nostrils. Hilarity reigned!
My brother and I rode the escalator at Loveman’s all day one Saturday after leaving a dead cat in a shopping bag at the makeup counter. Finally, someone took the bag. We followed her out of the store just in time to see her grab the cat, scream and faint dead away on the sidewalk. We RAN to the bus stop and went home! Once we were safe on the bus, we laughed the entire 30 minute trip!
There are two pranks that I heard about that I think are the best cruel thing you could do to another person. One is to go into a bank and write, “This is a stick up. Give me all your money or you die!” on the back of a counter check. Put the check back in the middle of the stack and leave. Some poor slob is going to hand that to a clerk! The other takes a lot of preparation. Get a lot of helium balloons and a bottle of champagne. Hire a limo. But first, make a HUGE Publisher’s Clearing House check out to someone for $10 million. Go deliver it to a stranger, or have a stranger deliver it to a friend. Have that party! Drink the champagne! Take pictures of them with the check! Then just leave. OUCH!!
When I was the activities director at a Jeff Davis, the technology coordinator and I pulled pranks on several non-tech-savvy teachers. We would go into Word on their computers and enter an autocorrect command. We would tell Word that if they typed the word “this” or "that" to fill in with: “Fatal Error 239847. Contact technical services immediately. Do not close this program. Do not continue.” It was a hoot! And the funniest part was how impressed they were that we knew how to fix their problem!
I heard of a prank that I want to do when I’m shopping some day. I’ll collect spermicides, contraceptives, hemorrhoid creams, douches and other personal items and drop them into the carts of very prim and proper old people who could be embarrassed at the checkout counter. Hey! What am I saying? I AM AN OLD PERSON! Someone may do this to me!
If so, I hope I laugh until I cry.
Life is short! Have fun!
Thursday, July 9, 2009
I know that the Constitution is clear on my role in our government. I am one of the “people” who not only has the right but also the obligation to participate in our government. It is my duty to make my wishes and opinions known to our elected representatives in the House and the Senate. They are there, after all, to do what we want them to do.
I also know that, in reality, the majority does not always win. In many cases, it is the vocal minority. That is fair. If citizens grumble at the water cooler or cusse at the television news, but never informs their elected officials of their opinions, then they have no right to do much but suffer in their silence.
I have been writing letters to our presidents and representatives since I first learned to write. My father wrote at least once a month. He had an old upright Underwood typewriter (some of you have never seen one of these!) and used the “hunt and peck” method of typing on thin typing paper, often making carbon copies. It was tedious. Mistakes meant strikeovers or “do-overs.” But he persisted because he was dedicated to being a part of the system and exercising his rights. He also frequently typed out letters to the editors of our local newspapers. He would allow me to add hand-written postscripts to his letters, and thus I learned a valuable lesson and developed a life-long habit. While my friends were collecting autographed photographs of Tab Hunter and Sandra Dee, I was collecting photographs of our presidents, with personal greetings inscribed on them.
What I don’t understand, though, is why it is still just as hard to communicate with Congress and the White House as it was 50 years ago! It is tedious. Word processing cuts down on the time needed to compose a letter, and makes strikeovers and strikeouts obsolete. But it still takes hours to print off enough copies to mail and to stuff the envelopes. If you want to fax copies, you have to run the same paper through the machine time and time again and pay long distance charges for each transmission. If you want to email, you must fill out a form on each individuals website, some more extensive than others, then copy and paste your message in, with some limitations on length. It can take hours and hours to reach all of Congress and the White House.
I would like for our elected officials to have published, direct email addresses. I would like to be able to create lists in my email for republicans, democrats, representatives and senators. I would also create a group for my home state, and selected committees. I would also like for Congress to have toll-free phone and fax numbers. It would increase the feedback, but that should be desired by those officials IF they truly wish to serve us.
Tips for Writing to Congress
Congress does pay attention to us. Concise, well-thought out letters should be sent rather than long-winded rants. There are many places on the Internet that welcome rants, and Congress does pay attention to social networking sites. So, write. Make it a periodic family activity.
Write to your local representatives the most often. You vote for them, so they are most likely to care.
Use proper grammar, check spelling, and use proper forms for the type of communication you choose. For example, a mailed letter should be dated, should open with “Dear Senator Smith” and should end with “Sincerely,” and your hand-written signature. Emails and faxes will have automatic time stamps. Some emails will include fields for your contact information.
Show that you are an informed citizen. Although Gilda Radner made a name for herself with her SNL mis-informed editorials, you don't want your letter to be dismissed because of any error in it. We've all heard people who call into talk shows that sound like idiots because they didn't do their homework!
Keep your communications short, concise, pointed and on one page. A good “template” to follow would be the following three paragraphs:
- Identify yourself. Introduce yourself and give your credentials and your contact information. You don’t have to be anything other than “a concerned citizen from the 8th Congressional District.” That should be credential enough. However, if you are writing about a financial issue and have a degree in finances or are a banker, that is worth mentioning.
- State your concerns. Give the reasons for the letter as facts, rather than as emotions. You can say that you are concerned because your elderly parents need special care, or because you have a child with special needs, but don’t get bogged down in the details of what they suffer and how it stresses you and/or your family.
- Make your request. Give the name of the bill and ask for a “yea” or “nay” vote. Make sure you give the date of your visit if you are requesting an audience. Be specific on the action you want your representatives to take on your behalf.
Email and snail-mail addresses (follow links):
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
No one really knows if the affect we have on carbon dioxide or methane production will spell our doom. In the 1950’s, there were climate irregularities that were blamed on the communists and bombs! We’ve only been keeping weather data for 150 years or less, and we’ve only begun to interpret it. Computer models for the Greenhouse Effect are built on computer models for nuclear winter and dinosaur extinction. We’ve not experience nuclear winter and we were not on the earth to record dinosaur extinction. Scientists are doing the best they can, but they disagree.
I taught environmental biology and ecology for over 25 years on both the high school and college level, and have been the keynote speaker for Earth Day and Arbor Day events in central Alabama. I’ve also worked with community organizations interested in ‘greening’ their activities. We know human activities affect our environment, and we know how to live green, live wisely. I don’t advocate that anyone try everything, but pick a few and make a difference!
In the yard:
- Use a mulching mower so that nutrients aren’t bagged and sent to the landfill.
- A good stand of grass will choke out weeds, so go easy on the chemical weed killers.
- Old newspapers can be used under pine straw to prevent weeds in shrubs and garden areas.
- Put movement sensors on outdoor lights, or use solar lighting.
- Start a compost heap for yard wastes, kitchen wastes and newspaper strips.
- Plant deciduous trees near the house and coniferous away from the house, to let sunlight warm you in the winter.
- Let shrubs grow large against the house if you have high summer cooling bills. Trim them back if your power bills are highest during cold winters.
- Use half the recommended amounts of detergents and additives.
- Try non-chemical laundry balls instead of more detergents.
- Use liquids so you won’t inhale powders in the air.
- Buy low phosphate detergents.
- Wash in cold water.
- Hang clothes to dry.
- Buy clothing that doesn’t need ironing.
In the kitchen:
- Purchase energy efficient appliances.
- If you use but a few dishes/utensils a day, hand wash and air dry them.
- Buy foods with little packaging, like fresh produce or bulk sizes.
- Take bags with you to the grocery store (or any store).
- Keep organic wastes separate for a compost heap to fertilize gardens and beds.
- Purchase reusable plastic containers for leftovers instead of disposable plastic bags.
- Buy ‘pick a size’ paper towels.
In the bathroom:
- Purchase a low-flow shower head.
- Purchase a toilet with a small tank, or put a plastic bottle full of water in the tank.
- Use pump sprays instead of aerosol cans. Recycle the containers.
- Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.
- Re-use towels (at least once).
- Wet, lather, rinse…and do not repeat. Instructions for most products are to make you run out fast and buy more.
- Reduce your shower time or lower the level of water in the tub. If you must, savor the time and water once a week.
- Use more ‘elbow grease’ to clean and scour, and less bleach-type products.
- Rinse disposable diapers. Read the directions for their use and follow them.
In the garage/car:
- Buy fuel-efficient cars.
- Travel the speed limit to conserve gasoline.
- Be faithful to the recommended maintenance schedule.
- Sweep carports, patios and pool aprons instead of cleaning them with the power nozzle on the hose.
In the bedroom:
- Use contraception/birth control. Plan your family.
- Turn the television off when you are sleeping or out of the room.
- Remove plastic from dry-cleaned clothes immediately.
In the home:
- Install ceiling fans.
- Use devices that will automatically turn equipment off if no one is in the room.
- Install solar screens or storm windows, especially on east and west facing windows.
- Set thermostats to allow you to be comfortable in sweaters during the winter and tanks during the summer.
- Participate in your community’s recycling programs.
- Put entertainment equipment and chargers on power strips that can be turned off at night.
- Purchase energy efficient light bulbs. Turn lights off if not in use.
- Increase insulation in outside walls and attics.
If you want to know why these practices are recommended, post a comment and I’ll be glad to elaborate. By adopting such practices, you will not only ‘save the planet,’ but you will save your pocketbook as well! Right now, most Americans need every penny that they can squeeze!
Monday, July 6, 2009
I’m extremely clear on many things. I love my children. I know Mary Martin was the best “Peter Pan.” I return my carts at the grocery store. Turn signals are not optional. And, I am extremely clear that I do NOT want our elected officials dictating:
- how often I can bathe, or how many towels I can use after my bath;
- how I set my thermostats, or how many thermostats I can have in my home;
- how many miles I can drive in a month;
- how much money I can give to my grown children each year for birthdays and Christmas;
- how many appliances I can run at any one time;
- how many hours I can run my pool pump or how many treatments a month I can do for pristine, healthy, safe water;
- how often I can burn a fire in my fireplace;
- how much beef or corn I can eat in a year;
- how many long-distance calls I can make or how many phones I can have;
- how many lights I can have on at night or what kind of bulb can burn in them;
- how much I can spend on clothing, groceries and/or entertainment in a year; and
- how often I can have my nails or my hair done.
What I don’t understand is why so many Americans are letting all of this happen by staying silent!
No. There is no bill before Congress that states how many baths you can have in a week, but, if you have energy bills that quadruple, or triple or even double, you are going to have to cut corners somewhere!
No. There is no bill that limits how often you can go to a spa or a salon, but if you have no job these luxuries will go by the wayside!
No. There is no bill that will dictate the temperature of my home, but if I can’t afford to run the heater, I’ll have to bundle up in the dark and the cold of winter.
Except for a desperate surge on the last day of the House debate and vote, not many called or emailed or faxed or signed online petitions or exercised their right to BE the government of the United States of America (or their pleas were ignored in favor of favors.) The phone lines and fax lines jammed on the final day, and the democrats kept putting off the vote on the Cap and Trade bill until they could add enough pork for those opposing it that they could “buy” the votes that they did not have at the time of the initial vote. (Why do our elected officials get to put off a vote, or call for a re-vote? If I don’t get to the polls on time, my vote/opinions/wishes/voice are not heard!)
So, I’m cloudy on why citizens are not involved with what their elected officials are doing and why the White House and Congress lie and cheat and make up their own rules to make things happen. I guess these two things go hand in hand. Children are always on their best behavior when they know someone is watching! (And, Michael Jackson died the day of the vote, so the networks, hell-bent on backing Obama, had the perfect excuse not to cover it.)
Basically the Cap and Trade bill is a 1,200+ page, complex and convoluted bill unread by most of Congress that is based on unproven, shaky science. (I taught Environmental Biology and Ecology for 25 years, and I never saw a period where the experts agreed on the results of the Greenhouse Effect or carbon dioxide or methane production. Now we have evidence that the EPA tried to hide information from us! Who meets their payroll?) The government intends to determine how much carbon pollution will be allowed, who can produce it and who can exceed it with the government’s blessing if they trade for their excess by buying rain forest acreage or some such local or… watch out…global action. Then, the government will hire people with our dollars to monitor the emissions, and will create an enforcement bureau that will be paid for with our dollars to do something that we have been steadily improving on for the last 30 years voluntarily without the tax cost or the government size growing by leaps and bounds!
Thirty years ago, my daughter would get excited as we would travel to Birmingham to see her grandmother and she could see the smog. “Oh, yea!!! We’re almost to grandma’s house!! I can see her dirty sky!” As the result of information, grass roots movements, some governmental regulations, free enterprise and capitalism enjoyed by large and small businesses alike, we got more energy efficient cars and appliances, clean water, clean air, and a greener environment.
We need to be good stewards of the Earth’s resources, but we do not have to sacrifice for other species. WE are a competing species on this planet! Species have come and gone long before man ever arrived, and they will continue to come and go. We just need GOOD science to let us make intelligent decisions about how to keep Homo sapiens here for as long as possible! When science tells us the truth, we will make good decisions. We will mulch grass and carpool and recycle cans and reduce packaging before we jump into our clean, cool swimming pools! I already installed storm windows, solar screens, and siding voluntarily to reduce my energy bills. It was my CHOICE.
This bill opens the door for the government to make your choice. It allows them to pick and choose who they want to favor and who they want to crush. And the Congressional leadership that we have now wants the power to do both. They have changed the terminology that they use to cover what they are doing, all while calling for “transparency.” (Does that mean some of us can see straight through what they are doing?) And they are trying to do it at a speed that would shame Superman! They want to shove it all through before citizens have the chance to catch on to what they are doing! Their models for environmental controls and socialized medicine have already been tried elsewhere and have already failed. It is an attempt to redistribute the wealth from average, hard-working citizens to Congress and their pocket-lining pets. It IS a tax. They just don’t call it a tax. They have dropped that word in the same trash can where they dumped “terrorism” and “war.” They spend our money to pay for air time to show infomercials that they have produced to brain wash us into going along for the ride with their charismatic figure head. (Can someone say “propaganda?”)
It hasn’t passed the Senate, yet, so get on the phone, the computer and the fax machine to let your voices be heard! You can find contact lists all over the Internet. They make it hard on us, as you must fill out an online form to email most of them, but give it an hour a day. Take an hour a day to be part of the government that is “of the people.” (An excellent site for ALL congressional contact information is: http://www.conservativeusa.org/mega-cong.htm) Do this long before the vote is due. Do it every day if you have the time. You can email 40 people while watching “America’s Got Talent.”)
If this Cap and Trade bill passes, hang on to your hats! Between it and the proposed national health care, we will freeze in the dark for the rest of our lives! Not because of lack of fuel, but the inability to pay for it. It will be the legacy we leave to generations to come.
If you want to 'green' America, read tomorrow's blog. It's a lesson I've been teaching since the '70s!
Friday, July 3, 2009
Independence Day! A time to celebrate and show gratitude to those who made America great: our founding fathers and heroes.
I’m not cloudy on this, but I think too many Americans are. I don’t think many people understand or recognize the difference between a hero, a celebrity and an idol. I don’t really fault anyone. We simply don’t see as much heroism as we see celebrity.
During these past few days, we’ve lost several celebrities and one idol. To be a celebrity or an idol required that OTHERS see you in a special way. It doesn’t require heroics. It merely requires that you do something that appeals to someone else. Today, the news has been exclusively about Sarah Palin and Michael Jackson, a celebrity and an idol. A celebrity is a well-known person who is celebrated by others. An idol is a well known person to whom passionate devotion is shown. These people may or may not be role models. They may or may not be persons noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, or persons who have risked or sacrificed his or her life or serenity. They may or may not be heroes.
Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde, Ted Bundy, Jim Baker, Frank and Jesse, Elvis. All celebrities. None heroes.
Most celebrities and idols don’t last very long (unless they are captured on film), and the strangest of circumstances can produce them. I remember “the NEW girl” at Jefferson Davis High School. She was as pretty as 100 other girls in that school of 2400. But she arrived on a “slow news day.” We had nothing to talk about that day, so everyone began buzzing about “the NEW girl!” Students and teachers alike were finding excuses to get out of class to walk by the door of her current classroom to look at her. When she walked into the lunchroom, kids climbed up on tables to get a good look at her. It was insane! She withdrew from school after only a few days with us. I’m hoping she got to her new school on a day when there was a huge fight or a fire in the restroom and she could get in under their radar.
I went to a website that listed American heroes, and I had to disagree with most of the choices. All of the choices were excellent role models, but few had sacrificed anything for liberties or rights or justice or freedom or others. I believe a child that says “NO” to drugs or sex or gangs or other peer pressures is more of a hero than Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey. I know my father is more of a hero than Paul Newman or Michael Jordan. I do not mean that these people are not good role models, are not influential, or have no following of fans. I’m just not sure that they sacrificed at the altar of courage and nobility.
Our young people should want to emulate Pat Tillman instead of Dennis Rodman. They should admire Ronald Reagan more than Justin Timberlake. They should appreciate Patrick Henry’s words more than Michael Jackson’s moves.
Yes. I loved to watch Michael move. Yes. I’ve been fascinated by Sarah Palin’s charisma and moxey. But charisma and the ability to be a good public speaker or to buy prime time on television does not make a hero.
On this Independence Day, teach your children about the people who gave us our independence. Teach them about the courage of George Washington, the sacrifice of Davy Crockett, the turmoil of brother against brother, the lives lost on battlefields and the hard decisions that informed leaders must make. Teach them about the Constitution. Teach them that THEY rule this country. The Congress should merely do what we want them to do. Teach them to speak up with their votes and their involvement in America, so that we can remain a democracy.
You may want to introduce them to Yankee Doodle Dandy, my 4th of July annual treat, or take them to a Tea Party! Have a good, safe holiday!
Thursday, July 2, 2009
I hate getting lost in the land of automated answering systems!
Why do you have to punch in your account number, only to have to repeat it again IF you ever get connected to a human being? “Please enter your account number so that we can access your records to make this call more efficient.” NOT!
Why doesn’t every company connect you to a living, sometimes-thinking, perhaps-able-to-help-you, human being if you punch ‘0’? Remember when ‘O’ was for ‘operator’?
Why, when you finally get a human being, is it always the wrong one! “I’m sorry. I’m in tech support. I think you need someone in billing.” Then, they transfer you to yet another automated answering service! Don’t they know how to call co-workers directly?
Why is the option I need NEVER one on the menu? Yesterday I needed, “To report charges to your account for which you are not responsible because some identity theft needs to go to jail, please press 7.”
Where do these calls go? I must have talked to about 16 different people yesterday trying to get a Verizon Internet situation cleared up, and only about 5 of them spoke without heavy, heavy accents. I had to ask 2 to transfer me to someone that I could understand. I’m sorry. But I just don’t hear Indian or Asian accents enough to be able to understand the words that they are saying in English. Are these answering services overseas where taxes and salaries are low?
Our system at work is problematic, too. Every call I get from anyone in any building shows the same return name and number on my phone! It’s a school system, so if a parent misses a call from a teacher at one school, the only number shown on caller ID is the central office. And, of course, the receptionist has no idea who called that parent anymore than I know who has called me. (Leave voice mails, for crying out loud!)
I was on the phone so long yesterday that my battery ran down and the phone ran hot. I feared damage to my ear, but feared having to start the whole process over from scratch worse! I don’t know that my blood pressure rose, but I do know that I got angry. If my call was “monitored for quality control purposes,” I know no one heard any cursing. THAT took a lot of self-control!
If, by using these systems, our bills stay smaller, then I’ll shut up and put up with it. It sure is wonderful, however, to be able to explain from the get-go what you need and be directed to the one and only person in the building who can solve your problem. Today I had to call the Retirement Systems of Alabama, a huge bureaucracy with great potential to make my blood boil. Not only did a human being answer the phone, but we had a very pleasant exchange and she connected me to an equally pleasant lady who answered my questions. If I hadn’t chit-chatted a little with these pleasant ladies, my call would have taken two minutes. If it's possible there, it should be possible anywhere.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
I have always been a communicator. I've been accused of being a 'yapper.' I've been a teacher and have 'yapped' at thousands of young people for 30 years. But, now I'm a 'typer.' I twitter and FB and chat and IM and email and now I will try to blog. Of course, I think I have something of value to share, but then I also have to question this new era of global influence that I've already entered! Who cares what I have to say? Why do I peep into the lives of folks that I don't know?
I guess a good bit of this is ego. I can go to the World Wide Web and have the largest 'class' that I've ever taught! I always liked 'struting my stuff' in front of a class full of kids. I knew I was a good teacher. I loved seeing the light bulbs go on in the faces of my students. I loved to laugh with them. I loved to lead them. I loved to learn from them.
So, now I will try to teach again. I learn something new every day by being connected to the world. Maybe a post here will touch someone or teach someone.
I'll include lessons my parents taught me.
I'll include my thoughts on current events.
I'll include some fond memories.
I'll include some hopes and desires.
I'll go beyond the safe subjects of 'news, sports and weather,' but I'll hit some trivial fun topics, too.
Put me on your list. Check it out as I get this blog-thing going!!