Sunday, November 28, 2010

I Am Sick of Doctor's Complaints About Money

The news is replete with physicians who complain that they are not making as much money as they want and are refusing to accept patients on medicare.  Many medicare patients cannot find a doctor who will treat them no matter how urgently the elderly  person needs medical treatment.  Yes, I'm sick of doctors who have a very few medicare patients and say "we cannot accept any more medicare patients."  I have heard doctors on TV angrily threatening to retire before they will accept anyone on medicare.  Not enough money, they complain.  I have not seen any doctors who are forced to live in a second-hand mobile home and drive a 1950 Ford.  Wake up, doctors.  You are giving the entire medical profession a bad name.  The new medical creed has become "I want money, to hell with the sick and dying."  Doctors had best understand that if this administration has its way, doctors will be required to treat everyone, make house calls and live on a salary set by the government.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Think of Your Blessings This Thanksgiving Day

Happy Thanksgiving to all.  The first Thanksgiving was to express thanks to God for all who survived and  for food to last them through the winter (of course I could be wrong and it was for some other reason).  Judging from the many requests I receive  for funds, this Thanksgiving may find many persons going hungry. So let me offer this suggestion: 
If you have food to eat, give thanks.
If your health is good, give thanks.   
If your relationship with loved ones is good, give thanks.
If you have a job in these bad economic times, give thanks.

Of course, there may be many different reasons for individuals to give thanks.  Anyway, I hope everyone has a great day tomorrow.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Unbelievable -- Al Gore and I Agree on Ethanol Subsidies

I have long been  opposed to the use of corn and other grains to make ethanol. It is an inefficient way to create energy.  We could produce more oil and natural gas instead, if the federal government would permit. As it is now by our favoring  so-called "green energy" this nation wastes money.  Last year subsidies for ethanol totaled 7.7 billion dollars.  Forty-one per cent of corn grown in the United States is utilized for ethanol. Not only do taxpayers subsidize ethanol, the use of corn results in higher costs to consumers, not only for cereal but in higher prices for poultry, beef, pork, milk and eggs.  This is a horrible use of our resources and continues only for political reasons; plus ethanol has powerful lobbyists in Washington D.C.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Discarded Books Bring Back More Memories

What value does an old out-dated text book have?  Nothing, money wise, but I can remember what a thrill it was to us as children to find an old school book a parent had owned and read notations made. In one my daddy had, he had written these almost exact words-- " Here I am in the middle of June in school when I want to be outside working and enjoying the summer."  He only went to school in the winter and for a short time in the summer when crops were laid by. 

Several boxes of books and  many years of National Geographic went to Goodwill Saturday.  I feel bad about discarding 50 years of National Geographic because I used to find it so interesting. Few people want magazines now; they choose the Internet.  At one time old Geographics were sold in book stores in New Orleans.

My freshman English book was among those discarded. I took a look at it and couldn't believe I learned a lot of that stuff.  LSU  divided  freshmen into X, Y and Z classes.  I was in X which gave a year's credit for one semester's work.  That was fine except we had to write twice as many themes, or essays.  I had trouble thinking of subjects.  Today, that would be no trouble because I want to comment ( raise hell) about so many things. My class began at 1 p.m. and the room was empty from 12 to 1.  I would show up at noon, take my fountain pen and write a paper, then hand it in without any corrections or changes.  I agree, it was a miracle I passed the course.

My freshman history book was in a box to be discarded, but I saved it and will keep it at least for a little while.

Heavy Back Packs Give Students Spinal Problems

What's with all these heavy back packs carried by first graders to seniors and all students in between?  I know it is not a new thing, but the back pack seem to be getting heavier and heavier.  Watch the children walking down the street after leaving a school bus.  They are bowed over frontwards or leaning sideways to balance the heavy weight.  When I was in school little kids had book sacks to carry pencils, crayons and scissors, and maybe one book.  Boys in high school, if they carried books home at all, usually tied a belt around them.  Girls usually clutched theirs to their bosom.  Some text books are very large now; I mean not only thick but large in area. I found out these books are very expensive, also.  Text book printing is a lucrative business.  I wonder if all those books are necessary.

A few years ago I asked my daughter why she brought all her books home every day when she needed only some of them for homework.  She explained when school opened and students were permitted to enter, they had  very little time to get to class and no time to visit a locker.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Things I Thought Unfair as a Child I Still Consider Unfair

What parent has not heard his child scream "that's not fair!"  Well, as an adult I am as convinced as ever about at least two things I argued were unfair when I was youngster were and are still unfair.  My parents always told us that "if you get a whipping at school, you'll get a worse one when you get home."  I insisted that if misbehavior at school was punished there, that ended it.  What the parent meant was  "if you get a whipping at school, Ill be so embarrassed Ill feel like punishing you again."

What about the psychological pain of  being sent to get a switch to be used to punish you?  Terribly unfair. How weak a switch can I get that will satisfy the parent giving the punishment and yet not hurt too much? That was more talked about than actually done, I expect.  Anyway, just two things I thought unfair as a child to my mind are unfair now.

Have You Got Yours Yet?

The White House has awarded  111 waivers to Obmacare, affecting 1,200,000 Amsericans The waivers have gone to companies and to many labor unions.  This is the bill that was going to allow you to keep the health plan you have now if you are satisfied with it. Obamacare was going to cover more people, not raise insurance rates, and result in lower taxes while reducing the national debt. Then why are all these waivers being granted? The truth is, of course, Obamacare is a bad, bad  plan.  The only solution is to abolish it completely and start ovsr with another health plan.  However, we must face facts.  Health costs are going up and coming up with a plan that all groups will be happy with is not going to be easy.  Doctors and hospitals don't way their rates lower; medicare recipients fear being deprived of benefits, and many want coverage at lower costs.  Some better plan is a goal that will not be easily reached.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Old Books Bring Back Memories

In reorganizing our books we are left with dozens, maybe hundreds, we have no space for and must be either given away or thrown away.  While many are novels we no longer want to read, some of the books to be thrown away bring back memories, including "The Practice of Industrial Development." Early in my first year with Louisiana Dept. of  Commerce and Industry I spent a week at Texas A&M.  It was a fun week -- not the three-hour lectures from so-called experts in economic development, but I teamed up with a guy from Alabama, another from Arkansas, and an Indian from Oklahoma.  We found places in College Station that most people never saw.  A lady from Louisiana who owned a bar entertained us with more Cajun stories than Justin Wilson ever knew.  I was with the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce when I attend two week-long sessions at the  University of Oklahoma.  Jen and my twin boys were along for the session the second year.  I became acquainted with a number of other professionals in economic development.

Two other books  with a history are my freshman English  and history books.  None of these books hold any interest or use for anyone but disposing of them is a little like saying goodbye to someone.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Salute to Those Great Veterans of the "Great War"

Yes, I know veterans of  World War I have passed away, but my experiences with some of those veterans had a great influence on me.  This nation should be ashamed of how World War I veterans were treated, even to sending troops against them in Washington, D.C.  Those veterans, using the power in their organizations like the American Legion, pushed through the GI Bill of Rights, which included college education for those who wanted it.  In our Legion post it was the World War I veterans who would take on important tasks but those without recognition.  I think of Jim Noland, a WWI vet who lost  a son ( or was it two) in WWII. Jim did so much for the post and for the community, and without any desire for thanks or praise. He was typical of veterans of that war, and he and others imbued me with the  philosophy that veterans should continue to serve their community and nation.  So I salute those veterans who have served and gone on.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Veterans Lead in Service to Nation

Since Sunday was recognized as Veterans Sunday, the week has been marked with many salutes to veterans and praise for their service to the country.  Actually, Veterans Day will be Thursday, November 11, and November 11 to November 17 is  National Veteran Awareness Week.  Veterans Day began as Armistice Day, officially recognizing the end of World War I.  In 1954, after World War II and the Korean War, the word Armistice was changed to Veterans, thus recognizing veterans of all wars.

To me, Memorial Day has been the more significant day because it recognizes those who gave their lives for their country, but I realize many veterans made sacrifices only slightly less than giving their lives. I hold to the belief that veterans, having served their country militarily, have an obligation to continue their service to the country.  I became imbued with this philosophy though my many years in the American Legion.  I can remember clearly  how I became involved so deeply.  I had written in a sports column a suggestion that the Homer American Legion Post should sponsor a Legion baseball team.  The post commander agreed and proposed that I organize and manage the team.  This was not what I had in mind at all, but I finally gave in and the result was that I managed and coach an American Legion basseball team  for many years.

Until that time I had not been action in the Legion, but that year I was named commander of the post even though I had never held any office before.  That began a long career of service on the post and district level, and I became more and more committed to the tenet that veterans should continue to serve their community and their country in every way possible.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Telephone Conversation with Former Shipmate

Saturday I called B.M. Butters who was a radioman on the USS Pickens.  We were  among the last to be discharged, staying with the ship throughout its decommissioning. We did not remember each other but enjoyed reminiscing. He was called  back into service during the Korean Conflict.  Butters has been a fireman for some 32 years and currently  is a fire commissioner.  His son contacted me after reading postings in my blog and gave me his father's address and phone number.  I hope that if there are any other living Pickens shipmates or members of their families, they will contact me.  Once I was discharged in 1946 I was all about beginning a new life  and made no effort to remain in touch with shipmates.  Now, over 60 years later, not many of us are still around.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

$200,000,000. Yes, That's 200 Million Dollars for One Play Day

That's how much President Obama and 3,000 groupies will cost the United States taxpayers for one day of playtime in India.  Since he and his cohorts are scheduled to devote three days to visiting museums and touring other spots, that comes to 600 million.  But wait, the president will go on to Indonesia, South Korea, Japan and China for a total of ten days.  If expenditures per day are equivalent, that's two billion, yes two billion, dollars that will be wasted. 

This is shameful, especially at a time when millions of Americans are living on food stamps and  walking the streets all day seeking  a job.  This is at a time when social security recipients, some of whom barely get enough to pay their prescription bill, go into their second year without a cost of living increase.  Think about it, one day of Obama's play time in India would have been enough to provide one million social security recipients a check for 200 dollars.

Hell, Obama's trip may cost more than two billion dollars. He will be chaperoned by 34 warships, 40 planes, and 3,000 of his buddies.  Why are we allowing this to go on without at the least expressing in the strongest manner our disapproval?  Are all our senators and representative too cowardly to cry out against this theft of our resources?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thoughts on the Election

Republicans gained control of the House of  Representatives, taking some 60 seats that are held by the Democrats. The Republicans failed to take over the Senate, gaining six or seven (two are too close to call) but needing to gain ten to have control.  It remains to be seen if the Republicans accomplish much beyond the ability to block harmful programs.  Whether the two parties can work together to solve some of the nation's huge problems is to be hoped but I am not overly optimistic.  At the very least, I hope someone will have some ideas how to fix this ailing economy.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I Hope This Election Sets Nation on Track to Prosperity

I go to the polls today with hope but with little optimism that the nation's very serious problems will be solved.. No question that the Obama administration and Congress have inflicted on us wrong policies, but it goes deeper that that; their philosophy of government is wrong.  The wishes of the people are ignored because those in charge are committed to the belief in government control of every facet of our lives.  In two years, they have gained control of health, of the auto industry, of  banks, of student loans, and are seeking  a cap and trade law that would destroy much of our energy industry.  Uppermost in the minds of  the majority of voters is the poor economy, especially the loss of jobs.  Will whoever is elected have ideas to solve this and other problems?
Will they give people who have ideas  an opportunity to be heard?  Even we peons believe cutting taxes will spur growth in the economy and put people back to work. Noting what a terrible mistake Obamacare is, will the new Congress read and discuss bills before passing them?  Hovering like a dark cloud over everything is the concern  for our national security.  Will we do everything possible to keep this nation safe?  Yes, I have hope that this election will begin to set this country on the right track, and I wish I could be more optimistic than I am..

Monday, November 1, 2010

I Hate the Telephone

Yes, I really hate the phone.  I don't think I was born hating the phone, but I have hated it for many years. What brings this about right now are the calls from politicians.  Some even have their wives calling begging for votes.As soon as I answer and I know it is candidate asking for my vote, I hang up, whether it is someone I have planned to vote for or someone for whom I would never consider voting.

My hatred of the phone either began or was intensified when for 20 years I edited a weekly newspaper, which was printed on Wednesday.  I would be concentrating on writing the final front page stories and the phone would ring constantly.  Some woman, it was always a woman in this case, would report that her daughter and granddaughter visited two weeks ago and she wanted it put in the paper.  I would get so frustrated I would be rude and want to throw the phone against the wall.  Women seem to love the phone. I used to know girls who would  be together at school all day but as soon as they arrived home, they would grab the phone and talk for hours.  I hate the phone.