Friday, November 30, 2012

I'm doubly down

I'm so down, down, down.  First, I fell --yes again.  I was at this little trailer which  houses an inspection station when my feet slipped and I crashed down on my back and my head hit and bounced.  I could not get up; thankfully, Jason  had  gone with me and he finally heard my calls and helped  me get up.  I didn't break any bones but I re-injured a shoulder and am generally banged up..

That's only part of the reason I feel so down.  I  checked the R. W. Norton oral history web site  and found all the images and part  of my naval history has disappeared.  They are listed -- my two discharges, my notice of separation, the Astoria newspaper and  my two pictures -- but they no longer exist.  It wouldn't be so bad but all those items were displaced or lost.

Obama vacations while nation is in danger

Obama and his family will enjoy a vacation in Hawaii costing taxpayers four million dollars while he tries to push America over a "fiscal cliff.:"  What other president has lived so lavishly and costly to us while claiming to be for soaking the rich?  It is not the real rich such as the Waltons, George Soros and Warren Buffet who will be hurt by his "make the rich pay their fair  share"  dictum; they employ accountants and attorneys to take advantage of every loophole ad deduction to keep their tax rates lower than that of person who earns barely enough to live after paying taxes..

A person making $200,000 a year is not rich today, especially  if living in a city and state with high taxes such as New Jersey and New York. A person making that kind of money in Texas or Florida can live comfortably but is far from what most of us would designate as rich.  Yet, these are the people Obama insists on punishing plus scorning them to make points with takers.  Folks, we had a chance to maybe save this nation and we threw it away.  Of course, an organization called "Skewed Polls" has exposed many examples of fraud and outright vote theft to support its claim that Obama stole the election. How could Obama receive more votes in some districts than were eligible voters?  All votes went to Obama.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pleasant memories of baseball years

What brought this to mind, I have no idea, but I am  remembering the glory days of the Big Eight semi-pro baseball league that included as members towns mostly in Northwest Louisiana. During the latter half of the l950's and early l960's the Big Eight was not only a sports phenomenom but  a social and economic player.

Teams were fielded by Ruston, Minden, Homer, Bernice, Farmerville, Dubach, Bastrop and Springhill. Games were played under lights three times a  week -- Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Local players were favored, with a restriction on the number of players from colleges.  As best as I recall former professionals could play if they had been out of baseball for l0 or more years.  I believe a team was allowed only one qualified professional.  I remember Bernice had a pitcher who was still outstanding after l0 years. Homer never fielded a player classified as a former professional.

We got players from SMU, Baylor, Centenary, Louisiana Tech, Magnolia, Texas A&M - -but our main connection was with LSU in Baton Rouge.  One reason for that is that two of our locals plsyed for LSU. I remember that one season we had three first team LSU football players and the star of the basketball team.

We were still recovering from WWII and people seemed starved for entertainment; even the bank president was a regular attender  at home games.  A group of girls, dressed as if going on an important date, would arrive shortly before the game began, make their appearance, and occupy a box behind home plate.  Since I was official scorekeeper and newspaper editor, I attended all away games, usually with a carload of passengers.  I remember being accompanied by five girls to a game in Bastrop, 70 miles away, and got a round of applause for catching a foul ball headed towards the girls.  The Big Eight continued important for several years, with the coming of television probably contributing to its decline  in importance.

Several players went on to successful professional careers in sports.  Perhaps the spectacular play of "Johnny Football" reminds me of a l7-year-old freshman left-handed  pitcher from Texas A&;M.  who played for Homer. He struck out batter after batter, sending them down swinging.  He didn't like to do the
work necessary to stay in shape and wasn't as effective his sophomore year. I don't know what happened to him.

This is the first time in many, many years that I have thought about the Big Eight; the memories are all pleasant.

Young workers being robbed

Young adults are being robbed but, apparently, they aren't smart enough to understand it or they wouldn't have voted for Obama again.

Medical insurance companies set rates based on risk.  I once wrote policies on young males that had only a hundred dollar deductible and cost only 35 dollars a month.  Young men  between 18 and 35 seldom need a doctor or hospitalization, but check  out rates and coverages now. And it is going to be worse under Obamacare as rates will be set to subsidize elderly so their rates will be lower.

Frankly, as one of the elderly, I am fed up with what amounts to punishment of the young who are employed. Of course. we know  of many healthy young men and women who  choose not to work, choosing to be one of the  "takers" instead of the producers.  All workers contribute payroll taxes to support retired and disabled through social security,  We elders paid into social security our working lives and feel justified in receiving social security and medicare benefits.  The difference now is that workers pay but face a future with no guarantee of ever getting benefits.

No, I do not have an instant miraculous solution, but I wish  our political leaders would have the courage to admit the problem and try to alleviate it if a solution is unlikely.

I sorta screw up but who cares

I went by the church office to leave a contribution from the Vision class to be included in the gift of appreciation to Nikki,  who is retiring after years of service in the church office.  The door was locked and the office appeared dark.  I knocked on the door and someone came and opened it.  I immediately said "this is from the Vision class in appreciation to Nikki " --then I saw it was Nikki who had opened the door. We were both a bit embarrassed only to enjoy a laugh.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Where has the year gone?

Wow, has this year sped by or what.  My car has a November inspection sticker and I feel sure I  had it inspected only two months ago.  We've one hectic,  wild spending, bill paying month left.  I know there's going to be  a 2013 because I have received 17 calendars from  organizations seeking donations.  What can I do with all those calendars?  Some are just  too beautiful to throw away but they are headed for recycling. 

In addition to monthly bills -- utilities, credit cart etc., December 31 is the deadline to pay property taxes for the city and parish.  Add to those bills property insurance for the coming year and  some joy goes out of the Christmas season, which brings its own share of bills.

Let's tell ourselves that some joy is ahead as the president and Congress arrive at a sensible solution to the country's financial troubles.  Yeah, count on it; just don't bet your house.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Courage needed to solve economic problems

                Don't take funds from you;
                Don't take funds from me;
                Take funds from the man behind the tree.

Folks, it's not going to work that way; cuts in spending have to come from the places that get the funds, and that can include social security, medicare, medicaid, welfare and maybe food stamps and unemployment insurance. (Also, no more handouts called stimulus.)

This country is spending much more than it takes in.   Everyone agrees that we need more jobs and an improved economy which, no doubt, would bring more money into the treasury.  Jobs must come from the private sector, from companies willing to take risks.  The president and Congress seem bent on passing bills that discourage industrial expansion and the creation of jobs.  Punitive taxation and regulations are just opposite the policy we need to get the economy going.  An example is the president's stated goal to eliminate the development and use of our fossil fuels.  This is beyond stupid and smells of the president's hatred of certain industries and his love of others.

An answer to our problems is not hard to find, but determination and courage to take the required actions has been lacking.  --And time is short.
(note -- I have been trying to learn how to put other items, including youtube, on my blog. I have not mastered the process yet.)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012

Some of my good points

I've never shopped on so-called Black Friday and I never enter the doors of Wal-Mart. By avoiding supporting those stores I help companies who manufacture products in the United States. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thoughts on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was my favorite holiday for a very long time. There was no frenzy like at Christmas, just family and good food. When I was a teenager still in school, our holiday was Thursday and Friday. Now most schools enjoy an entire week only to make it up by going to school longer in the spring.

When I was young, a holiday from school meant that I was available for work, which most of the time was sawing and splitting wood.  I didn't mind although the work was hard.  I remember one holiday well because we made syrup. Dad and his brother, my uncle Perry, had raised cane and made syrup when they lived in Arkansas, and they continued that in Louisiana..  I was attending school and too small to be of use around the syrup mill until this one Thanksgiving.  We cut the cane and hauled it to the mill, got the juice from the cane and cooked it to convert it to syrup.  Regulating the heat and steady skimming was vital to making good syrup, and dad was a master at it.

When mom was still living, our related families came to our home for  Thanksgiving.  Our families became scattered and the children became adults with their own children.  This will be our first Thanksgiving without daughter Jessica.  She is spending the day in North Carolina with Mark and Julie and their two kids, Lily and Oliver.

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is a good time to give thought to our blessings, replacing our complaints with thanks to our Lord for his wondrous love and care.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

American citizens taken to task

I don't know that I have utilized  messages from others in my blog, but this message from the Czech Republic is too good not to print it.  This comes from an English translation from the newspaper Prager Zeitungon.  

          The danger to America is not Barack Obama, but a citizenry capable of entrusting
          a man  like him with the Presidency.,,, The Republic can survive a Barack Obama,
          who  is, after all, merely a fool.  It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such
          as those who made him their President.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Children -- thank God for the joy they bring

This past Sunday six beautiful little girls went to the front of the church during traditional services to hear the children's sermon and then to speed away to take part in Children's Church activities.

Later that day daughter Jessica called and told us that Lily, our three-year-old granddaughter,  had attended Children's Church for the first time at Apex United Methodist Church.  Lily refused to go alone, holding on to her mother throughout.  She didn't seem to pay attention to the stories and refused to take part in crafts and other activities.

Never underestimate a child.  All during the week she excitingly talked about the experience,. referring to the stories she had appeared not to hear and told about crafts and other activities the children  participated  in.

Children never cease to amaze.   Thank God for the joy they bring into our lives.

Monday, November 19, 2012

To survive a company must profit

Members of the Bakers Union whose refusal to negotiate caused Hostess to cease operating and the loss of 18,500 jobs should have understood that a company must make a profit or go out of business.

Perhaps unions should have learned something from Atwater Kent, inventor of many things automotive and manufacturer of high quality radios.

Atwater Kent began making radios in 1923 and by 1925 was the largest manufacturer of radios in the United States.  The depression was a problem as Kent did not like making low quality radios.  In 1936 union organizers invaded his plant and Kent responded by shutting down his facilities, laying off every worker.

I remember this because we had an Atwater Kent radio and I heard my dad talking about how unions had caused Kent to end his company.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

They don't give a damn!

The news media and 50 per cent of the American people don't give a damn that four people were murdered and it would appear that l00 per cent of the Obama administration, including  the president, have lied and lied. Even Petraeus didn't tell the complete truth.

How to eat a cookie

The principal's daughter sat in the desk in front of me in the class for first grade students in the second half of the grade.  Yes, the schools split classes then and kids could start first grade at mid-term.  Three of my siblings were born in October and  could enter at mid-term although I don't think any of them took advantage.

I' ve gotten off the subject, which is about eating a cookie.  I don't know why I was eating a cookie in class, but the principal's daughter said, "let me show you how to eat a cookie and make it last a long time."  She took the cookie and pretended to nibble the edge, turning the cookie slowly all around.  She returned it to me and said, "The longer it takes for you to eat a cookie the more you enjoy it."

The girl was a smart cookie herself, being valedictorian of the grammar school graduates and, I think, of our high school class.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

What to do with a frozen turkey

What to do with a frozen turkey when I want a fresh turkey?  Brookshires awards a frozen turkey for spending $400 within a certain period of time.  Because of the amount of money I spend at the pharmacy, we qualified for a turkey early and now every time we check out the cashier reminds us to go get the turkey, but our freezer doesn't have room, and I prefer fresh turkey.  After all, we eat turkey (except for sandwiches) only at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Last year I went to get the turkey just in time to thaw it out and cook for Thanksgiving.  All of the turkeys left were much larger than those awarded.  I picked up one of those large ones and paid the difference.  I'll have to work something like that this year.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

As I watch the Dow continue to fall

And  read the predictions of calamity on my Gmail, my worry of the financial future continues to mount. I fear most for those who have planned and invested to retire within the next  five years.   Younger workers, even if the market collapses, may have time to recover much of their investment while older people can have their entire fortune swept away in the market crash and not have time enough to recover.

I am getting information from many so-called financial experts, all of whom predict the market to crash, wiping out most 401K plans that have most of their funds in stocks.  They point  out that the wealthy have already left the market and put their money in safer fixed funds.

Many of us in the past have believed that stocks go down but eventually they recover.  Conditions in the United States and the world are different now. The highest  the Dow average has ever been was on October 9, 2007, when it closed at 14,184,  That is five years ago and the average now is above 12,000 and falling.

Too many conditions are bad and worst of all we have Obama.  If there's any action he can take to harm the economy, it seems he will take it.  During the campaign he promised to lower the corporate tax from the world's highest at 25 per cent.  Now, he is talking about more taxes on corporations which will of course reduce profits and hinder hiring of workers.

I am not a financial guru,  would never pretend to be one, and would not want anyone to be influenced by what I have said but would get their information elsewhere. But for my self, I would accept my almost 10 per cent loss since Obama's election and put all my funds in a fixed and safe investment.

Monday, November 12, 2012

We expected it -- election fraud

Only a tiny percentage of the total votes cast in four swing states kept Romney from being elected with 275 electoral votes.  Now as we find out more about the voting patterns we cannot but believe fraud stole the election for Obama.

Some l00 precincts in Ohio cast every vote for Obama, not one even by mistake for Romney.  Impossible. In Philadelphia, 59 political divisions have Obama nearly 7,000 votes, not one for Romney. Losing hurts, but losing by dishonesty hurts real bad.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Early fruits of the poisonous tree

What did you expect?  Early fruits of the poisonous tree (Obama's re-election) include a three per cent drop in the Dow, hundreds of companies firing thousands of workers, and a cease in oil drilling on federal lands in the West.

Just two of the companies being forced to lay off workers because of Obamacare are Boston Scientific. 1200 to 1400 jobs; and Stryker 1100 jobs.

Here's something to make you feel sicker.  In 13 Philly wards Obama received 99 per cent or more of the vote.  Throughout the country, like in Central Florida, some times Obama got more votes than people registered.  Are you surprised?  Didn't you expect fraud?

We haven't seen anything yet.  If you have medicare expect to pay much more while fewer doctors will be available.  By the way, one out of five individuals is on medicaid.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Praise for the vets who look to serve

Something more cheerful to comment on than the events of Tuesday.  Veterans Day is Sunday, November 11, with Monday being a federal holiday.  Some 27 million veterans will be recognized, including those who were wounded in the service of this country and those who served a month or two.

My belief has always been that if you have served this country militarily you have an obligation  and a privilege to continue to serve in other ways.  I found that attitude to be shared by those companions I have known in the America Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the 40 and 8.

On the other hand, some veterans have sought special privileges just because they wore a uniform for a time. I apologize to the United States citizens for those, taking comfort in knowing there are far more in the group who look  to serve than in the group who demand special treatment.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Yes, the nation will survive

What now?  We the people of the United States missed  the opportunity to get this country going in the right direction by re-electing Obama over Romney Tuesday.   We are left with the hope that the Republican House of  Representatives will be able to give us some protection against bigger and worse government with its higher taxes, more debt and fewer jobs. 

Instead of adding jobs as they planned to do if Romney was elected, some companies, including Boeing, are planning to lay off workers.  Who can blame them as they are faced with higher taxes and more harmful  regulations.

Yet, I still have faith in the American people although the inability to hold fair elections makes it difficult.  In a typical precinct in Philadelphia, Obama got 99 per cent of the vote, getting near  l,000 votes to 7 for Romney.  

Keep the faith; the American spirit is alive in parts of the country, and we will survive.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

People truly like Romney

Just two more days and Romney could have won a smashing victory.  He was ahead by as much as seven points in the  polls when Sandy hit.  This gave Obama the opportunity to act presidential as he promised aid to the storm-shattered people (which has not been delivered) and the momentum for Romney stopped.

Romney has been coming back. Crowds are large and enthusiastic.  When the race began many of his supporters were more anybody but Obama at first, but as people have begun to learn Romney -- what  a good man he is and how capable -- they are more more pro-Romney,  I have just seen a video of Romney at Manchester, New Hampshire Monday night meeting a very large crowd. Such enthusiasm I have never seen before.  The crowd greeted him with loud cheers for more than four minutes and cheered at many times during his address.  Most of can feel that same enthusiasm for Romney.  We just hope it didn't come a few days late.

I've cast my vote

Yes, I have done all I could to return this nation to the right track.  Jen and I were in the line at 8, reached the registration desk at 9:15, and took a minute or two to cast a ballot.  I'm relaxed; whatever will be will be.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Please help elect Romney

Tomorrow will be the most important election in my lifetime, and I have lived for 86 years.

Solving all of  our nation's problems is impossible for anyone.  Our enormous debt of more than 16 trillion, larger and larger deficits, and a health plan that alone will cost billions, are strangling the nation and making it difficult to create jobs and restore the economy.  However, Romney has proposed plans that will help while Obama has plans that will make the situation worse.

Take one example. Romney will develop our gas, oil and coal to make this nation energy independent in eight years. Obama proposes, even if defeated, to have the EPA add regulations that will cost billions and eliminate coal-fired generation plants.  He wasted over 90 billion dollars in financing solar and wind generatiing facilities and intends to spend even more while damaging all fossil fuel industries.

Romney will pursue programs to create jobs; Obama will burden small companies with more taxes and costly regulations while adding more IRS agents to collect fines from people who cannot obtain a health plan.

I am convinced the nation cannot survive four more years of Obama. Let us boot him out and elect a man who has the capability and desire to get our economy growing again. Go the polls and pull the lever for Romney.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Obama fake all the way

Obama may have gotten himself re-elected by the photo appearance wearing a fake bomber jacket, but his real interest in helping those hurt by the hurricane is as fake as his jacket.   He shows up, gets real praise from the new media as iff he has done something notable.  He heads off to party in Vegas while people in Staten Island search dumpsters for food.

Storm victims have no electricity;  stand in long lines for gasoline only to find it not available; they need food and clothing including blankets to stand the freezing weather but where is Fema?  Late as usual.  These people are double victims -- from the storm and now from politics.  The news media is being discouraged from reporting accurately the terrible situation because "we don't want anything to reflect badly on Obama."

Friday, November 2, 2012

Help for Sandy victims

What a tragedy!  Those pictures of areas in New Jersey where houses have become nothing more kindling; a neighborhood in New York burned to the ground.  In Louisiana we know those scenes and feel in our hearts for those affected.  The death total climbs and thousands are calling for water, food and clothing.

Electric power may not be restored for several days which means that people fortunate to have homes will still suffer from the cold.  Gasoline is scarce  because without power stations cannot pump gas.  We can understand the anger which leads people to blame the Red Cross, Fema and officials. More and more people are making donations to the Red Cross and are volunteering to help anyway they can.  Other states have sent in electric power crews to help although New Jersey has refused the aid of some became they were not union. 

When a tragedy such as Sandy strikes the first job is for first responders, including National Guard, to rescue those in danger.  Next comes the Red Cross  and volunteers to provide water, food and shelter.  Fema comes in somewhere, to provide housing.  First of all food, clothing and temporary shelter must be provided, and sadly it  appears while officials make a tour and promise aid, the aid is slow to come.  That adds to the tragedy.