Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Millions to lose health care while illegal aliens are covered

How many people will lose medical care  as Obamacare becomes more and more involved -- 3 million, 7 million, 13 million, 14 million?  Projections have increased as the Affordable Care Act and its effect become better known.

Some in the administration maintain that 13 million elderly now in Medicare Advantage plans could lose their insurance and be left without access to medical care. This would be one result of Obamacare taking 700 billion dollars away from Medicare.

You may ask how the bomb brothers benefited from 100 thousand dollars in welfare, housing, food stamps, health care. Well, think about this. If a person sneaks across the border into the United States he or she immediately qualifies  for health care, welfare, subsidized housing, food stamps and an Obamaphone.  This is included in immigration bills Congress is considering. This is to be done while millions lose health coverage. Lovely, isn't it?

Monday, April 29, 2013

I stop church services Sunday morning

I stopped church services yesterday morning. Yes, it was unintentional; I came close to passing out.

I'll say more about it but first, this was senior Sunday, not for old folks but recognizing nine who are graduating from high school this spring.  Eight of the nine attended as all were honored for their academic and service accomplishments.  One thousand dollar scholarships went to two of the nine.

One surprise to me was that most of them were soccer players, some being outstanding for four years.  In my time it would have been baseball and football, with a little attention to basketball.  Things change.

Now to my problem in church.  I remained sitting as the congregation sang the Doxology and a hymn, to be followed by the pastor's sermon.  Suddenly, I felt if I were spinning and the whole world had dropped away. I fell against Jen and said, "I'm passing out."  Several came to help, put me in a wheelchair and took me to the car.  Two boys followed us home and helped me to the couch.  I thought my blood pressure would be low, accounting for my condition, but it was high.  Last night I had a swimming head and could not stand. I'm hoping the doctor can help.

The sinking of the Yamato

Seven days after that Easter Sunday when the battle for Okinawa began, fierce fighting continued on sea, land and in the air.  The USS Pickens was there during the day, serving as a decoy and as a  hospital ship. As dusk fell, orders would come to make smoke and  leave the battle area.  Allied planes were ordered to leave and ships were ordered to attack anything that flew.

On April 7 as dusk fell and we retreated towards Japan, we were informed that the Yamato, the world's largest and most powerful battleship had left Japan and was on a suicide mission to defend Okinawa. Although we were confident our forces would destroy the ship before it reached us, we could not help but be somewhat nervous.   Planes form Task Force 58 met the Yamato, hitting it with 12 bombs and 7 torpedos within the first two hours of battle. The ship sank with near total loss of life.

When I described this as a suicide mission, I was not exaggerating. The men were told they would not be coming back, and the ship had enough fuel to last only one day.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Film tax credits would pay tuition for 70,000 LSU students.

Those among you who follow this blog know that I am highly critical of the program of tax credits to makers of films in Louisiana.  It is a waste of money, beneficial only to a few film makers and some wealthy individuals.

A contributor to Political Talk has put this in prospective.  Tuition at LSU for 15 hours is $3498.  In 2012 we gave away in tax credits 261 million dollars, enough to pay LSU tuition for more than 70,000 students.

LSU does not have that many students, so their housing and food could be paid, also.  Now, I am not advocating that this is the way to spend the 26l million, but every cent could be better utilized than wasting  it the way the state is now doing. Can't our state officials find a better way to use all that money?  Are they afraid of their wealthy friends?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Roses are at peak of beauty now.

We have few rose bushes now; I especially miss the Mr. Lincoln, Queen Elizabeth and Peace roses that bloom so beautifully for many years. I do appreciate those  we have that are in full bloom now. I don't know the name of the rose shown here but the bush is at its  peak of loveliness with delicate pink roses and shiny, glossy leaves.

Anniversaries -- celebrated or not

A year ago I questioned the lack of a celebration of the 200th anniversary of Louisiana joining the union April 30, 1812.  Thinking about this I spared some thought of some other anniversaries.  For example, as a l0-year-old I attended a ceremony in 1934 that recognized Shreveport's 100th year.  At this date the only remembrance I have of that  is some supposedly Indians dancing around a fire.  Did Shreveport observe its l50th birthday in 1984?  If we did I don't recall it.

When I went to Homer in January, 1950, there was talk of some kind of observance of its founding in 1850, but nothing was done.  Did Homer mark its 150th birthday in 2000?

One anniversary I remember because I wrote an editorial celebrating it  -- the 75th birthday of the Homer newspaper the Guardian-Journal, which started in 1876. Was note made of its l00th year, I don't know.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

They won't miss me

All five living presidents and their wives will attend the dedication of the George W. Bush Library and Museum on the SMU campus in Dallas Thursday, April 25. Nancy Reagan will be unable to attend but this will be the largest group of notable officials at any event  since Ronald Reagan's funeral.

The media has been invited to attend the ceremony and tour the library and museum which, with other material, gives a chronological history of  Bush's eight years as president.The library and museum will open to the public in May and once open the facility is expected to attract 400,000 visitors a year.

Safety will be a concern with so many government officials and former officials in one place, but extra security will be provided.

Several days ago I received an invitation to attend the dedication Thursday (seriously) along with a picture -- probably a copy of a painting -- of the front of the facility.  I appreciate  the invitation but will not attend.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Congratulations to all graduates

We received our first high school graduation invitation a few days ago, inspiring me to check back to see what I was commenting on this time  last April. I was congratulating graduates but at the same time offering condolences, especially to those leaving college.  I said they faced a time of bad economy and low job creation,  Sad to say, conditions have not improved and will not get better unless our policies change to promote job growth instead of  discouraging it.

This administration loves to inflict harmful regulations on industry, give grants to ineffective "green" companies while penalizing the fossil fuels industry.  We have the capability of producing all the energy our country needs, creating many jobs and keeping billions of dollars at home instead of shipping it overseas. This country can produce and compete if only we were allowed to do so,.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Is it time to plant cotton?

Are chinaberry trees in bloom?   If so, it is time to plant cotton.  That was  generally believed when I was a kid, although I don't think we actually let that determine our time to plant.  Not much cotton is  planted in this area anymore.  I remember coming to Shreveport, passing through Bossier City and seeing nothing except cotton and alfalfa fields.

Almost everything is subject to change and nothing has changed much more than farming in North Louisiana. Going back to the 1930's Claiborne parish led the state in acres planted to cotton and in oil production. In 1950 Homer still had two cotton gins; by 1960 the parish had not a single acre planted in cotton and most farm land in pasture or pines. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Remembering George Beverly Shea

Remembering George Beverly Shea who died Tuesday, April 16, at age 104.  He was most known as the soloist for the Billy Graham Crusade.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Jessica and her good news

Jessica called me Friday night, and with excitement in her voice she said, "I've got some good news."  I answered that I could use some, and she told me she has been offered a position as intern for the next school term by Apex United Methodist Church.  The church will employ four interns, Jessica being the first chosen.
Pay will be generous for the amount of time she will be asked to devote to the position.  The job will likely go through Duke and qualify for the scholarship Duke University has promised her.

Before  that begins she will spend the summer in Birmingham, Michigan, serving a church there.  This, too, is part of her scholarship.

I find it difficult to accept that more than half of April is gone and Jessica will soon complete her first year at Duke.  She has commenced final exams and completed one in Hebrew this week.

Will Glenn Beck be alive Monday?

Hey, I'm not among the first to ask this.  Beck said he has information about a Saudi official who may be deported, and he will release that information Monday if it is not released earlier by the United States government.

Beck is known to make some controversial statements; sometimes he has been right on.  The implication here is that the government is covering up a conspiracy.  Beck thinks the government should be open with the American people and he will giver the government the opportunity to do so; otherwise, Beck will tell it all Monday.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Boston bombers -- one dead, one at large

If you were in Boston right now, wouldn't you like to have a gun?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Immigration bill is a disaster

Years ago during the time I was mayor of Homer, we located a particular manufacturing plant.  The primary owner was a compassionate man and wanted to give ex-convicts a second chance. Also, there was a tax advantage in hiring those persons.  I suggested it might not be a good business practice , and it turned out bad.  The workers stole from the company, forcing it to close.

Now, when I am thinking nothing could be worse than Obamacare, Congress comes up with an immigration bill that is replete with harmful conditions.  One, you will have trouble believing. will have the government paying the company $3,000 bonus to hire an illegal alien rather than an American.  I say this can never pass but I said that about Obamacare.

Is there no end to the harm our government seeks to do to us?

Our prayers are with you

To those families who have lost a loved one in the explosion of the Waco fertilizer plant, our hearts go out to you. May you find comfort in the love of Christ.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Obama disgraces our nation.

This is unbelievable even for Obama.  He will not send a representative to Margaret Thatcher's funeral but he will have officials representing him at  the funeral for Chavez.

Margaret Thatcher was one of the greatest leaders of the past 50 years and joined with Ronald Reagan in defeating the Soviet empire. Plus, England is our greatest friend in a world where we have very few friends on which we can rely. Obama's action in one case and lack of action in another disgrace our nation,.

The horror that has left us with fear

Words are useless in considering the bombing at the Boston Marathon which took the lives of three and inured more than 170, many of them losing a leg.  We thought we had recovered from 9/11, the feeling of helplessness, the need to watch our back as citizens and the government. Now must we again worry every time we go to a mall or a football game?

Perhaps some answers will be found.  We can only wait and see and resist the temptation to lay blame on any group before our questions are answered,.

Monday, April 15, 2013

No tax alone is fair

This is THAT day; midnight is the deadline to file federal income tax or face a penalty for late filing. Take comfort if you just can't quite make it to the post office in time; one or two days late usually (I said usually) does not draw a fine or penalty.

Today the state legislature is supposedly hearing proposals to eliminate state income tax and increase the sales tax.  No one can  dispute that Louisiana has a high tax on income.  I remember when it was not much more than an annoyance.  But to replace it by increasing the sales tax would by wrong.  For wealthy persons, the sales tax is little more than a bother while for those persons living in poverty it is a killer. A sales tax is popular for politicians because it can raise a lot of revenue and it is not opposed by the wealthy and powerful.

Persons really hit hard by income tax are unmarried workers with low wages.  Take a worker earning in the range of 30 to 35 thousand a year. He or she will pay 21 per cent of total income in federal and state income taxes and social security.  With what is left, the worker must pay apartment rent and utilities,  pay for a car and high-priced gasoline in order to get to work, health premiums and retirement.  Nothing or very little is left for food and barest necessities.  That same individual can choose not to work and get "entitlements" from the feds and live much easier and better.

That is not right; the individual should be freed of paying federal and state income taxes.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

On advice to teenagers

As I review the Sunday School lesson for tomorrow, my thoughts (as they often do) go back to my years attending McIntire Methodist Church.   (United wasn't added until 1968)   

When I left to join the Navy I was a member of a class that must have been for teenagers.  The class was taught by my very conservative aunt, the mother of nine, two or three attending this class. The literature the class was studying must have been on teen romance and dating.  I just remember my aunt ending the discussion with these words:

"It's all right for a couple to hold hands when they become engaged."  What more advice on sex does a teenager need?

Yes Washington, we voters are stupid

But not so stupid as to buy the crap you have in your budget plans.  This is especially true of  the budget released (two months late) by Obama.  He has the gall to claim Obamacare will save money when his own administration admits that it is just opposite to the facts.

The working poor and middle class would be hurt, along with the elderly, while those "entitled" would fare well.  Investors Business Daily lists six huge problems with the Obama budget:

     1) Boosts spending and deficits over the nest two years.

     2) Vastly exaggerates spending cuts.

     3) Relies  almost entirely on tax hikes.

     4) Cuts deficit less than claimed.

     5) Creates a new entitlement without a reliable means to pay for it.

     6) Boosts taxes on the middle class.

Investors Daily adds,  "If it wasn't for smoke and mirrors, Obama would have no budget plan at all."

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Surprise -- I'm negative on a Gallup survey

Completed another Gallup survey today, found it to be more interesting than most others.  I was asked to rate President Obama and Congress on their actions; I don't have to tell you how I rated them but the choices ranged from very favorably to very unfavorably.  Among other questions was how the news media treats Obama. Why does the media treat the president as if he were rock star, superb  athlete , and economic expert  rolled into one?  Why do journalists refuse to ask him serious questions concerning the condition of  our nation?

Is the news media giving too much or too little coverage to guns, sequestration, the economy or North Korea?  I was pleased to give my opinion on that as I was on TSA, and on whether the government is treating veterans too well or not well enough.

So much of the survey concerned usage of the internet.  That included social networks  like Face Book, My Space, Twitter and several I had never heard of.

I found most of the survey interesting although I recognize that it will have little influence.  Personally, it was worthwhile because I was able to say how I feel about Obama and TSA.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Happy Birthday, Carol

I remember when we first met.  I was 19 years and four months old and on the way to New Orleans to get my discharge from the navy. You were about a month old so I doubt you remember. us becoming acquainted. 

I hope this has been a great day for you.  Love, Roy

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A pleasant morning at the hospital

What an enjoyable day!  Spent hours in hospital waiting rooms and additional hours for a test.

My appointment was at  10:15 and since I had not visited the cardiologist at this  place before, I left home at 9:30,  By the time I went to the wrong place twice, I benefited from a kind nurse who led me on a long trek down the hall to the correct waiting room.  The time was now eight minutes past l0 and at 10:45 I was led to the first room I was to visit.  Another period of waiting and then a test that lasted about 35 minutes.  At 12:30  my visit was over except I am to have another test May 1.

Isn't one of the pleasures of getting older spending time with  physicians and lab technicians?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Remembering some baseball players

LSU's 1953 first final four basketball team was honored recently at a baseball game, a picture of the team  as they are 60 years later bringing  back memories. I met only two of the players -- Bob Pettit long after he had ceased playing, and Benny McArdle, who I knew very well.

Benny played baseball as well as basketball and pitched at least one summer for Homer in the Big Eight semi-pro baseball league..  If my memory is right Benny was from New York.  At least that might explain his actions and his attitude.  He was different, to say the least.

During those early '50's Big Eight baseball was very popular in  the summer, not only at Homer but at Minden, Ruston, Farmerville, Dubach, Bernice, Bastrop and Springhill.  We relied heavily on LSU players, including locals like Bud McDonald, Albert Doggett, and Ken Adkins.  From other places I remember Jerry Marchand, Jim Barton, Tommy Virgets, and McArdle.

        (Not much wrong with my long-term memory; short term is a different story.)

A salute to Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher, the only female to serve as prime minister of Great Britain, has died at age 87 following a stroke. Called the "Iron Lady" because of her firm stand against communism, she joined President Ronald Reagan in  opposing the threat of communism all over the world.  Among their triumphs was tearing down the wall that imprisoned East Germany.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

ADHD increasing --Report claims

One out of five high school boys has ADHD (attention deficit hyper disorder) according to the Center for Disease Control.  Girls fare better, with one our of seven being diagnosed with this disorder.  What is the true situation?  Is this problem increasing or is it that  just more children are being examined?   A few years ago few people had even heard of this problem. If a boy was very active, he was "just being a boy."

I feel I have some knowledge  of this problem since I had a son diagnosed as ADHD when he had problems in the first grade.  (He is now a school psychologist, helping children with all types of problems.)  He was never hyper-active but he was easily distracted and got bored with school work that was repetitive. For example, if he had 20 similar problems to solve, the might do l2, become distracted, and not finish.

I am trying to make the case that some children may be wrongly diagnosed as ADHD, and each child may need to be treated differently to help him cope. Parents and teacher may become frustrated in dealing with this problem but they should know that with their understanding and help the child will overcome the disorder.

Friday, April 5, 2013

You would be bankrupt

This is not original with me I am not capable of doing the math.  It puts the nation's situation in a way we can understand how dangerous for us it is.

Here's what the government budget looks like,  If you turn  it into a household budget by subtracting eight zeros.

       * Annual family income, $21,700

       * Money the family spent, $38,300

       * New debt on the credit card, $16,500

       * Outstanding balance on the credit card, $142,710

       * Total budget cuts so far, $38.50

Can you see anything but bankruptcy ahead?   Of course, the government can print paper money, which robs everyone.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

I've got Irritable robbery syndrome

Yes, the deadline to  file federal income tax is a few days away and I am stressed mentally, emotionally, and physically.  When a person reaches an advanced age, he should be excused from dealing with the IRS and its complications.  Maybe all we earn from  every source should just go directly to the government which would then dole out what the feds want us to have.  Wait, is  not that what Obama is striving for?

Filing returns early is not an option for many; there's always one or two items of tax information that arrive only a few days before April 15.  It may be a report on as little s 48 cents earned in interest but it has to be included.

I have been considering joining that group who carry a paper sack of reports of wages, interest and dividends earned, losses, etc, dump it all on the desk of a tax professional and say," Here, get me some money back like you promise in your ads."

          (Triumph! Federal and state returns filed and accepted!)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A dot away from perfection

How I was persuaded to take on the position of proof reader of the Daily Reville and how many months I did that thankless job, I don't remember.  I can recall  at times working late at night and going our for breakfast in the early morning.  I held other positions on the paper, such as staff writer and news editor that sometimes earned praise and recognition, but the lowly job of proof reader required more dedication than any of them.

While the proof reader was responsible to find and correct typographical errors, I didn't limit myself and often corrected grammar and spelling in news articles that the news editor had missed.  This resulted in me putting in more hours with the newspaper than anyone else.

As I said, I don't remember much about this experience but I have a very clear memory of what Frank Price, faculty adviser to the newspaper, said after checking the first paper I had proof read.  He could find only a 10-point period where it should have been 8-point.  Understand, he was reading the newspaper while I had read galley proofs.

Price jokingly asked, "Didn't that wrong font  period leap off the page at you?"  I responded, "No, it lay there quietly for me."

Monday, April 1, 2013

One ship's first day at Okinawa

Easter morning April 1, 1945.  The USS Pickens, APA 190, was second in line behiind the USS Hinsdale, APA 120, in a column of transports carrying the 2nd Marine Division, one of 2,000 vessels approaching Okinawa. General Quarters had been called at 5 a.m. as had been done daily  since leaving Saipan a few days earlier. The Japanese liked to launch suicide attacks  out of the sun at dawn. In the radar room we were watching the screens intently as a plane detected 20 miles away would arrive in 200 seconds.

Sudden;ly, hell was unleashed. Kamikaze  planes attacked like flies on jam. At around 5:50 a plane hit the Hinsdale near the water line, exploding and creating several holes.  Another plane headed for us but failed to clear the mast of an LST, fell to the deck and set off several explosions of ammunition.

The Pickens put boats in the water and rescued survivors of the Hinsdale and LST's 724 and 884.

That Easter Sunday was  the beginning of one of the largest sea-land battles in history.  Casualties were very high, 72,000 for the Allies, more than 100,000  for the Japanese, and tens of thousands of natives.  The proven effectiveness of suicide plane attacks influenced President Truman to launch the atom bomb.