Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking back at 2013.

Ready or not this year of 2013 will end at midnight and you can decide for your self whether it has been bad or good (Santa has made his decision and retired for a year.) I looked at last December on my blog and could not find one thing that has improved.

We have a sick economy with high unemployment, more money going in welfare pay and increasing numbers drawing food stamps, companies being forced to lay off workers -- last year all over again.

In national affairs, Benghazi is still remembered ; the Mideast is in flames; we made a cowardly deal with Iran-- where is there improvement?

On the homefront Obamacare dominates the news.  What will it do to us?   That's for the new year to say.    

First -- Don't fall

That's the cardinal rule for the elderly (I hate that word.)  I admonish myself when I get up to avoid falling, but Monday I tripped and fell hard on my right knee.  I had to call for help to get up again.  This was  my first fall in more than a year when I fell and injured my left shoulder.

Seriousness of a fall depends upon the severity of the resulting injury, if any.  A friend was visiting a relative and had arrived at the front door when he stepped on a piece of concrete and fell hard.  He suffered a lot of pain and later found that he had broken his neck.  He is recovering but he has had a rough time.

The fall that breaks a hip is the one we mature people fear the most; it seems to lead to death often although miracles of treatment are now possible.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

A chocolate pie memory

It started with thoughts of chocolate pie fresh from the oven  topped with vanilla ice cream and somehow went to Homer and its troubles.  Or maybe it was the other way  -- first came pleasant memories of Homer, which included chocolate pie.

There was a time when after a Homer High basketball game at home, many of us would head to the Purple Cow for a hamburger.  I can remember entering the restaurant to pleasant aromas and see fresh baked pies cooling in a window.    I asked for pie and Mrs. Broughton refused -- "I'm not cutting a pie while it is still hot.  You can wait until they cool."

After some discussion it was "I'm not cutting the pie while it is still hot.  If you want the pie, buy the whole pie." So we would and did.  On my share was vanilla ice cream.

A pleasant memory, one of many I have of Homer.

We"ll survive (Grandkids leave)

Wow; it's quiet this afternoon. Something's missing.  The grand kids, Lily and Oliver, left this morning to visit other relatives before  returning to North Carolina. We have enjoyed they and parents, Mark and Julie, spending the Christmas holidays with us.  They also  got to spend time with their cousins Tia and Kyle.

Daughter Jessica will be with us a few more days before returning to continue her education at Duke Seminary.  She received her grades for the semester -- all A's.  (Please - I'm not boasting.)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

We need jobs, not job benefits

Drawing job benefits longer than six months becomes welfare.  Too many people are happy drawing benefits instead of working.   However, the bigger problem is the lack of available jobs for workers without skills for the jobs that exist..  This country has let itself become non-competitive in many types of manufacturing, and that, along with agriculture and mining, is the route to create jobs.

Obama's policies were wrong from the beginning.  His way is to over-regulate private industry which if left alone would create jobs>  Obama would have government provide jobs. That will only lead to more debt and fewer good jobs.

Let me give one example.  The oil and gas industry is responsible for 9.8 million jobs.  Doubling production would  make us self-sufficient in  energy,save 500 billion dollars that goes overseas,  and create millions of jobs.  Obama wants to punish the fossil fuels industry but instead give money to so-called green energy.

Friday, December 27, 2013

An early look back

Within a few days self-styled experts will tell us what went right and what was badly wrong during this year coming to a close.  Beyond that, we will  be given predictions of what we can expect, good and bad, in the coming year.

We do not have to wait for the experts; we have our own opinions; we've lived the year, too.

People are most concerned about domestic matters as they hit close to home, but foreign affairs may affect  us more than we are aware.  Our cowardly sell-out to Iran leaves us helpless as this nation continues to advance nuclear power.  The Mideast is a tinderbox that could explode at any time. Christians are being murdered by the dozens and the United States, supposedly a Christian nation, does nothing.

Obamacare will be the top domestic concern as it was this past year.  High costs of health care premiums will be a financial blow to millions, stirring anger.  The worst blow  Obamacare will deliver will be to the economy and the standard of living for many Americans.   The United States is becoming a nation of unemployed and  part-time workers.  

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Tis the day after Christmas

It's the day after Christmas; for many it's the most depressing day of the year.  New toys have lost their newness, some even broken,  and,  worst of all,  Christmas is 364 days away, but school vacation will be over in a few days.

Adults are thinking "I spent too much," and dreading  the day when the mail brings bills from stores and  credit card companies.   Cheer up, New Year's is coming; there's time for one more party.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

Medicine should be honest and efficient.

It is difficult to find something so evil that  nothing good can come from it. Obamacare comes close to being that bad.  However, if it coerces the medical industry to become more efficient and more honest, that's a good thing.

I am not promising that will happen, but on this day, the deadline for many to sign up with Obamacare, I want to see something good.  I bet many of you  are like me, being ordered to take expensive lab work that you knew was unneeded.  I have even had a doctor admit he was having tests done to "stick it to the insurance company."  Medical care costs more than it should. 

(The deadline to sign up for a health policy was quietly extended one day, through Christmas Eve.)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Happiest time of the year? Bah, humbug!

This is supposed to be the happiest time of the year.  Of course,  we know people have problems that ruin their enjoyment; hopefully that is temporary, but some bad things must be faced year after year at this time. I  am talking about taxes -- primarily city and parish (county).  I just wrote three checks, bleeding each time I touched the pen. After cussing and in general expressing displeasure, I decided I will fret about it no more until next December.

Millions have something more vital to their welfare to worry about; Monday is the deadline to obtain a health policy to have coverage January l. Many do not understand what is at stake and what to do about it. If they had read over 2,000 pages of the Obamacare law, they would understand it is well as Obama himself -- not at all.  Obama has made 16 changes, none of which he has constitutional authority to do. Eventually, we will recover, I have to hope.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Obama will make elderly hurt the most

New taxes, 20 of them, will go into effect January 1, just one more way Obamacare will cut the earnings for most everyone, especially the middle class.  Some taxes will be easily identified; others will be passed to the consumer.

We have learned that many people are forced off their health plan and in some instances will pay higher premium for less benefits.  The economy is hurting from Obamacare, but we've yet to learn how much damage will do to an already sick economy.

But probably the worst effect of the law will be to the elderly. If you need a hip or knee surgery, try to schedule it before January or suffer it.  Obamacare can stop treatment for the elderly; that is written into the law, and there seems to be no way out of this nightmare as long as Obama is running it.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


O it's Tommy this, and Tommy that, and "Tommy go away,"

But it's "Thank you Mister Atkins" when the band begins to play

Six billion dollars.  Only six billion dollars --  chicken feed the way they spend and waste and corrupt in Washington.  That is the amount that the cost of living for retired veterans is to be taken out of the budget. Before it is all over that six billion is going to feel like six trillion around the necks of congressmen who vote  for it.

Now, I am in favor of less spending, something most people say they share.  And I know that the increasing obligations to retirees threaten state and local governments.  But to single out veterans, including some whose wounds will handicap them all their lives.  Bad decision.

     For it's Tommy this an' Tommy that an' "Tommy wait outside,"
     But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper 's on the tide.
     The troopship's on the tide, my boys; the troopship's on the tide.
      O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Failure follows Obama to Hawaii

Glad to hear it.  President Obama is headed for 17 days of vacation in Hawaii.  At least he will be out of the Continental United States, but I would prefer he vacation in Somalia. 

The president will be able to forget his foreign policy screw-ups, his capitulation to Iran; arming rebels in the Mideast who torture and kill Christians in Syria;  letting China and Russia take advantage of perceived Obama weaknesses.

He doesn't have to worry about the failure of his economic policy and the disaster of his legacy, Obamacare,

Did anyone who developed the Obamacare mess, including those who voted to inflict it on us, ever give any thought to this fact -- millions of people never contact the internet?

Monday, December 16, 2013

A call for real Christmas music

This has not been a exciting Christmas season so far.  I decided to take a glance at December of last year and found I had posted 38 times.  I saw that I had one complaint that I have already  maid this year -- the lack of real Christmas music at church.

Whose spirits rise when your Christmas carol is "In the bleak mid-winter?"   I want to feel happy in church and I do when we sing "Joy to the World."  If we aren't going to sing the carols we all love,  we do better singing "Jeremiah was a bull frog."

I could find much to complain about but this isn't the time for it.  I will say I would like to see the old  Christmas stories on television.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Silent Night (with lyrics)

Jessica's arrival means the season has begun

Jessica arrives tonight; her plane is scheduled to land about 9:30.  She completed her finals, which for some classes was to submit a paper.  It is hard to realize  that she has now completed half of the three years required to complete her religious studies.

I am taking it easy this season.  I've already skipped two events at the church and Wednesday night all members of the family except me attended "Songs of the Season,: a Christmas music presentation. I had looked forward to attending but was glad I skipped it because it required four hours.  I did attend Jen's office party Thursday, but that only involved having dinner. The firm now has 54 people.  The first year it totaled four, including the owners.

Josh added to his Christmas lights  at his home in Logansport.  I forgot that I am scheduled to be on hand at his open house Saturday night. The lights timed with music were outstanding and very much enjoyed by people driving by last year.  Many parked to listen to the music and view the lights.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

About Christmas cards

I'm having a difficult time getting around to addressing Christmas cards.  I've had cards for weeks but I just can't sign, address and mail them.  What can   I  blame it on?  Laziness,  problem using my hand?  Or is it  I just can't get the Christmas spirit.

Jen spent two days, from early morning to late at night, shopping.  She acquired a wagon load of gifts, some of which were to children of people in prison, others to orphans, to Scouts, etc., but a huge pile surrounds the Christmas tree, ready for  family to open them Christmas day. The exchange of gifts never excites me. I only enjoy giving gifts if they are to people in need and who cannot answer in kind.

Now, let me get to addressing cards.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Global warming? Coldest temperature ever recorded

Is it cold enough for Gore, Obama and the EPA?

Billions have been spent and more billions wasted because some government officials   have insisted that we must change our lives to avoid "man made global warming," despite evidence to the contrary.  The truth is that man is a minor player in influencing the weather.

The lowest temperature ever recorded, 135.8,  was reached in August 2010 in East Antiartica. A temperature of 135.3 was recorded in July last year.

"Man-made warming" has been discredited, but at Obama's direction the EPA has unlawfully made regulations that have handicapped industry and cost not only money but millions of jobs.  It appears that the administration wants to destroy jobs.  When Congress refused to adopt harmful regulations, Obama directed the EPA to push them anyway.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

"a day that will live in infamy"

I was in the backyard starting my evening chores when we heard of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  At school the next day, we listened on the radio as President Roosevelt addressed a joint Congress which declared war on Japan.  I was 15 and a junior in school on December 7, 1941.  How many of you have a memory of that day?

The first sentence of Roosevelt's speech was as follows:

"Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 --a date that will live in infamy--the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan."

Later in his address he said -- "With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph, so help me God."

Minutes later Congress declared war with only one dissenting vote.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

When to send Christmas cards

We received our first Christmas cards of this year a few days ago.  Some people send cards early and enjoy the feeling of  "at least one job is done."  Others wait and wait and then hope the cards they mailed will get to their destinations by Christmas Eve. 

I began to consider if there was a proper time to send cards; I looked and found there is such a thing as "Christmas card ethics."  According to this, cards should not be mailed earlier than Thanksgiving; earliest is one week after Thanksgiving.

If you are sending cards to co-workers, send the card to their home address.  Always put your own address on the envelope of all cards you send.  That helps the person who has misplaced her card list.

I found several more items of advice.  One that surprised me was that we should send the card that meets with the attitude of the recipient.  Some people send and prefer true Christmas cards, with words and pictures of a religious nature.  Others may not like religious cards, preferring cards with a winter holiday theme.

I bet you are like me; you didn't know there was ethics for sending Christmas cards.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Obamacare looks worse than eveer

"All hell will break loose when employers dump their hospital plans," one panelist said Sunday as we learned more and more of the dangers Obamacare will do to our medical care. "If you like your health plan you can keep it," a vicious lie but worst things could await us.

"If you like your doctor, you can keep him," may be more hurtful than the increased cost under Obamacare.
It seems that many more people will be dumped into plans similar to medicare and medicaid.  Doctors will be paid less, which will be  almost certain to force some doctors to limit the number of patients in those plans.  At present it is often difficult to find a doctor who will accept medicare. It happened to me several years ago.  Now part of Obamacare is based on saving money by paying doctors less for medicare patients.

How tough it is going to be to pay double for your health plan and be unable to find a doctor who will accept it.  We've seen nothing yet; wait until employers decide it's better to pay a fine than Obamacare.