Tag Archives: Democrats

SHUT UP!

This column supports no political party, political philosophy
or the opinions of any one else but the author.

I think I’ve finally figured it out…I’m not real sure, but it makes sense to me. Everyone just needs to shut up and listen for a few minutes, days, weeks…

Graphics - MDC - Bull Horn

There are a lot of people who have something to say and aren’t really saying anything of value. They are passing along personal opinions and beliefs, and loads of misinformation. And, unfortunately, we have become a nation of people who have trouble discerning the truth from misinformation.

For example, the Obama administration has been saying all along that if you have health coverage that you like, just keep it. But oppositioners are stating that everyone will have to give up what health care they have and join the government health care program or else.

Republicans on the other hand have been complaining, and rightly so, that they have been pushed aside in the development of a health care program that will benefit everyone, yet the Democrats have said they invited them and no one showed up.

Then we have these blow-hard pundits like Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and others telling us how to think and that we should follow what they say because, by God, they’re right and everyone is wrong. They talk to their audience like they’re children who don’t have a lick of sense, and are too stupid to know what’s going on. Don’t you get it folks? The way these guys stay on the air and make big bucks (bigger than you will probably ever make) is being controversial in order to get high ratings that attract advertisers with deep pockets. Even Bill O’Reilly has admitted in David Letterman’s show that it’s all an act.

No one thinks or speaks for me except me. A friend, author Elfreda Pretorius, calls the people who blindly follow along with what others think and believe, sheeple.

I am basically no smarter, and I don’t feel like I’m better than anyone else, but if we don’t get a few million more independent thinkers in this country, the masses, of all sides, will be led to the slaughter, and that’s just what the leaders and pundits want, so they can say, “See, I told you this would happen, but you didn’t listen to me.” The need for them to be right is more important to them than what is right for the people and the country.

Every time you open your mouth to speak you represent yourself on a lot of levels. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying.”

Graphics - MDC - Ear

I’m reminded by the song lyrics: “Everybody’s talking at me, but I don’t hear the words they’re say,” by Harry Nilsson.

Why don’t we all just shut up for a little while and let the leaders and the pundits talk themselves out, put their feet into and try to get them out of their mouth, then maybe when all the dust has settled, then we can get back to work on what’s really important?

If you take pride in your work...sign it! - © 2009, Ric Morgan and SimpleWords Communications. All rights reserved.

If you take pride in your work...sign it! - © 2009, Ric Morgan and SimpleWords Communications. All rights reserved.

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Cheers and Jeers

Jeers

Graphics - MDC - Credit Cards

The Greed Gods are alive and creating chaos that makes a whole lot of sense to their pockets, but very little sense to the average person. I am sure there is not one person reading this column who doesn’t have at least one credit card or credit account of some sort, and the majority probably has some outstanding balance on it. With the economic uncertainty the banks and credit card issuers are taking advantage of us once again in the face of changes in the credit laws. And they are making sure they get it all in place before the laws completely go into affect. Yesterday was the deadline for the first phase, and the next one comes up in February or March. I received a letter yesterday, August 20th, dated August 7th, several days before the first deadline. They wanted to make sure they got it printed and in the mail early enough. This letter was from CIT Bank, the company that runs the credit program for Dell Computers. I have had a low interest rate for years and have, from time-to-time, made a purchase using the account. Currently I don’t owe anything. But this letter stated that on October 1st, the interest rate was going from 8.8% to a whopping 27.99%. Now this makes me want to just run out and buy a new computer and create an open balance so I pay them nearly 30% interest. NOT! I am sure CIT does this on a contract basis for Dell, but the people there can’t be too happy with it because this definitely will hurt already dragging sales in computers. With the economy in so much trouble, I am sure defaults on credit accounts are probably higher. But a 318% increase is a bit steep. I can see going from 8.8% to maybe 12%. That would still encourage people to want to buy using these credit accounts, but the bank is going to hurt Dell. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. A lot of people have gone through similar situations who have “perfect” credit. The one credit card I have went from 9% to 17.4%, but I can’t close the account and pay it off right now, so I am stuck. Profit is GREAT! But greed…not so much!

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© Disney

© Disney

Chicken Littleism is running rampant through America. Republicans, Democrats, Conservatives, Liberals, and every one in-between is clamoring for attention and not listening to anyone. And it’s not just health-care. It’s a whole lot of things. But let’s stick with the health-care issue. This is all a case of my God is better than your God, but it’s really my politics is better than yours, and yours sucks. A lot of people are using the ideas, concepts, thoughts and words of others to make their point without really knowing the facts. And it’s not just one side or the other; everyone is doing it. How can you form an opinion of your own when you either don’t know or have the facts? Thoughtful people listen to all sides, they get the facts, and then they make decisions they feel is right for them and not those of other people. To add to the confusion there is not just one health-care bill before Congress but three, so there hasn’t even been a compromise package developed to work from. There are things in one that isn’t in the other two. This is why Congress has Conference Committees, a place where differences are worked out on both sides and even between the two representative bodies of the institution. It is hoped that working together to find compromise, and come up with something that will get the most support. Both houses of Congress must eventually pass the identical legislation for the bill to become law. None of the health-care bills have been passed or gone to a Conference Committee, so basically people are arguing about something that doesn’t even exist yet. The snake-oil salesmen are selling fear, and strangely enough the people are buying it. The biggest cause is the sound-bites television and radio love so much to create controversy. Not being at one of the town hall meetings and hearing everything someone says, for all I or anyone else knows, the blurb may have been taken out of context. Do this first, get the facts and study them for yourself. Until you have the facts to support your argument, then your side of the debate is groundless. Stop listening to the soothsayers on any side and make your own decisions. It may be that once you have all the information you may change sides. But do yourself a favor and get the facts. Know what you are talking about and add to your credibility in the fight.

Cheers

Even though the argument is fierce surrounding health-care, I applaud the American people for finally getting passionate enough about something to go out and voice their opinions (so long as they are based on fact) and express their beliefs. For so many years Americans have seemed so complacent, but now they are stepping up. The problem is this exercise in the Right to Assembly is so divisive that it is making the chasm bigger in American politics, but perhaps we will learn from this as well, and find ways to compromise and come together once again.

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I have never been a huge fan of the Kennedy family. I was only 11 when John Kennedy was elected President, and I could see empire building then. The Bush family succeeded at that where the Kennedy’s failed at it. And I have never been too comfortable or sure about Ted Kennedy. But this week I am sending out a cheer to him for his decision to encourage those in power in Massachusetts to begin the process of succession for him now, rather than wait until he is either too ill to continue serving in the Senate or dies from his brain cancer. Right now Sen. Kennedy is missing more days of sessions than he is able to attend. So having the courage to say that the politicos and people of Massachusetts need to prepare now is a wise decision on his part.

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A cheer goes out the U.S. Postal Service for creating a set of stamps called TV Early Memories that helps us remember fondly our favorite stars and performers from the early days of television like Lucille Ball, Milton Berle, Groucho, Lassie, Howdy Doody, Phil Silvers, Ed Sullivan and many others. The set is available as a whole sheet and is in limited distribution, but more than 50% of the sales are expected to go as collectibles. That’s a good idea considering the service is $7 billion in debt. You can get the sheet at your local post office (hurry before they run out), or purchase it online.

Graphics - MDC - TV Stamps

If you take pride in your work...sign it! - © 2009, Ric Morgan and SimpleWords Communications. All rights reserved.

If you take pride in your work...sign it! - © 2009, Ric Morgan and SimpleWords Communications. All rights reserved.

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Cheers and Jeers

Jeers

In the last Cheers and Jeers, I quoted Jesse Jackson who said that he hopes there is a special place in Hell for the four people who had desecrated graves in a Chicago-area cemetery to make $300,000 in a scheme to resell the gravesites. Well, Hell is going to be a busier-than-usual place. Seven additional spaces are needed for the men from the panhandle of Florida who killed Byrd and Melanie Billings in a home invasion robbery.

Byrd and Melanie Billings

Byrd and Melanie Billings

According to local police chief, David Morgan, the men had been planning and practicing for a month prior to committing the crime. There is no doubt the men could have entered the house, tied-up the couple, and taken the safe they stole, without killing the couple in their sleep. The Billings were very special people who had adopted 12 special-needs children, some with disabilities and others who have had trouble with the law. They also had four natural children, two each from previous marriages. There aren’t very many people who would be willing to adopt that many children with special-needs, not even one. So while their death is senseless anyway, it is compounded by their devotion to these children. And on top of all of this, three of the children saw the men, so how scarred are they by this event. As a rule, children with special-needs are sensitive in nature, so there is no telling how much of an impact this may have on them, and they may not be able to communicate that. Generally, I’m a pretty calm, rational man, but I can’t express in words what I feel for these men, otherwise I might get arrested myself for vulgarity. But I don’t think I’m alone. The impact from this is not just local, but national in scope. I will say this, I’m not too sure Hell isn’t too good for these men. As for me I am deeply touched by this event. (See Cheers below)

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There are some things that change that should for reasons stay the same. On Thursday the Sears Tower in Chicago was renamed the Willis Tower. UGH! Even though Sears hasn’t occupied any of the space in the building since the 1990s the building has been known to the World as Sears Tower for the last 36 years.

Graphics - MDC - Willis Tower Name

Photo by Business Wire

The City of Gatlinburg had something similar happen. One of the main thoroughfares in town is called Airport Road, even though there is no airport located on it. People were calling hotels on Airport Road to make reservations but deciding not to stay because they didn’t want the noise of being near an airport. Hoteliers would explain that it was the name of the street and there is no airport nearby. There were complaints made to the City Commission, so the name was changed to Historic Nature Trail. Local businesses were forced to change their addresses, but locals and long-time tourists still called it Airport Road. The name Historic Nature Trail didn’t last long, but the City Commission instead of reverting back to the old name renamed it once again to Historic Nature Trail/Airport Road. Hmmmmm…

It is very likely that very few people will call the Chicago skyscraper Willis Tower. I will always know it as Sears Tower and I am sure millions of others will too. Let’s make a law…once named…named forever.

In-Betweens

Will America ever be able to resolve the health care issue? Based on the program promoted by the Obama administration the cost would be over $1 trillion over ten years. Allegedly, the program would cover 95% or more of the public. Currently 50 million people lack coverage, and under the offered coverage, 15 to 20 million would still lack coverage at the end of the decade. Plans being worked on by Congress would subsidize fewer moderate-income families, increase Medicaid costs to the states, and prevent workers from leaving their employer-provided plans unless they leave the company.

While proponents of government health care programs point to Canada and the UK as how well a system like this works, there are inevitably horror stories about negligence and long waits for care. There are still too many details to be worked out including funding options, and who gets care and how.

One question that arises in my mind that is not being addressed, would one economic level take advantage of the program, at the expense of others? Are there alternative ideas and options yet undiscovered that would find a more balanced way of doing it? While the President wants votes passed in Congress before their August recess, I think this is one time we need to slow down, look at different plans and options before we make a huge costly mistake that will wind up being nothing more than a boondoggle. Mr. Obama, I agree this is a pressing issue, but what difference would a couple of months make in order to find a compromise that will work better and more efficiently for not just the government, but the people as well.

Cheers

A big cheer goes out to the family members of the Byrd and Melanie Billings for taking in the 12 special-needs children, and not throwing them back into the system where they came from. Adopting any child is one challenge, but caring for children with special-needs is quite another. I am sure the children have been and probably will continue to be, split up amongst various family members. And I am almost certain these people know how much these kids need to see each other frequently, because for them, sense of family is very real. God bless each and every one of these people and families. I am sure there will be a special place in Heaven for all of them. A trust fund has been set up, and donations are being sought, to help with the needs of the children.

Florida Couple Slain

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Graphics - MDC - Salvation Army Red Kettle And BellNo you’re not dreaming. Depending on where you live, those are bells you hear, Christmas bells. Due the state of the economy the Salvation Army has hundreds of employees and thousands of volunteers out on the street across America with the red kettles and the bells trying to raise money to help those in need. Aid is in great demand, greater than it has been for decades. The Salvation Army proudly states, and rightfully so, that 81 cents of every dollar raised goes to help those who need it the most. That is an outstanding record. The Better Business Bureau states that a charity is worthy of consideration for donations if the nonprofit uses 64% or more of their receipts for programs.Graphics - MDC - Salvation Army Logo

At 81% the Salvation Army has got to be near the top of the list of worthy charities. Forget going out to dinner this week and write a check for the amount you would spend to the Salvation Army. Don’t forget to send the amount of the tip as well.

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Like Sen. Graham (R-NC) said the first day of the confirmation hearings, if Judge Sonja Sotomayor doesn’t have a meltdown, she more than likely will become the next Justice of the Supreme Court. At first I wasn’t too sure about her, but after reading about her record, watching on television how well she has handled the confirmation committee, and seeing her coolness, and directness, I feel she would make a good Justice. However, just as the Democrats did with John Roberts, the Republicans will cast a revenge vote just to get back. To me that’s not what politics should be about. It has become a silly game of tit-for-tat, rather than casting votes that are in the best interest of the public. Oh, well…

© 2009, Ric Morgan and SimpleWords Communications. All rights reserved.

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