Monday, December 21, 2009
Thursday, November 05, 2009
I've heard about my friend's daughter who has a high profile job that her college degree prepared her for: she earns only a little above minimum wage. She has to look at this job as a stepping stone to a bigger and better position elsewhere.
I've observed what has happened to my son in his young work life. He worked at an entry level position for a company where he had interned. The pay was decent and there were benefits, but they broke promises to him about helping him financially to get classes so that he could take on more responsibility.
Then he got a "management" position at a large Big Box Store (no, not Wal-mart.) The pay was poor, considering that he had to have a specific college degree to get that job, and if you wanted benefits, you had to pay for them, which is hard to do when your pay is way less than it costs to attend college for a year. BTW, the owner of this business is a billionaire. But at least my son had some income, even it hardly covered his expenses.
Next he got some pick up work involving scraping and painting apartments. The pay had no tax subtracted from the gross amounts and the apartment owner had no building permits. There were no provisions for safety of the workers. And, oh yes, these apartments are in one of the most upscale areas of the city where many buildings are owned by this one man. But at least my son had a job. For two months.
My son moved to another part of the US where many people work for minimum wage, although that is higher than it is here. He got a job in a Big Italian Restaurant Chain, which pays whatever the lowest legal wage is, depending on which state they are in. Where he is, they pay $2.13/hour because there are tips. Yes, that is correct, I verified this on that state's website. The people tip 10% if the waiter is lucky. That wage is down more than $1/hour compared to two years ago. In this state, minimum wage in $6.25/ hour or $5.25/ hour, depending on the size of the company. How is it that the same restaurant chain can pay $4/hour less for the same work, just because the building is in another state? Oh, that's right, don't question, just be glad he has a job.
Well, Son was also applying elsewhere, and one place called him back for three additional interviews, but would not tell him what the salary would be. Then he was offered the job. It was a job with a good company and included benefits, but the salary offered was surprisingly low, considering that this is a lower management position. After thinking it over, my son decided he could probably do better as a waiter, so he said no because of salary reasons. Well, surprise! The manager called him back and offered him the position at a salary of 25% higher. Now I am glad that my son has a job.
During this recession I've come to the conclusion that the owners of companies, who may be making less than before, but who aren't starving, use the economic climate to get people to think, "At least I have a job." Wages are kept low and the wealthy owners can keep their accustomed life style.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Helen again is her sharp witted opinionated self. On 24 hour news: " News as it is happening is not news. It’s an observation without much thought. " And that's one of the mild opinions. See the blog in which Helen records her wry comments about the political scene. Click on Margaret and Helen: Margaret and Helen
Sunday, October 25, 2009
read about it here.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
In health care, we improve outcomes by working as an integrated team as well as through respectful and constructive competition. This never involves spreading lies about our colleagues' opinions or motivations. We are able to respectfully disagree, compromise and work toward the best interests of our patients, regardless of personal and philosophical differences.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
The Medical Quack: UnitedHealthCare Profits Doubled Compared to Same Quarter Last Year
The Medical Quack: WellPoint (Blue Cross) and Aetna Profits Sink – UnitedHealthCare Profits Doubled
3rd UPDATE: UnitedHealth 2Q Profit Doubles, Membership Declines - WSJ.com
UnitedHealth Group Q2 Profit Jumps 155% (UNH)-07/21/2009
UnitedHealth Posts 15% Profit Increase and Raises Its Full-Year Forecast - New York Times
United Healthcare Denies Coverage to Kids, Reaps Profit | NowPublic News Coverage
UnitedHealth profit soars 155% | StarTribune.com
How The Profit-Hungry "Medical-Industrial Complex" Hurts Health Care (VIDEO)
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Just a taste of this:
Folks, let me tell you something about healthcare and health insurance. There are a couple of ways to make a buck in the game. One way is to systematically deny coverage to anyone with a propensity to get sick as evidenced by past occurrences. The other way is to spread the risk over the largest population possible effectively minimizing the impact of the most risky. But there is one way for sure to lose a buck – keep increasing the number of people who can’t pay their bill. It’s really quite simple. A public option means insurance companies will report profits using language like “impressive” and “satisfactory” rather than “awesome” and ”a buttload of moolah!”
Supposedly the CEO of the health insurance company that I use has a several million dollar/year salary, plus $95 million in stock options. But I don't even know what stock options are, so what does that mean to me? But it must be legal, because the attorney general of my state won a lawsuit against this company and already got them to clean up their act. How many people who get their applications rejected for pre-existing conditions would that cover?
And talk about pre-existing conditions.... a good friend's child had strep throat, about a year after switching insurance companies, due to a change of employment. Well, guess what? The child had had strep throat in the past, so they declared it a pre-existing condition and rejected the claim. Strep throat, dear claims examiner, is not a chronic condition normally, so it really can't be a pre-existing condition in the general meaning of that terminology.
My friend's employer (major health care delivery organization, meaning clinics and hospitals) deleted her department. She was hired by an independent small company. She doesn't earn health insurance there, so she is paying for COBRA coverage, meaning, paying independently for her previous insurance. She can't afford to let it go, given that she really does have a pre-existing condition, namely, two cancers that were cured. The premiums she pays now are HALF of her entire SALARY. She is a health care professional, so her pay isn't peanuts. What to do? Her husband may take on a part time job just to pay for the insurance.
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
There are so many news shows on TV, 24/7, plus the network news show, plus the local news shows that, I believe, there are a lot of reporters who aren’t quite up to what I would consider a minimum professional level.
On one of the morning shows, the renowned anchor constantly asked a “fact filled” question, putting words into the mouth of the subject, leading him in a preconceived direction rather than letting him speak.
On another network, the anchor, who I really like personally, asks questions that solicit emotional answers, but the anchor shows his own bias by making sympathetic remarks to the subject at the end of the interview. These remarks are not out of line on a human level, but don’t fit any kind of mold where the reporter is trying to be unbiased.
On the 24/7 news networks, the so-called news shows have “personalities” who go back and forth across the line between giving the news and commentating on the news. I don’t mind those who clearly state their biases and editorialize overtly; that’s fair to the viewers. But on some of the shows, the news people don’t draw the line. I don’t think they see the line. I always wonder if these people, who come out so clearly on one side or the other, are speaking for themselves, or if they are speaking for the moneyed people who own the network. I wonder how much independent research they do before giving their pronouncements.
Monday, September 07, 2009
Thursday, September 03, 2009
- Evan Esar
- Henry Adams
- H. P. Lovecraft
These quote were the quotes of the day on my Google page.
Meanwhile, I went to my local pharmacy yesterday to pick up my normal prescriptions, which should include the supplement mentioned above. All well and good, until I realized that I was being given TWO additional bottles of this prescriptions. Fortunately, I knew better than to buy this and use it.
I know what happened. The admitting nurse at the consultant clinic had entered my prescriptions into the computer and inadvertently entered that this was a new prescription. The computer automatically, with no human oversight, sent the prescription to my pharmacy. To my dismay, there also seems to have been no human oversight in getting the "schedulers" at that clinic to call me to schedule future appointments and tests. Let's just say: Grrrrrr.
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
When the list of the causes that Ted Kennedy supported, worked for, fought for, and even took risks for came on the TV screen today, I said to myself, "Well, of course." By that I meant, well of course a person would be against the war; well of course, a person would want to help people with disabilities; of course, a person would work against apartheid. The list was quite long.
So many of these things that Kennedy promoted, and worked for, are things that people now take for granted. Hindsight is wonderful; it lets us forget that some things were just not there for certain groups at one time. We forget that some people, not just senators, went out on a limb for certain causes, even suffering for a cause. We get to take good things for granted. There may also be things that I disagree with or ideas that are good, but the implementation is problematic. But all in all, Kennedy worked to make life better for many people.
About the time that Reagan was president, Ted Kennedy was promoting a single payer health care system. I was adamantly against this. I had selfish reasons. With the benefit of age, I can see now how strained out current health care PAYMENT system is, and how close so many of us are to losing our insurance, if we even have any. And I see how some people have to pay a lot for insurance because they are not in a group or in a small group, while others practically have it for nothing. Some employers are generous; my son worked for a billionaire's large company where the $8.00/hour employees could buy their insurance if they chose to (yeah right.)
I sincerely hope that we can honor the memory of Ted Kennedy by getting a new system that treats people fairly and does away with the ridiculously complicated insurance claim system that clinics now have to deal with. Good health care needs to be available to everyone. A simplified health care PAYMENT system should be a reasonable goal.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
I got a follow-up email saying that my email was forwarded to a department head. This was at 8:00 am. At 11:15 am, exactly one week from my initial appointment, I finally did get a call from a scheduler. I scheduled my appointment, then I asked her why she had called. She said her supervisor told her to call. I told her the whole story, so that she could understand the patient's point of view. I thought she was genuinely empathetic and understanding. She said she will personally follow up on some details.
But when I wrote that email, I thought to myself, I will just document everything and if they don't exhibit better customer relations, I'll send the info to the CEO. Head will roll.
BTW, I am always extremely complimentary when I write if there are positive aspects of a situation. I find I get better results that way.
Friday, August 21, 2009
I made a comment, not about the issues voted upon, but about the idea that how could anybody possibly know God's mind. And isn't it just possible that we could interpret it as the convention center being spared? And what happens when that pastor's parishioners have storm damage, how does he counsel them? Pastors who claim to understand the mind and intent of God are an irritation to me.
Commenters were all over the place in their views, praising the pastor, condemning the sinners, warning all of us in the US to be wary of God's wrath because of materialism and gluttony, praising God for loving all of mankind, etc. Some posters keyed in on literal interpretations of the Bible, in a particular English version, of course. Others cited verses about God and/or Jesus controlling the weather. Others gave verses about certain things happening to people regardless of whether they are righteous or not. One person even looked into the history of the blogger's church and claimed that it has been hit by a tornado in the past. You get the picture.
I got about 400 comment emails in my in-box. They wouldn't turn off. I repeatedly clicked the unsubscribe. Finally, there was a long comment from another pastor who called the original blogger on the carpet, detailing errors in specific references to scripture, citing science, citing errors in interpretation and inconsistencies, of both scripture references and from the blogger's past writings.
Then the comments stopped. Cold. I checked the blog and it no longer showed a comment box. But this morning, the plague of locusts returned.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
This appointment was set up through my regular family doctor, and it took about 5 weeks until I could get in. I had hoped to see the specialist, but I was assigned to the CNP. I thought she was really good. She asked about 100 questions and made a point of making sure she understood my answers. I was impressed. I've actually seen another specialist twice a few years ago, at another clinic, but he asked only a few questions, proclaimed a very general diagnosis, never even checked my body, and sent me on my way with no tests, with no care plan or suggestions or patient information about the supposed diagnosis. Needless to say, I was POed.
The CNP told me what tests were needed; that was not a surprise, because I've had those before elsewhere. She told me to stop taking one medication, but to start two others. She then walked me out to the desk, where she told the clerk to schedule me for four tests and a followup visit. That woman said, "I don't know how. The schedulers are in the back." She asked me if my phone would take a message when they called.
I had no message when I got home. I had no calls the next two working days. But by then, it was obvious I was reacting poorly to one of the medications, so I called the office and said that I was in "extreme pain," that I wanted to stop the medication, that I wanted to talk to the CNP, and that the schedulers hadn't called back. The response was that she would "send an email" to the CNP's nurse and that the schedulers were very busy. Six hours later, I was called by the nurse. Same story. She'll send an email to the CNP. She'll tell the schedulers. The scheduler called at 5:03 pm, made one of the test appointments, but couldn't make the rest because everybody had gone home.
Two days later, I'm feeling much better, but I still haven't heard from anybody else.
I've already written two complaint letters, but I haven't mailed them. I was too hot about this when I wrote the letters, so I know better than to send something like that. Since I'm feeling better, I've decided to wait about another week, and then I'll write to the CEO, not just to the department. Unfortunately, I've learned today that this may not be an isolated incident. I asked a friend if she had ever been to that clinic. She said no, but related a very similar story about a good friend of her's, but in that case, the person had a disease that was fatal if not treated promptly.
In my most desperate and snarky moments while waiting for the call backs, I've contemplated what I might say to the schedulers if and when they do call. I might say, "Oh, you want my sister. She was in extreme pain when she called on Tuesday. She keeled over and hit her head, and is now in surgery." Or maybe it will just be, "Can I have your name and the name of your supervisor and the head of your department, as well as the CEO of the clinic?" I honestly hope that I'm not feeling humbled and grateful that they finally decided to call.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
In Palin’s fantasy, the death-panel “bureaucrats” were going to pick winners and losers based on a judgment about their “level of productivity in society.” Well, if you view income as a gauge of a person’s productivity in society—and God knows there are Republicans who do—then the quality of health care is already correlated with “productivity in society.” Obama’s plan, by making health care more affordable to lower income people, would make that less true.
This is just another way of making a point already made by Peter Singer in response to less delusional concerns about the possibility of rationing under Obama’s plan: we already ration health care; we just let the market do the rationing.
Thursday, August 06, 2009
The other big business (said with tongue in cheek) here is the tourist industry. Of course, that doesn't pay well. And since, weather-wise, this has been the summer that never came, I'm sure that the resorts can't be doing all that well. This is the first summer that I haven't seen any employment ads for resort cleaning people.
Even the school districts are hurting, with about half as many students as ten years ago. You can extrapolate what these tough times are doing to giving to area churches. My church is hoping to do a large remodeling project while there is some economic stress in the area, because we're hoping that bids come in quite low. Kind of sad to be selfishly hopeful about that.
A town, just a scenic 50 mile drive away from me, was named one of the 10 Best Small Towns in Outside magazine. Love it. I can take advantage of all the amenities without having to deal with the traffic on Ely's main street, ie cars with canoes on the roofs. also: Ely and Ely on Wikipedia.
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
First part of article:
Right-Wing Harassment Strategy Against Dems Detailed In Memo: ‘Yell,’ ‘Stand Up And Shout Out,’ ‘Rattle Him’
This morning, Politico reported that Democratic members of Congress are increasingly being harassed by “angry, sign-carrying mobs and disruptive behavior” at local town halls. For example, in one incident, right-wing protesters surrounded Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY) and forced police officers to have to escort him to his car for safety.
Sunday, August 02, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Part of our community, that is outside of the city limits, close as the crow flies, but not close by road, has somewhat poor coverage from fire departments, despite very high taxes. Private individuals have banded together to raise money and buy two fire rigs that will be closer to their homes. The costs are enormous and they have met their goals; the rigs are in place.
I've been involved an effort to keep our school swimming pool open. The school board has seriously considered closing the pool to save money. On paper, the cost to run the pool, water, heat, lights, pumps, chemicals, etc. is enormous. We question the figures, but there is no good way to measure the heat and lights because they aren't monitored separately from the building.
The school board has decided to keep the pool open if a community group is willing to do fund raising to pay half of the costs. Since I'm attending the meetings of the group, and the size of the interested parties has diminished, I now officially on the board of directors for the purposes of applying for tax exempt status. Whew.....like I need more to think about.
We have a lot of competition for extra money. It is easy to be pessimistic about all of this, given the recession, but we have to keep our focus on quality of life issues for the future. Small towns are somewhat fragil. When the school, churches, and businesses decrease, quality of life issues are evident, and people start thinking of moving away or not moving here in the first place. Even the tourists won't come here if the community diminishes. But we can only look to the near term in our fund raising and chose to be positive. Maybe we'll provide the community with some fun events in the process.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Now we own too much stuff. I suppose many of us do. Will anybody else admit this? Raise your hand. We still own too much stuff after making some considerable effort to clean out, give and throw away stuff. My biggest motivator in this effort is my mom's old house, which my grandmother moved into in about 1916 and which my mother inherited in 1973. Neither woman nor their families ever threw out anything. Guess which generation now has to deal with this? Things that could have sentimental meaning, but were relegated to a drawer for years, just don't mean that much. I'm thinking of my father's baptismal dress. I'm not going to frame it and hang it in my house.
If you want to see the ultimate in TOO MUCH STUFF, you could come to the huge sale that will start tomorrow at our local school. The local branch of an international charitable organization puts on this annual sale, using the school facilities to display the goods. Each year more has been donated and now the goods have outgrown the space. The smaller items such as baskets, dishes, kitchen ware, decorations, more books than a used book store, and smaller tools fill the gym, wall to wall.
There are three outside tents and three hallways with lots of used furniture, appliances, wood stoves, and grills. Another tent covers a number of bicycles. There are enough Nordic Trak ski machines to allot one to every 100 people in town. They are priced at only about $2 - 10. And if you added in the rest of the exercise devices, there'd be one for every 30 people. There are boats. Not toy boats; real boats. True antiques are priced high, but everything else must go and the prices reflect this.
If I were starting out again, I might be able to furnish a place even cheaper than we did so many years ago. It is hard to imagine that the people in this small town could donate so many items, but I think it reflects the excesses we have these days and the desire for new things that our culture instills in us. That leaves plenty to give away. The money collected from this sale will probably be over $25,000, based on past experiences. Most of it will benefit local causes.
Too much Stuff? How is it that so many of us get so much stuff and still think we don't have enough to donate more money to our churches or save enough for retirement or give to other good causes? The one thing that I think has happened is that impulse buying is now the norm, using plastic, so we just are able to buy without thinking of money or space. I am reflecting on the contrast to what we saw in Uganda where the people own so little. They own so little that they lock their doors to prevent thievery if they are poor, and if they are rich, by contrast, they surround their little home with a concrete wall topped with sharp glass. It is pretty easy to take either a spiritual or political lesson from that!
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
And that made me think of one of the reasons I started blogging: to take simple, ordinary daily actions and thoughts and become aware of, and write about, spiritual lessons in them.
I've gotten away from that; I've gotten away from blogging. I have had a number of things in mind to blog about, but sometimes these are too big to pin down properly. Sometimes I'm aware that my thoughts and opinions really "need" to be supported by some concrete "facts" which means I need to figure out where I learned about the background of the subject. [I'm trying to avoid being either BO from Fox or MO, one of our state's representatives to Washington. Not that people on the other side of the aisle don't spout opinions without backing them up.]
So then I procrastinate or blog-o-vate. Plus, I do have a life. In the last couple of months I've been away to visit by elderly relatives, I've babysat my grandsons, and I attended my son's wedding. And I really need to be outside when it is warm. Plus, I've been plagued by a series of viruses which took down my energy level.
Back to the weeds: At least they are green, so my lawn mostly looks green, but weeds have the unfortunate characteristic of crowding out the plants and grass, that we think are desirable. There are many activities in life that can take over our thoughts and time and crowd out what we might state are our real priorities, such as our worship of God, our families, our health, for example. Small things grow and take over our lives if we don't occasionally step back and recognize that our actual priorities are known by how we spend out time, not what we say.
Various activities, not just "sins," can take us away from our intentions to love God with our whole hearts and love our families and neighbors.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
2 pounds spinach, trimmed, torn (supposedly makes 10 servings.)
16 oz fresh strawberries, sliced
1 cucumber, sliced (I left it out)
1/2 C sliced green onions
1/2 C snipped fresh mint. (I didn't have this, so I sprinkled on some of the leaves from a mint (no black tea) tea bag.
1/2 C Poppy seed dressing. Add this and toss just before serving.
Poppy Seed dressing. I adjusted the original dressing recipe, as follows:
3/4 C olive oil (or salad oil)
1/3 C sugar
1/3 C vinegar
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp poppy seeds
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/8 tsp salt
The real revelation was when I wanted a salad the next day, but I didn't want to go to the store just for strawberries. This was really refreshing.
To a big bowl of spinach leaves, along with some leaf lettuce, I added:
1/4 - 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 nectarine, sliced
Some of the poppy seed dressing.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Saturday, May 09, 2009
I've observed various types of bread being used for communion, but I haven't' run across doctrinal assertions on this, but I have seen various opinions on whether various ways of distributing the bread is sanitary.
But the Cup or cups, well, that seems to be a matter of doctrine for some groups and some pastors. That always makes me wonder if these people would consider that communion done in another manner isn't really True Communion, ie., with Jesus really present, or is it that they just think that their way is "more better."
As they say, you can prove almost anything using the Bible, so people have verses and translations that they cite for use of a certain means of communion. But if our traditional interpretation isn't challenged, how would we ever think that there may be a different way of doing something. In the case of communion, I've been taught that it has to do with the bread and the wine together with the words of Jesus, in remembrance of Him and for the forgiveness of sins. I haven't been taught that the container for the wine was of importance, however those who insist on the common cup would disagree with that.
In the spirit of looking at how things are done with new eyes, I'm linking to an article that isn't new at all. It was published in 1906 in the United Brethren Review, but was originally published in the Lutheran Quarterly. It discusses both Biblical interpretation and cleanliness. Keep in mind, that it was published before much was know about bacteria and viruses.
Friday, May 08, 2009
Thursday, May 07, 2009
The first time I had Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing on a salad in a restaurant, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. I bought some of this in the store and I was so disappointed. This recipe is from the 'net, but I've changed it a bit.
1 Tbsp raspberry jam (if your jam is really thick, put it in the jar and microwave it for about 10 sec.)
¼ C Raspberry vinegar
2 Tbsp orange juice
¼ tsp (or more) of garlic, fresh or from a jar.
Salt and pepper, a couple of shakes
¼ C + 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Opt: a drop or two of red food coloring.
Do you want a salad suggestion?
Green leaf lettuce
Green and/or red pepper
Carrots, sliced or grated
Pignoli (pine nuts)
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Fresh raspberries, (seasonal)
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
My son is now going through this process. He heard that a certain couple is upset that they didn't receive an invitation. They were supposed to be on the list, and there is still time to correct the oversight. More people are being invited to this wedding because the couple were fortunate to have a much less expensive plan for their reception than usual. The bride has a large family; the groom has lots of friends.
My philosophy has been that the wedding couple should make their decisions about who to invite based on their own friendships. I wouldn't expect a child of mine to invite an adult friend of mine if my child didn't also have an emotional tie to that person.
Yesterday, I received a wedding invitation. This one really floored me. I don't know the groom. I know that bride as an almost-classmate of one of my kids, but she is someone I may have only talked to in passing, and certainly not in the last 5 years, because I haven't seen her in years. I've probably talked to the mother of the bride about 5 times quite awhile ago. We live a few miles apart, but our paths don't cross, mainly because I'm very active in my church, but the bride and her family no longer attend church, or at least not at my church.
I just wonder how I got on the list to be invited. I've been invited to weddings (or wedding showers) before when I've known one of the family members, but didn't know the couple. In those cases, I've attended the wedding if is close and convenient.
I just wonder if people just don't know where to stop when they are sending invitations to weddings. Or are they fishing for gifts? Or am I just being a scrooge about this? If I hadn't received the invitation, I'm not even in any gossip circle that would get the word to me that this young woman is getting married.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
And read this. Someone agrees with me. April 15: Patriots' day.
And the other side of the coin.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Friday, April 03, 2009
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Two projects that are sort of near where I live will receive federal stimulus money shortly. One is a stretch of highway that was build over underground mines that needs reinforcements. The other is a neutrino detector, which is actually a big hole in the ground filled with scientific instruments. Besides the construction workers, I can't help but wonder who will be working there in the future, as we need more people making babies to help our our school district. We already have an underground http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/soudan_underground_mine/physicslab.html located at the Soudan Underground Mine State Park. I've been down in the mine, 1/2 mile below the surface, four times. It was a very exciting and educational trip, down in the elevator, crosswise in the train car for 3/4 mile. Now a visitor can also visit the physics lab.
Since we can also use the tourist dollars, you are all invited to our area!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I can only imagine how miserable the volunteers must be, filling and stacking the sandbags. The weather where I live has been miserable: cold, wet, windy. I'm only "feeling" that by looking out the windows these last few days. It is the kind of weather that makes one want a winter place in Arizona. The area along the Red River is flat as a pancake, so the wind would feel much stronger. You can tell from the series of photos that the weather got colder during this time because the ice was forming. The Red River has flooded before, but they aren't used to it flooding during weather that also produces ice.
The river is projected to reach 43 feet by Saturday. I haven't been able to figure out what level they are measuring from, but flood stage is about 22 feet, and 43 feet is much taller than a two story house.
God Bless those volunteers!
Monday, March 23, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
My friend just emailed me to say that she will shortly be unemployed. She does healthcare for children…I won’t say what exactly. That is supposed to be a field that is immune from the recession. Yeah right. Her employer claims that there is another agency that does the same work, but, of course, the people in her office would know if that were so. It isn’t. She is in a small enough city that if there were such an agency, they would all know each other. They are suspicious that the work will now be foisted onto the school districts, like they can stand to add more to their workload. There is no safety net for these children.
I certainly understand budget tightening during this time of tight budgets, but let’s be honest about what is happening. Our governor has used his position to have “no new taxes” during his time in office. That has meant using up the reserves and pushing services onto lower levels of government, i.e. increasing the property taxes, because services have to happen in cities and towns. Well, now the towns are laying off the police officers and he is criticizing this.
This is what happens when a certain political party puts out the propaganda that paying taxes isn’t patriotic.