Saturday, December 12, 2009

Don't you just long for some good old fashioned common sense? I know I do. What happened to common sense? Did we loose it, has the pollution mutated it out of our bodies?

There was a time, that if it made sense and solved the problem, that was the way it was done. If something wasn't broken, you didn't mess with it. Now people and corporations want to think outside the box. 'What happens if.............?' 'Would it work better if we did...............? For instance, downsizing. Whose bright idea was that? Downsizing can be good, if you are cutting the deadwood, eliminating duplication of effort. But what if you just want to move jobs from one area to another, effectively putting some highly qualified individuals out of work and moving jobs to an area where there are not any highly qualified individuals currently employed.

Okay, you say, how about relocating to the new area. Well that might work for some but not for all.

But I digress. There is no common sense about downsizing. Effective April, (maybe May) 2010, I will be downsized. My job will be moved elsewhere. Why? Don't really know. They claim that they can do it faster, better and cheaper in the home office. I wish them luck, they will have do it without me.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Downsizing - Good, Bad & Ugly

You may ask what the difference is between Bad and Ugly and there is no Good in being downsized.
Well, the difference is in how it is done. Most of the downsizing is handled in the Bad to Ugly manner. The worst is showing up and the doors are locked and you have no where to turn and no one to ask questions. Next is they tell you they are going to downsize and they don't give you a timeline. That is what I am going through now. They told us last May that they would be transitioning our jobs to Rochester but didn't know exactly when. Some have bailed already, others are holding pat. I am one of those. Not from some miss guided hope that they will change their minds but because at my age, I don't know if I want to continue to work full time and from the perverse pleasure it gives me in taking every dollar I can from them.

The last time I was downsized was back in 1992. They told us they were going back to their core business strategy and our part of the business wasn't it. Those individuals who fit in other areas were offered jobs fairly quickly. If you weren't one of them, you pretty much knew you were going to be let go. When it came time for our section to be downsized, we were given a date and told what our severance package was going to be. We were even given the opportunity to buy some of our equipment. After all it wasn't going to be used anymore.

I consider that the best of the bad ways to be downsized. They were upfront, provided timelines and kept to them. It was tough but at least it was relatively painless.

This current downsizing will be drawn out, painful and will not make any new friends for the company in Rochester. It has been intimated that we might be offered jobs there but I would never feel comfortable working for a company that had already stabbed me in the back once. Who knows when they might do it again.

I will survive, God will see me through this trial as he did the last one.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Have we all lost our collective minds???? Everyone agrees that the current health care system is flawed. We all know that special interest groups are doing everything to keep the status quo. But to resort to wearing guns, screaming matches in which nothing is heard or discussed. Come on. We currently have a federally run medical program, Medicare. My mother is covered under this plan along with retiree medical coverage from my father's place of employment. However, Medicare is her primary coverage. Over the last year she has had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from her bladder and a visit to the emergency room for 8 stitches in her head when she fell at home. She saw her own physician, was treated at the hospital nearest her home and has received excellent care.

Is Medicare perfect? Of course not. But right now it is better than some of the private insurance plans offered by employers.

Some of the problem is the fact that alot of people without insurance go to the emergency room for routine medical care. Emergency rooms are more expensive to run and therefore the bills are higher because they are to be used for emergencies. In many cases these individuals are seen but cannot pay so the cost is passed on to the paying public through higher fees which are paid by the insurance companies which in turn pass the increase on to the employers or to the taxpayers.

A Medicare -like plan for everyone as an option to those already in existence may be the answer if people would just stop and think for themselves instead of being lead around like so many sheep to slaughter. It would also be used as a last resort when no other insurance can be purchased.

Our enemies will not have to attack us from without; we are destroying ourselves from within.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

No doubt we all remember those sayings from our childhood: Look before you Leap, Don't bite off more than you can chew, Stop chewing your cabbage twice, etc. etc. They were meant to teach how to be cautious. Not to take on too much because it would only lead to disaster.

Well apparently our elected officials never got that message. Both at the Federal, State and Local level our elected politicians are trying to fix everything and in the process not only not fixing anything but making matters worse. What is wrong with picking something that can be fixed fairly easily, that is a relative term, fixing it and then moving on to the next item. Is it so wrong to be known for doing something right and as promised rather than doing everything wrong and not living up to any promise?

Right now all of our elected officials are running around like frightened chickens pecking at everything they see without really accomplishing anything. Everytime someone criticizes them for not looking over there, they run over there and peck at it until someone else cries foul and then they run to that problem and peck at that one for a while. Nothing ever gets completed, except maybe now the Dash stadium, and no one is happy, except for Billy Prim.

A lot of our problems are critical. My feeling is you fix the infrastructure first, roads, schools, fire, police. After that you look at what is left. Fixing the roads, building new or refurbishing the old schools will create jobs. Paying our teachers, police and firemen a decent wage will hopefully encourage qualified individuals to apply for positions in those fields.

Perhaps I am coming from a different time when priorities began at home and not elsewhere. You took care of your own and then you helped strangers. Funny but it worked back then. You would think with all the technology and advances that have come about since then, it would work even better now.

Perhaps it's because we have changed. We no longer look after our own but ourselves. We no longer care what happens to our extended families, our neighbors but ourselves. I will get mine first and after that it is everyone for himself.

How sad.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Conspiracy Theories

I have been watching the History Channel and their program on our founding fathers and free masonry.

I cannot believe the number of conspiracy theories that have arisen over the years regarding how the Free Masons have a plot to install a new order in the USA. Hey, if they can reduce spending, raise the morale and morals of our politicians and put us back on the road to being the great nation we really are, I don't care.

The Democrats control the White House and both parts of Congress and still cannot get anything done. The Republicans are too busy with extra-curricular activities and whining about how no one listens to them.

My God is this what we have become?????!!!!! What happened to the Nation of Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt. The Best and the Brightest? Sounds more like a bunch of middle schoolers on the playground.

We are supposed to be adults leading the greatest nation in the world. When will we start acting like it again? We are not children, we know what must be done and we know that it is not going to be easy. Let us stop seeing Commies around every corner and read conspiracy into every secret organization.

Have we finally lost every shred of common sense that ever existed? I sincerely hope not. If we have we are surely doomed.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Our lives are regimented. We go to work, come home, eat, take care of whatever at home, sleep and start the routine all over again the next day. The weekends are even worse. The truly bad part is we are starting our kids on this even earlier.

When I was young, around the time the earth cooled, kids were kids. The summers were for having fun. We played outside, (video games weren't even thought of). The only time we watched TV was when it was raining and we couldn't go outside. We played from dawn to dusk. We didn't go to camps to learn to do stuff. That was what school was for.

But as adults our lives are structured by work, outside committments and the daily grind of living. We have forgotten how to be spontaneous. To say you will do something without thinking about it just because it sounds like fun. To step outside the everyday and do something without planning it for months in advance.

Granted it could go wrong. But that is part of being spontaneous. You really aren't sure how it is going to pan out but you're going to do it anyway. Now I am not talking about doing anything really dangerous. But saying you'll go to the beach with a friend who really wants to but can't find anyone else to go with. Or taking a class on beading just because you've always wondered what it would be like.

Friday, July 3, 2009

4th of July and Patriotism

Tomorrow is the 4th of July and day to celebrate our freedom from the tyranny of British rule. Yet we are still in the throes of another type of tyranny. We cannot seem to free ourselves from the tyranny of hatred. Hatred for those who look differently, who believe differently. We have not yet freed ourselves from the tyranny of fear. Fear of thought to be unpatriotic. Those to cloak themselves in the flag are not always being patriotic. They just want to make others feel that they are not.

I believe that I am patriotic. I love my country and support the men and women who fight to protect her. But being patriotic is not limited to the 4th of July, Memorial Day, September 11, December 7 and the IMPORTANT days of the year. Being patriotic is supporting our troops everyday of the year as they are fighting for us everyday of the year. It supporting organizations like the USO and the various veterans organizations who provide services for those who have fought and those who are fighting still.

My father fought in WWII and I have friends who have fought in Vietnam and Desert Storm, etc. Thankfully they all returned whole in body but changed in mind and spirit. We need to support them in any way we can. We need to let them know that the ideals they are fighting to establish elsewhere in the world are still strong at home.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Today's subject, little ones, is greed. Greed, is the belief that you can never have too much. Too much money, too much stuff, too much of anything. The fear that someone else has something bigger, better, more than what you have.

At what point does the need to have something better cross the line to the NEED TO HAVE MORE? I am not sure. Perhaps it is when the acquiring is more important than the item you're acquiring. Perhaps it is when you out grow your home because you have stuff everywhere but nothing that you really use.

Greed on a personal level is embarrassing. Greed on a corporate level could be criminal. Greed in our government, at any level, is frightening.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Taken for Granted

Those of us who were born in this great country tend to take things for granted. We have freedoms that people in some areas of the world don't even know exist.

We celebrate several important days during the year. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Labor Day, etc. Yet some days are just reflected on the calendar that hangs on the wall; D-Day, Flag Day, December 7, September 11. Each of these days mark a milestone in the history of this nation. D-Day, the 6th of June has been immortalized in movies but just how many people really acknowledge the importance of this day in history. Europe celebrates this day because it marked the beginning of the end of the war in Europe. A war that set the course for the world as we know it today. The last war that had a clear cut cause and victory was achieved. Korea, Vietnam, the Middle East are wars without end, without a clear cut victory. But in America D-Day, other than a mention in the newspapers goes by almost unnoticed. Yet America played a major part in that day.

December 7 was supposed to be "the day that will live in infamy". Yet the day that brought America into the war also goes by unnoticed; unless you happen to be in Hawaii.

September 11, coming up on 8 years in the past, has faded in remembrances, unless you happen to be in Washington, DC around the Pentagon, NYC or a field in Pennsylvania.

Perhaps it is the horrific nature of these days that forces us to try to forget them. But we must remember them. They are a part of us, of who we have become. Good and bad things have come about because of each of these days.

Flag day is a celebration of the American Flag, a symbol of our nation. Yet we ignore it. Why? Is it because we can't use it to advertise sales at the local mall? Maybe, we shouldn't trivialize our national symbol.

Yes we take much for granted in this nation. Perhaps we should thank God every night in our prayers for what we have, lest it be taken away.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Our new president has appointed a new judge to sit on the highest court in the land. Much is being made about the fact that she is Hispanic. What does this have to do with her ability to set on the Supreme Court.

Just as much as been made about our new president being the first African-American president, to me this is just another way to label someone. Much was made of his African heritage, however, he was raised by his mother and grandmother who just happened to be white.

Here again we are judging and labeling individuals by the color of their skin rather than their ability. We are so caught up in labeling individuals so we can decide whether they are good or bad that we have lost sight of the fact that we are Americans first and foremost. All of us are descendents of people who came here from other countries. Unless you happen to be a member of one of the Native American tribes still left in the USA. Whether our heritage is Asian, European, African or something else. It is not what defines us as a people. We are all Americans; citizens of what, in my humble opinion, is the greatest nation in the world.

Much was made of John Kennedy's religion, Roman Catholic, when he ran for president. Just as much has been made of Mr. Obama's African heritage. But those do not define the man or woman. Yes, they are part of his or her character and established some of the parameters that define their lives. However, we all share some of those traits and parameters. There are many Americans of African and Hispanic descent, just as there are many Americans who are Roman Catholic or Protestant or even Atheists. This should not be how we define an individual or group of individuals. We are all Americans. That should be the only criteria that defines us.

Our brave men and women who died serving our country in the military, are not defined as a Roman Catholic or Hispanic. Their tombstones do not reflect anything other than their names, rank, date of birth and date of death. For only in death, it seems, are all men and women equal. The grave does not care if you are black, white, Hispanic, Catholic, Jewish or other.

Maybe it is pollyanna to hope that one day, the living will be afforded the same right.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Labels are fine in the right places. Warning labels on machinery, very practical. Ingredient labels on the food we buy, necessary to avoid all kinds of problems. Labels on our clothes telling us how to wash them, necessary to avoid some embarassing situations. There are numerous places where labels serve a useful if not necessary purpose. However, labels do not belong on people.

Liberal, conservative, right, left, hawk, dove, etc, etc, etc,. I could go one ad nauseum about the labels that are attached as early as childhood to people. Why do we need labels? I think I can tell what people believe in by talking to them and listening for a while. I don't need to label them. I either agree with them or not. But that doesn't define that individual for me. People are complicated and they hold numerous beliefs. With some exceptions just because you disagree with someone on one issue doesn't mean that you will disagree on all issues. Although if someone is coming at you with a gun or knife drawn, the differences are more than philospohical and you need to take appropriate action.

I fear that we are so far removed from the America that our founding fathers envisioned that we have lost sight of the fact, that the right to differ was one of the reasons our ancesters left England, France, Boliva, the middle east or the far east to live here. Freedom to speak our minds and to believe how we feel most comfortable believing is the right of every American. It doesn't mean that one way is more correct than another. Our flexibility and willing to change is what has allowed us to flourish and why others want to live here.

However, living here is not free and comes with some conditions. You learn our language and abide by our laws. That is not to demean your culture but if you are planning to live here for an extended period of time, it makes sense to me, that you would want to be bi-lingual, that English as a second language would open more worlds to you than just being able to speak one. I, personally, believe that it insults the host nation, if you don't at least try to learn some basic conversational language. If I decided to move to Spain or Greece to live or stay for an extended period of time, I would at least learn enough to know how to order food, get a cab or bus and know that I was going to end up at the right location.

You hear about having to live in a Global community. That is true more and more businesses are operating in countries other than where they were founded. At one time, English was the language of business. Now if makes more sense to know Hindi, Catonese, Spanish, and a smattering of other languages just to put your new employer, employees and/or vendors at ease.

But I digress from labels. Whether you are a hawk or dove, lean to the left or right or center, it does not make you any less an American. Nor does it necessarily make you correct or incorrect. It means you have your opinion and I have mine. At some point in time all options will be tried, even those that haven't even been thought of. Will they all work? Probably not, but at least we will have tried something different that hadn't been tried before. That might lead to something that does work.

So enough with the labels. We are all Americans and as Americans we can disagree with each other without pulling out guns and killing each other (ooops a thought for another blog).

Oh, a parting thought to the Governor of the State of Texas, if you really think you would be happier becoming part of Mexico or even a soverign country of your own, have at it. But I would think long and hard about it. America may not be perfect, but I wouldn't live anywhere else. Politics change with the wind, what is in today, will be out tomorrow. The glue that binds Americans together is tougher.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Driving Tips

Okay, I 'm sure this has to be wrong in any state but I'll keep an open mind. I am driving to work, minding my own business, staying within the speed limit, school is in afterall and I out my left mirror and all I can see is a chrome grill, and a turn signal. Okay, I am not officially freaked out. My first thought, emergency vehicle, must pull to right and yield. Small problem, no place to go. The vehicle drops back and pulls in behind me and guess what, no emergency vehicle but a rather large SUV in a bright red. We stop at a light and I give the vehicle a real good look, right at that moment, the person driving claps her hands together as if in glee. Psyco!!!!!!!. The light changes and I proceed on my way, now worried that the car behind me contains the means to my end.

The next thing I know she pulls around me and speeds off in the left turn lane. Eventually she makes a left turn but only after several moments have passed. Now when I learned to drive, the left turn lane was just that, a lane for making a left or right turn off the traveled road. It was not to be used to travel any length of time or miles.

In some cities, she would not have gotten too far before she had a head-on collision or at least verbally attacked.

Not every mile of unoccupied roadway is meant to be driven on for a long period of time. I know that the police have more important things to deal with, like real criminals but there should be a way to identify people who do this on regular basis. I have often wanted the ability to push a button from inside my car, that would spray paint or attach a sticker to the offending car for all to see at least until the culprit stopped and could remove it. Another feature would be a camera that took a picture of the culprit's license plate number and hopefully the offense in question, so it could be posted on you-tube or some other such public place where anyone could see and comment.

Of course, the ACLU would probably not agree with this because I am sure it violates some kind of privacy law. But it would be something to think about.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Comment on Tea Parties

Today across the nation, Tea Parties were held supposedly to demonstrate outrage at where our tax money is going. The analog being the Boston Tea Party which protested the taxation without representation in King George's court.

Well the last time I checked, the people voting on the spending of our tax dollars were duly elected. Possibly without revealing their true intentions but were duly elected by the majority of the people that they are supposed to be representing.

Obviously, the President, whom many attending these tea parties blame, cannot be removed for 4 years. But the Congress can be changed and probably will be to some extent during the next election. But consider this, no one said it was going to be easy to turn this country around. No one said the choices would be easy. But we are Americans, we have always pulled ourselves up by our boot straps and gotten the job done.

Lately, we have become a nation of whiners, complainers, blame the other guy, etc. We as a nation have failed to take responsibility for our actions. Instead of insisting on the truth, we sadly sit by and morosely wail about what this country is coming to. How can this happen to us? We let it happen. We blindly accepted as truth the rantings of people who really did not know as much as they and we thought they did.

We have become a nation of 'I got mine, who cares about everyone else'. Well if you don't care about your neighbor and he happens to be recruited by a radical organization, who do you think he is going to come after. The guy who got his first. A bit far a field but not by much. Look around your neighborhood, how many houses have been foreclosed, how many of your neighbors are out of work, how many properties have been on the market for months or even years before they finally sold.

Do we need to watch how our tax money is being spent, of course we do. But you don't resolve anything by following pundits of the flash and dazzle. You research. Everything is on the internet. Even things you don't want there someone can find. Get informed, listen to many voices, not just those that shout the loudest.

The truth is out there, it isn't pretty and wrapped up in a pink ribbon. Not everyone is going to like it or even agree. But it is what we as Americans believe in, it is our right to know the truth or as much of it as we want to know. But don't blame someone else for your shortsightedness. Don't trot out the old revolutionary war cry and try to make it work for today.

This is still the greatest country on earth and I for one would rather live here than anywhere else. Do I like paying taxes, no and I grumbled the entire time I was working on them. However, without taxes there would be no schools, no roads, no police, nothing that we so casually take for granted.

Use your common sense and be part of the solution, not contributing to the problem.

Dreaded Word

Is there no word in the English language that strikes more fear than....Cancer. I remember the first time I heard it mentioned in the same sentence as my own name and I don't remember much about the conversation after hearing the word Cancer.

My family has a strong genetic predisposition for this dreaded disease. My grandmother on my mother's side died with it and two of my mother's brothers died with cancer. It has also struck nieces and nephews.

Two years ago during a routine colonoscopy a growth was removed from my sister and was determined to have cancer cells in it.

When I was much younger the incident above occurred and luckily it was only some pre-cancer cells and was easily taken care of.

Now my mother had a growth removed from her bladder and it too was cancer. The doctor says he got it all but who can say.

My mom has a positive attitude and is a tough ole lady so she will fight it if it returns. I wish that I felt that confident myself.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Thoughts

He is Risen. No three words carry so much weight in all the world. Not even I love you has such power and strength. It is the season for joyous renewal whether you are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or any of the numerous religions that cover the world.

This is the time of year when you feel that you can still accomplish much in the world. If small little seeds can bring forth beautiful flowers, then certainly I can accomplish something maybe not as beautiful but just as meaningful. Spring is the time of year, when the earth renews herself, shakes off the sleepiness and drabness of winter and renews the flowers, trees and shrubs to bring forth new life. When the birds, bees and mammals mate and begin new families. The world becomes alive with new life, new scents, new joy.

When you think of all that Jesus accomplished in a fraction of the lifetime alloted to us, then just think what wonderful things we could accomplish in our lifetimes. We all have the ability to do great good or great evil. It is our choice. We have seen much great evil as a world, we have also seen much great good. Unfortunately, the evil gets more press and it appears that nothing good is happening.

This is our opportunity, yours and mine, to change that. Do one small good thing each day. Perhaps that person you allow to check out ahead of you at the store or that you give your parking space to, will remember that act kindness and pass it on. That one small act can lead to another and another. You would be surprised how it changes the tone of your day if you start out by doing something good for a stranger.

You can also change the tone of your life by releasing the hate for past hurts. It does not resolve the wrong and you cannot change what has already happened. The only person who is hurt is you. Haven't you hurt long enough? Let is go as Christ forgave those who took his life, let it go. You won't become Christ but will be closer to the person he wants you to be.

He is Risen. His was a triumph over death to provide us the means to triumph during our life.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Aging Gracefully???!!!!!!!

Now that the political situation has been resolved, the real purpose of this blog needs to come forth. Before anyone shouts, the political situation has not been resolved, I know that arena is very much alive and mutating before our eyes. However, new people are in place, so let's step back and let them give it a try.

No doubt you have heard the phrase, growing old gracefully. What a contradiction in terms, kinda like CIA or NSA. These are mutually exclusive. But let's try to pin down what 'growing old gracefully' means. Does it refer to being more graceful as you grow old as in, like a ballerina?? I wasn't that graceful before the two hip replacements and the new right wrist. How can I possibly be more graceful with metal parts? Does it mean graceful as in being more accepting of what is happening to you, not complaining, etc.? Pulllleeeeezzzeeee, at this point in my life, complaining about my aches and pains is the highlight of the day. Also it provides me with a perfect excuse to imbibe in my favorite beverage, wine and more wine.

Perhaps it means to be more pleasant of nature and countenance....... Wrong again. I didn't exactly have the most pleasant demeanour when in my prime, and age has done nothing to improve it. In fact, most people expect me to be unreasonable and cranky. On days when I actually am pleasant, people ask me if everything is okay, am I feeling okay.

Growing old gracefully makes as much sense as leaping off a bridge to me.

Monday, March 2, 2009

What does Rush want? Does he really want our President to fail? According to the statements carried by the news channels, he does. Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, this is after all America and we are all granted free speech. However, when free speech becomes a method of inciting people not to use their common sense and to close their minds to new opportunities and new ways of doing things, it becomes worrysome.

When people refuse to change or even listen to the concept of change, we all lose. This nation was created from change. Change from the oppression of the English kings, change to be allowed to worship and speak without fear of retribution. One of our basic freedoms is to speak our minds without fear of being shot or imprisoned.

There are individuals on both sides that try to use fear to create a state of confusion about what is happening or what is going to happen. They want us to be as afraid as they are of the future. They want to live in the past as long as it is their past. They want the future as long as it is the future they design perpetuating their views and ideals. They are afraid of anything that they didn't design from the ground up and monitored everything along the way. Anyone who doesn't believe as they do is evil and should be avoided.

None of us is pure evil and none of us is perfect.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Well our new president has addressed Congress and the American people for the first time and I for one was impressed. I voted for him because I believed he would make the hard choices and bring some much needed common sense back into Government. Last night he talked the talk, and hopefully will also walk the walk.

Of course, since there were not a many tax cuts as his opponents wanted, they are sitting back and sulking. What everyone apparently has forgotten, is that without taxes there is no funding for anything. Just because the Mint prints money doesn't mean that it is worth anything if it isn't backed by something. Anyone with a fancy copier/printer can print money but it isn't worth anything and it gets you arrested if you are caught.

Taxes we pay backs the money our government spends. If you cut taxes and don't cut spending, then you have a deficit. Simple economics. However, for far too long our leaders have turned a blind eye to this simple fact. I don't enjoy paying taxes anymore than the next person, but I realize that without our tax dollars, the services that we have come to expect would either disappear or be handled by the private sector at probably higher rates.

Our taxes help support our public school system, our police and fire departments, the roads we drive on and countless other necessary services. Not to mention the most important, our military, without whom there would not be a USA. Corporations as well as individuals utilize these services and should contribute to their upkeep. Every time we give tax breaks to a company to relocate, we undermine our ability to continue providing the necessary infrastructure not only for the new business but for the people and companies already in place.

It is a dog eat dog world and everyone wants an edge on the next guy. But the old saying is what goes around comes around. Today it is our gain and someone elses loss. Tomorrow it is our loss and someone elses gain. Let's hope for a time, when everyone gains because jobs are staying put and not looking for the best deal.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Okay, we have started down the bailout road. We have bailed out the banks, the auto industry and now we are giving the appearance of helping struggling homeowners. The problem with all of this is not that it isn't necessary but that the possibility of fraud and misuse is extremely high. When the first round of bailout money was released at the end of the Bush presidency, concerns were raised about accountability and there was no accountability. Money was spent with no oversight.

When President Obama released the next round of bailout money and talked to auto makers about their bailout, accountability was stressed, if not required. We shall see if actual oversight takes place and if the companies in question will be held accountable for their actions.

Now a plan to aid struggling homeowners has been proposed. On the surface it seems like this should be a welcome idea but it too has its detractors. There have been concerns that this will cause otherwise responsible homeowners to just stop making their mortgage payments just to obtain federal assistance. Another concern, it that it rewards those individuals who bought homes that they knew that they could not afford either through creative mortgage lending or outright fraud.

Human nature being what it is, people can attempt to take advantage of a situation. Those of us who have worked through our mortgage problems and did it without government assistance, naturally feel that we are being punished for being conscientious. In reality that is not true but appearances are what matter. We hate the appearance that someone is getting rewarded for behaving irresponsibly. We want to be rewarded for behaving responsibly, doing what we are supposed to do. We all want a pat on the back and acknowledgment for not failing. It is human nature to view the homeowners assistance as a reward for not behaving responsibly and possibly failing.

Lets look beyond the appearances and give everything a chance to succeed. Time will reveal all.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Nothing Serious for a Change

A word about turn signals. Yes, I want to talk about turn signals or rather the increasing lack of them. Perhaps the auto makers haven't neglected to put them in the cars, but rather people have forgotten or maybe were never taught the use of that little lever on the left side of the steering wheel.

Well it is quite ingenious. You move it down and it turns on the flashing light on the left side of the car. This means that at some point in time you intend to turn to the left. Hopefully sooner than later. If you push the lever up it turns on the flashing light on the right side of the car. This signals that you intend to turn right.

This is quite an invention. When I learned to drive you had to signal your intentions by placing your left arm out of the window. Down was stop, straight out was left and up was right. What a pain during the cold weather.

This little contraption works both during the daytime and at night. So it is okay to indicate which way you are turning in daylight. This will save some irritation on the part of the drivers behind you, who are trying to determine your intentions so they can either change lanes or stay where they are.

Also don't wait until the last minute to indicate these changes. I was taught you should signal at least 100 yards before turning. But I am not going to measure the time between the start of the signal and the actual turn as long as they are not simultaneously.

I find it very inconsiderate not to use this device. After all, it is not like you are part of the secret service and the president is riding with you so your movements must be secretative. Of course, if you are my deepest apologies.

If people aren't going to use them, shouldn't they be optional equipment???

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New Beginnings

Change has truly started. Of course today is filled with the ceremonial trappings that hearld any monumental change. Tomorrow the real work will begin. Each has a new beginning. Our new president has his work cut out for him, fine line to walk, change to implement. The old president will return to private life but with a new twist. He will never again be just a private citizen, he will forever be linked to those moments that shaped his presidency.

Everyone involved has been forever touched, forever changed. Not only those in the forefront but those behind the scenes and those who are on the sidelines watching.

Change and new beginnings go hand in hand, one cannot exist without the other. How we embrace them gives insight to our character and ability to continue moving forward as opposed to remaining stagnant in the past.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Not Politics

Ah the calm before the storm. Yes, you say, the ingauration is Tuesday and this truly is the last calm weekend before the change begins.

No not a political calm, a football calm. Tomorrow the AFC and the NFC champs will be determined. Then with a frenzy matched only by March madness the hipe and trash talking will begin. This is a particularly interesting time for me. My beloved Baltimore Ravens are just one win away from being AFC champs. We only have to beat the dreaded Pittsburgh Steelers. No love lost between these two titans of the AFC. Ranked 1 and 2 in their division and ranked 1 and 2 in defense, this will prove to be a very physical game. Can a team with a rookie quarterback and a rookie coach make it to the Super Bowl? I hope so.

As a transplanted Marylander, I have tried to support the North Carolina teams, both professional and collegiate. However, when a team from my home state is playing, my true loyalties show through.

So I will be glued to the TV tomorrow afternoon in anticipation of seeing history continuing to be made with a rookie quarterback winning the division playoffs and going to the Super Bowl.

No common sense here, just unabased pride in my home town team.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


The new president hasn't even been sworn in and already people are questioning his thoughts and views. This is to be expected. However, my concern is that he won't be given a chance. The time for change has arrived and whether we agree or not, it is going to happen. Will things get any better, I hope so. But they will get worse before that happens. We can't wipe away the years of neglect, distrust and corruption in a few year yet alone a few days.

I am concerned that the first $350 billion was distributed without oversight, without accountability. It hasn't been used for its intended purpose and things have not improved for anyone other than the banks that received the funds.

We need a return to common sense. We need to rethink the various trickle down theories that have been floated every few years. The premise was good however, human nature being what it is, the implementation fell short of accomplishing the intended purpose. Jobs must be created, not sent overseas. Our infrastruction is falling apart, not a winter goes by without a city suffering a major water main break because they are older than most of us. Our police and firemen need upgraded equipment. Our schools have not kept pace with the changing needs of our students. Bridges are crumbling right under our wheels.

All of these projects were put on hold in order to offer incentives to businesses to relocate or to fund some pet project. As a nation, we cannot thrive unless our foundation is sound. We have long ignored it and now we are paying the price for that neglect.

It will not be easy and it won't be cheap but it must be done. We will all have to pull together as Americans do and get it done. We are a nation of doers not complainers. When the going got tough, Americans have pulled themselves up by their boot straps and getting things done.

We must do so again.