Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Is Your Vote In Danger?


It seems that there is a proposal afoot that is a threat to the way we vote here in North Carolina. Further, this proposal that has already been passed as law in at least four states (as of July 2008, this interstate compact has been joined by Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, and New Jersey; their 50 electoral votes total amount to almost 19% of the 270 needed for the compact to take effect), could nullify our voice as a state in presidential elections held in the future. The troubling thing about this proposal is that it has been instigated by forces and organizations outside of the state, and not within North Carolina itself.

If this is passed as law, here is what the scenario would be like:

1. North Carolinians go to the polls to vote
2. The Democratic candidate for president wins in the state by a margin of 54% to 46%, so he gets the 13 Electoral College votes from North Carolina. Right? Nope. Not under this proposal.
3. On the overall national level however, the Republican candidate has a 51% to 49% lead in the popular vote. So, under this proposal, the candidate who has the majority of the popular vote from voters in states other than North Carolina gets all the Electoral votes from North Carolina...and the electoral votes from any other state that passes this proposal into law.

So, in essence the protections now in place that would prevent the large, heavily populated states (the figures in parentheses after the named states is their 2003 populations) from always determining the next president would be null and void. That's right. If the majority of New York (9,190,115), Florida (17,019,068), California (35,484,453), Illinois (12,653,544), Texas (22,118,509), Ohio (11,435,798), Pennsylvania (12,365,455), and Michigan (10,079,985) voters cast their ballots for the candidate of one party, that candidate would receive all the electoral votes from each and every state he or she LOST in, if that state passed this proposal into law.

What this proposal is saying in essence is this: You dumb hicks in the outlying provinces called states don't have enough smarts or common sense to understand what is good for the country, but the rest of us in the United States do. So, we will ensure that is we who will always determine what course this nation will take, because we are the United States, and we are the will of the country. You are just onlookers.

For those of you living in other states, don't feel too smug and comfortable. This proposal will be... if it already hasn't been... brought before your state legislatures as well. Remember, this has been passed as law in four states already. It essentially nullifies the the votes of the people in those states. This proposal is a threat to your vote no matter what party you belong to, or don't belong to. Where this proposal passes into law, the votes of the voters in those states will essentially be meaningless if the majorities in those states vote for a candidate who does not win the popular vote overall. What this would mean, is a candidate who wins the popular vote in the heavily populated states mentioned above
would receive not only the Electoral College votes from those states they win, but, also from the states where they lost.

I fail to see how this could be anything other than unconstitutional, but, then, with the way the courts today rule, who knows. I do suggest that you look into this proposal being sneaked in to your state's legislative agenda, because this is not being reported by the media at all. For a media that prides itself in its so-called defense of freedom, they are being deafeningly silent on this matter. Perhaps it is because they agree with the pundits who see the U.S.A. as being the blue states, and the red states as being everyone else.

For more information on these shenanigans, please go to:

http://www.johnlocke.org/news_columns/display_story.html?id=4064



















PRESCRIPTION HELP






As many of you may or may not know, I had a heart attack in May of 2006. One of the things that I have had to deal with is the high cost of my medications. A friend of mine who lives in Texas told me about a website called Your Rx Card. She told me that she had used it and saved a good deal of money on her prescription costs.

So, here is how it works. Go to their website at : http://www.yourrxcard.com ,
and there you will see a box where you type in your first name, your last name, and your email address (don't worry, no junk email or emails from this site come to you at all), and then click on Get Card Now. When your card appears, print it out, and then take it to your pharmacy and ask them to add the card to your file.

Questions about the card can be answered by going here: http://www.yourrxcard.com/questions.php

If you have several household members who need medications, you will need to make a card for each of them as well. You can use the same email address for each family member, just type in their first and last names , click Get Card Now, and print it out.

Also, be sure to put in your zip code in the Pharmacy Locator box and the site will give you the names of pharmacies in your area that accept this card. If you live in a small town like I do, you might want to select a distance of at least 20 miles. You will be surprised (as I was) to find this card is accepted at many national chains as well as locally owned pharmacies.

You will want to click on the Medication Pricing Box as well. There you can type in the name of a medication you or a family member is taking, and they will show you the prices being charged at your area pharmacies.

Hope this helps some of you out there!




Thursday, July 03, 2008

Lip Service...



The Same Ole B.S. From Both Parties








With oil quickly approaching $150.00 a barrel ($200 a barrel by summers end) we are hearing the same old diatribe from the electorate. "Bush is getting rich on oil.... Bush is taking care of his oil pals....We went to war in Iraq for their oil"....and my personal favorite "the democrats/republicans take care of the poor man, and if democrats/republicans were in power the oil price would be down". I hate to be the one to tell ya but...BOTH parties controlled the house and the senate (ain't done nothing yet) in the recent past and present and all anyone of both parties has done is TALK about the oil prices, and argue about what should be done. So, I am posting here an open letter to all members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives (have they been working for you lately?), the legislatures of the 50 states (same question, working for you?), and all the local governments across the country( again, same question).



Dear Elected Sirs and Madams of the Federal, State and Local Governments,



We the electorate can't help but notice that you have created a deafening din on the subject of energy, particularly oil, that has resulted in an amazing plethora of quotations, clich├ęs, and hot air in general, that only results in further inaction on your part. We are tired of the blame game. We are tired of hearing that it's because of "big oil" (none of you own oil stock, right?), that it's because of the President, that it's because of the congress, that it's due to OPEC, that it's due to price fixing, that it's due to price gouging, that it's due to environmental concerns, etc., etc.



Let us tell you, that we highly suspect after due consideration, that the problem fully lies in.... ALL OF THE ABOVE!



We realize that you are completely out of touch with the needs, problems, and concerns of the average working person (someone in Washington was recently quoted as saying if the Congress didn't pass legislation to fund public radio, the taxpayers would have to pay for it). Unlike you, we have no tax payers paying for our energy needs. No one else but we the people are paying for the vehicles that take us to and from work. No one else but we the people are paying for our fuel costs. No one else but we the people are paying for the increased food prices and clothing prices that result from increased energy costs. So, what do you do? Nothing. You do nothing because you don't know what it's like for John and Jane Q. Public to go to the corner store to buy a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk. You don't know what it's like for John and Jane to have to decide between eating or buying gas to go to work. You don't know what it's like for John and Jane to decide between paying their light bill or going to the doctor. You don't have a clue, because everything you need, everything you require is paid for by John and Jane Q. Public. They and the millions of other John and Jane Q. Publics out here in the real world foot your bill. So, what do we get from you in return? Lip service, and that's all.



Oh how you grand stand on your committee's and in your reports to your constituents that you take so lightly, take so much for granted. You make us think of Marie Antoinette. When she was told the people were starving due to a lack of bread she said, "let them eat cake". Well, it seems that the only cake around here is the cake of the elected officials on the national, state, and local levels, and that the people don't even see any crumbs from this cake. Do you recall what became of dear old Marie? She lost her head in the revolution. Now, we aren't threatening to cut off anyone's head, so no need to call out homeland security or the F.B.I. You do understand the concept of a metaphor, right?



We do however want you to remember one thing, and one thing only. You work for us. With the upcoming election, many people think and believe that something will be done about oil after the election. Our pocketbooks won't wait that long. You all need to do something and do it now. Don't be concerned about any "special interest groups" because we the people are the largest "special interest group" and we are worn out from your lack of action. The two major parties need to get together and form one party and call yourselves exactly what you are, and that is the "Do-Nothings". When the time for the election comes around, and the status quo has not changed, you will pay for it with your loss at the polls. Yes, we pay your salary, we pay for your benefits, we pay for your health care, we pay for your transportation, and especially keep in mind, that we pay for your retirement, and retirement is the benefit you will be receiving after the next election, if things don't start changing now!



What would truly get your attention to prove to you that we are serious? Possibly a nation wide "sick day". Maybe a day like Friday August 1, 2008, when people across the nation would call in sick to work, and on that day, they do not buy or sell anything. Maybe then, on that day, you would realize that we are tired of inaction, and that yes, we are the backbone of this nation, that we are the economy of this nation, and that we will fire those who won't work for we the people, and hire those who will.



Yours truly,
The People of the United States of America









Friday, December 08, 2006

Do We Really Care What Hollywood Thinks?


You can't pick up a newspaper, magazine, or read an Internet news site, without inevitably there being a story about some couple in Hollywood breaking up, or another couple getting together, or someone who's career is pretty much past prime making headlines for making a political, or quite often, anti-American statement. You see those stories almost on a daily basis, and I have to wonder. Who the heck cares except the people IN Hollywood?


Is there anyone anywhere who really and truly believes that the Hollywood types actually represent our values and beliefs? I mean come on, you actually believe that people who's work involves make believe, who's career is “let's pretend” could ever actually have a grasp on reality?


As far as the marriages that come and go faster than I can change socks, I am never surprised to find out that the actress Femme Fatale and her actor husband Beau Jest have split over “irreconcilable differences”, which usually means one of them is getting a ton of work and the other isn't. I don't care if Brendan Poutface and Anastasia Wannabe roam the world adopting children from every corner of the globe, while they totally ignore the plight of thousands of children in orphanages or caught in the revolving door of foster care right here in their own country. I don't care if the singer Spinster always goes to extremes to prove to the world that yes, she is just as trashy, common, and stupid as the world first believed.


I don't care if the out of control actor/director/producer/writer/garbage collector Hartford Heartthrob is calling for the withdrawal of all American warships from the coast of Lower Slobbovia. Let the Slobbovians patrol their OWN coasts he screams! The fact that ol' Hartford has been less than a choir boy all of his life, and has never visited the Naval crews patrolling the coast of Lower Slobbovia, and therefore has no real clue as to whats going on is irrelevant. We should also note that the media has gotten bored with his antics, and the fact that he hasn't been in a movie that anyone remembers for the last 10-15 years shouldn't be a factor either. One can't help but suspect, that Hartford is doing anything he can to get his name and face in the news, and who knows...maybe a new role will soon follow.


In the end, I myself don't pay any attention to anything said by anyone from Hollywood, no matter which side of the political fence they are on. I look at the issues for myself. I examine an issue from as many points and views as I can, and then, I make my own decisions. I don't have to wait to see what some spoiled, ungrateful, insignificant little dweeb from Hollywood thinks about anything! I mean, don't you really think that people who spend their lives “play acting” seem to show that they have a complete and total confusion as to what is real and what isn't? Then again, what else could you expect from people who are so egotistical, that they are under the illusion, that they represent America, and all that it is. Guess what Hollywood? American isn't impressed, and you are just blowing smoke. To put it nicely.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Heart Attack, Stopped Smoking, and Health Insurance


Well, let me tell you what happened.

On May 4, 2006, I woke up with chest pain, and pain that extended to both arms and up to my jaw. If you haven't guessed it, then I'll just tell you, I had a heart attack. I got myself to the hospital, and because I paid attention to my symptoms and reacted instead of waiting it out, the damage was minimal.

A word of advice though. Do NOT attempt to drive yourself to the doctor, hospital, or anywhere else if you are having the symptoms of a heart attack. Call 911 instead! Stupidly, I decided to drive myself to the ER, then decided to stop at the local fire department instead, and they took me to the ER. The possible accidents that could have occurred scare me now.

I was in the hospital for 4 days, one of those days in the heart tower at Memorial Mission Hospital in Asheville. I now have a stent, and am on three medications, as well as a daily aspirin regimen. I am walking every day, and I quit smoking. Let me add that I quit smoking without medications, nicotine replacements, or going nuts.

The hospital has a smoke cessation program, which I am sure is found to be very helpful by many who have quit smoking, or who are trying to quit. However, the lady who came to explain the cessation program only succeeded in making me angry (the day after a heart attack, and they send ME someone with no apparent common sense) with the last statement of her little talk. She was talking about the struggles and challenges of stopping smoking, and how in some cases people have different emotions and experiences in their efforts to quit. What made me angry though, was when she said this: "Now, there will be times as you are trying to quit, when you are going to become very angry and frustrated. When you get angry, go to your room, and beat up your pillow. Beat your pillow, and not a woman, child, or animal."

Did you have to read that last statement again? When the part about not beating a woman, child or animal had left her mouth and assaulted my ear drums, I politely thanked the woman, and told her she could go. She then asked me if she had done or said something to offend me. I told her I couldn't believe she had to ask, and that yes, she had indeed offended me. I went on to explain, that although I don't know what type of experiences she has had in the past, I am not now, nor have I ever been, nor will I ever be, an abuser of women, children, or animals. I also said that not every male of our species is, contrary to her apparent belief. She stumbled through an apology, said that the statement was part of her humor (huh?), and asked if she could give me a hug before she left. I declined the hug, forgave her, and sent her on her way. I still think what she said was inappropriate, and I don't appreciate that being a male automatically stereotypes you into being an abuser in the eyes of some people.

Now, let me tell you this. Do not...I repeat... do NOT have a heart attack if you do not have health insurance! (Not that you'd want to have a heart attack at all.) Where I work, they do not offer health insurance to any of the employees there, and we all know how expensive and cost prohibitive individual health insurance is, especially when your salary is under $20,000 a year as mine is. By the time I buy groceries for myself (single man that I am), pay my electric, phone, and cable bills (basic service), taxes, insurance, rent, buy gasoline, and my heating/cooling costs, I have nothing left to pay for my own health insurance and I now also have to add $365 a month in medications. I am actually going to go in the hole, and unlike the government, deficit spending for an individual is a no-no.

I was in the cardiac care unit of the hospital for one day, and then in a regular room for 3 days, and my hospital bill, doctors bills, and all is well over $40,000 dollars. That's my entire annual income for 2 years. I shudder to think what it would be if bypass surgery had been required!

Yes, and now good people, I find out that I am just not poor enough to get any help. I make too much money. I don't qualify for any programs except from one pharmaceutical company (AstraZeneca) did put me on their program for one of the meds I am now required to take for life. The two remaining meds are going to cost $365 a month as I stated above, and I have no choice but to not buy the more expensive one of the two, the Plavix being more necessary than the Mevacor. The maker of Plavix said my income is too high for their program, and apparently Mevacor's manufacturer has no program.

I just wonder, how many people would be saved from becoming homeless, from becoming destitute, if there were programs in both the governmental and private sectors to assist people before they become poverty stricken. Would it not be cheaper to help out before a situation becomes desperate? Any ideas? Anyone?












Thursday, May 11, 2006

Illegal Immigration


The Keyword is 'ILLEGAL'

Some of the news media personalities (sorry, you can call them journalists, but, they are more like pretty faces than serious reporters), Hollyweird elitists, and the Illegal Immigrants themselves, are all worked up in a dither over the Illegal Immigration issue, and yet, they seem to want to ignore or downplay the "illegal" aspect of the whole mess. Some want to throw out the term "illegal" altogether, and just refer to these people as immigrants or migrants.

Sorry. It ain't playing here. Nor do I suspect this is playing well in other areas of the country either. Now, illegal is illegal, no matter how you try to change it, or dress it up. And please, get over the race idea. Last time I checked, there are illegal immigrants from countries other than Mexico living here, including some very European illegals. If someone has slipped into the country illegally, or has overstayed their Visa, it's long past time THEY WENT HOME!

The fact remains, that they broke the law, and they are now expecting special treatment because they broke the law. I think they should get special treatment, too. A one way bus ticket or plane ride back to their country of origin after spending some jail time for breaking the law, of course.

Yes, this country was settled by immigrants. The freedom this country enjoys was paid for by the blood, sweat, and tears of those immigrants and their descendants. There were large influxes of Italian, German, French, Irish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and other nationalities who legally came to this country looking for the promise of a better life, and who continue to legally come to this country today. The difference between the "illegals" and the "legals" is, the illegals think that they should pass Go, collect the $200, and get a stay out of jail card free!

The people who came here legally, are just as hard working and industrious as the illegals (it is always pointed out what hard workers the illegals are, as though the legals are not), and the legal immigrant has to work hard, and jump through hoops to get to stay here. They have played by the rules. They have followed what is expected of law abiding citizens. Yet, because the illegal alien has broken the law, he/she should get a free pass? Does this make sense to anybody?

One morning, you get up. A window has been broken out, and upon nervously creeping into your living room, you discover a man, sitting on your couch, watching your TV, drinking your beer. You ask him what he is doing in your home, and you just get a somewhat bewildered, and confused smile. You call the police. When the police come, they tell you the man is a homeless man, and that they don't really have the resources and/or time to devote to removing him, so he'll just have to stay with you. If he eats your food, drinks your beer, sleeps in your spare bedroom, it'll just hafta be OK until he can get back on his feet. When he gets a job, maybe then he can help out. Don't be so heartless....the guy is HOMELESS, and here you have a home. So what if he begins to move his family and friends in, too...have a little compassion you heartless S.O.B.!

Sigh...the only difference is, this homeless guy is not gonna run around in your front yard, proudly and loudly proclaiming to the world that he broke the law by breaking into your home, and then wave around the mailbox from his former address while saying there is no way you can afford to have him taken out of your house. Nope... no way he can do that. Right? Right!

Only illegal aliens can do that. Sheesh...what a mess.




Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Some Quick Thoughts


I decided to start this blog, just to give myself a place to vent. Sort of share my ideas, and express my frustrations with the government, politicians, and the things that I suppose everyone has an opinion or opinions on, and find that essentially, we are without the power or recourse to change anything.

I see and hear everyday people who will try to tell me that it depends on which political party you belong to, as if there was actually any differences between the two major parties here. I hear Democrats tell me the Democratic politicians are for the poor man, the little guy, and that the Republicans are for the rich man, the power broker, and the Republicans, say no, it's the other way around. Seems to me, last time I checked, all of those politicians aren't standing in any breadlines, or waiting to get a welfare check, unless you count the lobbyists, and I guess that is a form of political welfare. For politicians anyway.

I mean, especially when it comes to the politicians in Washington, D.C., I am not aware of any of them even remotely being "middle class", let alone poor. Since they don't have to struggle to raise their kids or to put their kids through school....they don't have to worry about the price of gasoline going through the roof....they don't have to scrimp and save to try to buy a home or pay the rent....how in the heck can they relate to you or to me, when we have to face those things, worry over those things, live those things each and every day? Am I the only one who thinks they can't? That when it comes to America and Americans, they haven't had a clue in years, decades even?

Anyway, it's past time I was in bed, and I don't want to start out with too big a rant. Not just yet anyway.