Thursday, March 31, 2005

Thursday March 31, 2005 An April Fool

I guess I'm an April fool. All winter long, I have been wishing the days away , waiting for the spring. I'm so very glad that spring is here and freezing weather is gone and green grass is starting to grow. The smell of spring is in the air and I'm really really ready for it. I suppose it's a case of cabin fever that overcomes me at the end of winter, but I've alway enjoyed the spring rains and budding trees and the clean sweet smell of spring. It's so nice to discard the heavy coats and warm clothing of winter and feel light an springy again.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Saturday March 26, 2005 Hanging loose

I waited a long time for spring and yet today, winter still lingers. It's grey and cold out there. But the good thing is that it's Saturday! YES! A grey cold Saturday! BOO!

Perhaps a good day to hang loose?
Actually, the phrase "hang loose" sounds like you are on the edge of danger. Does it mean that one false step and you will be left hanging? What is hanging tight? Sounds a bit like strangulation. Oh well, I intend to analyze and survey the meaning of "hang loose" all day long.

I hope you are hanging loose, too.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Friday March 25, 2005 When is it better to be a dog?

A very strange question, yet very true in some situations. In Terri Schiavo's case, the courts have determined that if she could have her druthers, she would choose not to be kept alive by artificial means. I firmly believe the same thing for myself. The only problem is that instead of offering the person a reasonable and painless way to relieve the misery, the only recourse allowed by society is to starve and/or let the person die of thirst. If a dog is suffering and cannot be made well, we put it to sleep humanely and without pain and suffering. Why can't we do the same for a human. At this point in Terri's life there is no hope for a future and all of society knows that the inevitable consequence is death and yet we will only allow her to pass away by knowingly depriving her of sustenance and relief - makes no sense. If and when such a time might occur in my life, I hope that there will be a pill offered that will alllow me to pass peacefully on without causing emotional trauma to my friends and relatives.

Maybe I can just go to the Vet's office for help?

Friday, March 18, 2005

Friday March 18, 2005 Almost Spring

The word itself is light and airy. Think about it. Spring. It makes you want to move.
Spring is green and cool and smells of flowers and spring rains. The grass turns green and the trees bud and flowers bloom. Life renews and your whole attitude lightens up.

I’m really ready for spring! Aren’t we all ready for spring?.

It’s time to check out the lawnmower and rake the yard. It’s time to put away the heavy clothes and get out the light cooler springware. It’s a great time of the year.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Saturday March 12, 2005 Hospitals are a drag

Hospitals are a drag. They're full of sick people. It's not really a very nice place to visit. The patients are uncomfortable and the visitors are in the way. The nurses and all the other technicians are busy trying to keep some semblance of order in an ever changing world. It seems like a bad place to take someone who is trying to get well. It is very hard to isolate yourself from all the hacking and wheezing and coughing going on.

Whatever happened to the good old days when you could stay home and be sick in your own bed and the kindly doctor would stop by and medicate you? You were surrounded by those who really loved you and cared about you. It had to be better for your mental health. I guess there aren't enough doctors to go around now. You could sure save a lot on hospital bills.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Friday March 4, 2005 Dad

My dad has always been my hero.

He is the one who instilled the sense of personal and family pride in me. He set the example for me in how a man should shoulder responsibility through his manner and through his works.

When mom got cancer and struggled with life over the next 16 years while slowly withering away, my father was a tower of strength and caring. He waited on mom and saw to her needs till the very end. He slept in her hospital room for days when she was really ailing. He was her guardian angel. They were married for 60 years and I have no doubt that he loved her every day of those 60 years.

Dad carried on after mom passed away. She was one of the reasons for him to continue and when she left him behind, I’m sure he questioned what there was left to do. He turned to his children and has shared his love and strength with all of us. He ties our family together.

Dad is now 89 and his health is slowly failing and he doesn’t have the strength to do many of the simple things in life. Parts of your body quit before the body as a whole and you notice. His vision is failing and his strength has dwindled and his balance isn’t what it was. His mind is still sharp, but sometimes he can’t catch a quick thought like he could.

Dad is in the hospital today and I’m hoping that they can help restore some quality to his life. A man like him deserves to retain his dignity and have some quality of life to carry forward.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Thursday March 3, 2005 Consumer Tax?

Let’s think about this "consumption" tax for a minute.

Supposedly, we would eliminate many of the other taxes and only tax items which we buy.

When a person making $20,000 a year spends every cent on consumables, he will be taxed completely and when a person making $200,000 a year spends only 40% of his income on consumables and saves or invests the rest, he will be taxed on 40% of his income. Sounds fair, doesn’t it? It would lend itself to the faster accumulation of wealth by those already wealthy and faster debt problems for the poor.

So, maybe we can structure it with loopholes to allow people with lower incomes to get some kind of rebate. That will force most of the tax on the middle-income taxpayer. I don’t see any relief there, but it would start the special interest loophole legislation that dominates our tax laws now.

We all know that the Social Security problem could be forestalled for another 50 years if we just extend the current tax to "all" income. Of course the people with higher incomes don’t like the sound of that, but they will be putting in the same percentage of income that the poorer people do and they will be getting more retirement income out when they retire (sounds fair to me).

I’m a firm believer in a flat tax on all income above a certain poverty level. We would need to exempt the first say $25,000 and then pay 15% or 20% on all income above that level (with no exceptions). We would stop rewarding people for having kids. We would stop tax exemption loopholes. It would take 5 minutes to figure your taxes. We could stop playing games with the federal tax code. In times of real emergency, we could raise the tax to cover the cost.

Maybe we could even balance the budget. Of course we would need to somehow stop the special interests from buying congressmen, senators and presidents.

That will never happen.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Wednesday March 2, 2005 Democratic musings on a sunny day

I guess the Republican solution to the Social Security and Medicare looming problems is to cut the taxes on the rich, drive up federal spending by privatizing government support services and issuing non-bid contracts to their friends and supporters, and let each poor soul buy whatever services he can afford.

Once the Social Security system is in the hands of the brokers and insurance companies, we will all be much better off (just ask the British about their private investment retirement plan).

Have you noticed how well the defense manufacturers are doing while we have kept this war dragging on? When we have no decent enemies left, we seem to create new little ones to pick on. This constant defense against real or imaginary foes keeps the armament manufacturers quite happy. Now we have the nouveau security defense companies coming into the lineup for their portion of the largesse due to the Homeland Security contracts being issued.

Years ago we, in the construction business, always marveled at the contracts awarded by the military at the end of the fiscal year – just to finish off any monies left over from their budget. If it could be painted or replaced it was, no matter that it had just been done the preceding year. They had to use up the budgeted money or their budget would be decreased the next year. Now that much of the support service is being let out to private corporations, that is likely to escalate.

Now that we are spending very much more than we are taking in, without attempting to curb the costs of the supply side corporations for armaments, health care, drug costs, and energy suppliers, we will need to either cut back on services to the public or raise taxes on the poor or extend the retirement age or even extend the social security taxed income to all income. Or we could stop making wars and save a bundle. Maybe we could tell Europe “It’s your turn to keep the peace.”. We could ally ourselves with all the North American and South American countries and build our own economy here without Europe or Asia. Once we found alternative fuels instead of oil, we could tell the middle east to keep their oil and go back to tending their flocks.

Or not. Sometimes it’s nice to dream.
Let's pretend that the rich aren't getting richer and the poor aren't getting poorer.
We don't really need a Robin Hood, do we?

March winds will bring April showers which will bring? Posted by Hello