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Archive for the ‘government’ Category

If you haven’t heard the news yet, it appears that NY Democratic representative Anthony Weiner is caught up in a social media scandal that has caused great controversy.  In the beginning he said, that risque photos posted in the public time-line of his Twitter account was the work of a hacker. However, it has since been disclosed by Anthony Weiner that the photos were of himself and that he posted them to women that he “met” in his online relationships.

He’s stated that he has not met them in real life.  His credibility is being called into question because of the lies he initially told regarding the scandal.  His judgment is part of that controversy in regards to his career. Many people are wondering whether someone who would lie to his constituents, his family, his friends, and the media could do his job with honesty and integrity. To keep reading: Write Where You Are Blog

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Well, I guess I can honestly say that I am not surprised about the Supreme Courts decision for Westboro Baptist Churches right to free speech to protest funerals, as they see fit, has been protected.  However, with the vitriol that they spit out at will, towards fellow human beings that they personally deem as going to hell; it is offensive to many that they have the right to say what they will, wherever they choose to take their message, according to the highest court in the land.

My own personal belief is that homosexuality is wrong…a sin if you will, however, I do not think that this group or any group has the right to protest at someone’s funeral.  This is a time for a family & friends to grieve and honor their loved ones.    I think that Westboro’s conduct or behavior is shameful for a church and shows a lack of compassion or love for their fellow man/woman; and, that there are better ways to communicate their beliefs or faith.  To me it is now more like a legal sort of bullying that has the stamp approval from the Supreme Court (except for one Supreme Court Justice).  To continue reading click here: Write Where You Are

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I had the honor today of interviewing Connie Baum the inspiration behind the website Food
Stamps Cooking Club
about why her website is growing in numbers and with such a sense of community.  The site was created to teach people how to stretch their food dollars to purchase foods that are filling and nutritious.  To hear the interview click here:  Write Where You Are

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Surely you’ve heard about the Mega Millions Lottery Jackpot in the news.  Everyone in the media is going gaga over the $330 million jackpot winnings.  People are dreaming big.  Oh there is speculation on the lips of those that are interviewed about what they WILL do with their winnings (they haven’t even bought a ticket yet) and they are fantasizing about how THEIR money will be spent and how they will choose to collect it; either in a lump sum or, through long term annuity payments.

Players are standing in long lines to purchase their tickets.  Even the “odds of winning” aren’t a deterrent to the most loyal of players…the 1 in 176 millionth of a chance of winning.  Really?  I wonder how someone convinces themselves that THEY are the one who WILL win the jackpot with those kind of odds.   If you would like to finish reading this post click here: WriteWhereYouAre

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You know that Bernie Madoff has plead his guilt to the court in the securities fraud case against him, as well as  perjury; however, the investigators who are delving into this long -term Ponzi scam are allegedly, having to investigate his business associates, some of his family members, and his tax accountant too.  There is so much missing money…that many observers automatically assume that the money has been hidden among those that he has personal relationships with; whether that is true or not, remains to be seen.

It leaves the impression of guilt by association, though this is unfortunate, because many of them may not have had any idea about the fraud that was taking place.   I personally doubt whether he advertised the fact of what he was doing, to his friends and family; it isn’t something most people would be proud of.    I am thinking about his wife in particular; did she know where the money in their lives came from?  She is also allegedly, being investigated; and, unless she had direct involvement in the day-to-day business operations…how would she know what he did while he was at work?

Still, if the money in their accounts is  found to be accumulated from the fraud; the government could confiscate it couldn’t they?  His own family members could end up being “victims” of his actions, just as well as, those who lost so much financially!  Bernie will be sentenced for his crimes in June.   What the additional investigation finds, will also determine what happens to the others that are being investigated by their association with Bernie Madoff.  Bernie may have plead guilty, but, if this investigation negatively impacts his friends and family…you have to wonder if he will actually feel any guilt!

In this kind of a case, the cloud of suspicion could literally destroy many more lives than those that have already been destroyed.  If Bernie Madoff could admit his guilt in court…why can’t he just be honest and tell the investigators where the money is?   Maybe if some of the money could be found…maybe some of the people who were ripped off could get some of their money back.  If he is keeping that missing money information to himself…it could destroy those that he supposedly cares about, such as his wife, children, business associates and such.  Let the guilty be found out…and the innocent be proven so; still, what if the money is found  in their accounts without their having knowledge of the scam?

So many lives have been destroyed by this security fraud…this Ponzi scam this abuse of trust, it is sickening.  People have lost so much of their money that they counted on to survive.  It makes a person intensely frustrated and angry that Mr. Madoff will be sitting in a prison cell…getting three meals a day and all of his basic needs will be met; while his “victims” future is still up in the air.  The levels of trust and responsibility that we put in our leaders is immense and needs honored by meeting those levels of trust and responsibility and exceeding it!  This damages everyone’s ability to trust those in authority, who’s decisions affect our lives…has it affected how you trust people?

I have moved my site to a new Url:  WriteWhereYouAre if you are interested in more blog posts!

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        There is a debate brewing about whether news media should have access to photograph the coffins of returning military men and women, killed in the line of duty, when their bodies are returned to Dover Air Force Base.  There is strong controversy about whether this should be allowed or not.  In 1991, President George H. Bush enacted a ban on the photographing of the coffins.  It just was not allowed to happen, by the order of the President.

         This has been a matter of contention.  Some people believe that allowing  the photographs could make an impact on the  minds of the citizens of the United States as to the cost of war; as the death toll rises from the wars in recent years.  There are many who feel that by not seeing the evidence of the coffins, people would not understand the depths of the sacrifice that our service persons were making.  In effect, out of sight…out of mind.  (more…)

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         Ok, I dont understand this whole financial mess…I admit that.  I am no financial genius.  However, I do know that if you keep spending money that you dont have…you go deeper in debt.  How in the heck is the government going to get money from people who dont have it to give?  From taxpayers….correction…from taxpayers who have JOBS.  What about all of those people who dont have JOBS  or will soon be loosing their JOBS?  The American family is in crisis.  Many dont have jobs or they have to have more than one part time job to make ends meet.   Some don’t even have homes because they have lost them to foreclosures.  Some of their family members dont have jobs or can’t make enough to pay their bills.  But when you are barely making it…you can’t help anyone else out in a meaningful way either.  The Government financial recovery plan (mess) is mirroring our personal lives…they just dont know it yet!  Still, some of the leaders are using fear to try to get people to put their stamp of approval on their plan of action; they are saying that this might not be the right answer…but we have to do something or else!

         Obama’s treasury chief has announced that this country needs 2 trillion dollars to save the banks.  This is on top of the bailouts that have so far shown little return on the investment for the average American citizen.  Where is this whole thing going to end?  Why not give the money to the citizens and let them dig themselves out of their own very deep holes first?   That in turn might just have the added benefit of allowing them to pay off their loans and homes to those banks and businesses that made the bad loans in the first dang place!

          We are being told that all of this lending and loaning may or may not work….that they might make mistakes.  But that doing nothing would be a catastrophe.  How do we know that?  Maybe those businesses and banks should go under.  After all….once this money is loaned to these businesses and banks…they are going to expect tax payers to go into debt once again with these banks and businesses to circulate the money.  Who in their right mind is going to create an even bigger debt load on themselves with such uncertainty hanging over this country’s head?

        After President Obama’s treasurer spoke the Dow Jones dropped 3.5%.  This is traumatic news to everyone.  Confidence is more than shaken….it has suffered severe trauma.  We may never recover from this extreme mess as a nation.  This isn’t some meaningless recession.  We are bleeding money and we dont have the confidence in our leaders, our banks, our businesses to recover from it. 

         Former Presidential candidate, Senator John McCain calls this plan “generational theft”.  He says we are stealing from future generations their hard earned dollars and laying on them debt of incredible proportions.   He is right.  Where will it end?

           The Government thinks it is going to help everyone out by creating JOBS and bailing out banks and certain industry giants.  Helloooooooooooo…is anybody home out there?   How in the world are they going to do this?  By hitting the taxpayers out even more than they have already.  So far, no one has had a solution that has made a positive enough impact to change the direction of this massive financial failure!  What makes them think that throwing more money into the mix is going to make things better?  Can a government file bankruptsy…cause that is what it feels like is happening here…what is the old saying….borrowing from Peter to pay Paul?

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       As a person living in the midwest, in one of the coldest, snowiest winters in the last 25 years…i have to say i was irritated when i read that since President Obama moved into the White House the thermostat has allegedly gone up.  For a man who made it part of his campaign to encourage Americans to sacrifice for the world environment and to take on a personal responsibility regarding climate changes; I am offended by an article that i read today that says the Oval office is like a tropical hot house, warm enough to grow orchids in.  Someone needs to hold this administration accountable in these types of areas…turn down the heat on President Obama.

       Across our nation right now, many Americans are without electric or typical normal heat sources because of an ice storm, that is going to take weeks to fix.  This is during some truly challenging temperatures as our country transitions between winter and spring.

       Part of the perception of the recent, more relaxed environment in the Oval office…meaning that visitors no longer have to wear suit jackets when they enter in like the former administration; is really more about personal comfort levels.  It isn’t mainly about being relaxed in that room as much as it is about it being warm; so that wearing a suit and tie would be really uncomfortable.  While I applaude the more informal feel to this Presidency…I have to say that even the White House staff and aides have commented on the temperature change; including his chief of staff, David Axelrod who  allegedly, made the statement about the orchids growing in there.

         The article I read said something to the effect that even though President Obama comes from Chicago…he was born in Hawaii, and he likes being warm.  Well, no fake…most of us don’t enjoy being colder than is comfortable…but , what about that personal sacrifice he was talking about before?  I dont want to bust his chops on this or any other issue just for the sake of it…but…this subject is a little close to home when my own family has to keep the furnace set on 58-60 degrees because of the necessity of the high cost of heating our home.

        Another, more important reason this is so maddening is that in my home state…there have been several people who have frozen to death.  A man by the name of Marvin E. Schur, 93 years old, froze to death recently in Bay City, Michigan because the electric company put a limiter on his electric service and his home power was shut off…effectively causing his heating source to stop working.  He died…come on…was that President Obama’s fault….no!  However, when i hear polyanna remarks justifying his higher temperature on the thermostat in the Oval office; it makes me angry to know that others are SUFFERING AND DYING when there are others who have so much and are wasteful with it.  It is not right.

        So please President Obama…you have so many other more important things on your plate…turn down the heat in the White House so that your actions match your words and your call for personal responsibility.   That way, those who would otherwise be inspired by you and your goals of helping our nation turn towards more green living and a more positive use of our energy sources can get on board without having to defend your conflict of words and actions!  Be an inspirational leader so that you can have a powerful impact on our country with responsibile energy use.

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     Ok, ready for some more, I can’t believe it…what were they thinking kind of blog post?  It is better to give than to receive (as long as you are going to KEEP receiving bailout money).  Outrageous news reports of an alledged 12 day trip to Vegas for the top employees for Wells Fargo & Company. 

     In the past years, this has been an alleged tradition of all expenses paid which included many different extravagant perks such as helicopter rides, private concerts, food and entertainment…etc.  While companies are made to look good to their employees by giving away so much; to the rest of us…the companies who do this kind of thing are making a mockery out of the purpose of the bailout money for those companies who have been failing to be financially responsible. 

        How can these corporations, banks and such that have been receiving bailout money from taxpayers still be so blind?  Can they not understand the depths of the resentment of the American people for this financial chaos that we have all been plunged into?  Surely, if these behaviors continue…they will go out of business and deservedly so. 

        The thing is…today’s news of the 12 day planned trip was defended by the company…until there was an uproar and they cancelled the trip.   If that is what it takes, to prevent further financial misuse of the bailout funds, negative peer pressure and pressure from the media, to change their behaviors; then, we are just going to have to be more vocal when we are made aware of an abuse of the American’s financial investment in their companies.

          Let the other industry leaders be forewarned…American tax payers are fed up with the mess that has been made.  I think those at the top of the companies that have received bailout money should be legally responsible for any misuse of those funds.  Let’s see some accountability here by our leaders!

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       I will play the devil’s advocate for a minute.  With all of the adulations for President Barack Obama and the intense emotional highs today of the American people…I couldn’t help but wonder about former President Bush and his wife Laura as they left the White House and all that goes with it.  Was the presidential leave taking a moment of relief or regrets?

        I am sure there has to be an immense sense of relief to shift the weight of the world ( actually the weight of the US) from President Bush to new President Obama’s shoulders.  That has to feel good to a certain degree.  The issues of the country are no longer his burden; and yet, I am sure there is a boat load of conflict going on his his heart and mind.

         It has to feel bittersweet to see all of the open welcoming that the Obamas are receiving at the moment when there are those who have made it clear that they couldn’t wait for the President Bush to leave office.  In fact, the last year of his term in office…there were reports that claimed that he had the lowest presidential approval of any president in recent memory.  That has to hurt. 

        Certainly Bush made mistakes in his governing; Obama says that there are sure to be mistakes in his administration as well.  That is just humanity.  What is notable is that when mistakes are made that they are acknowledged and corrected. 

         The grace of the American public had come to an end because of a multitude of crises and financial upheaval.  There was no more time to get back into the good graces of the American public.  In my mind, former President Bush has to have some regrets about some world events and some personal choices.  Those regrets include the fact that there wasn’t anymore time to correct the legacy of his presidency.  When it comes right down to it…the man and the position are blended with world events and political choices. 

        The presidential legacy that is left when one president leaves office and another takes the helm is often open to interpetation; some believe that in time, some of President Bush’s decisions will be explained and redeemed.  At this moment in time, because of the issues facing the nation….we dont have the luxury of time to do that analyzing now…we have work to do…as President Obama made sure we understood in his address to the nation.  

         President Obama’s legacy is yet to be developed.  Time is the lens through which we view the quality of a President’s service.

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