Friday, October 15, 2010

Government Demanding Foreclosure Freeze?

On October 13, Governor Jennifer Granholm (Michigan-D) demanded that certain banks immediately suspend all foreclosures. Why do government officials think we need a foreclosure freeze, and what gives government officials the impression that they can demand anything of a private industry? Putting a freeze on foreclosures is just going to prolong the problem and is another example of government forcing private business to do something.

This kind of thing is happening all over the country. Because the United States government gave money to private companies as a bailout, it claims to have control of how those businesses are run. The government has no right to tell American people and businesses what they can and can’t do, and they are destroying the private sector. If they had just gotten out of the way, lowered taxes, stopped over-regulating every person and business in United States, they wouldn't have needed to bail out anyone or anything.

Here's the big point. The government should not be taking our tax dollars and 'giving' it to anyone. No bailouts, no stimulus. This is not the purpose of the Federal government. The basic, number one job of the government is to provide national security and little else. They seem to be doing just the opposite. November second can't come soon enough and then we need to start working on 2012! What’s your opinion?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Emergency Preparedness Is More than Just Flashlights!

I sat up late last night watching the storms. No, not out my windows, on the radar screen on the computer! Boy how things have changed. We used to have to wait for the weather man to tell us what was going to happen. Now we can watch it happen. I kept thinking things like “take cover Omaha!” and “Des Moines, it’s after you next!” Seriously, living in Michigan, why do I care? I’m not really sure, I just love weather. With weather-related and other emergencies, we need to be prepared. Prepared how?

Flashlights? Batteries? A generator? What else? In our family we have emergency kits with enough provisions to last 72 hours. Yes, there are flashlights but we also have food, water, a change of clothing, a copy of every important paper that we may need (driver’s licenses, birth certificates, insurance papers, wills, credit card/bank information, etc.), cash (about $100 and yes it has to be actual cash not a credit/debit card although that’s a good idea as well), a pocket knife, a first aid kit, personal toiletries, plastic sheeting, duct tape, a can opener, three days supply of any (very) important prescription medications, bug repellant, rain ponchos, etc. You get the picture. All of this has to be in a portable container, such as a backpack, so that it can be grabbed in a hurry.

For example, how would the disaster of hurricane Katrina have been handled differently if every person had taken along a 72-hour kit? What about the flooding, tornados, eathquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions? What about train derailments, chemical leaks, gas explosions, fires, or anything else that drives you from your home with seconds evacuate. It seems like a day doesn't go by without us hearing about some disaster. Often, it's impossible to grab anything as you run out the door, leaving every important thing behind. These little bags of provisions can make a huge difference in an emergency. I hope we never need them, but they are there if we do. We even practice emergency drills just like we do fire escape plans. Each child his or her own bag and they know how to use it! What's your opinion? –Julie

For more advanced emergency supplies, try these:
Quakehold! 70280 Grab-'N-Go Emergency Kit, 2-Person, 3-Day Backpack
Deluxe Emergency Kit-4 Person Emergency Zone Brand Disaster Survival Kit, 72 Hour Kit

Monday, June 21, 2010

Schoolyard Bullying at its Worst!

Would you give away twenty billion dollars out of the kindness of your heart? What if someone was holding their boot to your throat, as our administration said they were going to do to BP? When the BP executives met with the Obama Administration last week, they came out of the meeting with a plan to give away twenty billion dollars to an escrow account controlled completely by the administration. Where’s the money going? Why did they give it away? What were they told that made them feel as if they didn’t have a choice? They were already complying with every demand the administration had made up to that point. This was unethical at best and illegal at worst. Technically, the shareholders of BP stocks could sue the company for giving away the money. What’s your opinion? -Julie

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fire Extinguishers and Life Vests!

Oil flows toward the Louisiana shore and yet the barges equipped with vacuums to clean it up sit idle while the United States Coast Guard inspects them to make sure they have fire extinguishers and live vests! You’ve got to be kidding me? Governor Bobby Jindal ordered sixteen barges out into the Gulf of Mexico to suck oil from the water that is still leaking from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The workers were wearing hazmat suits and gas masks as they pumped oil out of the water off the Louisiana shore and into steel tanks. It was working. Finally something was working. Is that what the Federal government is afraid of, that something might actually work? Shouldn’t a State have the right to clean up the water off from its own shore without being told how to do it? If the Federal government won’t do it, why can’t the people of the State of Louisiana? What’s your opinion? –Julie

Thursday, June 17, 2010

No Jones about It! Why America Doesn’t Want Any Help!

America needs help cleaning up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and we need it now! So why are we turning down assistance from thirteen other countries? Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations have all offered assistance to help with this tragedy. The Dutch in particular offered ships equipped with oil-skimming booms as well as help building sand barriers which would protect the delicate marshlands of the Gulf coast. Shouldn’t we be jumping at the offers for help?

We’re not. Why? Our government is claiming that the Jones Act of 1920 prevents them for accepting help from foreign countries. Also called The Merchant Marine Act, this law says that all shipping on U.S. waters needs to be done in U.S. flag ships built in the U.S., owned by U.S. citizens, and crewed by U.S. citizens. This all sounds good under normal circumstances (it’s not as good as it sounds, but we won’t get into that). But right now is a not normal circumstance. We are dealing with a catastrophe here and we should be accepting whatever help we can get. In past emergencies this act has been suspended temporarily in order to address situations when we needed help, such as was done following hurricane Katrina. Why is our government not suspending it now? What’s your opinion? –Julie

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Drill Baby Drill? Maybe Not Right Now!

We need to use our own natural resources so that we don’t have to rely on energy sources from other countries. We have a vast abundance of natural resources on our own land and we have good environmental safeguards to harvest and process those resources. Our president just got on television in front of the Nation telling us what needs to be done about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Or did he?

I never heard him tell us anything that would actually clean up the spill. He appealed to our hearts about the need to clean it up and the need to have British Petroleum pay the people who have been harmed. He told us that we need more government regulations, even though the past regulations have failed. He told us that we need to expect higher costs for our energy, when we are already stretched to the limits of our budget. And he told us that we need a comprehensive takeover of the entire industry and allow the government to be in control.

This crisis has put us on the defensive and we are looking for leadership to help us fix the problem. So far he hasn’t offered any solutions to get the spill cleaned up. A third of his speech was dedicated to our need to get off using fossil fuels and pass his comprehensive energy bill. He doesn’t want this crisis to go to waste. In truth, this bill will halt our ability to use our own resources and make energy costs skyrocket. We don’t need more government, we need him to get off the preaching and fix the problem. What’s your opinion? -Julie

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle

Has the United States government gone too far? They have taken over so many portions of our economy that there are few things in our lives that the government doesn’t control. As I wrote a check this morning for my student loan payment to the Department of Education, it occurred to me that I used to think that I’d gotten a loan from Central Michigan University in order to go to college. In reality it was the government that loaned me that money and I don’t know of anyone who has student loans from any other entities. That got me thinking about the control the government has on us.

If they own the student loan industry, do they decide who gets a loan? More importantly, do they decide what you are allowed to study? When I was working on my master’s program I asked my advisor (in casual conversation) why he chose geography to study and he told me that he didn’t, the government in China did. I was shocked, but he went on. He said that they did assessment testing and told him that based on what they determined in the testing, he was best fit to work in geography. He didn’t have a choice.

Are not our children being given assessment testing in our high schools right now? Their school counselors are making ‘recommendations’ about what they should study in college or what trade they should follow. Where does it stop? At what point does it transition over to the government choosing on behalf of our children.

They’ve also recently taken over most of the banking industry. If they own the banks, do they get to choose who is allowed to borrow money and for what purpose? Will they be monitoring what checks we write and where we use our ATM cards? Will they know how many credit cards we have and how much debt we are under? Will they decide who can buy a home and will they decide what we can do in our homes?

What about our vehicles? The government recently bought General Motors and Chrysler. If they own the car companies, can they decide which cars we are allowed to buy and how much we’re allowed to drive? Can they put GPS chips in the cars so that they can track where we go?

Let’s talk about something more sensitive like health care. The recent takeover of our healthcare system is downright frightening. Will the government now be able to decide who gets how much care? Is this not already happening with programs like Medicare and Medicaid? Are claims being rejected based on some bureaucrat deciding the necessity of the procedure? Who is this person or persons? Or is it just a computer making these decisions based on a numerical code? Should not these decisions be made by the doctor and patient? At what point does the government decide that doctors are to go no further in trying to treat a patient based on age? At that point is the process considered “death panels” as has been suggested?

Looking at this list, it is obvious that most of these things are already happening and it’s getting worse all the time. At what point does it stop? At what point do the United States people stand up and say enough is enough? What’s your opinion? –Julie

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Topics/Current Events/Items for Discussion

Your opinions are important to me and my readers. Let’s talk. Here is a list of some of the current events I regularly follow as well as other topics about which I have strong opinions. Of course, my opinions change based on acquired knowledge. I’d like to hear what you have to say so that we can agree or disagree (and perhaps shape one another’s opinions). This list is in no way exhaustive and is in no particular order. If you have a specific topic you’d like me to start with, please let me know.
  • The United States economy, jobs, government spending, debt, inflation.
  • The current and future political environment in the United States including the Tea Party Movement and it’s effects on the political climate, the Governors races and Congressional races of November 2010, the Presidential races in 2012.
  • The United States Constitution and Bill of Rights, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, gun control and the right to bear arms, women’s rights, human rights, civil rights.
  • Health Care Reform
  • America’s abundance of natural resources, environmental concerns, domestic natural resources exploration, alternative energy, harvesting domestic resources as an alternative to purchasing the same from foreign entities.
  • Supporting and honoring America’s aging population as well as creating a positive and thriving system of support for our future generations.
  • The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as well as other environmental and natural disasters.
  • Weather related events as they occur.
  • The United States armed forces and its involvement in global conflicts and wars, including but not limited to: Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Israel, Palestine, Turkey, North Korea, China, Pakistan, the African continent, Mexico, the drug cartels, United States/Mexico border, Arizona’s new law, and the war on terrorism.
  • The State of Michigan, including jobs, economy, politics, natural resources.
  • Government bailouts, government takeovers, the collapse of Greece, the European Union, capitalism, socialism, entitlements, the importance of unions as well as the problems faced by unions and because of union involvement.
  • Families, religion, emergency preparedness and food storage.

Nothing controversial or anything! I’d like to try to keep my entries polite and non-threatening. I don’t like mud slinging and name calling so I’ll try to avoid slang terms to describe what’s going on. I would just like to share my opinion. After all, that’s what this blog is all about. What topic(s) would you like to talk about? -Julie

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Parable of the Frogs by Julie Spencer

We are like frogs in a large pot of cool water. Most of the frogs are swimming around smiling, thinking that the reason the water is getting warmer is because the sun just came out. But some of us have seen the hand that just reached out and turned on the burner. We’ve begun crying out and reaching our little arms up, hoping that someone will hear us and turn off the water. Our little legs aren’t long enough to jump out of the pot, and we wouldn’t know where to go if they were. The big people looking down into the pot are smiling and laughing because they have waited a long time for frog soup, and we are finally cooking. We try to tell the other frogs what is happening, but they start laughing too. They think that now that the sun is out, everything will be wonderful. We all begin to slowly grow lethargic as we become less and less able to cry out. By the time the other frogs realize what we’ve been trying to tell them, it is too late. We are all cooked together. -Julie

These are just my opinions!

I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Politics, religion, current events, books I'm reading, money, leadership qualities (and lack thereof), and everything in between. I have a tendency to have strong opinions and to be a little abrasive. Throughout the day I hear, read, see or do things about which I have opinions and I like to write them down. For this purpose, I have started this blog. I'd like people's feedback and I always welcome others' opinions. After all, yours will probably be (at least slightly) different than mine. Challenge me. Prove me wrong. It's okay. I'm not claiming that what I say is anything more than my opinions. Let's talk. What's your opinion? -Julie