Wednesday, June 23, 2010
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
Friday, June 18, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
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
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
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
- 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