Saturday, June 30, 2012

Obama and the Middle Class: I Delve into Political Thoughts

I don't write political issues on my family blog, but this is my thoughts blog, and few people see it anyway so here goes.

I am perturbed by notion that the Democrats are the party of the middle class, when it appears to me the opposite is true.  Jose Hernandez, who is running under the Democrat ticket for congress said in his ads vote for me and stop the Republican attack on the middle class.  Class warfare is silly, but it seams to me the opposite is true: Vote Republican and stop the Democrat attack on the middle class.  Obama has not been a good president for the middle class.  Let me give some examples.

1) Obama Care is a tax on the middle class.  It is a drain on the economy, and effects all.  You may say, not everyone has to pay the tax, only those who don't have insurance.  Take my situation.  My employer pays for insurance.  However the cost of insurance has gone up with new regulations.  My employer passes this on to me in the form of no cost-of-living increases and forced furlough hours.  It is hard for a Union to negotiate when they start in the whole because of the increase in insurance costs.
 Also Obama Care drains the economy, as the cost of employing someone goes up.  Small businesses, especially, are wary of hiring, and highers unemployment effects us all.  So under Obama Care it is nice my children are covered to age 26.  However since young people have the highest unemployment as a result of this economy, partially due to the new taxes of Obama Care, they are more dependent on this as finding jobs with insurance becomes harder and harder.  It is a catch 22.

2) Environmental policies under Obama have added regulation, slowed down energy production, and effected us all.  When Obama took office, they decided to review drilling permits issued in the last year, to make sure the Bush administration had done it right I guess.  This put energy production behind a year; adding expense to process.  He then put a  moratorium on drilling the the gulf.  Obama never admitted it, but his decisions had an effect an doubled the price of gas.  Now, I am one family, middle class.  Calculating quickly, his energy policy has cost us about $5000 a year.  We have two vehicles and fill them about a week.  Thanks Obama.

3) Obama's crippling debt increase--$ 5 trillion and counting will effect the middle class for years to come.  Our children's children's children, as Hook says, will be paying of this debt.  Obama tries to blame it on Bush, but we are not stupid.  Most of the increase from the first year was Obama's Stimulus.  Why he tries to blame this on Bush is beyond me.

4) While developing alternative form of energy is noble, throwing money to political donors for crock pot ideas is disturbing.  Algae will not be made into fuel without a process that takes more energy than it produces.  Solyndra is crazy.  How many Solyndras are out there?  At least the executives got their bonuses to donate money to Obama's campaigne.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ken McNeil-- Friend,

Everyone once in a while there are people who, just by your knowing them, make you a better person.  In my life, Ken was one of those people.  His example let people know how to live more like Jesus.
I and one of my sons, probably both Mark or Jeremy in their turn, were their home teachers for several years.  Their oldest daughter was Jeremy's age, and oldest son Charity's age.  Caleb and Rory were always good friends.  Often we were the recipients of the lesson, through their example.

Ken was a man epitomized by service, kindness, and a mellow outlook.  He was available to help others; whether by loaning them a car in need, giving them money, giving his time.  Ken loved his family.  He married later in life, but was blessed with five children, Lizzy, Martin, Duncan, Rory and Walker.  It was fun to watch him interact with them.  He loved children.

One year Ken and I coached a farm team together for Moreland baseball.  It was my first year getting involved.  He had a couple children on the team.  It was a fun experience, watching his kids heft the equipment to the vehicle. 

We use to do activities together, beach, floating the American River.  They left the ward and moved to Delaware.  When we visited the East, their home was our base of operations.  Sheri and I enjoyed a room in the basement.  Liza cut everyone's hair.  They shared some of their activities, including getting ice cream at the creamery.

They let their basement out to other friends, who needed to escape the heat.  They did the same with their pool.

Ken was an example of using your resources for good.  He was taken from us this year, due to cancer.  But he left a permanent mark on my life.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Connie Driving the Truck

This is taken from a series of stories Charlie put together

Connie Driving the Truck

This story happened when Connie was ten and Weldon about seven years old.

Connie was always a very daring type of person who thought that she could do most anything.  I guess that is probably why she felt  that since she could drive a tractor she should be able to drive a truck.

This story is written by Connie herself.

As I grew up being a farmer’s daughter, I naturally knew how to drive a tractor at a very young age.  I was always intrigued with the cars and trucks on the farm, and I couldn’t understand why my dad limited my driving to the tractors only.

One day I and my brother for one reason or another were the only ones home.  I asked my brother Weldon, “How would you like a ride around the house in the old red pick-up?”  He questioned my ability to drive, and I assured him there was no worry.  So we both hopped in.  I started it up and off we went.  We missed the house by two feet, and a tree by two inches; and I never understood why the truck wouldn’t turn onto the road I wanted it to, and we ended up stuck in a pile of dirt.  Worse of all I couldn’t get the truck started again to put it back where I found it so my dad wouldn’t now about any troubles.  As I remember, he wasn’t too mad.  He just reminded me that he had told me there is a difference between driving a tractor and a truck.

My addition:  I remember being home, but not being in the truck at the time.  I think Sara was home and she and Connie were babysitting us.  Our farm house was situated with a gravel and dirt road all the way around it.  To the North there was a patch of grass between the house and the road, and beyond that a canal with a patch of sandy soil before the bank of the canal.  It was into this no-man's land that Connie landed the truck.  That old red pick-up was always hard to start, and always made a terrific noise when being started.  It sounded like nothing else I have ever heard.  The closest is perhaps when the belt goes out of a dryer.  I just remember hearing that noise and thinking, as she tried to restart the pick-up, "Oh, Oh, Connie is going to be in so much trouble."

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tinnitus (health)

I have been living with tinnitus for the past six or seven years now.  I first developed it when I had bad allergies, and a stuffed eustachian tube putting pressure on my ear.  I hate that, and was steaming my ear frequently, trying to get it to go away.  This was the same year mom came to California after breaking her neck.  Anyway the tinnitus started about the same time the stuffed ears went away.  I concluded it must have been related.  However the ear doctor did not agree, and says it was the consequence of loud noises, Del Monte when I was young, and loud music when I was older. 

When it first developed it drove me crazy.  It triggered great anxiety.  I received a blessing from Brother Rod Tueller.  The tinnitus didn't go away after, but my ability to live with it has increased.  I hardly notice it any more, except when I get too tired, or when it changes tones which happens every once in a while.  If I listen for it, it is there.  But if I am busy doing something, I don't even realize it is there.  It still bothers me I really don't have silence any more.  However if I don't think about it, I'm OK.

The only worry is the doctor says it may portend hearing loss, which may be progressive.  I hope not, but Sheri worries my hearing is getting worse. I have a hard time hearing something from the other room, but if people get my attention I hear fine.  I also hear fine on the phone.  So I'm good for a few more years yet.