Saturday, April 3, 2010

Who framed Roger Rabbit?

In the classic 1988 animated film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”, Jessica Rabbit (Roger’s voluptuous wife) admits that she married her bumbling hero, Roger, simply because he makes her laugh. In other words, his actions and personality caused her to take specific action by marrying the guy.



If you fast forward to today, I’d like to nominate Cyndy Miller as a modern day Roger Rabbit. You may have no idea who she is, but her actions have been widely circulated on the internet in the past few weeks.

Cyndy and her husband Walt run a company called Miller Farms Equine Transport. She recently sent the letter attached below to the executive director of AARP:

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Dear Mr. Rand,

Recently you sent us a letter encouraging us to renew our lapsed membership in AARP by the requested date. I know it is not what you were looking for, but this is the most honest response I can give you. Our gap in coverage is merely a microscopic symptom of the real problem, a deepening lack of faith.

While we have proudly maintained our membership for several years and have long admired the AARP goals and principles, regrettably, we can no longer endorse its abdication of our values. Your letter specifically stated that we can count on AARP to speak up for our rights, yet the voice we hear is not ours. Your offer of being kept up to date on important issues through DIVIDED WE FAIL presents neither an impartial view nor the one we have come to embrace. We do believe that when two parties agree all the time on everything presented to them, one is probably not necessary. But, when the opinions and long term goals are diametrically opposed,the divorce is imminent. This is the philosophy which spawned our 200 years of government.

Once upon a time, we looked forward to being part of the senior demographic. We also looked to AARP to provide certain benefits and give our voice a power we could not possibly hope to achieve on our own. AARP gave us a sense of belonging which we no longer enjoy. The Socialist politics practiced by the Obama administration and empowered by AARP serves only to raise the blood pressure my medical insurance strives to contain.

Clearly a conflict of interest there!

We do not understand the AARP posture, feel greatly betrayed by the guiding forces that we expected to map out our senior years and leave your ranks with a great sense of regret. We mitigate that disappointment with the relief of knowing that we are not contributing to the problem anymore by renewing our membership. There are numerous other organizations which offer discounts without threatening our way of life or offending our sensibilities.

This Presidential Administration scares the living daylights out of us. Not just for ourselves, but for our proud and bloodstained heritage. But even more importantly for our children and grandchildren. Washington has rendered Soylent Green a prophetic cautionary tale rather than a nonfiction scare tactic. I have never in my life endorsed any militant or radical groups, yet now I find myself listening to them. I don't have to agree with them to appreciate the fear which birthed their existence. Their borderline insanity presents little more than a balance to the voice of the Socialist mindset in power. Perhaps I became American by a great stroke of luck in some cosmic uterine lottery,but in my adulthood I CHOOSE to embrace it and nurture the freedoms it represents as well as the responsibilities it requires.

Your website generously offers us the opportunity to receive all communication in Spanish.

ARE YOU KIDDING???

Someone has broken into our 'house', invaded our home without our invitation or consent. The President has insisted we keep the perpetrator in comfort and learn the perp language so we can communicate our reluctant welcome to them.

I DON'T choose to welcome them.

I DON'T choose to support them.

I DON'T choose to educate them.

I DON'T choose to medicate them, pay for their food or clothing.

American home invaders get arrested.

Please explain to me why foreign lawbreakers can enjoy privileges on American soil that Americans do not get?


Why do some immigrants have to play the game to be welcomed and others only have to break & enter to be welcomed?

We travel for a living. Walt hauls horses all over this great country, averaging over 10,000 miles a month when he is out there. He meets more people than a politician on caffeine overdose. Of all the many good folks he enjoyed on this last 10,000 miles, this trip yielded only ONE supporter of the current administration. One of us is out of touch with mainstream America . Since our poll is conducted without funding, I have more faith in it than one which is power driven.

We have decided to forward this to everyone on our mailing list, and will encourage them to do the same.With several hundred in my address book, I have every faith that the eventual exponential factor will make a credible statement to you.

I am disappointed as hell.

I am scared as hell.

I am MAD as hell, and I'm NOT gonna take it anymore!


Walt & Cyndy
Miller Farms Equine Transport

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I’ve long been a believer in the idea that the best antidote against negative thinking is positive action, so some time this coming week, Sharon and I are going to renew are lapsed AARP membership. Cyndy’s link to Roger Rabbit is that her actions and personality have caused ME to take specific action by renewing my lapsed AARP membership.

Most of us don’t really understand the health care legislation that was signed by President Obama last week, but buried within the mounds of paperwork is a provision that definitely is not well known:

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Overhaul of Federal Student Loan Program

With the nuances of health care reform getting all the attention, you may be surprised to learn that the recently passed health care legislation—the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010—includes several provisions related to college.

The most noteworthy of these provisions involve:
• The distribution of federal student loans
• Pell Grants
• Income based repayment for federal student loans

1) Currently, there are two ways to obtain a federal student loan—borrow directly from the federal government under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (“Direct Loan”) program or borrow from a private lender who participates in the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program. The FFEL program has been in existence since 1965 (the Direct Loan program since 1994), and private lenders in the FFEL program receive government subsidies to encourage them to loan money to students.

Under the new legislation, private lenders will no longer receive government subsidies to make federal student loans, and the FFEL program will be eliminated. Starting July 1, 2010, all federal student loans will be made directly from the federal government to borrowers under the Direct Loan program.

Generally, student borrowers shouldn't notice much of a difference with this change. If anything, the new system should be simpler and less confusing, because borrowers won't have to "shop around" for a private lender to obtain their federal student loans.

Parents who wish to take out a federal PLUS Loan might find themselves better off because the interest rate on a federal PLUS Loan obtained through the Direct Loan program is capped at 7.9%, compared to the interest rate on a federal PLUS Loan obtained through the FFEL program, which is capped at 8.5%.

2) The Pell Grant is the federal government’s largest financial aid grant program. It is available to undergraduate students with exceptional financial need (typically students from families who earn less than about $45,000 per year). Graduate students aren’t eligible.

The new legislation provides for automatic annual inflation-adjusted increases to the Pell Grant beginning in 2013. For the current academic year 2009/2010 (which runs from July 1, 2009, through June 30, 2010), the maximum Pell Grant is $5,350. It is scheduled to increase to $5,550 in 2010/2011, and will remain at that level for the following two years. It will then increase by the rate of inflation (via the consumer price index) in each of the next five years, reaching approximately $5,900 in 2019/2020.

3)Income based repayment

On July 1, 2009, the federal government's new Income Based Repayment (IBR) program went into effect. The IBR program was created to help college graduates manage their increasingly large student loan payment obligations. Under the program, a borrower’s monthly student loan payment is calculated based on income and family size. A borrower is allowed to pay 15% of his or her discretionary income to student loan payments, with any remaining debt forgiven after 25 years. The program is open to graduates with a federal Stafford Loan, Graduate PLUS Loan, or Consolidation Loan made under either the Direct Loan program or the FFEL program.

The new legislation enhances the IBR program. Under the legislation, borrowers who take out new federal student loans after July 1, 2014, will pay 10% of their discretionary income to student loan payments, with any remaining debt forgiven after 20 years.
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Like many people, I’m concerned that the costs of the new health care legislation will be difficult to control. Our elected representatives haven’t done a good job lately of matching expenses and revenue for either Social Security or Medicare, so I’m not entirely confident that they will be good custodians of the new health care legislation.

What I DO know, however, is that the long needed health care reform package won’t be as bad as some people envision it:



The health care legislation that just passed is the most significant health care legislation to pass since Medicare, way back in 1965. Ever since it has been passed, various members of the Republican Party have been trying to repeal it, but they have yet to come up with an attractive alternative. The Supreme Court upheld the law back in 2010, but are taking another look at it in 2015. According to the most reliable estimates, repealing the law could increase our pubic deficit by as much as $353 billion over a 10 year period, not exactly what you would call being "fiscally responsible".

It’s starting to look like our elected officials’ finally “did right” for the people of our country.

3 comments:

  1. My horoscope for Wednesday, March 2, indicates Mercury square Uranus (no jokes, please). That square transit applies specifically to me, and anyone else who has Uranus at 16 degrees Gemini. The warning is that nobody will understand my comments, no matter how brilliant they seem to me.

    That's what I concluded about Walt and Cindy's AARP blast.

    Fortunately, the mundane horoscope (for everyone else in the world) for the next week or two has Mercury and Uranus conjunct briefly, and Venus moving into Aquarius. That's good news for all the revolutionary freedom fighters in Africa and the Middle East. They may actually get something done that looks like a balance of power and the possibility of peace.

    It's also a good time for institutional health reform to be established. Not a good time for Fascists and other hard-line conservatives. It's a time for rapid, radical (not socialist either) changes.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Heya! I realize this is somewhat off-topic but I needed to ask.
    Does running a well-established blog such as yours
    take a large amount of work? I'm completely new to blogging but
    I do write in my diary everyday. I'd like to start a blog so I can
    easily share my own experience and feelings online. Please let me know
    if you have any suggestions or tips for brand new aspiring blog owners.
    Thankyou!

    My homepage: office 2013 product key ()

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your kind words.

      Since starting m blog about 5 years ago, I've averaged roughly one article a week. As a general rule, I'll send each installment out to a handful of friends and family members, and will also post them on Facebook. I've not quite sure where the rest of my readers come from, but I've had over 100,000 page views in over 100 countries so far.

      blogger.com makes the process very easy, but there are other sites that you can use as well (Word Press and weebly, to name two).

      There are currently about 31,000,000 bloggers in America, and roughly 10 times that amount in the rest of the world. Three articles that I wrote about the writing process are posted below:

      http://tohell-andback.blogspot.com/2014/02/dead-as-mackerel.html

      http://tohell-andback.blogspot.com/2011/06/beatles-bobbles-and-blogs.html

      http://tohell-andback.blogspot.com/2014/01/doin-dishes.html


      Early on in the process, I realized that I needed to set up a spread sheet so that I could keep track of the articles. Since I'm now at 256 articles published, it runs to 11 pages, and includes 55 separate topics.

      The time spent on each article can vary quite a bit. I can usually publish some of the shorter articles in a couple of hours. The articles that run longer (there are a few that are close to 2000 words) can sometimes take a couple of days to publish). Blogging is essentially publishing a daily diary in a different format, and I get the ideas for my articles from a wide variety of sources

      The article that you commented on is the most popular one so far, with over 15,000 hits, and was inspired by a chain e-mail that I received a few years ago.

      Delete