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On January 19, just a couple of days from now, the voters of Massachusetts will be heading to the polls to choose a man or woman to fill the Senate seat that had belonged to long time Senator Ted Kennedy. There are 3 candidate running for that seat; Democrat Martha Coakley, currently the Attorney General of Massachusetts, Republican Scott Brown, currently State Senator of Massachusetts, and Independent Joe Kennedy, who is not related in any way to THE Kennedy family.

Attorney General Martha Coakley won the primary and was leading by double digits in the polls until very recently. Around approximately Christmas something totally unexpected happened. Suddenly it was realized that State Senator Brown, the Republican underdog, was rising in the polls.

Then, a few days after Christmas, the very first campaign ad for Scott Brown hit the local networks and put everyone into a frenzy. Everyone was talking about Scott Brown; his name was finally out there! Republicans, Independents (called un-enrolled in MA) and even Democrats were buzzing with comments about Scott Brown and his ad. In my opinion, this ad was total genius. What was it about that ad? It starts out … well, look here and you’ll see.

Scott Brown started the ads; Martha Coakley rushed to get some out there as well. Meanwhile, the numbers of Senator Brown’s supporters was growing at a fever pitch. Donations, which hadn’t really gone as far as they could have, began to pour in, and the race was on. At the same time, Scott Brown’s poll numbers were also rising, and rising fast. This “upstart” from the south shore was on his way.

Last week there was a debate for the 3 candidates. A few things happened at that debate, with 2 of those things being major stand outs. The first thing was when the “upstart Senator” became a national hero to those of us who are angry about the way things have been of late in Washington. Listen in Scott Brown is completely correct when he said “With all due respect, it’s NOT the Kennedy’s seat, it’s NOT the Democrats seat, it’s the PEOPLE’s seat.” How right he is.

At one point two weeks ago, when they walked into Scott Brown’s campaign offices, people would leave without the signs, bumper stickers, etc., that they had come for because the campaign had run out. What did many of these people do rather than wait for the new batch to arrive in a few days? They went out and created their own signs, banners, flags, bumper stickers, etc. because they wanted to show their support. There are home made signs ALL OVER MA. Talk to a political consultant. They will tell you that that NEVER happens. Scott Brown has so many people wanting to volunteer to help his campaign that there is no need for paid personnel. That also never happens.

The numbers of people at the rallies that took place at the locations where Scott Brown was speaking have been growing exponentially. Scott Brown has been racking up hundreds of miles a day going around the state meeting with the people, talking, shaking hands, etc.
What did Martha Coakley do? She spent time last week in Washington at a fund raiser for lobbyists. She has had some speaking engagements here in MA for her campaign, all were fundraisers. During an interview, when asked about going out and spending time shaking hands and meeting with the voters like Scott Brown was doing, her comment was “Coakley bristles at the suggestion that, with so little time left, in an election with such high stakes, she is being too passive.
“As opposed to standing outside Fenway Park? In the cold? Shaking hands?’’ she fires back, in an apparent reference to a Brown online video of him doing just that. “This is a special election. And I know that I have the support of Kim Driscoll. And I now know the members of the [Salem] School Committee, who know far more people than I could ever meet.’’ Here’s the article about it. THEN she made the one mistake you don’t make in MA, especially Boston… She stated that Curt Shilling of Red Sox fame, was a Yankees fan. In BOSTON?? Sorry, but the Red Sox and Fenway are protected here like a bear would protect her cubs. Here is Curt’s reply
Two days ago President Bill Clinton came to town to join Martha Coakley and John Kerry for a fundraiser for the Coakley campaign. Here is a video of the scene outside, from someone that was there

Martha Coakley’s entire campaign has been run horribly. Her expectations that just because she’s a democrat she’ll get the Senate seat is obvious. She’s been going from one gaff to another, and seems to have no concern about it. Every single ad put out onto TV and the radio from her campaign has been an attack ad, aimed directly at attempting to destroy Scott Brown. Those ads are all misleading, if not downright lies. Many are asking “Where is Coakley?”. When we see or hear an ad by Scott Brown or one of those supporting him, we hear about Scott Brown. When we see or hear an ad from the Coakley campaign or her supporters, we hear about Scott Brown. She just hasn’t figured it out yet. WE ARE SICK OF THINGS AS THEY ARE!!

What exactly is the draw for Scott Brown? Is it the charisma? Is it the smile? What exactly is it that is making so many, from all groups, become so excited about Senator Brown? For me, the draw is that he speaks my language, the language of the typical person in MA. Senator Brown comes off as a real person, someone who will stand up and do what’s right, no matter the odds. He’s proving that with this campaign. Against all odds, he’s this close to doing what absolutely no Republican has ever done in the state of MA. He just may pull off that miracle.

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ObamaCare Pt 2

In the last part, we discussed WHY we need some changes in the healthcare system.  In this part, we’ll discuss the healthcare bill that is being rushed through Congress as we speak.

What exactly IS in this bill that has so many of the people who can understand the legaleez in the bill up in arms?

Well, let’s see….

In a recent press conference Obama stated “If you like your plan and you like your doctor, you won’t have to do a thing. You keep your plan; you keep your doctor. If your employer’s providing you good health insurance, terrific. We’re not going to mess with it.”.  Sadly, you don’t have to look that far into the bill to find that what he said in that press conference isn’t exactly accurate.  Investors Business Daily has been going through the bill line by line and analyzing what is stated there.  They didn’t have to go far to discover at least one very disturbing fact, one that they are calling an “uh oh moment”

On page 16 of the healthcare bill, under “Protecting the Choice to Keep Current Coverage” is a section called “Limitation on New Enrollment” which states  “Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day” of the year the legislation becomes law.”  When the bill passes, and chances are very good that it will, what this passage means is that insurance companies will no longer be able to enroll new members as of the first date of the year that the bill becomes law

As IBD states in their article “So we can all keep our coverage, just as promised — with, of course, exceptions: Those who currently have private individual coverage won’t be able to change it. Nor will those who leave a company to work for themselves be free to buy individual plans from private carriers”  Basically, what that means is that the bill, once it becomes law, will not allow any new insurance policies to be written, thus effectively destroying the private insurance carriers and forcing ALL OF US onto the government run plan over time.

How many of you have seen ANY of this mentioned on main stream media?  Nobody?  Amazing.

There are several more things, at least, in this bill that we need to know about.  As I find out about them, I will post them.  In the meantime, call your representatives and senators in Congress.  You can find the number for your reps and senators by visiting Congress.org.  Also, call the White House opinion line and let Obama know how you feel about his bill.  That number is 202-456-1111.  You WILL speak to a real person too!!

ObamaCare Part 1

As the debate becomes louder and stronger, Obama is starting to sound a bit worried, don’t ya think?

WHY is he trying so hard to push his “health care” initiative through as quickly as he is?  This is a huge bill which will change the entire health care system in the US.  It’s not something that needs to be rushed, it’s something that needs to be thought out and considered, as well as debated, before coming up with any vote.  Yet Obama wants it done NOW!!!!  Why?

Well, Obama says that healthcare as we know it is in crisis.  He says that if we don’t make these sweeping changes immediately, things in healthcare will get a great deal worse and quickly.  But are we really in a crisis?  Well, let’s check the numbers.

According to all statistics, there are approximately 47 million uninsured people in the US.  What most of those who quote that statistic though don’t tell you is the breakdown of those stats like Investors Business Daily did in an Aug 29, 2007 article found here.

I’m not going to argue the stats at all.  What I want to do is find out WHY Obama is pushing so hard to get this thing passed as quickly as he can.  While I agree that there are issues with the healthcare system, I question the need to completely overhaul an entire system because a few parts of it are messed up.  It’s like junking a car because the brakes need to be replaced and it needs a tune up.

There are some things that definitely need to be fixed in order to help ease the costs of healthcare.  One of those things is the lawsuits.  In some cases, there is definite call for a lawsuit but there are MANY lawsuits that are frivolous and because of them, malpractice insurance is exorbitant, which contributes to the high fees that many doctors have to pass on to the insurance companies, or the states in some cases, or in the case of someone who is uninsured, the patient themselves.

Another BIG contributor to the cost of healthcare is the government, believe it or not.  In the case of Medicaid and Medicare, the doctors and hospitals send in the bills to the government for reimbursement, and will usually get about 2/3 of the actual bill paid.  The rest gets eaten by the hospital or doctor.   If the doctor or hospital is lucky, they will receive about 65¢ on the dollar from Medicare for the care they are billing for.

A third thing of course is that most people who are uninsured are uninsured because of 3 main reasons.  First and foremost is cost.  Affordable healthcare is definitely hard to come by. Most who have insurance via their employer have part of their premiums paid by that employer, many times as much as 75% or more of the cost.  For example, my MONTHLY premiums, according to an annual mailing done by my insurance company, is about $1100 for the family plan.  My weekly payroll deduction is about $60.  Of course, that’s just an example, and fortunately my company is able to afford to pay out the rest.  Otherwise, I probably would be one of those in the statistics of not having healthcare insurance.

Also, one of the issues tends to be the “pre-existing condition”.  Many who can’t get health care insurance have that for their reason.  In many cases, health insurance won’t cover “pre-existing conditions” if there is a gap between the time that you start that insurance and what you previously had.  That in my opinion is ridiculous.

Of course, unemployment is also a big reason, especially these days.  Have you seen the cost of COBRA?  WOW!  The average person can’t afford to continue their insurance via COBRA because, in most cases, the cost comes close to, or in many cases, exceeds the unemployment benefits that the person is receiving.

NONE of the issues listed above are above resolution.  ALL can be fixed without totally overhauling the entire healthcare system.

In part 2 I’m going to talk about what is IN the healthcare bill that we really need to consider before deciding whether we, as a nation, can afford to accept it.

Independence Day

Have you ever heard or seen the full version of Francis Scott Key’s poem the “Star Spangled Banner”?

“The Star Spangled Banner”

The Defense of Fort McHenry by Francis Scott Key 20 September 1814

Oh, say can you see, by the dawn’s early light, What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming? Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight, O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming? And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep, Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes, What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep, As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now discloses? Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam, In full glory reflected now shines on the stream: ‘Tis the star-spangled banner! O long may it wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion A home and a country should leave us no more? Their blood has wiped out their foul footstep’s pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave: And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation! Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued land Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation. Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just, And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.” And the star-spangled banner forever shall wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

God Bless this country and all she has been.

Michael Jackson

I’m not much of a Michael Jackson fan, but even I am saddened by his sudden loss.  I have to admit that, though I’m not a fan, his music HAS touched me throughout my life, including the Jackson 5.  I’m only a couple of years younger than Michael was when he died a couple of days ago.

I have to say though, that I wish that what the newscasters were calling his “quirks”, “eccentricities”, and “controversy” didn’t happen because the accusations brought against him, true or false, have overshadowed what was otherwise a remarkable career.   My heart goes out to Michael Jackson’s family and pray for the best for his children.

Feel free to post your thoughts about Michael.

I appologize for not getting some facts right on the post titled “Francesca Rogier VS City Of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada”.

This whole mess that is tough on Brindi & Ms Rogier is really complicated!! LOL

Below, I have included a message from Francesca herself explaining what has happened to her and Brindi.

I had thought of re-writing my previous article, but thought it might be better to share her message with all of you.

Francesa, I hope that this situation gets resolved soon and that Brindi can come home!!

xoxoxo

Thank you very much:)  It is very effective and straight to the point.
Can I give a few minor alterations?
The Halifax SPCA did not take her- I was not at work either – the confusion is that the SPCA runs the pound, so they keep her, but the city of HAlifax took her, and I went to court against them.
I built the fence after she was taken -it is mainly an enclosure attached to the house, as a dog run. My property is all dug up for a new foundation and there was no way to put up a boundary fence!
Also – it was before they took her that I offered to pay – not when they took her, but on the second time she was reported  (it sounds so bad, but honestly, these things were so minor; nobody would bother around here, but these hyper people did it because I am new here- other people here are all related and connected, and they never call!!).
It was then that the AC officer began to target us – he slapped a muzzle order instead of a fine as he first told me – he exploited the situation when the other owner urged him not to fine me; he substituted the muzzle! He knows having a muzzle makes her automatically dangerous in the eyes of the by-law.
So on the third report – a minor scuffle and no injury – which came because that person heard stories; he was not even going to call before that – all that happened was that she scooted out of my hands when I was tying her up and went around to the front yard, to guard it from them .  The guy kicked at her head about twenty times and she ducked each time and never even snapped at him! I didn’t even know he called the city animal control until four days later, when they came and took her. Just like that. I screamed bloody murder, badly injured my vocal chords.
In the court case- the judge appeased the city, basically, by witholding an actual ruling to release her. He revoked the euthanization order, but didn’t tell them to let her go!! It was something very suspicious between him and my lawyer.
My lawyer quit afterwards and left me high and dry because the day after I won, the animal control people came and charged me – for the first time – for the last report, which happened six months before! They had only one hour left to do it because you can’t charge somebody after six months!
But the charges don’t mean they can keep holding her.
 
So imagine: the euthanization order is gone but they just kept holding her. And they are not legally holding her, they are taking advantage of me, and they are going to ask the judge for another order to kill my dog when the trial ends.
 
The trial is not scheduled at all now because I did not have a lawyer and the city didn’t send the files – it was supposed to be June 5. But now, on July 15 (not June) my lawyer (or me, if I can’t get one) has to appear and ask for a new trial date. It’s awful!
My only hope before that is to get some kind of emergency hearing to happen- separate from the charges.
 
It is complicated and STUPID all at once!!!
 
I get to see Brindi for 30 minutes a week. Her spirit is really changed and I feel terribly guilty and helpless when she looks at me…
Francesca

 I am gravely concerned for a friend of mine named Francesca Rogier and her dog Brindi.

Last July, of 2008, Brindi was taken from Ms Rogier’s home while she was at work by the Halifax SPCA because a neighbour filed a complaint claiming that Brindi had seriously injured their dog.
Prior to the city taking her dog, she  offered to pay all expenses for the minor injuries to the other dog. Also, before Brindi was taken, Ms. Rogier admitted that her dog should not have injured the other dog, that it was her mistake.
She  had Brindi muzzled when walking her or having her out in public, had a high fence built, and took Brindi to obedience classes. Brindi passed the class and did not harm any of the other dogs while taking these classes.
 
 Fast forward to January of 2009.  She brought a case to the Supreme Court Of Nova Scotia(OFFICAL COURT DOCUMENT) . The offical case was Francesca Rogier VS City Of Halifax Municipality .
 
They ruled in favour of getting rid of a by-law and having her dog Brindi returned to her, but it’s now June. Brindi is STILL at the Halifax SPCA.
 
 
There is another court date scheduled for June 15. My concern is that should the court rule in favour of the city, they then will re-issue an euthinization order & have Brindi put down.
 
It was been proven by qualified professionals that Brindi is not a danger to anyone.  Last August, the Halifax SPCA themselves admitted that Brindi is not a threat to people.  If Brindi is not a threat than there should be no reason why she can’t return home to her owner.
 
Poor Brindi has been in the pound for almost a year now, she needs to be home with her owner.
 
This is wasting the city of Halifax’s money, Ms Rogier is struggling financially to save her dog’s life, and this is not at all good for Brindi.
The best thing for all concerned is for Brindi to go home where she belongs, so that everyone can move on.
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