Tuesday, July 28, 2009
While visiting a friend's house, my son and his friends disappeared into the confines of their bedroom and reemerged as super heroes, lining up and announcing their superhero names. We were puzzled by the identity our son assumed that day. While his friends took on names such as, "Awesome Bat" and "Mr. Two Brains", our son proudly announced that he would be known as... "Clark Howard".
My husband and I frequently consult Clark Howard's website for his opinions on financial matters, but we were astonished that our son would pick up on the wisdom that saving money, remaining debt free, and investing smartly could "save the world". We accepted it as it was. After all, we figured Clark Howard was as good a role model as any for our son.
Finally, after two weeks of "Clark Howard" fighting evil in our home, we had a breakthrough. Yesterday, as our son once again announced his identity, I understood everything. Proudly wearing his Superman cape I realized that he meant "Clark Kent". Before I could stop myself, I made the correction.
We don't see Clark Howard around anymore. But we will treasure the short time he was a part of our lives. I mean, he had some really good advice on Roth IRA's.
****Here are some articles I thought you might find interesting. The first is an open letter sent to Congress from 19 healthcare organizations around the country. The second is an article published in the Chicago Tribune by Denis Cortese (Mayo's CEO) and Jeffrey Korsmo (executive director of the Mayo Clinic Health Policy Center). It explains how a Medicare like plan would make quality health care unavailable to people (hospitals already lose money on Medicare patients), emphasizes the need for a system based on quality care- rather than quantity, and sites a bill that would reform the current Medicare system entitled the Medicare Payment Improvement Act.****
Monday, July 27, 2009
today went I got home from school my grandpa messed up everything[.] [F]irst when I got something folded up and put into a bag my grandpa recked it up. Then he recked one of my activity scenes up and was not! minding his own business.
Wouldn't it be interesting to go back in time and see how these events really unfolded? My Grandpa was certainly not a monster roaming the house, leaving mass destruction in his wake. In fact, I suspect he was getting after me to clean up, and I suspect I wasn't obeying. But isn't my perspective interesting? It has made me wonder how my little one thinks of me as I attempt to maintain order in our home.
I'm pretty sure he thinks I'm a monster roaming the house, leaving mass destruction in my wake.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
- The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
- The second fold is a symbol of our belief in the eternal life.
- The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veteran departing our ranks who gave a portion of life for the defense of our country to attain a peace throughout the world.
- The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in times of war for His divine guidance.
- The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, "Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong."
- The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
- The seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic.
- The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered in to the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor mother, for whom it flies on mother's day.
- The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood; for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great have been molded.
- The tenth fold is a tribute to father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born.
- The eleventh fold, in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
- The twelfth fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost.
- When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, "In God we Trust."
Friday, July 24, 2009
-Bathsheba Smith (on the evacuation of the Latter-Day Saints from Nauvoo)
Thursday, July 23, 2009
"Although there are some positive provisions in the current House Tri-Committee bill – including insurance for all and payment reform demonstration projects – the proposed legislation misses the opportunity to help create higher-quality, more affordable health care for patients. In fact, it will do the opposite.
In general, the proposals under discussion are not patient focused or results oriented. Lawmakers have failed to use a fundamental lever – a change in Medicare payment policy – to help drive necessary improvements in American health care. Unless legislators create payment systems that pay for good patient results at reasonable costs, the promise of transformation in American health care will wither. The real losers will be the citizens of the United States."
A dedicated reader of my blog informed me of this video here. It is an undercover look into Canada's health care system, and what the process is like to receive care from a doctor. This is something I've been wanting to see, because I am curious about the reality of it all. I'm kind of surprised there haven't been more efforts like this. Anyway, it gives you an idea of the kind of bureaucracy that government puts between citizens and their doctors, along with the taxes it takes to make health care "free" for all. No thanks!
Here's another blog that another dedicated reader has made me aware of. He has some interesting insights concerning healthcare and Obama.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Home ain't a place that gold can buy or get up
in a minute;
Afore it's home there's got t' be a heap o' livin'
Within the wall there's got t' be some babies
born, and then
Right there ye've got t' bring 'em up t' women
good, an' men;
And gradjerly, as time goes on, ye find ye
With anything they ever used--they're grown
into yer heart;
The old high chairs, the playthings, too, the
little shoes they wore
Ye hoard; an' if ye could ye'd keep the thumb-
marks on the door.
-Selection taken from, "Home" by Edgar A. Guest
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
"In choosing books for children these rules, recently laid down by an author of books for boys, are worth the consideration of parents:
'Read your children's books yourself. Or better still, get your boy or girl to read them aloud to you. Ask yourself during the reading:
'Does this book lay stress on villainy, deception or treachery?'
'Are all the incidents wholesome, probable and true to life?'
'Does it show young people contemptuous toward their elders and successfully opposing them?'
'Do the young characters in the book show respect for teachers and others in authority?'
'Are these characters the kind of young people you wish your children to associate with?'
'Does the book speak of and describe pranks, practical jokes and pieces of thoughtless and cruel mischief as though they were funny and worthy of imitation?'
'Is the English good and is the story written in good style?'"
I have to admit, at first I was amused by this article because of its use of words like villainy, treachery, and cruel mischief (I don't think we use those words enough these days!).
I had never considered editing books with the influence or example of the main character in mind. Would there be any good children's books left to read if we lived by this criteria? What about Peter Rabbit or Curious George? (As a side note: I can't figure out why the man with the yellow hat continually trusts George in potentially precarious situations over and over again. When will he ever learn?). And does a book being "true to life" eliminate the whole fiction section of the library?
I have been very protective about which movies to share with my child, and as parents, we are very conscientious about movie ratings and so forth. But books? They seem so.... harmless.
If anything, this was a reminder to me that I should be aware of what influences I allow my child to be exposed to, no matter what type of media.
Monday, July 20, 2009
"...Government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one..."
"Here then is the origin and rise of government; namely, a mode rendered necessary by the inability of moral virtue to govern the world; here too is the design and end of government, viz. freedom and security."
"I draw my idea of the form of government from a principle in nature, which no art can overturn, viz. that the more simple any thing is, the less liable it is to be disordered, and the easier repaired when disordered..." (When I read this, I thought of this.)
It is interesting to think about government in this way- as a necessary evil that's sole existence is to offer us freedom and security. More and more I feel our society is viewing government as a parent figure that should be regulating every aspect of our life. And lately I feel the government is more than happy to step in and regulate any aspect of our life that we'll let it.
What do you think?
Saturday, July 18, 2009
-Homer ("The Odyssey")
Isn't that a fun way to look at marriage? This is a quote I found in the back of one of my planners from High School (apparently recorded during some required reading). Who would suspect that such a beautful and tender quote about marriage could come from "The Odyssey"- a story that contains a cyclops and a woman with snake hair? It's significant to me that even in 800 B.C. marriage was revered and admired.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Is spending money on our homes a frivolous, vain pursuit that should be battled and put behind bars? Is it hard to justify making purchases for our homes? Here are two passages that helped put my insecurities to rest (and ammunition you can use with your spouse!):
"[The temple is] a place where the Lord may come, it is the most holy of any place of worship on the earth. Only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness." -Bible Dictionary ("Temples")
"As we recall the commandment to stand in holy places, we should remember that beyond the temple, the most sacred and holy places in all the world should be our dwelling places." -President James E. Faust
Now, I realize that there are many reasons why the temple is sacred, most importantly being the work that is done there, but have you ever thought about how the temple's interior effects you? The temple is a place of peace, and I strongly believe the decor and design within the temple strongly contribute to that atmosphere. So it is with any room or place we find ourselves in. Compare how you act or feel inside the temple vs. a warehouse, Nordstrom vs. Wal-Mart, or a fine restaurant vs. McDonald's. Our surroundings influence us and our ability to feel the spirit.
And so, while I'm not promoting extravagance or not budgeting appropriately, we can find meaning and importance in making our homes a home... without the guilt. It is, after all, the second most sacred place on earth.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
While I know many are opposed to socialized medicine, I have heard no suggestions on what to replace it with. Until now. Here are two examples I have been made aware of as to how we can improve our health care system- without handing the government our rights to quality treatment.
1. Mayo Clinic is one of the nation's leaders in quality health care- even praised by Pres. Obama himself. They are so good, leaders from other nations seek out treatment at their facilities (perhaps they are unhappy with the health care available in their own countries...?). Check out Mayo's Cornerstones of Reform (create value, coordinate care, reform the payment system, provide health insurance for all). What I find particularly interesting is the idea that the individual would own their insurance, therefore, guaranteeing coverage between jobs. You might be interested in their grassroots campaign, Healthcare Repair.
2. I recently became aware of the health care plan Safeway makes available to their employees. Here is an article from the Wall Street Journal giving a summary. It is completely voluntary, although 74% of their nonunion workforce use it, and 70% of the employees that use it rated it good, very good, or excellent. It is modeled after car insurance- rewarding healthy behavior (vs. safe driving) and giving financial incentives. Don't you think that personal responsibility and choice are two things that our nation need?
These are just two examples of reform (sans government) that I have heard of so far. If you know of other alternatives, please comment and let me know. The fact is, is that government is not our only solution. Nor should it be our solution. If this is a matter of importance to you, write your state representatives and tell them to leave government out of health care.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
1. Vote. Vote. Vote. Not voting is still making a choice.
2. Write and call my Congressman and Senators. Even if your candidate of choice was not elected, you don't have to sit it out until next election. You have a voice in your state representatives. In theory, they keep in touch with the desires of the people and vote for or against laws accordingly. Both are elected directly by the people, so if they want a chance at reelection, they want to keep us happy. If you don't know who your reps are, find them here: www.house.gov or www.senate.gov. Let them know what you think about socialized medicine or other issues that are important to you (you still have chance to contact your Senators concerning cap & trade).
While these measures seem small, they are very important. We are blessed to have these available to us. If you have time to vote for (insert favorite reality show here) you have time to vote or make your voice heard concerning things that actually affect your life.
What are other ways we can influence our country while managing our lives?