Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Wal-Mart is but the Beginning

Brendan Miniter at Opinion Journal interviewed Maryland's Delegate James Hubbard, a Democrat from Prince George's County about the Wal-Mart bill. The plans Mr. Hubbard revealed should send a chill down the spine of any business owner.

He(Mr. Hubbard) began our conversation by pointing out that the Wal-Mart bill--which forces companies with more than 10,000 employees to spend at least 8% of their payroll on health care or pay the state the difference--was always intended to be just the first step.

It appears that Mr. Hubbard has been trying for years to force employers to provide health insurance using the tax code. He would use the tax collected from these businesses to expand Medicaid eligibility. In other words, he is trying to push socialized medicine. The first company that was targeted was Wal-Mart.
It passed last year and was enacted last month, when the Legislature overrode Gov. Robert Ehrlich's veto. Two weeks ago Mr. Hubbard was at it again, this time introducing a new bill to mandate that companies with at least 1,000 employees spend 4.5% of their payroll on health care or pay the state the difference. Once this piece is in place, Mr. Hubbard told me, the next step will be to create a similar mandate--perhaps 2% or 3%--for companies with fewer than 1,000 employees. Each year, Mr. Hubbard hopes to expand the mandate to include ever smaller companies with the ultimate goal of "health coverage for all Marylanders."

You have to give Mr. Hubbard credit for being honest. He makes it plain that every business is going to be made to pay for health care or pay the state. If Mr. Hubbard gets what he wants will he stop there? Is the 2-3% going to be enough? I'm pretty sure that something can be found to justify a bigger increase. And why stop at health coverage? How about retirement, child care, senior care, the homeless? Socialism will never be satisfied.

Already a dozen other states are seeing what Maryland is doing and are getting on the bandwagon. They are introducing their own Wal-Mart bills. The business community needs to get behind Wal-Mart because if Wal-Mart fails to get these bills defeated all businesses will suffer.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Wal-Mart Fights Back

Wal-Mart is intensifying its efforts to improve its image. It has been attempting to counter criticism from unions and other groups(Democrats) who say it pays poverty-level wages, provides insufficient health benefits and discriminates against women. Wal-Mart has tapped civil rights leader and former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young to serve as chairman of Working Families for Wal-Mart Web Site
Working Families for Wal-Mart are customers, business leaders, activists, civic leaders, educators and many others with first-hand knowledge of Wal-Mart's positive contributions to communities according to it's web site.

"The critics have it wrong," Young said in a statement. "For those who care about the poor it is time to step up, speak out and join this national discussion."

I think Andrew Young to serve as chairman is an odd choice. He is a well-known liberal. I'm surprised he's going to defend Wal-Mart in the face of the Left's onslaught. I'd thought he take the side of the Unions.

Full Story

This Doesn't Jive

From the AP,
LITTLE ROCK AP About 81 percent of Arkansas households are "food insecure," meaning they don't have reliable access to food, according to an anti-hunger group in Arkansas.

The national rate is 70 percent, the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance says
OK, this just doesn't sound right. I see too manychunkyy people walking around for this to be true. There are too many people at work constantly on diets. Since our governor has lost a bit of weight and has been promoting a healthy lifestyle I check out his web site

* Arkansas has seen a 77% increase in
obesity from 1991-2000.
* Over 60% of Arkansas adults are at an
unhealthy weight and 37% of these are
According to a press release from the National Governors Association. The first two days of the meeting were dedicated to Gov. Huckabee's chairman's initiative Healthy America. Huckabee said "nearly 129 million adults in the United States are overweight; of these, more than 60 million are obese and 9 million are severely obese."

Yup, what do you know! Corrective: US-Hunger-Ark story

LITTLE ROCK (AP) -- In a Feb. 23 story about hunger in Arkansas, The Associated Press reported erroneously that 81 percent of Arkansas' households and 70 percent of the nation's households did not have reliable access to food.

A report by the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance said food banks provide assistance to about 10.6 percent of the state's population and that, among their clients, a survey showed that 81 percent did not have reliable access to food. The national figure is 70 percent among food-bank clients
I still don't understand why 81% of food-bank clients have trouble getting food and yet 60% of Arkansas adults are at an unhealthy weight(FAT!) What does "reliable access to food" mean? What do they mean by "food"? Could it be that "food insecure" is the liberal left's lingo for "we can't say 'hunger in American' anymore because people would laugh at us. We still need to extort money from the government so let's change the language and the argument to 'fear of being hungry occasionally' or 'at risk of being in fear of being hungry'. We'll just keep coming up with new terms to confuse people, so that they won't look too closely at the truth of what it actually means to be 'poor' and 'hungry'".

I think this is one bogus study. There is not a single place in the entire U.S. that a person can live and not have access to free food for the asking, made available by government programs as well as private charities.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Saturday's Cat Tales

I caught Eli and Tigger together again. I wonder about all this togetherness. I think they may be up to something.

Bows is looking really good. She has gained back all her weight since she was sick. I'm now a believer of her having a food allergy.

She is playing again. I snapped her playing with her favorite toy, a ball of paper.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Terminella's Attorney Wars with Fayetteville's Attorney

Some aldermen relayed their concerns about Tom Terminella's attorney Robert Ginnanven attempting to contact them regarding issues which may led to a lawsuit by Terminella. Kit Williams sent a letter to Mr Ginnanven reminding him about the rules of ethical conduct. Mr Ginnanven took issue with the letter, describing it as a veiled threat. Upon reading the letter by Mr Williams LETTER , I suppose if you were easily offended it could be interpreted as a threat. However, I see it as the aldermen bringing up legitimate concerns that Mr. Ginnanven is attempting to influence them in regards to his client. As such I think it's appropriate that Mr. Williams relays that concern to Mr. Ginnanven.
I find Mr. Ginnanven's response LETTER to Mr Williams to be a direct threat. In fact, I find that Mr. Ginnanven's letter is an attempt to bully the city council and I am not at all happy about it. Mr Ginnanven writes:
"The bigger question here is, who among you have complained to the City Attorney about my effort to communicate with you" and "I have already made a request, pursuant to the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, demanding that Mr. Williams identify those of you who have so complained" and "For those of you who are willing to communicate with me, please let me know so I may expose the cowards who are engaging in a secret campaign against me"

I interpret this to mean, that I will find out who you are that ratted me out and I will make sure you don't do it again, because I'll get you. I don't know if Mr. Terminella knew what Mr. Ginnanven was doing or if he approved or order it, but I do not like a developer's lawyer threatening the city council in an attempt to influence them. I hope the council stands together and lets people know that they will not be threaten or bullied.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Arkansas Republican Lt Governor Candidates

The Washington County Republican Women held a forum of the Lt Governor Candidates, Chuck Banks, Jim Holt, and Doug Matayo. The candidates had opening and closing statements and a number of questions asked by a moderator.

Chuck Banks called himself a Ronald Reagan Republican and says he brings experience and electability.
Jim Holt said he has experience as well as being trained in critical thinking.
Doug Matayo said that he was pro-life, pro-gun and was for shrinking and streamlining the government.

Lt Governor is considered by some to be a step down in Arkansas' politics, what did they think of that? Banks stated that when it comes to a job you make it what you want it to be. Holt said it was another way for him to serve. Matayo wanted to use the office to do more economic development for the state. He'd also use the office as a bridge between the governor and the legislature.

The candidates were asked about eminent domain within Arkansas. Doug Matayo stated that there were areas within the current legislation that needed to be tighten up. Parts of the TIF legislation needed to be clarified. Banks echoed what Matayo said and Holt commented on judges over-reaching.

Of the three candidates I was most impressed by Doug Matayo. He was very knowledgeable, has more political experience, and had very clear objectives. I was least impressed with Jim Holt. He has no clear idea what he wants to do as Lt Governor(other than putting in cameras) and he come across as being full of himself. Chuck Banks is a real nice guy and he seems like he's a real charmer. He's a little weak on ideas, but I'd chose him over Holt.

I talked to Doug afterwards and asked him about economic development in Arkansas. He said we needed to lure industry into the state, to make manufacturing incentives. Arkansas needed to update and go global. He mentioned a white paper by The Murphy Commission, An Arkansas Policy Foundation Initiative Here He said he supported the ideas within the paper. I asked him about illegal immigration to which he responded that the current laws needed to be enforced. It's too bad that he didn't vote no on HB1525.

As I left I was given a hand-out which, when I spoke with the woman, I was under the impression it was by the American Family Association. Later, when I looked at the hand-out, on the very last page at the very bottom of the page was the web site for Jim Holt. The paper was a list of bills that Holt voted against and Matayo voted for. I think Jim Holt should make it plain that it's his campaign that's distributing this hand-out instead of the AFA.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Fayetteville - City Plan Work In Progress

Monday night Dover, Kohl & Partners summarized the results of the workshops and then showed several draft designs.

They found that the people of Fayetteville wanted

  1. Increased green areas
  2. Diverse, mixed and complete neighborhoods
  3. A walkable and bikable city
  4. Improved connectivity between neighborhoods
  5. Anticipate transit.

They noted that 69% of people wanted a walkable/bikable city, 62% wanted mixed neighborhoods, 79% more parks, and 100% wanted growth to occur within existing developed areas. The areas where most wanted densification to occur was College Ave, 6th Street, The Mall, Rupple Rd and Southpark.

A draft of the proposed action plan for Fayetteville was handed out. It had 5 points:

  1. Make infill and revitalization a highest priority
  2. Discourage suburban sprawl
  3. Make traditional town form the norm
  4. Grow a livable transportation network
  5. Assemble an enduring green network.

We were treated to several draft designs Drafts Here where we were able to visualized what we were asking for. I thought their concept of changing College Ave and the Fulbright Express into multiway boulevards was absolutely wonderful. The audience really liked Dover & Kohl's ideas and were excited at the prospect of what Fayetteville could become.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Snow Day!

There was a snow storm last night. We woke up with several inches on the ground. Eli was the only cat that was brave enough to go out. He didn't like it much.

He much preferred to sleep in the chair with Bows next to the fire.

Casey, on the other hand, was in Dog Heaven. He loved the snow.

The birds were grateful for the extra food thrown out.

City Plan 2025 - Neighborhoods

I attended the Council of Neighborhoods where there was further discussion about the City Plan 2025. Most of the discussions centered around the impact of growth on neighborhoods. Victor Dover summarized what people were concerned about.
  1. Green Spaces
  2. Walkable neighborhoods
  3. Keeping the Natural Landscape
  4. Densifying and Renovating the Main Traffic Corridors, especially College.
  5. Becoming Transit Ready
  6. Affordable Housing

Victor said that Fayetteville has suffered under bad, ugly, dysfunctional and inefficient growth. People are now asking for growth so that neighborhoods are compact, complete and connected. There is a final meeting Monday. I am looking forward to seeing the complete project.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Ann Coulter Speech

Just got back from seeing Ann Coulter. She was very good and very funny.
There was a fair bit of security. Bags were examined before going into the theater and no one got into Walton Arts Center without a ticket. Police were noticeable everywhere. While Ann was speaking there were three guys on stage, one near her and two in the wings. I didn't get any pictures because they were confiscating any they saw.

It was nice having all that security but there weren't that many protesters or hecklers. There was one protester outside holding a sign "Ann Coulter - role model for Barbie Dolls and Stepford Wives everywhere". Poor thing, I felt so sorry for her that I didn't bother to take her picture. Inside, the liberal opposition mostly held up "Hate Shield" signs. Their purpose was to deflect things that the holder would find offensive. I think they should have named it a "Shield of Hate" as that is what they were projecting. I suggested to one person that maybe they should be projecting love towards Ann. I was ignored.

Ann talked about a variety of topics mostly from current events. She spent a good amount of time on the Democrats not taking the defense of the country seriously. Here a few comments she made that I enjoyed:
1. Bill, Hillary and the Democrat Party are meeting to find a way to make Dean's death look like an accident.
2. We need to keep liberal talk radio, it keeps the moonbats busy while the Republics run the country.
3. We finally have a war on Fundamentalism and now the liberals don't want to fight it.
4. The Republican Party is winning elections because the liberals are insane not because the party is a well organized machine.

Ann had a question and answer time. One person remarked that Ann was the feminist idea of what a woman was to be, intelligent, well- educated, and with a very successful career. Why do they hate her? The best question I thought was about Bush's doctrine of democracy in Iraq and other Arab countries, idealistic or realistic. Ann answered that she though it was a bit of both. Realistic, that a democratic Iraq makes us safer in the U.S. Idealistic, she hopes that democracy spreads, but has some doubts.

The evening was great. Most of the people in the theater were fans of Ann. She got a very warm reception and several standing ovations. Finally, since this is Arkansas, we treated her to the Calling of the Hogs.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Fayetteville - City Plan 2025

Photo curtsey of City of Fayetteville
This weekend I participated in a hands-on design workshop where we were asked to determine where the projected population growth for 2025 should go. There were about 6 groups of us sitting around a map of Fayetteville. We had to agree on where on the map we should place a dot which represented 125 people. It was a lot of fun working with everyone.

It was very interesting seeing all 6 maps together. There were a lot of similarities and also a lot of good ideas. Thursday, there is an open house at Nadine Baum Studio where the maps from all the workshops are available. A definite must see for anyone interested in the growth of Fayetteville.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Reporters, Throwing Temper Tantrums

Note to the Press: Get A Grip!
Dick Cheney shooting a fellow hunter was an accident. Accidents happen. He did the right thing in making sure that Whittington had medical assistance and visited him in the hospital. I am sure Cheney profusely apologized. Cheney and Whittington are adult enough to sort things out between themselves. This incident is good for a few jokes, but shouldn't be that big of a deal. Who cares that you "The Press" weren't immediately informed. Maybe Whittington didn't want everyone to know that he stepped in the way and got shot. For a hunter that's pretty embarrassing. You "Press" think way too much of yourself. You're really not all that important and right now you're making an ass out of yourselves. Instead of having a few jokes at Cheney I'm seeing more about your temper tantrum. Big Cry-Babies!

Saturday, February 11, 2006


Tigger and Eli are keeping watch, making sure no evil intruder storms the castle. Especially that sneaky little cat across the street.
They know I getting ready to sit down and do some work. It's their duty to sit or lay on any of my papers or books.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Reviving an Old Clinton Scandal

A new Hollywood film, Blood Trail, is in the works. It will dramatize the story of how contaminated blood from Arkansas prisoners found its way into the veins of thousands of Canadian hemophiliacs, killing many.

Elizabeth Fowler of Clear Pictures Entertainment, one of two partners in the project said it will feature some prominent characters: Bill Clinton and Paul Martin. She purchased rights to the life stories of Michael Galster, an Arkansas doctor who raised alarms about the prison blood program, and Michael McCarthy, a Canadian hemophiliac who became infected through tainted blood.

It's the second film that has been made about the scandal. The first, Factor 8, is a documentary of a reporter’s search for the truth. He discovers that his home state knew it was dealing a dangerous product, yet put profits over public safety while federal regulators looked the other way. Charges of cronyism and cover-up reach all the way to the administration of then-Gov. Bill Clinton. Factor 8 has never been distributed in North America although it has won some film festival awards.

Blood Trail, is expected to be released in about a year.

Full Story


Ahhhh, living in Arkansas! Where else is some one going to save a chicken by giving it mouth-to-mouth. Let me tell you, I know people who would do it. But not me! Chickens are food, not pets!

Stupid Things on eBay

Why waste your money? She's so desperate for attention she'll do anything for free.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Trash Talking at a Funeral

You know, after the fall-out the Democrats suffered after the Wellstone memorial you would think they would have learned their lesson. Instead, they've ratchet it up to a higher level and took political swipes at President Bush while he was sitting just behind them. What they did was wrong and in very poor taste. Apparently their mamas didn't teach them manners.

It's such a tragedy. Instead of remembering the accomplishments of Mrs. King, we were assaulted with the rantings and ravings of the Democrats. Considering they have all of the MSM as their mouthpieces, why do they have to used funerals as a political platform to spew their poison? Are they so hungry for political power that they have to trash Mrs. King's memorial? From now on, we will be remembering the Democrats antics instead of the memory of Mrs. King.

In the future, when planning a memorial service, don't invite a Democrat to speak.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Cartoon Riots

The cartoon riots would seem not to be about the depiction of Mohammed, but about Islam wanting to impose it's religious tenets on the Western World. That anything like a cartoon,first published in September 2005, would trigger such a crazed reaction - riots, death threats, burning and looting of embassys - indicates that there is something more going on. Indeed, the news is now that the riots have been stroked by well-organized radical Muslims.

What the world is seeing is how Muslims are going to deal with issues regarding Islam. There will be no discussions, no compromise, no attempt at understanding other points of view. They are going to deal with it by intimidation, death threats, and violent mobs burning and looting.Pictures

This is going to cause problems to those who insist that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance. The world is watching the violence and intolerance of Muslims in many countries and it sees the disparity of what Islamists are saying(we are peaceful)and what they are doing(violent revenge). Muslims who wish for the peaceful Islam are going to have to confront the extremists in their midst. They are going to have publicly denouce the Mosques, clerics and Arab countries which harbor these extremists. If they don't they will be caught in the backlash from the Western governments.

The Western governments are going to have to stop wimping out when dealing the extremist Muslims. Governments need to force the Muslims to adhere to the law of the land instead of pampering them. Governments have got to stop this ridiculous political correctness and multicultural sensitivity. If a government kowtows to radical Islam they will find they have lost the values that a free society holds dear; freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of travel and the freedom of religion.

What the extremists are doing is a form of terrorism. Either submit to Sharia law or be a target of violence. What is the World going to do?

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Remembering Steve Wilson, MD

I went to a friend's memorial service this afternoon. Steve was such a wonderful guy. Steve was a talented musician, playing piano, banjo and bagpipes. He loved telling jokes. A fan of ice cream, Steve held the Guinness world record for owning the most ice cream makers. Steve was diagnosed with cancer a few months before me. Unfortunately, it had gone to his liver and lungs by the time it was discovered. I was able to talk to him about issues I was dealing with myself. Both he and I knew that he was terminal and my prognosis was very good. He left me with the challenge to embrace life and not sit it out. His final gift:

A Note From Steve

No one has ever lived on this earth who appreciated the gift of life more, or has received more forgiveness, or more blessings from God than myself. I am deeply and eternally grateful for this. I have cherished life and have tried, in spite of my many failings, to walk with God every step of the way, as based on Micah 6:9, and along the way, I have learned to expect miracles and I have never been disappointed.

People have always been a big part of my life, and I celebrate the people who have been in my life, and who have honored me by allowing me to be part of their lives as well. I have truly enjoyed my career; which I have always viewed as a calling and mission from God. I can honestly say I have learned far more from my patients than I have ever taught them. Many of them have unkowingly helped heal me as much as I have helped them. As for friends and family, I don't have the words to express my gratitude for just having been in my life, because I've had the best friends and the best family a person could ever hope for. I love them all dearly, beyond description.

I face my death as I have faced much of life; it's just another adventure to be experienced. While I do not welcome it, I do not fear it. My pain is the pain for those I must leave behind.
I have always been moved by the fact that all through the New Testament, Jesus is portrayed as sitting at the right hand of God. There is one exception to this, and that is at the death of the martyr Stephen, when Jesus is depicted as standing at the right hand of God. To me, this has always been an indication that the death of a believer, one of God's children, is a significant event to Jesus, so much so that he rises from the throne at the death of His faithful.

This service is not about me, it's about God and His mercy and blessings and the gift of life to be celebrated by all. The greatest praise to God is a life well-lived, forgiveness humbly accepted and joy and praise to God for unbelievable and countless blessings. I have had far more blessings than any reasonable person could ever hope to expect and for this I am humbly and eternally grateful.

Morning in the Sun

This morning there was frost on the ground. It feels good just to stay inside and soak up the sun. The east window is the best place. Val understands and placed a nice stand right next to the window.

Bows took the best spot! Oh well! At least I'm near the computer to make sure Val spells everything correctly.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Twits Among Us

via WorldNetDaily

Civil rights activist and NAACP Chairman Julian Bond delivered a blistering partisan speech at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina last night, equating the Republican Party with the Nazi Party and characterizing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her predecessor, Colin Powell, as "tokens."

"The Republican Party would have the American flag and the swastika flying side by side," he charged.

Why do these people keep saying Republicans are Nazis? Haven't they studied any history at all? Either they were too stupid and failed history or the school they were attending was teaching how to be stupid. Yeah, just keep on calling Republicans Nazis. You just show what an ignoramus twit you are.

Ohhh! Don't you just love it when a prominent black leader makes racist remarks against other blacks. How do they expect to fight discrimination and racism when they're a bunch of racists? What a bunch of hypocrites!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

President's State of the Union Speech

The President's speech was good. Most of what he said was pretty much what I expected. The National Security part was very good. I did like his stab at protectionism and isolationism. When he got to the domestic issues it kinda slowed down. I didn't like his comment on energy. That we were "addicted to oil". I don't think we are addicted to oil. We are too chicken and lazy to take on the leftist environmental wackos. It's so much easier to get it from other nations then to get back control over our own oil.

The most intriguing part of the speech was watching the reactions of the Democrats. Didn't they know that what they were doing spoke volumes? When the President called for the reauthorization of the Patriot Act, Republicans stood and cheered, the Democrats sat and sucked lemons. When the President defended the terrorist surveillance program, "because we will not sit back and wait to be hit again", the Republicans stood and cheered, the Democrats sat and smirked. Congratulations Democrats! You have just reinforced America's perception that you will do nothing to keep America safe. Security in the number ONE issue for Americans and you're on the wrong side.

The one time the Democrats stood and cheered while the Republicans sat; the defeat of Social Security reform. Why in the hell are you cheering? You twits just cheered your success at keeping Social Security insolvent! What a bunch of idiots! Hey, you're safe with your congressional retirement plan and won't need Social Security, but the rest of us haven't got such a cushy plan. I'm not going to get Social Security. I'm going to have to work until I'm 70/75 yrs old. When elections come around I'm going to remember who screwed me.