Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Arkansas' Unholy Trio

Tuesday, at the Political Animals Club meeting, Lt Gov. Bill Halter remarked that he brought forward the lottery because all his life Arkansas has been at the bottom in regards to income per capita and students graduating from college. He speculated that the lottery would generate scholarships that would lead to more students graduating and voilĂ , higher salaries.
I don't accept his premise. His neglects several facts into his equation. Arkansas, along with it's low income per capita, is also one of the highest in regards to citizen's tax burden. Arkansas' top rate of 7% puts itself near the top of the country in terms of maximum tax rates. The sales tax itself is above the national average which is difficult to understand in that Arkansas is a low income state.
Why is such a low income state taxed so high? For decades Arkansas has be ruled by one party, the Democrats. The Democrats keep Arkansas taxes high which leads to less money in one's pocket. How can a student afford to go to school when the Democrats keep taking it out of a student's pocket?
Arkansas will be able to achieve a bigger income per capita when people smarten up and replace the "Tax 'em up the Wahzoo" Democrats with Republicans who understand the economic concept of lower taxes leads to job growth and higher incomes.

Democrats, High Taxes and Low Incomes.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New Face, Republican Party of Arkansas

The Republican Party of Arkansas now has a new website. Boy! It is so much better looking than the old one they had up. The look is very clean without any clutter. Nice colors, easy to see icons and large letters, no need to squint! Nice touch having Doyle Webb on the video introducing the website. They are also using the social media technologies, Twitter, Facebook, flickr, YouTube and even a blog. I have to chuckle when they say they are using the new technologies. In reality they are a few years behind. It nice that they have finally caught up.

Launching a slick new website is nice but time will tell if it's going to be a great website. The biggest problem I had with the old site was that the information was not kept up-to-date. The GOP is going to have to keep on top of keeping the website current. That will mean having some one constantly in touch with the county committees, the legislators and candidates. The state icon with links to the county committees is really great and has a lot of potential. Their success also depends on keeping people connected at all times. It sure would be nice that 5 years from now this website would socially active and flourishing.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Fayetteville, 17th Annual Dogwood Walk

It didn't rain! However, Gulley Park was really soggy. Of course, Casey took every opportunity to splash through a puddle. The clouds didn't keep people away. Oh Boy! Lots and lots of dogs!
I had a number of conversations about Casey. People were interested Goldens and asked questions about his personality and how hard was he to take care of and groom.

There were quite a few vendors. There are a lot of dog boarding/sitting/day care/ places than I have ever seen in the past. They were handing out lots of goodies. Casey was in doggy heaven. I have a several bags of treats and toys. The cats weren't left out either.

I put a stop to Casey's snacking so he joined forces with a brother. "Psst! You distract her and I'll grab a couple of dog bones. It'll be a 50-50 split."

The Humane Society of the Ozarks did a great job! Everyone enjoyed themselves and I know that everyone went home with a tired-out dog.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Botanical Garden's "Greening of the Garden"

It was a beautiful night! No rain and plenty of sunshine and the temperature was perfect. It was hard to tell how many people came because everyone was spread out all over the garden. Which was nice because you weren't crowded and bumping into people.

You were able to walk around the garden, admire the flowers while sipping your drink, nibbling the hors d'oeuvres and listen to the music.

I couldn't resist getting this photo. The couple were enjoying the music while bouncing the baby along with it. A few other couples sneaked in a few dances.

The hottest action was around the silent auction tables. The items with the heaviest bidding were the mini vacation packages. I didn't do badly myself. I got a nice dog lovers package (dog food and gift certificate) and a dog grooming certificate.

It is probably safe to say that the party was a great success! Thanks to all the volunteers who gave all of us such a wonderful party. And Thank You God for the perfect weather.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

National Cytotechnology Day

A lot of people might find the job of a cytotechnologist to be a bit boring, isolated and quiet. We spend most of the day glued to a microscope looking through millions of cells. For me it's a challenge, a puzzle, the thrill for the hunt of the enemy. How many lives will I potentially save today? The majority of the time I find pre-cancer cells which are easily treatable. However, once in a blue moon, I see the slide where a woman neglected to get routine pap smears. Cancer! If only, I sigh.

National Cytotechnology Day is celebrated annually on May 13th to honor Dr. Papanicolaou who gave us the Pap smear. This test has reduced the death from cervical cancer over 70% in the U.S. since it was introduced in the late 1940's. This inexpensive test is the most successful cancer screening test in history. Yet, women are still dying from this disease. Of the estimated 4,000 women projected to die in 2009, half will never have had a Pap smear and another 10% haven't had a Pap test in the past 5 years. When I see that a patient hasn't had a Pap smear in over 5 years I consider that patient at a high risk of having a pre-cancerous lesion. I take extra care because I know this patient is probably not going to have another one for years. This is my one chance to detect any pre-cancer.

Cervical cancer can be prevented, but only if you follow through with regular Pap smear examinations. So, have you made your appointment with your gynecologist? Do it today!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Democrats, Taxing Sugar

Looking for ways to pay for a national health-care system the Democrats are looking at new federal taxes on soda and other sugar drinks. I drink the diet sodas and I'm thinking that the new tax wouldn't affect me.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington-based watchdog group that pressures food companies to make healthier products, plans to propose a federal excise tax on soda, certain fruit drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks and ready-to-drink teas. It would not include most diet beverages. Excise taxes are levied on goods and manufacturers typically pass them on to consumers.

What a minute, maybe I'm wrong. When you purchase sodas, be it regular or diet, they are the same price. I willing to bet that the manufacturers will pass on the Soda tax evenly among all drinks they make. Diet soda drinks will be subsidizing some of the tax on the regular soda drinkers. I've already reduced my soda drinking because of the higher cost of corn syrup. (Thanks to the global warming nuts) If the cost of soda goes any higher I'm going to start drinking tea.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Dodging the Rain

What a weekend! I tried to get as much done outdoors in between the rain. Casey and I went to the Farmer's market. I went to the first session of making a rain barrel by the Beaver Water District. I need to make several more rain barrels. It's absolutely amazing how much rain water comes off the roof. I didn't win the free barrel. Darn! We then spent most time at the market talking with friends. I didn't buy anything but a burrito for lunch.

It still wasn't raining so I decided that we were going to do some geocaching. I had downloaded the Groundspeak’s Geocaching App and I wanted to try it out. Man, this App is sweet. I really like that it gives a list of the caches where you are located. Now I don't have to keep a list of the caches I want to find. I'm also able to log my finds on site. This App won't work for the more remote caches where there is no IPhone coverage. I'll just have to work around it.

One of the caches I found was at the weir dam over the West Fork of White River off of Pump Station Road. With all the rain we've have the water was really pouring over the dam. I got in one more cache before it started to rain. The rest of the weekend was shopping, gardening (in between the showers) and cleaning house.


Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels gave one hell of a commencement speech Saturday at Butler University. Excerpt:
Which leads me to congratulate you in advance. As a generation, you are off to an excellent start. You have taken the first savvy step on the road to distinction, which is to follow a weak act. I wish I could claim otherwise, but we Baby Boomers are likely to be remembered by history for our numbers, and little else, at least little else that is admirable.
We Boomers were the children that the Second World War was fought for. Parents who had endured both war and the Great Depression devoted themselves sacrificially to ensuring us a better life than they had. We were pampered in ways no children in human history would recognize. With minor exceptions, we have lived in blissfully fortunate times. The numbers of us who perished in plagues, in famine, or in combat were tiny in comparison to previous generations of Americans, to say nothing of humanity elsewhere.
All our lives, it's been all about us. We were the "Me Generation." We wore t-shirts that said "If it feels good, do it." The year of my high school commencement, a hit song featured the immortal lyric "Sha-la-la-la-la-la, live for today." As a group, we have been self-centered, self-absorbed, self-indulgent, and all too often just plain selfish. Our current Baby Boomer President has written two eloquent, erudite books, both about..himself.
As a generation, we did tend to live for today. We have spent more and saved less than any previous Americans. Year after year, regardless which party we picked to lead the country, we ran up deficits that have multiplied the debt you and your children will be paying off your entire working lives. Far more burdensome to you mathematically, we voted ourselves increasing levels of Social Security pensions and Medicare health care benefits, but never summoned the political maturity to put those programs on anything resembling a sound actuarial footing.
In sum, our parents scrimped and saved to provide us a better living standard than theirs; we borrowed and splurged and will leave you a staggering pile of bills to pay. It's been a blast; good luck cleaning up after us.

The Greatest Generation gave way to the Me Generation who is dumping it on the Woe Is Me Generation. I think it's time for people to learn the principles that guided the Greatest Generation. God, Family and Country.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Arkansas' IPhone App to Search Bankrupt America Projects

Arkansas launched an IPhone app today where one can track state projects bankrolled by the "Bankrupt America" funds. I have recently purchased an IPhone so I decided "what the hell, it's free". Surprisingly it's quite good. You have the ability to look for projects by keyword, location (county) or projects near you. You are also able to mark a particular project you are interested in and track it. If you want further information on the project the app will lead you back to Bankrupt America/Arkansas website. Mmmm, looky here! We're going to spend 12.4 Million dollars on a Arkansas Welcome Center in West Memphis. Really, why couldn't Gov Beebe use this money for that trauma center he wants so badly. He could have saved all that tax revenue that walked out of Arkansas.