The Economic Effects Of Richardson Dropping Out Of The Race

13 01 2008

Think about the t-shirts, yard signs, buttons and mugs with “Richardson 08” emblazoned on them… think about the shop owners and street vendors who bought them to sell. Think about the printers who have stock made up. I realize that no small country will fall as a result but these are real people who made a financial investment and are now stuck with stock that will be sold basically for scrap…

We spent a lot of time getting artwork together for our web-store. Call me selfish but, we have some really cool designs with Bill Richardson (www.cafepress.com/bullfeathers/) and now… they’re wasted. Don’t get me wrong– there are some other really great things, great art (I know, I’m biased) and fun lines. Not everything on our site is political– there is a section on Autism, fun designs, some suggestive stuff and plenty of non-Richardson political stuff.

We’re fortunate– our only investment is time. (Cafe Press does print on demand)… but, I certainly feel for the folks who have money invested for which they will not see any return.





86 Year-Old Lashes Out at Her Bank

13 01 2008

Shown below, is an actual letter that was sent to a bank by an 86 year old woman. The bank manager thought it amusing enough to have it published in the New York Times.


Dear Sir:
 I am writing to thank you for bouncing my check with which I endeavored to pay my plumber last month. By my calculations, three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his presenting the check and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to  honor it. I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my entire pension, an arrangement which, I admit, has been in place for only eight  years. You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account $30 by way of penalty for  the inconvenience caused to your bank. My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has  caused me to rethink my errant financial ways.I noticed that whereas I personally answer your telephone calls and letters, — when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, pre-recorded, faceless entity which your bank has become.

From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a  flesh-and-blood person. My mortgage and loan repayments will therefore and hereafter no  longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank, by check, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must  nominate.   Be aware that it is an offense under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope. Please find attached an Application Contact which I require your chosen employee to complete. I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much  about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative. Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Notary Public, and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be  accompanied by documented proof. In due course, at MY convenience, I will issue your employee with a PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me. I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modeled it on the number of button presses required of me to access  my account balance on your phone bank service.. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Let me level the playing field even further. When you call me, press buttons as follows: 
IMMEDIATELY AFTER DIALING, PRESS THE STAR (*) BUTTON FOR ENGLISH
#1. To make an appointment to see me
#2. To query a missing payment.
#3. To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there.
#4. To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping
#5. To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature. 
#6. To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home
#7. To leave a message on my computer, a password to access my computer is required. Password will be communicated to you at a later date to that Authorized Contact mentioned earlier.
#8. To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through 7.
#9. To make a general complaint or inquiry.
The contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service.
 #10. This is a second reminder to press* for English. While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for  the duration of the call.Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.

May I  wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous New Year?
Your Humble Client

 

This is an actual letter that was sent to a bank by an 86 year old woman. The bank manager thought it amusing enough to have it published in the New York Times. This was written by an  86 year old woman. 
 





OK… I will write comments– but, only to nice people!

10 01 2008

A while ago I wrote that I wouldn’t write comments on other blogs because of some folks’ inabilitiy to accept that there are opinions that differ from their own.  I blew it immediately… I am weak.  However, I am going to make sure that they are “nice people”… I’ll double check their comments to see if they are insulting or rude.





Hillary is Human!

8 01 2008

Yeah! She choked up a little!

I don’t see why this is a such a big deal– she is human, exhausted and feels strongly about what she’s doing. Whether I agree with her or not… Bless the crack in her armor!





The Candidates’ Autism Plans by Dr. Chew

8 01 2008

I found this and thought it was worth sharing:

The Candidates’ Autism Plans

by Kristina Chew, PhD on November 24th, 2007

Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton announced her autism plan in Sioux City. She called for for $700 million in funding for autism research and education and criticized President Bush for failing to fully fund legislation such as the Combating Autism Act (CAA); Clinton noted that she co-sponsored the CAA and also, earlier this year, the Expanding the Promise for Individuals with Autism Act. Referring to autism as a “national health crisis” (as quoted in the Associated Press), Clinton said that “‘we don’t know how to cure it, and we don’t even know the best ways to treat it.’”Autism initiatives that Clinton proposed taking include:

  • Expanding research to identify causes of autism by doubling investments in the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) efforts to identify the causes of autism, and monitoring its impact across the country
  • Creating an Autism Task Force charged with investigating evidence-based treatments, interventions, and services
  • Providing planning and demonstration grants for services for adults: Clinton will provide funding for for a one-time, single year planning grant for states and a multi-year service provision demonstration grant program to increase access to appropriate services to adults living with autism, including job training, housing, and transition services for young people leaving school. 
  • Improving access to post-diagnosis care, so that children can start receiving services as soon as possible after they are diagnosed.
  • Providing teacher training: Clinton will provide funding for school districts to ensure that teachers responsible for educating children with autism receive specialized teacher training, including ways to engage in appropriate interventions
  • Creating a National Technical Assistance Center that will gather and disseminate information about autism treatments, interventions, and services, and provide technical assistance; this information would be accessible through the Internet.
  • Guaranteeing quality, affordable health care: Clinton’s American Health Choices Plan would enable individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities to have access to quality, affordable health care for their conditions. Citing the costs of insurance and insurance premiums, Clinton pointed out that her universal health care plan would enable families to afford health care as good as that currently received by members of Congress.  Her initiatives do directly address some of my own main concerns regarding autism, namely: Education and teacher trainings; services for adults who need them; insurance coverage. 




  • Hillary Clinton Promised to Find Out What Causes Autism

    8 01 2008

    A couple of nights ago I had CSPAN on while drifting to sleep and a Clinton Speech in New Hampshire came on. She brought up Autism– without being asked anything about it– and promised to find out what causes it. Was I dreaming?

    Can she make that promise while endorsing mandatory vaccines? Seems a bit contradictory since vaccines (Thimerasol) seem to be the most likely cause. (At least Ron Paul’s health-care plan gives us a choice on vaccinations… ) There are certainly other theories– older father, environmental causes, and heredity are just some of them. Another theory for the explosion in autism diagnosis is the expansion of the definition. In past generations, people who were high functioning might have just been considered eccentric.

    I don’t have any answers and,  apart from living with an autistic child and reading everything Temple Grandin writes, I have no expertise.

    While I applaud Mrs. Clinton’s ambitious promise to find out what causes Autism, I’m skeptical that she can actually do it.  And, if it matters so much to her why hasn’t she done anything as a member of Congress?Don’t they hold the purse strings?

    Any politician would be fool to claim apathy towards those of us who’s lives are affected by Autism– but, what have any of these folks done? Huckabee got a $400 haircut to benefit Autism Research– big deal. Richardson actually expanded services in New Mexico. What have Edwards, Clinton, Obama, McCain, Romney, Paul, Thompson and rest of the pack done?

    Hillary Clinton talks about her track record– accomplishments– what has she done for the “least of these”? Am I missing something? Has she done something that I’ve missed?

    I welcome your comments and am an undecided Ohio voter. I do vote and will vote for the person who, in my view, is the strongest on the Economy and on Autism.





    Democratic Candidates on Autism

    4 01 2008

    I did my research.

    The following is what the top three Democratic candidates have to say about Autism and their plans for improving the lives of those touched by PDD.

    John Edwards:

    “Autism affects families from every walk of life. Sometimes I talk about the Two Americas – but when it comes to fighting for families affected by autism and autism spectrum disorders, we must come together as One America to deliver on our national promise – helping every child realize their full potential.” — John Edwards

    Autism and autism spectrum disorders affect an astonishing 1 in 150 children. More children than ever before – a 700 percent increase over the last decade – are being classified as having an autism spectrum disorder. We need to learn more about why the number of children diagnosed with autism and autism spectrum disorders has been growing. We know that early intervention is often crucial to helping children with these diagnoses reach their full potential, but the education and health care resources needed to help them and their families are strained to capacity. For families, caring for a child with autism can be expensive and emotionally draining. While Congress took an important step last year by dedicating more than $900 million to address autism over the next five years, more can and must be done. [IDEAData, 2005; CDC, 2007]

    John Edwards believes every child deserves the opportunity to reach his or her potential. Helping everyone reach personal independence and assume social responsibilities is a responsibility we all share. His Promise and Potential plan will:

    • Guarantee quality affordable health care for families living with autism – ending insurance discrimination.
    • Help unravel of mysteries of autism by issuing an all-hands-on-deck research challenge.
    • Fund schools so they can provide essential services.
    • Strengthen supports for families dealing with the diagnosis.
    • Ensure a continuum of care with lifelong supportive services.

    Obama:

    Support Americans with Autism.More than one million Americans have autism, a complex neurobiological condition that has a range of impacts on thinking, feeling, language, and the ability to relate to others. As diagnostic criteria broaden and awareness increases, more cases of autism have been recognized across the country. Barack Obama believes that we can do more to help autistic Americans and their families understand and live with autism. He has been a strong supporter of more than $1 billion in federal funding for autism research on the root causes and treatments, and he believes that we should increase funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to truly ensure that no child is left behind.More than anything, autism remains a profound mystery with a broad spectrum of effects on autistic individuals, their families, loved ones, the community, and education and health care systems. Obama believes that the government and our communities should work together to provide a helping hand to autistic individuals and their families.

    Clinton:

    From NBC/NJ’s Athena Jones
    CLINTON WEEKEND CAMPAIGN NOTEBOOK

    Clinton said not enough was known about what she called one of the most urgent and least understood challenges facing the nation and not enough services were available to deal with it.“I think it’s time we had a government and a president who recognized the seriousness of autism and addressed it head on,” Clinton told the crowd at a local Boy’s Club. She said she was at the club because of the work the organization does to provide services for children with autism.

    Clinton’s plan would double investments in the National Institutes of Health’s efforts to identify the causes of the disorder, including possible environmental causes. Fully funding the “Combating Autism Act,” a Clinton co-sponsored bill that became law in 2006, would cost $200 million a year and would be covered by the senator’s initiative to increase the NIH budget by doubling it over 10 years. The other $500 million would come from savings from improving government efficiency, said spokesman Jay Carson.

    I have to wonder how much of this is lip service… the top three say it’s really important when asked directly about Autism but I haven’t heard it come up unless prompted by a question.  Both Obama and Clinton have their opinions buried in heath plans. I know it isn’t an issue to people who don’t have to deal with Autistic idiocyncracies regularly. But, how many people care about the abortion issue who aren’t dealing with that choice? Why isn’t Autism a bigger deal to the whole country.  You can’t talk about health without talking about Autism– it’s not just about major medical or payment plans it’s about day to day issues.

    I don’t know if Autism is caused by injections or not but if I had it to do over J wouldn’t have gotten the shots. I fall short of calling Autism a disorder– it’s a challenge and I’m sorry that my son has to face difficulties that “normal” kids don’t have to deal with. He is who he is and I love him just how he is– stims and all.