Friday, January 30, 2009

White House Task Force on Middle Class Working Families

There are many people who think change comes easy and that it was only a campaign slogan. There are those who focus on ideas other than those that will move us forward as a nation--like Rush Limbaugh and the like.

However, creating a the middle class task force for is a major initiative targeted at raising the living standards of middle-class, working families in America. It is comprised of top-level administration policy makers, and in addition to regular meetings, it will conduct outreach sessions with representatives of labor, business, and the advocacy communities.

Rush can't and won't do anything like that for his listeners--ever.

It seems the Obama Administration is moving away from "trickle down economics" where the lower classes may or may not get the help they need.

The Task Force will be chaired by Vice President Joe Biden. The Vice President and members of the task force will work with a wide array of federal agencies that have responsibility for key issues facing the middle class and expedite administrative reforms, propose Executive orders, and develop legislative and policy proposals that can be of special importance to working families.

Members of the Middle Class Task Force include: Vice President Biden, Chair; the Secretaries of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Commerce, as well as the Directors of the National Economic Council, the Office of Management and Budget, the Domestic Policy Council, and the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors.

Goals of the task force:

Expanding education and lifelong training opportunities
Improving work and family balance
Restoring labor standards, including workplace safety
Helping to protect middle-class and working-family incomes
Protecting retirement security
We’d like to hear from you. Over the upcoming months, we will focus on answering those concerns that matter most to families. What can we do to make retirement more secure? How can we make child and elder care more affordable? How do we improve workplace safety? How are we going to get the cost of college within reach? What can we do to help weary parents juggle work and family? What are the jobs of the future that we can begin to create? Please share your story with us and give us ideas for how to get the middle class going again.

Transparency: The Task Force will operate in a transparent fashion, in an open, two-way dialogue directly with the American people. Any materials from meetings or reports produced will be made available to the public at

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lap-Band Weight loss surgery

Dr. Richard Collier is a Lap-Band surgical specialist, who provides the premier, comprehensive Lap-Band®, weight loss surgery program as the alternative to more invasive procedures such as Gastric Bypass Surgery in The Woodlands, Conroe, Houston, Kingwood, and Spring, Texas areas.

His acclaimed weight loss program combines his well respected 31 year level of surgical experience with a highly-praised aftercare team program approach for patients following their surgery. Please use the medical center that is most convienient to you like the Weight loss woodlands at St. Luke's Community Medical Center.

Approved by the FDA in June 2001, the LAP-BAND® System procedure is an adjustable and completely reversible surgical treatment for morbid obesity in the United States. The new Allergan Advanced Platform System® was introduced in 2007. It induces weight-loss by reducing hunger and by restricting the amount of food that can be consumed during each meal. Since its clinical introduction in 1993, more than 400,000LAP-BAND® System procedures have been performed around the world.

With that being said, I have a friend who has had the procedure and she looks fabulous! I am now thinking about it myself.

There is a tab on the site where those interested can test their body mass index and find a payment plan that suits them.

Illinois can forgetaboutit when it comes to money

The state of Illinois can forgetaboutit when it comes to money from the government. There is a paragraph in the $819 billion stimulus package which passed the House Wednesday--without the aid of Republicans--which excludes the state of Illinois from receiving any stimulus package funds while Rod Blagojevich is governor. Good thing the impeachment hearings are on going.
3 None of the funds provided by this Act may be made
4 available to the State of Illinois, or any agency of the
5 State, unless (1) the use of such funds by the State is
6 approved in legislation enacted by the State after the date
7 of the enactment of this Act, or (2) Rod R. Blagojevich
8 no longer holds the office of Governor of the State of Illi
9 nois. The preceding sentence shall not apply to any funds
10 provided directly to a unit of local government (1) by a
11 Federal department or agency, or (2) by an established
12 formula from the State.
This action lets you know where the President stands in this whole situation. So for you people who feel sorry for Mr. Blagojevich, understand where your loyalties lie because they are not with the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama. (or the state of Illinois, apparently.)
Editor's Note: Yes, Mr. President holds all the trump cards and he is running a Boston.Here is the link. You can read it for yourselves.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I intend to purchase a Volkswagen turbo and fix it up a bit--to my taste--but I found I didn't know as much as I thought about engines and turbochargers. I didn't want to be taken advantage of so set about surfing the web and found a site called After viewing the site, I learned the difference between a turbocharger and a supercharger.

The key difference between a turbocharger and a supercharger is its power supply. Something has to supply the power to run the air compressor. In a supercharger, there is a belt that connects directly to the engine. It gets its power the same way that the water pump or alternator does. A turbocharger, on the other hand, gets its power from the exhaust stream. The exhaust runs through a turbine , which in turn spins the compressor

There are trade offs in both systems. In theory, a turbocharger is more efficient because it is using the "wasted" energy in the exhaust stream for its power source. On the other hand, a turbocharger causes some amount of back pressure in the exhaust system and tends to provide less boost until the engine is running at higher RPMs. Superchargers are easier to install but tend to be more expensive.
I recommend anyone looking for this stuff go to the site first, then make a decision.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My Fellow Citizens...Thank You Father!

I am so moved. I am listening to "Air and Simple Gifts" and Barack and Michelle Obama are President and First Lady as of noon eastern time.
I have teared up.
I have waited so long for this moment and I am so grateful and thankful.
Thank You Jesus, for blessing America, for blessing this country that you love!
God is Good! Praise You Father!
Mr. President is now giving his acceptance speech. I must watch.
As I see it...
Now comes the end of the Era of the Sellout,
says so my President.
The real work and sacrifice is not a glamorous thing, as the President pointed out in his speech and many more times, it brings not with it wealth and fame but temporary, bearable pain with the end result of progress for the good of all humankind.
But who will stand on the front lines of "remaking America?"
Will it be you? I know that it has been me. Before it was popular and the thing to do. I did it because it was right and I am the only one who has to live with me and look me in the mirror. And I wanted to be able to do that without fear and shame.
And I have been beaten down and back, seemingly for naught but in time, its wisdom was revealed to me and made it all worth it and I saw growth--real God-given growth.
It was not easy and many times I asked God "why?"
and "what should I do now?"
Only those who know The Struggle understand my words.
I was comforted and I lived through it.
We will follow our newly appointed leader now. He is someone many of us in this country have placed out hopes upon and look to God to move in His direction.
And we will be comforted, and we will grow.
But it cannot be just him, our newly elected President or just me or just them--it must be (honestly) most of us.
I know that some of us cannot any longer bear the burden because you have been the rock and pillar the majority of your lives; worked for the community earnestly and gave from your hear, to others. Those who need rest now will take it and those who are right minded and strong and able, will take The Struggle upon them and win it for all of us.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Truth About Men

Breaking the Code of Silence- The Top 10 Things That Every Woman Should know about Men
Posted by Lonnie J. Hamilton on January 17, 2009 at 1:07am in Into the Mind of a Man @

1. Men don’t change- This one is most important and that’s why I listed it first. The most common mistake I see women falling victim to in their decision making procedures when it comes to men is the fact that they feel they can change a specific man into the man that they want him to be. Now, that man may have some attractive qualities about him that she likes, but still he lacks in areas that are important to her as well. So instead of her choosing to eliminate the possibility, she would rather accept this man as he is now, with hopes that she can remold or recreate him into who she really wants him to be. Whoever a man is when you meet and get to know him, that man will be 5, 10, and 15 years down the line. Not saying that men have no capabilities of changing when it comes to certain habitual actions and/or personality flaws, but the nature and character of that man will remain the same. Most women settle for less than they know they deserve out of desperation and a fear of prolonged loneliness. But would you rather be single and happy, or involved and miserable? You cannot change a man into a different man. He is who is he, and if he’s not who you want, need, and desire then don’t accept an incomplete man because you feel you will never find a complete one. Always remember that patience is a virtue, and the nature that a man presents is who he is. So if he’s not who you want, don’t try to force him to become just that. You’re only wasting your time.

2. Men Think More Than They Feel- This one is common knowledge yet I see so many women acting as if it is not. Men are thinkers, and women are feelers. The human being is made up in three parts, and where we differ is where most common problems occur. Women are spiritual, emotional, and then physical. Men are spiritual, physical, and then emotional (although we sometimes act mostly physical). We clash because women feel men don’t listen and/or understand, and men think women just don’t get that we are capable of understanding without all the emotional dramatics that some women may display in order to convince their man and force him into understanding. Men take in everything you say, believe it or not, and we process it through thought and not feeling. If we think what you said to us is important then we will act upon it in the realm of the natural or physical. If we think what you said has no value or that it carries no real weight, then you will see no change. Simply put, if you’re constantly talking or arguing with your man about how you feel, and different things he does and does not do, and still you see no adjustments, I think you already know what that means. It means that he doesn’t value you enough to compromise what he thinks for how you feel. So the patterns become cyclical until you decide to stop being taken for a ride.

3. Men Need You More Than They Say- Since the beginning of time man has needed a woman to make things better, right, and peaceful in his life. Adam had everything imaginable upon his creation, but still was incomplete without the woman of Eve to make him whole. Women are multipliers in the sense that whatever a man sows, because of that woman, what he reaps will be multiplied in its final stage. A man sows seeds, and then a woman gives him children. A man may buy groceries, and then a woman will give him a meal. A man may purchase a house, and then a woman will make it a home. Anything that a good woman touches will be multiplied for her man. And men may never voice their need for you, but trust me when I tell you that the need is there and it is strong. The strength of a woman and her support is all a real man needs in order to be all that he is destined to be. Real women make real men better men, and that is why real women are needed most.

4. Men Protect What They Value- It is in a man’s nature to protect what is most valuable to him. Rather it be his woman, his children, or material things of value; that man will protect what it is he feels is most important. If you feel that your man is not one who values you enough to protect you then the question becomes why do you risk the relationship? I ask that because with no protection involved you’re putting yourself in harm’s way. Of course you may say “Well I can protect myself” but my question is, why should you have to? Especially if you have a man.

5. Men Are Not Destructive- Boys are destructive in their nature, simply because of their rambunctious ways of behaving at times. Real men, however, build up and never tear down. A real man will build you up with his words and through his actions. If a man tears you down verbally, mentally, and/or physically then he has not yet grown into a man, and you need to reevaluate why it is that you remain with someone who’s constantly destroying you.

6. Men Cry- Sometimes men will tell you that this is not a true or accurate statement. Some men raise their son(s) with the belief that “Real men don’t cry” when it fact the real men are the ones who have enough of an emotional connection with themselves and with those most important to him, that if need be, that man will have no problem shedding tears from what may transpire from any specific event he may be dealing with at the time. I have seen men who are getting married fight their hardest to keep the tears from streaming down their face as they see their bride for the first time. I have seen me hold back their tears when attending a loved one’s funeral service, and all of this stems from men growing up with the thought in mind that if I cry it shows weakness when it fact it really shows strength. Tears don’t make a man weak, and if you think so then you need challenge why you think that way. Tears are a part of human nature. There are tears of joy and tears of pain, and a real man is secure enough in his masculinity to freely express his own when the time calls for that type of expression. Just because a man cries that does not make him a whiner. Whiners are totally different and can be male or female. Men cry, and those who fight so hard to prove that they don’t have some serious security issues with their manhood.

7. Men Thrive Off of Reaction- Have you ever noticed how a man becomes following a reaction that was totally not expected by him? A man may give you a gift of some sorts and all while that man is purchasing the gift, having the gift wrapped, and thinking of the perfect time to present to you this wonderful gift, this man’s mind is totally focused upon how you will react to what it is that he is doing. It may have nothing to do with a gift. It may be him taking out the trash without you having to remind him, or doing the laundry without you having to ask him, or cooking dinner without you knowing. Whatever the reason may be, this man is expecting you to react the same way you are reacting in his mind. Now when you don’t react the same exact way or remotely close to the way he thinks you should be reacting, then that man will have a problem with that. Of course this is a most juvenile way of response, but unfortunately that’s how men are. When we say “Look honey I cooked dinner for you” or “This is for you, just because I love you” and your reaction is a simple “Thank you” or “Awww thanks baby, I love you to” without the back flips we think you should be turning because of what we just did, we indeed have a problem with that. If you give us an awesome reaction, no matter what the deed may be, you will see how that motivates us to do more. This should not be a requirement, and it’s rather funny when you think about it, but that’s how men are. Our future actions are motivated and determined by your present response, or lack thereof.

8. Men Don’t Know What You Want- Although this is a sad statement it is in fact a true statement. I previously wrote a work titled “The 10 Definitions of What Every Woman Wants” and the women who had an opportunity to read it were amazed by what it stated and some even more angered by the fact that more men don’t act as if they know the same thing. The truth is most men don’t know what it is that women want. We think we do and we’ll never fully tell you that we don’t, but in most cases we don’t know and that’s why you find yourself becoming repetitive and frustrated from his ignorance and/or stupidity. Most men have no clue, and that is unfortunate. Some men will grasp the knowledge of your needs, wants, and desires once you relay them to him. Those men that don’t take heed to this information will not be the best men to be involved with. Trust me.

9. Men Mean It When They Say “I Don’t Care”- Some men have a tendency of responding with a direct “I don’t care” when you ask them something that they genuinely have no concern about. This is not always bad but it’s not always good. If you were to say to your man “I’m leaving you” or “I’m unhappy in this relationship” and after he gets tired of your “nagging” him about it he gives you a firm “I don’t care! Leave then!” the truth is he really doesn’t care rather you stay or go, and that’s sad to me. You can feel when a man cares about you and how you feel about him, and you can tell when he doesn’t. Most women in unhappy relationships know that that man doesn’t care about them simply because he says it in more ways than verbal (i.e. lack of action, lack of responsibility, divided attention, lack of compassion, and lack of time). Now the real question is does your man care about you?

10. Men Love HARD- When a real man genuinely loves someone or something, he loves hard. Real men, that is, have no problem expressing their love for you. Real men love deep, from their soul, and they express it to you in awesome and unimaginable ways. If your man doesn’t love you hard, and I don’t mean anything sexually, then his “love” for you should be in question. That man’s love will be pure, honest, without pain and without suffering. It will be unconditional and centered solely upon you.

Lonnie J. Hamilton of The Core Being Consulting Group

Monday, January 12, 2009

Dammit! You can always have a bowl of cereal!

Locals speak out on Gary bailout funds

Several residents through e-mail, have expressed their take on the financial crisis that has taken hold of the city. Most of the insight seem to stem from a lack of trust of government or what they perceive as no clarity in government--a theme repeated throughout the President-elect's campaign.

Here are some of the more colorful comments:

"If you guys downstate want to give them some of the State's money, go ahead! But don't give them any of our money! The only people that should be allowed to vote on the City being able to increase our tax rates, are those whose money it is--the taxpayers. In fact the vote on such a "bailout" should be restricted to taxpayers. If you don't get a tax bill, no vote!

They are just not ready to stop stealing quite yet. They really have no idea how to start cutting their budget. They just have no idea how to operate in that mode. It is as far opposite from the way they've been taught to think as possible. They are obviously unwilling to begin cutting their budgets. Gary's budget has been loaded with excess for decades. As long as nearly every person employed by the City has been there. These cuts need to be forced upon them or they will just never happen, at least not in any meaningful way, and not in the proper order.

So BEFORE the State decides to give these clowns any more of OUR money, it is incumbent upon the State to do a full audit. Not afterwards. Otherwise, it would seem to me that they may be putting themselves at risk of being complicit in the massive fraud that will surely be uncovered before much longer. The fraud which has been perpetrated on Gary taxpayers for years, through misappropriation, misapplication, misuse, and incompetent and neglectful management (mismanagement) of the taxpayer's money.

If the State, through the DUAB is unwilling to get fully involved to adequately protect the Gary taxpayers, that's fine. Just don't then become partially involved by allowing the City to get there dirty little hands on one cent more of our money.

The DUAB cannot take the easy road here. They are in the perfect position to solve the "Gary problem" once and for all. It would be a terrible shame if they did not take full advantage of this unique opportunity. And it would be a travesty if the Gary taxpayers were deprived of the benefits they would realize if this opportunity were properly acted upon. Salvation for our city can be at hand, as long as the State doesn't opt to take the easy route. They cannot become a party to the City of Gary skirting the law which was established to protect taxpayers from the very abuses which Gary taxpayers have been and will continue to be victims of. So before they enter into any arrangement by which they could be perceived to be complicit or culpable in the perpetuation of the massive fraud that; has existed, exists today, and will continue to exist in Gary, this "crime of the century in the City of the Century", they need to ensure that they have done their due diligence. Doing an audit after they've enabled the City to take more of our money is not good enough. They need to do the full examination first. This exam will likely determine that the patient is terminally ill, and should therefore not continue to receive any extraordinary measures of life support--financial life support in the City's case.

Any audit must be far more intensive than simply some CPAs going over paperwork in an office down in Indy. The audit needs to also be inclusive of employee performance and department performance--most likely nonperformance in Gary's case. In simple terms, we need to know exactly what we've been getting and what we're not getting for all of the billions that go through the individuals' hands that control the City's purse strings. There are many ways which our tax dollars can be taken from us without us receiving the actual benefit for which they were designated. They can be stolen through frauds. They can simply be burned up by a bloated, nonproductive system. There are any number of ways which these funds are diverted before they reach their intended use. An incredibly small portion of the overall money that makes its way through the city provides any real benefit to the taxpayers and citizens.

Simply put, we are not getting near our money's worth. It is the job--the responsibility--of the State's Distressed Unit Appeals Board to see that we do. Please do this job for us fully, properly, intensively, and extensively.

I am a little discouraged to read today that after a DLGF audit, that they only found some questionable expenses that amount to a little over $30,000.00. I am not a CPA, but I am sure that if I were left alone with the City's books, I could find evidence of misappropriations of millions with very little effort in very little time.

I think that what the State really needs to do is something our friends at the IRS call an "Economic Reality Audit"--except in reverse! First let me explain briefly what an Economic Reality Audit (ERA) is; when individuals that report low levels of income, yet live well beyond their means, are suspected under reporting their income, sometimes the IRS sees fit to conduct an ERA. For example; if someone has Ferraris, Cigarette boats, a million-dollar house, and travels constantly, yet only reports $30,000.00 per year, they would probably be a good candidate for an ERA. The IRS might ask, "How did you get all of these goodies if you aren't making any money?"

But in the case of the City of Gary, where we know for a fact that they have been receiving enormous levels of income, we need for the State to conduct this "Reverse Economic Reality Audit". They need to come and do a physical audit of the condition of the city. They need to determine why the taxpayers' funds which all have very specific earmarks, have apparently been diverted. In short, why has our city fallen apart? Why has it been let go to the point of collapse? Why should we continue to have to live like this? Why do the citizens and taxpayers suffer while the ones in charge of providing these deserved services to us continue to live high on the hog? The DUAB should ask, "Why doesn't the city have any "goodies" when they have been receiving more than enough money to purchase them?" Why don't they have anything!

We want answers! We demand answers! And until we get them, don't even consider giving them more of our money!"

"I certainly appreciate Beach464's seemingly astute insights into Gary's current plight. He/she seems to have carefully read the Post-Tribune in recent days, for example the article on January 9 about the recent state audit, which, however, found little to quibble about. But what about the bulk the piece, which begins: "A new report questions whether the city of Gary can continue to exist if a state appeals board chooses not to raise local tax caps and increase city revenues." That is, whether the loss will be $36 million or "only" $24 million, the auditors have "substantial doubt about the city's ability to continue as a going concern." This is NOT a report from the current city administration, but comes from the State Board of Accounts, no apologists for Mayor Clay. So, what is to be done? Simply, more money MUST be found, either from property taxes, a county income tax, U.S. Steel, Barden casinos, or ??? But I don't see any suggestions from Beach46403 (or any of the other critics of the current administration) to deal with this looming disaster, except to further cut the city's budget. Where should city spending further be cut? And I don't mean the small stuff that seems to generate so much criticism, but millions and millions of dollars in reduced services, $24-$36 million to be exact! Why would any businesses stay in Gary if the city is doomed to disintegration? I hope the MCC, Beach46403, etc. have some of the answers, but so far they have not been forthcoming, except the Karl Rove, Grover Norquist mantra of cut, cut, cut.
Who decides to provide bailout money to the Gary community? Would the House Financial Institution Committee make this decision? Are we depending upon Governor Daniels? I would like to forward this email to each official responsible for the decisions made pertaining to the bailout.
If you guys downstate want to give them some of the State's money, go ahead! But don't give them any of our money! The only people that should be allowed to vote on the City being able to increase our tax rates, are those whose money it is--the taxpayers. In fact the vote on such a "bailout" should be restricted to taxpayers. If you don't get a tax bill, no vote!"

And, the Post-Tribune reports that the mayor has bought a new Hummer and charged it to the city. He said it was the lowest cost SUV and would save the city money.
Talk about bad timing.

I guess I shouldn't complain about not having enough money for food. Time for the weight loss to begin! I would not want the mayor's job because he is between a rock and a hard place.
He is joining the club!