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We the People need to speak up.

value-wheel-2009-500When did Congress stop looking out for “We the People?” When did they remove themselves from social security and build out their own retirement system? We still need 50 United States that come together with their different flavors and characters to make up the fabric of the United States of America. What made America great was the fact that anyone could rise up and do better. Work ethic was as important, and maybe even more than just your blood line.

Society is made up of many people and many groups, and our strength is in the variety. It’s only when we try to legislate “integrity” that we forget that values come from within. Character is taught by the family, and a lack of character is a problem.

No man really knows what he believes in until he begins to instruct and raise up his children. If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything! The beauty of being a “parent” is taking the opportunity to be vulnerable and love someone more than yourself. You get to learn life all over again as you raise up your children and help them learn. That’s the real gift in life. Being a family.

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Affordable Care Act…Are your income taxes up to date?

I can help you figure out the U.S. health insurance maze.  There are a lot of changes happening right now, as we implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Let me first say that health care is expensive.  One way to make it more affordable is to keep everyone well so they don’t get sick!  We try to do more with preventive measures now, so that you are inspired to take better care of yourself and maybe need less care in the long run.

It is scary to think that a typical health insurance premium for a family of 4 is $1300 a month.  With the new mandated benefits for “free preventive services” as well as other essential coverage, it is safe to say that healthcare is more expensive, not more affordable, but hopefully we all care more and are healthier.

The government attempt to make it more affordable comes in the form of expanded services for those in low income and poverty through our Medi-Cal program, or the Federal Medicaid in many states.  Everyone who should be in those programs needs to be in them.

If you have affordable group insurance offered through your employer, you should take advantage of it.  If the employer requires you to pay more than 9.5% of your household income toward insurance premiums, then you may be eligible for financial assistance through Covered California.

To evaluate your needs for health insurance, we need to address these issues.

  1. How old are you and where do you live?  We look at your Date of Birth and zip code as part of the pricing structure.

  2. Do you have a family?  Who else needs insurance?

  3. What do you have now for coverage and how much does it cost?

  4. How do you like to get your health care services?

  5. Tell me a little about your health history and any diagnosis or ongoing conditions…

  6. Are you current with your Income Taxes, and without tax liens or back child support obligations?

  7. Pull out your tax return so we can review your past income figures and current income.

With those answers we can determine which direction you might want to go for coverage.

However, if you are behind in your income taxes or child support, this may not be for you.  Do you love the IRS now?  Just wait until they are the heavy in the enforcement of this new law.  If they give you a Tax Credit now, and then take it back later, how will you feel?  They didn’t make health care more affordable.  Just more of a challenge to understand.  Next time, let Congress read it before you pass it.  That’ s my take on it!

 

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The Secret History of the Birth of the Nation

I found this the other day, and it reminded me why I was so passionate about 1976 and the bicentennial celebration. Everyone went back to the basics of our country, and learned their history again. Here was an article I found written by an attorney from York, PA. We need to remain 50 United States of America, not one big Federal State.

Mr. J. F. Rauhauser, Jr. Esq., President of the York County Bicentennial Commission, Inc. tells the story in his discourse, “The Secret History of the Birth of the Nation.”

“The facts are unassailable and the law irrefutable. In fact, and by law, the United States of America was created, – born, if you will – on November 15, 1777, in Yorktown, Pennsylvania. Not in Boston; nor even in Philadelphia. Not on July 4, 1776 by the Declaration of Independence; nor yet by the Constitutional Convention on September 17, 1787. But instead, the United States of America first came into being, as a sovereign independent nation, by action of the Continental Congress, duly convened in the colony of Pennsylvania, and in the town of York, which thus became the nation’s first capital.

It happened this way. Representatives of the thirteen colonies, sitting in the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, received news that a great force under British General Howe was approaching that city. Bundling their public papers into guarded wagons, the representatives agreed, on September 18, 1777, to move to the town of Lancaster just east of the Susquehanna River. A brief entry in the Journals of the Continental Congress indicates some members of Congress did stop in Lancaster on September 27, but it was then quickly decided “to repair to the town of York, in Pennsylvania,” thus affording to the Congress the added protection of the broad expanses of that river. Congress thereafter convened in York from September 30, 1777 until June 27, 1778, when it returned to Philadelphia, only then evacuated by the British.

Among the Resolutions adopted by the Congress on July 2, 1776, before it left Philadelphia, was one which proposed that a plan for the permanent binding together or confederation of the 13 newly independent colonies should be prepared. John Dickinson of Pennsylvania, as Chairman, and delegates from each of the other colonies served the committee to carry out this resolve. A draft of the Articles of Confederation was shortly submitted to the delegates, but only limited consideration was given to the matter until it was taken up in almost daily debate after the Congress convened in York.

Then it was, on November 15, 1777 that the Articles of Confederation were officially adopted. Then it was that the participating colonies agreed ‘…hereby severally (to) enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for …common defense, the security of …liberty and…mutual and general welfare…’

By Articles I it was established that “The stile of this confederacy shall be ‘The United States of America.’
Until that moment The United States of America did not exist.

True it is that the 13 colonies declared their separate independence from Great Britain on July 2, 1776 in Philadelphia, but in that same Declaration of Independence they solemnly declared themselves to be “free and independent states” with the right retained by each to do “all acts and things which independent states may of right do.” That Declaration did not create a union of any sort. It created 13 independent states.

True it is that each independent state or colony thereafter had to ratify the act of its authorized delegates in the adoption of the Articles of Confederation, but, by definition, the term ratification gives assent as of the time of the original event. The original event was the adoption of the Articles on November 15, 1777, in York, Pennsylvania, which created The United States of America.

True it is, also, that the present Constitution of the United States of America was adopted in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787, but its preamble states the purpose for its adoption to have been ‘to form a more perfect union,’ or, in other words, to improve on the union that therefore existed.

In brief, the United States of America was officially created on November 15, 1777 and thereafter, upon ratification, operated throughout the American Revolution under the Articles as its First Constitution. The experience gained under the first charter dictated the necessity of having a government with more centralized power. And although the delegates met in Philadelphia for the avowed purpose of improving, by amendment, The Articles of Confederation, they did in fact adopt an entirely new and second Constitution.
It is perhaps a little known, infrequently told, almost secret history. But it is true, – in fact and in law. It happened in Pennsylvania. In the Capital City of Yorktown. On November 15, 1777. Then and there The United States of America was born. (11)”

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The American Long Term View…

If “we the people” need to remind Congress what a long term view of America should look like, we can. It starts with families, and homes, communities and local economies. Our States each have a flavor and a specific style that makes it unique. America is a melting pot of many flavors and character. That’s a good thing.

Federal issues need to be the big things. Our Educational Institutions are an asset of our cities, states and country. We know that clean water and sanitation was key to health and wellness. We learned that a long time ago.

Out of NASA came everything good that made America great. All the space science brought us technology and useful things that help us on a daily basis. We are a creative bunch in America, and we work with critical thinking in a good way!

We built America on Freedom of Religion and freedom to own land and become someone! We were not a Monarchy, and we had a President, not a King.

If Congress was made up of Financial Planners with long range thinking, we would not be in the mess we find ourselves in. The fact no budget has been passed, and the fiscal cliff is looming makes our whole economy come to a slow down that was not necessary. Business owners have no confidence in the “bright men” we left in charge. We won’t hire more. Healthcare has put a huge ball and chain around the ankels of business. It is a weight we cannot believe. $1400 a month for a family of 4 is a huge number, even for the Affordable Care Act. I love preventive medicine and wellness, but Americans are too smart to let themselves go the way we have. Personal responsibility is still in order.

America felt safe until 9/11/2001 when they attacked us from within. We should have sealed our borders at that time and used all our technology to create safety once again.  We have been in Post Traumatic Syndrome since.

Spending all this money to try and fix things, and losing focus on the long term goal has not been good for America.  We must be reminded that Americans really put the kind in mankind, because have been good for the world with our kindness and leadership.  We need to all come together just now, with all our learning and knowledge to see another 200 years into the future with a positive faith that it can all continue.  It is our responsiblity as citizens to challenge our leaders.  They have let us down, and we need to acknowledge it.

The Values Wheel

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Obama Scare in one sentence…

I can’t be proud of a Congress that doesn’t read any law before they pass it.  The Senate and the House have a job to do for the American people.  They let us down in 2010 when they kicked the can further down the road on the Bush Tax Cuts.  The 12/31/2012 time frame looms in front of us, and again, Congress cannot get anything done.  I’m watching families fail on a daily basis, while congress waits until November.  The American People are not stupid.  Stop treating us like we are.

With all the technology we have now, why was the 2010 census less valuable for important data, than what I can get from an 1880′s census?  Because these days it’s all about voting, and districting, and redistricting.  Enough already.  We cannot afford the politics when good business practices abound.  We are a lot of smart people that follow on the footsteps of good people.  We can do this.

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I couldn’t be more pleased…

In 2005 I took the boys on the Southwest Chief from Fullerton, CA to Kansas City, MO.  They were 12 and 10 at the time.  What mom wouldn’t think a sleeper car, a dining car and 2 days on a train doesn’t sound like fun?

My husband flew from Orange County, CA to Kansas City and rented a van so he could pick us up at Union Station.  We were on an adventure to find the Oregon Trail, and a little area known as Marshall County, KS where his family had been from in the 1860′s…  It was an exciting adventure in genealogy and history, and it was our own!

We found cousins we had never met, and dead relatives with headstones as tall as the boys!  We loved the adventure, and found not only the Oregon Trail complete with the ruts and old campsites, but the Pony Express trail as well.

We had such a great trip, we did it again later in the year, driving from Portland, OR where I was raised, backwards on the trail through Baker City, OR and into Idaho, then across Wyoming, Nebraska and into Kansas.  I had always known I had Mormon roots through my mom’s side, but we had been raised Methodist, and our EuroAmerican grandparents were my influence and values.

I had joined the daughters of the Utah Pioneers, and found the English Great Great Grandmother that had come to America in 1855, and left economic conditions that were not good in England.  She walked the trail from Council Bluffs, IA in 1856 with the famed Willie Handcart Company and knew hardships and challenges.  I visited her headstone in Ogden, UT where she died in 1920.  It was such a stroke of luck to find someone so amazing that it gave me courage and inspiration to do more with my own life, and the fact that I had so many comforts and had never known such “cold” as my pioneer ancestors.

I shared it with my own mother, and it brought us closer and helped her deal with her own faith, and pride in who her ancestors were.  It was important to our own family and faith, that we shared this ancestor and the lines of her own DNA.  I honored her and her line.

When my own family nurtured http://www.TheTaleoftheTrail.org it brought us together to share history, trains, genealogy, American faith and courage with our own sons.  I hope that America can come together just now, and recognize that our President should hold the faith for our future, and our Country in their hearts.  They should believe that we are One Nation Under God.  The faith to lead our Nation and the World, because these days the goal is for all Mankind to know that Man should be Kind.  That was the message of Jesus.  We see him as the son of God, because man was not very kind, and we needed a teacher.  I’m good with that.

Let us not tell others what to believe, but to have faith in our own family, our DNA, and a willingness to work together towards a common goal, at the community level.  Let the Mayors work locally, the Governors work with the States, and the Federal Government help with the big stuff.  Corruption is not allowed, integrity does matter, and we’re watching now!  Pay attention to your thoughts and your actions.  It’s good to be awake!

 

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Ode to Wisconsin!

My DNA was in Wisconsin during the late 1880′s when my great grandparents left Europe and made their way to America. My own grandmother was born in Wassau in 1893 and grew up speaking German before English.

I think back to all the opinions my grandparents had, and even how narrow their minds appear now. My grandfather was never interested in being politically correct, and he felt confident we should all know what he thought. His lifetime had taught him many lessons, and as an old man he knew some things!

He knew that freedom meant others could not tell him what to think, what to do or how to do it. Independence meant he was in control. Stubborn? I think so.

As I watch Wisconsin from a distance, it is clear to me that those stubborn people still live there, and they aren’t interested in others telling them what to do or how to do it! Even if the smart business people who pay attention to the numbers and the books tell them the old ways just won’t work.

Unions played an important role in establishing fairness for the working man. Somewhere along the lines under funded pensions and over stated expectations created a perfect storm that blew into a big blow up!

Thomas Jefferson said that “Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle.” I hope that people don’t just shout and be mad, but that real progress comes from understanding the problems and working together to find solutions that can work.

 

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Antique Easter Eggs

The natural beauty of each egg is amazing.

Grandma Shaw would help us make these lovely Easter eggs as her mother had done in the old country. It’s very easy, and you won’t believe how lovely they are.

1. Take a raw white egg
2. Take the brown skins from an onion.
3. Use a square piece of cloth large enough to hold the egg, about 8″ X 8″
Place the piece of cloth down first. Wrap the brown skins around the raw egg to cover it. Bring the corners of the cloth together and tie with a twistie tie.
Do a few more eggs.
Place the bundle of the egg in water and bring it slowly to a boil so it doesn’t crack the eggs.
Bring the eggs to a boil.
It only takes a while to have them be hard boiled.
Cool them down with cold water and unwrap them.
Save the fabric for next year!
You will LOVE these lovely organic antique Easter eggs!

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I met Greg today…a global citizen.

I went out front to feed the birds bread. He was just walking by and told me the yeast was bad for the birds. I appreciated his perspective, and saw how cute this little old Jewish man was, with his walking stick, backpack and fine cap. It was his accent that spoke to my soul. I kept him engaged while I listened.

We both love our home in Irvine, CA and how we are such a global city. Our mix of people has gone from white with a few blacks from the nearby military bases to a very broad base of people from around the world. He called us an “aquarium” and I liked that.

We spoke of the economic and political issues at home and abroad. He speaks 6 languages, and claimed Lithuania as home. He knew Poland and Israel. After 10 minutes I could see the world through his eyes, right here on my own front porch in Irvine, CA. I feel so lucky to be in this wonderful city, living out the life of “The Jones Family.”

I’d like to take my family story and help heal the world still. My grandparents were amazing, and the big family era was a gift. Growing up at Centennial High in Portland, OR gave me an incredible foundation to be a global citizen. I learned skills in high school that translated to office jobs and restaurant help. With a real estate license and an insurance license I created a self employed, self empowered woman who got to have and raise two sons with a fine husband. My folks are still married and healthy since 1950. I get to be the youngest of 5 kids my whole life, no matter how old we all get! We get to be a family forever.

Blood lines and DNA really do matter in life. The fact that your parents had sex, and you got to be born is no small miracle. These are issues we feel free to debate in the open arena these days, but in my grandmothers time they didn’t need to be discussed. She was very clear in her counsel that “First you get the husband, then you make the babies. And if you’re smart, you get the real estate before the babies.” She was born in 1893, and worked to raise herself and her family up in society. Grandpa Shaw was born in 1888 and I got to have him in my life until 1978. 90 years is enough time to learn some things, and he was a great teacher and hard worker. They led by example without using a lot of words. They knew where they stood in life, and had opinions to share. “If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything.”

Having a family blood line continue is human nature to survive. For a lot of us, the advent of birth control has meant the end of a line. Not all family lines continue, but there is so much to learn about yourself and our DNA using the technology we have today.

Part of that is about being true to yourself. Your life is God’s gift to you, and what you make of it is your gift to God. Being a good mother comes naturally, and the miracle of child birth, and nursing a baby is a life changing experience on the most basic level. Being a family, together, with the right to persue life, liberty and happiness is the American Dream. It’s not something you do alone. We do it together, as “We the People.”

Capitalism to me works because of faith and synergy in the Universe. We use the magic that the world provides to see that the six degrees of separation really are there and we can do a lot of good in a community when we all come together. We always used the Church as a way to commune. The poor and needy were cared for through the pieces we added in society. Giving is good. Libraries and Healthcare are important. Transportation and Housing are really important. Science is wonderful and amazing, and we are smart enough to work with it. Earths resources and long term perspective are good for mankind to consider globally as a community, but also locally. Our communities have flavor and character. We share common purpose and work together for a cause we believe in. We share optimism and faith that things can be done. That we can be creative together. We share a “can do” attitude, and don’t just all be mad and shout a lot. We work to get things done and make things happen. We are productive.

Socialism is when they tell you where to go and what to do, and creative energy is not inspired. It doesn’t use the gifts the universe presents when you take away the interaction of devine intervention. The blessings of the universe don’t help inspire succeess.

A dictatorship is like growing up with a dad that always says “Because I said so.” Their demands and dictate rule even when common sense and creativity are unable to assist. People are happiest when their souls are nurtured. The arts brought us many things and the artesians will continue to carry the ball. Time has a way of moving forward anyway.

The reality that American Capitalism brought to the world was that giving, and kindness really do make you feel like a better person, and that there is good to be done with all that we have learned in this country. We were an experiment in government, and we need to maintain another 200 years of freedom as a United States of America. That is 50 states, each with a story and flavor, united as one economic force in the world.

We build an infrastructure around water, transportation, energy and communication and we look forward to the growth of life yet once again.

We survived Y2K, and crossed over from 1999 to 2000 just fine. It was a time when we felt safe and secure, with water on two sides, and friends in Canada and Mexico around us. We were happy Americans, with families, character and integrity. We were responsible working people, with great values willing to look forward and do good in the world. We loved to travel, eat and drink and those industries could help sustain many an economy. Lifestyle is the great gift of capitalism because you are free to make choices.

When I think about the youth that feel opportunity has escaped them, I feel badly. My own DNA goes back to Europe, and my English, German, Scottish, Italian roots qualified me to check the “White” box. Now I feel a need to check a EuroAmerican box, with all the choices we are presented today. The world has more complexity, but this really is an opportunity to be more open minded toward mankind and see how many similarities we have, and how many things we really do agree on.

Healing a community from the inside out is the best way to start. Be supportive of the 501c organizations to help offer a safty net within your community before Medicade programs support the poor. Have solutions to offer the Department of Health Services to meet the needs of the poor and elderly. Don’t let all the valuable real estate fall away, when this is the perfect time to think long term, with an eye toward 2025, and what would work well for your community and city IF you could think ahead? At least ask the questions so the Universe can help you find the answers. All this yelling and screaming is getting us no where and it is disconserting. When I know that one in twenty homes is in forclosure, then it is time to help those who fail. Once you are bouncing along on the bottom without resources, it’s hard to get back up.

We need to give them alternatives to crime and incarceration. That should not be a solution in society. Let’s live on the up and up and have character and integrity from within our society. It’s demanded and expected in a code of conduct. Writing laws may make it easier to enforce, but it’s expensive and time consuming. Being nice is a lost art, but I’d like to remind you to think about putting on a happy face and seeing what that feels like. I find it easy to be grumpy all the time with all the chaos of this world.

It is Political and it is Economical this time around, in a whole new way. My own research into currency goes back to my Grandfather and his knowledge of finance and money. I’ve paid attention to the relationship between work and effort, and money earned. We grew up with something called “sweat equity” and we helped grandpa tend to his real estate holdings. You worked. You paid attention and you got things done. You could earn money. He would say “You spend money seven days a week, you need to learn to earn it seven days a week too.” He led by example.

It was fun to hear Glen give me many ideas to help Europe just now. We talked about Sal Alinsky, and the way people are being led these days. We spoke of voting, and elections. We cannot and should not tollerate voter fraud. We are all ready for the new Patriot Card because we know big brother has rounded up all the information together anyway. I love my new Passport and the Western Travel Initiative card. It’s a great use of technology and we should all be using it.

With the Patriot Card you should also get a National Parks Pass and a States Parks and Recreation pass to help encourage your knowledge and travel. There is a lot to see right here in America and our family road trips have been our greatest treasure. Photos and memories will last a lifetime and then some! That is true wealth.

I want to have hope for the future. I want to have faith to believe. In the end, clean water and sanitation were our greatest achievements for mankind. That has given us our longevity! Medicine and vaccinations don’t get all the credit. Now, building smarter communities around intelligent energy…are Americans smart enough to answer that question regionally? I bet so. That would be good for the economy too.

We need to RE-EMPLOY. There are ways to be creative but the system doesn’t make it easy.
Coming together, working together, Irvine and Orange County have an incredible asset in our people and our communities. I’m so glad I met Greg today, so I know I’m part of this global group.

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Leadership of America

It’s so basic, we forget how simple it is.
The Governor is in charge of the State, and each state in the Union has a little different flavor and character. The Cities, towns and communities have their own leadership and we all work together to keep local economies moving and a healthy chamber of commerce.
It is all built around clean water and sanitation with a power grid to sustain life and industry.
Transportation is key, and how the people get around is open for discussion.
In 1850 the world moved at 3-5 miles an hour.
Technology has been put to good use in this category, and there is more to be done.

In 2007 life was moving along in a game of musical chairs. One day the music stopped with the mortgage crisis of 2008, and 2 out of 10 didn’t have a seat any longer. With the loan crisis, stopped the escrows, and the handymen and termite guys, and all construction slowed to a crawl as people took a deep breath in to see if they still had income. Debt defined life. You were a victim of your debt and the truth was in the mirror looking back at you. 4 out of 10 didn’t have a seat in the game.

It is not comfortable to fail. And once you’re all the way down, it is difficult to get back up. The systems in place in society should help people get back on their feet. It should help families remain together and regroup after adversity. It is the kindness of the American people that stands out in the world.

Let’s streamline the government in our own communities. Help your city use the assets it has to better serve the people. Our educational system and schools are a huge asset of the States and cities. How can they be used more effectively. How can we get private sector to help teach and use the buildings to a higher and better use standard? Sometimes it makes sense to own the real estate free and clear so you have an asset that creates the cash flow needed to sustain it’s own budget. That’s what an endowment is. A goose that lays golden eggs. How can this concept help shore up your community? We have a lot of smart people in America and we need to let them work. The creative spirit of the artist and entrepreneur is often in direct conflict with a Union job that wants to focus on a pay check and retirement mandates. If the real estate can be owned in the pension plans, then there is cash flow there old age.

Stocks should pay dividends and capital gains to those that help build the company. Those of us that spend money to own the products they sell should also own their stocks in our retirement accounts. That’s why the 401k idea was so well received. It makes sense to us to own the assets we support with our spending habits.

We have let the game look so complicated that even smart people think they can’t understand it. That is not good. Keeping it simple really is the key. Too much complexity and then no one understands it. We need to keep integrity within the system. People should be accountable for their character and values. We do have a code of behavior in society, and when it is broken we have penalties and jail.

No one wants to be fired, not even Congress. It’s hard for them to realize that Government really did get too big and that they are part of the problem. States and local agencies need to rethink their game plans, and take inventory of what they are doing right and what they need. Let’s start with the Mayor, and see how the people are doing. That is where “We the People” live.

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