Skip to main content


Showing posts from May, 2011

The Rat Race explained

A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village.  An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.
"Not very long," answered the Mexican. "But then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the American.
The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family. The American asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?" "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife.  In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs...I have a full life." The American interrupted, "I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you!  You should start by fishing longer every day.  You can then sell the extra fish you catch.  With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you c…

Social Security - Serving Those Who Serve Our Nation

Memorial Day is more than a three-day weekend to celebrate the unofficial start of summer with a BBQ.  It’s a day when we remember the service and sacrifice of the men and women who have served in our nation’s military.

Military men and women contribute to Social Security just like other working Americans, from their first paycheck at boot camp, to their last paycheck at the end of their career. As for any other working American who contributes, Social Security needs to be there for veterans and their families. For example:
● Most of the more than 4,000 children who lost a parent since the beginning of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars now receive Social Security survivors benefits.
● More than 771,000 veterans receive Social Security disability benefits.
● Social Security currently pays benefits to over 9 million veterans—about 4 in 10 veterans today—and the vast majority of veterans will become Social Security beneficiaries in the future.
Veterans and military families gave …

Philip Murray

Philip Murray was president of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) during its most tumultuous decade and helped transform the volatile movement of industrial unions begun by John L. Lewis into a stable and powerful organization. Vice president of the United Mine Workers of America (UMW) from 1920 until 1942, Murray also served as the first president of the United Steel Workers of America (USWA) from 1942 until his death in 1952. As president of the CIO, Murray cemented the alliance between the industrial unions and the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. He also created a more amicable relationship with the larger and older American Federation of Labor (AFL), laying the foundation for the merger of the CIO and the AFL in 1955.

Phillip Murray Murray was born in Blantyre, Scotland, on May 25, 1886, of Irish Catholic parents. His father, William Murray, was a coal miner and local union official. His mother, Rose Layden, was a weaver in a local cotton mill who di…

You Can Huff & You Can Puff

Don't Threaten Workers and Retirees

NY House Race Shows Fallout of House Medicare Vote

Threats to Medicare Play Key Role in Tuesday’s Special Election

The following statement was issued today by Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans.

“The outcome of the special election in New York’s 26th congressional district was greatly shaped by concern over a recent U.S. House vote to privatize Medicare and create an inadequate voucher program for retirees that would be run by health insurance companies.

"The April 15 Medicare vote troubled both seniors and workers.  For retirees already struggling to get by, these proposed changes would be devastating.  Many workers today are worrying that they will never be able to retire.

“Voters saw that Kathy Hochul will be a strong voice in Congress to protect the health care and retirement security of Americans of all ages.  She made it crystal clear that she opposes turning Medicare over to private insurance companies, reducing Social Security benef…

Don't Miss This Great "Tell it Like it is" Speech

Take Medicare Cuts Off The Table

The Race To The Bottom

by Bill Gibbons
PACE Representative, Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR)

Most of us have been around long enough to look back at how our country progressed and the working
class and middle class dream was achieved - most of it through the strength of unions and the collective bargaining process. Remember when one income based on a good job would support the entire family? Remember when health insurance and pensions where being established and improved through negotiations?

Remember when Social Security was looked upon as a great social program to be protected and Medicare was established? Remember when we talked about reducing the work week and a livable wage? If we didn’t have Medicare today, do you think we could get it passed in congress?

What is happening to the American dream? Well, if we pay attention, we can see it being attacked and torn apart by the conservative, right-wing, tea party movement, bank rolled by special interests and corporate money funded throu…

Medicare at Risk

By Jim Centner,
Director, Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR)
The new Republican budget reflects upside-down priorities – it protects special interest subsidies and tax breaks for those at the top, and cuts deep into the heart of the programs that are essential to the health of our seniors.  The Republican budget ends Medicare as we know it – converting it into a voucher-type program. While providing a windfall for the health insurance industry, it would force seniors to pay much more for healthcare. If Republicans get their way, premiums for more than 20 million seniors will skyrocket and they will all lose their guaranteed health benefits.

Starting in 2022, Medicare will be eliminated for new beneficiaries and converted instead into a voucher program.  There are more than 20 million near-elderly Americans who are now ages 50-54 who would not get Medicare when they retire but instead only get a coupon to purchase private health insurance.  This approach would transfer…

We Can Make a Difference

by Connie Entrekin, President, Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR)
Recent events have demonstrated that an informed electorate can make a difference. Retirees all across the country attended town hall meetings held by their legislators to let them know exactly what they thought of the Ryan budget plan. Educated and armed with the facts, activists showed up to demonstrate their displeasure with the Republican - led budget that recently passed in the House of Representatives and changed the course of the debate.
This grassroots activism once again established that working class Americans will not stand pat and allow the corporate elite and their elected lackey’s to run roughshod over what is good for all Americans. You made your voices heard! The leaders of the far right and minions of the rich backed-out from their draconian approach to destroy Medicare in a half-baked scheme to balance the budget.  
SOAR members joined with the Alliance for Retired Americans in over 20 “…

Too much Rain, but the garden keeps Growing

Stuck inside the last two days because of rain but the garden is looking great. We'll be eating lettuce any day now. Raspberries, goose berries, peaches, grapes, peas, onions, potatoes, tomatoes and peppers all look good. Waiting for beans and cukes and squash to appear.
Gardening is good for the soul and what ails a person. No doubt about that.
Indiana politics is making me ill. It's possible that Mitch Daniels could end up being the decline of America. He's sure made a mess of Indiana. And Mike Pence threatens to finish the job.

Tanglefoot did the trick

We enjoy feeding the Hummingbirds and Baltimore Orioles. They both use the same feeder but when the Orioles visit it, the feeder tips slightly allowing the water to drip away. So, I put a post in the ground about a foot deep and nailed a one foot square piece of particle board on top. I then put a small chick waterer on top which holds a one quart jar full of water (upside down).
The next problem was the darned ants coming up the post and invading the the thing.
I tried smearing a three inch wide band of grease around the post but it didn't faze the ants. I tried a little vasoline but that didn't work either.
I then went to the hardware store and got a small container of "Tanglefoot" and smeared a two inch band around the post a few inches below the board. That did the trick. Great stuff and well worth it.

RetirementTalk - A Wonderful Podcast

About a week ago, I came across a podcast called “Retirement Talk-What to do with the rest of your life?”
It's one of the best podcasts I’ve heard by a retiree who puts in plain English, what retirement is all about.
It’s done by, Del Lowery. A man with a golden voice. Smooth......

These podcasts are about five minutes in length and and are filled with interesting stories and suggestions as to how to have a happy retirement.

The podcasts can also be downloaded from the iTunes store by a search on iTunes for “Retirement Talk for Boomers, Seniors, and Retirees.”

Take a listen. I think you’ll enjoy these short essays.

Here is Del's web address:


The Same Republican Pig

Don't Make Our Kids Work 'Til They Die

Indiana's One Party Rule A Complete Disaster

Statehouse Update
State Rep. Pat Bauer

May 2, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana House Democratic Leader B. Patrick Bauer from South Bend recently issued the following statement on the 2011 session of the Indiana General Assembly, which ended this past Friday evening:

     "The damage done by single-party rule this session will be severe and lasting.

     "It will be felt in the pocketbooks of Hoosiers, in the classrooms where our children are taught, and in the courtrooms of this state, where many will go in the months ahead to try to overturn some of the most onerous policies that are being signed into law.

     "Here are two 'accomplishments' from this session that describe these past four months perfectly:

     "We cut taxes on corporations by 25 percent.

     "We cut benefits for out-of-work Hoosiers by 25 percent.

     "Those two contrasts provide all the proof you need to see the true agenda advanced by Republicans when they have complete co…