The date is Dec. 6, 2007, and I read the article in the Pine River Journal by my friend, John. In his column, "The Last Windrow," John is, "Remembering Bob's Perseverance." John remembers when Bob Collette had the misfortune of breaking his neck in a swimming pool accident that left him physically handicapped. Bob spent the rest of his life amazing all of the people around with the way he would persevere over all that the handicap had handed him. Bob left us recently at the age of 54.
After reading John's article I knew I must write about "Remembering Bob's Mother."
I met his mother while Bob and I were sharing the same hospital room at the University of Minnesota. It was back in 1974. I was 54 at that time and I had been involved in a haying accident back on the farm. Now, while I was sharing this room with Bob, I was clamped in a "bicycle bed" where I couldn't so much as look at a person or drink a glass of water by myself, but I could hear and talk. That's when Bob's mother would leave his bedside awhile and come over and visit with me. I couldn't see her but I could always recognize her gentle footsteps and kind voice. I always have, and always will, remember Bob's mother that way.
Wouldn't this Christmas season of 2007 be a great time for all of us to remember to be a little more kind to each other and to remember that Christ is the real reason for the season.
Oil demand is rising
The U.S. is expanding the money supply at the fastest rate ever, 15.8 percent yearly. They recently added $40 billion more. The Fed conveniently ignores food and energy costs when compiling inflation statistics. For example, underpaying social security recipients with 3 percent annual raises, but devaluing currency by 16 percent, the government gains 13 percent.
Oil and gold prices show the true value of the dollar. Expect commodities to continue drastically rising. Saudi Arabia agreed to keep oil values in dollars, in return for protection by the U.S. military. Shiite Iran covets Sunni Saudi oil fields and holy places, and wants OPEC to abandon the dollar. Russia is busy building Iranian nuclear facilities, while China is developing Iranian oil fields.
World oil demand is expected to rise by two MBD next year. The Saudis can only add half that amount. This means 2008 oil prices will rise even faster than the fed's dumping of dollars. China, Japan, and Korea are quietly selling dollars, but the higher oil prices are allowing Saudis to buy them up to avoid an immediate American economic collapse. If Iran, along with their Russian and Venezuelan allies, (the Axis of Oil) use oil or nuclear power to blackmail Europe, Japan, or the Saudis into abandoning America, the dollar's freefall will shortly begin.
If Israel attacks Iran's nuclear facilities, another Arab oil boycott seems likely. If nothing else changes, in about 20 years at current trends, China and India will each use as much oil as America. Forget $100 for a barrel of oil, think about $1,000 being cheap. We need to work together now to conserve and develop new energy solutions. The House of Saud is a house of cards. Depending upon Saudi Arabia to save us is doomed to eventual failure.
Eliminate pay for city council?
Did you know that Brainerd City Council members and the mayor are paid and in addition to their salaries receive city-paid health insurance worth up to $12,114.00 per year and city-paid life insurance?
How many members of the Brainerd City Council would resign if they did not receive pay and benefits, including health insurance? While we do have a some capable public servants in local government, given how badly our city is managed, most of our elected officials are not doing a good job. Some struggle to stay awake at meetings. A majority on the Brainerd City Council recently voted to spend $4,000 for the mayor's trip to Sweden at a time when city finances are tight and many residents are struggling to pay their taxes or are losing their houses to foreclosure. How many homes could have been kept out of foreclosure with $4,000.00?
While our leaders snooze, bicker, and vote to send their fellow politicians on foreign junkets, most of their citizens are struggling financially, businesses close down, and our city becomes more run down. Good companies and jobs do not want to come here; Brainerd has little to offer prospective residents and businesses. To help improve the situation, perhaps we should eliminate pay and benefits for city council members and the mayor. Maybe then we would get people who want to serve their city, not themselves.
Christmas dinner planned in Jenkins
Just want to let everyone know it's that time of year again for the annual Christmas Day Dinner. This year the dinner will be served at the VFW Post 3839 in Jenkins on Christmas Day from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. It will be a traditional dinner with turkey, ham and all the trimmings. As always dinner will be free to everyone. Donations of non-perishable food items and cash will be given to local food shelves and/or charities.
If you need a ride or a meal delivered please call and leave a message with Pauline at 587-2073 or Julie at 587-2695. Hope to see you there.
Tax money comes from taxpayers
It is interesting to hear politicians say they are going to fight for more money for education or some other worthy program. The only way you get more money for anything is to raise taxes or take money from other programs. It is fine for Rep. Ward to say he will fight for education, but he should be honest enough to say if he wants to raise taxes or which programs he wants to cut. Most politicians say they just want to reduce wasteful spending but, what they really mean is, they want to take it from what other representatives say are important programs like human services, bridge repair, homeland security, border patrol, etc.
Let's not forget that tax money only comes from us, and it is in the form of income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes and excise taxes. All of these are passed on to us in some form, either by a direct tax or by higher prices. There is no free lunch! No unit of government ever feels it has enough money and by its very nature, would like higher taxes. On the other hand, even the most radical politician has to recognize that people have to have some money left over to pay the rent, food, and medical bills.
A little more honest would help a lot.
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