What does the government do when they run out of money? The government is already $16 trillion in debt and President Obama’s budget plan calls for another $1 trillion in tax hikes. They can’t get it from workers because a record 90 million Americans are no longer even looking for work. The number of people below the poverty line is 46 million, the highest number in more than 50 years. The number of Americans on disability exceeds the population of New York City. Fewer than half of college graduates have found their first jobs and millions have taken low paying jobs that don’t require a college degree.
There is no help from the economy. The economic news in America has gone from bad to worse. The jobs numbers are collapsing, retail sales figures are contracting, business inventory figures are disappointing and disposable income in January was the lowest since record-keeping began in 1959.
But Democrats have found where there is some money. Americans have $19 trillion in their retirement accounts. Democrats have had their eyes on that treasure trove for years. After President Obama became President in 2008, the House Committee on Education and Labor conducted hearings which included proposals to confiscate workers’ personal retirement accounts — including 401Ks and IRAs — and convert them to accounts managed by the Social Security Administration.
Obama’s budget does not confiscate retirement plans, but it does put a limit on the amount you can accumulate in your personal retirement accounts. The theory is that even though it is your own money in your own account, it’s just not fair that some Americans save more money than others. How does the government plan on limiting the size of your retirement account? They do not say. Perhaps it will be similar to what Nancy Pelosi said about the Affordable Care Act, “You will have to pass the bill to find out what is in it.”
The weather has been so unpredictable this year that it isn’t safe to say what will come in May – it may be wet, it may be hot – or if we are lucky, we’ll get that lovely spring weather we haven’t seen yet. Whatever we do get, there is still much that can be done in the garden. Although, I like this idea: “The best way to get real enjoyment out of the garden is to put on a wide straw hat, dress in loose-fitting clothes, hold a little trowel in one hand, a cool drink in the other, and tell the man where to dig” – Charles Barr.
Not many of us have that option so let’s see what kinds of “fun” garden chores need to be done this month. If we continue to get a supply of rain like we did in April, keep an eye out for rot and mildew. It’s hard for roots to breathe when they are treading water; resulting in wilted foliage, which makes it look like the plant needs water – and what do we usually do – give it more water! Instead amend the soil or move the poor little fella to a drier spot. A constant stream of rain or high humidity will bring on the mildew, which thrives in places where plants are crowded together and there is little air circulation. If you have had this problem, now is a good time to divide or move your plants.
Is there something in your past that you cannot let go, something that creeps up even when you do not expect it to do so? Is there something in your life that you cannot forgive no matter how hard you try? Are there memories that you want to forget, but instead seem to have taken permanent residence in your brain?
Part of the work I do as a therapist involves taking a family history. This history is somewhat different than the one you may do at a doctor’s office. It is instead a charting of relationships that looks similar to a family tree, but also explores the emotional connections, family values and morals, and relationship history between persons in a family. It is a map of sorts, that gives me a picture of past and present relationships and helps predict future patterns.
So much about a person is uncovered in the process of taking a family history. Upon completing this process, people often become aware of issues in their past or present that are preventing them from moving forward. They see patterns in their family that they may have unconsciously inherited and are practicing. Some of these patterns are working well and others are not. This process can also help a person to understand how the inability to “not let go” of a past event or trauma can effect present functioning.
Learning to let go is a process and can take some time, depending on the incident. Much like the rehab and therapy it takes to recover from a major trauma to the body, such as a broken bone, an extensive surgery or a long term illness, therapy from an emotional trauma may be just as difficult and intensive.
I love chicken wings. A lot. My favorite wing place is J.R. Cricket’s, a place in Atlanta right across from The Varsity, and I get there as often as I can.
But as much as I love J.R. Cricket’s and their incredible wings, there is one thing that I’ve never done in order to attain an order of those freshly fried, scrumptiously slathered chicken pieces: hold up the restaurant with an AK-47.
However, the same could not be said about Antonius Hart Sr. and Antonuis Hart Jr., who recently proved that they love wings more than they love their freedom.
This is how it went down: father and son pulled into the drive-thru at Pirtle’s Chicken – a fried chicken franchise in Memphis – intending to do nothing more than buy a little chicken and be on their way.
Unfortunately, the general incompetence of fast-food restaurants indirectly caused another crime.
Somewhere down the road, Hart and Hart discovered that their chicken wings were missing from the bag and decided to go back to Pirtle’s to enact their revenge.
When they arrived and explained their situation, the cashier offered to replace the missing pieces, but Hart and Hart didn’t feel like simply giving them what they paid for was enough at that point, considering they had to drive back to the restaurant.
The cashier refused, so Hart Sr. pulled an AK-47 – where he concealed it up to that point, I have no idea – and threatened the workers with violence if they didn’t give him his due chicken.
Instead, they called the police, who arrived promptly and arrested both men, who remain in police custody.
Darn, now I want some chicken, too!
Tonya McGraw, Millington, Tenn. resident, summed the situation up pretty well when she told Memphis’ WREG-TV, “Oh man that’s crazy! Next time they better get them wings right!”
Sheriff’s Office investigator warns: It’s that time of the year folks!
Around this time every year, any number of sweepstakes competitor’s advertise their annual contests through countless, ever-enticing, marketing techniques to garner large numbers of participants. Unfortunately, their aggressive and seductive methodologies, especially in these dire economic times, also provide a plethora of opportunities for those who religiously prey upon the innocent. Typically, the ubiquitous foreign accented, cold-hearted schemers, conjure up any number of diabolical ploys to ruse the hard earned income from others, specifically those who are most vulnerable and unsuspecting; the elderly. This year is no different with one minor exception.
The smooth talking miscreants have transitioned from the traditional deceptive technique of soliciting the “winners” financial information, i.e. bank account numbers, credit card numbers etc. to facilitate untraceable transfers to collect their “prize”, now to directing the “winners” to purchase Green Dot cards as a prerequisite to receive their “prize”. Once the “winner” purchases the required number of cards for the specified amounts, they are directed to call a specific telephone number, one usually with an 876 area code, which is answered by the scam artist or an accomplice who merely ask for the Green Dot card numbers for confirmation of the purchase. They immediately upload those card numbers into their personal Green Dot account and once the “winners” card numbers are transferred to the perpetrator’s account, the “winners” cards are devoid of currency and rendered useless. Thus, the “winner” went from “prize winner” to victim in a matter of minutes.
Buried somewhere in my parents’ house in Watkinsville is a stack of aged newspapers – copies of the Athens Banner-Herald, The Oconee Enterprise and the dearly departed Athens Observer. You see, in my family, community newspapers have always been the chroniclers of family lore, of scholastic achievements, of the fleeting fame of youth.
In the bottom of that pile, I know, are some of my most prized possessions: stories I wrote as a budding journalist. The first-ever clip, written in the heat of a June night by a novice intern, told the gripping tale of an error-plagued Little League tilt between Athens Federal and Arby’s…or was it Arby’s and Burger King? I can’t recall, but I know that from the moment the Banner-Herald hired me on, life has never been the same.
I spent a couple of summers covering organized baseball in the Athens area 25 years ago, and recall vividly sitting in the newsroom, watching the real journalists doing their jobs, and thinking to myself, perhaps out loud, “That’s the best job in the world…”
It still is a great job, an important job, a job worth doing well. We’ve all followed the news about the news business, watching the drumbeat of layoffs at media companies large and small as the digital era ushers in a wrenching transition. Media managers are being asked to do more with less than ever before, with predictable results.