Saturday, June 25, 2016

Government Programs Benefit Millions

What follows is my letter to the editor appearing in today's Duluth News Tribune...

                         Posted on Jun 24, 2016 at 11:59 p.m.
The June 16 letter, “Intrusive federal bureaucracies kill prosperity and jobs,” ended with the statement: “We have a president and government that seems to suspect it knows what’s right for you. Do you find that comforting?”

Yes, I find that comforting when I look at the history of government programs designed to help Americans, programs such as Social Security, which was established in the 1930s and saved older Americans from abject poverty, and Medicare, which was established in the 1960s and guarantees basic medical insurance coverage for those over 65.

The liberal-led administrations and congressional majorities that instituted these programs knew what was right for millions of Americans who have benefited for decades in the face of conservative interests that rail against them even today while also thwarting any measure — such as increasing the federal minimum wage and Obamacare — aimed at improving the lives of the poor and middle class.
Jim Heffernan

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

WHAT BUSINESSES DO WITH PERSONAL INFORMATION...

By Jim Heffernan

Many of the bills I get in the mail include a sheet describing what the company does with the personal information gathered over the life of our business association.

Some people are uncomfortable with the sharing of personal information accumulated by businesses and other organizations. My own reaction is not so much discomfort as resignation. What can you do about it? Not much.

Most of these notices are lengthy and describe in detail why they share, what they share and with whom this information is shared.

Here is an example of such a disclosure sheet:

Dear Valued Customer,

All financial companies need to share customers’ personal information for the purpose of making oodles of money. We protect this information to the extent that it is available only to parties whose vital interests depend on such information or anyone who wants it, whichever comes first.

We limit personal information sharing to clients’ home addresses, e-mail addresses, Social Security numbers, height, weight, color of hair and eyes, shoe size, bathing habits, TV watching preferences, religious affiliations, educational attainment, dining proclivities, vehicle preferences (car, truck, SUV, motorcycle, ATV, tractor, skateboard), and any and all other information we choose, including blood pressure, exercise habits, bank account numbers and investment accounts, not to exclude credit history, pets and voting record.

Organizations receiving information on you may include, but are not limited to, the MAFIA, ISIS, IRS, NAFTA, FBI, CIA, DPW, MNDOT, COPS, ROBBERS, ADT, HOTLCOG, NEMDA, CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, CSPAN DNT, AARP, DDT & NRA, among others.

You have the right to challenge sharing of your personal information by contacting us between the hours of midnight and 3 a.m. at South Florida Cellar Enterprises, atten. “Blackie”, at 1-912-GO-PUNT. A telephone fee of $1 per word applies. Mail inquiries to: Afghanistan Banana Man, 314 Taliban Way, Kabul, 90210 and include your mother’s maiden name.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

A beefeater’s prayer...

By Jim Heffernan

I like to eat steak, and almost always order it when I’m dining in restaurants. A New York strip, baked potato, Caesar salad and a bread roll is all I need to satisfy me.

In recent years, though, friends, with whom I occasionally dine, rib me in a friendly way about always ordering steak, while they proudly have some kind of fish, which is better for you, they say, and you read that all the time in articles on healthy eating. Omega 3 in fish is good for the heart, we read. There is no Omega 3 in steak, but there is fat. Bad old fat.

But I still like steak. These friends are part of the International Anti-Red Meat Conspiracy (IARMC) and I try to ignore them when they get on my case about eating steak.

I know they think I haven’t got a prayer, but I have:

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I should die before I wake,
Tell Him I ate too much steak.
Amen


Be sure to fold your hands when you say it.

Friday, April 8, 2016

A Minnesota Welcome...

Guess that vacation went fast! I arrived back home a couple of days ago, still feeling the Arizona sun's rays and was greeted by a Minnesota April welcome...

Monday, March 14, 2016

Warm days and cool nights...

We arrived in the land of sun ...and warm and sunny days with cool nights. Pretty nice :-)