Disappointed But Not Disillusioned

REFLECTIONS FROM THE DARKNESS: Disappointed, But Not Disillusioned

THE PRESIDENT GOOFED
President Obama’s re-structuring of our government’s health care policies is struggling for survival; a sad commentary on the Congress of the United States! In his enthusiastic effort to get the American Care Act (tagged by Republicans as “Obama Care”), the President unfortunately made some promises that may have been somewhat premature. He probably should have done a bit more research and not relied on advisors before making the promise that insured Americans could keep their present coverage if they so chose, a promise that turned out to be disastrous to the President and Obama Care. Rightly, President Obama has accepted responsibility for having made the statement, and is urging insurance companies to reverse their course of action of cancelling policies currently in effect that do not meet federal regulations, and has offered to extend deadlines to allow insurance companies to accomplish this. The overwhelming task of review and re-issuing of policies by insurance companies was not anticipated by the authors of the American Care Act, and now Republicans in Congress are delighted that the President is struggling for survival of one of his major accomplishments during his presidency. Likewise, Democratic Congressmen are abandoning the President for fear of losing their precious jobs. How sad!

DISAPPOINTED IN AN IRRESPONSIBLE CONGRESS
I cannot remember in my almost eighty-one years as an American, ever observing the Legislative Branch of our government acting in such an irresponsible manner. Our Congress continues to favor foreign aid totaling enough to eliminate the budget deficit, but the President’s opposition continues to support that and in a very partisan manner, deny much needed health care to our own citizens. I just do not understand such a position, except to view it as just another means of denying the duly elected head of our country a chance to make his plan of affordable health care for all Americans available, a plan which has already insured multitudes of uninsured students and here-to-fore uninsurable Americans with no exemptions for pre-existing conditions. The Congress should be ashamed of themselves!

INSURANCE COMPANIES KNEW
Insurance companies are also culpable in that they were aware of what they would do if Obama Care was passed, and they failed to inform the President that his statements of Americans being able to keep their current coverage if they so chose was a wrong assumption, and all of the mess now threatening the Affordable Care Act could have been avoided if they had stepped up sooner and advised the President of his mis-statement.

WE MUST ACT
I find it very depressing that the desire for political influence and power, and concern for higher and higher bottom lines by large insurance companies is depriving our President of implementing his program. I reiterate that Obama Care is law passed by the Congress, declared legal by the U.S. Supreme Court, and mandated by the Presidential election of 2012, and this blatant attempt by Congress to diminish the President’s legacy is sad indeed! Hopefully, though, Americans will awaken in time to right this terrible wrong.

A votre santé. J.O.T.

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Republican Position on Affordable Care Act

IF YOU BELIEVE THE POLLS…
A majority of the American people, according to several polls, is in favor of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. The degree of favorability varies among the responders depending on whether the questions were asked about “Obama Care” or “Affordable Care Act” or “ACA”, but either way, the majority of the people polled was in favor and supports President Obama’s efforts to make health care available and affordable to every single American!

THE LAW EXISTS…
The Affordable Care Act was passed by the Congress of the United States after much heated debate. The United States Supreme Court declared it was legal in every detail. Americans had an opportunity to reject ACA in the last Presidential election, but chose instead to endorse it.

IGNORED BY ZEALOTS IN CONGRESS…
Does any of that matter to Republican leaders, Senator Cruz, his Republican supporters in the Senate, and his Tea Party cohorts in the House? Not at all. I would like to call Senator Cruz, “the gentleman from Texas”, but in my opinion, he does not deserve the respect. In fact, that phrase from the Senate of bygone years is seldom heard anymore.

Opponents of President Obama, are so single-mindedly set on discrediting the twice-elected leader of the free world, that they have ignored the wishes and the well-being of Americans, and are hell-bent on destroying the President’s hard work of the long overdue revamping of the health care system in our country! Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate for President in the 2012 election, as governor of Massachusetts, implemented the model used by President Obama for the Affordable Care Act, referred to as “Obama Care” by Republicans. Even Mr. Romney’s running mate, Vice Presidential candidate, Representative Paul Ryan, proposed the same solutions offered by President Obama in the already passed law.

WHAT HAVE PRESIDENT’S OPPONENTS DONE?
The Republican senators and the Tea Party upstarts in the House of Representatives have done little to reform health care. If existent, the “Cruz American Care Act”, or the “Conservative Agenda Care Act”, each bears, in my opinion, the appropriate acronym “CACA”. Their one and only purpose is to destroy the President, not to provide Americans with affordable health care! Their program, “CACA”, supports the status quo.

BIG MONEY APPARENTLY RULES…
Some members of the Republican party, attached to leashes held by the pharmaceutical and insurance mega-corporations, and the billionaire racists who froth at the mouth when they realize they live under the leadership of an African American president, use every method known to them, regardless of the ethics, to bring the President down.

WHERE ARE THE STATESMEN?
Many politicians have entered the 21st century with a serious lack of statesmanship and complete disregard for ethical or polite behavior. As far as they are concerned, anything that prevents the achievement of their selfish goals deserves to be unmercifully crushed.

IS THE CURRENT CONGRESS TRULY REPRESENTATIVE OF CONSTITUENTS?
We’ve sent members of the Senate and the House of Representatives to Washington to conduct our country’s affairs, and to implement our wishes, but they don’t seem to get it! They think, in my opinion, that they are there to gain power, money, and influence. I’ve said before that a successful democracy cannot survive unless elected officials can practice the art of compromise. The art is rapidly disappearing from the hallowed halls of Congress and we should not be surprised when our system of government collapses because of the stubborn ignorance of billionaire-backed politicians.

CAN REPUBLICAN TACTICS SUCCEED?
Now, the government is shut down, not because of an honest difference of opinion between the parties, but because one party refuses to compromise and will use methods as extreme as bringing government services to a halt in attempts to discredit President Obama. In my opinion, Americans are much more intelligent than the Republicans think and the plans of the radical members of Congress will backfire.

The shutdown of the government of the greatest nation in the world is tragic and it remains to be seen if the oldest constitution of a nation will continue to be the basis of our freedom or if the totalitarian-like shysters will occupy the seats of power over a struggling population.

MY SOLUTION…
Let’s resolve to give our President now and in 2014, the help he needs from Congress to fulfill the promises that were responsible for the mandate he received in the 2012 election. So many of our young people have made the ultimate sacrifice to obtain and preserve our democracy. We cannot ignore what they have given over the past 250 years! Let’s reclaim our great country from the relatively few billionaires who are attempting to rip it from our grasp. Demand more responsible action from your Congress. It’s up to you, America!

A votre santé…..J.O.T.

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God Is Good

GOD IS GOOD

WATER, WATER, EVERYWHERE…
And it really gave us a scare. Coloradoans came together as family during the tragic events of the flash floods September 12, 2013 through September 16, 2013, and efforts continue to clean up the mess and get people back in their homes. Our entire subdivision was evacuated, but Lorraine and I chose to remain in our home. We lost power, so phones were dead, and cell phones worked when we finally realized they could be recharged in the car. We were isolated, water all around us, but the yard only received a minute amount of water around the edges, and the crawl space under the house, and the house remained dry. Lorraine functioned like a champ! Meals, including morning coffee and breakfast, were prepared on the propane gas grill on the deck, our water remained pure, and the toilets never quit working. At the beginning of events on Thursday, we were fortunate enough to allow some people who live to the East of us about six or seven doors down, to come in out of the rain and waist high water, into our home to dry up, warm up, and try to reach members of their families while they waited for rescue vehicles to bring them to the rescue center. All of our neighbors suffered some degree of damage, but all are safe and well. I am still amazed at how fortunate Lorraine and I are!

ON TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2013…
The day after electrical power was restored to our community, I kept my appointment for some minor back surgery. Returned home on Thursday after two nights in hospital, and because of Lorraine’s excellent care and attention, recovery progressing well. Hopefully, I will be pain free after surgical trauma wears off in 10 to 14 days. Wish me luck!

REFLECTIONS ON LIFE AND LOVE EBOOK…
Doing well. Sales are not as brisk as we would like, but readers so far very pleased with the $2.99 purchase from http://www.amazon.com/kdp book store/ This collaboration was the second by Lorraine and me, the compilation of my families’ histories being the first. It was a fun project, and for those readers who could care less about memories and incidents in a person’s life, there is a section completely dedicated to created short stories, with contributions from each of us. We think you will be entertained!

FINALLY, IT’S WORKING AGAIN…
The newly designed web site http://www.jamesorytheall.com/ is in working order again. We’ve added a new page and provide a little more information about what we do. Check it out. I think you will like it!

THANKS…to all of our families, neighbors, friends, acquaintances, and others for their concern, kind words, and good wishes during the flooding and my surgery. I still find Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn difficult to navigate, so I don’t always respond correctly, but I do appreciate your comments and support. More to come in a few days. Au revoir! J.O.T.

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Reflections on Life and Love

ANNOUNCEMENT

Lorraine and I are pleased to announce the availability of our first collaboration since 2006. “Reflections on Life and Love”, a collection of memories and short stories, some fictional, some true, is now available as an EBook at http://www.kdp.amazon.com/kindle store/Lorraine and james ory theall/, for only $2.99. The book can be read on most personal devices (androids, etc.). The book description on the Kindle web site reads:

“Lorraine and James Ory Theall have captured old memories and found some surprising revelations in this collection of short stories and poems, some true, some fiction .

In her stories of growing up in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Lorraine recalls those special moments, some humorous, some sad, and some nostalgic, spent with family, friends and neighbors. Her recollections are sure to jump start the readers’ own memories .

James, as well, has delved into his childhood and adolescence in Louisiana Cajun country, and the progression of blindness. He expresses deep feelings, some even surprising to himself, about family, friends, love, marriage and children, employment, and the struggle with the loss of his eyesight.

The Creative Fiction section of the book, with contributions from both writers will provide entertainment and even further insights into the complexities of life.”

Here are a couple of excerpts from my short contributions:

BUMPS
By James Ory Theall

“I leave the bedroom to go downstairs and adjust the thermostat. Bump, bump, bump!

“Oh, my God! What happened?” she shouts.

“I fell down the stairs,” I whine. “I think my wrist is broken.”
Sure enough, it is. Paramedics come, fire truck and all. They put me on a stretcher; roll it down the steps (bump, bump, bump, bump.) Then into the ambulance. More bumps. Into the Emergency Room.

“Bump that sore throat. We have a real emergency here,” a buxom, haughty nurse orders. I know she is buxom because she leans over the stretcher and they rest on my chest…”

ROAD TRIP SURVIVOR
By James Ory Theall

“How about the casino?” I ask.

“No, I’d rather do this,” she answers.

6:30 Saturday morning! We assemble at Roberts Manor, an independent living facility for the handicapped. I’m angry. I follow my nose to the coffee pot. The loudspeaker jars my brain before I can pour sustenance.

“We leave in five minutes, guys.” Guys? Aren’t the gals going?

Adult legroom is nonexistent on the school bus built for children. I sit with my back to my wife and my feet in the aisle as we proceed.

Our volunteer guide immediately begins a ridiculous descriptive narrative to the busload of blind people, their sighted spouses and companions.

“On your left is the Ford dealership, next door to Albert’s Cafe. The right side is Apex Manufacturing and blue and white trucks are backed up to the dock.”

A damp coldness nudges my hand. A dog, unharnessed, settled under my legs. An unpleasant aroma stings my nostrils. The brazen service canine whines.

“I’ve got a guide dog under my legs. Anybody lose one?”

“He’s mine,” a voice across the aisle said. “It’s okay. He doesn’t mind.”

“You don’t understand, I mind!”…

APOLOGY

I am experiencing temporary problems with my web site; however, I hope to have things up and running again very soon. Thank you for your patience and continued support.

SIGN UP

This is further reminder that you can sign up for Email notifications of new posts by me or comments from readers, by scrolling down to the link below and filling out some very easy and quick information (Email address, etc.). Keep up-to-date with our activities and new offerings.

Meanwhile, “Merci beaucoup pour votre temps, mes amis!”

J.O.T.

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Been Travelling

Recently travelled to Louisiana to visit my dear sister, came home, then travelled to Chicago to visit Lorraine’s sister. I visited with a promising young writer, “A”. I have been critiquing his work for several months and I have no doubt he will some day appear on a best sellers list.

ALL BOOKS NOW AVAILABLE IN AUDIO FORMAT

Finally, after some issues with audible.com,all three of my books are now available as audio books. Mike Ortego did a fantastic job performing the books, and we hope to collaborate again soon.

FACEBOOK AND TWITTTER

Believe it or not, this old bird is learning to tweet! I still have some more tutoring needed, but hopefully will be a full-fledged little bird! Remember the old song from the 50’s, “Rockin’ Robin”? (of course, you don’t) I can’t help but think of it whenever I deal with Twitter. Look for promotional activities when you like me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter. I am considering some “give-aways” and other ways to promote book sales. You could benefit. Stay tuned, and please tell all of your friends and acquaintances about my books. Your efforst are greatly appreciated. Thank y’all!

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Sign up for Email notifications about new posts to this blog. Scroll down to “Follow” and fill in the very short informational form, and you will be notified by Email whenever anyone posts a comment, or whenever I post a new post. It’s a great way to keep abreast of happenings with Cat and Mike Delo.,

Until next time, “Lâche pas la patat!” J.O.T.

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Sales Tax Collections

Legislators at the federal level are scrambling to satisfy special interest groups. Debate rages about internet vendors providing unfair competition to brick and mortar establishments who have to collect and remit sales tax on their sales. This is not anything new.

For years, rural inhabitants who had no convenient access to shopping relied on mail order houses to provide them with those services. If the mail order house was not physically present in the state, usually no sales tax on their sales was charged. It was the buyer’s responsibility to file a “Use Tax Return” on these types of purchases, and pay the tax. Granted, purchasers seldom paid the “Use Tax”, and enforcement was practically non-existent, but the vendor should not be penalized for the purchasers dodging their responsibility.

“Why not?” you ask. Let’s dissect it.

HUGE BURDEN FOR INTERNET VENDORS
It would be an almost impossible task for all internet vendors to be able to collect and remit sales tax to the thousands of taxing jurisdictions across the nation. Talk of exempting “small” internet businesses smacks of unfairness to “large” internet businesses, and frankly, in my opinion, might be unconstitutional. Cities, school districts, counties, public transit authorities, and states all collect sales taxes. These vary from states to state, but each of the entities I just mentioned, in some place, some state, collect sales tax for support. I once worked as an accountant, responsible for filing sales and use tax returns, and I cannot imagine the nightmare of having to file returns in every taxing authority’s jurisdiction.

INTERNET VENDORS RECEIVE NO INFRA-STRUCTURE SUPPORT FROM LOCAL ENTITIES
Unless they have a physical presence in the state, internet vendors receive no infrastructure support. No firefighters, no law enforcement, no public utilities, no streets and sidewalks, no public transit. Why should they be burdened with collecting sales taxes for money hungry city governments, county governments and Public Transit Authorities?

U.S. EMPLOYMENT IMPACTED
Consider the impact such a law would have on U.S. employment. The internet can and does operate from anywhere in the world! Such a law could possibly drive vendors to foreign countries and local brick and mortar establishments would still be faced with “unfair competition”; only now, the unemployment caused by companies moving to foreign countries would affect the economy and brick and mortar businesses would further suffer.

CONSUMERS PENALIZED
Most important in my opinion, consumers would be denied the savings they realize from internet purchases.

ONE SIMPLE TAX
So what is the solution? Simple! Eliminate sales, use, value-added, property, and other kinds of taxes, and rely on one type of tax to fund government – federal and state income taxes! No loop holes, no serving special interests – none of that! Any income over the poverty threshold would be taxed. Rate could be graduated so that higher income taxpayers would pay a higher rate on their excess income, but no deductions except a business’ operating expenses and the exemptions for individual taxpayers’ dependents. . Tax returns could be as simple as a post card for individuals and a simple Form 1040 with a Schedule C attached for businesses. Wages and salaries plus net income from your business plus other income equals total income less amount allowed for dependents less the poverty threshold amount equals taxable income multiplied by tax rate equals what you pay in taxes! No more sales taxes, tennis shoes taxes, gas taxes, depletion allowances, accelerated double declining balance depreciation deductions, no federal excise tax, no estate tax, – nothing but one tax!

Heaven forbid that taxing authorities could live with such an arrangement, but wouldn’t our lives be much simpler and worry-free? Mine would!

J.O.T.

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Audio Books On Fast Track To Sales Shelf

My last two novels, Cat and Mouse, A Second Cajun Tale, and “The Clock Struck One”, will be available for download in just a few short days! Mike Ortego (www.mikeortego.com) completed the projects last week. I have “proofed” them, and approved the production. The two projects are now in the hands of audible.com for quality assurance and other final touches before they are available for download.

Mike Ortego scored another home run with “Clock”! The man is very versatile and an incredible performer. He loves his work and that love shows up in his rendition of the characters’ actions and dialogue. I feel very fortunate to have found him, and that we were able to agree on the production.

Keep a lookout on http://www.audible.com/audio books/james ory theall/, download and listen to the free five minute sample, and I’m sure you will download the entire audio book.

Lorraine and I attended a book signing last Saturday, April 20, 2013, for local authors at the Longmont Public Library. We met some of our local contemporaries, and shared the crowd with dozens of local authors. The event was part of the library’s two-week celebration of national library month. Our hosts performed superbly, we sold a few books, and we look forward to next year’s event.

I hope to read good reviews of the new audio versions of my last two novels, but mostly, I delight at how much you will enjoy Mike Ortego’s performance of my work! Good listening!

J.O.T.

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Fun With Audio Books

FUN WITH AUDIO BOOKS

I am very excited to announce that my second novel, Cat and Mouse, A Second Cajun Tale, will be available as an audio book in just a few weeks! Mike Ortego (www.mikeortego.com) marvelously performed the book and he skillfully brings my characters to life. You would swear that you are right there in the room with the audacious “Cat” and his friends! Watch for the books listing on http://www.audible.com/books/jamesorytheall/. You will be able to listen to a sample of the book, and I know you will rock with laughter!

Shortly after Cat and Mouse’s appearance on the audible availability list, my third novel, The Clock Struck One, will be made available. This book is still in production by Mike Ortego, but Mike tells me that completion of the performance will probably be ahead of schedule. Stay tuned!

Please visit us at http://www.jamesorytheall.com, and get more information about Face Book and Twitter, as well as http://www.authorcentral.amazon.com/jamesorytheall/.

J.O.T.

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Update and Observations

REFLECTIONS FROM THE DARKNESS: Update and Observations

Excitement is rising again! My favorite performer, Mike Ortego (http://www.mikeortego.com/), has begun audio production of my second novel in the Cat Touchette series, Cat and Mouse, A Second Cajun Tale! Upon completion of that project, the audio book will be available at http://www.audible.com/ and Mike will begin working on our third project, The Clock Struck One. Each of these books is already available in print or Kindle EBook, and Cat and Dog, A Cajun Tale, is already available at audible.com as an audio book.

For those of you who have a long commute to work, I think you would enjoy beginning and ending your day with Cat and his friends, especially given Mike Ortego’s excellent presentation of the Cajun characters. Audio books also make great gifts to friends and family, clients, and libraries.

Just back from a wonderful vacation on Oahu, Hawaii. Our beachfront cottage on Nimitz Beach at Barber’s Point near Pearl City is an excellent retreat for isolation, contemplation, rejuvenation, and relaxation. The wind was a little obstinate and not always cooperative, but we enjoyed the warm temperature that replaced the near blizzard conditions back in Colorado. Will have pictures soon on Face Book, so check them out.

Great news that the Senate finally confirmed Chuck Hagel and that he has begun his duties as Secretary of Defense. The Senate should be ashamed of delaying other nominations using its power of the filibuster. The President deserves swift confirmation of his appointees so that the tasks of running the country can move along and either fail or succeed. The people, who apparently trust his judgment, elected him, but a few Republicans, whose sole purpose is to make President Obama look bad, defy the people with their arrogance and self-centered motives. God, please let us enjoy the return of the statesman!

I would enjoy your comments on the above. Leave a comment on this page, and sign up for Email notification of new posts to the blog on this page as well. Also, be sure to visit my web site http://www.jamesorytheall.com/, and please, follow us on Face Book. J.O.T.

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2013 Super Bowl Commercials

I would like comments on this, please.

Does anyone but me wonder how advertisers can spend the billions they do for the stupid, infantile commercials produced by advertising agencies?

I listened to the television programming of a great football game between the 49ers and the Ravens on Sunday. Being totally blind, I don’t mute the commercials because I have no way of knowing when the game comes back on. I feel slighted that I, as a blind person, am considered unimportant and irrelevant by these advertisers. Have you noticed as I have, that most of the commercials don’t even mention the name of the product or the company they are promoting, and why, pray tell, does the noise, the songs, the sounds have to override the whispering, mumbling, speed-talking and even sometimes shouting, actors trying to deliver a message? I listened intently, and tried desperately to reconcile the screeching, the burping (I think), the scratching, the crumbling, the tire squealing, the undecipherable grunts, groans, moans and silliness, to the relevancy of the message. What gibberish and nonsense! How can they have the audacity to spend the money they spend on this stuff to encourage us to buy their products and then whine when profits are low?

Am I just a grouch, or am I correct in my thinking that advertisers might show a better bottom line if they treated prospective customers with a little more intelligence?

Bess Meyerson, where are you?

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