Sunday, August 30, 2009

GOP No Public Option

GOP Members of Congress have made it clear that there is no way they will support a public option when considering President Obama's health care reform. However, most liberal Democrats have made it just as clear that they will not support health care reform if there is no public option available. So here we all are in another political quagmire with all GOP Members of Congress lined up on one side of this debate, while most Democrats are on the opposite side. While there are real financial reason why health care needs to be reformed in the United States, the idea of a public option is strictly driven by extremist politics on both sides of the political spectrum.

Most conservatives believe that free enterprise is the best way to address problems in this country, while liberals believe the government has the best chance to make effective change. In my view, the current squabble over a public option in the current health care debate is just the opening shot of liberal democrats to completely take over U.S. health care at some future date. The late Senator Edward Kennedy said it himself that when you can't get everything you want from legislation, just take a small piece and then later come back for more. When it comes to any kind of government health care public opinion, you can bet your last dollar that what the democrats are proposing today will only be the beginning of their future attempts to take over all health care in the United States.

From what I have read, government run health care in other industrial counties like the United States has been less than successful when put into practice. I know that Canada and the United Kingdom (UK) both have public health care and few people that call those counties home seems to like the present system. For at least 50 years, liberals in the Democratic Party have been trying to force a government take over of health care in the United States with little success. People with left political leanings seem to think that all good and fair ideas come from government - while at the same time they view all free enterprise business ideas as being bad and greedy.

It is true that the American people voted for liberal democrats to run the country in 2008, but did most Americans vote for President Obama because of his stand on health care reform or did they vote for him because Republicans screwed everything up? I personally believe that President Obama won in 2008 and democratic margins in the U.S. Congress were increased simply because the American people were fed up with the leadership style of President George W. Bush and VP Dick Cheney. Right now, liberals in the major news media are trying to revive the President Obama public health care option by using the memory of the late Senator Edward Kennedy. What they should be doing instead is figuring out a way to get health care costs reduced, without creating a public opinion that most Americans don't want.

Title: GOP No Public Option
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Kentucky Singer Kevin Skinner

Click Here to help get Kevin Skinner played on the radio.

Later this week, Kentucky singer Kevin Skinner will be preforming again for the judges and millions of new fans on television in the finals of the 2009 edition of "America's Got Talent". Like so many other of you, I just love Kevin Skinner's low baritone voice when he sings songs that were made hits by Garth Brooks. However, during this weeks completion on America's Got Talent - it might turn out to be impossible for Kevin Skinner to win because of the high level of talent competing against him and also because the winner of America's Got Talent goes forward with a career in Las Vegas and few country music singers are made to feel welcome out there.

Of course, at the end of the day it might just be Kevin Skinner that wins the 2009 edition of America's Got Talent and just like he took the American people by surprise on this years show, he might do exactly the same thing for the "big boys" in Las Vegas who are always looking for new and exciting acts to book for live shows in Vegas. My wife and I have traveled to Las Vegas on vacations many times in the past and one of the things we always do when we travel there is to take in a show or two on the Las Vegas Strip. I know that I would pay $100 plus per ticket to see Kevin Skinner preform live and on stage in Las Vegas, but I wonder how many other people would do the same thing?

In so many ways, it really does not matter if Kevin Skinner wins on America's Got Talent this year or not because he has already touch more hearts with his brand of country music than any new country music star in years. As I have written before here, Kevin Skinner is the real deal when it comes to singing country music. Instead, of being a pre-packaged good looking man that has to be trained to sing - Kevin is already a nice looking guy that does not need voice lessons before he records his first album. I would bet almost anything that Nashville record companies are already lining up to sign Kevin Skinner the minute he is no longer a part of America's Got Talent.

I will be patiently waiting for this weeks competition on America's Got Talent to see what song Kevin Skinner sings next. You all already know, from previous blog posts, that my favorite song in the world is Garth Brooks classic "The Dance". From my point of view, "The Dance" would be the perfect song for Kevin Skinner to sing in the final round of America's Got Talent and I have a gut feeling that when/if he does sing Garth Brooks classic song "The Dance" he will leave the stage with a standing ovation. It's early Sunday morning right now, so I do not have long to wait until Kevin Skinner shows up once again on American's Got Talent. In the end, it will not matter to me if Kevin Skinner wins this years competition or not - because by all measurements that are important he is already the newest superstar in country music today. (Help Kevin Skinner Get Played On The Radio)

Title: Kentucky Singer Kevin Skinner
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Swine Flu In Schools

I remember writing a blog post only a few days ago about a friend and coworker of mine that got a call from a person that said her two year old daughter had been exposed to the Swine Flu. Until that happened, I personally had not dealt with the medical and emotion reality that Swine Flu is having on millions of people around the world today. Then later I began to think about the countless thousands of school children from kindergarten to major universities that will find themselves in the same Swine Flu boat this fall.

Right now the U.S. federal government and nations around the world are conducting clinical trials of a new Swine Flu vaccine that they hope to have ready for the public come October of 2009. However having a Swine Flu vaccine ready this fall and getting people to take it are going to be two entirely different things. Many older people, like myself, will be reluctant to take this new Swine Flu vaccine because we are old enough to remember the last time a Swine Flu vaccine was given to the public on a massive scale back in the 1970's. In my opinion, the CDC and major universities are rushing too fast to get some kind of Swine Flu vaccine on the market before it is tested over a long period of time.

Then we come back to the biggest problem facing doctors and other health care professionals today and that is the close proximity millions of school children will be in with nationwide classes begin in September. There is no escaping the fact that once school children return to class next month, there will be a several fold increase in the number of Swine Flu cases reported to the CDC. Unlike last school year, the CDC is advising schools not to shutdown this year if one or even several of the students are tested positive with this new strain of Swine Flu. Instead, the 2009 school year in the United States will be more of a "let's hunker down and see if we can get through this year OK" situation. To me that is a scary policy for the CDC to have in place.

U.S. citizens have survived the ravage side effects of Swine Flu much better than our neighbors to the south in Mexico did earlier this year. While I have no clue why there were more people killed in Mexico who caught Swine Flu than in the United States, my guess is that proper nutrition had to play at least a small role in our good fortune. That said, it only makes sense for parents not only in the United States - but also around the world to make sure that their children take a multi-vitamin each day to help keep their immune system as strong as possible. Like millions of other people, I have yet to decide if I will get a Swine Flu shot this fall or not. Right now, I think I will get vaccinated for Swine Flu - but I will put off making any firm decision until all the test are completed in the current clinical trials of the new vaccine.

Title: Swine Flu In Schools
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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Dallas Cowboys Kevin Ogletree

I just finished watching the 1st quarter of the Dallas Cowboys/San Francisco 49er's pre-season game at the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. While Tony Romo did an OK job as the starting quarterback, that interception he threw at the end of the 1st quarter brought back a bunch of bad memories for me. However, there was a new Dallas Cowboys player that really caught my eye during this game and that player's name is Kevin Ogletree. All I can say is WOW when describing how Kevin Ogletree can run so fast as a wide receiver and at least at this early stage of the season, Ogletree seems to be able to hold on to the football when it is thrown to him.

Over the past few years, most Dallas Cowboys fans have put their faith in Terrell Owens (TO) to make the clutch pass receptions when a game was on the line. However, most of the time TO was more of a legend in his own mind than a superstar athlete on the field according to most Dallas Cowboys fans. In my mind, two of the biggest problems facing the Dallas Cowboys over the past couple of years has been a distracted starting quarterback (Tony Romo) and wide receivers that seem to make more news off the football field than on it. The television commentators on the Dallas Cowboys/San Francisco 49er's game tonight made a good observation when it comes to the future potential of Cowboys wide receiver Kevin Ogletree.

They said that over the next few weeks, Cowboys coaching staff leaders Wade Phillip and Jason Garrett will learn if Kevin Ogletree is the real deal or not when it comes to his future on the Dallas Cowboys football team. The TV commentators were right. Many times in the past, new Dallas Cowboys players have shown up from the ranks of the college draft and started off playing like some kind of all pro football player and then like magic - after a few weeks they start to play worse instead of better. I agree that the next few weeks will provide the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff with a great deal knowledge about whether or Kevin Ogletree is ready for prime-time or not.

I must say once again that I was very impressed with the first quarter play tonight of rookie wide receiver Kevin Ogletree. As tonight's game progresses it is possible that Kevin Ogletree could play worse than he did in the first quarter, but as of right now it looked like Ogletree could be a tremendous asset to the Dallas Cowboys football team in 2009. For the Dallas Cowboys to get to the playoff and have a chance to win another Superbowl, the team must start playing as a serious NFL team and not one that is filled with egos that believe they are more important than the team as a whole. It is so refreshing to see new blood, like Kevin Ogletree, join the Dallas Cowboys because in recent years there has been a kind of stagnation in the wide receiver position on the team.

Title: Dallas Cowboys Kevin Ogletree
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Kennedy/Obama Health Care

With the passing this week of Senator Edward Kennedy, some people in the U.S. Congress want to rename the current health care reform legislation championed by President Barack Obama after the late Senator Kennedy. While I can understand why many Democrats would like to do this, in reality if Congress changes the name of the health care reform bill to Edward Kennedy Health Care - almost all GOP support that might eventually be earned by President Obama will go completely away. While liberals have long championed the hard work of Senator Edward Kennedy, almost all conservatives believe that Senator Kennedy was on the wrong side of most issues that he supported during his lifetime.

At the top of the list of Senator Edward Kennedy legislation that conservatives disagree with is a one size fits all government run U.S. health care system. While the current legislation that is being pushed forward by President Obama is not a totally run health care reform law, it most certainly is the first step of many that will lead the United States down a path to where all health care in the future will be provided by and paid for by the U.S. government. The late Senator Edward Kennedy learned long ago that it was almost impossible to pass purely liberal laws through the U.S. Congress, so he adopted a long term approach of getting what he wanted done by passing it one small piece at a time over the course of many years in Congress.

There is no doubt in my mind that President Obama and almost all liberal Democrats in the Congress are already planning what they will do next if the current health care legislation becomes law. If democatic leaders are successful in getting the President Obama's health care reform law named for the late Senator Edward Kennedy then I believe millions of people who now support the small steps that President Obama wants to make in our current health care system will turn on him because anything that bears the name of Senator Edward Kennedy will instantly be dubbed as a completely liberal package by most of the American people. Just like extreme conservatives, liberals also have a tendency to prop up their dead leaders in a way that works against their ideology.

As of today, I believe the President Obama health care proposal in Congress would fail. However, there is still time for the President to reach out to the American people to try and calm some of their fears. The last thing that President Obama and Democrats in Congress should do is let their grief over the passing of Senator Edward Kennedy this week, cloud their judgment so much so that they try and put his name posthumously on new health care legislation. Any changes to the current U.S. health care system that is passed without any Republican support will cause the GOP to retake the Congress in 2010 and it will also make President Obama a lame duck long before his time. Hopefully, Democrats will continue to reach out to Republicans for a compromise that all can agree on. If Democrats push health care reform down the throats of the American people in a straight party line vote - their days as leaders of the Congress and in the White House will be short in number.

Title: Kennedy/Obama Health Care
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Friday, August 28, 2009

More Credit Card Scams

Unlike some people, I love modern day life. Decades ago, I grew up working on a cotton farm in the Texas panhandle. Back then, dad and I would work from daylight until dark each day trying to earn enough money for our family to survive on for the next year. Now days, thanks to advances mainly in computer technology - I earn my living in front of a computer.Without modern day advances like the computer, I likely would still be working 12 hour days on a cotton farm in 100 degree plus weather each day. While modern life has made daily tasks easier for me and millions of others, there is a down side to all of this new computer technology.

While modern conveniences like the personal computer have made most of our lives easier, they have also helped criminals more easily sneak in to our privite lives to steal our money. Almost everyday there is another new credit card scam that is discovered. These credit card scams, at first, were simply designed to obtain credit card numbers so consumers credit limits could be used to steal merchandise. However, over the years - credit card scams have evolved into something much more evil and damaging to the average person. Everyone now knows exactly how easy it is for a criminal to not only steal our credit card numbers, but when that information is added to other public information - identity thief can result, which usually leaves it's victim working for years just to clear their good name.

What most people do not take the time to think about is that the same modern day conveniences of life that help people like me work in an air conditioned office instead of on the farm - are the same things that help criminals commit so many high tech crimes these days. While this new Internet world has made the daily task of work less manual in nature, it has at the same time created a whole new set of concerns that decades ago did not exist. When I was a kid, working on that cotton farm, no one in my family had a credit card. However, today most people have at least one credit card and I sometimes wonder if the convenience that Mastercard and Visa provide to us all is really a good thing in the long run?

In the old days, my family was mainly concerned with growing a cotton crop that would earn enough money to support us all for the next twelve months. Today, most people worry not so much about selling a crop for enough money so they can financially survive for the next year - but they do worry about what hackers might be stealing from their home PC right under their nose. Also in the past, most people used cash to purchase groceries and to occasionally eat out at a restaurant. Today, those things are paid for using a credit or debit card which adds even another worry for most consumers as they watch a total stranger take their card, walk off and do who knows what with it before they return to their table with the bill.

Title: More Credit Card Scams
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Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones

Most of the time it is difficult for me to see the upside of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Since he bought the Dallas Cowboys, he has been a thorn in the side of millions of Cowboys fans worldwide. The first brilliant PR move that Jerry Jones made was to fired long time Cowboys head coach and NFL legend Tom Landry via a press conference instead of in person. Even to die-hard Dallas Cowboys fans of the day, we all knew that Tom Landry's best years as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys were already long over when Jerry Jones bought the team. However, there is a right and a wrong way to do almost everything and when it came to firing Tom Landry - Jerry Jones first action as the new Dallas Cowboys owner was a negative to most fans.

Then over the next few years after becoming the new owner of the Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones and his hand picked new coach Jimmy Johnson went about the business of rebuilding the Dallas Cowboys into a Superbowl powerhouse once again. As the years went by and the Cowboys won more football games, the negative view that Dallas Cowboys fans had of Jerry Jones began to fade from memory. However, once the Dallas Cowboys were once again playing like their unofficial title of "America's Team" - owner Jerry Jones presented the jealousy side of his personality because he felt that his head coach Jimmy Johnson was getting too much of the create for rebuilding the team.

In reality, the ego of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones must be the size of his new stadium in Arlington, Texas. Once it became clear that Jimmy Johnson was receiving the credit for building the Dallas Cowboys into a back to back Superbowl championship team, the days when Coach Johnson would be able to call Dallas home were numbered. Now, it's 2009 and all the stars, once again, seem to be in perfect alignment for the Dallas Cowboys to have a wonderful season. Right now, Jerry Jones ego seems to be satisfied with his new billion dollar plus football stadium which supports the highest paid price for a pizza in the NFL at almost $100 and season ticket prices that approach ten grand per year for some ticket holders.

In many ways, Jerry Jones has been good for the Dallas Cowboys football team even with his greed and egotistical attitude which always seems to drive him to do the morally wrong thing. My hope is that as the 2009 NFL football season gets underway next month that the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium, which fans refer to as "Jerry World", will keep owner Jerry Jones occupied enough for Wade Phillips and Jason Garrett to lead the team to a bunch of victories. I always enjoy watching Jerry Jones the most on television when he is up on his private box instead of down on the football field trying to encourage his team to victory. Someday soon the Dallas Cowboys will be in the Superbowl again and like all other Dallas Cowboys fans I hope for that day to come sooner rather than later.

Title: Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones
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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fruit Loaded With Potassium

As a young kid growing up in the 1960's, my family had several peach trees in the backyard that provided more fresh fruit than we could eat during the summer months. However, I have long since moved away from that home and over the years I have stopped eating fruit because many in the health care field have discouraged eating fresh fruit because it is high in natural sugar. About the same time I stopped eating fresh fruits when I was young, I began to notice that I did not have as much energy as I use to and I believe one of the reasons why my energy level dropped was because I started to lose valuable potassium in my blood stream when I stopped eating fresh fruit on a daily basis.

Well meaning medical professionals, over the years, have worked to get out the word on certain food groups that might be dangerous to our health. However, in more recent years - food fanatics have crept into the system. These new folks I refer to as the food police are more interested in ideological political positions than in teaching real healthy eating. For millions of people that suffer from potassium deficiency, they could be cured if they would just eat a couple of servings of mixed fresh fruit each day. In fact, the actually quantity of fruit needed to achieve a good daily blood potassium level could be as small as a hand full of raisins - which are loaded with huge amounts of potassium.

Most regular readers here already know that for years I have worked to make sure that I consume enough daily potassium to prevent the aches and pains that go along with low blood potassium deficiency. In previous blog posts I have discussed how vegetables like baked potatoes can dramatically increase the blood stores of potassium for almost anyone. However, until now - I have not gone into great detail about how fresh fruit can do the same thing. In addition to peaches, one of my favorite foods is Cantaloupe. However, just like other fresh fruits that I enjoyed in moderation as a kid - Cantaloupe is just another potassium rich food that I stopped eating as I grew older.

The Internet is filled with great information about the potassium content of all fruits. The good news is that most fruits contain some potassium and the even better news is that some fruit sources are loaded with tremendous amounts of this most important electrolyte. Everyday, someone is hospitalized because of weakness and after doctors conduct the needed blood tests they are given injections of potassium for a few hours and then sent home. Many times, doctors and health care professionals do not tell their patients how they can prevent this from happening again - so in a few months those same patients are back at the hospital again for the same treatment. Low blood levels of potassium can be increased in short order in most healthy people if they consume a large amount of fresh fruit and one large baked potato with the skin included.

Title: Fruit Loaded With Potassium
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Senator Kennedy's Long Goodbye

Even though everyone knew that the death of Senator Edward Kennedy was imminent, receiving the news that he had passed away early this morning came as a shock to me. As many of you already know, cancer also runs in my family with it's latest victim being my father who died of pancreatic cancer back in 2001. From a purely political point of view, the ideology of Senator Edward Kennedy could not have been more different from my own. While my conservative roots have mellowed over the past five years or so, I have no intention of drifting from one extreme to the other. Today, most of the news coverage on television about Senator Kennedy's death was of a positive reflective nature which is as it should be.

Over the next few months there will be more of a real reflection made of the entire life of Senator Edward Kennedy, which will include many dark points that must be considered when judging this man for the purposes of history. While I know many people do not want to hear about those negative areas of Senator Kennedy's life right now, in the near future I hope to follow up with my own thoughts about some of the big mistakes that Kennedy made during his life. However, today I will just write about the disease (cancer) that took Senator Kennedy's life and when discussing the terrible effects that any kind of cancer has on it victims and their family's - there is no political separation at all when it comes to the terrible way cancer kills so many people in the world today.

When I was a young boy, I lost an uncle to brain cancer and while I do not remember much about my uncle - I still recall how upset my mother and father were when he passed away in his mid 30's. Then decades later, my own father died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 66. In addition to family members that I have watched suffer from the terrible side effects of cancer, many of my friends have fought their own battles against various types of cancer as well over the years. Only a couple of years ago, an uncle of my wife was diagnosed with lung cancer - which quickly spread to his brain and caused his death within only a few months. Over the years I have grown to hate cancer and also the medical establishment for not finding a cure for it.

Then today, another high profile politician named Senator Edward Kennedy died from a rare - but extremely deadly form of brain cancer. At the same time Senator Kennedy passed away this morning, thousands of other families around the world were saying their final goodbye's as well to family members and friends who had reach their final day of life on Earth too. In closing I would like to offer my condolences to Senator Edward Kennedy's family and also I would like to say a little prayer for the thousands of other families that lost a loved one to cancer today. Terminal cancer is chipping away at the best and brightest minds that this world has to offer and my biggest prayer is that hopefully soon a cure for cancer will be found so future generations of families are spared the depressing effects that final stage cancer has on everyone involved.

Title: Senator Kennedy's Long Goodbye
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H1N1 Swine Flu Fear

H1N1 Swine Flu FearI got a taste of the kind of fear that is lying just under the surface in parents the other day when a lady I work with received a call from a friend who said that her two year old daughter had been exposed to another little girl that tested positive for H1N1 Swine Flu. The lady who had the two year old little girl at first remained calm, but as the day wore on it became clear that her heart was filling with fear of what might happen to her young daughter if she did indeed get sick with H1N1 Swine Flu. I learned quickly from this coworker how the new strain of H1n1 Swine Flu is going to effect people around the world as flu season begins in about 30 days.

In many ways I blame the news media for creating a panic earlier this year when H1N1 Swine Flu first appeared in Mexico and then in short order started popping up all over the world. Soon, there should be a new H1N1 flu vaccine available to the public - but many people are concerned about giving that vaccine to young children because the last time a swine flu vaccine was administered to the general population, there were side effects that lasted a lifetime for some people who took it. Like millions of other people around the world, my brain is telling me that I should get vaccinated for this new deadly form of swine flu - but I was alive the last time a swine flu vaccine was giving to the public during the President Gerald Ford administration and I can still remember the horror stories that were reported about the few people that did not take well to that swine flu vaccine.

Like so many other major news stories and events, the mainstream news media of today does more to perpetuate a panic than to calm it back down to reason. While there is no doubt that H1N1 Swine Flu is dangerous and should be feared, outright panic could cause people to make bad choices simply based on sensational information they get from the news media. The first thing the lady I work with did recently when she found out that her daughter had been exposed to H1N1 Swine Flu was to call one of our local hospitals to find out what she should do. While the people at the hospital were nice, they pretty much told her to check with her primary care physician - but this news was learned by her late on Friday afternoon, so her doctor would not be available until sometime Monday morning.

As I watch my coworkers check the Internet for more information about H1N1 Swine Flu, I started to feel better for her after she went to the U.S. Center for Disease Control website to get quality information about this new flu virus. I watched over her shoulder as that website calmly explained this new form of Swine Flu and it also provided some simple steps that could be taken to not only spot H1N1 Swine Flu in a young child, but it also listed many common sense things we can all do to help prevent catching it in the first place. I believe everyone should visit the CDC website and learn first hand all that is currently known about H1N1 Swine Flu and I also believe strongly that most people should take anything that is reported by the major mainstream media about this terrible strain of flu virus with a huge grain of salt.

Title: H1N1 Swine Flu Fear
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Kevin Skinner Record Contract

Click Here to help get Kevin Skinner played on the radio.

Not since Carrie Underwood won on "American Idol" have I seen down home people that like country music warm up to a person like they have to Kevin Skinner. It's amazing that Kevin Skinner has only appeared two times, so far, on national television and for many fans he is already one of the top people they want to listen to on country music radio. Right now, I do not believe it is going to matter whether or not Kevin Skinner wins "America's Got Talent" 2009 - at least in as far as it will effect Kevin getting a record contract. In reality, America's Got Talent is all about creating stars to appear in Las Vegas - so it would not surprise me that in the end some group act might win this years competition, but that does not mean that Kevin Skinner is finished as a country music star.

Millions of people have already heard Kevin Skinner sing via television and millions more have listened to his song via YouTube on the Internet. In many ways, Kevin Skinner reminds me of Carrie Underwood in the way he takes an audience by storm with pure singing emotion. Most city folks do not understand country music or the millions of fans that believe country songs are what real life is all about. I remember back years ago as Carrie Underwood competed on "American Idol". Back then not many people gave her much of a chance to win, but in the end millions of people that not only loved Carrie - but country music as well stepped up and called in to give her the victory that she rightfully deserved.

Now, the newest country music star is a 35 year old man from Kentucky named Kevin Skinner. Today, I read several reviews of Kevin Skinners performances so far on "America's Got Talent" from New York City type reporters that seemed to be make fun not only of Kevin Skinner, but also of the people that choose to listen to country music in the first place. Let me put it like this, I would much rather share a beer or a football game with someone like Kevin Skinner than I would to sit down and talk to one of those uptight big city people that don't have a clue what a happy life is or who can even sit down and appreciate really good music that is sung from the heart.

I would bet anything that there are a dozen or more major record companies that are ready to sign Kevin Skinner to a recording contract right now and when that happens there will be even more negative stories about Kevin in the mainstream media because some people just don't understand what real happiness is all about. For many uptight and unhappy reporters, nothing satisfies them more than using their talent as a writer to bring down upcoming stars like Kevin Skinner and the millions of fans that love their music. However, just like what has always been the case before - real talent will be rewarded with a record deal and just like Carrie Underwood before him - Kevin Skinner will be around, for a long time, to sing good honest songs to hard working men and women who really love country music. (Help Kevin Skinner Get Played On The Radio)

Title: Kevin Skinner Record Contract
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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dallas Cowboys Video Screens

The main video screen at the new Dallas Cowboys stadium in Arlington, Texas is hung 90 feet above the playing field below. Owner Jerry Jones thought that was high enough not to interfere with on field play, but it appears he was wrong in that assumption. During the Dallas Cowboys first pre-season game at the new stadium, the punter for the Tennessee Titans hit the huge video screen on several different occasions and now the commissioner of the NFL is taking another look at whether or not Jerry Jones pride and joy new stadium will need to be modified before the regular season begins on September 20th against the New York Giants.

From my point of view, it was clear that the Tennessee Titans punter went out of his way to try and hit that huge video screen simple because Jerry Jones thought it was high enough to be out of the field of play. Sure a good NFL punter can kick a ball at least 90 feet into the air, but when was the last time you saw a punter do that when the quality of their kick might decide the outcome of a game? Most punts in the NFL are kicked to go down the field as far as possible without going into the end zone. During the NFL pre-season, since the games don't count, I believe the punter for the Tennessee Titans created a problem where one will not exist during the regular season.

The new Dallas Cowboys stadium in Arlington, Texas is like no other football field on Earth. One of it's proudest features is a huge video screen that runs from one 20 yard line to the other and is about seven stories high. From people that I have visited with who saw the last Dallas Cowboys game and some who visited this new stadium for a recent concert held by George Strait, the sheer size and dimensions of Cowboys Stadium in Arlington literally takes your breath away. I hope that the NFL commissioner does not make a knee jerk move and force Jerry Jones to raise this new HDTV video screen any higher than it's current 90 feet.

The tens of thousands of people who paid an average of about $350 per game for season tickets at the new Cowboys Stadium deserve to be able to see the new video screens in the way they were meant to be hung over the new football field. I believe the punter for the Tennessee Titans was just showboating during the first game at the new Cowboys Stadium in order to draw attention to himself rather than to point out a flaw with the height of the new video screens. We all know that professional basketball players are able to break the backboard of the goals that they dunk into, but few do that anymore because of the penalties that would result in such an action. In that same way, professional punters in the NFL are capable of hitting a target with a football 90 feet in the air - but if they do such a thing then they should be penalized and not the fans in the stands.

Title: Dallas Cowboys Video Screens
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Monday, August 24, 2009

Obama Health Care Dead?

Last weekend, I must have listened to a dozen or more talking heads on television news programs and whether they were Democrats or Republicans it came across loud and clear to me that the origional Obama health care plan is dead. There are many reasons why President Obama's health care plan is dying, but top among those reasons is bad planning by the President himself. President Obama should have known from the beginning that GOP operatives and special interest groups for the health care industry would be gunning to kill his health care ideas, but many of President Obama's own mistakes have lead to the demise of President Obama's health care proposal and at the top of that list is the idea of "death panels" being mixed with medical advice from a doctor.

As millions of Americans start to age, the last thing they want to think about is some government bureaucrat trying to figure out whether their life is worth living anymore. Of course, "death panels" as envisioned by President Obama are not suppose to work that way - but by introducing such a radical idea into his new health care plan for America, President Obama opened up a door as large as a Mack truck for his opponents to use against him. I'm not sure why, but President Obama seems to be obsessed with end of life issues when the governments money is involved. Just yesterday, I learned that the VA has issued new guidelines for it's doctors to use a controversial tests to help veterans decide whether their life is worth living anymore. Wow, chalk up another dump move to President Obama with that one.

After many weeks of debate, the American people are starting to see President Obama's health care plan as nothing more than the beginning of socialized medicine in the United States. The President is not presenting his plan that way, but because of mistakes made by him and other members of his administration - the American people are starting to see it that way. While liberals love the idea of a one size fits all government run health care plan, most Americans do not like the idea of that and when push comes to shove they do not want a Canada type health care system here in the United States. If Obama health care fails, in my view the President will have no one to blame but himself.

The main thing President Obama originally gave as the reason health care reform was needed was because the cost of medical care in the U.S. is growing much faster than inflation. President Obama is right about that, but his solution to the problem will not work. In President Obama's mind, if the government can just get control of the U.S. health care system, then politicians in Washington will be able to control the rise in health care costs. While President Obama has faith in government run health care, a vast majority of Americans do not. In my mind, the U.S. government has never been a good manager of anything because of politics and bureaucracy. Even as President Obama preaches the fairness of a government run health care system, many Americans know in their heart that before long there will be nothing fair about a government run system as political correctness takes over good old fashion common sense in it's management.

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Title: Obama Health Care Dead?
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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dallas Cowboys America's Team Chat Room

From the time I was a young boy back in the 1960's, my family has been fans of the Dallas Cowboys. Through some good years and many bad, we have faithfully turned on the television to watch the Dallas Cowboys play football on Sunday afternoon. I still remember as a young boy who was growing up in the Texas panhandle, watching my wrist watch as we sat in church on Sunday morning because on most Sunday's the Dallas Cowboys played a noon game and all members of my family really hoped that our small town Baptist preacher did not decide to get long winded when the opening Dallas Cowboys kickoff took place at noon central time.

It's not that our preacher was boring or bad that caused us to watch the time while attending church, but it was because of an abiding love every member of my family had/has for the Dallas Cowboys. I still remember when the Dallas Cowboys won their first Superbowl in my lifetime. That date was in the early 1970 and that year the Miami Dolphins played the Dallas Cowboys for a Superbowl title. During the second half of that game, the electricity went out in the small town I grew up in and I still remember how disappointed we all were that we did not get to see the Dallas Cowboys win the Superbowl that year against the Miami Dolphins because of a busted electric transformer.

During the 1970's, head coach Tom Landry built the Dallas Cowboys NFL football team not only into world champions who have ever since been referred to as America's Team, but he did so with grace and integrity that was created because of his close relationship with God. During the last couple of years of leadership under Tom Landry, the Dallas Cowboys played terrible and eventually because of various reasons - the Dallas Cowboys were sold to a millionaire from out of state named Jerry Jones. One of Jerry Jones first decision as the new owner of the Dallas Cowboys was to fired legendary head football coach Tom Landry not in person, but through a press conference he conducted in Dallas right after he flew into town.

For years, millions of Dallas Cowboys fans hated Jerry Jones because of the rude way he treated Tom Landry. However, over time - the Dallas Cowboys started to win more games and after a few years they found themselves first in the playoff and eventually in the Superbowl under new head coach Jimmy Johnson. Jerry Jones, over the years, has proven himself to be a masterful business man who seems to have the Midas touch when it comes to making money by owning the Dallas Cowboys. For the past decade, the Dallas Cowboys have under preformed on the football field which has caused most fans to once again start to blame Jerry Jones for the teams problems. In 2009, I am hoping for great things from the Dallas Cowboys as they start to play home games in a new one billion dollar plus football stadium in Arlington, Texas. That new Dallas Cowboys Stadium more resembles a Las Vegas strip hotel than a functional NFL football stadium.

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Read more about the Dallas Cowboys:
Dallas Cowboys Home Opener - Dallas Cowboys Arlington Stadium - Dallas Cowboys Thursday Night - Tony Romo Passing Game - Cowboys Without TO - Remembering Jimmy Johnson - Cowboys Party Pass - Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones - Cowboys $100 Pizza - Cowboys Lotto Tickets - Cowboys Jason Garrett - Romo Dumped Jessica Simpson - Jerry Jones/Jimmy Johnson - George Strait Concert - Tornado At Valley Ranch - KRLD-FM Cowboys Flagship - First Game At New Cowboys Stadium - Romo Suffers Broken Finger - Dallas Cowboys Kevin Ogletree - What's Wrong With The Dallas Cowboys - Dallas Cowboys Monday Night Football - Dallas Cowboys "Jerry World" - Dallas Cowboys For Real? - NFL Football Dominates - NFL Playoffs Begin - NFL Network Ruins Holiday's - Tony Romo Contract - Wade Phillips Right Coach? - Cowboys/Colts Superbowl - NFL Is Back - Dallas Cowboys Football Talk

Title: Dallas Cowboys
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Pancreatic Cancer Chat Room

A few days ago, I received an email from a total stranger who had read some of my previous blog posts about pancreatic cancer. This lady wrote to tell me how much she appreciated my sharing my experiences dealing with this terrible disease and she asked me to write her back with more information because her husband was nearing the final stage of pancreatic cancer. Late last week, I replied to her email with my person experiences in dealing with pancreatic cancer. My father suffered from and then died as a result of pancreatic cancer in October of 2001.

While I have not received a reply from this lady, I would like to write someone of the thoughts I shared with her in that email message based on my experience dealing with the fatal effects of terminal pancreatic cancer. As I told this nice lady in my email reply, my father at first was misdiagnosis with an ulcer before further testing proved that he had pancreatic cancer. While it would have been easy to be upset with the doctor that misdiagnosed my father, in the end it really would not have made any difference because once he got into see an Oncologist, the advanced stage of his pancreatic cancer had been terminal for several months already.

The hardest thing to accept when a close family member is diagnosis with terminal pancreatic cancer is the fact that you as a family member must give up hope of a cure or recovery and accept a new position as a provider of pain relief for your suffering family member. It's human nature to expect that modern medicine can cure almost anything. However, when it comes to pancreatic cancer the five year life expectancy for most people is around 75% - 95% in the negative. It was so hard for me to accept that dad was going to die from pancreatic cancer, but in the end with the help of Hospice I was able to change my first priority of keeping dad alive to a more realistic job of trying to keep him pain free through the final stages of pancreatic cancer.

Since dad died in late 2001, I have followed new treatment options for pancreatic cancer. Unfortunately, doctors and research scientist are taking baby steps when it comes of an effective treatment for advance stage pancreatic cancer. With the exception of a few television commercials paid for by the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, I have heard of few people that have been successfully treated for pancreatic cancer. If you find yourself dealing with a pancreatic cancer diagnosis in your family, it is very important to listen to your Oncologist carefully to find out if there is any real hope for long term survival. If there is real hope, you should try anything that might save your loved ones life. However, if you find yourself in the same position I was in with my own father who died from pancreatic cancer - you might need to change from survival mode to one where you do everything possible to keep your loved one from suffering an agonizing final few weeks of life.

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Read more about pancreatic cancer:
Pancreatic Cancer Pain - Pancreatic Cancer Memories - Patrick Swayze Cancer - Pancreatic Cancer Cure? - Why Is Pancreatic Cancer So Deadly - Senator Kennedy's Long Goodbye - Vicodin Tylenol Combination Deadly? - Jack Kemp Dies Of Cancer - Good Friend Dies Of Cancer - Growth Factor Receptor - Positive Attitude Helps Patrick Swayze - Patrick Swayze/Steve Jobs Pancreatic Cancer - Tony Snow Loses Battle - Positive Attitude Help Cancer Treatments - McCain In Tears Over Kennedy - Kennedy Terminal Brain Cancer - Patrick Swayze Has Pancreatic Cancer - Pancreatic Cancer Final Stages - Uncle Dies From Lung/Brain Cancer - Uncle Near Death - Real Life Earth Angels (Hospice) - Lung Cancer Has Spread To Brain - Hoda Kobt Breast Cancer - Litigation Over Asbestos Cancer - Dealing With Fathers Death From Pancreatic Cancer

Title: Pancreatic Cancer
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Kevin Skinner AGT Winner (Chat Room)

UPDATE: Kevin Skinner Wins America's Got Talent (2009)!

Click Here to help get Kevin Skinner played on the radio.

The 2009 edition of America's Got Talent has produced an interesting young man by the name of Kevin Skinner who has taken the country by storm. When Kevin Skinner first showed up to audition for America's Got Talent, the audience and judges on the show expected him to be some kind of country bumpkin - at least that was the case until he opened his mouth and started to sing county love songs like a long time veteran performer. Today, millions of people around the world have fallen in love with Kevin Skinner and I believe he has an excellent chance to win America's Got Talent (2009).

I have written in earlier posts that I believe Kevin Skinner sings Garth Brooks songs better than Garth himself. What we are witnessing with Kevin Skinner is the birth of a brand new country star that can withstand the test of time. For the past ten to twenty years, country music in the United States has been dominated by "here today and gone tomorrow" acts that are big on appearance, but shallow when it comes to raw singing talent. Kevin Skinner is the exact opposite of that as his normal appearance is superseded by his raw talent as a singer and in my book that means that Kevin Skinner is the real deal and should have a long a successful career in country music.

So far, Kevin Skinner has not sang my favorite Garth Brooks song of all time called "The Dance". Maybe he is just saving that song for his appearance in the finals, but to skip it all together would be a huge mistake for Kevin Skinner and country music fans like myself that consider "The Dance" the best written country song of all time. The two songs that Kevin Skinner has sang so far on America's Got Talent (2009) are "If Tomorrow Never Comes" and "Make You Feel My Love". Both of those songs were huge hits by country music legend Garth Brooks and my suggestion to Kevin Skinner is not to drift away from Garth Brooks songs as he winds his way to a pretty certain victory on this years show.

Just in case you have missed Kevin Skinner perform on America's Got Talent this year, here are links to where you can see and hear him perform. To hear Kevin Skinner sing "If Tomorrow Never Comes" click here - to hear him sing "Make You Feel My Love", click here, for his semi-finals performance of "You Were Always On My Mind" click here. If you love country music as much as I do, after listening to Kevin Skinner sing you will most likely be blown away by his amazing singing voice. There are many good acts on the 2009 edition of America's Got Talent, but in my opinion the best by far is a 35 year old guy from Kentucky named Kevin Skinner. (Help Kevin Skinner Get Played On The Radio)

Click Here to watch Kevin Skinner sing (Don’t Want to Miss a Thing).
Click Here to watch Kevin Skinner win "America's Got Talent" (2009).

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Credit Card Payments Double

In a world where most people hold credit cards, major banks have learned how to legally manipulate consumers. These high tech bank manipulations have earned major banks billions of dollars in excess profits, but last year the U.S. Congress acted to try and stop some of the deceptive practices of banks that issue Visa and Master Card accounts and now those same banks are trying to get even with their own customers by doubling their minimum monthly payment. This new practice by greedy and out of control banks will cause many people who are already on the line when it comes to surviving the 2009 recession to fall off the edge and head toward bankruptcy protection.

Back during the days of low interest and easy credit card approvals, major banks became arrogant and started issuing low interest rate credit cards where their best customers were guaranteed that their interest would never increase. Then came the Wall Street and banking crisis of 2008 which put so much financial pressure on major banks that the low interest rate credit cards for life which they had issued in the past began to start costing those same banks a bunch of money. Today, those low interest rate credit cards for life have come back to haunt big banks because the rules of the credit card do not allow them to increase the interest rate on the customer unless that customer is late on a payment.

The solution to this self made problem by U.S. credit card companies was to double or more the minimum monthly payment for low interest rate credit cards. By doubling or more the monthly minimum credit card payment on those account the banks knew that some consumers would be unable to pay the new minimum monthly payments and when those consumers called to complain they were offered another credit card account with a much lower minimum monthly payment, but with an much larger interest rate attached to that account. It's no wonder that most Americans do not trust large banks and in my view these tactics of raising minimum monthly payments are more akin to loan sharks of the past than to federal insured financial institutions.

There is no doubt that holding at least one major credit card is a must in modern day life. It's difficult to rent a car or hotel room without a major credit card, so completely removing plastic from our wallets is not something that is easily accomplished. That said, having a credit card and carrying a balance over from month to month are two entirely different things. Every month, consumers are making the decision to stop carrying over what turns out to be high interest loans on their credit card accounts and instead many people are going back to the old days when families saved in order to buy high ticket items. While credit cards are convient and easy to use, they are a mixed blessing at best for most consumers.

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Title: Credit Card Payments Double
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Foods High In Potassium

From time to time I receive emails from people who have read previous blog posts I have written about the little reported problem of low potassium in some people. Many of those emails asked me what foods are highest in potassium content, so I decided to write a post about several different foods and food groups that are extremely high in potassium so people that find themselves weak and suffering from muscle pain because they are depleted in blood potassium can know what foods they can eat to rebuild their body stores of this most important electrolyte.

The following foods are very high in potassium content.

Apricots - Avocados - Bananas - Cantaloupes - Honeydews
Kiwi - Lima Beans - Milk - Orange Juice - Potatoes - Prunes
Spinach - Tomatoes - Squash - French Fries & Potato Chips

While some of the above listed foods are familiar to most people as being high in potassium content, some folks might be surprised to learn that a few of the foods that are extremely high in potassium are considered nothing more than junk food to many nutritionist who sometimes come across as more like the food police than a reliable source of information.

Like some other people, I must constantly keep a close watch on the amount of potassium I eat each day. Rather than needing less potassium, I seem to need more of it than most people and I think the reason is that I sweat a bunch especially in the summer time. For me, when my blood potassium level gets too low – I start feeling sore and weak in the legs. However, through Internet research I have learned which foods bring my potassium level back to normal and usually it only takes a few hours before I start to feel better.

While I am not a doctor, I do try and pay attention to what my body is telling me each day. For years I suffered from low potassium levels, but I mistakenly thought I was having pain simply because I was getting older. However, in the end it turned out that my problem was low blood potassium and now with a little bit of forethought and planning each day - I am able to prevent extreme leg pain and weakness. While some nutritionist will cringe at what I am about to tell you, none the less the two foods that seem to raise my potassium level the fastest are orange juice/milk mixed with a good supply of potato chips.

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Title: Foods High In Potassium
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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Record Oil Prices Return

Just as the U.S. economy started to improve, worldwide oil prices have started to rise with no end in sight. In my opinion, high oil prices were the main cause of the U.S. economy meltdown in late 2008 as President George W. Bush finished his eight years as President of the United States. Now as the U.S. stock marketing is showing signs of life, ever increasing prices for crude oil and it's number one byproduct (gasoline) could put the improving U.S. economy in jeopardy once again and we have only ourselves to blame for this problem.

Put simply, U.S. citizens are crude oil addicts as we use much more than our fair share of gasoline. For decades, the United States of America has fueled our economy with the easy availability of cheap crude oil that we could turn into gasoline. Back in the late 1970's, the American people received a huge wake up call as what we once referred to as our friends in the Middle East turned on us with a vengeance. Jimmy Carter, who was the President of the United States at the time, tried to start weening the American people off our crude oil dependence back then, but because of his failed policies in Iran – he was unsuccessful.

Now after many more President's of the United States from both major political party's, U.S. consumers find themselves in the same dependent position of importing crude oil from the Middle East as we were back in the late 1970's. I would love to write tonight that the U.S. government has learned it's lesson when it comes to crude oil importation, but the truth is that President Obama is having about the same poor success at removing the United States dependence on foreign oil as President Jimmy Carter did back in the late 1970's.

While conservatives still believe we can drill our way out of oil dependence, liberals like President Obama are just as convinced that energy alternatives to crude oil are the way to go when it comes to dealing with the future energy needs of the United States. The truth is that both conservatives and liberals are right about what is the best way to reduce American's dependency on foreign sources of crude oil. Folks, it is not rocket science to believe that both increased crude oil drilling in the United States combined with increasing funding of energy alternatives is the real ticket to success. However, the powers that be on the left and the right will never admit that their ideology does not have all the answers – so here we all are looking down the same dead end road we were on back in the 1970's.

Title: Record Oil Prices Return
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Friday, August 14, 2009

Has Michael Vick Changed?

Has Michael Vick Changed?Michael Vick said yesterday after being signed by the Philadelphia Eagles that prison had changed him and he also wants to be part of the solution to problems than part of the problem. While I really hope that Michael Vick has changed for the better, I am having a hard time getting past the severity of his previous crimes which included dog fighting charges and the murder of dogs just for the fun of it. In my view, people either have good character or they don't. Real human character is a personality trait and not something that can be taught once a person becomes an adult in a federal prison setting.

Now that an NFL football team has agreed to give Michael Vick another chance, I guess we should all forgive him and move on. Frankly, I am very disappointed that the NFL gave Michael Vick another chance in the first place. For me, anyone that is fortunately enough to be selected to play in the National Football League should not need prison to realize that they are blessed to be paid millions of dollars per year. However, I do realize that ego plays a major role in professional football players who are paid tremendous sums of money in the 20's before they have had a chance to really mature to full adulthood.

For those of us that thought it would be a mistake for the NFL to give Michael Vick another chance, we were sadly disappointed that not only did the NFL commissioner do just that – but for myself I am extremely displeased that the Philadelphia Eagles, a usually powerful NFC East powerhouse team, was the club that decided to sign Michael Vick to play football once again. I am personally a big believer in forgiveness and I also believe that people should be given a second chance when they fail. However, a second chance to play in the NFL is completely different than what most people have to start over with when they are released from prison.

In my opinion, by the NFL giving Michael Vick another chance to shine on the football field is no different than a Fortune 500 company rehiring a CEO after that person was found guilty of committing a crime. When did it become necessary in the United States for convicted criminals to be let out of prison only to return to their full position again after their sentence was served? Most prisoners go from prison to some kind of half-way house and start their life over at a minimum wage job somewhere. At least former prisoners that never worked on Wall Street or once played football in the NFL that is.

Title: Has Michael Vick Changed?
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