Fighting the Shallow State for what is Rightfully Ours

Recently my husband died.

When the cancer hit his brain it made him a little bit crazy.

I nursed him while he was dying and was able to see him leave pain-free and not drugged up.

What has been more stressful than his leaving me after 43 years together, has been the inefficiency, ineptness or plain obstruction of the shallow state in California. Since he died on October 7th, I have received NO benefits from Social Security. LOL he got a small pension from Holland where he was born. Already they have been able to wrap up the processing of all claims.  From the shallow state in California I am just getting the run-around.

From Grandma Thunder to Kevin McCarthy

AKA Margaret Lynn Verhoeff

Letter to Social Security

I am appealing your decision to pay me only the benefit of $562.70 and only on December 27th. I remind you that I have received no Social Security benefits since my husband died on October 7th. It has been a run-around.

 (LOL he also got a small pension from Holland and they seem to have sorted it out much more quickly than you.)


Social Security is governed by the law and not by bureaucratic arbitraries. It amazes me when I talk to to friend and family they want to propitiate these un-elected officials who control so much of our life. 

The payment of my benefits got scrambled when my husband died on October 2017.  Without the support of faith and family I would not be getting through this difficult time

Since he died I have not received a single penny from Social Security.  This is a hardship as I now owe on my Electrical, Phone Bill, Internet Bill and also my Water Bill.

It is my understanding that I am owed the following:

Peter died October 7th. Went to TX where my children live for a celebration of life. October 29th I informed and sent death certificate to Golden One Credit Union. and asked the account be closed.   I was told over the phone (Rene) the account would be routed to the Credit Union’s Department of Diseased Accounts.

On October 10th Peter Verhoeff’s Social Security benefit for September was paid into the joint account, already closed.

October 19th this benefit was taken out of the account by Social Security.

On October 22nd my Social Security $562.70 was paid into this same closed account. I did not get the money.

On November 29th my Social Security was again routed to Golden One but (go figure) the Bank account happened to be the correct Cali Bank & Trust account.  I called Social Security and was promised the money would be deposited into the correct California Bank & Trust Account.

 I called again to check. On the second call I was told that a check had been sent to my Postal Box. It is now over 10 days and I have received no check. I do not understand why a check? Social Security makes direct deposit.

Note : Since (October 29th) I have had no access to the Golden One account. It was set up by the late Peter Verhoeff and is governed by his passwords and security data, unknown to me.  I do not understand why Social Security benefits are going to a closed (defunct) account?  I do not understand why Golden One Credit Union has been taking my money without my consent.

(I do understand Peter died owing Golden One money on an unsecured loan and a credit card. After the cancer hit Peter’s brain, he went a little bit crazy. Our family (spousal agreements) was not to run up debt beyond what we could cover in assets. He was operating individually and on his own. I would NEVER have agreed to these debts)

There appears to be collusion between the banks and Social Security. I am Margaret Lynn Verhoeff and I have integrity on financial lines and I am deserving of the support of Social Security. 

I regret that Golden One is out of pocket on the money.  That said I am well aware that Congress has been kind to banks who take risks on unsecured loans like this.  These bank losses are more than covered by the benefits of fractional banking given to them by Congress.

Social Security Administration Implies I did not Inform Social Security of my New Accounts. This is not true.

October 24th visited the office in Bakersfield dealing with a charming Mary Kay Adams.  She impressed me because she was in a wheel chair but still working.  The purpose of this visit was three fold.

    1. To inform Social Security of the death
    2. To inform Social Security of the New Accounts and Postal Address
    3. To apply for Spousal benefits (as is legally and morally my right)

I was informed that Mary Kaye had all data she needed to wrap my account except a marriage certificate.  I returned the following day October 25th to provide the required form. I WAS TOLD THAT WAS ALL THAT WAS NEEDED.

To date I have had no data on when my Social will be converted to the higher amount as is covered in law.  Perhaps I was optimistic but I expected this to wrap in less than 30 days.  Please note that both Peter and I paid in to Social Security and that these benefits are mine by legal right. They do not belong to the bureaucrats who administer them.

November 16th I returned to the Bakersfield office and spoke to the man at the front desk; who did not get to go back to speak to Mary Kaye again. I confirmed with him that Social Security had my correct bank routing number and my correct bank account and that minimally my own November benefits would be paid into my own account on November 22nd.

November 23 I called Social Security to check up and spoke to a very competent lady called Lydia.  She spotted that the $$$ (my benefit) was routed to the Golden One Account but (go figure) was directed to my Cali Bank & Trust account.  So my November Social Security is floating around in the ether

What needs to be resolved?

  1. I can let my October benefit go. It was given to Golden One Credit Union and while that is not legally or morally right – this is money due to me, and should not be paid into a Peter account. We are two different people. But a big change like this takes time.
  2. I cannot let my November benefit go. This money is owed to me and needs to be deposited into the correct account.
  3. It makes no sense why my spousal benefits as are legally mine were not immediately paid in October. Social Security has records of our contributions. So I am owed for the difference between my Social Security and the higher Spousal benefit for both the months of October and November. These $$$ need to be paid into my account ASAP.
  4. Here we are in December already and since his death I have had ZERO BENEFIT FROM Social Security. I now owe for Water, Phone, Internet and Electricity.  What is owed to me in back amount from Social Security will go to pay off these amounts.
  5. You state that you pay Social Security benefits for a given month in the next month. This means that as he was alive Peter was alive and due Social Security in the month of September this money should be paid to me as the legal heir. (Perhaps it is lucky this money was pulled out of the Golden One Credit Account FOR THIS MONEY IS NOW DUE TO ME. I am Peter’s only heir and have the legal documents to prove this)

Correction of False Data in the information, I have received from Social Security.

  • You state I requested change of direct deposit information on or around November 16th.  This is false. This change was asked for on October 24th at the Bakersfield Social Security Office. See attached.
  • You state that on November 27 I shall receive $562.70. This is incorrect.  Social Security is now backlogged on paying Spousal Benefits. Per my conversations over the phone with Social Security I should be paid (minimally) $1500.00 on the second Wednesday of December.  (I was told the schedule changes from my due date to Peter:s are the second Wednesday of the month. So I am looking to get the full amount that is owed to me by Social Security no later than December 13th.
  • In my application for Spousal Benefits it is written that I have used the following names. This is false.  I have always used the name of Margaret Lynn Verhoeff.

The names Margaret Lynn Bernoeff, and Margaret L. Bernoeff are clerical errors.                      It is true that my maiden name was Margaret Lynn Bevan.

  • You state that I should keep the old account open until you get it together to send the money to the new account.  You don’t get it. You are sending money to a closed account. I have no access to that closed account located in the Diseased Accounts Department at Golden One.Peter is dead. I am alive. I need this money to pay bills and to survive.
  • Remember I have just come thru paying his medical bills, and his burial and I am hurting.  We were together 43 years

Have a little compassion.

Quote for the week. 

Social Security is based on a principle. It’s based on the principle that you care about other people. You care whether the widow across town, a disabled widow, is going to be able to have food to eat.

Noam Chomsky


They try so hard to block Trump’s message

Helping you make sense out of the efforts to “slime Donald J. Trump 


CRC senior vice president Matthew Vadum has an interesting take in FrontPageMag about the mainstream media’s all-out war to destroy GOP nominee Donald Trump. It’s not really about countering Trump’s message. It’s about preventing him from reaching the voters.

As he writes, “The leftist narrative being deployed against Trump is based on lies, half-truths, and nothing-burgers. They don’t even have to make sense. All they have to accomplish is to hold Trump up to ridicule.”

Now that Donald Trump is safely ensconced as the official Republican nominee for president, the mainstream media is running an intense around-the-clock operation to deprive him of the relatively unfiltered media exposure he needs to seal the deal with the American people.

Trump being silly and playful in front of TV cameras or utilizing his sense of humor is cast as evidence of a disordered, antisocial mind. The media is focusing on minor benign details and marketing them as the evil deeds of an evil man. This is by design.

Preventing Trump from communicating effectively with Americans didn’t work so well during the primaries. We will see what happens now.  With Trump, the master communicator whose outreach skills arguably mirror President Obama’s, the message is everything. Squelch his voice and he’s finished.

So Americans are subjected to a buffet of stupid “news” stories that happen to help journalists make their case against Trump. Meeting the Donald head-on wouldn’t work at  all so instead it’s death by a thousand cuts from a thousand mosquito directions.

For example: the fact that a veteran admired Trump so much that he gave a copy of his Purple Heart medal to the candidate who made a lighthearted joke about always wanting to receive the medal (an obvious absurdity since you have to be injured during military service to get it) was twisted to make the case Trump was a draft dodger who hates military families that have lost loved ones in wars.  Trump is at the same time a war monger and a cowards war dodger. Of course, there’s  Barack Obama, the Left’s anti-war president of all time. After being elected Obama didn’t bother to consult Congress before launching an illegal, ill-advised war against Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi. Now LIbya is an unholy mess, and the American people are getting refugees they do not want.

At the DNC according to the wrathful Khizr Khan Trump has sacrificed nothing, so he needs to shut up.

That is what it is all about, shutting up Trump.

Trump’s run-in with the sleazy immigration lawyer is still receiving media attention. The lie that Trump attacked Khan’s hero son who died in Iraq won’t die. It’s taken on a life of its own and hardened into fact in the minds of many.

Yet the media ignores the fact that Hillary Clinton let four men die in Benghazi, Libya, when U.S. facilities came under terrorist attack, and then lied to the surviving family members’ faces, blaming an anti-Islam YouTube video nobody saw. The media also avoids providing a body count for the Arab Spring that Clinton inflicted on North Africa and the Middle East. Trump gets creamed by the media no matter what he says or does.

After playfully tolerating an infant’s crying from the podium at a rally, Trump eventually asked the mother to remove the baby from an event. That’s what decent people do. It’s called politeness. At CNN’s website MoveOn mom Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner berates Trump, claiming he was mocking the mother. Trump doesn’t realize “that when he throws a baby out, the metaphorical bathwater can’t be ignored.” This garden-variety humorless left-wing feminist used the opportunity to blather on about equal pay, how women outnumber men in this country, and the need for crazy-expensive big government programs like paid family parental leave.

To the Left what Trump did is a grievous offense against civility and social norms, yet Clinton’s communistic blueprint It Takes A Village, calls for the state “to teach, train and raise children,” adding that “[p]arents have a secondary role.” Put Hillary in the White House and she’ll solve the problem of crying babies by terminating parental rights. After all, that’s what she says in her book.

Trump & Manafort are attacked for being pro Russia yet Clinton is much closer to Russia than Trump . She even cut bad deals with that country to hand over a big chunk of American uranium to the Kremlin.

Journalists are engaging in all this mischief because they are acutely aware that if Trump can somehow penetrate the massive propaganda force-field the mainstream media has erected around his campaign, the party is over. The thinking among the media and the Left – but I repeat myself – is that if they can keep strategically placing nasty little booby-traps in the undisciplined candidate’s path they can keep him off-message and floundering long enough to get would-be federal inmate Hillary Clinton across the finish line on Nov. 8.

trump promiseOn the other hand if Trump can reach voters with his tremendously popular message of law and order, immigration enforcement and border security, and mostly pro-growth economic policies, he wins – convincingly – in a year of political populism and anti-establishment anger.

Quote for the Week.

One of the key problems today is that politics is such a disgrace, good people don’t go into government.  Donald Trump



 About the Author Lynn Verhoeff (Grandma Thunder) has published two books, “Politics IOU” and “Magic Money” both on Kindle.  The first is satirical about banking and the second, examines the conflict of our times, Globalism vs Patiotism. You caxn read more at fb Grandma Thunder – an Independent Voice or Blog/Grandma Thunder  or  Free Books by Grandma

Posted August 5 at CRC but I was unable to share this  on Facebook.  So note well I didn’t write it – I edited it to make it shorter and fit the post guidelines I follow in this blog.  YOu can read the actual content at

I was unable to share the original content on Facebook although the article gave valuable insights into the election; so I copied the content to my blog Grandma Thunder – Independent Voice and as a supreme influencer on the net I will get out the message, any suppression of free speech that exists here notwithstanding.


The Meaning of the Midterm Elections

The GOP has the Day!   They have the Senate and Congress; the House is theirs!

Where to from Here.

We have just witnessed a major shift in power in Washington. This was a singular GOP achievement.  What was impressive was how they pulled together to pull it off. We even saw Governor Christie (not up for election at this time) go out to stump and raise a record $106 million for his fellow Republican Governors.

Here are the early results:

Election Results 2014

In numbers elected governors.

A fine job this midterm election, but not a done job.  Congress still has a low approval rating, and the attendance at the polls was a far cry from the 80% participation our founding fathers enjoyed in the early years.

There has always been much fanfare and big promises made during, or just after an election. Unfortunately what followed as the governing began, was little real or meaningful reform? Is this why we have this disenchantment with today’s politicians? They rarely keep their promises.

Could the reason be that unseasoned officials (on both sides of the aisle) are more intent on being right or raking in a buck, rather than in actually solving problems for us?. On the other hand they may face forces we know not of. Whatever Grandma still thinks this is the correct yardstick by which to measure their success or failure.

Have to look at compromise during the next two years.  To get anything done with Obama still at the helm is going to be difficult.  Obama has the veto power not to mention his drove off donkey-czars. All legislation sent up to his desk for signing will have to be cut and dried, and to embrace the better interests of ALL the people, the kind of legislation he cannot afford NOT to sign.

The Tea Party activists scream “no compromise” for they fear a socialist agenda, but at the other extreme, so do the corrupt vested interests who also use this “never compromise” refrain to impose an unconstitutional level of party discipline on the house internal vote; and all in order to keep their own unfair privilege.  In both cases intransigence is justified (laugh out loud) by calling it constitutional. I want to point out that the gentle art of compromise is very much a part of our political heritage and it has always been there right from the beginning. When a politician compromises it doesn’t necessarily mean he has abandoned his core values. Maybe he just has a supreme ability to find common ground or to make the other guy right (never wrong for that doesn’t work) while still holding to his own course.  Maybe he has the ability to see the other person’s needs and point of view. Maybe he knows how to be persuasive by first acknowledging the other. Only when he has gained some agreement will he put forward his own agenda. Compromise is a conversation.

Did you know that the Founding Fathers  actually rejected party politics and chose representative government over party caucuses. Grandma shares their view, is why hers is an independent voice.

Our constitution came into being because the founding fathers had mastered the art of persuasion and knew when and how to compromise. In fact the Constitutional Convention was a quarter of a year’s exercise in compromise. Yes they compromised on the smaller details, but they never strayed from the essential principles, those fundamentals that secure our liberty and prosperity. So they must have defined these core principles and understood them well. Grandma admires the sincerity of the Tea Party activists but she does see that some compromise is going to be needed to make the next two years work.

What should be avoided on both sides is polarity. Polarity is making self right and teh other guy wrong. Our Founding Father’s intended to include  everybody in the final outcome of this game that we call America, and once elected Grandma thinks our new leaders should have the same goal.  The constitution wasn’t a perfect solution by any means,  but this carefully crafted compromise has worked for us for a century or two;  once again in this last election.

So let’s take a look at our new leaders:

Mitch McConnell
McConnell has been the Minority Leader of the Senate since January 3, 2007.  He is  the second Kentuckian to lead his party in the Senate. He is also the longest serving U.S. Senator in Kentucky’s history.

Apparently he has always wanted to lead the Senate and this is his dream fulfilled. He  understands that the Senate is a place for open debate, intended by the founders to be a deliberative body; something Harry Reid didn’t understand. In the Obama administration, Reid was the fall guy. We go forward now with a newly naked Obama into the next two years.

McConnell  seems to know that open debate takes time and it seems he is willing to put the Senate to work and demand long hours. Hello! We might even get a hardworking Senate setting a good example and educating Congress in the value of good old fashioned, hard work.

An interesting fact: I doubt that McConnell could have pulled it off without the loyal support of Rand Paul.  Not only was there a major shift in power from Democrat to the GOP in this last election, it would also seem there was a subtle, albeit fragile shift within the party away from the old corrupt order, and towards the new idealists.

What I really like about the Senior Senator from Kentucky is how he is a committed team player. He even answers questions and acknowledges supporters on his Facebook page – now that is something even Rand Paul does not. In my mind as a public person, that makes him  special.

The way I see him is he is a seasoned politician with a big heart,  I think we may have truly lucked out to have him at the helm.

For now he has my full support but I am watching for I don’t yet know him, and I plead guilty that like many others I was taken in by Obama.

As he has done in his own state of Kentucky, I am thinking however that Mitch McConnell may just make it his first order of the day to break the log-jam and actually get something done!

Rand Paul
I think Rand Paul has the potential for greatness; as Times Magazine says, ” He is the most interesting man in politics today.” Paul sees the bigger picture, he is man of vision. He is dedicated to a true Republic.

He is the author of “The Tea Party goes to Washington” but has been pilloried by Tea Party members, especially those who hold to fixed positions.

Since 2011 he has served as the junior Senator in Kentucky and a great measure of his success is in how he has forged a strong relationship with Mitch McConnell, his senior Senator. Earlier he also created good relations with Mitt Romney.

I have seen him show respect, make friends as needed, laugh and enjoy life, yet somehow never to lose sight of his core position, which is all about liberty and integrity and prosperity.

I love how on his holiday he goes out to help the needy with his skill as an eye surgeon.

He and McConnell make a great team and I am predicting that they will do great things together.

Ted Cruz
He is the darling of the Tea Party – the Senator from Texas. For a time he and Paul were at odds, but were able to resolve their differences.

Cruz fears too much legislating during the lame duck session will get the GOP in trouble.

What I think he is saying is that the GOP establishment have certain pet projects they want to force through e.g. The Internet Sales Tax.  This is a favorite cause of the corporate GOP lobbyists who want to jack up taxes on millions of Mom and Pop Internet retailers. Cruz can see that this helps big business at the expense of the little guy, and will cause more unemployment. He opposes this. Grandma likes the way he thinks.  She hopes the old guard in the party will be humble enough to heed his warning

Cruz is the Senate loud boy, and there is no denying that he has “candy appeal” and force and charisma, and these alone could propel him up and into the White House.

Although the GOP has now proven they can work together towards a common goal, the party is still divided between the older guard and the new idealists. So let me say it: this will be McConnell’s BIG challenge.  Will he be able to make a real, strong unified party not just at election time, but while governing during the lame duck session.   If he pulls it off he will go down in history as one of our very great statesmen.

It won’t be easy. He is going to have to fight big money; he will have to get big banking in line; he will also have to fight some international challenges.  With Reid gone the “Audit the Fed” is likely to pass, and this first audit is going to open up a can of worms. These will come crawling out and taint not just the next two years while he is in office as the leader but if not handled adeptly, much, much longer.  Yet this audit is long overdue, and should not be put off.  Handle it right and Mitch McConnell  is going to have his place in the sun..

There is a lot of money and energy and influence (and arrogance) in the old corrupt industrial order and some of this money and political influence is even found coming in from monopolies outside our borders.  It is going to take strong men to steer a straight course for the next two years, and after that we are going to need a VERY strong President to bring us through. So what is the actual meaning of this midterm election? It simply means that the GOP has at least reached first base.

Transparency International defines corruption as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.  There is still that in the old GOP guard, as there is in the old democratic order.

“The Sunlight Foundation reports three of the five biggest donors in 2014 are liberal billionaires. This does not take into account the unreported campaign cash, which the Center for Responsive Politics estimates is well over $100 million this year.  Thanks to the Supreme Court’s ruling in the 2010 Citizens United case, politically oriented nonprofits can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money without disclosing their finances to the Federal Election Commission.”

McConnell can expect that special  interests will fight to continue their unfair privilege. The success of the next two years will be measured in how well the GOP organizes and legislates to lift the party and the country out of the corruption of the old industrial order.

Preparing for the next President:
I endorse Rand Paul or president in 2016, because I look at how far he has come since entering the Senate in 2011.  We are going to need a president who can grow into the position

I like him because he never loses his fine principles (no mean skill)

He has demonstrated that he is no stranger to courage – remember  his filibuster on drones that altered the “Big Brother” conversation.

I like him for the very reason that he thinks big, includes everybody, has compassion, has excellent manners and has mastered the fine art of compromise.

So Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul and all the other fine, young republican Senators and Congressmen who have just had this big win, Grandma wishes you well.  You are a fine team, and you have now reached first base, no mean achievement. Now lets see if you can make a home run?

What of Hilary?

Grandma endorses Rand Paul but will she vote for him? Maybe yes and maybe no?

The big question is will our fine lady even run? Would you? If she runs there is every chance that she will win. Yet Grandma does not envy her, her decision.

She is likely to go up against Rand Paul (51)  Marc Rubio (43) or Ted Cruz (41) if she runs. She is 67 years old  and already 69 when she assumes office. Compared to them, although now a beautiful woman just past her prime,  she is likely to look seedy.

On the other hand, were she to run against the jowly Chris Christie she will shine out as the elegant and beautiful and wise woman that she has always been.  Then my choice gets simplified. I vote or Hilary and I vote for the establishment  I vote for Christie and I vote for the establishment. I won’t vote for the establishment so Grandma won’t vote at all.

A republican Congress, a Republican Senate and a Republican President could get a whole lot done, BUT ONLY  if the party were willing to police their own.  If not, the lovely lady has a very vital part to play, she will need to perform the valuable function of vetoing corrupt GOP legislation. Remember the bad Cheyney/Rove years? Was that not a bad time for independents and the nation? If the GOP old guard wins in their efforts to command the Republican party,  I would vote for Hilary.

So Grandma is carefully watching the new GOP Senate and its bigger little brother, Congress.

What she would really like to see is some legislation to stop commercial banks from investing our hard earned money. That is not their job. They are not investment banks. We give a bank our earnings trusting it to be safe with them. The job of a commercial bank is to take the deposits and invest it in their local community. It is the job of commercial banks to kick off local small business in their area, and in that way unemployment gets solved and the economy is given a boost. None of this Casino banking that is still destroying our nation; not for Grandma who understands how pernicious it is.

I will be watching to see if legislation like this comes forward before I cast my vote for Rand Paul (whom I like) rather than for Hilary.

Contrary to some predictions based on the demographics, I do think that the GOP will keep the House and the Senate after 2016. They have mounted a superb grassroots organization in the midterm elections. The only thing that could undo them is the conflict between the establishment and the liberty movement bursting out one more time; the other thing could undo them is if they fail to police corruption and not root out foreign influence.   Fail on either count and once again they will self destruct.

Hard choices: Is Hilary going to run? Toss a coin!

If she does she has a very good  chance of winning for she is supported on the left and also by many independents who like her courage and style.
However if she runs and becomes President she is going to have a really rough time before and after the election. It would be easier on a stronger and a younger man.

Grandma sees the outcome of the next election as actually Hilary’s call.

I actually think Hilary has the integrity to make he decision based on the greatest good.

Bill and Hilary Clinton cuddling baby Charlotte

Grandmother Hilary

She and Bill are doing great charity work; she is a grandma for heaven sakes. I would like to see her enjoy her golden years, but then this new House will have to prove themselves and do their job and a young man of courage and character will have to step up to the plate.

 Quote for the Week 

We are here because of grass-roots conservatives all over the place. That’s the way the democratic process is supposed to work. It’s not supposed to be a bunch of guys in a smoky room picking the next Senator.

Ted Cruz


When all Else Fails there always Welfare!

Socialism and Welfare (excerpt from Politics IOU)

The night was chilly when Spider and Ginsee arrived at the fast food restaurant. They had arrived early but their good friend Parker was there ahead of them  sitting on a rigid metal chair.

Parker was a wizard with wood; he could make anything with wood. In the better times he had made household knick-knacks, organizers and furniture, each unique piece more beautiful than the last.  Spider and Ginsee sometimes sold some of his exquisite wall planters and lamps at their art shows.  Since the crash with the cost of raw materials skyrocketing, had had to resort to making model airplanes which he sold to the military. As he said, “It’s  a living.”

“Can’t compete with the dollar on the dime store?” asked Spider.

“Don’t want to,” said Parker.

“Too tacky,” said Ginsee.

“Yep!” said Parker.

He had been hit harder than most by the Shadow County betrayal, losing many accounts; the only vendor who had had more county accounts taken was the hotheaded jeweler Noah who had lost 39 venues. Noah had been going into every little County facility that had ever existed.

”Where is Troy?” asked Ginsee.

”Let him go,” Spider looked up at Parker in sympathy. Troy was Parker’s long time helper.

 “Was it the insurance?”

“Yes that was the final straw.”

“How much does it cost to have a helper in these days?” asked Ginsee.

Probably time and a half.  If you pay a worker ten dollars an hour there is easily an extra  $5 (maybe more) for the government, the city, for the workman’s comp, for FUTA and and any other acronym the politicians and bureaucrats can dream up. And now with the Care Bill the small business man has to also to pay the medical. If the minimum wage is ten, maybe more than fifteen I don’t know Ginsee. It is obfuscated. It is all very confusing.”

“Yes that is what is so wrong.” said Ginsee. “Corkscrew promised transparency.I don’t see it.”

“Troy was a good worker,” said Parker.

“You been together a long time?”

“Yes. nearly twenty years.  I always paid him paid him more than minimum. The trouble is, what with only the planes making any kind of money . . . I would really have liked to keep him on, and I put off letting him go as long as I possibly could, but I honestly can’t afford him anymore. Heck I can hardly afford me right now. .  I really held on as long as I could, Spider.”

“I know you did.”

“I will miss Troy,” said Ginsee. She had been fond of him.

“What about you two, are you still going to do the shows?” asked Parker. He had changed the subject because he didn’t want to show just how much he also missed his helper.

“I won’t let Spider quit.”

“Do you need any help, parker” asked Spider.

“I‘ll get by.”

“Sticking?” asked Ginsee.

“It’s what I know and what I do best.”

Like Zafia and like Fred ( their framer) Ginsee knew that Parker would survive. He was an innovator. He was also a survivor. His products had been – well they were just uniquely beautiful and totally functional.

 “And what of Troy, is he going to be okay?” she asked.

“For now he is on welfare.”

‘Oh yes, when all else fails there is always welfare,” said Spider.

“Hey Spider!”

The Six Dollar Twins came waltzing through the door. Of all the vendors they were making the most of this strange economy. The twins rolled in eight display racks to their corporate shows, all filled with Six Dollar items.  They were supremely organized, upbeat and insouciant and so they were popular.

‘Hey Parker, you applied for food stamps yet?” asked Ben.

“What !!” blurted Ginsee.

“Gotta work the system,” said Ken, ‘the food-stamps don’t make up the shortfall from all the county crap but it sure helps. . . “

“You on food stamps?” asked Spider.


“I don’t think Spider is going to qualify,” said Ben.

“You make  more money than we do,” said Spider surprised.

“Ah but that is not how they see it. You gotta figure out the system and work it,” said Len.

“Parker would qualify, he lost more county accounts than we did.” suggested Ben

Parker was quiet. He would rather starve than go on welfare.

“Seriously Parker, every little bit helps.” said Len.

“It is not about pride, Parker, it is all about beating the system,” said his twin. “You either sock it to them or they sock it to you!”

Parker was silent.


 “Have you’all been to the Hospital Headquarters yet? You still go there?” asked Spider keeping the peace and changing the subject.  ”We are going there next week..”

”Be ready for a shock.”said Ben.

”Not another new manager?” asked Spider.

“Yep, third in a row, but this one decided to remodel the Cafeteria, “ said Ben “Now she allows us only two small tables way at the back of the room.”

“Oh no,”  said Parker “that isn’t going to work.”

“Go figure.”

“Is she also a mean one?” asked Ginsee thinking of Pearl and the volunteer strike.

“Yes” said Ben.

‘No,” said Len.

“Well which is she?” asked Ginsee

 “Well it is like this, she is not really mean, just socked into her own little world. Cafeteria looks real fancy but the truth is Ginsee, there is nobody goes there no more,”

“And I expect the room can’t be used for fundraising or meetings or classes any longer?”

“You got it.”

Spider sighed. So typical of the new breed of managers. Managers or employees for that matter, were no longer judged on their performance statistics. It was all about the image.

“So where did you sell, no way you can only use only two small tables with your set up?” asked Parker

“We went out on to the patio.”

“Better take string  Spider – that patio is breezy.” said Ginsee

“Did you make as much money as before?” asked Spider.

“You gotta be joking!”

“If I don’t as make any money there I am going to go apply for food stamps.” said Spider goading his little wifey.

“Over my dead body,” said Ginsee rising to the bait.

When all else fails there is always welfare.


“Hey Parker, what are you trying to do?” asked Len.

Parker was fiddling with the fast food restaurant’s table. “These things are bolted to the floor and I can’t move them together.” At the restaurant they had always taken over with four long tables and much revelry. One year there had been over fifty vendors attending.

I have some little folding tables in the van,” said Len, “shall I bring them out?”

“And I have some fancy lace table cloths!” said Ginsee entering into the spirit of the evening. Together the five old friends set about making the place festive despite all the setbacks.

”No liquor but they do have great coffee! Here taste this!”  Pleased by what Parker and Ginsee had created, Spider approached them with a tray full of coffee in paper cups. Only eleven people showed.

Next to join them was Nancy and Russel with a very sad tale to tell.

“We’re here but we ain’t in business no more. This is our last time, Spider!”

“You’re quitting?” Of all the vendors Ginsee had not expected this of them.

“We don’t have a choice, Ginsee, we no longer have any stock,” said Nancy.

“How so?”

“We got robbed.”


“Selling East in Shadow County and staying over in a motel.”

“Lots of agriculture there,” said Spider. “Rich place”

“Rich and poor!”

“It wasn’t good?”

”It was a disaster,” said Russel.


“In the morning I went out to get the trailer in the motel parking lot … “

Nancy interrupted him,” He came back with eyes as big as saucers. She mimicked his deep voice,  ‘The van is there but there ain’t no trailer!’ ”

“No trailer?”

 “They stole the trailer, sawed it off just before the lock.”

“ They took it all, Spider, fixtures, signs, easels, clothing racks and everything.”

‘That is just awful,” said Ginsee “Were you insured?”

’For the van, but not for the trailer and its contents. I guess that was silly, “said Nancy.

“Insurance had been going up and up. I just couldn’t keep up,” said Russel.

“What about the City police, couldn’t they help you?” asked Ben.

“The police, hah!” said Nancy. “Fat lot of use they were.”

fat cops

Russel went on, “You do know Spider that our clothing is original. We get the cloth and then Nancy prints her own designs. Only then do we make our own unique outfits. There is nothing else quite like what we sell on the market.” Nancy was an artist in her own right and Ginsee loved the dresses she had bought from her.

“I called the police and reached a helpful clerk. I explained to her I had done a photo shoot of all the products just the week before for a new catalog and I had digital pictures of everything that was stolen. The helpful clerk was able to put my photos on the city police intranet.”

“So of course they got your dresses back?” asked Ginsee.


”But all they would have to do is go to the street corners and swap meets on the weekend, find your dresses and that would lead them to the trailer?”

 “That’s exactly what I told them.”

Nancy called the policeman in charge of the case (theft of our trailer) “said Russel “After several failed efforts to reach him over a period of weeks, with us getting more agitated by the day, she finally got him on the phone only to be told nothing could be done.  He didn’t work on the weekend; he worked only Monday through Thursay.

“What!” Spider was flabbergasted.  To recover their stolen merchandise was an easy task, but the police had to be on to it almost immediately. A delay of a few weeks and the stuff could be shipped anywhere. Here was Nancy working 24/7 which she had done for over twenty years. She was an incredible artist but she also had a short leg so it couldn’t have been easy to go on doing shows.   “Did you ask to speak to a supervisor?”

“I talked to the Chief of Police. He told me he no longer dealt with stolen vehicles. They had closed the department”

“What is their tax rate?”

“Nine and a quarter, top tax rate,” said Ben.

“Go figure, “ said Spider.  “And what hours was the Chief working; did you think to ask him?”

“Yes,”  Russel gave a lopsided smile. “Their Chief of ol Police works Tuesday through Friday and he said he had not worked a weekend in his life.”

”Didn’t I read that that City is attempting bankruptcy?” asked Parker

“You heard right and we have decided to do the same,” said Russel.

“You are declaring bankruptcy?” asked Spider, appalled.

“We filed last week. We really had no choice.”

“What will you do to live?” asked Ginsee.

“I have a couple of months before I am eligible for Social Security, “ Russel answered, “ and we found out that with her short leg, Nancy can get disability.”

“And what about all your beautiful dresses?”  asked Ginsee

“All gone!” said Nancy cheerily.

When all else fails there is always Welfare.


They drank coffee together and ate hamburger and shared old stories.  Once upon a time they had shared goals and dreams at these events.

”Just one thing, where was Noah, I had expected him to at least be here,” asked Spider.

“You hadn’t heard?”

“Heard what?”

 “Noah’s is in jail. “

“Oh no,” said Spider, “what happened?”

 “He was out protesting in the park when the cops rounded them up. Don’t worry Spider he’s got a lawyer brother who will get him off. “said Parker.

”I don’t know, “said Spider slowly. “The rule of law is crumbling.” He was concerned.

”Poor Noah,” said Ginsee,” bet he was just protesting the County affair.”

 “Actually Noah was able to slip away, he was there for a short while but he wasn’t caught in the park,” said Parker.

“So how come he is in trouble?”

“It was that niece; you know the one he has been helping.”

“The one with no husband, but always getting pregnant?

“That one,” said Parker.  ”She ratted on him to the police.”

“After what he has done for her,” said Ginsee appalled.

 “How many kids now?”


“And still no husband?”

”Not a whiff of one.”

“Great welfare checks when you are a single parent,” said Parker

“Go figure?  And was this not the type of family strife typical of insipient socialism. .

When contraception fails there is always abortion or welfare.

Quote for the Week

God works in mysterious ways but at least he works, he’s never on welfare in a mysterious way.”  Stephen Colbert



Visas for Illegal Immigrants

What is wrong with the Senate Bill? 

In the middle of this contentious debate we need to remember that there are many wonderful things about the Latino Heritage. There is the music, and the dance, but most of all there is good Mexican food that has fully captured the American imagination.

latin lady dancing

                         Latino Culture 

That said, the rejected Senate Illegal Immigration Bill  falls short in five key areas:

It is too long and complex to gain our acceptance or trust. (Downsize DC has a great idea : One subject, one bill with its subject clearly stated in its title.)The taxpayer  has been fooled (many, many times) by hidden agendas and pork written into  long bills  What is needed is that Congress simplifies the legislative process and brings the final bill to under 550 pages – Congress really doesn’t have to please everybody with sub-clauses, exceptions can be sorted out later.  It just needs to satisfy “we the people”, AKA the majority, AKA  the taxpayer, AKA the electorate. For believe me it is the hot issue that will decide the 2016  election.  550 pages MAX!

In essence a winning solution keeps out the bad guys, lowers the cost and is compassionate and pragmatic.

Grave concerns about a Federal Work Database.Obama’s Bio-metric database will get linked to the ObamaCare and to other gazillian public benefit databases, like food stamps and childcare. Very soon the government  will know every last detail about our lives. The next step could be to tie Federal benefits to “Correct Thinking” as in George Orwell’s 1984. That is when we will have lost all liberty & privacy and embraced big brother.

It should be up to the States as to how they record and control permits for workers within their borders. Red states like Arizona should have the freedom  to implement stricter immigrant controls than do the blue states.

We are a nation ruled by laws: Illegal immigrants broke our law and need to be given a strong thinking adjustment so that they know that in this country illegal is just not the best way to go.  Fining is quick and dirty and unlikely to change bad habits. Could they get their hands dirty and do some community service to make up for all the problems they have given us?  Is five years community service enough to deter those here for teh gravy train? 

Latinos, for good or for bad, are breeding at a faster rate than Caucasians. This is actually something we need in America to return to prosperity.  The structure of our system is built around the idea that the young support the old with regards to funding of government projects and benefits.  Illegal immigrants came here for a better life and they are welcome, but they have to learn the work ethic and cultural ideas that made America more prosperous than Mexico. They have to let  go of third world ideas that have destroyed their own culture .and begin to embrace the American dream.


The problem with Latinos is that while they have a beautiful culture to share, they have a slow rate of assimilation.into the American lifestyle.  The reason for this slow assimilation could well be the language, there are enough of them that they are not forced by life to speak English.

The official language in America is English; it could be French or Spanish, but right now it is English and it is the language that holds the American heritage of freedom and our culture, our laws, our justice and our traditions. At the fast rate that our friends from the South are breeding, we are already on a fast track to become a multi-lingual nation. With our low job growth and our low GDP and our exorbitant debt, we need to seriously think of the cost to the nation of having more than one official language. Cost of official papers, translators, teachers and on and on. Right now we could give a boost to an ailing economy by mandating that all official and public writings are ONLY in English.  This rule should read that every immigrant has every right to speak whatever language they choose within the confines of their own home and their own social circle;however there should be only English spoken by public servants or shopkeepers and all official writings SHOULD BE IN ENGLISH ONLY.

Latinos  and all immigrants MUST learn the language but after a reasonable time if they cannot speak the language of the land, no more benefits and no more work permits. Before an Illegal immigrant is given a green card (whatever the other conditional requirements) the illegal immigrant should be able to demonstrate a comfortable proficiency in English.  It is not that English is better than Spanish. This is not a point of arrogance. It is a way to preserve what is good about the American culture and much of that is contained in the language.

Border security is paramount.
Once we bring this crisis situation back under the law, AND UNDER CONTROL we have to draw a line and look to the future.    It may not be as bad a situation as many fearful conservatives think. A friend does the books for a Mexican company that organizes coming out parties for young Mexican girls, so he knows the Mexican  culture.  He tells me that with the dipping of the economy both in Mexico and in America,  coming across the border is not as easy or as attractive as it was before; it simply costs too much.  The price has gone up for free passage with every new increase in border security and the new costs are already prohibitive even if the fence is not yet complete.

We simply have to secure and defend our borders against illegal immigration. The cost is too high.

A part of this would be to have the law state that no immigrants are eligible for benefits like food stamps or childcare until they have paid taxes and into Social Security for ten years. This will make it far less attractive for the freeloaders, those who come over to join Obama’s gravy train.

This is a problem in education. If they cannot learn our culture, our heritage and our work ethic they are not welcome in our land. If they can, we would love to have them.  Let’s not block out the able in the world who wish to join with us in creating a better life for all of us in America and want  to work really hard to get ahead.

Finding if they are willing to learn the language and to do community service to raise the standards in their own communities, would be a good way to see if they qualify.

Quote of the Week

“The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between political parties either – but right through every human heart.”

— Alexander Solzhenitsyn




 About the Author
Lynn Verhoeff (Grandma Thunder) has published two books, “Politics IOU” and “Magic Money” both on Kindle.  The first is satirical about banking and the second, examines the conflict of our times, Globalism vs Patiotism. You can read more at fb Grandma Thunder – an Independent Voice or Blog/Grandma Thunder  or  Free Books by Grandma

Obama’s Love Fest with the Latino Vote

Payback Time

Now Obama is the only president to ever secure a second term with a smaller percentage of the vote than in his first election. He got roughly 7.8 fewer million votes from whites, 1.6 million fewer voters from blacks, 1.8 million fewer votes from young voters, and four million fewer votes from women. In fact contrary to popular belief, fewer people voted in election 2012 than in any of the three previous elections.

So however did he win?

 Obama Latino supporter


What he did was shrewdly court and win the Latino vote

His share of the Latino votes rose a full 4 points to 71% giving him a full 700,000 plus additional votes from Latinos. Note this trend well; the nation’s Latino population has increased by 43% between 2000 and 2010.  One in four Americans now under the age of 18, is Latino.  The Obama-team played this demographic like maestros. Shoring up their base they were good, but on getting-out the Latino vote they were exceptional.

On getting out their loyal supporters and some independents they figured out that injustice is a great motivating force and this they used with panache. An advertisement called “537” was aired in swing states to tell the story of the 2000 Florida election where Bush won by only 537 votes. Correct election procedure mandates a recount when an election is close and if it is challenged, but this recount was disallowed by the Supreme Court. Bush got given Florida with 537 votes and he won the presidency and the course of history was changed.

So the Obama team decided that the 2012 election was payback time. It struck a chord with Democratic voters.

A big challenge in any presidential election is how to get out the vote. This is because half the people who have the privilege and the right to vote simply don’t bother and have to be corralled into doing their duty. In 2000 the born-again-Christian Bush used the churches to get out his vote.  He conquered voter apathy and won the election.

Now this voter apathy is particularly true in the Latino sector where many older citizens do not speak the language or understand the process. It is a natural disqualification that works well for democracy where the people deciding the final outcome should be educated and informed. I personally consider voter apathy a good thing. The future of a country should be determined by those who understand and those who care. There is the right to vote and then there is the responsibility to vote which ideally should be done by the person himself, without influence from others.

The Obama team in 2012 was able to get the Latino voters to emerge from their nooks and crannies, from down in the basement, out of trailers and one bedroom apartments, out of little houses with fifteen people crammed into two small rooms. How did Obama get them to come out in their thousands to the voter booths? There was a massive get-out-the vote campaign funded by such millionaires as George Soros where campaigners were paid only when they registered a Democratic voter.  Are they loyal democratic voters? Probably not, but they sure were willing to come out in their numbers to secure their food stamps.

In the five years that Obama has been in power his moral compass has been clearly expressed.  He does not necessarily elect his decisions based on what is best for the nation, but he will always return a favor.  You scratch his back and he will come through for you. So now he is determined to give his Latino supporters a colossal boost in their numbers.

Looking at what is best for the nation, or what is right, or what will perpetuate the democratic process, there is one big question that has to be asked about Election 2012. It is this:

How many of these illegal immigrants voted in election 2012 when they had no legal right to vote?  

I was going to let it go, admiring the political astuteness of the Obama team  and thinking his win in 2012 was well deserved.

It was by sheer chance that I happened on a conversation of four old seasoned veterans at the Veteran Hospital in Loma Linda in California They swore (laughing so hard they were nearly falling off their chairs) that Obama was trying to turn America into a degraded third world country.

“How so?” I asked.

“It’s all over the airwaves in Mexico. The campaign staff have been promising that if they come in and are helped to vote democrat illegally, in his next term, Obama is going to grant amnesty.”

“All they want is the food-stamps!” said a Vietnam vet.

“Oh come on!”  I was not convinced. I was not born American and there are many reasons why I love this adopted country.

“Is true!”

“I don’t believe it,” I said.

They all just laughed at me, their expressions telling me they thought me silly to expect honest elections. I could also see that they thought me horribly naive

Time for fact check.(Voter fraud 2012?)

I do not speak Spanish and have no way to check into what was on audio and TV in Mexico or even in the Latino community in the USA but I was able to find some facts out that lent credence to their story.

Dead people,micky and dogs voting

Voter Fraud  -oh my!!

Here are the facts I uncovered:

  • 12 Indiana counties have more registered voters than residents.
  • The Ohio Secretary of State admitted that multiple Ohio counties have more registered voters than residents.
  • Federal records show 160 counties in ten states have over 100 percent voter registration.
  • The Florida New Majority Education Fund, Democratic party of Florida, and the National Council of La Raza are currently under investigation for voter fraud.
  • It has been found that more than 24 million voter registrations are invalid yet they still remain on the rolls nation wide.
  • There are 1.8 million dead citizens that are still on the voter roll.
  • More than 2.75 million Americans are registered to vote in more than one state.

I have also been able to ascertain that as the illegal immigrant debate moves forward there is increased activity on our Southern borders, some illegals seeking asylum from as far South as Brazil.

I do encourage Congress to conducting a thorough investigation before illegal immigrants are given any benefits, or any kind of  blanket amnesty.

Quote for the Week

“Voting is the most precious right of every citizen, and we have a moral obligation to ensure the integrity of our voting process – Hillary Clinton




Our Constipated Economy – The Economic Scoop about Poop

From Grandma

Poop is not generally discussed in our daily conversation except (as now) when applied metaphorically to harsh and hard economic realities in a constipated economy. Dustin Hoffman once quipped that we know we are growing older when our conversation shifts from sex to our bowel movements.

A prosperous economy relies on a proper rate of distribution of goods and services; not too fast and not too slow. Being gassy, bloated, and generally uncomfortable is an indication of constipation. With all the hot air of the last election, all about the economy, with all that political pushing and straining, we find ourselves today no better off than before. We are left after the election with a whole lot of nothin’ – just hot smelly air.

get the runs

Could it be the FED?

Medicine has advanced to where it is possible to give a body a endoscopy to find out what is causing the blockage and the irregular bowel movements.  Sadly we do not enjoy the same transparency, the same facility to seek out the spiders in our economy. The house has passed a bill “Audit the Fed” which is being stopped/blocked in a Senate filled with old guard career politicians.

IIs it not the FED’s job to set the speed of the Economy?

One can compare the ideal flow of goods and services through a healthy economy to the optimum rate of food going through a body where nutrients are absorbed and the waste eliminated. The process is pretty much the same. We use the term “stopped up” when we get constipated. When we talk about the economy we prefer the term “the economy is sluggish” but in fact both words mean the same; both words mean a natural flow has been slowed or arrested.

Constipation can be caused by foreign elements like cancer, where growth has gone unchecked. The result is big, ugly, hard, blue-black stools that smell.

We find the equivalent in the economy where foreign spider-entities are going unchecked (as in too big to fail). When intervention is called for either in a colon, or in an economy, without establishing true facts, all that we can know is that there is a situation.

For a natural prosperity there should be a natural, regular flow of goods and services through the economy. Economic speed is slowed down by arbitrary decision points and by too many regulations. With a body or with the economy where there is arbitrary effort to hold back or hold on, or reward one sector at the cost of another, the system tends to break.

Kid on Pot with newspaper

Waiting out the bad situation

Our bowel movements are easier to solve than the American economy. Eliminator One (from Picture Lady Health and Beauty) is a fail-safe laxative. It rehabilitates your colon, and puts the muscles of your bowels back into proper action, and it works every time.

With regards the economy we simple folk, too small to succeed, dig in and figure out how to wait out what may in fact be a long, but contrived recession.

Quote of the Week
Tough times never last, but tough people do. – Robert H Schuller

old woman walking on water.

From Grandma 4/24/13

Is America the Greatest Country in the World?

The first step to solving a problem is recognizing there is one.

Why did Forbes Magazine put Stockton at the top of its “most miserable cities” for two years in a row?

The Broken City of Stockton

The Broken City of Stockton

Stockton is home to the University of the Pacific, where jazz artist Dave Brubeck once studied; it is situated in the Central California Valley, with a strong agricultural economy in what has been called the nation’s most productive agricultural region; Stockton even has a thriving port built on a channel that comes inland from San Francisco Bay. It has locally owned banks that didn’t give out loans to people who couldn’t pay them back, and these banks even remained solvent all through the downturn. With all that is positive going for it, why is Stockton a broken city and why is it on the verge of bankruptcy?

There are those in the city trying to declare bankruptcy. In the Private Sector when a company goes bankrupt it can wriggle out of not only its its debt, but its pension obligations and perhaps this looks like an attractive option. Up until now municipalities have not been able to o this but Stockton spends $30 million a year to pay its pension liabilities, money going to workers who are now long gone.

What concerns Grandma is that it is the Taxpayers that are expected to fund this liability.

Here is a true story:

In late 2008 Grandma & Grandpa were visiting Stockton for a mobile gallery staying overnight at a motel. In the new morning Grandpa returned to the motel room with his eyes as big as saucers.  “The van is there,” he said, “but the trailer has gone.”  Criminals had cut the trailer from the van and stolen it in the early hours of the morning.

Grandma asks you to look at  Stockton as the microcosm that represents the macrocosm that is America today.  Is what is ruining America a strange kind of mindset that demands something for nothing?

The Picture Lady Home Products in the trailer were unique and couldn’t be found in Stockton. This had been established by survey.  Then, too, all the products had been photographed there was a full (in color) photographic record of the inventory in the stolen trailer. It should have been easy for the police (if they were doing their job) to locate the stolen goods. Grandma with the help of a friendly clerk had these photos put on the police Intranet.

Then she called the supervisor in charge of the case (theft of the trailer)

The supervisor didn’t bother to call back.  After several failed efforts to reach him, she finally got him on the phone. . Explaining the situation, she told him all he had to do was  go to the swap meets on the weekend where it would be easy to identify the stolen product – it was after all different.   This would lead him to the stolen trailer and the criminal.

“Can’t be done,” said the supervisor.

Grandma’s eyes narrowed “and why not?”

“I don’t work on the weekend.”

“Excuse me!”

Grandma was flabbergasted.  She was in the private sector working 24/7 which she had done for twenty years. She was also over seventy years old.

“I work only Monday through Thursday,” he said smugly.

So Grandma contacted the Stockton chief of police hoping that he would get his junior to do his job.

“I am so sorry I can’t help you,” said the chief. His tone indicated he was not sorry.

“You don’t have anybody handling stolen goods.”

“Not any more, Mam., they had to close the department,” he said. “Taxes are down.” It was a make wrong.

She was close to tears. Losing all that inventory was likely to close her business down.

She asked just one last question,” “As a matter of interest, what are your hours Sir? I have been trying to reach you also for a couple of weeks.”  (Not much luck, for she knew that after all this delay the inventory would be long gone)

“You can always reach me but only on a Tuesday to Friday,” he said smugly.  “I also don’t work on the weekend.”

City employees have a cushy job that is funded by the taxpayers contributions and they have this while they are working, but it gets even better after they retire. Municipal pensions are typically 50% or more of the salary they were earning when working. The average pension paid out per ex city worker per year (including those working for much less than a full career) is a generous $31,653; and then they also get Social Security after age 65.

Grandma tells this story because she wants you to see the similarity to the nation. With a lot still so much that is positive going for it, why is America on the verge of bankruptcy?  Is it the free-loaders that are taking America down? It seems to Grandma that the rich and the idle poor now both live off the efforts of the middle class producers.  Of even bigger concern is how long we and our children will enjoy freedom if too many of us have lost the will to work?

Take three minutes out of your busy life and watch this video: 


 Quote of the Week

“The first challenge to solving a problem is recognizing there is one.” Carla Sequist


About Money in Medicine

This post is for you from Grandma

This post is for you from Grandma

She wants you to read this giggle story on the sister blog, the Creative Homemaker

The cost of medications had skyrocketed until they reached a level higher than what the average man could pay. Big Pharma had decided that they would have to find someone to pick up the exorbitant tab. When electronics also entered into the field of medicine with its expensive diagnostic machines, one after another hospital (all in deep fiscal trouble) began to fail. All over the nation (and especially in Health Care) the numbers just weren’t adding up.

Costs had to be slashed and the day had come when austerity even reached the Department of Volunteers. . . .

The Day the Volunteers went on Strike

The Day the Volunteers went on Strike

Quote for the Week

The art of medicine is in amusing a patient while nature affects the cure. Voltaire


What is Christmas?

You can read about the origins of Christmas at our sister blog, the Creative Homemaker and the origins of Santa at Picture Lady Home Products where you will find the story in the News and Blogs section.  .

Christmas tree

Merry Christmas

Grandpa and I write these posts because it provides a common reality, giving us much pleasure. The Creative Homemaker blog presents ideas and products to get your life back into the comfort zone.

We have much fun with the Grandma Thunder and the Griping Grandpa blog. True data is out there, but sometimes hidden under a world of spin, and hard to find. We seek it out so that you can be well informed. We then strive to make the bad unserious – our intent is to bring understanding and a smile or two.

Happy New Year

Turn of the year Quote for the Year

“Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government; whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them right.” – Thomas Jefferson, 1789

This post is for you from Grandma

Illegal Immigration

Could this powder keg, always just waiting to go off, destroy America?


I am going to take you on a visit with an imaginary neighbor family. They have three children, all of school going age. The mother is a Special Education teacher and a Democrat, while the father also teaches, but his specialty is Math and he is and has always been a Republican. Did you say she’s a Democrat and he is Republican, are you sure?

Well did you know that Janna Ryan, wife of Mitt Romney’s running mate in the 2012 election was a Liberal Democrat when she met her husband? And did you know that first lady Laura Bush was also once a registered Democrat before marrying George W. Bush? And of course you did know that the infamous former California Republican Governor endorsed John McCain, in 2008, while his then-wife Maria Shriver was a strident Obama supporter?

Let me introduce you to this couple: Her name is Abigail and he is Noah. They have been together for fifteen years, two years longer than the age of their oldest child Troy who has just turned thirteen. On this day when we check in on them, they are sitting at an old kitchen table. Abbey has just made her husband apple/cinnamon pancakes, his favorite. She has also just discovered that if she brews their favorite Columbian coffee and pours it over a long glass of ice cubes and then throws in an Irish cream at the top, it is a summer treat par excellence!

“I have been thinking about the recent GOP opposition to illegal immigrants,” she says.. “I think it is going to cost the GOP the election. I think Obama is too shrewd to buck the Latinos.”

“And you want the Democrats to win?”

‘Of course, but more than that, I want to see a good, stable solution.”

“I thought you favored controlling illegal immigration,” said Noah.

He was surprised by her remark. Her sister from Australia had come to the USA and the immigration process had taken five years and cost his sister-in-law $8,000 in lawyer’s fees. The family had often discussed the Mexican problem, eleven million entering and now living illegally.

“My viewpoint has been shifting since I have been teaching Special Ed,” said Abbey. “A lot of my kids are from illegal families, and some have been in the country as long as seventeen years. So what to do with them now? Pluck them up and send them back to Mexico? Maybe we should not have given the parents driver’s licenses and education and benefits, when the kids first went to school, but those were the good years. We could afford the largess.”

“The problem is we can’t afford it now,” said Noah, “We can’t carry passengers when our own people are struggling.”

“I understand, but America has invested in these people. Noah I really see them as Americans. They see themselves as Americans. We have invested years of work in these children.”

Noah was listening to her intently. “Do you have a solution?” he asks.

“Yes I actually think I do,” she says


“It’s like this Noah. Do you remember our discussion in the teacher’s lounge about school rules? Dr. Fowler made the very good point that there is no purpose to creating a rule that cannot be enforced. That is just asking for trouble.”

“And a good point that is,” says Noah.

“Well applying that to the illegal immigrants I just don’t think it is feasible to send eleven million people back over the border.”

“True – and your point’?

“Well, what if the President were to declare an amnesty?”

“Would that be fair to people who came in legally, like your sister?”


“I don’t like the idea of immigrants starting off in our country thinking it okay to break the law, Abbey,” says Noah.

“Agreed. So, listen up Noah, what if there were an amnesty but it includes that they have to learn the language and do five or more years of community service?”

“You know I think you are on to something.”

‘Yes, they would do the community work among their own people and that would raise the level of the areas where they live.”

“I like it,” said Noah.

“Should I email Obama about this?”

“You do that. Tell him though, that it applies only to illegal immigrants living in America at this time.”

“And the new ones?”

“They should come with job skills or enough money to start a business and they should  have learned the language before they come.”

“Isn’t that a bit arrogant, forcing them learn our language?”

“English is our national language and I don’t care it could be Spanish, but it happens to be English. We want just one official language. Costs of translating are enormous and this is a money that can better be spent on education. If immigrants want to come to America for the good life, it is probably a good idea to force them to show their colors. Will they contribute after they arrive or be a burden?”

“I see what you are saying,” Abbey said.

She smiled to herself as she drafted her email.  There were some things about Republicans where she did agree. Mostly they had a good handle on the economy.

Just look at it, together they had come up with a really good solution, or that was what she thought. Would Obama agree? She wondered if he was going to be able to get Republicans and Democrats to work together in Washington.

Everywhere she went these days she was seeing Blacks arm-in-arm with Latinos or Caucasians. America was leading the world in Ethnic Diversity. What about Political Diversity? Wouldn’t that be a good PR campaign? PR was the true American Way.

The country needed both viewpoints, Democratic and Republican. Abbey decided that listening to each other without interrupting was the trick; listening and understanding the viewpoint and the message. Even if she didn’t agree with it. They were Americans and America supported Diversity.

old woman walking on water.

A blog post from Grandma Thunder

Quote for the Day

We will never stop illegal immigration until this country has a comprehensive, realistic immigration policy – Ruben Hinojosa 



pumpkin with leaves

Grandma Thunder wishes you a warm and wonderful holiday!
May you have sunshine all day and you take care to stay out of the rain and the thunder!

She wants to share with you a picture of a wild turkey seen in the neighbors yard.  Amazing isn’t it? You would think we live in the boondocks?

Yes we do!.

Wild Turkey in neighbors yard

Happy Turkey Day!

She wonders if you also know that every holiday we write a special holiday story which is published on our sister blog “The Creative Homemaker” 

You can also and always go there to read about Grandchildren-Pranks, Sassy-Sibling-Stories, Home Decorating Tips,  Volunteering, Health & Wellness and  in depth stories about the holidays. 

Happy Reading!

Griping Grandpa wishes you Happy Thanksgiving and
may the force be with you!

old man pointing

Quote for the Week 

No One Diets on Thanksgiving!
What we’re really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?

Erma Bombeck,

Ayn Rand

Has Ayn Rand been good for America?

lady in rain

Grandma Thunder 

We now have a Republican Vice President-elect who is into Ayn Rand.
Once we had a Federal Reserve Chairman who was also (heavily) into Ayn Rand. Greenspan worked with Clinton and they took away Glass Steagall, which is all that separated investment banking from consumer banking and our great country from an economic melt-down.  Greenspan was again in power under H.W. Bush, blamed for our mountain of debt, and banks too big to fail.

Is there a connection bewtween Greenspan’s Ayn Rand philosophy and his actions?

Once I went to University,  a beautiful campus in Southern Africa perched on a high hill overlooking th Durban Bay.  Flowering shrubs tumbled down the hill until reaching the water and the  colored sail boats, all with their spectacular balloon sails bending to the wind – a truly beautiful place.

sailboats in wind

Durban Bay

I was studying psychology. The little lecturer had shaky hands and a wobbly voice.  A primary tenet of Psychology is that the world and others are stronger than we, and we needed to adapt and to be conditioned just like the rats we were studying.

Did Ayn Rand change me, yes she did.  I quit psychology at the end of the year and graduated after four years in Education, Communications and Theater.

As I read at the back of that lecture hall, I discovered that Ayn saw ‘Man’ as a noble creature responsible for the world around him and I liked that idea better than what I was being taught.  Her ‘Man’ was creative and able and honorable and deserving. He could change the world and make it work better for him and for others.

Much later as a small business owner and crucified by bureaucratic regulations and taxes, it was because I had read Ayn Rand, that I knew I did not owe the world a living.  I would work (like Atlas who shrugged) to shed my shackles.  If I worked hard and staid legal I could keep the fruits of my labor. I saw (still see) no need to carry passengers.  I do not owe the world my ability. I resent that others want to tax me for their medical bills. man holding up the world

Atlas Shrugged

 Let’s bring this full circle.

What Ayn Rand means by Capitalism is the full, pure uncontrolled and unregulated Laissez Faire capitalism,  When Clinton (as advised possibly by Greenspan) set the economy free it zinged and we all profited from the increased speed of the unregulated distribution of goods and services. They made a few mistakes: They failed to differentiate between correct regulation and shackles.

Since Ayn passed in the early eighties, there has been a whole new digital revolution and we live in a global world wrought with inequalities. We remain a collection of nations with our trade and financial transactions flowing freely across state borders.  The regulations and use of dictatorial force in other nations (like China keeping its currency value low) adversely affects free competition and gives them an advantage. Our Government needs to protect us from such.

One day we will be able to put in a free, market economy across the world but we are a long way from that right now. So gentle regulations to protect America are indicated.until we are able to craft a constitutionally free world government.  My estimation bringing real freedom to the world will take all of the current century. We need a good government in America to hold the line lest all of our wealth trickles out and goes to the rest of the world or world dictatorship is ushered in. Good idea to also shed the burdens foisted on us. Why do we pay out so much in foreign aid when we are hurting? Why all the military bases across the planet?

Free market politicians (men of good will)  need to also look at their responsibility to regulate the banking and pharmaceutical sectors, for neither is productive. First step bring in transparency. I see that as a valid function of government.

So when Greenspan and Clinton and G.W. Bush attempted Laissez Faire Capitalism there were some good effects for us but you have to see and know that it also bombed. We can trace the sub prime catastrophe directly to a failure to know when and how to regulate and when not to. In the same way we can trace the ‘banks too big to fail’ back to permitting a collapse of consumer and investment banking in upon each other, to the very same government malaise and it all could come back to  Ayn Rand thinking.

So I really hope that Paul Ryan gets to read my blog.

If you decide to read her, know that Ayn Rand wrote for the story and you will have a good time.  I loved her characters and I loved her plots  I sat there in the last row of the psychology class oblivious to the lessons going on around me.  I would read from dawn to way pastmidnight. Like Greenspan I was hooked.  Like Greenspan I am grateful she came into my life for I could have ended up teaching psychology and having my students craft paper airplanes and shoot them down on me instead of on to a shaky man with his little wobbly voice who was hooked on rats and wanted me to adjust to my environment.  I chose to stand tall and to help to change the world. it is decision we all should make and reading Ayn rand can help.

So here is a message for Paul Ryan, (if you get to speak to him) and also for Rand Paul; please know that it is now a whole new electronic, digital world and that needs to be factored into the Ayn Rand equation.

 Quote of the Week

“Free Competition Enforced by Law”
A grotesque contradiction in terms.Ayn Rand