2013 Here We Come!

I haven’t blogged for a while; the news just seems to go from bad to worse.happy-new-year-2013-wallpapers-hd-03 Our president got re-elected and then promptly amps up the regulations and refuses to budge on any budget issues.  It truly seems he wants our economy to fail.  Maybe the plan is that he then gets to come in and save the day and look like a hero?  Who knows.

Troubling issue #1: the fact that many companies that hold strong religious beliefs that are counter to new Obama Care laws may be forced to go against those beliefs anyway!  Hobby Lobby, a Christian owned company has stated that they are determined to not institute the portion of the health care law that requires them to offer abortion inducing drugs to their employees.  Catholic schools and business are in similar predicaments.  Their request for an injunction has failed and they will face massive fines each day if they do not comply.

First Amendment—states that “Congress shall make no law that respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

Troubling issue #2: Is our Second Amendment right to bear arms about to get trampled on too?  The rash of recent mass shootings has people all over our country calling for tough gun laws and even outright bans in some cases. How short-sighted can everyone be.  The people who are intent on doing evil will obtain whatever weapon they want, regardless of any law!   Taking guns out of law abiding citizens weakens our nation to no end.  Now, I don’t particularly like guns, but I know historically what has happened in countries where strict gun laws and even confiscation has occurred.  Nazi Germany and Mussolini’s Italy are good examples. Gun confiscation paved the way for the evil tyranny and the inability for the general populace to stand up for themselves.

[Note: One New York newspaper is even publishing the names and information on legal gun owners!]

Troubling issue #3: Is our horrible economy.  It continues to surprise me that the famed “Consumer Confidence” ratings show any confidence by consumers – at all.  For some strange reason the general population of the United States believes everything is going pretty OK, maybe not great, but OK.  Well, in 2002, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicted 7.4% U.S. debt of GDP in 2012.  Guess what?  It is over 74%!  That is absolutely unsustainable.  When will people wake up and see that we are in serious trouble?  Check out the analysis by James Pethokoukis here from the Public Policy blog of AEIdeas.

We hear about this “Fiscal Cliff” which apparently is going to hit our country in January.  Neither the Congress, nor our President can seem to negotiate any kind of deal to put together a plan that strikes a balance between cuts and tax hikes.  It is all about which side wins.  That means none of us win.

There are more issues; I think of them everyday.  But here are just a few to start out our new year.

In spite of these issues, I’m personally excited about 2013.  Except for a bout of the flu these last two weeks, my health has been fantastic.  My job has been challenging, but stable.  Hubby is back to work and the finances are in great shape.  Our plan to spend more time alone together is set in motion as of yesterday.  We put money down on a beautiful Motorhome (owned by his boss) that we will take possession of probably around May/June, just in time for summer.  I’m excited to take weekends away and explore our beautiful state. We will plan a nice long vacation in 2014 and take my dad with us; I’m thinking Yellowstone, or maybe back to Bryce Canyon.  We loved the scenery and hiking when we were there in 2011.

So, Happy New Year everyone! 



Is There a Storm Brewing?

ID-10039226It has only been a month since I read in the Seattle Times that housing prices here in the Northwest were finally starting to climb again and then we get hit with more bad news.  It seems not a day goes by when I don’t see some economist or another stating dire predictions for Europe and the Euro and the ramifications for us here in the U.S.  It’s a global economy now, so all that impacts us whether we like it or not.

We see things like: the stock market has taken hits these last few months after looking better earlier in the year and overall consumer confidence is down (see article here).  Just today, employment/unemployment numbers came out and the U.S. job situation took a big hit with lower than expected jobs created in May.  Jon Talton, a writer for the Seattle Times states, “With the decline in labor-force participation, the unemployment rate badly underestimates joblessness” and that "average hours and weekly wages fell.” These job numbers resulted in stocks plummeting – yet again.  It seems it is bad news, bad news, and more bad news. 

Are we in for a triple dip recession?  Did we ever come out of the one we’ve been in? I don’t think so.

So what am I going to do about it?  I’m going to continue my quest to become more self sufficient. I like what Phil Burns called “standard of living insurance” in his Five Principle of Preparedness article. He says, “we can provide our families with the assurance that we will be able to maintain a certain standard of living.  This standard of living is dictated by the level of preparedness we are able to achieve and maintain.” He reminds us all that we have house insurance, car insurance, life insurance, health insurance and other types of insurance to help us get by when something ill befalls us.  But have you thought about food, water, electricity, and other bare necessities if something occurs to disrupt the supply of those crucial items?  As Phil says, “a hedge against calamity”. It doesn’t even have to be a economic, natural or other type of disaster even.  What if there were a job loss, or someone got ill and couldn’t work to the point it impacted your ability to purchase these necessities?  Being prepared is a lifestyle choice not many people make; however, I urge anyone reading this to consider stocking up on essentials. 

Our modern world has seen us become a nation of people who live week to week off of what we can buy in a store.  That, my friends, is not being prepared.

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