Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Things You Should Know

We received a call late yesterday afternoon to come to the hospital as soon as possible. My brother-in-law (hubs brother) was in the midst of a heart attack. Back about 6 months ago he had open heart surgury and hadn't been doing well, so it was no big surprise. I was as concerned for Robert as I was for Kenneth. Robert and his brothers are very close. By the time we got there he'd been admitted and was up in ICU. As it turned out he wasn't having a heart attack but he had fluid build-up around his heart so they started him on some kind of medication and did the ususal medical things they do. He was awake and didn't seem to much worse for the wear. They allowed us to stay in the room with him for awhile. Which was good because it gave Robert a chance to see that he was okay.
While there we got to talking about the sad state of hospitals, doctors, and eventually politics. Their family are all big republicans and strong Bush people. I was expecting I'd have to bite my tounge for once and keep my opinions to myself. After all I didn't want to kill the man. So, you can imagine my shock when he looked over at me and said "Looks like you were right about Bush." To say I damn near fell out of my chair is an understatement! But I was cool. I mean the man was not in the best condition and he might be having some kind of breakdown or something. I didn't want to push the wrong button. I just looked at him real calm like and said "Why Kenneth, what do you mean?" He says "Well this mess with Social Security sure has me disappointed with him." Oh, people you have no idea how I wanted to jump up and start ashoutin and asingin! That I didn't is a testament to my raising as a fine southern woman. I was downright respectful and polite, as we discussed the ups and downs of the idea of an overhaul of Social Security. Now keep in mind that Kenneth and Wanda (yep his wife is a Wanda too) are both past the 55 year age limit, so no matter what happens it won't adversely affect them too much. But these are two really pissed off and upset people. I wasn't surprised to discover they don't really know what's going on, but like most people in that age range they don't want ANYBODY messing with Social Security. Even though I was tempted to let my political bias slip into the conversation, I didn't.
The reason I mention this is, that as we sat with them, quite a few of their friends drifted in an out, and of course everyone had an opinion. Not one of them was happy about the situation but none of them had any facts to back up their feelings. After I got home I got to thinking, "I'd bet most people really don't understand what is going on and don't know what to think". So, I did a little research and thought I'd share it with anyone who wants to try and understand a little better what is being proposed. I found an excellent article on the Time magazine website that I think will help put things into perspective. The article is not biased for or against the idea, it simply explains what is being proposed and how it will affect older and younger people. If your interested you can find it here...
The 4% Solution ... .

You will have to give it a few seconds (or minutes, depending on if your on dial-up or dsl) to load, but it's well worth reading. At least you will know more about what is going on and how it will (or won't) affect you. Most of us here will be affected in one way or another. Which makes this a vital issue and we all should take some time and do a little research of our own.

My posting may be spotty over the next few days. If they send him (the brother-in-law) to Montgomery or Birmingham I will have to go along with Robert. As you all know his (Robert aka the hubs) health is not all that great and I consider it my responsibility as his wife to stand by him in times like this. Ya'll hold the fort down ya hear!

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