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Insightful observations from 1955
Written by Byron McNutt   
Saturday, June 07, 2014 8:00 PM

If you’re at least 60 years-old, you need to share the following with your kids and grandkids. These are comments made by folks in the mid-1950s and are in stark contrast with how we live today.

Sure, times have changed. Young folks today can’t imagine how their grandparents and great-grandparents, recovering from WWII and the Korean War, could possibly live and support a family while earning less than $100 a week.

There is a movement today about raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, or as high as $15 per hour. Well, back in 1955, the federal minimum wage was raised from 75 cents per hour to $1 per hour on August 12.

I’ve heard people say they think they had more discretionary money and buying power 40 years ago than they have today. They made much less per week but they could buy the things they needed and still have money left over. Not the case today.

What happened? Everything has been supersized. We had limited options back then and we were more able to get along with smaller expectations.

In the 1950s, if you were fortunate to have a television, you probably got three channels, and they were free. No one dreamed that one day we’d pay for programming. If you had a telephone, it was on a party line. Probably cost less than $3 per month. Needy families only had toilet paper on Fridays!

Okay, here’s a list of comments made in 1955, just 59 years ago. After you’ve read them, make a list of things true today that might seem just as outrageous just 20 years from now.

- I’ll tell you one thing, if things keep going the way they are, it’s going to be impossible to buy a week’s groceries for $20.

- Have you seen the new cars coming out next year? It won’t be long before $2,000 will only buy a used one.

- If cigarettes keep going up in price, I’m going to be forced to quit smoking. A quarter a pack is ridiculous.

- Did you hear, the post office is thinking about charging a dime just to mail a letter!

- If they raise the minimum wage to $1, nobody will be able to hire outside help at the store.

- When I first started driving, who would have thought gas would someday cost 29 cents a gallon. Guess we’d be better off leaving the car in the garage.

- Those duck tail hair cuts are horrible. Next thing you know boys will be wearing their hair as long as the girls.

 
Eating Michelle’s lunch
Written by Kathleen Parker   
Saturday, June 07, 2014 8:00 PM | Updated ( Sunday, June 08, 2014 7:08 PM )

WASHINGTON — To hear tell, the mean ol’ GOP is waging war on Michelle Obama and, brace yourself, America’s children.

Got it?

The newest war on women/children relates to the first lady’s well-intentioned but disastrous school nutrition program, otherwise known as the Dumpster Derby.

First to good intentions:

Kudos to Obama for recognizing and trying to address childhood obesity. If you think health care is expensive now, wait until these little human pillows reach adulthood and then, assuming their hearts hold out, advanced age. Assuming, too, that our bottom-line bureaucrats haven’t begun recycling high-maintenance humans by then. Might want to keep an eye on the Soylent Green market.

No, I’m not suggesting death panels. I’m employing hyperbole in the service of a point, the necessary clarification of which highlights our mind-numbing politics and our nation’s diminishing sentience.

The first lady’s “Let’s Move!” program and her focus on whole foods (as opposed to fast) and water instead of sodas have been welcome developments. Who better to bring needed attention to such issues? Obama is merely expanding her maternal focus to include all those public school kids whose mothers apparently have forgotten how to make a sandwich. Or whose fathers have forgotten to say, “Get those plugs out of your ears and make friends with the lawn mower” — or whatever its urban comparable.

 
Strive to make a difference
Written by Byron McNutt   
Saturday, May 31, 2014 8:00 PM | Updated ( Friday, May 30, 2014 8:50 PM )

Another school year is drawing to a close. In the next few weeks there will be words of wisdom offered to this year’s graduates.

Parents, teachers and representatives from all walks of life will provide encouragement as these young men and women take their place in the world.

At a few universities, graduating seniors used social media to protest against a few proposed commencement speakers that ardent activists didn’t want at their respective schools for political reasons. Several speakers decided not to appear where they were not welcome.

Getting the hook were such noteworthy graduation-day speakers as former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Christine Lagarde of France, the first woman to head the International Monetary Fund.

Seems strange that students who treasure free speech and robust debate would use their new-found social media powers to disrupt a rite of spring.

Here are some words of wisdom handed down through the ages that are good for people of all ages:

- Teach a child to choose the right path, and when he is older he will remain upon it. The wise man is glad to be instructed. Making poor excuses makes us weak; making tough decisions makes us strong. We usually make a mistake when we make an excuse.

- Cheerfulness is the Golden Rule in action; kindness is the essence of love in action. A cheerful heart is good medicine; a broken spirit causes one to be ill.

- Losers look for excuses; winners search for answers. And, diligent study and intelligent work contain the maps to discovery, the charts to achievement and the blueprints for success.

- The loser misses opportunities by whining, pining, declining and reclining. The winner makes opportunities by going, sowing, growing and knowing.

- The only thing heavier than carrying a chip on our shoulder is carrying a grudge in our heart. And, enthusiasm and confidence fuel the fires of achievement.

- The highway to happiness is helpfulness; the pathway to peace is prayer; and the gateway to gladness is generosity. And, we create our tomorrows hour by hour; we mold our futures moment by moment, day by day.

 
It’s just the beginning
Written by Nancy Spencer   
Saturday, May 31, 2014 8:00 PM

The end of another school year is upon us. Classes have been taking field trips and enjoying the spoils of a year of hard work. Then, there are finals. Time to prove you were paying attention.

Anxious seniors are ready to don their caps and gowns and make that last walk before the next phase of their lives begin. I don’t know about anyone else but I took a quick peek at my diploma to make sure it was signed. I wasn’t worried, I just wanted to make sure.

For those who loved high school, it may be bittersweet. They’ve thrown themselves into activities and athletics and made the most of the time they spent there. Friends will be going different directions.

For those who would prefer to stay because they’re not sure about their next step, hitch up those britches. It’s time to move on. Everything has an order and you’re only supposed to do high school for four years. Then you have to do something else. Sorry.

For those who found high school a little less than they thought it should be, trust me, there is life after. It’s just something we all have to do so we can transition to the next level, whatever that may be. I think you’ll find there is a lot more ahead of you than you’ve left behind.

Life is contradictory. We think we know everything about everything and in reality, we know jack. That’s why you need to pay attention in high school. Get all the ammunition you can to face the world when it’s over no matter what path you choose.

Now it’s time for real life. I’m sorry to inform you that high school was the easy part. You are about to find out that what defined you as a high school student doesn’t mean a thing out here in the real world.

Here is an excerpt from the book “Dumbing Down our Kids” by educator Charles Sykes. I find it enlightening.

Rule 1

Life is not fair - get used to it.

Rule 2

The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself.

 
Seniors beware: Proposed Medicare changes can limit access to life-saving health care
Written by Terry O'Toole   
Friday, May 30, 2014 8:00 PM | Updated ( Friday, May 30, 2014 8:48 PM )

BY DR. TERRY O’TOOLE

Chair, Insurance Subcommittee

Ohio Gastroenterology Society

Gastroenterologists are physicians who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the digestive system. We treat patients with life-threatening illnesses, including colorectal cancer, which is the third leading cause of cancer and cancer related deaths in the United States.

The risk of developing colorectal cancer significantly increases in patients 50 years and older. This means that Medicare eligible patients are much more susceptible to this cancer. Early detection through colonoscopy screening is an effective tool in decreasing the death rates from colorectal cancer. If colorectal cancer is detected, curative surgical resection can improve survival rates. More advanced colorectal cancers will require the use of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.

Even though early detection and better treatments have reduced the death rates from colorectal cancer, this progress is in jeopardy because federal lawmakers have plans to cut Medicare reimbursement rates for a wide range of therapies, including cancer treatments. If enacted, these cuts could leave thousands of Ohio patients without sufficient access to the life-saving treatments they need. Cuts already in place have meant that many community cancer clinics are not recouping their costs to purchase and administer chemotherapy drugs. Additional cuts will only make the situation worse.

Since 2003, doctors who administer these sophisticated treatments purchased the medications and were reimbursed according to the average sale price (ASP) of each drug plus another six percent. Because these medications are difficult to ship, store and require office staff to administer, the six percent add-on was intended to cover those costs. Generally, it did – but just barely.

 
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