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This is my new blog where I'll be sharing my commentary on news and issues, posting background links, posting my newspaper columns and giving you in writing what I've been sharing with you verbally on my radio and TV talk show for decades. Please visit often, comment and share my blog. Again, WELCOME!

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Back To School; At Home

**As it appeared in the Kettering-Oakwood Times and other Times Community Newspapers**

I remember it was a very hot summer day, much like the ones we are experiencing now. It was sometime in the mid 1990s. I had been out in the heat much of the day and needed air conditioning and a cold drink. I found both. After sipping the ice cold water and getting comfortable in my seat I tuned out all around me and the next thing I knew it was time to head back out into the oven. I suppose the only bad thing about my siesta was that it happened during a very boring, but mandatory, continuing education class for real estate sales. I hope I didn’t snore.

I have been a licensed real estate agent since 1992. I am still licensed but I haven’t been practicing since 1999. I do keep up on real estate trends and practices just in case I get the urge again. I loved real estate sales. And most of the continuing education classes were not as boring as the one I slept through, but they were always inconvenient. I had to block out three hours (plus travel time) here, or four hours there and was locked into that classroom for the entire time. If I missed something the instructor covered, that was just too bad. I needed some way to take my thirty hours, every three years, do it when it was convenient for me and actually get something out of spending my time in the class. Well, I found it this go-around for my license renewal.

I had wondered for some time just how comprehensive, well-planned and convenient education on line would be. I discovered that a real estate salesperson could take some, or their entire CE block on line. I checked online for the best reviewed, most affordable, asked former colleagues and ended up with McKissock Professional Education. McKissock offers a multitude of online courses for real estate professionals. But would I really learn from the classes I took on my computer? You see, some folks in careers requiring continuing education just go through the motions. I have always valued my time and wanted whatever I do to be more than just spinning my wheels.

I loved it! I could go through the classes at my own pace. I could go back over material that I thought was especially important and deserved another look. I didn’t have to listen to self-aggrandizement of instructors in a classroom, or hear their same bad jokes over and over again. I could work a little on a course after supper and pick it up again after watching “Letterman” (without getting dressed). The courses were set up by highly trained and skilled pros who know the business and the course layout seriously makes you feel it was set up just for you.

I can’t speak for all online university or continuing education courses. But I can tell you that at least for my profession, McKissock is the total package and I will, and already have recommended it to my friends in the business. I hope whatever training or education you seek online works out as well as mine did. And for those Realtors weighing the difference of classroom versus online, for me online wins hands down. McKissock can be contacted at http://www.mckissock.com or if you prefer to call, the number is 1-800-328-2008.

By the way, if you need a mid-summer afternoon nap, there are more refreshing ways to get that sleep than sitting through a class on radon gas!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Where Have All The Real Leaders Gone?

Don't take this as a lack of support of Mitt Romney or anybody else BUT, isn't it a shame that in a nation of 300 million folks, we usually have to end up "settling" for a candidate we elect? There's no absolute leader who is above reproach and transcends politics to standout as an obvious leader of the greatest nation on the planet, and hasn't been for some time. Is the gene pool of greatness THAT shallow in America? Join me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mikescintoshow

Penn State Report-Shut them down!

If this report is true, anything that has Joe Paterno's name on it needs to be renamed. His family needs to be stripped of everything and EVERYBODY at Penn State who can be proven to have covered up needs to be locked away for life! Penn State needs to be booted from the Big 10 and in fact if they shut the alleged child rape mill down, it would be fine with me. I feel bad for the students who had nothing to do with it, but this place needs to be sanitized........and NOW!

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Elderly Drivers

I had to take my mother's and father's drivers licenses away. In the case of my mother, in her 80s, she ran her car into a ditch and got a ticket. I went to the court and suggested they make her take a driving test as part of her sentence/fine. She knew she couldn't pass it. In the case of my father in his mid-70s his sight was failing, but he insisted he was okay to drive. I had his doctor tell him if he didn't have an eye check he'd send a notice to the BMV. He gave up his license. They were both very mad at me for a while....but that's fine. I say that because as Boomers get older, I am seeing a whole LOT of folks who have NO BUSINESS behind the wheel. A little old lady going 20 mph on a highway was just one today. Most family members either don't want to, or can't bring themselves to challenge their family members. I suggest that we have a law that says when you hit age 65, and every year thereafter, you have to take a physical driving test to keep your license.....and more than just around the block. We are living longer and seniors don't want to give up their cars, but in many cases they don't belong on the road; and may not even know it!
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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

From the Kettering-Oakwood Times and other Times Community Newspapers

There’s been, and will continue to be, much chatter about the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare. We’re in the middle of one of the most contentious Presidential campaigns I can remember. Record numbers of Americans are still without gainful employment. Gas prices are still on their roller coaster ride. Your home may not be worth anywhere near what you hoped it would be at this stage in your life. And the new reality is most of us will be working into our 70s. Those issues can really get us down thinking about them. While they are critical, one fact remains indisputable in my eyes; this is still the greatest nation on this planet!

We just celebrated our freedom, our pride and our unwavering love for this great republic. Independence Day is the one day each year we need to put all our complaints, dislikes and disagreements about “the system” on hold and just focus on this; the very fact that we can express our differences sets us apart from most of the billions who share this planet with us.

No matter the challenges we face, we will survive them. No matter how gloomy a new law or ruling seems, our lives are still amazingly better than others around the world.

So as you took in the fireworks displays, grilled out in the back yard or went for a cooling dip in the pool I hope you took a moment to thank God that you were fortunate enough to be born in a nation (or have adopted this nation) where freedom is the cornerstone on which all else that makes us great is built and sustained.

This is our Independence Day, and my prayer is that the generations that follow will appreciate, and fully comprehend, the sacrifice and love poured out by so many who came before them. Those are the sacrifices that allow those very freedoms, which so many from other nations can only find in their dreams. The hope is they will also realize July 4th is more than a day to check out a 4th of July furniture sale. God Bless this great United States of America!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Obamacare: Round Two

From the Kettering-Oakwood Times and other Times Community Newspapers

There are many conservatives angry at the SCOTUS ruling on Obamacare. Many of those same conservatives feel Chief Justice John Roberts, in “siding with” the liberal arm of Court, betrayed those who felt he was a sound conservative voice. There are also liberals pointing to the decision as vindication for Barack Obama and the Democrats who pushed for “affordable health care”. I share neither of those viewpoints.

While the decision and the law are complex, the future of the legislation is far from decided. This case boiled down to Justice Roberts saying to the American people that the method of forcing citizens to buy health insurance, and fining them if they don’t, may in fact be unconstitutional, but change what it’s called and that doesn’t mean Uncle Sam can’t take it out of the taxpayers’ other pocket instead.

The decision in a nutshell said Americans can’t be fined for not buying health insurance but there is nothing unconstitutional about shafting Americans through a federal tax. Despite the fact that Obama and his henchmen repeatedly stated that the individual mandate was not a tax, Roberts pointed out that’s exactly what it is. And under our Constitution, that’s just fine as long as it is acknowledged it is a tax and collected by the IRS (which is hiring 16,000 new agents to do just that).

What Roberts alluded to in his majority opinion was that if we don’t like how this was shoved down our throats, we (the voters) need to remedy that through our elected officials, not through a challenge in the courts. Several comments in the decision suggested to me that Roberts was telling us that we allowed this to happen, and we have to fix it.

In coming months I will be looking much deeper into the issue of Obamacare and what it really means to us; and for us. I actually believe there are aspects of the plan that are good. I think most would agree the pre-existing condition exclusion issue needed to be addressed. And I think allowing “children” up to age 26 to be covered by Mom and Dad is a good idea. But beyond that, we’re trying to rebuild the entire system to address several issues that could be fixed by tweaking.

I firmly believe, as others do, this President, who has shown he loves big government, wants that same government to be in complete control of one of the most important aspects of our lives; our health care. And this is the first step toward that end.

I ask you this; can you name a single government-run activity or program that has been successful? The government can’t control its own budget or manage its own infrastructure. Funding for its very operation is allowed to lapse as political battles rage on. Corrupt and inept officials are allowed to continue running operations that affect us all. And you believe government can do a better job of handing your health care? You’d better believe it or your IRS bill will go up on April 15th!

This summary of Obamacare was attributed to Donald Trump. I have no way of knowing if he actually said it, but I bet if he didn’t, he wishes he had:

We’re going to be “gifted” with a health care plan we are forced to purchase and taxed if we don’t, which purportedly covers ten million more people, without adding a single new doctor, but provides for 16,000 new IRS agents, written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn’t understand it, passed by a Congress that didn’t read it, signed by a President who smokes, with funding administered by a Treasury Chief who didn’t pay his taxes, for which we’ll be taxed for four years before any benefits take effect, by a government which is heading toward bankrupting Social Security and Medicare, all to be overseen by a surgeon general who would be considered obese and financed by a country that’s broke.

More to come…..

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Warning: Reading This Could Make You Sick

From the Kettering-Oakwood Times and other Times Community Newspapers

We’re living in an age where a new miracle drug for this disease, or that condition, is coming on the market every week or so. If you can hang on long enough with your ailment, there’ll be one for yours. It would be great if it stopped there. But the reality is, that’s only the beginning; of a scary and strange ride.

I truly believe every second commercial on prime time TV is for a law firm suggesting you might have a large bag of money coming if you ever took one of those drugs. The ads promoting the healing, curative qualities of the same medicine dominated the airwaves just a few months earlier. Now a law firm based in Houston, St. Louis or Dallas is telling us that if we took this highly promising medicine, we could have a substantial reward coming.

It doesn’t matter that the FDA approved the medicine. It seems irrelevant that 98% of the folks taking it did actually get better. The vocal 2%, accompanied by their ambulance-chasing, money-grubbing, litigation-happy legal hounds ruin it for the successful cases. If you’ve paid any attention to drug commercials of late, nearly 2/3 of the time allotted to the ad lists the potential issues you could face, up to and including heart failure and death. It isn’t kept secret. And when you pick up the meds at the pharmacy, the warnings continue in the volumes of literature attached to the pill bottle.

Who knows how many possible cures are out there in the wings but the manufacturers (and their lawyers) are gun-shy; and for good reason. Who really suffers as a result? It’s that 98% who could benefit without issue.

I’m not sure I have a remedy for this. It’s merely an observation. It just seems ironic that as medicine advances so much and so fast, those providing the healing meds are almost viewed as criminals.

For my two cents, perhaps “loser pay” in litigation and doing away with contingency fees and working on straight fees might offer a first step in getting this runaway suit-happy society under control. I roll the dice every time I take an aspirin or an antacid. I know that and accept the risk. If I’m in the small fraction of the population that has an adverse reaction, I don’t believe that gives me the right to steal from the manufacturer simply because there was a risk. After all, they did tell me about it.

I would be angrier if a cure or relief for a condition existed but I didn’t receive it because of the fear of litigation against the pharmaceutical company, or the doctor. As with so many other things today in our society we need to accept responsibility for our own choices and realize we don’t have compensation coming just because the choice we made fell in that 2% of problems. It’s just the way things go. As the bumper sticker says (cleaned up for family reading) “STUFF HAPPENS”.

I need to go take a Tylenol. Thinking about this is giving me a headache!