GCTP Newsletters – September – December, 2016

 
Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter October 1, 2016

THE FIRST “GREAT” DEBATE 

I may lose a few friends with this weeks comments but I hope not.  This is my opinion piece so I assume you expect to get my honest opinions and comments. So here goes.

The best part of Monday night’s debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was the pre-debate party at Tom Wilkin’s Five Star Theater in downtown Hot Springs. Close to one hundred patriots met an hour before the debate for fellowship, food, drink and encouragement. It’s always great to be with like-minded individuals.

We began with prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance and Susan Wilkins beautifully singing the Star Spangled Banner. This was followed by our own Jan Morgan who spoke to those gatheredabout the upcoming debate and the candidates. As always, her words were encouraging and full of wisdom.
 

As for the debate itself, I was personally disappointed and often bored.

I really didn’t hear anything new or different from either candidate. Same old, same old. Trump’s first thirty minutes were excellent but then he got baited and didn’t seem to know how to get the hook out of his mouth. He seemed fairly unprepared to succinctly answer questions he must have known he would get asked (his taxes, about women, his original position on the Iraq war, etc.). He had such great opportunities to intelligently answer questions about his past but he seemed unable or unprepared to do so effectively.

She on the other hand seemed smug and dismissive. Her positions consisted of her chronic talking points of progressive leftist ideas. Her only way to fix problems were to take from some and give to others. Free this (i.e. – college tuition) and free that. She wants profit sharing in corporations. (Is she willing to say that if a corporation is losing money, all the profit sharers will equally decrease their salaries and benefits. I doubt it.) She got away with saying her mail server was a just a mistake. Where was Lester Holt to press her on that as he did so many times on Donald’s statements? Where was Donald’s full court press about this major issue?

I am writing this on Wednesday evening. No polls have come out yet so we don’t know if any or many minds were changed. I personally think the debate was a draw with possibly a slight advantage to Clinton but the change will be small. Most undecided voters are still undecided. By the time I send this email Saturday there will have been scientific polls that are due to come out on Friday. I will see if I predicted accurately. I’ll let you know

*****Friday’s Fox poll has Hillary gaining about 2% over Trump due to the debate.*****

So, now we’re off to the 2nd debate on Sunday, October 9th. Tom is again going to host a debate party at the Five Star Theater. We will learn in the next debate whether either candidate learned anything from the 1st debate. Hopefully, there will be more excitement and something worth the time we spend watching the candidates. Please come join us for another great evening together.   

 

“FOR TRUTH, JUSTICE AND
THE AMERICAN WAY,” 

 
I remain
 

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter September 24, 2016

THE MAKE IT OR BREAK IT DEBATE

I believe September 26th, 2016 will be the next pivotal day in American history. Some readers may think I am exaggerating but I don’t think so. It is the day of the first Presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. It has been estimated that up to a hundred million Americans (people) will watch the debate. Who wins this debate may likely determine who will win the Presidential election on Tuesday, November 8th. And who wins this Presidential election will determine the direction of the United States of America for decades. Why? It’s because of the next president’s ability to choose between 2-4 Supreme Court Justices. We all know that if Hillary wins, these justices will lean liberal/progressive and then the court will interpret the Constitution in ways our Founding Fathers never intended.

Of course, the first debate could end in essentially a draw with neither candidate coming out the winner. It is then that the next two debates could become extremely important.

So, the most obvious hope I have is that Donald Trump does not make a fool of himself by being vindictive, angry, childish, bullying or falling for traps that Hillary will spring on him. I pray he will come across as winsome (one of my favorite and rarely used words to describe someone – to be sweetly or innocently charming, engaging) yet still presidential.

My hope for Hillary is that she will come across as who she is: dull, boring, energy less, angry, secretive and dishonest. As one who has no actual plans to help the poor come out of poverty and one who has no ideas of how to make America more prosperous. She will show to the audience that her only ideas are to redistribute the wealth of those who have worked hard to achieve success and give it to those who have not. Her name should be Hillary “Robin Hood” Clinton.

But my greatest hope for Donald Trump is that he will be able to dispel much of the lies and propaganda that Hillary and company have been accusing him of being.

Maybe for the first time, many Americans will actually hear what Donald has to say, from his own mouth, rather than from a political ad, from the liberal media or from Hillary. They will see him as someone who is not racist as they claim but just the opposite. He has no documented history of any racial bias He is someone who deeply wants African-Americans and Hispanics and all Americans to succeed because they have the jobs here in America, which can lift them out of poverty and governmental dependence.

Trump wants desperately to stop allowing countries throughout the world to take advantage of the goodness of America. He wants to improve foreign trade deals by renegotiating them and to stop financial aid to countries that hate us. He will then use the money saved to help our veterans receive the care they deserve, improve infrastructure and to help poor Americans rather than illegal immigrants and unvetted refugees. He wants to put America and Americans first; not the rest of the world.

My hope is he will be seen as a candidate who doesn’t just give lip service to women’s rights and equality but actually, by his actions, has lived it. By knowing his hiring practices of women year after year for executive positions in his companies, he has lived out this belief in equality.

During the debate, it will be obvious to those watching, that he is not willing to be Politically Correct when it comes to Islamic Terrorism and dealing with countries such as Iran, North Korea and even Russia and China. It’s time for America to stop acting like dummies and to start using good old fashioned “Common Sense.” To return to deep seated American values that have been progressively eroded.

He will prove to the audience that his goal is to really “Make America Great Again.”

My prayer and yours should be that on Monday night, Donald Trump will convince millions upon millions of Americans that he is best choice to be the next President of the United States.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 
Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter September 17, 2016
 
HOMONYMOUS HEMIANOPSIA

I need to have a little fun today with all of you because this political season has almost driven me, and I suspect most of you, to near depression (or even severe depression).It surely has driven most of us to insanity. Why else would sane people keep yelling at the television screen as if those who were pontificating could actually hear us?
So, I hope these two words above have grabbed your attention. Many of you probably saw these two words and went, “What the ____????”Let me give you some background. I’m reading the letters to the editor in the Sentinel Record today (and everyday) and watching Fox News and CNN and I’m just shaking my head at the one sidedness of so many of the writers and speakers, if not most. They seem to only want to attack the candidate or political party or ideology of the opposite side. They never, ever seem to acknowledge any errors and problems of their own side. Sorry to say, this seems to be prevalent from those on both the Right and the Left. My personal prejudice makes me believe it is much more prevalent on the Left. I’m sure they believe we are even guiltier of this selective vision.Now remember, I’m a physician and think like one. Suddenly, the words Homonymous Hemianopsia just pops into my head to explain this phenomenon.  The medical definition or explanation of these two words is:Homonymous hemianopsia is the total loss of half of the field of view on the same side in both eyes. It occurs frequently in stroke and traumatic brain injuries due to the way part of the optic nerve fibers from each eye crossover as they pass to the back of the brain.   You can’t see either to the left or to the right depending on where the brain injury has occurred. The person’s vision looks like this:

It strikes me; both sides have this medical condition but just not equally. We have lost half of our field of vision and only see the faults of the other side and can’t see problems with our side. In many patients, they are unaware of this loss of vision as it is in politics. Medically, this is irreversible. Not so politically. We all could do better.Now please don’t over think what I just said. I personally remain fully dedicated to our conservative, Constitutional, freedom loving beliefs and positions. It’s just that I see it as problematic when everything becomes simplistic and black and white with no shades of gray.
In this election, I am proud that we on the conservative Right have honestly expressed some misgivings about Donald Trump or even the Establishment Republican Party (i.e. – so we’re not totally blind on our side) while still supporting him and most Republicans to be our candidate for President and other offices.But, on the Left, the Progressives seem to be totally blind to the innumerable faults of their candidate, Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party. It’s as if she or the Party have never made a mistake or lied about anything. For Obama to say, “Hillary is the most qualified candidate who ever has run for the Presidency” proves my point. For the left to totally deny any major problems with Benghazi, Libya, the Russian “Reset.” or that her private server for her emails put America’s Top Secrets in jeopardy show their one sided blindness. Or what about how the Democratic National Convention treated Bernie Sanders while doing all it could to choose Hillary. Talk about total blindness (loss of vision) on their part towards their own.So, Homonymous Hemianopsia is my explanation for this political illness. I don’t know if I’ve made my case. Perhaps you’re still saying, “What the ____????”
 
“FOR TRUTH, JUSTICE AND
THE AMERICAN WAY,” 
 
I remain
 

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter September 10, 2016

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man

                                     William Shakespeare
Let’s me start by saying that I never, ever understood or liked the writings of Shakespeare but a few of his quotes do make sense to me such as the two above.

I wish to focus on the second quote above.  “TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE – THEN YOU CAN’T BE FALSE TO ANY MAN (PERSON).” Probably one of the hardest things anyone can do is to be objective about themselves or a group with whom they are associated. The following is my analysis of the Tea Party using “to thine own self be true.”

I am the Chairman of the Garland County Tea Party. I write a weekly opinion piece in our newsletter and often write Letters to the Editor in the Hot Springs Sentinel Record newspaper. As such, I get accused and often attacked (as do many in the Tea Party) for my (our) opinions and political beliefs. I literally am shocked by the vile and vindictive accusations hurled at me and the Tea Party in general  by the liberal, progressive left media and by individuals.

Can I (we) possible be as evil as they say? I surely hope not. My comments will now be about those who comprise the Tea Party of which I am just one.

How often has the mainstream, liberal media proclaimed that the Tea Party is racist? That it is just a modern day Ku Klux Clan. So many times that I want to scream. If we were just a bunch of “White Supremacists” then how come one of the founders of the Tea Party Patriots was Mark Meckler; a Jew. And that my own Tea Party has had Diane Silverman and me (Jack Sternberg), both Jewish, as their chairperson. Plus, I have now been associated with the Tea Party for over four years. I literally have never heard what I consider to be a racist comment against any group or people. I have never heard the “N” word uttered. If anything, we bemoan the fact that we have been unable to find or attract conservative African-Americans or Latinos in any numbers. We so desire to have them be part of us.

We’re accused of xenophobia (intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries). How ridiculous but it sounds so true to those who don’t know us. Just because we believe in the rule of law(s) and are against illegal immigration or unvetted refugees, that doesn’t mean we are against people from other countries. We just insist they come here legally (as all of our ancestors did), that we are safe in who we allow to enter America and that they want to assimilate into our culture rather than transform America into their failed cultures.

We’re accused of Islamophobia. That’s nonsense!  We don’t hate Muslims. But like any other sane person (which doesn’t seem to include the far left), we are fearful (that’s the phobia part) of that group of Muslims who believe in fundamental Islam which has led them to Jihad and terrorism against all infidels (those who don’t believe exactly as they do – Christians, Jews, other Muslim sects, others religions and those who have no religious affiliation).

I could go on and on about the lefts’ accusations about us but let me just end with the accusation of the Tea Party being uncaring towards the poor. Nothing could be further from the truth. We care deeply about those who are unable to care for themselves and believe they deserve a “safety net.” But we differ with progressives on the best way to help those who are capable, yet in poverty. On Labor day, last weekend, I saw this quote from John D. Rockefeller, “I believe in the dignity of labor, whether with head or hand; that the world owes no one a living but that it owes everyone an opportunity to make a living.” We believe the best way out of poverty is with an education that teaches usable skills and the opportunity to work. We believe everyone should pull the wagon rather than just sit in the wagon being pulled by others.

The progressive left loves to label us (and they do such a good job of it) with false claims. That is their standard approach. To them, the truth is irrelevant as long as the lie advances their agenda. They have learned from Lenin who said, “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”

So, as I have tried to be introspective, have I been “true to myself?” I guess you will have to be my (our) judge.

“FOR TRUTH, JUSTICE AND
THE AMERICAN WAY,”
I remain


Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 
Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter September 3, 2016
 
GET READY!!
GET SET!!
                    GO!!
 
 

The race is on to the election.

It’s now September. Labor Day is Monday. For all intents and purposes, summer is over and normal life is resuming.

And so it is with the Garland County Tea Party. I hope you all have had a wonderful summer. I know we all needed a break.  I hope you have missed meeting together, fellowshipping and sharing ideas as much as I have.

I know for sure those in the Tea Party are avid political fans (junkies) so we have not been bored without anything to hear, watch and read. The slugfest between Trump and Clinton continues unabated. We are probably only round 8 of a 15 round fight. There will be many more political ads and political speeches but the chance for a knockout punch may occur during the three upcoming candidate debates. I can’t imagine missing those nights.

But, closer to home, it’s time to resume our weekly Wednesday Garland County Tea Party lunch meetings. We need to interact with one another. We need to stimulate one another. As the bible says, “Iron Sharpens Iron” and honestly,  I’ve been getting a little dull and rusty. I need you back in my life. I need your input, enthusiasm, wisdom and ideas. I can’t continue to pull this wagon without your help.

We as a Tea Party need to get reinvigorated and again turn out in numbers that can influence elections and decisions. I saw the enthusiasm at the Arkansas Tea Party Alliance convention. I want to see it again in Garland County. And I’m counting on YOU!!

We have an important City Director election in November. We need to get to know the new conservative candidates running for office. If they ask, we need to help them any way we can.

Our first weekly meeting starts this Wednesday. Please return in great numbers and show Garland County that we still have strength in numbers and our conservative, patriotic ideology.

“For Truth, Justice and the American Way.”

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 
Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter August 27, 2016
 
FREE SENIOR HEALTH CARE?

           

Some weeks I deviate from sending out an opinion blog because I just find some information or topic that I think is educational. I occasionally come across an article that confirms a thought that I have had for a while. The actual article can be found below after my thoughts on the subject.
 
Many of us who have reached 65 years old are now on Medicare. Many do not really understand Medicare and its costs.
 
Essentially all working Americans have paid into Medicare all their working life (FICA – 1.45% of earnings – no limit on yearly income the is taxed as with Social Security) so they can then get “free” healthcare after they retire. But, Medicare is far from free. Part A Medicare is free, but Part B and Part D are not. In some ways, it feels free because it is automatically taken out of your Social Security check so you monthly receive a smaller amount than you’re entitled to receive. You don’t feel as if you’re paying anything since you don’t personally write a monthly check to Medicare.
 
In 2016, after a $166 yearly deductible, all Medicare recipients pay a minimum of $122/month (and up to $390/month if you have a large, yearly Modified Adjusted Gross Income – MAGI). In addition, the premium for the Medicare Prescription Part D plan is also automatically deducted from your Social Security check. Monthly it is a minimum of $13 (but can be up to $73/month based on your income – MAGI).
 
But, we’re not done. Since Medicare B only pays 80% of the Medicare approved amount, most people buy a supplemental policy to pay the remaining 20%. This on average costs about $160/month.  In addition, you must buy a prescription drug plan which has a yearly deductible and then on average a $30-$40/month fee. Finally, each time you get your drug prescription, you pay again based upon the Tier of the drug (generic vs. non-generic).
 
So, this “free” Medicare is minimally $122 + $13 +$160 + $30 = $325/month/person; for a couple, $650/month. Which minimally works out to $7800/year.  And this doesn’t include the cost of the actual prescriptions each person receives.   So here’s the shock.  A couple can expect to pay out at today’s prices (which we all know will rise), about $250,000 during their retirement years for their health care costs – their FREE Medicare for which they already paid in over a lifetime.  The article below further explains this..
 
So, are you now depressed??? 

 
Retirees Need $130,000 Just to Cover Health Care, Study Finds  – Bloomberg News.

Today’s 65-year-olds can expect to spend an average of $130,000 on health care during their retirement, from premiums to co-payments to eyeglasses, according to new estimates.
The average single 65-year-old woman can expect to need $135,000 to spend on health care in retirement, while a man will spend $125,000, according to estimates

Such insurance offers protection against expenses so huge that they can bankrupt even upper-middle-class retirees, forcing them to spend their assets and go on Medicaid, the insurance program for low-income Americans—which, unlike Medicare, does cover long-term care. Still, long-term care insurance isn’t the right option for everyone, cautioned Adam Stavisky, senior vice president of benefits consulting at Fidelity. Some retirees simply can’t afford such high premiums, while wealthier retirees might be better off setting aside money for long-term care expenses, in case they ari
The estimates also don’t include long-term care, the sometimes-astronomical costs of home health care or nursing homes that aren’t covered by Medicare. Long-term care insurance is available but expensive; although premiums vary greatly, Fidelity estimated that a retired couple would need to pay an additional $130,000 for a policy offering an inflation-adjusted $8,000 per month for long-term care over three years. (It did not examine the cost of a policy for a single person.)

Fidelity’s estimates, based on an analysis of Medicare’s claims database and trends in survey data, assume that retirees are eligible for Medicare and try to capture all the costs it doesn’t cover—including premiums, co-payments, and things Medicare doesn’t pay for, such as hearing and vision exams. But the estimates are only averages, and people’s costs can vary widely, according to where they live and how healthy they are.

Prime culprits in accelerating health expenses are prescription drugs, especially high-priced specialty drugs, Fidelity says. And as the economy recovers, retirees are using more health care, driving up costs.

Every year, Fidelity estimates how much it will cost for today’s average 65-year-olds to cover health-care expenses for the rest of their lives if they retire now. For a while, it looked as if health care costs were holding steady, but Fidelity this year says couples need to set aside a record $260,000 for Medicare premiums and all other out-of-pocket medical costs—up 6 percent from last year and 18 percent from 2014. (The difference is because the woman is expected to live longer—an additional 22 years, vs. 20 years more for the man.)


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-16/retirees-need-130-000-just-to-cover-health-care-study-finds


Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party
 
 
Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter August 20, 2016
 2ND ANNUALARKANSAS TEA PARTRY ALLIANCE CONVENTION IS HISTORY

It’s time for me to confess to you all.  I was really worried whether the 2nd Annual Convention would be a success. I wasn’t concerned about the hotel venue. I knew from last year it was more than adequate. Neither was I concerned about the quality of the speakers who were scheduled. I knew this years speakers would be terrific .I worried about what the attendance would be. How many people would actually attend and give up an entire Saturday. My concerns arose from what all Tea Party groups in Arkansas have been  experiencing for months. Attendance at their weekly and monthly meetings was way down as were individual enthusiasm levels.

So, it was with a sense of relief that I discovered the day before the convention that over 230 people had already registered to attend. Actually, more than last year. And over 260 actually attended.

The excitement and

enthusiasm in the room was palpable. We were all blessed to hear David Barton, Jan Morgan, Dan Wos and Iverson Jackson They truly inspired us to continue to fight for our country’s liberty, freedoms and way of life. Their presentations confirmed our country’s origins and what has led to our national prosperity and exceptionalism. These presentations were based on facts, not opinions. There was no room for political correctness; only truth. We also heard from U.S. Senator Boozeman and U.S. Representatives French Hill and Bruce Westerman.In between presentations, there were innumerable breakout teaching sessions from various patriotic groups that reinforced all that we had heard and gave us new vision for the future. We all also had the opportunity to personally meet with many of our state Senators and Representatives.

I left the convention with an enhanced hope for our country’s future and am re-energized to keep fighting the good fight along with all of you.

I have repeatedly re-quoted the old Superman TV program’s beginning since I believe it defines us. We are for:

“TRUTH, JUSTICE AND THE AMERICAN WAY”
 

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party