Christmas 2011 — Birth of a New Tradition

I seem to be on some kind of patriotic jag this week, so in the spirit, here is something new.  Most of it was gleaned from an interesting email I received recently, but it makes sense, so I cleaned it up some and I am passing it on.

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods — merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor.

This year we have the opportunity to do something quite different. This Christmas Americans can give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands.

It’s time to think outside the box, people.

Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?  Everyone — yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber?  Gym membership?  It’s appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.  Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plunking down your hard earned dead president’s (cash) on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

Speaking for myself, I sure would, sign me up!

There are a host of owner-run restaurants — all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn’t the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint.  Remember, folks this isn’t about big National chains — this is about supporting your home town Americans with their financial lives on the line desperately trying to keep their doors open.  It is time, high time, to bring the business “back” to the places that will do us the most good, Hometown America … or as they say here … The Heartland.

How many people couldn’t use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?  Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.  My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.

Okay, you were looking for something

a tad bit more personal. 

Gotcha.

Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.  I have a local craftsman right now, that is building me two jewelry boxes, one for the wife and one for the grand-daughter.  You could do the same.  Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice generous tip.  And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theater.  Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas should no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city.

So besides celebrating your Religious Holiday as you have done for most of your life, you have a new deal this year.  Worship the baby and then do something good for your country.  Christmas is now (starting today) about caring about your country, The United States.  It is time to start encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn’t imagine.

This year make THIS the new

American Christmas tradition.

Do a copy-cut-paste on this and then forward this to everyone on your mailing list — post it to discussion groups — throw up a post on Craigslist in the Rants and Raves section in your city — send it to the editor of your local paper and radio stations, and TV news departments.  Take a small piece of plastic shaped in the image of piece of fruit (something like a banana) and stick it on your refrigerator just to remind you every now and then!

And remember … This is a movement of caring about and for each other, isn’t that what Christmas is about?  The really neat thing about this is you don’t have to drive to Wall Street to spread the message and in the end … when they tally the numbers … they will have received the message.  All you have to do is make a conscious decision to spend your money here at home.

Like Staples is fond of saying  … That was Easy.*

OOO

* Kudo’s to Jimmy Wo for the article idea and email.

Didja Feel It … Didja huh …

Oklahoma had some nice sized earthquakes this weekend, one of them above 5.0 on the Richter scale, which means some of the stuff on the shelf, is now on the floor.  We seem to be having them kind of regular now. Never thought of this part of the country as Earthquake Central, but it has happened before. (We had one just last year around this time)

While we are on the subject?

The strongest recorded quake in the history of the United States was just up the road from here in a little place called New Madrid, Missouri.

A earthquake so strong that sections of the Mississippi River ran backwards for a time, and it rang church bells in Boston over 800 miles away.  This earthquake over the weekend was reported to have been felt as far away as Ohio.  Not bad, that is certainly Eastbound and Down in my book.  If you want more info on the New Madrid quake please use the link below.

You can find more information on it here.

I would even venture to predict that there will be even more of them in the future.  Why?  Because everyone who ever made a dime in the oil business is out and about, punching holes in the Oklahoma prairie in search of the black gold elixir that America runs on …. Oil and Natural Gas.  They are frac’ing(sp) the earth with huge amounts of drilling mud, and ocean’s of water in search of this mineral.  Sooner or later, something is going to have to give.  This might just be the start of it.  Here is another link to a website that has some good information on this also:  SFSK8Girl has posted an interesting link to drilling and frac’ing.

Now on top of living in the Worst Weather Capitol of the World, we have another proud distinction … other than Noodling For Catfish … Dippin Snuff … OU Football …

We now have Earthquakes

AND

Toby Keith.

(Eat your heart out America!)

OOO


The Fix

It is our policy to shy away from political material, it is usually explosive, always leads to some kind of flaming and unruly discourse, but I found this email we received this week kind of interesting.  It is political in nature, so be advised.

So we are breaking with tradition and skirting the arena of American politics this morning.  As always, the comment section is open, if you feel the need, let it go.

America is such a grand experiment, it is so nice to think that this once great country could rebound from our present lousy situation and once again be in the forefront of the good life.

Jury is still out on that one, there are some schools of thought that believe the glory days are over, and it appears that if we don’t solve our problems, and soon, they are going to be our demise.  In typical American fashion we tend to “throw money at our problems, hoping to solve them” instead of rolling up our sleeves and dealing with the issues.

One of the more interesting emails we received this week, was this one.  It is called “The Fix.”

It was supposed to have been written from the viewpoint of a senior or retired person.  As it was presented to me it was from a senior citizen around 80 yrs. of age.    It also had the following notation:  We aren’t useless yet.

Ironically, it carries the very same message, “throw money at everything” and that will be the common denominator to the problem.  It must be ingrained in the American psyche or something?  This piece or idea was spawned by a recent article in the St. Petersburg, Fl. Times.  The business section of that paper asked readers for ideas on: “How Would You Fix the Economy?”  The email went on to explain … I think this guy nailed it!  (Which I think is kind of debatable)

Dear Mr. President,

Please find below my suggestion for fixing America ‘s economy. Instead of giving billions of dollars to companies that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.

You can call it the “Patriotic Retirement Plan”

There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force. Pay them $1 million apiece severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:
1) They MUST retire. Forty million job openings – Unemployment fixed.
2) They MUST buy a new AMERICAN car. Forty million cars ordered – Auto Industry fixed.
3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage – Housing Crisis fixed.
It can’t get any easier than that!!
P.S. If more money is needed, have all members in Congress pay their taxes.  Mr. President, while you’re at it, make Congress retire on Social Security and Medicare. I’ll bet both programs would be fixed pronto!
(At this point is the almost always present “Pass This On” to all your friends, etc, etc)

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Okay!  Uh wait a minute, back the truck up.  Oh, if it were just that simple, eh?  Unfortunately we do not live in this kind of world anymore, we have the elected elite and they are not interested in what we have to say about any of this.  Past experience has clearly shown us that throwing large sums of money at a problem, never makes it go away.  Ethanol fuel … does that ring a bell, anyone?  Anyone?  Six billion a year to corn farmers, nothing for the economy or the environment.

Now let’s look closely at this modern day solution to our dilemma.  Of the forty million, there are surely those in the workforce who are NOT going to want to retire, they love their jobs, they love what it is they are doing and they are firmly entrenched into the daily routine. I retired early (before fifty) and I can assure you, there were times in my life, when I would have paid $1,000 to have a job to go to, it got that bad.  But I eventually learned to adjust to it and moved on.

As for the 40 million replacements, who is going to train them to fill the vacancies, the experienced hands just took the money and ran.

Giving people money is no real fix, not all people will respond in the same fashion, some will spend it and others will “sock it away for a rainy day.”  Most people of that age group have a house that is already paid for and could care less about buying a new home, it is the younger set that needs the housing.  Those folks just starting out in life currently are the people who need a hand up, the middle class is pretty much screwing the pooch now.

About the only thing that truly seems workable in all of this, could be the part about putting Congress on a diet with their unsatisfiable lust for pay raises and the medicare issue. 

But you know and I know, that dawg just aint gonna hunt.

It is a nice thought, a quick easy way to claw our way out of the hole and get back on solid ground.  Maybe we can talk the government into printing some MORE money to back this plan.  Now here is the reality, where the other shoe drops, “there isn’t any kind of quick fix.”  Like Ronald Reagan said, “Ask yourself, are you any better off than you were four years ago?”

Have a great weekend.

OOO

Possibly Related:  Not Raising Hogs

Whacked Out World

stoopid

Now I have to admit, I saw something yesterday I never thought I would see.  I saw an ambidextrous cellphone user.  She was driving down the Interstate, weaving in and out, almost drove right over the top of her.  And when I did find a suitable amount of space to pass her, I swung out and came on around, and she gave me a look that would kill a bear and then with the cellphone still in her hand, flipped me off!

That has to be a first for me.

Ah, another wonderful trip about town in the Big City.  We are driving home yesterday from lunch at the beanery, nice lazy day, and I notice this sign located close to the road, out in front by the fence.

It reads:  Clean Dirt Wanted 525-****.

Now I think to myself, this cannot be right, dirt is by its very nature, “dirty” and how can you specifically ask for “clean” dirt?

Which in turn got me to thinking about all the stoopid stuff we are forced to endure on a daily basis in this country and of course, the people who write and publish it (like this site right here.).  I have been for sometime lifting these little nuggets of truth and as I come across items of absurdity, I file them in the file named “Absurd things and Alimony reciepts” and save them for a rainy day.

You never know when this stuff will come up on the Cocktail Circuit it pays to be ready.

All those little quirky thoughts and messages of modern day living.  Such as “legally drunk” now there is one for you.  If you are “legally” drunk, how come they are arresting you?  Just doesn’t wash.

So here for your enjoyment are just a few:

AUDITIONS:  Seeking a young man who is at least 28 but not over 28 years old. A little too specific if you ask me.
Get 50% off … or half price … whichever is less.
Tiger Woods plays with own balls, says Nike
Statistics show that teen pregnancy drops off significantly after age 25
What constitutes a millionaire?  A millionaire is someone who has $1 million, according to Jerry Beto, branch manager and senior vice president of investments at Ag Edwards and Sons. Now there is some bailout bonus material if I ever saw one.
A deputy responded to an report of a vehicle stopping at mail boxes.
It was the mailman.
Army vehicle disappears.  An Australian Army vehicle worth $74,000 has gone missing after being painted camouflage.
Police were called to Market Square for a report about a “suspicious coin.”  Investigating officer reported it was a quarter.
A woman in the 1900 block of 129th lane northeast reported that someone must have stolen her mail, because she did not receive any birthday cards from some of her friends.
Fish need water.  Feds say.
Alton attorney accidentally sues himself
County to pay $250,000 to advertise lack of funds.
Correction:  Due to incorrect information from the clerk at courts, Michelle Merchant, 38 was incorrectly listed as being arrested for prostitution on Wednesday.  The charge should have been failing to stop at a RR Crossing.  She will be the talk of Sunday School this weekend for sure.
Caskets found as workers demolish church.  “We had no idea people were buried there.”
Utah poison control center reminds everyone not to take poison.
Federal Agents raid gun shop, find weapons.
Body found wrapped in chains hanging from tree … Police suspect foul play.
Crack found in Man’s buttocks.  Police searching a downtown home found a man hiding 15 plastic bags of crack cocaine in his buttocks.  He was charged with possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia, obstructing and hindering and making a false statement to police.
Caller reports hitting an intruder in the head with an axe.
Notes that intruder was the mirror in her bedroom.
WalMart:  Police receive a report of a newborn infant found in a trashcan.  Upon investigation, officers discover it was only a burrito.
1:33PM  A person calls the police station to inquire on “how to legally kill” a person who is harassing him.
A caller reports that someone was on a porch yelling “help!”
Officers responded and learned that person was calling a cat that is named “help.”
Man in diapers directs traffic.  Wearing only tennis shoes and a diaper, a man was arrested while directing traffic and performing martial arts in the intersection.  He was charged with public drunkenness and disorderly conduct (he was more than likely legally drunk at the time).
12:22PM a cellular caller reports a large snapping turtle on the roadway at Elm and Crescent road.  The turtle subsequently fled the area.
Airport officials report that a new silent plane will cut down on airport noise.

And the absolute best for last ….

The learning Center on Hanson Street reports a man across the way stands at his window and stares at the center for hours and is making parents nervous.  Police ID the subject as a cardboard cutout of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

And you thought it was going to be a boring Tuesday.

OOO


Raspberries And Cherries.

A raspberry Swedish wrestler Ara Abrahamian who was so angry after judges placed him third in a Greco-Roman wrestling event that he walked off the podium during the ceremony, threw his bronze medal on the mat and stomped off in a rage. As a result he was stripped of his medal.

A cherry to Dara Torres, 41 years old, who was the story of the day just showing up. When I was forty years old, I wasn’t participating in the Olympia’s I was at the furniture store shopping for Lazy Boy Recliners and a new sofa. Burning off about 71 calories an hour talking on the telephone.

The fact that Dara went into the 50-meter freestyle finals with the fastest qualifying time and a real chance to win gold was remarkable. Unfortunately, she got beat out by one/one-hundredth of a second. Later in an interview she was commenting on a race she had watched the day before where a runner had got beaten by the same time, and she wondered to herself “What would that feel like?”

Today she knows, she said afterward, “I was that guy all over again.” And offered up, maybe I should have not cut my nails the night before.”

What a class act she is, she makes America proud. And Lord knows, if this country ever needed a good dose of “national pride” it is now. There might not be any medals being passed out for classy behavior but Dara and others Americans are doing their level best to erase the image of the Ugly American … Kind of makes you feel better about things for a change.

Mexico El GrandeAlaska as reported that another Mexican Consulate Office will open this fall to provide services and promote trade. There are 50 Mexican consulates in the USA. Now you can call it what you want, immigration, migration or whatever. But the entire thing smacks of “colonization” of the country and that is the name of that tune. 40,000 Mexicans live in Alaska of which about half are believe to be of Mexican descent.

“Let’s ask ourselves, why is Congress not securing our borders? Could it be they have greater global goals that will ultimately dissolve this Union? Whether intentionally or not, government has failed for decades to secure the borders. It is up to us to make sure it gets done. And if we don’t do our part, America as we know it will dissolve like a sugar cube in coffee. From the coast-land to the heartland, we will lose our distinctions and no longer even recognize our country.”

As President Ronald Reagan said, ‘A nation without borders is not a nation.'”  How many American consulates in Mexico … One?

McSame – Obammer Christian forum. Anyone watch this? Did you notice any sharp differences in the two candidate’s style and performance? When asked about when is a baby a baby and has rights? McSame answered “at conception.” Obammer replied with a typical politicians’ answer: “Whether you’re looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity is above my pay grade.”

One observation was:  “Which is a dodge that wasn’t even intellectually respectable.” to describe the entire thing.  I used to think Bush was bad on Nuke-You-leer, but this is even worse. “It seems that Obammer spoke to the heart and then to the mind, and McSame spoke from the heart, to the mind.”

Like a friend of mine is prone to say … “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than standing in a garage makes you a car.”

000

Just Be American …

The staff at Creative Endeavors held a meeting this morning to see what we would find to talk about. Several interesting subjects were brought up, but we finally just handed a dart to the monkey and turned his chair towards the dart board and let him rip!

This is what you will get.

Found a virus on my machine this morning, all you have to do is tippy-toe around the net and you are going to pick up something. I just don’t understand why people who are so infinitely smart, have to be so dog-gone malicious.  Spam is up too.

“Spam is most definitely much more than a nuisance; it’s a very real and fast-growing threat.”  Spam is showing no signs of slowing down, although the opposite can be said of those receiving messages. America leads the pack and the country with the least, seems to be Germany.

Usually a pretty good indicator that you have a bug is the fact that your machine will start to slow down.  (If you happen to notice an erection on your CPU, well, shame on you)  When your machine slows down, you have a problem.  This occurs while you are surfing, unknown to you, websites were installing malware.  Some 8% of the total spam are phishing e-mails – messages that pose as a trustworthy source as a way of getting sensitive information such as user-names, passwords and bank account details.

Fourth of July coming up, pulled out Old Glory and hung it off the front porch this morning.

It is important that you take pride in your country (what is left of it anyway). Think about your options: You could be living in a third world country, a locked-down communist gulag or closed off world such as Korea.

Worse yet, you could be residing in a Red state and find yourself a Liberal, I get that one right?

You may oppose offshore oil drilling, the inheritance tax, or the demise of the spotted oil, but take time today, to appreciate what it is that you have.  You are living in the one of the best countries in the world.

I like what Erma Bombeck had to say about it.

“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.”

~ Erma Bombeck

A few notes from Mr. English Only Person ….. Houma, Louisana, Terrehonne Parish school officials are considering a policy to require commencement speeches be spoken in English. The proposal comes after cousins Hue and Cindy Vo delivered part of their commencement address in Vietnamese last month.

Cindy Vo, the daughter of Vietnamese immigrants, spoke about high-school memories, friends and the future. Then Ms. Vo, 18, recited a sentence in Vietnamese dedicated to her parents, as they watched. She told classmates that the line, roughly translated, was a command to always be your own person.

She speaks “One Line” in her native tongue and now they want a total ban on language other than English?  We just go overboard on this too often any more, give me a break.

My Union paper has a piece in it this month on language, because some members got ticked off because the paper used the word “Afro-American” in a headline.  Black Enterprise magazine supports an Afro-American History, and Genealogical Society, a well respected newspaper in Baltimore is called the “Afro-American” and the University of Virginia has Afro-American studies.

First it was colored and that changed to Negro’s, and then it was blacks, then it changed to Afro-American and then it went to African American and on and on add nausea um. What is it going to be next year? If you are born in America … It seems to me you are NOT African anything, sorry.

You are an American.

Then you have Mexicans, Latino’s, Chicano, Mexican-American, illegals, immigrants … Getting where you need a program just to keep up with this garbage.

I am native born, you can call me “Angry Taxpaying White Guy.”

There is so much to be said these days about the progression in society of modern journalism.  Surely they are by giving us all these whacked out definitions (from the uneducated) doing us a mis-service.   They like to think it keeps us in touch with the pulse of our society.  It could be entirely possible that a man who sat around and read nothing at all, would be better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.

All of this language trash-talking is nothing more than propitiating the masses.  It divides us, complicates matters, and really serves no valid point.  Like my Daddy used to say … I don’t give a rat’s a** what you call me … Just don’t call me late for supper.

What is the big deal?

Seems the only thing people want to do these days is go around and make a mountain out of a molehill. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all just gather around the table, sit under the flag this fourth, and just be … “Americans” … United As One.

000

UBS Evening News With Howard Beale

Howard has a problem, his company that he has worked for all his life, has been purchased by the CCA, a multi-megabucks corporation, called the Communications Corporation of America. Because Howards’ network is posting a loss each quarter, CCA has determined that he is no longer useful or productive. That he has no worth, and they are forcing him to retire much earlier than he wants to. In other words, the corporation is putting Howard out to pasture.

Any of this sound familiar?

Howard gets so disgusted with his job and life in general; he threatens to blow his brains out on the national news broadcast one night. Just matter of factually states this during a routine news show, catching everyone by surprise, says that “I am going to blow my brains out on this show next Tuesday.”

What I am talking about is the movie, Network, the movie. It is an old movie, been out for quite sometime now. You can find it in just about any video shop or order it on line. It stars Faye Dunway, the late Bill Holden and Robert Duvall, as the head honcho of the CCA group.

The movie has it all, power plays in the board room, heads fly, and budgets are slashed to the bone in the name of profit, cut throat power plays within the ranks as people jostle and position for control. Pretty good flick, be forewarned there is some nudity, profanity also, so you might want to put the “food thieves to bed early” before you watch it.

Getting back to Howard.

Howard like I said, “has a problem.” He has goals, an identity, worth as a human being, and feels as if he is still productive. Howard resents being pushed out of the CCA Mega Corporation very much. Howard states, “I want to tell people the truth. But the people don’t want to hear the truth.” So each time Howard gets on the air he rambles on and on, about things like value, worth, self preservation. He speaks of a vision, or how bad his job has gotten, how thing in life are changing, makes a valiant plea with the general theme of “I am a man worth saving.”

But alas, everyone thinks Howard is slowly but surely, going crazy and they want to take him off the air. CCA the Mega Corporations states: “We have to get rid of Howard, we need to get him off the air.”

Finally, the appointed Tuesday arrives.

Howard Beale builds to the peak of all these days of rambling and he says, “I want you (the viewing audience at home) to get mad. I want you to open that window, and stick your head outside and yell … “I am mad as hell and I am not going to take this any more!” Then he again goes off on his own personal tangent and repeats the phrase, “I am mad as hell and I am not going to take this anymore!”

Then a funny thing happens.

All across the country, people rush to their windows, not just where Howard happens to be, but across the width and breadth of America. People get up out of their chairs and they walk over to the window and they yell “I am mad as hell, and I am not taking this anymore! … I am mad as hell, and I am not taking this anymore!”

The rest of the movie is just as good and entertaining. We all understand that this is just fiction and that it never really happened. This is not the real world, but a lot of it is similar to our everyday lives. We all work for a Mega Corporation believe it or not. The name of this Mega Big Buck Corporation is:

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

Like it or not, we are being put out to pasture sort of speaking, our opinions, our needs, our goals, are no longer relevant in this modern world we live in. Although we have self worth, we have value, time honored traditions, we are not being attended to nor being heard on most issues. Our core values are steadily being eroded and washed away by a legion of incompetent fools in Washington DC. Elected to do a job, they fritter away each day and chip away at the very essence of American Life.

Just this week, in a much bally-hoo’ed team work session they threw the 4th Amendment of the Constitution out the window, by voting to give the government of the United States even more power to spy on you, your lifestyle and your home.  One more step in the Patriot Act pathway to oblivion.

We have seen our budgets slashed in the name of Democracy, wholesale plundering of the economy in the name of corporate profit, entire states and communities turned literally upside down in the name of political correctness, restructuring of the whole country and our national defenses.

All of it built on a platform of broken promises and outright lies.

Perhaps it is time to walk to the window, or pick up a telephone, make a call and tell them that “We are mad as hell, and we are not taking this anymore.” Instead of just sitting idly by, and doing nothing. If none of this has inspired you at this time, then walk over here and see what Lee Iacocca has to say about it.

We are fresh out of heroes in this country and we need to find someone that can fit the bill.

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