Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day 2010

On this day, we remember those who have died in the service of their country. From the beginning, this day started with the Union Civil War dead in 1868, first known as "Decoration Day".

After WW1, it was expanded to include the dead from all wars.

The Confederacy started their own Memorial Days ranging from April 26 to mid-June and also the blacks had their own, started on May 1st, 1865.

If you get to New Orleans, the Confederate National Hall has a very neat museum. I went there one day, while walking to the D-Day Museum about 8 blocks from our hotel. I stumbled across this gem of a museum and stopped in, spent an hour there. Well worth the time.

In 1971, the date was moved from its May 30th date to the last Monday in May.

To me, Memorial Day is the 30th of May, on my parents (and aunt/uncle's) anniversary. This would have been their 60th anniversary, 61st for my aunt & uncle.

Did you buy your poppy for today? Each year, the VFW in town sells poppies, and I buy 2 for my father and his brother, who both were in WW2.

The poppies that the VFW recall the horrible days of WW1, where poppies grew abundantly over the war-torn fields and cratered ground

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae wrote it on 3 May 1915, after he witnessed the death of his friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, 22 years old, the day before.

Monday, May 24, 2010

We were warned

We were warned before the election, about what Obummer was planning on doing. Wall Street Journal warned us:

WJS, Peter Ferrara writes:

Moreover, the tax credits would mostly go to those who pay little or nothing in federal income taxes. His trick is to make the tax credits "refundable." Thus, if the tax credit is for $1,000, but the taxpayer would otherwise only pay $200 in taxes, the government would write a check to the taxpayer for $800.

What? WHY should they get $800? Roughly 47% of people pay no taxes, or get more money back than they paid in. This is Greece waiting to happen.

From over at Keith Hennessy, we find out why:

First, here’s a quick refresher on the difference between a tax deduction and a tax credit:

* Suppose you make $60,000 per year. If you donate $5,000 to charity, you get a $5,000 deduction. You pay income taxes on only $55,000.
* Suppose a married couple finds they owe $12,000 in income taxes before accounting for the child credit. If they have three kids, they get a $1,000 tax credit for each child, for a total of $3,000 in tax credits. They subtract this $3,000 from their $12,000 of income taxes owed, leaving them owing $9,000 after accounting for the child tax credit.
* Suppose this same family owed only $2,500 in income taxes before accounting for their three children and the child tax credit. Since the child tax credit is refundable, the $3,000 credit wipes out all of their $2,500 of income tax liability and they get $500 from Uncle Sam.

The MAIN reason he says that about half the people pay no taxes, is because of the EIC (Earned Income Credit), and the child tax credit. This is CRAP.

Look at how the taxes have changed since 1993 till now:

* In 1997 every “normal” married couple with two children that earned $24,000 or more (in today’s dollars) had to pay at least some income taxes. The top nonpayer threshold for a family of this size was just under $24,000. This means there were some four-person families with income just below $24,000 that owed no income taxes.
* In 1997 a Republican majority Congress and President Clinton enacted the Balanced Budget Act. At the insistence of Congressional Republicans, this law created a $400-per-child tax credit which began in 1998. This caused the top nonpayer threshold to jump more than $7,000, to about $31,300. Millions of families with kids with incomes between $24,000 and $31,300 were “taken off the rolls” because the child tax credit wiped out the small income tax liability they owed.
* As a result of the 1997 law, in 1999 the child tax credit automatically increased to $500 per child, and the threshold for a married family with two kids grew to $32,800 in today’s dollars.
* In 2001 President Bush and the Republican Congress enacted a major tax law that increased the child tax credit to $600. This law also introduced the 10% income tax bracket, which lowered by 5 percentage points the lowest income tax rate. The combination of these two tax changes raised the top nonpayer threshold to $38,700. That law further phased in over time increases in the child credit to $1,000 per child.
* The 2003 tax law enacted by President Bush and the Republican Congress accelerated the $1,000 per child amount to be effective immediately. This increased the threshold to $47,400 in 2003. That’s a huge jump. It was incredibly popular, and it helped create political impetus for the 2003 law which also accelerated rate reductions and cut capital gains and dividend rates.
* The 2008 stimulus (President Bush + Democratic majority Congress) included stimulus checks of $1,200 per married couple, plus another $300 per child. This increased the threshold to $56,700. This was a one-time increase, however, and the non-stimulus threshold for 2008 was about $44,500.
* In 2009 President Obama and a Democratic majority Congress increased this threshold to $51,400 with the new “making-work-pay” tax credit. This was enacted on near party-line votes. That threshold drops slightly to about $50,300 this year.

Republicans can't complain about this, they were in the thick of it.

Find Keith Hennessy HERE. Some good reading there. He was in Washington, as an aide I believe to some congresscritter or another.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Separated at birth?

Ok, I was watching the Celtics game last night, and during the half-time show, Magic was on, and he's gained weight since his basketball much in his face, that I was reminded of something I had seen...


Am I the only one that sees the resemblance?

Friday, May 14, 2010


Entitletude to me is the mentality that "I'm entitled, give me what's coming to me" without work, just because you breathe. It's becoming entrenched in our society, what with the giant Ponzi scheme of Social Security, the 'great society' of LBJ, with those social programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps, Head Start (which is proven to not give those children a head start!) Also included in the 'great society' was National Endowment for the Arts, and National Endowment for the Humanities, PBS (what, the companies running television stations were so bad they had to start a government television station?)

The 'war on poverty' hasn't succeeded, and has only made more poor. Why should you work, when you can get paid for not working? People talk about slavery - this is slavery to the government. There are many people on the government plantation. And people don't even see it.

You're supposed to be actively looking for work while on welfare. However, how many people actually put forth the effort to do this? Same with on unemployment. With that stretched out to 99 weeks (almost 2 years), there is no incentive to do so. It's been found that as the weeks are almost up for unemployment, people actually START looking for work, as their unemployment is going away soon, and they will stop 'getting theirs'.

I was listening to someone talk about how the rich are getting richer, and the poor getting poorer... like if someone makes more money, they are somehow taking money from the person who is poor. Those EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEVIL businesses are robbing the people by charging for their product, to make a profit. EEEEEvil profits! Since when is making a profit a bad thing? People do not go into business to give away their product for cost, or less than what it costs to manufacture. They go into it to make money, for themselves, and if a publicly-held company, their shareholders. No one forces you to buy from that company.

I found a blog post that I rather liked. It was written back in 2005, and it's about choices in life. Whether one makes good choices or poor choices, and that's how we end up in life. If you make the choice to drop out of school, you're going to have made a BAD choice, and you have to live with the consequence of your choice.

From that blog post, we see the consequences of bad choices:

Case in point. Let’s take Alice, a 41 year old waitress, mother of 4, in Mosquito Spit, Alabama. (Names have been changed to protect the poor.) She was raised in a family that made bad choices in life so she didn’t start off all that good to begin with. (Again, bad decisions tend to be passed down from generation to generation.) Alice MADE A DECISION to drop out of High School to attend a trade school. Now she’s limited her options in life. Okay… not an altogether disatrous choice by itself. Let’s move on… Alice MADE A CHOICE to have unprotected sex with her high school boyfriend and got pregnant. Now her options in life have narrowed yet again, in the absense of any other mitigating circumstances. (Like winning the lottery, for instance.) Alice MADE A CHOICE to marry a man who wasn’t particularly ambitious in life. Alice MADE A CHOICE to buy that brand new car because it sure was nice. She can handle the payments as long as nothing else in life happens. She’ll worry about investing for her retirement later. Alice MADE A CHOICE to run up some credit card debt and pay the minimum balances from now until the end of time. Alice MADE A CHOICE to just work at the diner and then come home and watch TV or go out with her friends and/or husband and not look for ways to improve her situation like going to school or starting a side business or SOMETHING. Alice MADE A CHOICE to have yet another kid when paying the car payment was a huge strain at this point in life already. Alice MADE A CHOICE to have yet another kid. Alice MADE A CHOICE to have yet ANOTHER kid… putting her husband and herself permanently in the category of what we call poor.

Its all choices. You end up choosing where you will be in life, and what you make of it. The above example is what is too often happening.

The example, is all results of choices that she made. Why should everyone have to support her because of the CHOICES she made?

Many of today's kids aren't graduating. Why? Because they CHOOSE to not study, to NOT pay attention, to NOT do the work. They are reaping what they sow. Why should someone have to bail them out because they did not do what they should have?

People make choices all through their lives - if they make bad choices, whose fault is it? Society (who usually has to end up paying for their crappy choices), or the person who made the choice? It seems people nowadays have the victim mentality - "its not my fault". Oh YES IT IS YOUR FAULT. You put yourself in that situation. It's like the saying "no one can get you angry but yourself". You choose how to act/react.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

At a loss for words

I was fixing to blog about "entitletude", but when I went into yahoo chat today, I found out that a chat bud who was hospitalized with a collapsed lung passed away last night.

He was only 54. Not old at all. The thoughts of mortality are swirling around my head today. One verse keeps coming back to me:

Whereas ye know not what [shall be] on the morrow. For what [is] your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

Who knows how long our time on earth shall be? It is but a short time, and then, we go. Some cut down in the prime of life, others after a long, full life...some before life even really starts for them.

What is life, and what do we make of it? Do we use each day to its fullest capability? Or do we sit idly by, and let life pass us by, wasting the days given to us, of which we know only what is, and not when it will end.

What are you doing with your life? Are you making a difference, or are you just sitting like a potted plant, resting in your comfortable soil, and not reaching out or doing much of anything. Or are you being a weed in life? Someone will come along and pour weedkiller on you sooner or later. Being a weed in life is not desireable. No one likes weeds.

If I kept on, I'd only be having rambling thoughts, that don't seem to go much together. I think I'm going to leave my computer for the day, and live life. At least do the housework *grin* and despite my detesting it, that is life. And take a joy in it that I normally don't, that I am *able* to do it, that I am ALIVE.

RIP, Malcolm, known as Mac, from chat help #1.

Monday, May 10, 2010

I went & did it

I finally took the plunge and got myself a netbook. Went to Wal de Mart yesterday, and got an Acer for $298. NOW I'm trying to get used to a smaller keyboard than on hubby's laptop. It appears summer is here in south Texas, as we have to have on the AC almost all the time, even at night back in the bedroom so it's not too hot.

Hub got a ticket yesterday, Oopsie, the registration was 2 months out of date, and the inspection was due last month. He said to NOT wave at the officer as we were driving off. This means it's my turn for a ticket, as we seem to take turns getting them. Except for his are for stuff like that...Mine are for moving violations. Like the warning ticket I got on Easter after leaving church. I was stopped at a stopsign, and the cross-traffic didn't have one. I was eyeballing the pretty long-haired white cat over to my left in a yard, and started going. Bad idea! there was a police car coming from my right, which I didn't notice. At least it was only a warning ticket. MUST REMEMBER EYES ON ROAD NOT ON CATS (or squirrels).

The peanut has her drivers license back again, so our insurance cost is high. She takes my car all the time, so I'm back to driving the truck. Can't drive it when its rainy out, as the wiper assembly is screwed and doesn't work.

I had a really big surprise yesterday morning from hub and the peanut - She gave me a box of chocolates (Russel Stover!), a card, and a gift basket she had made up. Paul REALLY surprised me, with a blue topaz/citrine jewelry set - necklace, earrings and bracelet, done in silver. We went out to the Mexican restaurant over in the town by the bay, and had shrimp fajitas for lunch. It was the busiest I've seen PMR in a while, being we usually go there around 5 pm on a Saturday...early to beat the crowd. The shrimp fajitas there are the best. Fresh tortillas too. And we had a half-order of sopapillas for dessert. Of course the honey drips on my shirt :| so back into the laundry it goes.

The honeysuckle along the road has stopped blooming, but the jasmine here on my trellis by the porch has started blooming, and it smells lovely.

The keyboard on this takes some getting used to, as it is tinier than a regular keyboard. this is so cool!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mothers Day! (and stuff)

Happy Mothers Day to all you moms out there - I plan on enjoying my day :)

On a goofier note, a student at a school here in Texas, just up the freeway from us, was given a week's detention for having a Jolly Rancher candy.

School officials in western Fort Bend County are defending the seemingly harsh sentence. The school’s principal and superintendent said they were simply complying with a state law that limits junk food in schools.

According to the Texas Department of Agriculture’s website, “The Texas Public School Nutrition Policy (TPSNP) explicitly states that it does not restrict what foods or beverages parents may provide for their own children's consumption.”

Brazos Elementary Principal Jeanne Young, said the problem, in this instance, was that the candy was provided by another student – not the girl’s parents.

Is this silly or what? What happens if someone trades their balogna sandwich for one of those little bags of Fritos?

On another note, WHAT business is it of the government? It isn't. This is more progressivism, labeled as "good for you" legislation.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Al Sharpton

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Declaration of Independence

NOT the unalienable right of everyone being equal. Equal is not life. No one is equal in life. We are all given different talents, abilities, motivation and the like.

With the school system, everyone has an opportunity in life. It's what one does with that opportunity that makes the difference.

Al Sharpton gets this wrong *yet again* that everyone should be equal in their households. I guess in his world, everyone should do all the same.

He's twisting Martin Luther King Jr's dream into something it never was intended. Here is bit from his "I have a dream" speech:

Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred...I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers...

It was not making everyone equal like Al Sharpton posits - It's that a black person is equal with a white person - in rights, etc. HERE is the full text of the speech, go read it and you can tell plainly on its face that that is what he's talking about.

Al Sharpton serves no one but himself.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

British Elections today & stuff

Let's hope Labour doesn't get in back again. Listen to Daniel Hannan, MEP:

Gordon Brown is Labour.

On another note, there is vast flooding in Tennessee, in Nashville. The news is silent on this. The Grand Old Opry was flooded out, and will take quite a while to repair.

John Culberson (R-TX) was on Cspan this morning, on Washington Journal. My husband watched it, and said the level of idiocy in the callers-in was amazing. The political naivete, and that the 10th amendment, being it was the 10th, wasn't as important as the first ones. GAH! And these people vote. He said that Culberson was demonstrating how government works with water bottles, and he first thought that was condescending. He later realized it should have been dumbed-down even more than that. Usually if I get up early enough, I can catch all of Washington Journal. One of my favorites.

Bloomberg, the mayor of NYC, says "there is a terror gap" in the US gun laws, and that people on the watch list should be prohibited from purchasing firearms. A coalition of around 500 mayors want this and the "gun show loophole" closed. Raymond W. Kelly, Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.)and Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.)have introduced bills in both the House and the Senate to address this. King said his legislation gives the attorney general authority to "deny the sale, delivery or transfer of firearms or issuance of permits" to persons on the terrorist watch list, as well as the power to "revoke any firearm licenses of known or suspected terrorists." suspected terrorists...I'd imagine with the current administration, tea partiers would be 'suspected terrorists'.

Aaron Titus, privacy director of a Washington-based group called the Liberty Coalition, said in testimony before a committee: 'the bills in question "strip citizens of their enumerated constitutional right to bear arms without any meaningful due process and create a national firearms registry."

Yep. What if your name matches some doofus on the watch list? They're on their way trying to dismantle the 2nd amendment. They're building lists...

Check this out - in the Dodd financial reform bill >> In Section 1071 of the bill, banks will now be required to keep and forward a log on all depository accounts, including checking, savings and credit union share accounts to the federal government, as previously reported by Americans for Limited Government (ALG).

Think they're not trying to keep tabs on you, what you do, where you go, etc? Am I being paranoid? The government is trying to encroach upon every facet of our lives. When it shouldn't. Thomas Jefferson said "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. "

We cannot remain silent any more.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Los Suns?

The Phoenix Suns are going to be wearing jerseys that say "Los Suns" in opposition to the recent law passed in Arizona, for a Sinko de Mayo game tonight.

Nothing like politics on the hardwood floor - AND the law only mirrors the law that is on the books in federal law. From a NYT op-ed:

It is unfair to demand that aliens carry their documents with them. It is true that the Arizona law makes it a misdemeanor for an alien to fail to carry certain documents. “Now, suddenly, if you don’t have your papers ... you’re going to be harassed,” the president said. “That’s not the right way to go.” But since 1940, it has been a federal crime for aliens to fail to keep such registration documents with them. The Arizona law simply adds a state penalty to what was already a federal crime. Moreover, as anyone who has traveled abroad knows, other nations have similar documentation requirements.

“Reasonable suspicion” is a meaningless term that will permit police misconduct. Over the past four decades, federal courts have issued hundreds of opinions defining those two words. The Arizona law didn’t invent the concept: Precedents list the factors that can contribute to reasonable suspicion; when several are combined, the “totality of circumstances” that results may create reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed.

For example, the Arizona law is most likely to come into play after a traffic stop. A police officer pulls a minivan over for speeding. A dozen passengers are crammed in. None has identification. The highway is a known alien-smuggling corridor. The driver is acting evasively. Those factors combine to create reasonable suspicion that the occupants are not in the country legally.

The law will allow police to engage in racial profiling. Actually, Section 2 provides that a law enforcement official “may not solely consider race, color or national origin” in making any stops or determining immigration status. In addition, all normal Fourth Amendment protections against profiling will continue to apply. In fact, the Arizona law actually reduces the likelihood of race-based harassment by compelling police officers to contact the federal government as soon as is practicable when they suspect a person is an illegal alien, as opposed to letting them make arrests on their own assessment.

It is unfair to demand that people carry a driver’s license. Arizona’s law does not require anyone, alien or otherwise, to carry a driver’s license. Rather, it gives any alien with a license a free pass if his immigration status is in doubt. Because Arizona allows only lawful residents to obtain licenses, an officer must presume that someone who produces one is legally in the country.

State governments aren’t allowed to get involved in immigration, which is a federal matter. While it is true that Washington holds primary authority in immigration, the Supreme Court since 1976 has recognized that states may enact laws to discourage illegal immigration without being pre-empted by federal law. As long as Congress hasn’t expressly forbidden the state law in question, the statute doesn’t conflict with federal law and Congress has not displaced all state laws from the field, it is permitted. That’s why Arizona’s 2007 law making it illegal to knowingly employ unauthorized aliens was sustained by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Digital Photocopiers

I was over reading at Lawdog, and he had a post about digital photocopiers - I never thought about it - those things have a hard drive, and you can get the info off that, like AFTER its been returned to the company, and rented out to someone else. CBS news has a story on it>

Check out The Lawdog Files for his post on it, it goes over to Bayou Renaissance Man also. Good information on there.

Speaking of information, someone at the local vet's called the police about vandalism to their awning. She called the police station, said her first and last name for reporting it, and the police questioned back "is xxxx your middle name?". HOW the heck would they know that? She didn't grow up in the area, so its not like one of her sister's school buddies would know her.

Manic Monday

Did you know the Susan G. Komen organization donates to Planned Parenthood? I sure didn't, until my husband emailed me the news story about how they're reducing their funding of it by around 10%.

Komen's ties to Planned Parenthood are well documented and figures from STOPP International show Komen chapters giving $711,485 from April 1, 2005 to March 31, 2006 to Planned Parenthood affiliates.

And in numbers provided to the Associated Press, Susan G. Komen for the Cure spokeswoman Rebecca Gibson confirmed 19 of the 122 Komen affiliates made grants totaling $374,253 to Planned Parenthood during the 2005-2006 fiscal year.

Figures show Komen affiliates have given Planned Parenthood $3 million between 2003 and 2008 and $805,000 in the 2008 fiscal year.

Never mind the showing that abortions increase breast cancer risks. I guess killing those kids just makes more sense.

A January 2010 study called abortion a "known risk factor" for breast cancer and cited a study conducted by the prestigious Janet Daling group of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

Daling and her colleagues showed between a 20 and 50 percent increased breast cancer risk for women having abortions compare to those who carried their pregnancies to term.

Interesting. Why would a breast cancer foundation support a thing that helps to create it?

ON ANOTHER NOTE, not political, or touchy!

An Appleton Wisconsin woman has been sentenced to 9 months in jail, and 4 years of probation, after planting a RAT in her lunch at a restaurant!

She pleaded no contest in January to a felony extortion charge and a misdemeanor for obstructing police. She planted the dead animal in her food April 17, 2008, before asking for the money in exchange for keeping quiet about the incident. She threatened to alert the media if the money wasn't paid.

She tried to extort 500,000$ the article said. Also that she was filled with delusions of grandeur.

At the urging of one of their cooks, restaurant owners Bob and Jessica Doller kept the rat after the extortion attempt. Insurance investigators sent it for testing and determined that it was a domestic white rat that had been cooked in a microwave. The restaurant doesn't use microwaves.

Turns out she had bought the rat a few days previously.

I remember that finger fiasco in a cup of Wendy's chili. It really negatively affected the business (but darn that chili is good, I kept getting it!).

Some people are just pathetic.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


I'm watching Cavuto right now, and they are talking about this saying of Obama. Who determines "how much money" is enough? The government? The state? The idiot financial regulators who said that loaning money to people that can't afford it is a good idea? Remember Joe the Plumber, when Obama was campaigning, and he talked about "spreading the wealth"? This is it. Does Warren Buffet make too much money? George Soros? Bill Gates? What are they going to do, cap salaries in all industries? They've already started it in the financial industry. What's to stop them from doing it to other sectors of business?

This is why it's important for YOU to get involved with politics, and find out WHAT your senator/congressman believes, and votes for/against. Contact them with your opinion. Let them know if you approve/disapprove. Don't think that "I'm only one person, what can I do?".. if everyone thought this way, nothing would get accomplished.

On another note, it's starting to be summer here in south Texas. We had to have the AC on all day yesterday, and it's already on this morning as of 8 am. Its humid here, and the hot weather is not far behind. My hibiscus are blooming, and the winter plants are dying out.

This big oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is going to ruin the beach-going for this summer. I was hoping to spend some weekends at the beach, looking for shells, and just sitting in the shallows (I know a shark is out there with my name on it if I go past knee-deep in the water!) I know there are hammerheads out there, as they catch them off the pier. I can't see surf-fishing out there, with daid and bleeding fish lashed to you, with sharks out there. Seems it would be a good way to get bit.