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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Discover Arizona

Arizona is a beautiful place. I love visiting, and there is a ton of stuff to do and some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. The last time we went, we stopped at an Indian reservation resort which had a great pool equipped with a net to play water volley ball, slides, water toys and other fun stuff. They also had things for the kids to do.

We then headed on towards Sedona, one of the most beautiful places on earth - and done exclusively in rich tones of red and green. When the sun shines on the rocks of Sedona, they turn a color red I've seen nowhere else.

The Grand Canyon is there too, and is alone worth a trip to Arizona. But the state has far more to offer and is chock full of history, art and culture. Just visiting Indian reservations alone could keep you busy for a month - from the Apache tribe of the White Mountains to the Yavapai near Prescott.

Arizona is 5 Star Spiffy.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Dear Bill Clinton

Dear Bill Clinton,

I voted for you twice. I used to think you were a reasonable person. I defended you to anyone who would listen during the impeachment proceedings as I felt they were more about partisan politics than concern for the well-being of the nation. In fact, the last republican I voted for in a presidential election was Ronald Reagan. I voted for him only once because the first time he ran, I wasn't old enough to vote. I am telling you all of this lest you try and dismiss me as a "right-wing wacko" - for if I were one, a pretty good case could be made that I was at one point a "left-wing wacko" as well.

Recently, you made comments concerning the Tea Party movement that bothered me. Nobody has ever asked me, but I don't mind volunteering my opinion: I support them - at least in spirit because I am too busy trying to keep my family afloat to afford to devote time to attending their gatherings. Interestingly enough, nobody from the Tea Party movement as asked me for money - something I can't say for either of the established political parties from whom I receive requests almost on a daily basis.

So you say the Tea Party rhetoric could incite violence. I would like to give you a few examples of rhetoric that I think are far more likely to be the cause of violence than anything I have heard coming out of the Tea Party movement.

  1. WATCH: Bill Maher Challenges Tea Baggers To Take On Defense Spending - This is from the home page of The Huffington Post. Here, the members of the Tea Party are referred to as Tea Baggers, which is a term used to describe a sexual act involving male genitalia. The use of this term is meant to both insult and diminish the movement's relevance by using this most vulgar of terms to refer to them in so-called open political discourse. I am hard pressed to come up with a single example of another so derogatory label being openly attached to a political movement.
  2. Tea Party Fear In Europe - Here is an article written by Raymond Johansen Party Secretary of the Labour Party of Norway - I would like to call your attention to his assertion that the Tea Party is funded by billionaires: "But the grass root campaigns such as those the Tea Party Movement and AFP holds aren't bottom-up crowds, but pure lobbying campaigns financed by billionaires with a clear political agenda." Yet, he goes on to talk about the AFP - a group I have never heard of so can't comment on - but does not cite one verifiable source to back up his allegation of funding of any sort going to the Tea Party movement. I call this a hit and run smear.

    On the other hand, there is plenty of evidence of many left wing causes which are being funded by George Soros, Bill Gates, the government of Venezuela and just about every once venerable charitable foundation within the United States.
These two examples demonstrate that rather than attempting to engage Tea Party members in civilized political discourse, your party's tack has been to smear, discredit and attempt to marginalize them.

Then there are actions on the part of the Obama administration that I find horrifying. Again, I voted for Barack Obama and even donated to his campaign - on subscription.

  1. The nomination and confirmation of Sotomayor to the US Supreme court. We now have an official racist on our supreme court. I say this because she is or was a member of the racist organisation La Raza or NCLR. How would you like to have a member of the KKK on the supreme court? Read what the HON. HENRY B. GONZALEZ OF TEXAS IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES wrote in APRIL 29, 1969. He links present day La Raza with Jose Angel Gutierrez who said:

    "We have got to eliminate the gringo, and what I mean by that is if the worst comes to the worst, we have got to kill him."
    I think such a comment can be interpreted as promoting violence, don't you agree? I am asking, because I have never heard one of my elected officials denounce this little ditty. Instead, what I hear is you calling for amnesty and those who object being labeled as racist.

    Here is another article from 1969 linking Jose Angel Gutierrez to La Raza:

    La Raza gave this man a "Hero Award" in 1994. So, I ask you, Mr. Clinton, what are your plans for me and my family if you consider me to be the threat, while tacitly supporting those who would like to kill me? I am, after all, a gringo. You are too, but I guess the secret service will protect you.
  2. I sent an email to President Obama, asking him to explain why he appointed Thomas Perez to be Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department. This guy hangs out with people who travel to Venezuela to discuss the coming communist revolution in the United States. If I am not mistaken, revolutions usually involve some degree of violence, do they not? As of yet, I haven't even received the standard form letter response that I get when I contact the White House. I have received at least 3 or 4 requests for more money, which will no longer be forthcoming.
In conclusion, I have to say I understand the frustration of the tea party folks - and I haven't read anything close to the level of vitriolic rhetoric coming from them as I have coming from your camp.

My grandfather was very anti-communist - he used to refer to them as skunks. I think part of the reason for his feelings was that he only narrowly escaped being shot by them along with the 3 or 4 thousand Bulgarian bureaucrats who were executed by the Soviet puppet regime in the 1940s. He always told me that the left are a bunch of liars and never to believe anything they say because they will say anything to get what they want. I always thought he was exaggerating, but I sure don't anymore.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Common Sense Shows Signs Of Life

For those who have started to despair, there has been a flicker or two of hope. Arizona and Texas are leading the way.

  • Arizona passes concealed carry gun law - and claims authority to deal with illegal immigration. I used to be firmly anti-gun, but a government that doesn't take the rule of law seriously creates a situation where citizens must rely on themselves for protection. So, here's to the 2nd Amendment - centuries old, mere words on paper, and yet still the very best protection available to us as free people. Always question why certain members of society want a disarmed citizenry.

  • Texas Spanking - Now if we could just get rid of those idiotic participation trophies and get back to rewarding success. Call it like it is - don't have the guts? Just remember, all those kids you lavished undeserved praise upon are now in the work force. Some of them are building planes. I wonder if it will occur to you to tell them they get an 'E' for effort during the remaining seconds of your life as your plane falls out of the sky. There are worse things in life than hurt feelings.
One last thought: Any economist, politician or member of the business/financial community who claims they did not see the financial mess coming, should be removed from duty tout de suite unless they can prove they were in a coma during the 00s. It was obvious. All you had to do was get your mail on a regular basis, and glance at the swarms of equity loan offers boasting "Bad Credit OK". If you actually took out a loan, dealt with a realtor, mortgage broker, loan officer, you probably suffered a loss of hearing from the screaming signals of impending insolvency of any bank you may have dealt with.



Tuesday, April 13, 2010

On Boys and Girls - Very Scientific Observations

It wasn't until I had a son that I started to understand boys, and ultimately men. I always thought I understood what goes on in the brain of the human male, or at least I assumed that it was not radically different than what was going on in my own head. It didn't help much that the very misguided feminist movement kept insisting that differences in male and female behavior, outlook, wants and needs were due to upbringing, and our mothers' apparent complicity in a grand conspiracy against their daughters.

We just don't think alike. Sure there are overlaps and much that we share, but there are certain areas in which boys and girls, men and women think and behave so differently it is a wonder we get along at all.

First, a very important message to girls and women who are sitting around together or alone, wondering if he is thinking about you, or whether he and his friends are talking about you and your friends, he is not, and they are not.

I have to tell you, I was absolutely appalled by this. When I think of how much time my girlfriends and I spent in high school talking about boys, wondering whether they were thinking about us, daring each other to call them on the phone, dissecting and analyzing post-call utterances down to the length of each pause...

Let's just chalk it up to a female bonding exercise because all of our lengthy analysis was for naught. Five seconds after he hung up the phone, he went back to whatever he was doing and forgot about the call altogether. If he had happened to have a friend over at the time, I can guarantee you they did not sit around for the next hour discussing what the call "meant".

If any conversation concerning said call took place at all, it went like this:

"Who was that?"

Insert female name here

"What'd she want?"

shrug of shoulders,

"OK now where were we?" (Sound of explosions and gunfire from video game)

So, girls, wile away the hours discussing boys if you want, just be aware that any conclusions you come to are probably wrong, and that boys are utterly oblivious to the fact that a) we do this and b) that this is part of a mating ritual. When boys get together, they do not talk about girls. Not at all.

A bit of a let down, I know. But that's how it is.

The next major point I'd like to make is: Boys mean what they say and say what they mean. Really. There is nothing to analyze. They are not lying, or hiding their feelings or trying to be difficult. Whatever they say is all there is. It drives me nuts.

The corollary to this is that they actually expect us to do the same. So, if you are male and you are reading this, I have to tell you that this will never, ever happen. I couldn't do it even if I tried. Not only that, I will get mad at you for not knowing what I am really saying, and take it as proof that you don't care about me. Then, I will go discuss this with my girlfriends ad nauseum.

The French Fry incident. My husband and I were still in the dating phase and we went to In-and-Out burger - I ordered a hamburger with no fries and he said "are you sure you don't want fries" and I said "yes, I'll just have some of yours". (Of course I wanted fries! But I am not going to pig out in front of him, or run the risk of appearing to want to pig out so I say the lady-like thing and don't order fries.)

And then I did have some of his fries and can you believe he had the nerve to get mad at me because I ate a few more than a few of his fries? So I explained to him how inconsiderate it was of him not to get me my own fries. He didn't actually expect me to sit there with no fries, did he?

You may or may not identify with my french fry example, but rest assured, all women do this in one form or another and we expect you to know what we want even if we tell you we want the exact opposite. (With certain obvious exceptions - rule of thumb being to listen to what we say in situations where not doing so could land you in the slammer.)

It may seem unfair for us to expect this of males, but it is equally as difficult for us when you run around saying what you mean all of the time. We interpret and analyze - consider body language, tone of voice and our own moods at the time before we decide what it is you want.

We, on the other hand, can say "It's OK" or "I'm fine" and have it mean quite the opposite of what you may expect. My grandmother was an expert at this. She never raised her voice or complained, or ever started a sentence with "I want" - but everybody knew what she wanted and she always got it.

So there you have it. I am by no means an authority on the topic of the male psyche - I am just beginning to understand a few of the more obvious points. Just thought I would share what I have come up with thus far.


PS After reading this, my husband had the following comment: "You should point out though that even though we don't spend hours talking about our girls we do care a lot about you."

It's worth the effort to figure it all out. =)

Thursday, April 08, 2010

A Tragedy Of Adult Proportions

Back in January, a lovely girl named Phoebe Prince was driven to suicide by human manifestations of the ugliest side of our character. The media seem to have fixated on calling this bullying, but to me, bullying is when a kid steals your lunch money. What these kids did to Miss Prince was systematic, relentless persecution with the intent to do harm. This girl had no refuge - they tormented her at school, humiliated her publicly on the web, and sought her out at home over the telephone and via text messaging.

This sort of treatment would drive most adults to despair, so it is painful to contemplate the living hell Miss Prince was forced to endure. The kids that did this are narcissistic sociopaths and need to be dealt with accordingly - but my intent in writing about this, is not to call for their heads or summon the wrath of the heavens upon them. Criminal charges have been filed against them, as they should be, so in that sense the system is working.

What I take issue with, is that not one single adult will be held responsible for this tragedy. This was not something that was happening in secret. School officials as well as teachers were aware of what was going on and did nothing to stop it. These are all people who are paid professionals, who gladly accept their paychecks every month, but are now busy making excuses for why they allowed this behavior to occur during school hours, on school property.

In one account I read, one of the tormentors interrupted a class Miss Prince was in, while it was in session, to yell in front of the entire class that Miss Prince was a slut. Yet nothing happened. Teachers have stated that the "bullying" was common knowledge.

Now they are falling over themselves in Massachusetts writing laws against bullying.

We don't need a law against bullying, we need adults to take responsibility and for society to hold them accountable when things go badly. School officials are responsible for the kids' safety when they are on campus while school is in session. To have school leaders claim innocence because they aren't knowledgeable about teen dating rivalries is tantamount to saying "I have no business holding my current position and accepting money for it because I am not qualified." At the very least, they should be fired.

If this were a private business and adults were the victims, I can assure you plenty would have been done. The law holds businesses responsible for knowingly allowing a hostile work environment to persist.

The parents of the accused teen tormentors have also failed miserably in their responsibilities as parents. These kids should have been suspended from school immediately and law enforcement notified. It is not the school's job to raise children. Once home, real parents would have grounded them with no phone privileges, no Internet access, confined to their rooms except to use the bathroom until they can prove that they are fit to interact with civilized society.

If and when they were allowed to return to school, it would be probationary and the mere hint of an unfriendly act would land them back in their rooms or in juvenile hall. No new law needed.

The kids committed the crimes, but until adults start living up to their responsibilities, these situations will become more frequent and we will find ourselves paralyzed by a straight jacket of hastily concocted legislation that will never be an adequate substitute for the responsible parties simply stepping up to the plate and doing their jobs.

Friday, April 02, 2010

The Wheel In The Sky Is In Our Loft

My teenage son is having a party at the moment. I am huddled away in my office - unofficially banned from showing my face unless there is some sort of emergency or I get really, really hungry. I think my husband took the dogs and fled to the grocery store.

Just a second ago, though, it could have been 1982 or thereabouts. Journey's "Any Way You Want It" came blaring through the walls and a bunch of girls started singing, loudly, along. For a second, I felt like I could open the door and find all of my high school friends, slightly buzzed, beer or whatnot in hand, making a spectacle of themselves in our loft.

Now the music is something I don't recognize - there is a battle of musical tastes being waged - the girls are winning - but the Journey is gone.

That's the way it goes... a glimpse of the past as the wheel in the sky reached 360, then kept on turning with a new group of still-feeling invincible youngsters about to embark on their own journey.

And for the record, I am getting really, really hungry.


Coupons As I Find Them

Just doing some online shopping, thought I'd share the best coupons I find.
  1. Here is a great Amazon coupon code: $10 Instant Savings On Beauty ProductsAmazon coupon code Redeem and enter coupon code: IOBEAUTY at check out. I linked directly to the eligible products.

    The Fine Print: Take $10 OFF Your Purchase Of $100 Or More Of Select Beauty Products Today. Just Spend $100 Or More On Any Combination Of Eligible Beauty Products Offered By And Use This Promotional Code At Checkout: IOBEAUTY. Applies Only To Products Sold By Amazon.Com. Does Not Apply To Products Sold On Our Site By Third-Party Merchants Or Through Third-Party Areas Such As Amazon.Com Marketplace, Auctions, Or Zshops.

  2. Amazon Grocery Coupon Code: Amazon Coupon Code for SKIPPYSkippy, Wish Bone and Hellman's Foods: Save up to 30%
    Save up to 30% on select Skippy, Wish Bone and Hellman's Foods sold by Save 15% when you enter code UNLV6204 at checkout. Plus, save an additional 15% when you combine the instant rebate with your Subscribe & Save order--bringing your total savings to 30%. Offer valid through April 30, 2010. See rules and restrictions.

  3. Amazon Grocery Coupon Code:Amazon Coupon Code for pasta DeCecco Pasta : Save up to 25% Save up to 25% on select DeCecco Pasta products sold by Save 10% when you enter code DECE9573 at checkout. Plus, save an additional 15% when you combine the instant rebate with your Subscribe & Save order--bringing your total savings to 25%. Offer valid through April 30, 2010. See rules and restrictions.

  4. Amazon Coupon Code: save on sentrysafe at with coupon codeFor A Limited Time, You Can Get An Additional $5, $10, Or $20 Off At Checkout On Select Document, Cash, Gun, And File Safes Shipped And Sold By Enter the coupon code SENTRYSF at checkout. Expires on Apr 21, 2010

  5. SEARS Coupon Code: $5 OFF $50 with coupon code SEARS5OFF50 Coupon Ongoing.

  6. SEARS Coupon Code: Online Only! EXTRA 10% OFF Bed, Bath & D├ęcor with coupon code: GREENHOME10 - 4/18-4/21.

  7. SEARS Coupon Code: EXTRA 20% OFF Shoes for the Family with coupon code: SPRINGSHOES20 + FREE Shipping over $49 4/15-4/21

  8. Kmart Coupon Code: EXTRA $30 OFF $100 In Bed, Bath & For The Home with code SPRINGHOME20 4/15-4/24.

  9. Kmart Coupon: ALL Upright, Canister & Steam Cleaner Vacuums On Sale + Online Only 10% OFF Fans 4/18-5/1.

  10. Kmart Coupon: Online Only! Buy 1, Get 1 50% OFF Shoes For The Family + FREE Shipping Over $39 4/18-4/24

  11. Kmart Coupon Code: EXTRA $10 OFF $50+ When You Checkout Using eBillMe with code 10OFFKMART1009 4/04 - 6/30.

  12. Kohl's Coupon Code: 10% OFF Home Styles Brand with coupon code: HOMESTYLES - Start date: 2010-04-12 End date: 2010-04-24 .

  13. Yoox Coupon: YOOX.COM'S NEW SAMPLE SALE, UP TO 90% OFF!

  14. Macys coupons

E-Verify - Find Out Who's Cheating

The onset of the new millennium has had a curious effect on our country; It took logic and turned it upside down and backwards. That is how we wound up fighting a war in Iraq instead of punishing those behind 9/11, why the Republican party has become the party of the working class American while the Democrats cater to billionaires, revenge seeking fringe groups and pseudo intellectuals who fancy themselves humanitarians.

That would be fine and dandy if the business of the country managed to get done - but it doesn't. Here I sit in a state with 12.5% unemployment, where every day people are losing their homes, businesses are being shuttered and the state government is teetering on insolvency - and those in charge are more concerned with the welfare of law-breaking citizens of other countries than that of their own constituency.

There was a time when logic was tied to cause and effect - people put some thought into what the real world outcome of an action would be, before proceeding with that action. It would look something like this:

  1. Importing large numbers of cheap, foreign workers will put downward pressure on wages in any sector of the economy in which they seek employment. (Simple economics of supply and demand)
  2. If the economy is not at full-employment, and a minimum wage exists, there will be unemployment - mostly among legal workers. (In a recession, there are not enough jobs to go around and why hire one legal worker at minimum wage when you can hire two illegal workers for the same price?)
  3. When politicians say illegal immigrants do the jobs Americans won't, they mean: "Illegal immigrants do the jobs the children of the politicians and their rich friends won't do because they are too busy "helping the poor in Africa", learning Chinese in China, Spanish in Spain or Eurrailing through Europe. It doesn't occur to them that there are Americans who actually need those jobs and parents who can't afford to pay for "mind-expanding summer experiences" for their children, or cough, cough, actually need the children to contribute to the family income. (The summer experiences listed above are real - I chose a few examples from people I know - all of whom are quite wealthy and fiercely liberal-democratic - and will most likely be supportive of amnesty.)
  4. Constantly proclaiming that there are jobs that "Americans won't do" makes life just a little more wretched for those whose financial situation and employment prospects dictate that they must do said jobs.
  5. Anybody forced into occupations deemed by the elite class to be beneath the worthiness of an American will feel shame, anger and frustration and will ultimately harbor resentment towards any foreign co-worker - whether justified or not (in terms of legal status).
  6. This resentment will deepen and fester as long as employment in certain areas of the economy is considered sub-standard employment.
  7. High concentrations of foreign workers will become the proxy for determining whether an occupation is American worthy or not.
  8. A general rise in anti-immigrant sentiment will occur - people will retreat into groups of other people they deem to be "like them", and soon will grow beyond national origin and will encompass other elements that make us superficially different. Religion, skin color - (an American favorite), ethnicity, favorite football team, cat people, dog people....
  9. We will become a nation stupidly divided, helpless and vulnerable.
  10. This is not in my best interest. Or yours.
Therefore, I will do the following:

  1. I will support the enforcement of the laws of this country - for everybody - no matter what their sob-story may be.
  2. I will not tolerate those who do not respect this country, its borders and its laws, customs and way of life.
  3. I will not vote for people who support lawlessness, and seek to give special treatment and benefits to a few against the better interests of the citizens of this country and every other person on the face of the planet who would like to come here but has chosen or is forced to take the legal path to do so.
  4. I will ask the businesses that I patronize whether they use the eVerify system to determine whether they are hiring only those who have the legal right to work in this country.
  5. I will check myself to see if they are signed up to use the eVerify system.
  6. By doing this, I will be on the side of fairness and justice - and will not pay attention to those who attempt to dissuade me by ridicule, fear or intimidation.