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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Historical Revisionism - US History As It Never Happened

The other week-end I conned my son and a buddy of his into driving up to Carmel with me to help my sister and her family move. On the Saturday night we were all hanging out together in the new house and I happened to pick up a textbook on US history that was lying around. My son's friend had brought it along to get some studying done - at least that was probably the idea.

As I started flipping through the pages, I noticed that I had never heard of many of the people who had been given prominent and significant real estate on the pages of each chapter. Not only that, but it appeared that American history had happened almost entirely without the involvement of the white male, and that any historical figure worthy of admiration had been a democrat. On the front cover, out of about 20 portraits of America's past, Ronald Reagan was the lone republican and his picture was down toward the lower left-hand corner of the page - probably squeezed in as an afterthought

I was particularly horrified by the chapter on World War II. Stalin, the guy who managed to kill around 24 million of his own citizens was practically glorified for 2 of the 3 paragraphs dedicated to him, discussing how he set about turning the Soviet Union into a model communist utopia, before it mentioned his brutal stranglehold over Russian society. Then there was an entire chapter on the Holocaust, which is a major event in history, to be sure - but it is not US history.

What I found most offensive, however, were the pictures chosen to represent the American GIs. There were two pictures of GIs in the book and in both pictures every single man was black. Even Rosie the Riveter was depicted as a black woman. Now there is nothing wrong with including pictures of black GIs per se - they were there too, they existed, fought and died right along with the rest of our boys - an accurate portrayal of our history would be incomplete without them. But I can imagine a reasonable person coming away with the impression that there were no whites in America at the time, or that America had sent black people to fight WWII for them.

Then there were the countless portrayals of insignificant women and minorities who were there simply because they were women and minorities and not because they had much to do with the shaping of events at the time. The book dedicates more material to Some Black Guy I've never heard of than to George Washington - you know, the "Father Of Our Country" and first president of the United States of America. In fact, Some Black Guy kicks off the chapter and it is not for 5 or 6 pages that we meet George - who shares a sidebar column with some other guy.

This book is not a history book, it is propaganda and it has no business being used around children. It is an insidious assault on the foundations of our society. Check your kids' history books - look at what they are teaching your children because what they are trying to do is to destroy love of country - thereby ultimately weakening the resolve to defend it.

RH

Anyone Have News About Chile?

I have a good friend in Valparaiso that I am worried about...Anybody know how the city of Valparaiso, Chile is doing?

Pablo, get in touch if you can!


RH

Follow up: I did get in touch with my friend in Chile, and he said he and everyone he knows came through OK, that was per email - but haven't heard much since.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Amazon Tax - Another Nail In California's Coffin

Leave it to the government of California to know exactly how to make a bad economy worse. Here is the letter Overstock.com sent to its California based affiliates:

February 19th, 2010 Overstock.com Letter Terminating California Affiliates

Not only will the leeches in Sacramento not receive any sales tax from Overstock.com after they dump all of their California affiliates, they will also lose any income taxes those affiliates would have paid to the state. This is going to put lots of home based businesses out of business.

See, the thing about the Internet is that it matters not where a person lives - A person living in India or China, Russia or the Cayman Islands can be an affiliate of Amazon or Overstock.com.

When these greedy know-nothings in Sacramento decide to go for a cash grab, they don't care how many livelihoods they destroy in the process. It is just so painful to watch them destroy the livelihoods of so many thousands of people in California for absolutely nothing.

Amazon and Overstock will not collect any sales tax for the tax thugs - but they will keep right on selling their products to California residents - the only difference being that the affiliates who don't live in a Pariah state will get the income those poor saps in California used to earn.

This is possibly the fastest way known to man to destroy jobs. All it takes is a click of a button for Amazon, Overstock and many other companies to de-affiliate themselves from California - in fact, you have spent far more time reading this blog posting than it will take for thousands of California affiliates to become paupers.

RH


Overstock.com

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Charity Scams Start At Home

The other day I got a call from a fellow raising money for the local troubled teenagers program run by the county sheriff. I thought this was a worthy cause, so I agreed to give $20 - won't change the world, I know but I am a bit short these days - (see previous post).

My fund raising fellow then brought a lady on the call who proceeded to read me the fine print of the terms of my donation, the most relevant part being that only a portion of my $20 would find its way to the charity. After she had finished speed reading her legal mumbo jumbo and had left the call, I asked my fellow just how much of my $20 would wind up helping troubled youths. His answer floored me.

$2.00.

Just $2.00 of my $20 - or 10% would be given to the charity. Now I understand that it takes money to make money, and there are expenses - but seriously. If it had been $2.00 in expenses and $18 going to the charity, that would have been jolly good by me. As it stands, the charity cited in the phone call is what I would call "pretense expense" for a company whose main line of business is phoning up folks and asking them for money. When people do this in person, it is called "panhandling".

The moral of this story? Know your charity - find them before they find you, and give directly to them - do not respond to random requests for money, by phone or by mail (no matter how many nickels they send - keep 'em.) Money is tight these days and the need is bigger than ever - distribute your donation dollars wisely.


RH

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Rainbow Cupcake Escape

Last night I became obsessed with the concept of the Rainbow Cupcake, did a search in the old Newspaper Archive and was able to locate 3 different recipes: one rainbow cupcake recipe from 1959, one frosted rainbow cupcake recipe from 1981 and the third rainbow cupcake recipe from 2001. It may interest you to know that rainbow cupcake recipes haven't changed much over the last 51 years.

If anybody reads my blog, they may have noticed that I fell off the map just before Christmas of last year. The reason for this is that I have been devoting my time to trying to earn some extra money to pay off all our debt. This has proven to be rather time consuming as you can probably imagine. While I am making progress, it has been slow going and we still have close to $20,000 in credit card debt to pay off. Still, I consider us lucky in that my husband still has his job, and his salary covers our basic expenses - so everything I make goes to the grand debt dig-out.

Our creditors do not seem to appreciate my efforts to repay them, however. Despite the fact that I have been paying far more than the minimum payments on our cards, we have watched the interest rate we are being charged go from 9 or 10% to 18 - 20%. Still not as bad as the 25 - 30% the likes of Discover, Chase and American Express were charging on my husbands cards - (they have now been paid and closed) - but high enough that I can only assume that they do not ever wish to have us as customers again. I am very happy to oblige them in this regard, and once our balances are paid, I will close the accounts and those companies will cease to exist in our world.

I wonder who these credit card companies expect to have as customers a few years down the road - if they think that we are going to forget their loan-sharking, they are in for a nasty surprise.

Another concern of mine is our variable rate mortgage - that we had planned on refinancing initially. This now seems to be impossible as the value of our house has dropped and while we are not quite "under water" as they say, the banks have all suddenly found religion and require 20% equity. That we have been making our payments and then some doesn't seem to matter much to them. I don't understand the logic of keeping their customers in risky loans, it seems to me that our bank would want to do what they could to ensure that they get their money back - ie allowing us to refinance to a fixed rate loan so that they don't turn us into part of their problem.

Unless of course, this is their long term strategy - keep us paying until interest rates go through the roof causing us to default and allowing them to foreclose. They probably figure that real estate will recover eventually and they want to own lots of it when this happens.

Phase 2 of my great debt dig-out plan is to start making extra principle payments because I really would like to keep our house.

So that is where we are at the moment - Not great - but still hanging in there and still counting our blessings. I hope y'all are surviving as well.

RH

Friday, February 19, 2010

No Amnesty - Let's Fix Mexico

This is a god awful story - and I really hope Mexico's citizens rise up and throw out the garbage. Again, it always amazes me that the La Raza's of the world aren't trying to do something about the slaughter going on in Mexico.

Wouldn't it be nice if Mexico were able to offer it's citizens a decent standard of living so that when they come visit us here in the US - as tourists - they enjoy themselves, make some friends but are happier upon their return, because as we all know, there is no place like home.

RH

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Can't Find A Job? Blame It On The Women's Movement

I wonder how many of the thousands of advocacy groups out there actually consider how their social tinkering will affect our collective well-being in the years to come.

I am going to hazard a guess that they don't strain their gray matter much more than what is necessary to memorize the official party line. The reason I bring this up is that it has become rather obvious that the country is in a serious pickle what with the government on any level being broke, millions of Americans out of work and the likelihood that things are going to get far worse before they get better (if they get better).

It might be worthwhile to take a step back and consider the ramifications of all the social experiments the Boomer generation forced upon us and decide at what point we value eating more than having every conceivable sub-group of our society properly "represented" every time a crowd gathers.

The urge to bring this up overcame me after reading an editorial concerning the college gender gap in the Daily Newsletter Of Sob Stories and Other Liberal Chantings (sometimes referred to as a newspaper and officially titled The Los Angeles Times). It seems that women now make up around 60% of the student population on college campuses in both undergraduate and graduate programs. No surprise there, since being a boy has basically been classified as a disorder in the K-12 school system. The relentless crusade for "equality" has de-funded those programs (sports, for example) that gave the less conciliatory gender an outlet for all that annoying excess energy as well as something to put in the extra-curricular activities box on the college application.

In many and various ways, girls are fostered and favored over boys and have been for the last 17 years. So why could this be a bad thing? Consider this little statistic:
Women-owned firms accounted for 6.5 percent of total employment in U.S. firms in 2002 and 4.2 percent of total receipts. Source: Office of Advocacy U.S. Small Business Administration
I am going to make the big assumption that the other 93.5 percent of total employment in U.S. firms in 2002 can be accounted for by Men-owned firms. Get the picture? The majority of our resources are going to women, and it is a gamble at the very least as to whether these albeit very well-educated women are going to step up to the plate and start companies in the numbers required to employ the employment-needing population.

There is a chance they will, I guess, but frankly I don't see how since most women want to have babies - a hobby that can prove to be a distraction to the business of company starting and running. Plus, since various areas of technology seem to be the growth industries - an area that doesn't seem to thrill most women - are we setting ourselves up to be a nation of caterers and real estate agents?

I am not saying we should keep women out of higher education - not at all. But, we had better let boys go back to being boys without penalty, stop assuming that both sexes want or need the same things, and quit pretending that there is no difference between boys and girls. There is. Get over it.

This is not what is happening, though. In fact, some idiot group calling themselves the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is now looking into "whether colleges are engaging in widespread discrimination against women in an effort to balance out their male and female populations". There is also a general consensus, it seems, that there have to be more women in science and engineering, come hell or high water. Why?

If a woman wants to go into that field, what is stopping her? Nothing! Enough already! I don't want to play football, I don't want to join the military and I want my husband to mow the lawn and take out the trash. I have an inexplicable love of shoes - the same way my husband and son love computer parts - oodles and oodles of computer parts, each one better than the last!

You are not protecting my civil rights, you are interfering with my pursuit of happiness. If you think there should be more female engineers and you are female, then become an engineer - but don't tell the rest of us what to do.

If we don't get them to stop this nonsense, there will come a day when all we have left are our civil rights - and they don't taste great and they are not at all filling.

RH

Friday, February 12, 2010

Still Here ... Coupons

Have been way too busy lately...so much happening, to much to take care of.

Here's a sears coupon:

  1. Sears coupon code: Save 15% off Fine Jewelry & Watch Purchases of $149 or more w/code SPARKLE15 2/14-2/20

  2. Sears coupon code: EXTRA 5% OFF Grills & Patio w/coupon code S5OFFAFFONLY
    - no expiration given...

  3. Sears coupon code: Online Only: Save EXTRA $5 off $50 w/ coupon code SEARS5OFF50 at cart.


  4. Sears coupon code: Online Only: EXTRA 5% OFF YOUR ENTIRE ORDER
    w/ coupon code SEARSFEB 2/17-2/19

RH