Sunday, December 28, 2008

Habari Gani?


Hello and welcome to the third day of Kwanzaa, Ujima. Ujima represents Collective Work and Responsibility. In essence this day focuses on the need for us to work together, to internalize the needs of each individual in the community and work collectively to maintain that community working towards solving our problems. The feeling that we are all responsible for each other is an important part of Ujima.

If we don't have a sense of connectivity, then we cannot conceive of the need to work together. The African American and Pan-African communities are expansive. When we speak of community in this context, it is meant as a collective gathering of our people wherever they may be. In the United States, we still have 'Black communities' concentrated near larger metropolitan areas but we are widespread in the suburbs and rural areas. So, in this respect, you may feel that the concept of Ujima is no longer applicable. You can espouse this concept by doing simple things like what we saw in the Obama campaign-many small community organizations developed all over the nation. You had the opportunity to create your own group right in your own home if you wanted to.

The 'community' has many problems, issues and concerns upon which we can all focus our attention. For example, with the global problem of teen pregnancy, we can work on educating our own children, teaching them abstinence, getting them the proper birth control. We can volunteer to help tutor school-age children so that they perform better academically. We can organize a community garden, teaching each other how to raise our own food. There are so many things we can do. The key is doing them together all over the world.

It starts small but can grow to something much larger, just as Kwanzaa has grown over the years.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Happy Kwanzaa!

Habari Gani!

Remembering all our ancestors who first brought knowledge and enlightenment to the world; who suffered the cruelty of slavery, racism, segregation and oppression throughout the world. Thank you, great ancestors, for the precious gift of your blood, sweat and tears and your fight for freedom, justice and equality. You have helped to bring us to this point in History as we prepare to receive our first Black president of the US and we can begin to say it has not all been in vain. The World sees him as a symbol of hope and honesty because of who we are and where we have been.

The Official Kwanzaa Website

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Her Beauty Was Skin Deep

I was walking in the mall the other day with my beautiful daughter, had no makeup on... just jeans, a turtleneck sweater, flats and a leather jacket. ..43 with gray hairs peeking out from the rinse that is wearing off. I notice when I am being noticed (and love it!) but I try to be respectful to my admirers, smile and just move on. I never disrespect an admiring brother because they get enough of that from others. Anyway, we came upon some very handsome what seemed to be like 25 to 30ish, 6-foot plus tall, fashionable brothers and I noticed them checking me out. I played it off and simply smiled (I did noticed one of them had turned completely around to follow me and made sure that I had noticed him looking). My daughter exclaimed, "Wow, Mom...that guy did a complete 360 just to look at you and watch you walk by!!" I merely replied, "Oh really?". In my mind I thanked him for boosting the ego of a 43 year old, married 20 years sister.

I was always a shy timid girl growing up and fealt that I was ugly. Why? Because not one boy in my high school ever asked me out. When I got my driver's license and started to visit the local mall, I began to realize that I was wrong. It wasn't that I didn't look pretty enough...the problem was that I was the only Black girl in the school. The only other Black boy was my brother. It was in the country in upstate New York in the '80's. say...that explains it! Yes! That explains it all right! Anyway, when I started to go to 'town' I noticed the black boys would try to talk to me and give me compliments. WOW! I really wasn't ugly after all! It was just racism or fear. I think that if someone did 'like' me at my school, they were afraid of what others may say. They just could not get past the racism but I sure got past thinking I was ugly!! But, that's another subject all by itself for a future blog.

I am thankful that it is better for my daughters. They are growing up in a world that often does not care about your racial ethnicity (to a point). Don't get me wrong...racism still exists. In fact, the problem of racial identity and the idea of beauty still exists and may be more prevalent now. Black women not only braid, press and straighten...they have turned the clock back and are starting to wear wigs again. They shave everything and even wear foundation on a daily basis. Sad, sad, sad...Asian women are getting operations to 'open' their eyes, make their noses more European...African men and women are addictively bleaching their skin. European women have their own set of problems as bolemia, anorexia, plastic surgery, etc. continue to be bigger and growing problems. Teens are now going under the knife and asking for a boob job as a sweet 16 birthday gift! The list goes on.

I read a story the other day about a Korean singer/model who was obsessed with her appearance and plastic surgery. She went under the knife many times and received silicone injections illegally. The first picture below are the after results. In Japan she was able to find doctors who performed many surgeries on her face until she was unrecognizable. She went home to Korea where her parents sough psychological help. That worked for a while until she again found a doctor who not only gave her the injections, he gave her the syringes so that she could inject herself. After she could not afford or get the silicone injections she did something else. I guess the silicone must have reminded her of vegetable oil because that is what she decided to use when she became her own plastic surgeon!!


When I saw the 'before' pictures, I was floored!! I could not believe that such a beautiful woman purposely made herself look like a monster!! What does this say about society today? What was she thinking? Was she mentally unstable? Is she suffering from the same apparent mental issues that may plague Michael Jackson? I don't know.


What I do know is that the image of beauty is greatly distorted. Women are trying to make themselves look like something that is not the norm in any society. The average woman does not look like the examples in the magazines nor on television. Heck, the ones in the magazines and on television don't look that way either...they are made up to look like that and it takes a staff of people to make the 'look' complete! But you already know all of this. There's no need to preach to the choir, right? My only hope is that women stop disfiguring themselves in the name of beauty and learn to love themselves for who they are. So at least once a week, go out without makeup. Be comfortable in your own beautiful skin.

Here's the YouTube Link to the story:

Monday, December 8, 2008

What's Wrong With Exponential Growth?

Part I of a series by guest writer Kamau:

What's wrong in the world today? As I scour the news waves daily, I can't find nary a bit of good news. Sure we have days the DOW goes up, but what does that really mean? Did a new factory open? Did a new revolutionary product or manufacturing process come into being? Did a million new jobs appear on the books? Are Americans making and/or keeping more of their own money? So what does the DOW signify? I will tell you; It represents the amount of activity or trade among the people that actually have wealth in this country. Last time I checked that was a scant few percent of the population (less then 10). So why do we get all excited to know the DOW went up (or down)??

Remember the Reagan years, the “trickle-down “philosophy? That rabbit hole goes deeper than you know and yes you (YOU) are still in it's clutches. Didn't think you believed in the idea, did you? Well, now you know.


Ask yourself why? If the DOW was a true indicator of wealth and welfare in America, why is it that even as oil prices dropped like a rock, there was no patterned effect to the larger economy. We are still losing employers by the droves and banks are dropping like flies. The larger banks are yet afraid to lend even to one another. So, what's wrong??

I listened to a lecture by Doctor Albert Bartlett about the theory and science behind exponential growth and the failure of mankind to truly understand it. In fact he stated “The greatest shortcoming of the human race is the failure to understand exponential growth”. The public school nightmare we call education today only takes a cursory swipe at teaching abstract subject matter, but a mere 20 years ago, we “youngster's “ had to know the basic mathematical tools. Exponents was one of them. We actually learned how to plot curves on graph paper (today graphing calculators have take that requirement away). My own high-schoolers have difficulty at linear math (i.e straight lines). Not to get off on too great a tangent here, but I want to point out that our current quagmire has a long history that took a while to devolve into the mess we see today. For example; can something...anything... grow forever??? Please narrow that question to the planet Earth. This rock isn't getting any bigger as the years click by [trust me]. Yet we have devised a global economic paradigm that requires perpetual growth. Think about what that means. Every year, every quarter, every cycle, we all believe that the economy worldwide must grow. And true, grow it must or it crashes.

But....we live on a finite planet. We are citizens of a finite country (empire building aside). Yet, still we must grow. Here is a question for you; when does it stop? Stop it also must because, again, this rock is the same size it was 1 million years ago. It will be the same size (unless it explodes) 1 million years from now. When do we stop growing.

The preceding question is posed for your conjecture. As for myself, its a given; we will stop growing and the only question is: What will happen? Going back to what is wrong in the world today. Answer: seemingly everything.

I can't find a single item in modern life that is correct and/or functioning properly. The economy is on the skids, the climate is whacked, the soil is eroding, the rainforest's are being cut down, species are disappearing, the oceans are becoming acidic, the fish are being depleted, CO2 is still increasing, hunger is becoming more prevalent, old diseases are coming back, the bees are dying, the oil is running out, the coal is running out, the natural gas is running out, copper is running out, iron is running out, uranium is running out, fresh water is running out; the list is very long and I have barely touched the surface. I hope we can all discern each item of depletion is a direct result of over-use. If the economy must continue to grow, so must the population. There is the core issue or shortcoming of the perpetual growth disaster. In part two let's take the population issue to task......Kamau

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Black Friday @ The Evil Empire

Just when we had an event that included a positive (at least to retail establishments) use of the word 'black' some nappy-headed, crazy-as-they-wanna-be, stupid-acting, cheap-Walmart- shopping, dumb-ass Negroes go stampeding to buy some cheap shit at the Evil Empire. What the hell is wrong with these Black folks? You killed a human being to be the first to get some dumb shit at a slight discount!! Hmmm...guess the 'reason for the season' is lost on all of you standing there that morning waiting in the cold with 1,999 other ignorami. And a poor guy trying to make a little extra cash gave his life for all of you. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

People, 'THINGS' ARE NOT MORE IMPORTANT THAN PEOPLE!! This should have never happened and shines a very bright light on our need for the biggest, brightest, best new toy or gadget in the store. We gotta get it before the neighbors do. Little Jr. needs that video game machine so that he can play it instead of studying. Gotta get that HDTV before the football game. Gotta get that deep discount the 'Empire' advertised even though we know there are only 5 of that item in the whole damn store.

We no longer have anything to live for, to look forward to, if the goal is to be standing in a line in the middle of the night at the doors of the 'Empire' waiting for them to let us in so we can spend our hard earned money on some little piece of trash made by a 10 year old kid in China. Now I must admit that I too have stood in a line at a few stores over the years to get in on a good shopping deal even though I knew it was silly. But I tell myself, the discount was worth it. But a discount is definitely not worth risking my life, the life of my kids (I always brought my oldest to help and saw many other kids there too) and the life of an employee of any store. The one rule I always had was to never go to the 'Empire' because the quality of their stuff is shitty at best. I assumed it would be mayhem at that place. As a general rule, I don't shop there because they don't even have the decency to tidy the store and mop the floors every day. This year I decided that no discount was worth losing sleep over and looking foolish standing out there in the cold (well lesser warmth as I am in San Antonio!). Besides, I can do just as well shopping online. I did go out later in the morning and got a really great deal on a mixer, leather jacket, etc. I went to more respectable stores (yes, I know, still made in China). Even then someone was complaining that the electronics store only had 7 of a certain HDTV he wanted. The difference between crowds at the 'Empire' and crowds at other stores is stark--we respect other human beings. Some stores gave out lottery tickets so that there was no need to panic and they controlled the flow of people as they opened the door. They had security at the door. They had police in the parking lot. They took care of their shoppers and their employees. I read that the employees made a human fence by linking arms to control the flow of shoppers. I hope this has taught them (those employees) that no job is worth putting yourself in front of an angry mob and risking your life.

...And this happens after we got an image of a black thug who violently killed the pretty blond news anchor in Arkansas...

This happens after we just elected a highly educated and qualified mixed-race African American to be our president. Some of us may have thought that maybe this election was a sign that we are getting 'there' and we are beginning to 'achieve', take our rightful place in history, putting a positive face out there for all the world to see. Enter the Negroes of the 'Empire' to dash our hopes all to hell! Their stampeding faces plastered all over the Internet, on every newspaper...

To those who willingly stomped on someone's body: HOPE LITTLE JR. LIKED THE NEW TOY--A MAN GAVE HIS LIFE SO YOU COULD BUY IT!

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Holiday Top 10 Suggestions

Ho, Ho, Ho...merry...spending!! Are you ready? Are you ready for the holiday rush? Are you ready to charge into the store and shop your wallets empty? Ready to stand in line at the checkout? Ready to wait out in the cold in the dark Friday morning to get first dibs on the post-Thanksgiving sales?

Here are my top 10 tips:

1. Have a budget! Better yet, have a cash budget--one that does not rely on using credit cards. After all, what good is a sale if you are paying months and months of finance charges?! Have you not erased the benefit of getting the sale if you're paying MiseryCard your savings and more in finance charges? Creative financing didn't work for the banks so what makes you think it will work for you?

2. Go out with a shopping list. Better yet, use the list you had your gift recipients make (of course, cut it in half and toss the more expensive half--lol). Just like you should while grocery shopping, a list allows you to stay within your budget, and you won't forget Jr.'s number 7 video game on his list. Don't stray from that list. Ask yourself if little Nadira really needs that pink and white, zebra-striped, frilly, tasseled Betsy Johnson purse you just walked by sitting there teasing your visual mommy senses--then remind yourself that little Dejanee doesn't even like purses!

3. Wear comfortable shoes. You can't shop 'til your wallet drops if you can't walk longer than 30 minutes.

4. Carry a purse that sits on our shoulders--you'll need that second hand. Guys, carry a wallet that's not afraid of getting lighter right before your eyes.

5. Shop online. You can get refurbished Ipods, overstock bedding, discount books and all with free shipping, no long checkout lines and no crazy parent trying to knock you out because you got the last Guitar Hero bundled with 3 other random games they will never play.

6. Buy a gift card...they'll thank you for it when they think of that magenta flannel pajama set you got them last year.

7. Stop writing 'From Santa' on the gift tags...they can tell it's your handwriting!!

8. Wrap the gifts before Christmas Eve.

9. Take a day off just to rest after New Year's Day, after the kids are back in school. You'll need it and deserve it.

10. Remember the reason for the season---food, glorious food!

Monday, November 10, 2008

United We Stand?

I read a post on CNN that criticized Obama supporters for saying negative things about McCouldn't when 'we should all be uniting'. The following was my response:

As I read about the republican effort to insinuate that Obama was like Fidel Castro and referred to in the same sentence as several Latin and South American dictators, I was proud of the fact that Obama did not reciprocate. As I read all the silly stories about how he was not a citizen because he was born in Kenya (which would not matter as his mother was a citizen), I was amazed that he let that slide without much mention. As I read that he was in prison and a murderer, I thought it wonderful that Obama paid not attention. As I listened to the other candidates call him a terrorist, I was amused at the level at which they would sink to win...Barack simply, calmly set the record straight. As I listened to my mother telling about the robocalls she received in her own home saying ridiculously outrageous things about this upstanding citizen, I was angry, but Obama was not. As I listened to so many people, even his own colleagues, discount his power, authority, and credibility, I kept on hoping and he kept on trying to be heard. As I watched history in the making unfold, I was proud. Proud.

As I listened to Obama's speech Tuesday night, I got excited, I was invigorated, I felt as if finally so many young people who had no hope may be able to find a way to hope now. As I realized the reality of Obama's win hit my consciousness, I was disappointed in myself for not completely believing that it could happen. But how ironic that in this seemingly anti-Muslim time, an Anglo-African-American man would be elected president using his Muslim-sounding name, recollecting his life with his white grandparents, mother and African father.

I will be one of those people knocking on your doors in 3 years working hard to re-elect Mr. Obama because he has instilled a sense of confidence in me because of his reactions to all the negativism that was thrown at him. Through it all, never did he stoop as low. Through it all he kept his cool. Through it all he convinced so many of us that we had chosen the right man to lead our country. Through it all, he acted like a future president should. In light of all the negative information coming out now on the other side, I say thank God Mr. Obama won!!

We are all entitled to our opinions and I respect most of them. Why do we keep bringing out the negative even after the campaign is over? Because we were screaming on the inside. We (many of us) kept it in. We knew it would only hurt our candidate as it did yours so we helped Barack by standing unified and strong. As Oprah put we are all UNLEASHED!!!

Many of us instead used our computers to dispel the myths and inform those we could reach about the misleading falsehoods out there. We tried to set the record straight. Never did anyone try to destroy, defame and possibly insight others to physically harm the other candidate. Never would Obama have tolerated people yelling 'kill him' in his audience. Now the election has been decided. For those of you who chose to be so negative, shame on you. But the American people are smarter now. Do they really want to keep being so polarizing? Do they really think it's enough when so many people are hurting in their bank accounts? I think not. Substance is now a requirement. Finally America may be waking up!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008




(Thanks, but no thanks to the 'Mavricky' team! LOL)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Pre-election Jitters yesterday afternoon I cast my vote. As you can tell, I have been quite excited about the election because of Barack Obama. Every day I joke with a coworker about this election and I tell him I don't think Barak will be allowed to win. Every day I tell myself that he is not going to win. I guess I am trying to prepare myself for that very real possibility. There are so many dirty tricks the media and the other side has still yet to pull that I have no faith in our electoral system. My dear husband believes all elections are 'fixed' and already decided upon long before we vote. I am inclined to believe him. After all, he did predict the sub-prime and stock crash long ago.

Each time I have voted in the past, I have hoped that my one little vote could help juxtapose my chosen candidate to the top. This time, having already witnessed an election stolen, having seen the true powers of those who really decide the presidency-our electoral college-having seen and heard people give outrageous reasons for supporting McCain, I have almost lost hope. They tried the 'black radical' story, they tried the 'Muslim' story, they tried the 'not prepared' story, they tried the 'elitist' story, they tried the 'not a citizen' story, they tried the 'terrorist' story, they even tried the '6'4" black attacker' story, and now it's the 'illegal immigrant aunt' story. What will be next? There are 3 days left and that seems like a lifetime. In three days a lot can happen.

I cannot fathom a real reason to support McCain other than his race. Usually there are two white guys battling it out and I try to choose the lesser of two evils. I truly don't believe there is any kind of 'evil' with Obama. I truly believe that he wants to make a difference. So many people believe and hope this to be true. But I'm afraid there are many more who just want him gone because of who he is. I sit now waiting in anticipation for Tuesday night to come so it will be all over. The waiting is killing my spirit. I should be happy and excited about the fact that a partially black man that is highly intelligent (not forgetting very HOT!!) and more than qualified to be president has a real chance. Nope...all I am doing is worrying...not only worrying that he will not win, but worrying that he will win. Worrying that someone will take it upon themselves to cause him harm. I don't want to witness a possibly great leader's life ending before his children grow up.

Minister Farrakhan, where is your bulletproof wall from the Million Man March? Barak could really use it right now!!


Sunday, October 26, 2008


According to Mr. Oliver North, when he was in DC the other day, Barack Obama's motorcade came by as he drove down the 'Dulles Greenway'. People were directed to the side of the street and when they realized whose motorcade it was, many supporters got out of their cars and started taking pictures. Some of them started to shout, according to Mr. North: '"The Messiah! He's coming! Obama is coming!" The shouting only intensified as the candidate and his entourage — motorcycles, police cars, black Secret Service Suburbans and busses — roared past us.'

People, if any of that is true...please get a proper perspective. He is not a least I don't think he let's stick to reality.

Have a nice week and get to the polls early!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

'Let the Circle be Unbroken'

Today is the 18th birthday of my eldest child. Happy birthday, sweetheart. May the spirit of our ancestors guide you to your destiny.

If you didn't get the pleasure of seeing and hearing Colin Powell speak on 'Meet the Press' today, you missed what I believe to be one of the best moments in this entire presidential campaign. The following is an excerpt of a portion of Colin Powell's words leading up to his endorsement of Barack Obama:

"Senator Obama has demonstrated the kind of calm, patient, intellectual, steady approach to problem-solving that I think we need in this country," Powell declared.

"I think he is a transformational figure, he is a new generation coming onto the world stage, onto the American stage, and for that reason I'll be voting for Sen. Barack Obama," Powell said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Powell said Obama "displayed a steadiness, an intellectual curiosity, a depth of knowledge and an approach to looking at problems ... . I think that he has a, a definitive way of doing business that would serve us well."
So very eloquently put, I felt a sense of pride as I sat literally leaning on the edge of my seat, not wanting to miss one single word. It gives me hope that maybe all isn't lost and maybe at some point we can make a difference...I could not have expressed how I feel any better...Change that we need indeed.

(So shall it be!)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Start your own PAC

I read a very discouraging article today. It was about the low number of black voter registrants and reasons for the problem. Although I am already aware of the problems and most things discussed in the article, I thought it noteworthy enough to pass it on. The link is below and I suggest you read it.

Although it highlights minority voting problems, I think this is one of the reasons why our country is now run by economic elites. The average American is very un-American, very unpatriotic because they no longer participate in the political process. I was very interested in the information presented about voting in Europe. It is also interesting to note that for the country that claims it is the most democratic, it is low on the totem pole when it comes to voter participation.

Here’s my suggestion: When you vote on Nov. 4, bring at least one person with you. In fact fill your car. Make it a voting party; then come back home and watch the results and the annoying political pundits (talk about nothing)…make a cheese and cracker plate, order some Buffalo wings, pizza or whatever floats your boat. I have already requested half the day off for this event and am thinking of taking the next day off (in celebration –or in sorrow…depending on the results) too.

Please also remember that you can vote early if you don’t want to bother with the crowds (or worry about running out of ballots and hanging chads). Check out this link if you are not sure about your state laws:

If you can do this for the Superbowl why can’t you do this for something that actually matters?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Dumb and Dumber

I wrote the following observations in response to an article siting the Princeton Reviews study of the grade levels of language used in the debates. The writer indicated the he or she will be watching the next debate differently because he or she did not realize that the language used was devoid of any intellectual challenges:

Everything these days is 'dumbed' down. Society is less intelligent as a whole and most people do not seek out knowledge, they believe what they hear on TV. I pay attention to the public school education my children are getting and it is very different than the public school education I received. There are a lot of bells and whistles, gadgets, computers, etc...all deflecting from the fact that our public education system is worse. The children graduate knowing less and acting less mature. Thus the reason the candidates have to talk down to America. We no longer expect our leaders to exhibit intelligence. We examine their personalities. We need them to be able to have a drink with us. All silly reasons to vote for anyone whether democrat or republican.

Our leaders need to be intelligent, competent, and able to conduct meetings, interviews with people from all over the world. The funny thing is that people from other countries tend to speak English more intelligently than those born right here in the good old USA. They also tend to do better in our own education systems. I don't need to watch differently because I already noticed that we are a nation that thrives on the lack of knowledge.

I thought I would share because this has been one of my biggest problems with political elections as of late. Here are the debate statistics as they relate to reading levels:

2000 George W. Bush: spoke at a sixth-grade level (6.7) Al Gore: seventh-grade (7.9)

1992 Bill Clinton scored in the seventh grade (7.6), President George Bush in the sixth grade (6.8), and Ross Perot at a sixth-grade level (6.3).

1960 Kennedy and Nixon, both of whom spoke in a vocabulary appropriate for tenth graders.

1858 Lincoln vs. Douglas: Lincoln spoke at an eleventh grade level (11.2); Douglas 12.0

Looking at these results reinforces the fact that America is getting dumber. Sad indeed.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Why do I have a Job?

I was watching a show on television the other day about women who are overwhelmed with their lives because they have careers outside of the home in addition to taking care of their family. One woman described how she hated being the financial officer of her company and another explained how she spends most of her time completing tasks for her teaching job. I could not help thinking about my own struggle with my desire to have a career while still being a mother. Of course, the next thought was then why should they struggle like this when they could simply choose not to work. None of the women seemed to be in financial danger if they quit as they had spouses who were also employed.

My husband’s words began to ring in my ear. He believes that I should choose to stay home because we will never be rich from our jobs and my income just makes it easier for us to be better consumers. I began to question all of my arguments for having a job: It enables me to save more money for our future; I can save for retirement; my children can have summer vacations; I can go on the occasional shopping spree; it gives me something to do in the days; I can make friends and converse with adults like me; blah, blah, blah it goes. As I sit here writing down all these excuses, the reality I see and feel is that my husband is right--I work to consume. When I initially started working, on payday I would think about the new outfit, new purse…the new shoes. I thought about going out to dinner more than once in the week, perhaps treating the children to a movie with dinner. Why are these things so important to me? Why are these consumer driven desires so important to our society? Does this make us better people? Are we better parents? Of what real advantage is the effect of our willingness to give up our lives at home for a few extra dollars that are mostly used to increase the wealth of those that are truly wealthy? Could our desire to consume more than the neighbors and co-workers be driving the economic problems so many of us are feeling today?

Did you need the house you are living in or just wanted to show off how much you can afford? Could you have purchased your car slightly used and saved several thousand dollars? Did you have to go out to eat tonight? Do you realize that you spend at least 2.5 hours on a typical night out to eat at your favorite restaurant? Just think of what you could have done with the time had you stayed home. Cooking dinner may have taken 1 hour. You would have had an additional 1.5 hours to spend relaxing with your family. So tell me…why are we OK with the idea of sitting at a restaurant waiting to be seated for 2 hours? Crazy, isn’t it? So why do we do it? Why do we do all we can to make money and have a nice home then make up all these reasons to not be in it? My husband asks me that all the time. I no longer have an answer.

I must admit that I have gotten to be a lot more frugal over the years since I started working. I want to keep as much of my hard earned money as I can. So now, I don’t go on shopping sprees; I don’t go out to dinner twice each week (I’m watching my girlish figure too!!); I try to spend only when I have to and it is almost painful to see how much is left, even after being careful, by the time the next payday rolls around. Granted, I save before I spend, but it sure would be nice to save even more!!

Every day at work is less tolerable to me. Is there anyone who truly loves working? So why work when we don’t have to? Why can’t we just let go of a few things, stop consuming so much and be satisfied with less?

Hmmm…let me know what you think. Post your comment below.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Letter to Our Leaders

The following is written by one of my favorite writers, my very wise husband:

Dear Congress,

Enough is enough. You have had your fun, but this little game of continuing to deceive is becoming tiresome. The economists have good points, but let's cut to the chase here and get the extemporaneous stuff out of the way. You have [just] realized that our economy is in trouble, yes. You have [just] realized that many large financial institutions are not going to survive, yes. You have noted that the demise of these institutions will have dire consequences on the general well-being of the economy, yes. Your answer (solution) to this crisis is to throw a significant amount of taxpayer dollars at it. Go on, admit it. The only point of contention is how many of these ill-fated dollars each of you are willing to have your names adhered to in case this fails. Otherwise each one of you wants to throw money at it and hope it goes away until you are no longer in office.

Let's examine the mechanics of this mess for a moment. The real problem is older than most Americans know. It is more pervasive than you have allowed Americans to understand. My dear Congress, remember when this country had it own factories for the products we consume? What happened to those?
Ok....we all know what happened to them, but I need you to think about why it happened. Why did we move our manufacturing capability to other shores? What sane society would get rid of the employment structure its own citizens need to buy the products they produce/need? Never mind, we did it and that's history, but why? What could we fill the income gap with since we became a country that stopped producing products to sell? Good idea! We’ll make money a product itself and sell that, along with various services, for a profit.

Problems right out of the chute. We must grow our economy without pause because we get most of our money from a cartel of big banks that control our money supply. As we all know, we borrow this money (at interest) from the Federal Reserve. [For all you folks that don't quite understand that there is never enough money in existence to cover the interest on the money already created, I can explain that in a sidebar] Take my word for it that the economy has to grow because the money supply has to continually increase in order to cover the interest on the money being borrowed. Since [ALL] our money is "borrowed" into existence, this mechanism is very key to the stability of the entire system.

At this moment, the keener among you should have just noticed a paradox in reasoning. As in the boat example with the apple, the more money that is created, the less it is worth. Even in good times, the system does not hold up to logic and will implode over a period. However, and remember, your solution to the problem at hand is to inject $700b (to start) additional money into a system that is already bloated with overpriced assets. Am I the only one that can see why this will not work? It’s insane! Another paradox for the truly gifted among you is the fact that the Fed has managed this crisis from the beginning. However, it is their lane in the road that includes managing the money supply. The more we have to borrow, the more money they earn as a corporation of banks, yet, they are leading the charge on fixing this problem. The fact that they are encouraging this injection of capital into the system cannot be dismissed. However, we have to borrow that $700b from them and that little detail fails to get mentioned.

So Congress, if you really want to solve this problem, get rid of the Fed.
Take the constitution of this country out of the mothballs, dust it off, and get back to your responsibilities stated therein. Otherwise, shut your collective mouths and get ready to preside over the world's newest third world country.

A Concerned Citizen

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I don't eat leftovers...

I just got off the phone with my eldest daughter who is in her first year of college. As we were going through the usual, I asked what she had for lunch. She informed me that she had a peanut butter sandwich and a fruit cup. Of course, I was impressed because her usual lunch consisted of junk food during the past several years of high school. During her senior year, as she was able to go off campus for lunch, she typically ate Burger King, Churches Chicken and Wok Inn spending sometimes up to $9 on just lunch. Meanwhile, I was trying to be good and spend $5 at my cafe at work. I have been trying to get my oldest (who also has an ulcer) to eat healthier and warn her of the weight gain experienced by many during their freshman year. Of course this is hardly applicable these days as kids eat junk on a regular basis. Back when I was in secondary school we all usually ate well rounded meals and obesity was not a problem for kids or adults as it is now. I also stress healthy eating as being overweight is an issue for our ethnicity and our immediate family.

...Now back to the peanut butter and fruit...After she got her car and a job, my dear daughter always would proclaim on the leftover days that she was not eating. She would use her hard earned money to buy junk food or skip dinner all together; she spent a lot on junk food. During any given week, she would spend more than $35 on lunch alone! My lunch checks stopped the moment I noticed that she was spending so much. At that point I realized that she needs to know how it feels to take so much money out of your own pocket. I would warn her about spending so much on food, manicures, clothes, gas, etc. I would tell her that she is actually spending more than me on those things (especially the manicure as I think it is a ridiculous waste of a persons income). I would tell her that she will want all that money back when fall came and she had college expenses. But this was all to no avail. 'I'm a senior and I am going to have fun and buy what I want' would be the general sentiment. She would continue to say, "Since I will be on my own next year, I have to buy these things now while I don't have bills and live at home."

Well, during our conversation tonight, I went on to ask if she went home for lunch as she has classes about 5 minutes from her apartment. She informed me that she brought her lunch with her today to save money and try to eat healthier. WOW! Oprah does not know an AHA moment is until she can experience her own child telling you something like that!!

I am beginning to think (and know) that somewhere behind those rolling eyes, frowns and bored stares during one of our many lectures to our child about being prepared for the future, something actually stuck or perhaps, had to stick. We as parents have always been afraid our children would just be lost after they graduated. We tried to scare them. We tried to encourage them. We tried to inform them and warn them so that things would not be as difficult as it was for us. In an age where kids think of themselves first (and sometimes only) and what their parents are going to give them next, I see a beacon ahead in the darkness. I am starting to think that for some of us, for some of them, life has to happen first before they can change. Like many parents, I had to have one of those children who had to make all the mistakes to learn about what is important. I think she has even said I was right on some things.

In the end, unfortunately, we were right as parents usually are. She now has her own apartment, her own rent, her own electric bill, her own water bill and her own grocery list for which she has to plan and pay!! Our daughter has learned that she does want a clean bedroom, a clean house, money in the bank, gas in the tank and she now wants to study!! She realizes that you have to do chores to have a nice home. And indeed she wants a fabulous place. She knows now that eventually you do get tired of frozen waffles and Poptarts for every meal. She now thinks about how much gas it will take to go somewhere. She now works diligently to set priorities. She has started her journey to becoming her parents and I am loving it!!

So eat up, my darling...and enjoy those leftovers that you now eat all the time!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008 I was trying to put lipstick on my pig the other day....

As I peruse the myriad of news sites, blogs and commentaries, I have to wonder if Americans are as uninformed as it seems. I have to wonder why no one bothers to mention that the news media that are accusing McCain of lying are the same media outlets that play these lies over and over again 'reporting' that they are in fact lies. Are they that foolish to not realize that playing these little snippets of soundbites only reinforces the very ideas that they are 'reporting' to be false. Does it really help Obama to replay McCain ads that are lies and negative just for the sake of pointing out the untruths? there something else going on here?

I rarely see an Obama ad in the news. For the past month or so the media has been reporting on McCain and now McCain & Palin. There was a time when all candidates were in the news but it seems as if once Clinton was gone and Obama was the apparent winner, news disappeared. I have to wonder if this is not an effort to stifel Obama's efforts and pump up McCain. Do we really need to hear over and over about the lipsticked pig? Of what purpose is continuing to report this if it is not to make sure as many people as possible actually begin to believe that Obama called Palin a pig. Of course we all know that he is far too intelligent and cultured to ever do such a thing. I never noticed the media mentioning when McCain does not wear a flag pin; where is the criticism when McCain belittled Clinton? Where was the media when the extremely wealthy McCains were calling Obama an Elitist? Did he mean to say that Obama is more intelligent and worked harder? If that isn't an attempt to put lipstick on a pig, I don't know what is!!

And a few words on the Clintons. It's over. Your time has passed for now so give it up. I see your true colors...they shone through the past couple months. You are sore loosers and you are more interested in yourselves than the Democratic Party. To the media that reported the DNC: your reporting was more about the Clintons than Obama and the actual Convention.

Here's my suggestion for Obama: start fighting hard and trump the garbage ads by good ones of your own because the point is to win. Find a way to get back into the medias radar in a positive way. Come to TX and offer help for the hurricane victims. You must be willing to be a participant in the game with the media if you want to win! Take back your 'rockstar' persona, make big events happen because Americans are shallow and sometimes you have to sink a little lower than you want.

I could go on and on but I have to season the chicken for dinner. A mother's job is never finished...

Coming up sometime in the future: America's strange attatchment to unintelligent life.