Saturday, October 18, 2008

Not the same "OLD" photo challenge...or maybe it is?

Thanks to Jeanne, I'm back into the Brenda Photo Challenge. I've missed the last several because I couldn't manage to get my photos done on time. While these pics aren't the best, I'm pretty darn pleased to have them anyway...and at least I'm back in the game! The theme this time is "old". Yeah. Not one of my favorite topics either (Thanks Donna! ha!) Especially when I look in the mirror these days (cringe). I tried to get a close up picture of the wrinkles under my eyes - because what screams "old" more than that, right? - but I damn near blinded myself in the attempt so I settled for these pics instead (*smile*).
This first one is a photo of one of my very favorite old movies...It's a Wonderful Life. Who doesn't love this old classic? This next one is a photo of an old homemade toy truck that Randey found at an antique mall several months ago. It currently sits in front of our fireplace and is decorated with mini hay bales, pumpkins and scarecrows.
This picture is of my feet - you might say I'm kickin' it old school. Remember this foot fashion from back in that day? (Susan, I know you're groaning as you see these. LOL) I love these shoes - I even have a pair in yellow.
As a bonus, I thought I'd throw in a picture of a really old guy. Meet Yoda, of Star Wars fame. Okay, so this isn't the real Yoda. Sheesh. This is a life size replica and it's only about 4 years old, but's representative of a 900 year old Jedi...I was going to say he looks pretty good for his age, but...well, that wouldn't be entirely true, now would it? LOL
Thanks for reminding me about this, Jeanne! Can't wait to see what everyone comes up with.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

And the Darwin Award Goes To.....

ANONYMOUS #3!!! Congratulations, Anonymous! You've just won an all expense paid vacation to a place of your choosing, provided you can pull your head out of your ass long enough to navigate your way out of that padded room you must surely be living in!

I have received 4 comments from 3 different "Anonymous" commenters regarding my political posts of late. One, regarding my last post, said this:
Kari, I have to admit like Vee that I voted for Carter--what a diasterous, weak president. American prestige in the world took a nose dive -it is what will happen IF a Obama person wins (I HOPE not)!!! If the American people elect Obama, they will get what they deserve. I'm only afraid that we who did not support him will suffer along with them. He will NOT stand up to aggressors, he will try to "understand" them-- VB

Okay, so it won't shock anyone that this is actually a comment I agree with (lol). VB, this Darwin award is not for you (and not just because we happen to agree, but also because you explained your reasoning behind your comment). I thank you for taking the time to say your piece. Also, just as an aside, this technically isn't an "anonymous" comment since you did sign your initials, eh? Thanks again for weighing in.

Another comment, also regarding today's post, said this:
oh sorry, I had to laugh out loud when I read Vee say we were a prosperous country until the democrats took over 2 years ago LOLOL!! You women are hilarious and I sure as H*L* don't know where you been livin!!!

Huh. Us women, eh? Well, golly, I'm not sure if it's okay for me to respond to this condescending ass. Wouldn't want to overstep my boundaries, being one of the dreaded "you women" of which this person speaks. Hey, by the way, you are one popular person on my blog today, Vee! I know you're laughing just like I am to have gotten a reaction like this. I won't waste anymore time on this particular putz, except to say this: We women (I think I speak for you here, too, Vee. If not, I apologize!) have been living in the United States of America, where we have been safe from terrorist attacks from 9/12/01 forward, thanks in large part to the actions of President George W. Bush. I don't know where you've been living, buddy, but I hope it's just as safe there for you, too. Hate to say it, but this Darwin Award is not for you either. Not that I don't think you're worthy, but rather I've got someone even more worthy in mind.
Now enough of this woman's time has been wasted on you. Let's get to today's big winner...
The next two anonymous comments I got are from the same person and they're the ones that really burn me up (hence the reason I've declared this person the winner of the previously mentioned Darwin Award!). This first comment was in response to my "Preaching to the Choir" post. Here it is:
Hello, I don't have a blog but enjoy reading them! I would like to point out something, this ACORN mess is voter REGISTRATION fraud, NOT voter fraud! There is a huge difference! ACORN pays their workers by the number of people they can sign up in a day, thats why they commit fraud, so they can make bigger bucks, IT WON'T affect the voting process! Please understand that, thank you!

Uhhhhhh, okay. Excuse me. It's Voter REGISTRATION Fraud, which is like totally different from Voter Fraud, right? I mean hel-lo, dudes! That's like not nearly as bad, right? Hardly worth mentioning. Well golly gee, boy howdy, I feel like an hysterical, hand-wringing ninny, let me tell you. Well, okay, so that's not really how I feel. No, I feel more like a person of superior intelligence compared to ANONYMOUS because I think it is abundantly obvious that ANONYMOUS doesn't have the sense God gave a goat. Understand this, ANONYMOUS: the voter registration fraud that ACORN has committed has already affected the voting process. Let me walk you through it. First of all, think about the sheer expense to the states as a result of ACORN's actions. Election board employees are having to work extra hours, hire extra help and devote untold man hours to determine which registrations are genuine and which are suspect. In most states, that is done by sending out verification letters to the people who have registered so they can verify that the address given is correct. (Can anybody say POSTAGE FEES = EXPENSE?????). If there are multiple addresses used for one name, they still have to send a verification to each address. If the address is verified, fine - that person's name is added to the voter rolls. If they are unable to verify a person's address, (in some states) that person's name is not added to the voter roll, but is put aside in case that person shows up to the polls to vote. Should that person show up to vote and their name isn't on the roll, they are referred to the other list. If they are on that list, they are given a ballot, but that ballot is not counted unless and until their registration information can be verified. Imagine standing in line behind just a few people who have to be processed in this way. So you're right, genius, just because a person registers to vote 72 times does not mean they will get to vote 72 times. It does, however, mean that by virtue of registering multiple times, that person has effectively and needlessly cost the election board in funds and time and if enough of these people who registered multiple times show up at any given voting site, they could slow down the voting process enough to discourage lawfully registered voters from actually casting their votes. So you keep on believing that Voter REGISTRATION Fraud is nothing more than a silly ass game played by some low-level flunkies who just happen to work for ACORN. Way to soak in "the big picture"! I can tell how well you actually think issues through, ANONYMOUS. 'Course, I was able to ascertain that by your next comment (left on my Voter Fraud post), which was:
Dear Lord, please please read my comment on the post before this one, I said, VOTER FRAUD IS NOT VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD!!! Voter fraud is what happened in the last 2 elections where Bush stole the election! YES HE DID!!!

If I didn't realize you were a blithering idiot before, I surely understand it now. Thanks for the clarification.
I have had it up to here (picture my hand scraping across my forehead) and two feet over with blatant stupidity and/or willful blindness. I don't mind that someone might have a different opinion than me. Hell, I even welcome it. I have to admit, I'm fairly easily bored and it gives me something to do when someone points out a differing view. We can open up a dialogue and exchange views and ideas back and forth. Good times! Happened just this morning with Brenda, as a matter of fact. She pointed out what she felt were fallacies with my Obama Tax post and, thanks to her, I was able to get a broader picture of some things. It was great learning from her and while I still have the same opinion over Obama's Tax proposal, I'm more clear as to the specifics. That was exciting stuff for me. I love to learn - sometimes I love it more than at other times (particularly when I realize I've been wrong about something), but nevertheless, learning is always welcome. This ANONYMOUS, however, was not attempting to open a dialogue. This ANONYMOUS was seeking to lay down an opinion as fact and then just skedaddle on off my blog without so much as a scratch. Think again, dufus. ANONYMOUS, you apparently suffer some deep-seated resentment regarding George W. Bush. I sure do hate that for you. Now get over it. You truly need to because your resentment of W runs so deep that you seem quite willing to overlook and/or ignore a terribly vicious attack against our democracy, i.e., Voter Fraud (the Registration kind, of course). ANONYMOUS, you probably couldn't explain one iota of either candidate's stand on any given issue, other than to say who is the Democrat and who is the Republican. For whatever reason, you seem to think that by trivializing the actions of ACORN and their personnel, it somehow makes their actions "okay" or even "inconsequential". To that I say, DON'T BE AN IDIOT. More to the point, if the sanctity of our electoral process means so little to you, then why in the hell are you even commenting on my blog about it? There are innumerable ways you can show your ignorance without cluttering up my blog. Go give one a try, eh? And do yourself a favor and seek therapy over this W fetish that seems to have such a grip on you. It's not healthy to live like that. (Yeah, okay, that was a cheap shot. I'm just pissed to be confronted with so much ignorance out of one person. In the words of that great American, Senator John McCain, "it's remarkable".)

Okay, I'm done with that. For now. It burns my butt to no end to hear someone say something so ignorant about Voter Fraud. Like even a little bit is okay. Geez.

Okay, I'm really done now. Let me change the subject before I pound my keyboard into oblivion. On to other things...oh yeah, I got pretty good news at my Weight Watchers meeting. I'm down another 1.6 pounds for a total of 44.6. It was much better than last week, when I lost a whopping 2 ounces. Two ounces...good grief. I probably lost that by wearing a different watch or something. But no matter - this week was better so I'm feeling pretty good. I gotta tell you, though, this last bit of weight seems to be the hardest to get off. It's like trying to whittle a chunk of oak using nothing but a feather. It's hard to make much progress! lol

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Call me "adaptable"

Okay, so I've discovered that I am quite incapable of just keeping my mouth shut about politics. For those of you who don't enjoy my political posts, I'm terribly sorry. But, as was mentioned in a comment from Cassie, if we were friends IRL (in real life) odds are good we'd be talking about this face to face so why would it be wrong to "talk" about it in Blogland? the interest of maintaining variety, I'll make an effort to throw in some stuff other than politics, too. After all, it's not like I sit around IRL, talking about politics 24/7. Okay, so maybe I do, but variety is the spice of life, right?, so I'll work on spicing things up a bit. I'll start with this post and we'll call it "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly".
Here's "the Good"... my 3rd child's senior pictures:
Isn't he adorable? This is Kaleb, my most kind-hearted child. Don't worry - I'm not showing favoritism. I think even his siblings would agree with that characterization. Kaleb is so kind-hearted, he can't even bear to kill a spider. He tends to "set them free", something that I, his arachnophobia afflicted mother, totally disagree with. In most areas of life, he's such a mature kid - I take that for granted sometimes. Like the day he had his senior pictures taken, for instance. I told him to wear the black dress shirt (he looks good in it, no?). I assumed that would be the extent of the wardrobe advice needed from me. I was wrong. I was a bit...taken aback when we got the proofs in and I saw that Kaleb had added the hat and the fingerless gloves and hadn't bothered to button the shirt. I knew I should have gone with him that day. But, even though this is not what I would have chosen for him to wear, I think the pictures themselves came out pretty darn good. We're going to have more pictures taken when he receives his letterman jacket. (I think I'll attend that photo shoot and make sure those gloves don't put in another appearance.)
Now for "the Bad": I was watching TV the other day when an advertisement came on for some new diet cookies.

Before any cookie company lawyers start preparing a lawsuit against me, let me make clear that I am not commenting on the effectiveness of this product. Their commercial cracked me up, though. Not for their claim that these cookies can help you lose, no, no. The funny thing to me was when they said "Many clients comment that they have actually saved money on our program by eliminating the need to purchase food." When I heard that claim, I thought "Geez! Now even these diet places are appealing to our economic fears!". Ummmm, don't most all nutritionists say that we should eat a balanced diet for optimal health? Eliminating food seems like an awfully drastic diet plan to me. lol

Now for "the Ugly"...Barack Obama's Tax plan. I've been doing some research on this tax plan. I've found points from the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation and the Brookings Institute. Who are they, you ask? The more conservative American Enterprise Institute and Heritage Foundation, along with the more liberal leaning Brookings Institute, are generally considered the three most influential policy institutes in the U.S. Here's what they have to say about Obama's tax plan. This chart is from the American Enterprise Institute and it shows the effective Marginal Tax Rates of Obama's plan compared with the current tax law:See how Obama's plan can actually raise taxes for us "middle class people"? By the way, wondering what "Marginal Tax" means? Yeah, me too. Here's the definition for you:

Marginal Tax Rate
The amount of tax paid on an additional dollar of income. As income rises, so does the tax rate.
Notes:Many believe this discourages business investment because you are taking away the incentive to work harder.

Uh, huh. Really clear, isn't it? I'm not an economist, I don't get the tax code all that well, and a lot of this is gibberish to me (hey, I'm being honest here! The only math I'm really good at is figuring out how much an item will cost me if it's on sale. You give me the starting price and tell me the percentage off, I can tell you PDQ just exactly how much that item will cost in the end. lol). However, you can go to the wikipedia link here for a better explanation. (Maybe. Depends on your aptitude to decipher economic talk, I guess.) Anyway, while I don't have a firm grasp on this subject, I think I understand what the basic gist is. And I don't think it's as good for us "middle Americans" as we've been led to believe.

Now here's what The Heritage Foundation had to say about Obama's tax plan:

Among the more prominent elements of his tax proposal, Senator Obama would end the Bush tax cuts and allow the top two tax rates to return to 36 and 39.6 percent. He also would allow personal exemptions and deductions to be phased out for those with income over $250,000. The real kicker, though, is that Senator Obama would end the Social Security payroll tax cap for those over $250,000 in earnings. (The cap is currently set at $102,000.) These individuals will then face a tax rate of 15.65 percent from payroll taxes and the top income tax rate of 39.6 percent for a combined top rate of over 56 percent on each additional dollar earned.
High-income individuals will be forced to pay even more if they live in cities or states with high taxes such as New York City, California, or Maryland. These unlucky people would pay over two-thirds of each new dollar in earnings to the federal government.

Wow! Are we simply out to punish success in this country? You know, I'm not happy about those Wall Street CEOs and their outrageous pay packets, either. In fact, I think it's absolutely ludicrous what these people have been paid in salaries and bonuses. Heck, I'm just as outraged about the huge sums of money actors and athletes get paid in this country. It's crazy! But make no mistake, people. We're not talking about those "ultra rich" people here. These are people who make over a quarter of a million dollars a year. Yeah, it's a lot of money, but it's not an outrageous sum of money. To tax those people at such a rate should bother each and every one of us. These people are not the greedy bastards that ran Wall Street into the ground...they are people who managed to excel in America, something this country has always advocated for. Punishing them for that is not the American way, nor should it be. Here's more from The Heritage Foundation:
Historically, Senator Obama's tax rate would be the highest individual tax rate since the Jimmy Carter days. Tax shelters and tax avoidance strategies were common when the top marginal rate was 70 percent or higher. This new top tax rate will again encourage these gimmicks, reducing investment and economic growth as resources are squandered in an attempt to avoid punitive taxation.

As to the effect on our work force, The Heritage Foundation says this:

These high tax rates could also have a large impact on the labor force. Many workers could choose to reduce their hours or simply retire in the face of such high taxation. Economists usually argue a great deal about what effect minor changes in the tax code will have on incentives to work. However, the Obama plan calls for a tax increase so large that economists will be focusing on the harm to the overall economy rather than just the isolated effects on labor and on capital.

You can read the entire article from The Heritage Foundation by clicking on this link.

Okay, so you think these are just the views of conservatives. Fine. They are. They make sense, but I can see where a liberal would find them suspect. So here's the breakdown from The Brookings Institute as outlined in the Washington Post (click to enlarge):

Looks like Obama is really sticking it to the rich, eh? And what's wrong with that, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. Many of those rich people are the ones who own the companies that employ Americans. You start punishing them for their success and you'll soon find them taking those jobs elsewhere (to a place more friendly to their bottom line) or downsizing their success (and therefore OUR success) in an effort to escape the burden of those outrageous taxes. You'll probably see an increase in the demand for CPA's, though. Everybody and their dog will be hiring them to navigate the way through the tax code in search of each and every loophole available. Also, many of those rich people are the ones who make the biggest contributions to charities. You start taxing them senseless and soon those charitable donations will begin to dry up. I guess that won't matter too much with the Obama doctrine, though. He seems to want the government to provide everything to every citizen. As Obama said, he wants "to spread the wealth around". Sure it's quite a romantic concept, isn't it? I mean heck, America fell in love with this idea back when Errol Flynn slipped on a pair of tights and took on the Sheriff of Nottingham. But do you know what this concept truly is, ladies and gentlemen? It's called SOCIALISM. The definition of socialism?
so·cial·ism (sō'shə-lĭz'əm) n.
1. a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.
2. procedure or practice in accordance with this theory.
3. (in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles.

Honestly, people. Look at that chart, the one from The Brookings Institute. It shows you that Obama is taking from the richest and giving to the poorest. Many of you think that's okay. It's not. I'm all for eliminating poverty, but this isn't the way to do it. This is America. We're supposed to strive for success, not aim for mediocrity. Why can't some of you see that's what Obama's plan is geared towards? When did you confuse Wall Street's greed with Main Street's hard work? If socialism is the abhorrence to you that it is to me, you'd better start spreading the word so that your friends and neighbors will feel the need to look into this themselves. As always, don't take my word for anything. Do the research yourself. And decide for yourself which way you want this country to go...