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Archive for the ‘culture’ Category

UPDATE: Speaking of mooching freeloaders who don’t want their money cut off. Check out the recent email received by Michelle Malkin.

I have no problem with people receiving benefits from the various federal programs. In fact, I get a monthly check from Uncle Sam as payment for my 20 years of military service. On top of that, I have a pretty decent medical program.

(For those who think it is FREE though, you are sadly mistaken. While it may be relatively inexpensive, I DO have to pay my family and myself. I have to find a doctor willing to take Tricare and I have a co-pay for each visit. Yes, I could save money by driving to a VA hospital, but…. well, no thanks.)

However, there is an argument that can be made that too much of a good thing is not quite as good as it originally seemed. If you continue to do something for people, how long before they stop even trying to do for themselves?

My liberal friends argue that not enough is done. There are poor people who are still not making it. To them, I ask, how much is enough? Have we not been having this War on Poverty since the 1960’s? What has it accomplished? Have we not poured BILLIONS into the Education system? What do we have to show for it? A lower standard of education that the rest of the world.

And the signs are now appearing that people are, in fact, content to live off of the public provisions. A recent poll shows that of those queried, 23% receive some sort of continued public financing. Now that may not sound like much, but extrapolating the numbers out to a national level, that means some 69 million folks fall into that group.

Of that, SIXTY-THREE (63) percent said that they were not willing to have any of their benefits cut if it meant helping to cut down the deficit including 33% who said NOT WILLING AT ALL. That means roughly 15 million folks would not allow a single penny to be taken back. Yet here we are, buried in a mountain of debt.

In a similar report (sorry I don’t have that link), job makers in the Detroit area actually had people asking them to hold the job open for them for a couple of weeks so that the UNEMPLOYED WORKER could finish his or her last few weeks of unemployment money. (And this, after having the benefits extended for over 99 weeks!!) What the hell??

If you cannot see the forest for the trees, then I don’t know what else to tell you. Ben Franklin had it more than right when he said that the best thing to do for a poor man is to make him uncomfortable in his poverty.

A helping hand up, yes. Continued hand outs, no more.

The revolution is at hand. Will you be a leader or a follower?

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Remember When

(I found this over at http://www.barefootsworld.net/. I have seen it in various versions over the years and just felt like putting it up here.) The decision being contemplated out at Berkley High School in California had me reminiscing.

Before the Internet or the PC or MAC.Before the drug war and crack.

Before chronic and Ritalin and dysfunctional.

Before SEGA or Super Nintendo.

Way back . . .

I’m talkin’ bout hide and go seek at dusk.

Red light, Green light. Chocolate milk, Lunch tickets. Penny candy in a brown paper bag. Hopscotch, butterscotch, doubledutch, jacks, kickball, dodgeball, y’all!??

Mother May I?

Hula Hoops and Sunflower Seeds, Jolly Ranchers, blow pops, Mary Janes, Grape and Watermelon Now-Laters?  Alexander the Grape, and Lemonheads.

When the ice cream man came jingling down the street, kids coming running from blocks around, and eating a ‘super dooper sandwich’ for a nickel.

Running through the sprinkler . . . The smell of the sun and licking salty lips . . .?

Watching Saturday Morning cartoons at the Rialto, all day for 10¢. And if your allowance was a quarter, you had enough left over for 2 bags of popcorn and a soda!!

The National Anthem was played and we all stood, hands on our heart, as the curtains opened before the NewsReel and the first movie, Our Gang, the Bowery Boys, The Three Stooges.

Intermission — for all the kids to go running for whatever they needed to do most… The best part was the cartoons, Mickey Mouse, Road Runner, Porky Pig, —— and Bugs.

Then THE REAL DEAL — Tarzan, Jungle Jim, Tom Mix, Gene Autry, Wild Bill Hickok, Errol Flynn, The Lone Ranger, Sky King, The Invisible Man, Lon Chaney, Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff —

Do You Remember That???

And a pocket full of dried peas and a peashooter??

Catching lightening bugs in a jar, playing sling shot and crack the whip?

When around the corner seemed far away,

And going downtown seemed like really going somewhere?

Climbing trees and getting sticky fingers, and a million mosquito bites?

Cops and Robbers, Cowboys and Indians. Running till you were out of breath, then sitting on the curb and watching the stars? (You could see them then, ’cause the nearest street light was two blocks away at the trolley stop.)

Sitting in an old apple tree and eating as many green apples as you could without worrying about the green apple trots.

Going shoe skating (without real ice skates) with friends on the old slough that froze over in winter.

Bedtime . . . Jumping on the bed, pillow fights, being tickled to death, laughing so hard that your stomach hurt?

Being tired from playing…. Remember that?

Crowding in a circle around the ‘after school fight’, then running when the teacher came?

What about the girl that had the big bubbly hand writing??

Do you remember each of the many loves you have had through life?

Eating Kool-aid powder with sugar

When there were two types of sneakers for girls and boys (Keds & PF Flyers), and the only time you wore them at school, was for "gym?"

When it took five minutes for the TV to warm up?

When nearly everyone’s mom was at home when the kids got there?

When nobody owned a purebred dog?

When a quarter was a decent allowance, and another quarter a huge bonus? When you’d reach into a muddy gutter for a penny?

When girls neither dated nor kissed until late high school, if then?

When your Mom wore nylons that came in two pieces?

When all of your male teachers wore neckties and female teachers had their hair done up, everyday?

When you got your windshield cleaned, oil checked, and gas pumped, without asking, for free, every time? And, you didn’t pay for air? And, you got trading stamps to boot!

When nobody was prettier than mom. And scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better.

When laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or towels hidden inside the box? When flour came in 50lb. and 100lb. printed cotton sacks for Mom to make pretty new dresses and blouses for your sisters?

When any parent could discipline any kid, or feed him, or use him to carry groceries, and nobody, not even the kid, thought a thing of it.

When it was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your parents.

When they threatened to keep kids back a grade if they failed . . . and did!

When being sent to the principal’s office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home? Basically, we were in fear for our lives but it wasn’t because of drive by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc. Our parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat!!

When we were taught the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution for United States in school and knew what they meant, and we said the Pledge of Allegiance every day in the first class of the morning.

When a hobo came to your door, you’d open the door and help them, never fearing for your life….you were just helping another who was experiencing rough times.

I want to go back to the time when . . .

Decisions were made by going eeny-meeny-miney-mo and mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, "Do it over!"

"Race issues" meant arguing about who ran the fastest.

Money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in Monopoly.

Catching lightning bugs could happily occupy an entire evening.

It wasn’t odd to have two or three "best" friends.

Being old referred to anyone over 20.

The net on a tennis court or the neighbor’s fence was the perfect height to play volleyball and rules didn’t matter.

The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was cooties.

It was magic when Dad would "remove" his thumb.

It was unbelievable that dodge ball wasn’t an Olympic event.

Having a weapon in school meant being caught with a slingshot.

It was a big deal to finally be tall enough to ride the "big people" rides at the amusement park.

Getting a foot of snow was a dream come true.

Grandpa said "Pull my finger."

Grandma would hide cookies for you.

Abilities you didn’t know you had were discovered because of a "double-dog-dare".

Saturday morning cartoons weren’t 30-minute ads for action figures.

Do you remember when . . . "Oly-oly-oxen-free" made perfect sense?

Spinning around, getting dizzy, and falling down was cause for giggles?

The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team?

War was a card game?

Water balloons were the ultimate weapon?

Baseball cards in the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle?

Taking drugs meant orange-flavored chewable aspirin?

Home-made fresh peach or strawberry ice cream from real thick cream skimmed off the top of the bottles was considered a basic food group? (You mean it isn’t???!!!?)

Your older siblings were your worst tormentors, but also your fiercest protectors?

Feeling the unrelenting love and warmth that comes from hugging a fuzzy puppy while it happily licks your face away…and all you can do is just giggle.

Being really thankful for all the good things in life that you’ve experienced, and having the knowledge to know that bad things were secondary and temporary, and they only came along to make you appreciate the good things more.

The revolution is at hand. Will you be a leader or a follower?

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I learned something this past weekend- Halloween is dying. Perhaps not across the board, but where I live now there is a definite, substantial decrease in the quality of the scariest night of the year. Maybe it is just my perception. Maybe where you live, Halloween is a living, thriving event. Perhaps that is the hope for which I am holding out.

When I was growing up, I recall that I was once d’Artagnan, swashbuckling hero known as the Fourth Muskateer. I had a sword and a homemade outfit (Feathered hap excepted). Another year, while my brother was a mailbox, I was the Space Pumpkin. A set of long johns spray painted silver and a large, plastic pumpkin as a helmet were all that was needed. We went to the local parade where we were judged for our creativity. The streets were crawling with witches, ghosts and goblins… and mailbox-guiding Space Pumpkins.

This last weekend I saw virtually no one walking the streets. People were all over the local strip mall, where stores posted flyers in the windows so that kids knew they could come in to get candy- and parents could get drooling looks from employees working on commission. I admit that I brought my kids (and some friends) to our office Halloween party, where each scored at least a half-reusable-grocery bag of sugar… er… candy. It took me hours to filter out all of the bad stuff.

But I also took my kids around the neighborhood. There were two or three well-decorated houses. The guys down the street converted their garage into a mini haunted house, complete with Scary-Chainsaw-Guy as you exited. But for all of the Halloween hoopla, scarcely 5 percent of the houses had their lights on to indicate they were playing. My little witch and Mortal Combat dude had tired legs because of how hard we had to work to get a respectable haul.

Halloween is becoming a shell of its past. Are we that commercial? I see it in Christmas and New Year’s; not so much for some other holidays like The Fourth of July and even Thanksgiving. But Halloween has always been a sacred event. It was a time when kids snuck around and pranked their friends. It was a time when we got together and decided what to MAKE ourselves for Halloween, not what costume we were going to fork over dozens of dollars for.

Like much of our culture, our past, Halloween is fading into obscurity. The satisfaction of doing it ourselves, seeing the looks on peoples faces as you reveal the closely-guarded costume secret; perhaps winning some cool contest because of it. For the kids, at least, it is becoming ghostly pale in comparison to the days of my youth. Somewhere, the black cat crossed our path and we are suffering for it.

The revolution is at hand. Will you be a leader or a follower?

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