The birth of a new tradition
-December 20, 2011 by Gerald Long
As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high
gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods --
merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This
year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine
concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift
giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands.
It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in
a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?
Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates
from your local American hair salon or barber?
Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some
Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned
detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a
book of gift certificates.
Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plonking down
the Benjamines on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift
receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or
driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.
There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift
certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about
a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this
isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your home town
Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.
How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or
motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?
Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a
local cleaning lady for a day.
My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy Who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.
Donate to a Local Non-Profit, they always have a need for additional funds
at this time of year. What better way to end the year and help lower your income taxes!
OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin
their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery
and beautiful wooden boxes.
Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave
your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at
your hometown theatre.
Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.
Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese
lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about
fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to
burn, leave the mailman, paper carrier, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG
Donate to your local university in an area of your interest - Theater,
You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that
China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about
US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow
their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our
communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine.
THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.
Pay it Forward!!
Happy holidays, everyone! Thanks for all your emails and kind words. Keep them coming!
BP, over-regulation and my mother
If only we had today's Conservatives around back in 1968 when I was 10 or 11, I’m certain I would have had a much different childhood. The problem, of course, was my mother. She regulated everything. She stifled the spirit of free enterprise that I needed in order to thrive. For example she wouldn't let me play with matches, she made me do my homework and clean my room, she imposed a ridiculous curfew. Even worse, when I failed to comply with the vast regulatory scheme she imposed upon my brother and me, she imposed fines, garnished my allowance and placed me under house arrest. If I shop lifted something, she made me return it and imposed harsh penalties for that. And, get this, once, when I started a fire in the weeds in the lot in back of the house we rented from my aunt, instead of letting me handle it by myself she and my aunt took charge and put the fire out themselves.
To be honest, I never knew just how victimized I was by her until just recently when ultra conservative tea bagger types blamed the Gulf of Mexico oil crisis on the Obama Administration and criticized him for not allowing BP the freedom it needed to clean up its own mess. Republicans also have criticized the current Administration's attempts to hold BP accountable and for requiring BP to establish a 20 Billion Dollar fund to compensate those who have suffered losses due to the oil leak. These same self-styled conservatives have helped to roll back tough regulatory schemes intended to protect the environment and ensure the safety of off shore drilling. I now know it was all my mother's fault. True, she put out the fire in the back field before it blew up into a full blown crisis, true she kept me from burning the house down and taught me that stealing was not likely to be a successful life strategy, true I graduated from High School, but I can't help but feel that if she hadn't exerted such a tough regulatory influence in my young life, I could have been a high ranking BP Corporate mogul today, or a successful politician influenced by generous bribes from unscrupulous lobbyists. Thanks Mom.
-6/29/2012 Michelle Stiner
New shooter arrested after shooting a schoolteacher at a birthday party. Crazypoliticos.com clarifies Stand Your Ground.
Read the story here...
A casual refutation of the Conservative thesis that mandatory affordable health care plans are an infringement on individual liberty
-7/10/2012 Gerald Long
The conservative hysteria against Obamacare is based on a gigantic lie. No one is forcing anyone to buy health insurance. What we are asking is for people to pay for the insurance they already have. Let's be real; if you have an accident or heart attack and make it to the ER, they will dispense expensive medical treatment to save your life regardless of whether you can pay for those emergency services or not. We don't allow people to die in this country from acute injuries if we can help it.
I want Utah to adopt a similar “Stand Your Ground” law, like Florida. Utah has a notorious plague of suspicious teenagers roaming the streets and parks, and it’s high time the rest of us non-teens take a hard stand on "suspicion." If you look guilty, you probably are... you're a teenager!
Texas is raging forward with oceanic momentum of the Tea Party tidal wave. No, bigger! Make that the Tea Party Tsunami. Taxes in Texas will slash like a tire sale (or was it fire sale?) After months, years, decades of liberal rhetoric and clamor, Texas can finally doff the chains of socialistic institutions leeching taxpayer wallets. The budget is in, and ‘belt tightening’ morphed from empty campaign promise into real possibility. So ‘what’d they cut,’ you ask, and you’d be right to ask cause sometimes Big Uncle Sam takes important stuff away. Stuff like military donut day, endangered species hunting, bootlegging or guns. GUNS, for crying out loud!
Wherever you stand on nationalized (universal) health care, and whatever you might think about sex (yup I said it, gaszp), we need Universal Birth Control. No, not Margaret Sanger’s version, that somebody picks a group of (so-called) ne’er-do-wells and forces them under the knife. read more...