Monday, December 26, 2011

The Federal Budget Explained (Simply)

Do not understand the federal budget and why the US got downgraded on our economy? Well the explanation below rather brilliantly cuts thru all the political doublespeak we get. It puts it into a much better perspective and is the same for many countries in Europe ...
Why the U.S. was downgraded:

* U.S. Tax revenue:     $  2,170,000,000,000
* Fed budget:             $  3,820,000,000,000
* New debt:                $  1,650,000,000,000
* National debt:           $14,271,000,000,000
* Recent budget cuts: $       38,500,000,000

Let's now remove 8 zeros and pretend it's a household budget:


* Annual family income: $21,700
* Money the family spent: $38,200
* New debt on the credit card: $16,500
* Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
* Total budget cuts: $385

Got It ?????

OK now Lesson # 2: Here's another way to look at the Debt Ceiling:


Let's say, you come home from work and find there has been a massive sewer backup in your neighborhood .... and your home has sewage all the way up to your ceilings.


What do you think you should do ......

Raise the ceilings, or pump out the crap?

Your choice is coming Nov. 2012. Make a good one.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

You Think You Know Everything?

This Post is a quiz for people who know everything…these are not trick questions, but they will make you think. They are straight questions with straight answers… Hope you feel up to the challenge…let me tell you, it was easier than the drive back from Houston…ha, ha, ha…enjoy and excelsior! BTW: The answers follow the questions if you need them, but I figure most of you will not!! 
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1. Name the one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends.

2. What famous North American landmark is constantly moving backward?

3. Of all vegetables, only two can live to produce on their own for several growing seasons. All other vegetables must be replanted every year. What are the only two perennial vegetables?

4. What fruit has its seeds on the outside?

5. In many liquor stores, you can buy pear brandy, with a real pear inside the bottle. The pear is whole and ripe, and the bottle is genuine; it hasn't been cut in any way. How did the pear get inside the bottle?

6. Only three words in standard English begin with the letters ' dw' and they are all common words. Name two of them.

7. There are 14 punctuation marks in English grammar. Can you name at least half of them?

8. Name the only vegetable or fruit that is never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form except fresh.

9. Name 6 or more things that you can wear on your feet beginning with the letter 'S.'









Answers To Quiz:

1... The one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends: Boxing.

2. North American landmark constantly moving backward: Niagara Falls. (The rim is worn down about two and a half feet each year because of the millions of gallons of water that rush over it every minute.)

3. Only two vegetables that can live to produce on their own for several growing seasons: Asparagus and rhubarb.

4. The fruit with its seeds on the outside: Strawberry.

5. How did the pear get inside the brandy bottle? It grew inside the bottle. The bottles are placed over pear buds when they are small, and are wired in place on the tree. The bottle is left in place for the entire growing season. When the pears are ripe, they are snipped off at the stems.

6. Three English words beginning with dw: Dwarf, dwell and dwindle... (of course of the derivatives count too like dweller, but I added dweeb)

7. Fourteen punctuation marks in English grammar: Period, comma, colon, semicolon, dash, hyphen, apostrophe, question mark, exclamation point, quotation mark, brackets, parenthesis, braces, and ellipses.

8. The only vegetable or fruit never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form but fresh: Lettuce.

9. Six or more things you can wear on your feet beginning with 'S': Shoes, socks, sandals, sneakers, slippers, skis, skates, snowshoes, stockings, stilts. (I added snowboard and spikes).

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Reap What You Sow

Tis the Season for kindness and understanding, and this post is a little different from my usual ones. Regardless of your belief or faith, kindness transcends all…and I cannot help myself in forwarding a tale of how actions speak much louder than words. I hope you have a Merry Christmas, a Joyous Hanukah, and good tidings to you and yours.

Good morning said a woman as she walked up to the man sitting on ground. It was mid December, and cold. The man slowly looked up.

This was a woman clearly accustomed to the finer things of life. Her coat was new.. She looked like she had never missed a meal in her life.

His first thought was that she wanted to make fun of him, like so many others had done before.. "Leave me alone," he growled....

To his amazement, the woman continued standing.

She was smiling -- her even white teeth displayed in dazzling rows. "Are you hungry?" she asked.

"No," he answered sarcastically. "I've just come from dining with the president. Now go away."

The woman's smile became even broader. Suddenly the man felt a gentle hand under his arm.

"What are you doing, lady?" the man asked angrily. "I said to leave me alone!”

Just then a policeman came up. "Is there any problem, ma'am?" he asked..

"No problem here, officer," the woman answered. "I'm just trying to get this man to his feet. Will you help me?"

The officer scratched his head. "That's old Jack. He's been a fixture around here for a couple of years. What do you want with him?"

"See that cafeteria over there?" she asked. "I'm going to get him something to eat and get him out of the cold for awhile."

"Are you crazy, lady?" the homeless man resisted. "I don't want to go in there!" Then he felt strong hands grab his other arm and lift him up. "Let me go, officer. I didn't do anything."

"This is a good deal for you, Jack" the officer answered. "Don't blow it.."

Finally, and with some difficulty, the woman and the police officer got Jack into the cafeteria and sat him at a table in a remote corner. It was the middle of the morning, so most of the breakfast crowd had already left and the lunch bunch had not yet arrived...

The manager strode across the cafeteria and stood by his table. "What's going on here, officer?" he asked. "What is all this, is this man in trouble?"

"This lady brought this man in here to be fed," the policeman answered.

"Not in here!" the manager replied angrily. "Having a person like that here is bad for business.."

Old Jack smiled a toothless grin. "See, lady. I told you so. Now if you'll let me go. I didn't want to come here in the first place."

The woman turned to the cafeteria manager and smiled....... "Sir, are you familiar with Eddy and Associates, the banking firm down the street?"

"Of course I am," the manager answered impatiently. "They hold their weekly meetings in one of my banquet rooms."

"And do you make a godly amount of money providing food at these weekly meetings?"

"What business is that of yours?"

I, sir, am Penelope Eddy, president and CEO of the company."

"Oh."

The woman smiled again. "I thought that might make a difference." She glanced at the cop who was busy stifling a giggle. "Would you like to join us in a cup of coffee and a meal, officer?"

"No thanks, ma'am," the officer replied. "I'm on duty."

"Then, perhaps, a cup of coffee to go?" "Yes, ma’am. That would be very nice."

The cafeteria manager turned on his heel, "I'll get your coffee for you right away, officer."

The officer watched him walk away. "You certainly put him in his place," he said.

"That was not my intent. Believe it or not, I have a reason for all this."

She sat down at the table across from her amazed dinner guest. She stared at him intently.. "Jack, do you remember me?"

Old Jack searched her face with his old, rheumy eyes. "I think so -- I mean you do look familiar."

"I'm a little older perhaps," she said. "Maybe I've even filled out more than in my younger days when you worked here, and I came through that very door, cold and hungry."

"Ma'am?" the officer said questioningly. He couldn't believe that such a magnificently turned out woman could ever have been hungry.

"I was just out of college," the woman began. "I had come to the city looking for a job, but I couldn't find anything. Finally I was down to my last few cents and had been kicked out of my apartment. I walked the streets for days. It was February and I was cold and nearly starving. I saw this place and walked in on the off chance that I could get something to eat."

Jack lit up with a smile. "Now I remember," he said.. "I was behind the serving counter. You came up and asked me if you could work for something to eat. I said that it was against company policy."

"I know," the woman continued. "Then you made me the biggest roast beef sandwich that I had ever seen, gave me a cup of coffee, and told me to go over to a corner table and enjoy it. I was afraid that you would get into trouble... Then, when I looked over and saw you put the price of my food in the cash register, I knew then that everything would be all right."

"So you started your own business?" Old Jack said.

"I got a job that very afternoon. I worked my way up. Eventually, I started my own business that, with heaven’s help, luck, and a lot of hard work, prospered, but it took me away for a while." She opened her purse and pulled out a business card.. "When you are finished here, I want you to pay a visit to a Mr. Lyons...He's the personnel director of my company. I'll go talk to him now and I'm certain he'll find something for you to do around the office." She smiled. "I think he might even find the funds to give you a little advance so that you can buy some clothes and get a place to live until you get on your feet... If you ever need anything, my door is always opened to you."

There were tears in the old man's eyes. "How can I ever thank you?" he said. "Don't thank me," the woman answered. "To God goes the glory. He led me to you. To be able to pay back this debt. I was not sure until today that you were the person who had helped me all the many years ago!"

Outside the cafeteria, the officer and the woman paused at the entrance before going their separate ways....

"Thank you for all your help, officer," she said.

"On the contrary, Ms. Eddy," he answered. "Thank you. I saw a miracle today, something that I will never forget. And..And thank you for the coffee!”

Saturday, December 17, 2011

12 Warning Signs of Fascism

1. Exuberant nationalism
Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic images, slogans and symbols - National flags are seen everywhere in public display. Territorial aggression is explained to be mere destiny -- an unbidden greatness thrust upon the nation by history.

It is this burden of unique responsibility that now raises the fascist state above all previous constraint, no longer bound by international obligations, treaties or law.

2. Enemies Identified
This national cause is identified as unity against enemies - The people are rallied around a unifying patriotism directed against some common threat: communists, liberals, a racial, ethnic or religious minority, intellectuals, homosexuals, terrorists, etc.

The state's message is sometimes couched in an easily recognized religious theme. Amazingly, this language is used even when the full context of the teaching shows the meaning to be diametrically opposed. Any dissent is "siding with the enemy", and therefore treasonous.

3. Rights Disappear
Disdain for human and political rights - Fascist regimes foster an artificial climate of fear by intentionally amplifying stress and anxiety. Citizens naturally feel a strong need for security and are easily persuaded to ignore abuses in the name of safety. The few still willing to question are met with bullying and smear campaigns of intimidation.

Legislative bodies, if still in existence at all, are cowed into rubber-stamp submission with occasional ceremonial opposition. The judiciary tends to become activist in support of state views. The public often looks away, or even enthusiastically approves as rights are stripped away.

The concept of the individual inevitably yields ground, exchanged for the promised safety of the all-powerful state.

4. Secrecy Demanded
Obsession with secrecy and national security - The workings of government become increasingly hidden. Questioning of authority is discouraged at all levels of society. From office talk at the water cooler up through the entire apparatus of rule, guarded speech and secrecy become ends in themselves.

Troubling questions are muted and entire areas of scrutiny are placed out of bounds by simply invoking "national security".

5. Military Glorified
Supremacy of the military - The military establishment receives a disproportionate share of government resources, even as pressing domestic needs are neglected. Individual soldiers and military culture are glamorized and made constantly visible.

This provides both an object for public glorification, as well as sharp warning to possibly restless citizens that the power of the state stands close at hand, ready to use its great potential for violence.

6. Corporations Shielded
Corporate power is protected - Typically, a segment of the business elite plays a major role in bringing fascists to national leadership, often from an unsavory obscurity. This marriage of big money and raw violence is often considered by historians to be the hallmark and backbone of fascism.

As these business-government-military interests meld, the significant threat of organized labor is clearly recognized. Labor unions and their support organizations are either co-opted successfully or ruthlessly suppressed and eliminated as soon as possible.

7. Corruption Unchecked
Rampant cronyism and corruption - Fascist states maintain power through this relatively small group of associates, mutually appointing each other to interlocking and rotating positions in government, business and the military.

With this degree of control, they make full use of both official secrecy and the ready threat of state violence to insulate themselves from any meaningful criticism. They are not accountable and are shielded from scrutiny in a way unthinkable in a democratic society.

8. Media Controlled
Controlled mass media - Sometimes the media are controlled directly by clumsy government functionaries. At other times, sympathetic corporate media insiders shape the themes indirectly, and therefor more skillfully. Image regularly trumps content as the "news" is presented breathlessly and with flashy stage effects.

A practiced formula of tenacious repetition brings even the most absurd lie into acceptance over time. By design, the very language itself and the coloration employed will push alternate views "out of the mainstream".

The terms of any remaining debate are narrowly defined to the state's advantage, making it easy to marginalize a truly differing perspective. Censorship and "self-censorship", especially in wartime, is common.

9. Rampant Sexism
Rampant sexism - Governments of fascist states tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Traditional gender roles are made even more rigid and exaggerated. Condemnation of abortion and a virulent homophobia are commonly built into broad policy.

10. Intellectual Bullying
Disdain for intellectuals - Fascist society tends to create an environment of extreme hostility to critical thought in general, and to academics in particular.

Ideologically driven "science" is elevated and lavishly funded, while any expression not in line with the state view is at first ignored, then challenged, then ridiculed and finally stamped out.

It is not uncommon for academics to be pressured to attack the work of their insufficiently patriotic peers. Writings are censored; teachers are fired and arrested. Free artistic expression in new works is openly attacked, and existing works deemed unpatriotic are often publicly destroyed.

11. Militarized Police
Obsession with crime and punishment - Fascist society is often willing to overlook police abuses and forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. Long jail sentences for clearly political offenses, torture and then assassination are at first uncomfortably tolerated, and then start to pile up to become the norm.

Often a national police force is given virtually unlimited power to snoop through the civilian population. Networks of surveillance and informers are employed, both for actual intelligence gathering and also as a means to keep neighbors and co-workers isolated and mistrustful of each other.

12. Elections Stolen

Fraudulent elections - In the disordered time as fascists are rising to power, the electoral arena becomes increasingly confusing, corrupted, and manipulated.

There is rising public cynicism and distrust over what are widely believed to be phony elections manipulated by moneyed influence, obvious media bias, smear campaigns, ballot tampering, judicial interference, intimidation, or outright assassination of potential opposition. Fascists in power have been known to use this disorder as the rationale to delay elections indefinitely.

Monday, December 12, 2011

It is all Relative

This is a tale of what people throw away...sometimes in business we miss the really important things, like making our customers happy, or selling what you believe, not just for profits. Enjoy this tale of caution....

A Jewish woman says to her mother, "I'm divorcing Jeff! All he wants is sex, and my vagina is now the size of a 50 cent piece when it used to be about the size of a 5 cent piece."

Her mother says, "You're married to a multimillionaire businessman, you live in an 8 bedroom mansion, you drive a Ferrari, you get $2,000 a week allowance, you take 6 vacations a year and you want to throw all that away over 45 cents?"

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Life in Summary

Sometimes as we diligently pursue our monetary goals in life and business, we really forget what is important and true in life...these tidbits are what we should self evident that life is good, and the journey should be fun...
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GREAT TRUTHS THAT LITTLE CHILDREN HAVE LEARNED:
1) No matter how hard you try, you can't baptize cats.
2) When your Mum is mad at your Dad, don't let her brush your hair.
3) If your sister hits you, don't hit her back. They always catch the second person.
4) Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato.
5) You can't trust dogs to watch your food..
6) Don't sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.
7) Never hold a Dust-Buster and a cat at the same time.
8) You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
9) Don't wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts.
10) The best place to be when you're sad is Grandma's lap.


GREAT TRUTHS THAT ADULTS HAVE LEARNED:
1) Raising teenagers is like nailing jelly to a tree.
2) Wrinkles don't hurt.
3) Families are like fudge...mostly sweet, with a few nuts
4) Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground...
5) Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside.
6) Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy.


GREAT TRUTHS ABOUT GROWING OLD
1) Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional..
2) Forget the health food. I need all the preservatives I can get.
3) When you fall down, you wonder what else you can do while you're down there.
4) You're getting old when you get the same sensation from a rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster.
5) It's frustrating when you know all the answers but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.
6) Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician.
7) Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.

THE FOUR STAGES OF LIFE:
1) You believe in Santa Claus.
2) You don't believe in Santa Claus.
3) You are Santa Claus.
4) You look like Santa Claus.

SUCCESS:
At age 4 success is . . . . Not piddling in your pants.
At age 12 success is . . . . Having friends.
At age 17 success is . . . . Having a driver's license.
At age 35 success is . . . . Having money.
At age 50 success is . . . . Having money..
At age 70 success is . . . . Having a drivers license.
At age 75 success is . . . . Having friends.
At age 80 success is . . . . Not piddling in your pants..

Always remember to forget the troubles that pass your way;
BUT NEVER forget the blessings that come each day.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Are you an Oxymoron

An oxymoron is a combination of words that contradict each other. Here is a list of some...how many more can you think of? Let me know and I will add them

1. virtual reality

2. original copy

3. old news

4. act naturally

5. pretty ugly

6. living dead

7. jumbo shrimp

8. rolling stop

9. constant variable

10. exact estimate

11. paid volunteers

12. civil war

13. sound of silence

14. clever fool

15. only choice

16. deafening silence

17. black light

18. concrete jungle

19. tax free

20. unorthodox standard

21. stationary runner