"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom" Albert Einstein

"A dame who knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up." Mae West

Friday, September 26, 2008

Why I don't vote

Because I need no leaders; I can make my own decisions about what is good for me.

Because I accept personal responsibility for the care and well being of myself and my family.

Because I don't compromise and have no admiration for those who do.

Because people who seek to be leaders are dangerous people who want power and control over others.

Because I had no part in electing any of them, I can complain and ridicule imbecilic politicians, regardless of party affiliation.

You deserve all this grief.

To those mortgage brokers who black-listed me as an appraiser because they weren't happy with the so-called low valuations of properties I appraised and my refusal to adjust them higher.

To those stock brokers who were churning commissions in my elderly clients' brokerage accounts, putting them in high risk investments, and who now are screaming rudely to these clients as they desperately pull their money out of those brokerage accounts to save what little money they have left.

To those politicians who eased credit restrictions and mandated lenders to loan money to people who really couldn't afford home ownership.

To those borrowers who based their monthly payments on maximum household income instead of minimum income, lived way beyond their means and got in way over their heads in debt.

To the Federal Reserve for printing more and more worthless paper money.

To the Presidents in the last 50 years who have expanded "entitlements," restrained trade with wage and price controls and regulations, eliminated the gold standard, and waged wars outside our boundaries.

I could go on and on. The finger pointing goes from the head of the country all the way to the individual. Perhaps the best thing to happen would be to let things fall apart. It may suddenly wake people up to the difference between needs and wants, the importance of personal responsibility, and the consequences of immoral actions.

In a quotation attributed to the French author, Alexis de Tocqueville: "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury."

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Was there really any question about it?

Tina Fey will be playing Sarah Palin in SNL's political sketches this year. The resemblance is undeniable.

Can't wait to see the new season.
Addendum: Fooled you. They are both Tina Fey. Here's Palin:

Friday, September 5, 2008

Aliens vs. Country Bumpkins revisited

One thing I've learned in recent days is that I could never be vice-president of this country. Not that I want the job, but the Washington insiders and the media have pretty much told me that small town people are uneducated, hicks, know nothing about the real world and have no business running for one of the big jobs leading this country.

Small town people just like to have sex, drink beer, go hunting, and raise a pack o'kids. We don't travel, we don't read, and we sure as hell don't know about that information highway thang.

This attitude is rampant among self-described cosmopolitans or sophisticates. I have experienced this first hand from former Windy City residents who have moved to our area of southern Illinois (their definition) and laid claim to lake property homes nearby. In fact, I wrote a post about this last year, but deleted it when I "cleaned house" around the first of the year.

I saved it on my electronic gizmo (yeah, I do know how to do that) and I am re-posting it here, because I think it has even more relevance now with all the snooty Washington socialites and metro-media bashing of small town America that is currently taking place. Yet one insightful reported (probably from a small town) noted: "American is made of a million Wasillas and only one Chicago."

Aliens vs. Country Bumpkins

Our section of rural America is being infiltrated by aliens, although not the illegal or outer space kind.In recent years, upper income Chicago city dwellers and suburbanites have been buying homes in our neck of "southern" Illinois, and some have even chosen to retire here.

Who can blame them? Sell your house in the city for $500,000+ and buy something way bigger and better down here for $150,000, invest the rest, and have some fun! Those purchasing second homes are using them for weekend getaways, and will move into them permanently when they do retire.

Like other parts of America, the flavor of our community is changing because of the aliens, and that's not hitting so well with some of the local folk. As one recent Newcomer was quoted at a local town meeting, "Things are changing and you'd better get used to it!"

That didn't make things any better.

Reminiscent of the early days of America, the local natives are unhappy with the Newcomers. They're upset about being driven off their land because they can no longer afford the higher real estate taxes, the consequence of rising property values due to increased alien demand.

But the economics of a boom town are so much easier to handle than the arrogant, in-your-face metro-attitude that many of these aliens are bringing with them.

In our rural Mayberry, the pace of life is slower and quieter. We ask questions because we're interested in you. We speak softly because we don't have to yell over the sounds of jackhammers and traffic. We don't drive fast because it doesn't take us an hour to go two miles. We may wear blue jeans to work because we're not trying to impress anyone. We drive old cars because they only have 15,000 miles on them after 5 years and still run. Most of us are fiscally and politically conservative.

But those things don't make us poor, uneducated, or unsophisticated. It seems that many from the Chicago area consider all of Illinois south of I-80 as "southern Illinois." (Those of us who live in the middle of the state and have some knowledge of maps know there's a whole lot of miles between us and the Ohio River.) And "southern Illinois" to the city folk means country bumpkin.

Like earlier immigrants, upon arriving in our territory, the Newcomers circle their wagons by forming little cliques of fellow transplants, and party around the campfire sharing stories of city life and counting their blessings about their "New Land" that they haven't even begun to know. Apparently there's safety in keeping with your own kind. Besides, it's not worthwhile getting to know the savage natives because the Newcomers are so much smarter, richer and cosmopolitan.

What they never learn is that we natives can drink beer at the local bar and be knowledgeable about fine wines, that we can have church dinners and still enjoy a gourmet meal, that we can drive pick up trucks and be world travelers, that we can know the price of a bushel of corn and how much the Dow Jones was up or down. Some of our locals could buy out the Newcomers three times over. Living in the country is not living in a vacuum. We're just not hung up on impressing our neighbors with what we know and what we can buy.

Even more amazing, many of us local bumpkin business people are much more knowledgeable and worldly than the Newcomers think they are. Merchants and service providers in small rural areas wear many hats and must know a great deal about a wide variety of things. Specialists, like many of the Newcomers, could never last at their occupations in small towns, where your customer base is small but so diverse that a broad-based information background is a necessity for business survival.

Here an attorney will handle wills, estates, real estate, corporate issues and criminal trials. A Realtor may also be an insurance agent and tax preparer. The grocer will sell food, magazines and books, rent videos, sell lottery tickets, make copies and send faxes for customers. The druggist will have a pharmacy, gift and card shop, and be the local UPS store. The dentist could also be a fireman or emergency medical tech.

It may seem as laughable as a comedy series where the mayor is the sheriff, the dry goods owner, the barber, and judge. It is serious business, though. Juggling all these hats means fulfilling requirements for multiple state licenses, constant market research to cater to the ever-changing demands of the consumer, travel to find new products to bring back to the community, evening and weekends of continuing education to keep informed of business issues or learning the latest techniques.

Assimilation is generally a slow process. Divisiveness and wars have occurred because of Newcomer misunderstandings of the natives. Hopefully the Newcomers will remember from times past that pioneers should never underestimate the natives and that the natives may actually be able to teach them a thing or two.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mommy politics

I really try to stay out of politics. Too many good people disagree and get angry at each other. How Mary Matalin and James Carville have ever stayed married is way beyond my comprehension. Thank goodness I am a libertarian and don't buy into all this current madness.

What is currently disturbing to me though are the attacks on Sarah Palin as a mother. Media and others are questioning her abilities "to lead" by pulling her maternal status into the limelight, instead of her politics. Like her daughter's pregnancy, it should be a non-issue.

The fact that she is a mother, with a baby, with five children, with a Down Syndrome child, with a pregnant teen daughter should all be non-issues. I've read stay at home blogger moms attacking Palin for going back to work "too soon." Others are saying she should be spending all her time nurturing the special needs child. Media express concern how someone could be able to "do it all" in this position. Everyone seems to be criticizing her as a mother, because her life doesn't fit their definition.

Would I vote for this woman? Probably not, but it would not be because of how she handles her role of motherhood. In fact, I can identify with her a bit.

Some women have easy pregnancies and easy childbirths. I met with clients while having labor pains, went to the hospital & gave birth, then walked back to my hospital room for some rest , and left the hospital, baby in arms, all in less than 20 hours. I had business appointments two days later and continued working thereafter. I was able to bring the baby with me often, but I did have an extended family network to help babysit when necessary.

I, like Palin appears to be, am most efficient and creative when I am super busy. With proper scheduling, it is possible for a woman to be productive in the work force and still find time to cook family sit-down dinners every night, and spend quality time with children and husband. A politician who has staff, a stay at home husband, and a large extended family has an even easier time.

Like anything else, not all women are alike and not all women could thrive in this type of hectic life schedule. And not all families suffer consequences from this type of life. One can also point out many families with stay at home mothers who have pregnant teen daughters or special needs children and have difficulty handling it all. Palin seems to be resilient and organized and her family appears happy.

The feminist movement began when I was a teen. The message I always heard was about choices for women. Today women have many life choices, and there is no one size fits all family/work lifestyle that women must embrace. If a woman chooses to stay home with a child, breast feed and give the child organic food, let her do it without repercussions. It's what works for her.

If a woman chooses to work outside the home, bottle feed and take the child to day care, then embrace her decision and don't judge her. She may even have an enviable family life that just might make you jealous.

There are still many women who simply don't have the choice to stay at home or work nor have family or staff to help, but they have other ways of making good families through love, understanding, and encouragement. So don't judge them either.

In recent history, many people judged Bill Clinton as a "bad husband" because he cheated on his wife. Cases were argued that it didn't mean that made him a "bad president." The same can be said of motherhood.

Being a mother in all its different forms is a great occupation, but it is a separate issue from job performance in a workplace or political arena.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Obama, Palin, and teen pregnancy

Obama's mother was 18 when he was born on 8/4/1961.
She was married 2/2/61, 6 months before he was born.
I know, it was a premature birth. Right?
Now you know why Obama said to leave Palin alone on this issue.