Friday, December 31, 2004

Good-bye 2004! Hello, 2005!

While 2004 ended on a tragic note worldwide, it was, for us, a good year. While Dale and I both have health issues, his more severe than mine, we are alive and in good health. Money may be tight at times, but there is enough money to keep a roof over our heads, food on the table, and clothes on our backs. We pay the monthly bills almost always on time. Our vans are not new, but are running, so we can get where we need to be when we need to be there. We are paying off credit cards (the devil's instrument if ever there was one), slowly but surely, and will be completely out of debt, including mortgage, in just a few years.

Our families are hale and hearty; everyone is in good health. We had two new additions to our family, nephews Nicholas and Grady. And let's not forget Wyatt who may be a dog, but is my baby, none the less.

We can look ahead to four more years of leadership, character and strength, something our country has lacked for too many years. If we can get away from the ideas of political correctness and that government has to take care of everyone's every need we'll all be better off. Sure, help those who need it, but also help them to get on their feet so they can be independent and know the pride of being their own man or woman, free to live as they choose.

2004 was the beginning of the Blog Revolution. It was a big year, but I think 2005 will be even bigger as more and more of the mainstream establishment comes to realize the effectiveness of the blog. Every generation seems to have produced a way to broadcast information that surpassed the previous. Think about it: word of mouth, the printing press, the Pony Express, the telegraph, the telephone, radio, television, and now, the Internet. What could the future bring?

I will promise only one thing about 2005: I will continue to blog as long as you, my favorite reader, continues to see something of worth in my ramblings and rantings. I am not showing conceit, it's actually rather humbling for me to know that anyone reads or cares about what I have to say.

I would like to see Congress overhaul both the Social Security system and the Tax system in 2005. My choice would be the tax system as that would benefit all of us immediately, but reforming SS would be a great step in the right direction.

Our economy is actually back to pre-2001 levels. Despite the naysayers, it's getting better every day. Yes, there are still people unemployed, but you know what? Unemployment is at a place where almost everyone who wants to work is working. Not everyone; there are still some who are looking for work. New home construction has been up, retail sales are up, the stock market has finished up for two straight years, and despite what the MSM says, the economy is improving. Okay, you're thinking about businesses that are going under. Do you think that might be because of greed on the part of management or just bad business decisions?

What do you see happening in 2005?

Right On, Andy Rooney!

Well, since Andy denies saying it, and can't find where he said it, I guess Andy didn't say it after all. What I'm referring to is an email that's making the rounds of the Internet. Here's the text of what Andy didn't say:

I like big cars, big boats, big motorcycles, big houses and big campfires.

I believe the money I make belongs to me and my family, not some governmental stooge with a bad comb-over who wants to give it away to crack addicts for squirting out babies.

Guns do not make you a killer. I think killing makes you a killer. You can kill someone with a baseball bat or a car, but no one is trying to ban you from driving to the ball game.

I believe they are called the Boy Scouts for a reason, that is why there are no girls allowed. Girls belong in the Girl Scouts!

I think that if you feel homosexuality is wrong, it is not a phobia, it is an opinion.

I don't think being a minority makes you a victim of anything except numbers. The only things I can think of that are truly discriminatory are things like the United Negro College Fund, Jet Magazine, Black Entertainment Television, and Miss Black America.

Try to have things like the United Caucasian College Fund, Cloud Magazine, White entertainment Television, or Miss White America and see what happens. Jesse Jackson will be knocking down your door.

I have the right NOT to be tolerant of others because they are different, weird, or tick me off. When 70% of the people who get arrested are black, in cities where 70% of the population is black, that is not racial profiling, it is the law of statistics.

I know what sex is, and there are not varying degrees of it. If I received sex from one of the subordinates in my office, it wouldn't be a private matter or my personal business. I would be "FIRED" immediately!

I believe that if you are selling me a milk shake, a pack of cigarettes, a newspaper or a hotel room, you must do it in English! As a matter of fact, if you want to be an American citizen you should have to speak English!

My father and grandfather shouldn't have to die in vain so you can leave the countries you were born in to come over and disrespect ours. I think the police should have every right to shoot your sorry ass if you threaten them after they tell you to stop. If you can't understand the word "freeze" or "stop" in English, see the above lines.

I feel much safer letting a machine with no political affiliation recount votes when needed. I know what the definition of lying is.

I don't think just because you were not born in this country, you are qualified for any special loan programs, government sponsored bank loans or tax breaks, etc., so you can open a hotel, coffee shop, trinket store, or any other business.

We did not go to the aid of certain foreign countries and risk our lives in wars to defend their freedoms so that decades later they could come over here and tell us our constitution is a living document and open to their interpretations.

I don't hate the rich. I don't pity the poor.

I know wrestling is fake, but so are movies and television, and that doesn't stop you from watching them.

I believe a self-righteous liberal or conservative with a cause is more dangerous than a Hell's Angel with an attitude.

I think Bill Gates has every right to keep every penny he made and continue to make more. If it ticks you off, go and invent the next operating system that's better and put your name on the building. Ask your buddy that invented the Internet to help you.

It doesn't take a whole village to raise a child right, but it does take a parent to stand up to the kid and smack their little ass when necessary and say "NO."

I think tattoos and piercing are fine if you want them, but please don't pretend they are a political statement. And . . . Please stay home until that new lip ring heals, I don't want to look at your ugly infected mouth as you serve me french fries!

I am sick of "Political Correctness" and of all the suck ups that go along with it. I know a lot of black people, and not a single one of them was born in Africa, so how can they be "African-Americans"? Besides, Africa is a continent. I don't go around saying I am a European-American because my great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather was from Europe. I am proud to be from America and nowhere else.

And if you don't like my point of view, tough!

So, for my (probably) final post of 2004, I'll say, Thank you, Andy, even though you didn't say it. It's what I would like to have said myself.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Thursday Ramblings

My postings over the next few days will be light (as opposed to recently? you may well ask). Last minute cleaning and present wrapping will take up most of my time. I have the day off today and tomorrow (thanks to Manatee County's generousity to it's employees and the Sheriff following the county holiday plan). I got to leave work early yesterday thanks to the generousity of our Bureau major.

Just as a tease for a later posting, I took Wyatt to work with me this week for some training. It was an interesting week, to say the least.

Celebrations Around the World

I offer this link in the spirit of inclusion and not exclusion (which I have had more than enough of this Christmas season). Thanks to the Queen of all Evil for sharing her heritage.

I'll add more as I find them

And finally

Let me sign off by leaving you with a link to Barney cam. Wyatt highly recommends it.

Merry Christmas to all and Peace on Earth and goodwill to all men!

And a link to Bob Rivers and his audio vault of twisted Christmas songs. Listen to a few and see the Grinch's heart begin to grow with laughter!

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Stats and Christmas Gifts

I just checked my TTLB stats and found that My Little Corner of the World has attained Large Mammal ranking! Wow! It's all thanks to you, my dear and faithful readers that such a thing could have happened. I'm not just saying that, I mean every word. Without readers, we bloggers would be writing for our own amusement or to vent our rath instead of kicking the (choose living or inanimate object of your choice). We put the words down, you read them and link them. Your readers then read them and visit our blogs to read more.

You keep us honest by commenting to our posts. You point our fallacies in our reasoning, or begin discussions because of your faulty reasoning. In either case, bloggers are kept on their feet because we have to think about what you wrote.

I joked in a post asking if my readers had bought my Christmas present yet. Well, I didn't know it then, but you had. You read my blog and many of you come back. I don't care as much about my TTLB ranking as I do that someone finds my blog interesting enough to come back, to link to me so that others will visit. I hope that I will continue to amuse, entertain, inform, and learn from my readers in the next year. If I can do that, then I will be a happy blogger indeed.

Merry Christmas!
Sunday Ramblings

I know that just last Sunday, I declared this a politics-free zone for the duration of the Christmas season. I also said that I would post if there were something that I just had to post about. Well, it seems that Time magazine has declared their Person of the Year to be, none other than, ::drum roll:: George Walker Bush!

For sticking to his guns (literally and figuratively), for reshaping the rules of politics to fit his ten-gallon-hat leadership style and for persuading a majority of voters that he deserved to be in the White House for another four years, George W. Bush is TIME's 2004 Person of the Year.

Yes, our very own W is Time's Man of the Year (being a PC-free zone, I had to designate him as "Man" of the year instead of "Person" of the year).

I wasn't sure that Time would have the guts to do what we red-staters already knew to be fact.

Congratulations, Mr. President!
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

You will probably see this editorial, one of the most famous ever written, all over the Internet this Christmas season. It was written in 1897 in response to a letter by 8-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon. Yes, you may see it all over the Internet, but you will also see it here. The answer to her question gives, in my opinion, one of the best definitions of what Christmas, and Santa Claus, is all about.

Dear Editor -

I am 8 years old.

Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.

Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth: Is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O’Hanlon 115 W. 95th St.

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias.

There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see.

Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

I believe in Santa Claus. I believe in the inherent goodness and generousity of human beings. Unfortunately, we hear mostly the bad things and so seldom hear the good. When we hear the good, it's usually at Christmas or Thanksgiving. Sometimes we hear the good things when someone needs or wants publicity for one reason or another. There's usually an ulterior motive for the good to be told. I know that good people do good things all the time. I just wish we'd hear more of it all year long.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Change is Good

There will probably be more changes here in my corner over the next few weeks. Like the address. I am not happy with Blogger, and when I ask questions, the answer is, well, you've got a lot of script running.

I had the same amount of script running after my last post on Sunday as I did when I checked in on Monday, but somehow the font size in my sidebar changed dramatically in between. Don't know how it happened, I've tried to change the font size previously, but not for several months now. Tomorrow, or next week it might be back to normal readable size, but who knows? I've about had enough of the problems. The upshot is that I will be looking for a new host for my corner.

New Year, New Corner.

Update: I've been looking at different hosts, but would like to have some input from my true and faithful readers. Any suggestions where My Corner should move to?

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Sunday Ramblings

Politics-Free Zone

I have decreed, by virtue of being the owner, editor, publisher, chief (and only) writer, and general go-fer for this site, that this will be a Politics-Free Zone for the duration of the holidays.

However, I reserve the right to change my mind at any point in time for the simple reason that I am female (there are lots of good things about being a woman).

Christmas Ponderings in General

Anybody have any Christmas related sites that are fun and interesting? Email me at I'll post the site for all my readers to enjoy.

Anybody thinking of New Year's resolutions yet?

Oh, I posted links to name generators. I'll be posting my various Christmas names. Feel free to post yours in comments. I'll do a post later on about other secret names, just post Christmas related names for now, please.

I didn't have any response to my question about what makes it Christmas for you. Anyone want to comment?

Anyone bought my Christmas present yet? (hee-hee!)

Here's a link to Bob River's White Trash Christmas. And a link to the Bob Rivers Show where the audio vault is full of Twisted Tunes. There's Shoppin' Around for a Christmas Tree, Parking Spaces, We Wish You Weren't Living With Us and others equally twisted.

Last year I wanted to do a Twelve Days of a Florida Christmas and never got around to it. If anyone has ideas for it, email me at If there's more than one entry for a day, I'll let you, my faithful and intelligent readers pick the one you like best. Credit will go to the winners.

hmmm..."winners" indictates a prize. How about a invitation to a gmail account? I have several to go around.

Secret Names

Okay, I've found several of my secret names. Since I seem to have multiple personalities, I guess I should have names to go with them.

Elf: Silmarwen Varamir
Hobbit: Peony Moss of Lake-by-Downs
Cyborg: D.E.B.O.R.A.H Digital Electronic Being Optimized for Repair and Accurate Harm
Fantasy: Gwauwin
Smurf: Megatron Smurf
Jedi: Carde Kenbra of the Planet Prozac
Harry Potter: Minerva
Fluffy Kitty: Powderpuff Merryweather
Redneck: Dancin' Stockings
Small Goddess: Brunhilma, Goddess of the Mariana Trench (I knew I was deep!)
Oompah-Loompah: Sugerfreak Crackmonkey
Christmas name: Tinlsey Reindeer
Santa's Little Helper: Trumpy Hot-Gnome

Secret Name Generators

Okay, I did a Google search and found some name generators. Use the links to find your Hobbit and Elven names, random name, Cyborg name, fantasy name 1, fantasy name 2 (also has serious, fun, and specialized names), Smurf, or Jedi name.

Rum and Monkey
has what looks to be every name generator available. If you want to know your Japanese name is, your hard-core sex worker name, fluffy kitten name, Redneck name, Oompah-Loompah name, Harry Potter name, or fairy name, among others, try this site.

! also has a random name generator where you can find your prison bitch name, your Louis Farrakhan African name, your Superhero or your Pokename or any of dozens more.

And, this being the Christmas season, there are also Christmas name generators here and here, and Santa's little helpers names here.
Squirrel Names

You probably remember the emails that were going around a few months ago, and probably still are, where you could generate a new name by matching your initials to words, other letters or whatever. Well, I found (thanks to She Who Will Be Obeyed!) a site helps you find your squirrel name. Since most of us are squirelly to some extent, I thought you might like to find your squirrel name. So,
here it is. Turns out I am Captain McBushy. Dale is Pope Dangleberry. My dog Wyatt is Primeminister O'Squirely, and our cats, Dollie and Oliver, are Lt. McNutt and Sgt. Nuttykins, respectively.

Let's have some fun! Anyboy know other name generators? I'll post any sent to me at my email

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

'Twas The Night Before Christmas






















This poem was written by a Marine. The following is his request. I think it is reasonable..... PLEASE. Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S. service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities.Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us. Please, do your small part to plant this small seed. TONY LIZANO.

I received this poem in an email from my good friend Linda and thought it was something I wanted to share. It's also a way, a very small way, to say thank you to the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines who have taken the responsibility of guarding our lives, our country, and our freedoms.

I know I can't say "Thank You" to each and every one of them, men and women alike, but I can post this poem and hope that if only one of them reads it they will know that I appreciate the sacrifices they and their families have made on my behalf.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Christmas is Offensive

At least that's what some politically correct people say. They are worried that someone might be offended if they hear a Christmas carol sung. They're worried that someone might be offended if they are wished, or even see the words, Merry Christmas. And God (you believe in Him) forbid that we display a Nativity scene. We can't have Christmas parades anymore. We have Holiday parades or Parades of Lights or Festivals of Lights or call it by some other PC phrase because it might offend someone to use the word Christmas.

I like Santa Claus. I like candy canes and elves, and giving gifts. I especially like getting gifts; I won't lie about that. I love the music of the season. It doesn't matter whether it's Bing Crosby singing White Christmas or Adeste Fideles, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, the Tractors Santa Claus is Comin' (In a Boogie Woogie Choo Choo Train), the Glenn Miller Orchestra and Silver Bells, or Nat King Cole singing O Holy Night (I get shivers everytime I hear this song). I love the movies whether it's the classic The Bishop's Wife, the new classic National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, King of Kings, or too many others to mention. I love Christmas and all that goes with it, whether it's secular or religious. I like it.

The PC crowd worries that someone might be offended by the religious aspect of Christmas. You know what? They are right: someone might be offended. It's me. I'm offended. Honestly, I don't care if someone wishes me a Happy Holiday instead of a Merry Christmas. That won't offend me. What does offend me is someone deciding that I can't sing Silent Night because someone might be offended. If I were told that I can't sing because I make Roseanne sound like Maria Callas might hurt my feelings, but I'd understand. I can sing, it's just not one of my better talents. But to be told I can't sing because someone, somewhere might be offended by hearing about the birth of Christ is suppressing my freedom of religion, not to mention my freedom of speech. And that offends me. It's not just that I can't sing it, it's that no one can.

I understand that not everyone believes as I do. And there is the rub. Some people have no faith, others have faith, but believe in something other than what I believe in. I don't have a problem with other religions, unless they want to kill me, then we have a problem. I embrace other religions because I like learning about other things, other cultures. They enrich our national culture. Without other cultures we wouldn't have Christmas trees (Germany), Christmas cards (England) or Christ himself (ancient Israel). Without Christ, there would be no Christmas at all. And that's the crux of the whole PC thing: To take Christ out of Christmas. To take religion out of the holiday. Well, to some of us, that's the entire point of the holiday. The rest is just icing on the cake.

We have got to do away with this PC nonsense. That's one of the things that is dividing this country. We don't dare talk about masters and slaves anymore even if we're discussing primary and secondary computers. One day we will wake up and the Holiday parade will be moved to October. Doesn't have to be held in December, it's a holiday parade, it can be held anytime. Let's move it to spring and combine it with that other religious Christian holiday and get rid of it too.

America is a rich, culturally diverse nation. We should be able to celebrate all religions and not exclude anyone. But that's not what's happening. We are so afraid of offending one person that we risk offending everyone. There are a couple of things the PC crowd forgets: 1. America was built on Judeo-Christian beliefs; 2. In being politically correct, you're telling at least one group of people that they don't count; 3. You can call the holiday anything you choose, but it is still Christmas in the hearts of millions of Americans; 4. By telling me that I can't celebrate Christmas is infringing on my religious freedoms; and 5. Politically correct people give me the impression that they are mean, nasty, anal-retentive, obsessive, and sad, pitiful people.

To paraphrase Abe Lincoln: You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time. Human nature being what it is, someone is bound to be mad about something. So let's stop this PC nonsense and get back to doing what we do best: being culturally diverse Americans who want to celebrate Christmas in whatever manner they choose.

This being a politically correct-free corner, I would like to be among the first to wish you a very Merry Christmas and the very best of the season. If you are among the PC-minded, I will add this wish to my greeting: I wish that your heart, like that of the Grinch, grows at least two sizes and that you learn tolerance and how to enjoy the richness of all cultures and religions.

Angst in Boca

By now, I'm sure you've heard of the newest mental health crisis facing our society: PEST. Post Election Selection Trauma. reports that the American Health Association conducted the first of several free noontime therapy sessions where participants screamed epithets at President Bush while sharing their emotions with mental health counselors.

Robert J. Gordon, AHA executive director described the participants as predominantly Jewish and older than 50. Most are registered independents and all live in Palm Beach County. These are some of the people who have fallen prey to the Democrats usual scare tactics such as that the Republicans will end Social Security and start the draft and other assorted nonsense.

I will be the first to say that they are scared and I will not demean them by saying they shouldn't be. That's like telling a child with a boo-boo that he shouldn't cry. It hurts! Of course the kid is going to cry. However, it's also my humble opinion, that there are more mental health issues here than just election results. I am not a mental health counselor, but I have worked in public contact jobs and have been an observer of human behavior for long enough that even I can see that see that it's not just election results that have pushed these people over the edge. This was just the last straw; the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak. I will also admit that my first reaction is to tell them to suck it up and get over it, already. Then I remember that this is the same part of Florida that couldn't cast their votes correctly in 2000. There's much more here than just PEST.

I know myself well enough that had the election gone the other way, I would have been sad and depressed and worried about the future - for a day or two. But not to the extent that I would need mental health treatment. While life doesn't always go the way we want it to, life does go on. I've voted in enough elections to know that what a candidate says during an election is usually campaign rhetoric. The candidate doesn't have the first intention of really implementing his platform. He will say whatever he thinks it will take to get those votes. Unfortunately, Kerry just couldn't get enough voters to believe him when he said whatever he thought that group wanted to hear. And as I said, he used the usual Democratic scare tactics. He ought to be proud that someone really believed him.

On the other hand, it looks as if Bush really does mean what he says. He made me feel that of the two candidates, he was the one who meant what he said. And that's why I supported him and why I voted for him. I want someone in the White House who says what he means and really means what he says. When President Bush says this is how it's gonna be, I believe that's the way it's gonna be. Maybe it's a throwback to when I was a little girl and could count on my Daddy taking care of things, but I like that there is someone who is willing to take care of the big, bad, world.

It's one less thing that I'll have nightmares about.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Did You Know?

That you can donate to a worthy cause by making online purchases? I found this in Woman's World magazine:

Donate to a Worthy Cause-Without Spending a Dime

What if 3%, 4%, 5%-or even more-of every online purchase you made went to the charity of your choice? It's possible! The people at have persuaded more than 550 online retailers-including Target, the Gap, Lands' End and the Disney Store-to give a percentage of every purchase you make through their site to the charity of your choice. So far, more than $1.5 million has been raised for worthy causes!

How to help: Log onto Shop as you normally do-you won't even notice any difference. Best of all, you can designate any charity-large or small!

Take a guess where I'll be doing my Christmas shopping! Online shopping from my home (in my jammies? Woo-hoo!), taking advantage of online sales, free shipping, drop-shipping, and if they offer wrapping services...! And, being able to donate to my favorite charities? It's a good thing!

Day By Day Returns!

Welcome back to Chris Muir and Day By Day. This is a great cartoon that has been sorely missed. Read early and read often!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Illegal Aliens and Driver's Licenses

One more word from me on this subject, but probably not the last. It's apparently become a hot-button topic what with the Intel bills and Homeland Security issues coming up. My word, which means nothing once you, my favorite reader, have gone on to another link, is that we should not give driver's licences or any other form of identification to an illegal alien.

I've written on this subject several times before. Many, maybe most, have legitmate reasons for wanting to be here and for some reason can't be here legally. Personally, I don't care what their reason for being in this country is. Whether they are here to make a living for their family or here to blow up buildings and kill American citizens. They are here illegally, and they are committing an illegal act by being in this country without having the appropriate, legal documents. They are not just "undocumented", they are criminals. Sure, a crime that is minor compared to the crimes a certain 19 committed who, by the way, all had US driver's licenses. Just because you have a DL doesn't mean you are here to be a nanny, work in fields, attend school, or run a Fortune 500 company. The reasons illegals are here is secondary to the fact that they are criminals committing an illegal act and are being pandered to by politicians for their votes.

I work in a juvenile prison. We learned that you can't reward the juveniles for inproper behavior, it only re-enforces the inappropriate behavior. But this is just what many legislators, including the President and his brother, the governor of my own state want to do. They want to ignore the fact that these aliens are here illegally and want to give them ID so they can work. A noble cause, but they are not altruistic in their endevors. It's for votes and if there is anyone here who doesn't believe that, well, I have a bridge I'd like to talk to you about.

If legislators want to make them legal, then begin by changing the laws that make them illegal. I wouldn't care what documents the government want to give aliens then. Until then, they are criminals, they are committing an illegal act and should be dealt with accordingly. Change the law and I will greet the now legal aliens with open arms.

Now, as I've written in previous posts, I understand that many of the illegal aliens are here to provide for their families. Think of this: someone breaks into your house and takes the money you have hidden in your sock drawer. They use the money to buy food for their kids. As good a reason as I can think of to commit a crime. But, this person has broken the law and is a criminal. Do you really care why the sanctity of your home was broken? My house has been broken into. I never thought to ask why the burglar did it. I was angry. And I'm angry that my government is aiding and abetting the breaking of our own laws.

America is our home. We have criminals breaking in every day. They may not be breaking into our sock drawers but they are still stealing from us. They steal by going to hospitals and not having insurance or the money to pay. They collect government subsidies when they are able to. You and I pay for these subsities through our taxes. Again, either make them legal by changing the laws or enforce the laws currently on the books.

I know there will be readers who think I am heartless and cruel, especially since it's the Christmas season, the season of giving. I give every chance I get. We get a lot of migrant workers in this area to work in the groves, and tomato and strawberry fields this time of year. It tears my heart out to know what the future holds for most of the little kids and their families. Many of them will end up in the criminal justice system or in the welfare system because we've become a nation of enablers. Liberals, in their attempts to do the right thing, are doing exactly the wrong thing. If you keep giving, the people you're trying to help will never be able to stand on their own feet. And by giving illegals documentation, but not making them legal, the legislature is forcing them to stay on the shady side of the law. They will never be completely legal, and won't be able to come into the light. They will be forever in "the system" and will never be able to break free of it.

And America is the worse for it.
Christmas Shows

Well, since no one was able to give me a website or blog or anything that would help in my quest to see my favorite Christmas shows and movies, I compiled a (partial) list of of shows and movies that will be on TV during the season. This is just a partial list, mind you, and I will be adding to it as I get more information. All times are Eastern and I listed only the company (ABC, TNT, Hallmark etc.) so be sure to check your local listings for channel and time (as I don't guarantee I didn't typo the times).

12-01 Nick & Jessica’s Family Christmas 9:00 pm ABC
12-01 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 8:00 pm CBS
12-01 The Christmas Box 9:00 pm Hallmark
12-02 A Boyfriend for Christmas 9:00 pm Hallmark
12-03 Frosty Returns 8:30 pm CBS
12-03 Frosty the Snowman 8:00 pm CBS
12-03 How the Grinch Stole Christmas 9:00 pm Cartoon Network
12-03 Santa Jr. 9:00 pm Hallmark
12-04 A Christmas Visitor 7:00 pm Hallmark
12-04 Season for Miracles 5:00 pm Hallmark
12-05 ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas 12:00 am Family
12-05 A Christmas Carol 9:00 pm Hallmark
12-05 A Very Married Christmas 9:00 pm CBS
12-05 The Christmas Box 7:00 pm Hallmark
12-05 The Christmas Gift 1:00 pm Hallmark
12-05 The Christmas Gift 1:00 pm Hallmark
12-05 The Leprechaun’s Christmas Gold 12:30 am Family
12-06 A Christmas Carol 9:00 pm USA
12-07 12 Days of Christmas Eve 8:00 pm and 10:00 pm USA
12-07 A Charlie Brown Christmas 8:00 pm ABC
12-07 A Christmas Carol 4:00 pm USA
12-07 Once Upon a Christmas 9:00 am Hallmark
12-08 A Clay Aiken Christmas 8:00 pm NBC
12-08 Twice Upon a Christmas 9:00 pm Hallmark
12-09 Christmas in Rockefeller Center 9:00 pm NBC
12-10 Christmas in Connecticut 6:00 am TCM
12-11 A Christmas Carol 4:00 pm USA
12-11 A Christmas Carol 7:00 pm Hallmark
12-11 Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus 11:00 pm Hallmark
12-11 Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus 9:00 pm Hallmark
12-11 The Christmas Gift 9:00 pm Hallmark
12-11 The Night They Saved Christmas 1:00 pm Hallmark
12-12 A Christmas Memory 11:00 pm Hallmark
12-12 A Christmas Memory 3:00 pm Hallmark
12-12 Meet Me in St Louis 10:00 am TCM
12-12 Mrs. Santa Claus 1:00 pm Hallmark
12-12 Season for Miracles 9:00 pm Hallmark
12-12 The Bishop’s Wife 12:00 pm TCM
12-13 The Christmas Gift 9:00 pm Hallmark
12-15 A Christmas Carol 9:00 pm TNT
12-15 Christmas in Connecticut 12:00 pm TCM
12-15 King of Kings 3:00 am TNT
12-16 Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus 9:00 pm Hallmark
12-18 A Boyfriend for Christmas 7:00 pm Hallmark
12-18 Angel in the Family 9:00 pm Hallmark
12-18 Angel of Pennsylvania Avenue 1:00 pm Hallmark
12-18 Santa Jr. 5:00 pm Hallmark
12-19 A Christmas Carol 3:00 am Hallmark
12-19 National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation 9:00 pm NBC
12-19 Once Upon a Christmas 11:00 pm Hallmark
12-19 Once Upon a Christmas 3:00 pm Hallmark
12-19 Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus 7:00 pm Hallmark
12-19 The Christmas Box 7:00 pm Hallmark
12-19 Twice Upon a Christmas 5:00 pm Hallmark
12-20 Christmas Vacation 2 8:00 pm NBC
12-21 A Christmas Carol 9:00 pm Hallmark
12-21 The Greatest Story Ever Told 11:00 pm TCM
12-22 A Christmas Story 12:15 am TCM
12-22 The Night They Saved Christmas 9:00 pm Hallmark
12-23 A Christmas Carol 8:00 pm TCM
12-23 Angel in the Family 9:00 pm Hallmark
12-23 The Man Who Came to Dinner 9:30 pm TCM
12-24 A Christmas Visitor 10:00 pm Hallmark
12-24 A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie 10:00 am Hallmark
12-24 Holiday Inn 12:00 am TCM
12-24 Season for Miracles 6:00 pm Hallmark
12-24 The Christmas Box 2:00 pm Hallmark
12-25 A Boyfriend for Christmas 8:00 pm Hallmark
12-25 A Christmas Carol 3:00 pm Hallmark
12-25 Christmas Snow 8:00 pm Hallmark
12-25 Mrs. Santa Claus 6:00 am Hallmark
12-25 Once Upon a Christmas 11:00 am Hallmark
12-25 Once Upon a Christmas 11:00 pm Hallmark
12-25 Santa Jr. 5:00 pm Hallmark
12-25 Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus 7:00 pm Hallmark
12-25 The Greatest Story Ever Told 2:30 pm TCM
12-25 The Miracle of the Bells 8:15 am TCM
12-25 Twice Upon a Christmas 1:00 pm Hallmark
12-25 The Night They Saved Christmas 9:00 am Hallmark

And this raises the question: what Christmas program or movie makes it Christmas for you? For me, it's A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Bishop's Wife, and A Christmas Carol, preferably the Reginald Owen version (1938, I believe), but I try to see as many of the A Christmas Carol versions as I can every year. The Man Who Came to Dinner is just a hoot and NL's Christmas Vacation and Scrooged have become favorites too. There are others, such as A Flintstone's Christmas that I don't like to miss.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

God in Schools and Holidays

On Thanksgiving, I read several stories about how history is being re-written in the schools. In view of events in Maryland I think we need a refresher course in the First Amendment.

This is what the First Amendment actually says: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Now I'm not saying that the First Amendment is being used incorrectly. By citing the First Amendment, I'm attempting to head off those who will say that government schools cannot allow religion into schools. The First Amendment does not say that. It simply states that Congress cannot make laws to either establish a national religion or laws that give preference to any religion over another. Nor can Congress make laws that prohibit the practice of religion.

Now, I'm a Christian and I make no bones about it. I believe that the various religions should be taught in schools just as English, Math, and Science are taught. I think creationism and evolution should be taught side-by-side with no preference one to the other. And I specifically think that the religious aspects of our national holidays should be taught, especially the historical context of those holidays. Teaching about religion is not the same as teaching religion.

Maryland teachers, according to the article referenced above, are teaching that the pilgrims came over on the Mayflower, and how the Indians (I refuse to use the term Native American when referring to this group) helped them; the kids can thank anyone they want, they just can't thank God. Charles Ridgell, Curriculum and instruction director for St Mary's Country Public Schools says, "We teach about Thanksgiving from a purely historical perspective, not from a religious perspective," I beg to differ, Mr. Ridgell, you are not teaching the historical perspective at all.

To take religion out of Thanksgiving is to remove the entire reason for the pilgrims coming to America in the first place. Call Thanksgiving a Harvest Fest if you want. That's more historically accurate according to several historians I heard over the weekend. The pilgrims actually had many days of thanksgiving throughout the year. These days of thanksgiving were religious in nature and spent in church giving thanks to God. The Harvest Fest was not. It was a time to celebrate the abundance of the harvest. It was a three day fest and in that first year the pilgrims invited the Indians (another inaccurate term) to celebrate the harvest with them.

During the centuries since the first Thanksgiving (or Harvest Fest, if you prefer),we've made the days of thanksgiving and the Harvest Fest into one holiday. This is historically inaccurate, but I don't see a problem, nor do I see it being changed. So, we're left with one holiday made from two ideas. Not a bad idea - celebrating what is good in our lives with a feast shared many times with others.

On Thanksgiving we give thanks. Many give thanks for the usual things, friends, family, health, and abundance. Some simply celebrate having the day off. No one is wrong in what they give thanks for or even if they don't. It's a personal choice. Most people give thanks to a higher being whether it is the universal God or a god or goddess or simply an unknown higher being that they respect. Some don't believe in a higher being at all. I don't care if someone worships differently than I do or even that they don't. It's a personal choice. I don't see worshipping differently than I do, or not worhshipping at all, as wrong. I feel sorry for those who don't believe in a higher power of some sort, but that's their choice and the topic of another post another time.

What is wrong is someone deciding that someone else might be offended if children are taught that God had any connenction to Thanksgiving. I see two reasons this is wrong. First, it's changing history to be politically correct. We've done enough of that over the years. How about actually teaching history as it happened? Teaching that the reason the pilgrims came to America was because they were persecuted as Christians! The truth! What a concept!

And secondly, it's assuming that anyone would be offended in the first place. We have three major holidays in America where God plays a role. Thanksgiving where we give thanks for the abundance of the year; Christmas where the birth of Christ is celebrated; and finally Easter, where the death and resurrection of Christ is celebrated. All three have been PC'd to the point that the religious aspect is only a small part celebrated by religious fanantics. Someone might be offended if God is mentioned?

Immigrants come to this country and bring their customs, beliefs and holidays with them. And it's good that they do. It makes America all the richer for it. But, it's not always the immigrant who complains about our holidays. It's often the American citizen who complains. And isn't it grand that they can do so?

When it comes to our national holidays, celebrate according to your beliefs and let me celebrate according to mine. Don't sanitize or revise the history of the holiday. Let the teachers teach history.

The truth is out there. And it is good.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Holiday Thoughts and Ramblings

Thanks to Denny at Grouchy Old Cripple in Atlanta, I found this link. We really need to help these poor folk in their endevor to emigrate.

We were watching Studio B on Fox yesterday with host Sheppard Smith. My, but he really went southern during one segment describing an accident south of here on I-75 in Sarasota County. Dale said he was dangerously close to Redneck. Don't get either of us wrong, Dale is from Kentucky and about as good ol' boy as you can get. And although I was born in Pennsylvania, my heritgage is Midwest/Southern.

David at
The Glittering Eye has compiled a selection of different Thanksgiving prayers and practices. Thanks to Beth at She Who Will Be Obeyed! for the link.
And from Sissy at Sisu a link to Spirit of America who wants to send sewing machines to women in Iraq. As Sissy says, "Give a woman a dress, and she is clothed for a day. Give her a sewing machine, and she can clothe and feed her family for a lifetime." Sewing machines for women in Ramadi. A permanent link will be on the sidebar. Thanks Sissy!

This is a little off the mark for the feeling of this post, but I think it's important enough to put out there. Here is a
link to a petition to Congress to show support for the Marine who killed the insurgent in Fallujah. I don't know if it will do any good, but it's here for your review.

Thanks to Michelle Malkin for this link. It's to Move America Forward! The first link is to a petition to various Senate personages to get the UN out of the US. I think I'd rather see us out of the UN altogether, but getting the UN out of the US is a good start. The second is to the main page which gives information on the the drive to move the UN out of the US, the Oil for Food scandal and other news items.

It's Black Friday - the day after Thanksgiving and the official first shopping day of the Christmas season. I'll be spending the day at home today watching TV, rambling the blogosphere, and eating leftovers. I refuse to spend the day in traffic on the roads or in the stores. I don't like shopping enough to put myself through it. God Bless those of you who enjoy being out in this! May you find the best bargains and put a serious dent into your holiday Christmas list. Be safe and enjoy!

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Some Historical Thanksgiving Thoughts

"In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord, King James, by the Grace of God, of England, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, e&. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia; do by these presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid; And by Virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the General good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In Witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, King James of England, France and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini, 1620."

-- Mayflower Compact, 1620

"[They] fell upon their knees and blessed ye God of heaven, who had brought them over ye vast and furious ocean."

-- William Bradford's account of the Pilgrims' first action upon making safe harbor in Cape Cod, 1620

"Our harvest being gotten in, our Governor sent four men on fowling so that we might, after a special manner, rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as... served the company almost a week... Many of the Indians [came] amongst us and... their greatest King, Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted; and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought... And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God we are... far from want."

- Pilgrim Edward Winslow, 1621

"The God of Israel is among us.....He shall make us a praise and glory, that men shall say of succeeding plantations: 'The Lord make it like that of New England."

-- John Winthrop, Pilgrim and founder of Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1630

"Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as He has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience.

Now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the day time, on Thursday, November 29th, of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty three and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to ye pastor and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings."

-- William Bradford's second Thanksgiving Decree, 1623

President's Thanksgiving Proclamation

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted' for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have show kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the third day of October, A.D. 1789.

(signed) G. Washington
Thanksgiving Day, 2004
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

All across America, we gather this week with the people we love to give thanks to God for the blessings in our lives. We are grateful for our freedom, grateful for our families and friends, and grateful for the many gifts of America. On Thanksgiving Day, we acknowledge that all of these things, and life itself, come from the Almighty God.

Almost four centuries ago, the Pilgrims celebrated a harvest feast to thank God after suffering through a brutal winter. President George Washington proclaimed the first National Day of Thanksgiving in 1789, and President Lincoln revived the tradition during the Civil War, asking Americans to give thanks with "one heart and one voice." Since then, in times of war and in times of peace, Americans have gathered with family and friends and given thanks to God for our blessings.

Thanksgiving is also a time to share our blessings with those who are less fortunate. Americans this week will gather food and clothing for neighbors in need. Many young people will give part of their holiday to volunteer at homeless shelters and food pantries. On Thanksgiving, we remember that the true strength of America lies in the hearts and souls of the American people. By seeking out those who are hurting and by lending a hand, Americans touch the lives of their fellow citizens and help make our Nation and the world a better place.

This Thanksgiving, we express our gratitude to our dedicated firefighters and police officers who help keep our homeland safe. We are grateful to the homeland security and intelligence personnel who spend long hours on faithful watch. And we give thanks for the Americans in our Armed Forces who are serving around the world to secure our country and advance the cause of freedom. These brave men and women make our entire Nation proud, and we thank them and their families for their sacrifice.

On this Thanksgiving Day, we thank God for His blessings and ask Him to continue to guide and watch over our Nation.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 25, 2004, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage all Americans to gather together in their homes and places of worship to reinforce the ties of family and community and to express gratitude for the many blessings we enjoy.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-third day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-ninth.

Happy Thanksgiving!

From the Neal Boortz site:

Proclamation Establishing Thanksgiving Day

October 3, 1863

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.
And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

A. Lincoln

It just seemed appropriate to post this. Have a happy and safe Holiday!
Military Holiday Giving

I promised that I would post links to organizations that I've deemed worthy of your support. Thanks to Neal Boortz, here's a whole slew of them. Permanent links are in the sidebar.

Any Soldier provides soldier contacts you can browse that include lists of what they need and want.
The USO has a Sponsor A Care Package program.
Operation Uplink is a unique program that keeps military personnel and hospitalized veterans in touch with their families and loved ones by providing them with a free phone card.
Books For Soldiers is a soldier support site that ships books, DVDs and supplies to deployed soldiers and soldiers in VA hospitals, via a large volunteer network.
Operation Dear Abby allows you to send your message of encouragement to the troops via an online interface.
Operation AC sends air conditioners (and heaters!) to our troops in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Soldiers' Angels
gives you the opportunity to adopt a soldier so you can send them letters with words of encouragement and packages of goodies to keep their spirits up.
The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund provides supplemental assistance to our Marines, sailors, and their families as they face their road to recovery.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Christmas Shows

Is there a blog or a site somewhere that offers a listing of when Christmas shows such as movies and classics like A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas will be shown? Charlie Brown is a favorite and I don't want to miss it.

You'll notice that I've added a section to the sidebar titled Christmas Organizations. This is where I'll add links to organizations I've deemed worthy of your support during the Christmas Holidays. They may be local (meaning US mainland), international, or military based. I'll be adding more as I come across them.

If by any chance you're wondering what I want for Christmas, a donation to any of these organizations will be appreciated.
Tax Reform

From an email I received from

The Senate's top tax-writer expressed doubts Tuesday about prospects for a major overhaul of the tax code, dealing a blow to one of President Bush's top priorities two weeks after his re-election.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said comprehensive tax reform would be "difficult" to do. "I'm not one to spend a lot of time tilting at windmills," he said.

Grassley said Bush would have to aggressively use his "bully pulpit" to win wider popular support. After the election, Bush said he had earned "political capital, and now I intend to spend it" by pushing for changes in the tax code and Social Security, among other things. But Grassley said, "I'm not sure how much political capital (the president) is prepared to spend on it."

Bully Pulpit? Sounds like Grassley is not a Bush supporter. And I think the President is prepared to spend a LOT of political capital on tax reform.

Grassley's view is important because all tax bills go through his committee. In an interview with USA TODAY, he said Bush made a mistake by not talking about tax reform more often and more explicitly in the campaign. "I think there was a missed opportunity," he said.

White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan said Bush "talked daily during the campaign about the importance of making the tax code simpler, fairer and more conducive to economic growth, and he looks forward to working with Congress on this priority."

Bush has called for simplifying the tax code in a "neutral" way that would not significantly raise or reduce tax revenue. That could make changes tougher, because any big tax cuts for some would have to be paid for with increases for others, creating winners and losers.

The White House is assembling a bipartisan panel that's expected to make recommendations before Bush settles on a specific proposal next year. Among his options is the replacement of the progressive income tax with a single, "flat" income tax rate or retail sales tax.

Grassley suggested that he favors more incremental changes: making the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent, closing loopholes, shielding middle-income Americans from tax increases, and reducing the tax burden on savings and investment.

The last time Congress overhauled the tax code was in 1986 under President Reagan. That law broadened the tax base by slashing loopholes. It collapsed 15 income tax brackets, topped by a 50% rate, into two rates of 15% and 28%. Since then, new tax breaks have been added and the number of brackets raised to six, topped by a 35% rate.

Perhaps I am mistaken, but isn't the job of the chairman of any Senate committe supposed to do the "difficult"? That is, if he is interested in the issue in the first place. It sounds to me that Senator Grassley isn't interested in overhauling the tax code, much less replacing it with something that would actually help the people who elected him to office. Isn't it his job, as senator to represent the people of his state, and by extension, the people of the United States? The POTUS wants to overhaul the tax system, but Senator Grassley apparently thinks it would be too "difficult".

I believe that the next election cycle will revolve around the economy. It would behoove him to educate himself regarding the tax code and the various platforms that have been proposed to replace it. I think it's grand that the Senator favors more incremental changes, but I don't think that's what the President or the people of the United States has in mind. I know it's not what I want. Regular readers know my stand on tax reform: get rid of the IRS, eliminate payroll taxes, install a national sales tax, and let the wage earner spend the money he has earned however he (or she) wants! What a concept!

The last time the tax code was reviewed was 18 years ago, under Reagan. Isn't it time to do some housecleaning?

Maybe Senator Grassley has forgotten that Tom Daschle was voted out of office. I don't begin to speak for the citizens of Iowa, but it would be a good idea to be mindful of what happened to Daschle. If it happened once, it can happen again. I think the days of politicians being re-elected simply because they are the incumbent are coming to an end.