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Voting Day cometh…

October 29th, 2010 by stephanie

It’s amazing to think that 545 people run the lives of 310,000,000 Americans. Hard to imagine, but you know, it’s pretty true! Here’s the run down:
– 435 members in House of Representatives
– 100 U.S. Senators
– 1 President
– 9 Supreme Court Justices
A friend sent the below to me. It is a portion taken from an article written by a Florida journalist. The point is, we Americans joke about nothing is as certain as death and taxes. But wow…I forget how many taxes are actually out there for us Americans. Have some fun with the below! And a reminder: not ONE of the taxes below was apparently around 100 years ago? hmmmm
Here it goes…

“Tax his land, Tax his bed, Tax the table, At which he’s fed.
Tax his tractor, Tax his mule, Teach him taxes Are the rule.
Tax his work, Tax his pay, He works for peanuts Anyway!
Tax his cow, Tax his goat, Tax his pants, Tax his coat.

Tax his ties, Tax his shirt, Tax his work, Tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco, Tax his drink, Tax him if he Tries to think.

Tax his cigars, Tax his beers, If he cries Tax his tears.

Tax his car, Tax his gas, Find other ways To tax his a__.
Tax all he has Then let him know That you won’t be done Till he has no dough.
When he screams and hollers; Then tax him some more, Tax him till He’s good and sore.
Then tax his coffin, Tax his grave, Tax the sod in Which he’s laid…
Put these words Upon his tomb, Taxes drove me to my doom…’ When he’s gone, Do not relax, Its time to apply The inheritance tax..

Sales Tax
School Tax
Liquor Tax
Luxury Tax
Excise Taxes
Property Tax
Cigarette Tax
Medicare Tax
Inventory Tax
Real Estate Tax
Well Permit Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Inheritance Tax
Road Usage Tax
CDL license Tax
Dog License Tax
State Income Tax
Food License Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Gross Receipts Tax
Social Security Tax
Service Charge Tax
Fishing License Tax
Federal Income Tax
Building Permit Tax
IRS Interest Charges
Hunting License Tax
Marriage License Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Personal Property Tax
Accounts Receivable Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Workers Compensation Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service FeeTax
Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon)
Utility Taxes Vehicle License Registration Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax
…Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, & our nation was the most prosperous in the world.
We had absolutely no national debt… “-Charlie Reese, a retired reporter for the Orlando Sentinal

Just his thoughts…yours?

Add’l resource:

We’re in the home stretch…#90-99. Table manners.

October 26th, 2010 by stephanie

If you’ve been checking in and keeping up with our Civil Rules challenge, you need to know, we are in the final rounds. With 110 of George Washington’s Rules of Civility, it’s hard to believe it, but we’re almost home!

Here’s your next to last group. This set focuses on table manners! You know the drill. And if you’re new, here’s the deal: Pick one of the below. Work on it this week. And hey, why not email me and let me know how you did?

So here goes:

90. Being set at meat scratch not neither spit cough or blow your nose except

there’s a necessity for it.


91. Make no show of taking great delight in your victuals, feed not with

greediness; cut your bread with a knife, lean not on the table neither find fault

with what you eat.


92. Take no salt or cut bread with your knife greasy.


93. Entertaining any one at table it is decent to present him with meat, undertake

not to help others undesired by the master.


94. If you soak bread in the sauce let it be no more than what you put in your

mouth at a time and blow not your broth at table but stay till cools of it self.


95. Put not your meat to your mouth with your knife in your hand neither spit

forth the stones of any fruit pie upon a dish nor cast anything under the table.


96. It’s unbecoming to stoop much to ones meat keep your fingers clean & when

foul wipe them on a corner of your table napkin.


97. Put not another bit into your mouth ’til the former be swallowed let not your

morsels be too big for the jowls.


98. Drink not nor talk with your mouth full neither gaze about you while you are

a drinking.


99. Drink not too leisurely nor yet too hastily. before and after drinking wipe your

lips breath not then or ever with too great a noise, for its uncivil.


And there you have it. In a world where things change at a rapid pace, table manners never go out of style.


Just my thoughts.


Do you know who Jeff Hart is? You actually do.

October 23rd, 2010 by stephanie

American Exceptionalism. It’s a phrase we don’t hear about much any more. It used to be kosher. But today, not so much. And to those who strive to be politically correct, it’s a topic that is considered “not very proper” or perhaps not “polite”.

In our past, it was used to express the amazing ingenuity coming out of America and what she was in turn doing in and for the world. If you by chance kept up on the rescue of the Chilean miners of late, here is what it would look like:

  • The engineer who designed the rescue module was a NASA engineer.
  • The drill was made by Schramm Inc. from Pennsylvania.
  • The drill bits were made by Center Rock, Inc. located in Berlin, Pennsylvania.
  • The lead driller Jeff Hart and his team are from Denver, Colorado. They are on loan from the US Military in Afghanistan where they are drilling water wells for our Forward Operating Bases.

But let’s focus on one America hero if you will. Jeff Hart. An article by Michelle Malkin shares the story best:

“He spent 33 days on his feet, operating the drill that finally provided a way out Saturday for 33 trapped miners. ‘You have to feel through your feet what the drill is doing; it’s a vibration you get so that you know what’s happening,’ explained Hart.

Hart was called in from Afghanistan, “simply because he’s the best” at drilling larger holes with the T130’s wide-diameter drill bits, Stefanic said.
Standing before the levers, pressure meters and gauges on the T130’s control panel, Hart and the rest of the team faced many challenges in drilling the shaft. At one point, the drill struck a metal support beam in the poorly mapped mine, shattering its hammers. Fresh equipment had to be flown in from the United States and progress was delayed for days as powerful magnets were lowered to pull out the pieces.
The mine’s veins of gold and copper ran through quartzite with a high level of abrasive silica, rock so tough that it took all their expertise to keep the drill’s hammers from curving off in unwanted directions. “It was horrible,” said Center Rock President Brandon Fisher, exhausted after hardly sleeping during the effort.
Fisher, Stefanic and Hart called it the most difficult hole they had ever drilled, because of the lives at stake.
“If you’re drilling for oil and you lose the hole, it’s different. This time there’s people down below,” Stefanic said.
“We ruined some bits, worked through the problems as a team, and broke through,” Hart said. “I’m very happy now.”
Miners’ relatives crowded around Hart on Saturday, hugging and posing for pictures with him as he walked down from the rescue operation into the tent camp where families had anxiously followed his work.
“He’s become the hero of the day,” said Dayana Olivares, whose friend Carlos Bugueno is one of the miners stuck below.
In a different day and age, Jeff Hart would be the most famous American in our country right now. He would be honored at the White House. Schoolchildren would learn of his skill and heroism. ”

Drilling may have had a bad rap of late due to the BP oil spill, but as we all know most things have great uses. It’s just how their handled.

Just my thoughts.



The French writer Alexis de Tocqueville first wrote about it in his 1831 work Democracy in America:

The position of the Americans is therefore quite exceptional, and it may be believed that no democratic people will ever be placed in a similar one. Their strictly Puritanical origin, their exclusively commercial habits, even the country they inhabit, which seems to divert their minds from the pursuit of science, literature, and the arts, the proximity of Europe, which allows them to neglect these pursuits without relapsing into barbarism, a thousand special causes, of which I have only been able to point out the most important, have singularly concurred to fix the mind of the American upon purely practical objects. His passions, his wants, his education, and everything about him seem to unite in drawing the native of the United States earthward; his religion alone bids him turn, from time to time, a transient and distracted glance to heaven. Let us cease, then, to view all democratic nations under the example of the American people.

Are You Feeling Civil? Here’s #80-89!

October 13th, 2010 by stephanie

Our Rules of Civility and Behavior challenge continues. If you aren’t familiar with what we’ve been up to, be sure to check out all the other posts like this! Here’s our next round. You know the drill. Pick one virtue listed below and work on it this week!

80th Be not Tedious in Discourse or in reading unless you find the Company pleased therewith.
81st Be not Curious to Know the Affairs of Others neither approach those that Speak in Private.
82nd Undertake not what you cannot Perform but be Careful to keep your Promise.
83rd When you deliver a matter do it without Passion & with Discretion, however mean the Person be you do it too.
84th When your Superiors talk to any Body hearken not neither Speak nor Laugh.
85th In Company of these of Higher Quality than yourself Speak not til you are asked a Question then Stand upright put of your Hat & Answer in few words.
86th In Disputes, be not So Desirous to Overcome as not to give Liberty to each one to deliver his Opinion and Submit to the Judgment of the Major Part especially if they are Judges of the Dispute.
87th Let thy carriage be such as becomes a Man Grave Settled and attentive to that which is spoken. Contradict not at every turn what others Say.
88th Be not tedious in Discourse, make not many Digressions, nor repeat often the Same manner of Discourse.
89th Speak not Evil of the absent for it is unjust.

Remember: If our 1st President could do these, you can definitely do one a week. Go get ’em.


Rules of Civility: #70-79. Which will you choose?

October 5th, 2010 by stephanie

How are you doing? Are you hanging in there on this challenge. I am so amazed at how these little tidbits of wisdom can change an entire interchange, thus determining an the result or outcome of many a situation. You know the drill: pick one and work on it this week. Will you share which one you plan to adhere to in the next few days?

70th Reprehend not the imperfections of others for that belongs to Parents Masters and Superiours.

71st Gaze not on the marks or blemishes of Others and ask not how they came. What you may Speak in Secret to your Friend deliver not before others.

72d Speak not in an unknown Tongue in Company but in your own Language and that as those of Quality do and not as the Vulgar; Sublime matters treat Seriously.

73d Think before you Speak pronounce not imperfectly nor bring out your Words too hastily but orderly & distinctly.

74th When Another Speaks be attentive your Self and disturb not the Audience if any hesitate in his Words help him not nor Prompt him without desired, Interrupt him not, nor Answer him till his Speech be ended.

75th In the midst of Discourse ask not of what one treateth but if you Perceive any Stop because of your coming you may well intreat him gently to Proceed: If a Person of Quality comes in while your Conversing it’s handsome to Repeat what was said before.

76th While you are talking, Point not with your Finger at him of Whom you Discourse nor Approach too near him to whom you talk especially to his face.

77th Treat with men at fit Times about Business & Whisper not in the Company of Others.

78th Make no Comparisons and if any of the Company be Commended for any brave act of Vertue, commend not another for the Same.

79th Be not apt to relate News if you know not the truth thereof. In Discoursing of things you Have heard Name not your Author always A Secret Discover not.

I know which one jumped out at me. Can’t wait to see how this shakes up or improves your world too.

GW’s Exercise in Civility: Our Adventure Continues. #60-69

October 2nd, 2010 by stephanie

Ok, so if you haven’t been with us over the course of the last few weeks…we are working our way through the 110 virtues that our first President (George Washington) used to keep in his pocket. They are commonly known as Rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour In Company and Conversation. Feel free to search out the other ones we’ve taken a look at. The goal is: pick one of the below and work on it this weekend. I’ll send some new ones in the coming week

60th Be not immodest in urging your Freinds to Discover a Secret.

61st Utter not base and frivilous things amongst grave and Learn’d Men nor very Difficult Questians or Subjects, among the Ignorant or things hard to be believed, Stuff not your Discourse with Sentences amongst your Betters nor Equals.

62d Speak not of doleful Things in a Time of Mirth or at the Table; Speak not of Melancholy Things as Death and Wounds, and if others Mention them Change if you can the Discourse tell not your Dreams, but to your intimate Friend.

63d A Man ought not to value himself of his Atchievements, or rare Qualities of wit; much less of his riches Virtue or Kindred.

64th Break not a Jest where none take pleasure in mirth Laugh not aloud, nor at all without Occasion, deride no mans Misfortune, tho’ there Seem to be Some cause.

65th Speak not injurious Words neither in Jest nor Earnest Scoff at none although they give Occasion.

66th Be not forward but friendly and Courteous; the first to Salute hear and answer & be not Pensive when it’s a time to Converse.

67th Detract not from others neither be excessive in Commanding.

68th Go not thither, where you know not, whether you Shall be Welcome or not. Give not Advice without being Ask’d & when desired do it briefly.

69th If two contend together take not the part of either unconstrained; and be not obstinate in your own Opinion, in Things indiferent be of the Major Side.

So, which one will you choose?
C U soon!

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