Category Archives: kids

Would someone please tell Michelle Obama to stop talking about school lunches until her kids eat like the kids at government run schools?

I am so tired of Michelle Obama’s school lunch preaching. All across this country kids and parents are complaining.  Federal food standards for government run schools are a horrible disaster.  When her kids eat the same lousy foods my kids get served, then I might care to listen to what she has to say.  I decided to compare five days of lunches at A) my kids’ government run school where I pay a ton in school taxes and that doesn’t even cover their lunch and B) the swanky, posh private school where the Obama girls go to get educated (when they’re not traipsing with their mom on swanky, posh vacations).  On a side note, I can’t have my kids out of school more than five days per school year w/out being threatened with legal action; how do they get away with all those vacations? Never mind. Liberals play by different rules than the rest of us. If nothing more, my kids’ Common Core-based curriculum has reconfirmed to me that everything is relative in their world. But I digress . . . here, for your comparison, are the lunch menus.  Talk about inequality!

menu comparison 3

 

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When Liberals Take Over Christmas

In case you haven’t been listening or paying attention, liberals are proudly boasting their insistence that they have taken over the USA, a conservative will NEVER again be elected to POTUS, and they are now empowered to continue (unabated and uncontested) the “fundamental” transformation of our country.  While liberals dream of a third term for their savior, Obama; I can’t help but wonder how the Christmas holiday will change if (God forbid) those “in your face” liberals are correct.  Here’s what I envision.

  1. Santa will be shutdown for myriad reasons. First, he’s a rich, old, white, male.  According to most liberal stereotypes, that means he’s probably a Republican.  Second, he lives in an area where they think global warming is making an impact.  They must control that land so he’ll need to be ousted by eminent domain. Third, if he can’t be ousted due his mere presence in that part of the world, he’ll be ousted for his carbon footprint. Those elf-run factories must have one hell of a carbon footprint. Fourth, speaking of carbon footprints, Santa is known to leave coal for bad kids. Obama wants the coal industry decimated. What better way than to shut down one of the big coal users? Fifth, Santa is notorious for his flabby, “bowl full of jelly” physique. I’m sure Michelle Obama will shut him down as a poor role model for today’s youth.  Sixth, I’m pretty certain Santa’s workshops are not regulated by OSHA.  Seventh, I like to believe Santa’s workshops are not yet unionized. I’m sure the liberals can make that happen. Resulting in unsustainable Santa-funded pensions and benefits leaving nothing left to make toys for the good little boys and girls. Leading to an eventual shut-down. Eighth, I have proof Santa has, for many years, given toy and real firearms to people as gifts. That will be unacceptable. I could go on and on . . . but you get the point.
  2. Rudolph will be jailed for using an incandescent bulb.
  3. Lights on houses will be outlawed because they waste electricity.  If not completely outlawed, the government will require them to be attached to a Smart Grid so they can decide when the lights are allowed to be turned on and off.
  4. Christmas as a government-endorsed holiday will end because the holiday has a basis in the Christian religion. No more day’s off of work. You’ll need to take vacation.
  5. Gift shopping will become regulated. Only local, fair-trade, green, organic, and/or sustainable items will be available for purchase.  Shopping at Wal-Mart will become strictly prohibited (unless, of course, they unionize).
  6. People who celebrate Christmas will be taxed.  Probably to off-set the union contracted triple overtime or something like that for government personnel who have to work that day.
  7. Fresh cut Christmas trees will be outlawed because of the impact to the ozone. Regardless of how sustainably they are farmed and harvested.
  8. The trend towards outlawing red and green in public schools will become a national mandate (probably by an executive order Obama passes). I’m not making this one up. It’s already happening. Google it.
  9. Stockings will no longer be allowed to hang by the chimney.  That presents a fire hazard.
  10. Candy canes will be outlawed because sucking on them can result in a viciously sharp point.  That point can be used to harm someone.  Schools will hang up “Candy Cane Free Zone” signs to make sure they don’t make it onto school grounds.
  11. All old family heirloom decorations will be confiscated.  They might have lead or other dangerous chemicals if they were produced before the government started to meddle in everything.
  12. Five-pointed stars will be outlawed because they discriminate against Jewish people who embrace the six-pointed star.  Unless, of course, it is a red star which is a communist-embraced symbol.
  13. All Christmas carols and songs will be rewritten by Obama speech writers.  “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” will become “Goddess Rest Ye Merry Gentle Folk”, “Good King Wenceslas” will become “Bad Oppressor Republican”, “Frosty the Snowman” will become “Frosty the Snowperson”, “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” will become “I’m Dreaming of a Multi-ethnic Holiday”, “We Three Kings” will become “We Three Union Bosses”, “Little Drummer Boy” will become “Vertically Challenged Drummer Youth”, “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”, will become “I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus”, you get the point.
  14. Snowmen will be outlawed for two reasons. First, the term SnowMEN is offensive to feminists. Second, the existence of snowmen brings into question the existence of global warming and we wouldn’t want anyone to question that “settled science”.
  15. Use of the words peace and  peaceful will be restricted so they can only be uttered publicly when describing the thugs (sorry, the wonderful humanitarians) at the UN or the Occupy Wall Street people.
  16. Hot cocoa will be outlawed because the cocoa beans might come from countries where they oppress their workers.
  17. Children will no longer be able to leave cookies and milk out for Santa (assuming he hasn’t already been outlawed). Home baked cookies are not subject to government regulation and the milk might be raw milk.  Also, these might accidentally be seen and consumed by a robber who would then be able to sue the homeowners for creating an attractive nuisance.
  18. Gingerbread houses will be outlawed unless they meet all building codes, are union built, and are eligible for Section 8.
  19. All of the “Elf on the Self” elves must approved by the NSA and join a public employee union because only the government is allowed to spy on you and your family.
  20. Letters to Santa (assuming he hasn’t already been outlawed) will be prohibited because of the unnecessary burden on the US Postal Service.

There. That’s twenty. I know there are more.  Fee free to add your own ideas in the comments.

P.S. Ho ho ho . . . and Merry Christmas a little early.

Why I Hate Socialism (or What I Learned In Sixth Grade)

The moment I realized I was a conservative, and not a socialist or communist, goes back to before I was even truly aware of political beliefs and the role of government in my country. It goes back to sixth grade. I remember exactly when it happened. Here’s the true story.

My parents had moved the year before and my new school was different. Unlike my old school, the kids at this new school were very worldly. They talked about sex, wore bras, and cursed. I didn’t fit in. Not only was I still considered one of the new kids a year later, I was also the shy, quiet, geeky kid without designer jeans who played in the band and was in the gifted program. It was pretty inevitable that I was socially grouped (against my will) into the nerd group.

My best friend was another of the shy, quiet, geeky kids without designer jeans. We hung with the other gifted kids. We were a lot like the guys on The Big Bang Theory only we were about 20 years younger. The other kids didn’t hate us. We just weren’t cool enough for them and, let’s be honest, we didn’t fit in with them as well as we fit in with each other. The cool kids usually kept their distance from us nerds.

That was, until the dreaded sixth grade group project was assigned. Normally, when the teacher asked us to pair up for classroom activities, everyone picked a friend. Naturally, us geek types would search each other out and become a formidable force. We knew, particularly when paired up, we would be getting a good grade. The annual sixth grade group project didn’t work that way. The teachers grouped us into teams of four. This was when the cool kids suddenly started sucking up to and befriending the nerds.

Us gifted, geeky, nerdy kids were parsed out and distributed. The teachers did their best to make sure each team had a nice “distribution” of intellect on each team. I don’t know if the teachers tried to hide it, but it was so obvious. Each team had one of the gifted kids, two of the average kids, and one of the kids who could probably benefit from revisiting 1st grade even though he or she was 11 or 12 years old.

My team was set, there were four of us. Two boys and two girls. The group project was to pick a subject; thoroughly research it; and then write a paper, do something artistic (like paint a picture, do a diorama, sculpt a figure), and do a presentation. Instead of loving this, this was the project all the nerds hated. This project would be a huge amount of our grade and we were all graded as a team. There were no individual grades. We would all receive the same grade based upon the quality of our projects. Shit.

I can still see the four of us sitting at this blond wood table near the railing overlooking the library below. Three of the cool kids and me, the token nerd. The first thing we had to do was pick a subject. I argued for something interesting and easy for all of us to do well, like a historical figure, a historic event, or perhaps an artist or musician. Unfortunately, I was the nerdy one. The other three were in the “in crowd”. They immediately joined forces, ignored me, and decided on the perfect subject: FOOTBALL! What the hell?

They said they took a vote and it was three to one in favor of football. I didn’t even know there was a vote. Fine, whatever, we’ll go with football. I knew there was zero chance of convincing them otherwise. At this point, one of the guys decided to be the team leader. Apparently, that had been decided with another secret vote. I recommended we all break out the three major things we had to do (paper, presentation, and artistic item) but also divide up the research tasks. The guy who declared himself the group leader took a different approach. I was given the task of doing all the research and they would divide up the paper, presentation, and art project.

Great, the geek gets the boring part. Fine, at least I knew I could shape the content of our project by doing the research. We were all still sitting around the table when they told me to let them know when I was done with my part so they could start theirs. I argued again about how we should all be doing the research so it would go faster. They disagreed. Still, I wanted a good grade on this so I threw myself into the research. I left those three asshats sitting at that table while I went to the library downstairs and started pulling books about football. I later told my teacher about the imbalance and she said it was democracy in action. Democracy in action, my ass, I thought to myself.

Over the next few weeks, I kept asking my team how they were preparing for their sections based upon the research I was pulling and giving to them. They kept telling me how they’d start their parts when I finished mine. All the while I’m really starting to panic over our possible grade. At our group meeting right after I finished my research, I handed over the final copies of what I had found. I was exhausted. I had done some fine research. I had gone to several libraries, read several books, cracked open numerous encyclopedias, watched movies, etc. I had enough history, photos, quotes, biographies, auto biographies, and other materials to sink a football stadium. These three kids had more than enough to write a doctoral dissertation, create a three-hour documentary, and erect a 50 foot diorama.

Instead, the leader looked at me and asked me which of the three big items I wanted to work on. Flabbergasted, I told them I did all the research so I thought I was done. They all said, that wasn’t fair. Fair my ass. Then it hit me. If I let them go it alone I was looking at nothing better than a C for a grade. I had no choice. If I wanted a snowball’s chance in hell of getting an A, I had to keep working. So, I offered to pair up with the one guy to write the paper. While this lazy ass sat there playing tabletop football with one of those folded paper triangles, I wrote the outline, listed some key footnotes, and handed it over. I told him to take what I had given him, write the paper, and then give it to me so I could edit it. I got the paper back the following week. He handed me three written pages, double spaced, and it was all about the Redskins. I could have saved my teacher the effort and scratched out a big, huge F at the top. I told him to try harder. He refused. I rewrote the entire paper all by myself.

The girl who was supposed to do the presentation had put together about 10 index cards. She showed us her 2 minute presentation and it was laughable. She wasn’t a dumb person, she just played one to make sure she stayed in the cool group and kept the attention of the boys. Later, she actually apologized to me and admitted she could have done a lot more. I added another 30-40 index cards and also drew some visuals for use during the presentation.

The other guy, the one doing the “artistic” item actually had a pretty decent model of a football stadium. Half of it looked like an old stadium and half of it looked like a modern stadium. The intent was to show how things had changed over time. It was actually pretty cool. It also had “parental involvement” written all over it. I knew he probably didn’t do more than 10% of the entire model, but I didn’t care. At this point, I was just glad I didn’t have to do it myself.

The big day came. We handed in the paper (which I pretty much wrote entirely by myself), we gave the presentation (which I pretty much wrote entirely by myself with the visuals I created entirely by myself), and we handed in the stadium (which the one guy’s mother obviously did for him). Our final grade? An A. I did almost everything while they hung out talking, playing table top football, and watching me work. Yet, in the end we all received the same grade even though they all deserved an F.

That was the moment I cemented my conservatism. I decided: the students out there busting their asses to EARN an A shouldn’t have to share that grade with the ones who don’t even try. My three team members were like a bunch of lazy socialists/communists, sitting there on their butts waiting to redistribute my good grade. Particularly the self-proclaimed “leader” who assigned me most of the work. I probably put in well over 200 hours on that project and the others probably put in about 4 each (outside of their hanging out during our teacher-mandated team meetings). I swore I would never, ever tolerate something like that ever again. I remember my teacher complimenting my group on our great team work and our fantastic project. She knew damn well I did most of the work yet she never said a word. My three lazy teammates never even said thank you. Apparently, my teacher was a socialist.

Notes about me:

I am a life long conservative. I despise socialism and communism in all its forms. I detest wealth redistribution and I hate the concept of “from each according to their ability, to each according to their need.” I still refuse to do group projects.

Dandelion Socialism

For those of you don’t know me, let me give you some basic information. I am notoriously frugal (some might say cheap). I think paying more than $50 for a pair of shoes is ridiculous, my kids think shopping at Goodwill is like going on a treasure hunt, and I love a good yard sale. As you can imagine, I think paying for lawn services is a big waste of my money. It’s not that I haven’t tried them in the past. I just think it’s way too much money for too little benefit. Instead, I send my husband out a few times a year with a drop spreader and a bag of weed-and-feed. As a result, my lawn is nothing like the lush, golf course-worthy spreads in my neighborhood. But, I’m O.K. with that. Like I tell my husband, I’m low maintenance and so is our lawn.  I’m saving money, saving my landscaping (thanks again True Gr**n for the over spray which killed my nice plants), and I’m limiting the amount of toxic crap being spread on my lawn. In my world, that’s a win-win-win.

In my front lawn you will find good grass, bad grass, and a variety of lovely weeds. In my back yard you will find all of that and the occasional dog poop. I really don’t worry too much about the back yard. It’s mostly deck and landscaping so there’s not much grass to worry about. There’s also a lot of shade in my back yard. So, instead of grass, I get moss. Or, in my chosen parlance, lawn velvet. Ergo, the only major concern I have is the front yard. The front yard is the grass the neighbors see and the grass the neighbors might choose to talk about should it become a disaster of jungle proportions.

I really don’t care about too many weeds as long as the yard looks nice and green from the street. As long as the grass is winning (which means it maintains ownership of at least 50% of the lawn), I’m not too stressed. Note: Honey, if you are reading this it does not mean I think the grass should be groin-height before you haul out the lawn mower.  There are two main weeds roosting in my front yard and I like  them both. Quite frankly, I’d secretly hate to see them leave. The first of the two weeds is clover. I rather like the little three-leaved harbingers of spring and leprechauns. More importantly, one of the clover patches is a mutant patch which shoots forth a stunningly high percentage of four-leaved and five-leaved varieties. (Go ahead, blame it on Three Mile Island being about 25 miles from my house.) The other main weed I have is dandelion. I LOVE dandelions. Whether it’s the origin of their name being French for “tooth of the lion” or their perky yellow color . . . I really like them. I hate considering their demise every time we put down the occasional weed killer and I am secretly happy when they survive the attempted poisoning. When my husband offers to take a spray bottle of “the good stuff” to the individual plants, I always ask him to forebear and try to buy myself some time by offering a better and “less toxic” solution.

Enter my children, stage left. They are my “less toxic” solution.  Instead of poisoning my lawn (and possibly my kids and dog) I have implemented a “Penny-A-Posy” program in my front yard. My kids get paid a penny for every yellow dandelion they pick. They get nothing for the white ones. Too late, kids, the seeds are already spread across the lawn and mommy doesn’t want to keep paying more than she has to. Remember, mommy is cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap.  Besides, only the yellow ones really give away mommy’s little weed secret.

Now, let me tell you a little about my two kids. My daughter is about eight and a half. She is smart, diligent, hard-working, caring, compassionate, and likes to go shopping. She is conscientious and the perfect posy picking employee. Contrast her with my almost-seven year old son. He is charming, lazy, always up for a good time, hates to do anything he’s told, and is a “hard work is for suckers” kind of kid. He is funny and a sweetheart, but when it comes to work he is the antithesis of his sister. Watching them work together towards a common goal is a wonder to behold.

When the outside temperature and the rainfall totals are in sync; the number of lion toothed, yellow dandies in my front yard can go from almost nothing to a yellow-brick-road effect. This usually happens overnight and by the next morning I’m torn between not giving a crap (and enjoying their sunny appearance) and worrying about the neighbors using my yard as a topic of conversation at their next family dinner. I admit it. I do occasionally fold to social pressure. When I do, I remind my kids of the “Penny-A-Posy” contract.

My kids will immediately spring into action. (Please don’t tell my kids they should ask for more money for each flower. Remember, I’m cheap.) My daughter flies through the yard like the shadow of dandelion death pulling them out without remorse. My son wanders aimlessly trying to remember where he might have left his basketball, army men, and cars the last time he was playing with them in the front yard.

After strip mining the front yard, my daughter will run into the house, breathless from the exertion. Not only will she bring in a bunch of flowers for me to count, she will also have them artfully collected into a lovely little dent-de-lion bouquet. Being good on my word, I willingly count them out one by one and calculate her payment. Around the same time, her brother will mosey into the house, still wondering where he left his favorite race car. He won’t even break a sweat on a 100 degree day. He will hand over a scant amount of flowers all mutilated into a mass of little yellow bits and pieces. Being good on my word, I will painstakingly divide them out and count every one. I do not discriminate. I do not play favorites.  Everything is on the up and up.  There is no need to contact the Department of Labor.  I also offer free benefits and some pretty nifty incentives to these short people. So, no need to alert the union authorities, either.

After counting their collections, the ratio of flowers between my daughter and son usually turns out to be something like 5 to 1. My daughter always beams when I announce how many she collected and how much money she earned. Her smugness might be off-putting to some people, e.g., liberals; but, hey, she earned every single penny. Her brother, on the other hand, devolves into a whimpering mass of “that’s not fair, she gets more than me!!!” diatribe. So, the last time we did this, I decided, like the good pro-capitalism mother that I am, to teach them a lesson.

My kids always stand side by side as I count out their quarry. On this particular day, I told my daughter she had earned 52 cents for her efforts. She beamed through her sweat covered brow; proud of her hard work and accomplishments. She was, probably, simultaneously calculating how many more she would need to earn a new pair of earrings. I then told my son he had earned 11 cents for his efforts. He stood there slack-jawed as if he couldn’t believe I could be so dense as to not realize there were a least a thousand in his hand. As expected, the whining express immediately left the station.

“MMMMMMMOOOOOOOOMMMMMMM, it’s not fair. I only get 11 cents and she gets 52 cents.”

I patiently explained to him that his sister had picked 41 additional flowers. That was why she was getting 41 additional cents. At this point, his sister is looking vainglorious and he is looking like the guy who kicked a bad field goal with ten seconds left on the clock. I listened intently to his excuses as to why he couldn’t pick as many as his sister. I heard woeful stories about being distracted by the sun in his eyes, the toy car he found in the grass, and the basketball net which was desperate for a short person to shoot a few hoops so it wouldn’t die of loneliness. It was the classic embodiment of the ant and the grasshopper.

Note: Now the hard-core pro-capitalist (posing as a socialist) in me came out fighting. 🙂

Playing a text-book perfect socialist, I commiserated with the sullen and downtrodden boy. I pointed out that he had, obviously, been hampered by his environment.  (Please recall that both children had the exact same environment in which to work.) I demanded someone address this inequality! I claimed his sister was born with a stronger work ethic and that it just wasn’t fair. I declared that the boy was hampered by a desire to explore other interests instead of working. I said someone needed to make things fair. I pronounced the boy a victim and said his sister must not be unjustly benefited from her hard work! I said we needed to protest and I suggested we occupy something! I cried out for someone to take care of the helpless boy. I told the boy he was being punished with a paltry paycheck of a mere eleven cents. I told him his sister was the enemy, enriched as she was with a burgeoning paycheck of a huge 52 cents. I insisted we enforce an equality of outcome (even though they both had equality of opportunity).

Note. This was actually turning out to be a great adventure in both parenting and teaching the kids about government and politics.

I suggested we add up the earnings and give it all back to me.  I told them I was going to take a cut for myself (to cover the expenses of administering the program – of course) and then I would divide up and redistribute the difference between the two of them.

I calculated it for them. I’d take the 52 cents from the girl and the 11 cents from the boy. That would give me 66 cents. (The total amount was perfect since I would be able to easily split it three ways. I swear God was up there rooting me on the whole time.) I told them I would take one-third of the amount because I was the government and that was my share of their income. I told my daughter she would get one-third and my son would also get one-third. My son asked how many cents he would be getting. I told him he’d be getting 22 cents.

Now, before I continue I need to give you all a little insight on my daughter. As I said before, she’s a caring and compassionate child. When she was younger, she wanted to know why Obama couldn’t just give everyone a bunch money so they wouldn’t be hungry or not have a place to live. Some wanted to know why some people didn’t have nice clothes to wear. She wanted to know why some kids didn’t have toys at Christmas. Let me tell you, it was hard to explain the differences between bad luck and laziness. I explained that not everyone without a home and not everyone going to bed hungry was in that situation because of laziness. However, I told her, some were. The challenge was determining the difference between the two and helping the ones who were trying to help themselves or those who couldn’t help themselves. That was when I told my daughter about the charities I support, like Special Olympics and Dress for Success. I told her, the private industry was the correct place for charity, not the government. I discussed how the government was supposed to govern, not be a philanthropic organization. I think she got my point . . . but now was the chance to prove my point.

So, back to the dandelion story.

When my son realized he was getting 22 cents, he whooped and hollered and did a silly little dance. He was so happy. He was doubling his money and he didn’t have to do anything to get it. My daughter, on the other hand, being a math whiz, immediately saw the flaw in this approach. “Wait a minute!”, she screamed, “that means I’m getting 30 cents less than I earned!!!!” As you can imagine, she was incensed.  She was furious. She was indignant.  She was stomping around instead of doing the happy dance her brother was doing. She wanted to know how I, her loving, mother, would cheat her out of 30 cents just to make sure her bother didn’t walk away with only 11 cents. She wanted to know why I would take a third of her earnings and keep it for myself. She wanted to know why she couldn’t keep every penny she earned. She wanted to know why her brother was getting some of what she worked so hard to earn. She wanted to know why her bother deserved anything other than the 11 cents he earned. While she was voicing her disapproval, her brother stood there repeatedly shouting to his sister it was because it wasn’t fair for her to get more than him just because she collected more flower heads.  Still elated from the realization he was getting free stuff, my son told me, as he hugged and kissed me, I was the “bestest” and most beautiful mommy in the whole wide world.  (Note: Think about it, all I had to do to earn his gushing praise and adoration was to take something from a person who rightfully earned it (and deserved to keep it) and give it to him. Yay, me. I am so awesome.)

I reminded my daughter of the charity discussion we had a while ago, the one about the difference between bad luck and laziness. I asked her to assess her brother’s status. She (correctly) assessed her bother as lazy. He didn’t work hard. He barely even tried. He played while she worked. He moseyed around looking for lost toys while she snapped up the dandelions. He shot baskets while she arranged the yellow flowers into a nice little bouquet. Suddenly, a light bulb went off in her head. She finally “got it”.

She summarized it pretty accurately. She said I was like the government. She said her brother was like someone on welfare. She realized she was like the taxpayer. She turned to me and asked, “Mommy, doesn’t it make you mad when the government takes your money and gives it to people who didn’t earn it?” My response, “Welcome to the TEAparty, my dear. We can check to see if they’re accepting junior members.”

My son, on the other hand, if not given proper guidance, could easily turn out to be a socialist. He really was fond of the concept of redistribution of wealth (as long as it was not his) and not having to do much to earn it. My daughter now has a firm grasp of the fiscal conservative’s view of fairness, which is “you deserve to keep what you earn and not have the government take it away and give it to others (although you can choose to give it away yourself)”. My son still has the fiscal liberal’s view of fairness, “as long as it’s someone else’s money, let’s have the government continue taking it away and spreading it around”. The good thing is, I now have one more fiscal conservative in the house and there’s still plenty of time for my son to come around. I have eleven years before he’s old enough to vote.  Wish me luck. Then again, I don’t think it will take that long.  One day, when he has worked the hardest and is the one with the most dandelions, I’m pretty sure he’ll suddenly have a completely different point of view.