|BACK TO SCHOOL!
with the newest, coolest paraphernalia for the coming school year. But in
these tough economic times, just the thought of shelling out the dough
for all that stuff can make you lose sleep. To help, we sorted through
myriad choices to find a selection of really great items we think kids will
love and will help parents rest easy (they're all under $30).
This fall, it is hipper than ever for kids to be green -- and affordable for
parents. Yup, school supplies of all sorts have gone eco- and wallet-
friendly. Carolina Pad's Sasquatch line includes recycled notebooks,
folders, binders and divider tabs in earth tones and with eco-themed
interactive challenges and games. A two-pocket folder starts at just
under a buck. Rebel Green's lunch totes ($24) ("bad habits are
disposable" is one catchy slogan here) are made from organic cotton,
come with reusable cotton napkins and feature hip designs that are
made from low-impact ink materials.
Play it smart with video games
So why not load up their high-tech toys with fun and educational video games? The
handheld Nintendo DS' "Personal Trainer: Math" ($19.99) is a game for all ages
featuring "Professor Kageyama," who decides whether you're ready to advance to a
higher level. Kids can compete with up to 15 of their friends in various math
challenges. "My Virtual Tutor: Reading" ($29.99) targets reading comprehension
with click-able animations and interactive quizzes for readers pre-K to second grade.
A "paint" play mode allows young users to illustrate scenes while they listen to a
Cyberspace really can help kids keep up at school. Scholastic.com now offers an
entire line of learning sites, including Homework Hub, which provides research
articles, study tips, grammar and writing guides, and test-taking hints. Kids in grades
3-6 can improve their math and science skills with StudyJams!, which uses cartoons,
karaoke songs and interactive tutorials as teaching tools ($5.95 a month after free
com provides homework help with a spin: It's designed by doctorate students who load it up with plenty of pop-culture
references and fun 'tude. (Sample from a plot summary of "Hamlet": "Welcome to Elsinore, Denmark, land of the
recently deceased king who likes to chill out in ghost form at night on the castle battlements ...")
Make school supplies your own
Welcome back, student DIYers! Kids now can make their own schedules, backpack tags and locker clings. Think of
HP's Creative Studio as a free art workshop online, allowing you to decorate these and other items with lightning
bolts, solar-system images and personalized messages. PakNaks ($3.99), are another source of personalized pizazz for
backpacks, lunchboxes and other school stuff. Choose from 40 different designs that stick to just about anything with
a Velcro-like attachment. Verymeri is a new trend-setting fashion line that lets kids design their own clothing. Our
fave is the "Be Buddies, Not Bullies" T-shirt ($24). The non-profit group Free Arts for Abused Children gets 3% of
the sales. And a bonus: Kids who create a winning design also pocket 3% of sales!
Go mobile with Prep for the SAT
math on the fly with down-loadable SAT test prep. Kaplan's SAT
Flashcubes vocabulary kit is available at iTunes. At $4.99, it features a 3-
D flashcard system. Princeton Review has the SAT Vocab Challenge app
for iPhone and the iPod for $4.99. Get smart with the most commonly
tested words on the SAT.
Here's a tongue twister: Cool new back-to-school backpacks can break
the bank. But not these: For $29.99 (solid colors only), eBags' Down-
loader Laptop Backpack was rated best overall and best value among
backpacks by "The Wall Street Journal" for a reason. It boasts special
compartments for a laptop, cables, accessories and many techno-gadgets.
for your MP3 player or cell phone on the shoulder strap and glow-in-the-dark zipper pulls.
Bookmark like it's 2009
These fun gadgets let families log reading time. Mark-My-Time digital bookmarks ($8.95) sport a built-in stopwatch --
and maybe even create a digital incentive to up their count each time!
When it comes to those must-have accessories -- cell phones -- cheap
doesn't have to be boring. The Motorola EM330 is available free when
purchased online with a two-year service agreement, and it comes with a
1.3-megapixel camera, FM radio and AT&T Mobile Music player. And
the Motorola MOTO W233 Renew ($9.99 with a two-year service
contract) comes with music player and text messaging.
Add spark to your kids' wardrobe with shirts and hoodies from
BustedTees that read "That's How I Roll" or "More Cowbell," priced
between $12 and $20. American Eagle's 77kids line features playful
striped hoodies from $24.50 to $29.50 and T-shirts that sport Olympic
themes from $16.50 to $19.50.
Stay hydrated, drink clean
Parents might want to grab this one for themselves: Clear2Go looks like a standard water bottle, but it has a twist.
The bottle comes with a replaceable filter, which is good for up to 100 gallons of water -- or the equivalent of 640 20-
ounce water bottles. (Bottle and filter packages are available for less than $25.)
|10 THINGS GAS STATIONS WILL NOT TELL YOU
name of a major oil company hangs out front and must buy gas from
their proprietary company. They cannot shop around. With a lock on
sales, the oil companies charge each station a different price depending
on various factors, such as the station’s competition and its location.
That means a station can pay as much as 46 cents a gallon more than
one down the street, and that cost gets passed along to you. Faced with
such instability, Gainesville, FL resident Steven King plans ahead: “If I
know I’m going out of town, I try not to buy gas so I can fill up after I
leave.” King says he can save 10 cents a gallon by purchasing gas on the
road. You’d be similarly wise to shop around with prices constantly in
motion, the cheapest gas may not be at the same station every time.
are highest. When fuel climbs, gas stations must shrink their profit margin to remain competitive, meaning
they earn less per gallon than usual. But another big cost during tough times is something they can’t do
anything about—credit card fees, which add up to about 2.5 percent of all purchases. When gas is at, say, $2 a
gallon, the station pays credit card companies 5 cents a gallon; when gas hits $3, that fee becomes 7.5 cents—
more than half the station’s entire average profit. “Those credit card fees are miserable for the gas station
business,” says Mohsen Arabshahi, who owns five Southern California gas stations. How do station owners
make up for lost revenue? “Prices go up like a rocket and come down like a feather,” says Richard Gilbert, a
professor of economics at UC Berkeley. For several weeks after wholesale prices drop, stations can earn as
much as 20 cents a gallon before retail prices are lowered to reflect the change.
example, is fortified with “Techron,” and Amoco Ultimate is supposed to save the planet along with your engine.
But today more than ever, one gallon of gas is as good as the next. True, additives help to clean your engine,
but what the companies don’t tell you is that all gas has them. Since 1994 the government has required that
detergents be added to all gasoline to help prevent fuel injectors from clogging. State and local regulators keep
a close watch to make sure those standards are met; a 2005 study indicated that Florida inspectors checked
45,000 samples to ensure the state’s gas supply was up to snuff, and 99 percent of the time it was. “There’s
little difference between brand-name gas and any other,” says AAA spokesperson Geoff Sundstrom. What’s
more, your local Chevron station may sell gas refined by Shell or Exxon Mobil. Suppliers share pipelines, so
they all use the same fuel. And the difference between the most expensive brand-name gas and the lowliest
gallon of no-brand fuel? Often just a quart of detergent added to an 8,000-gallon tanker truck.
card at the pump, the bank doesn’t know how much money you’ll be spending until you’ve finished pumping.
So to make sure you have the funds to cover the purchase, some stations ask banks to automatically set aside
some of your money: That amount can be $20 or more. That means even if you just topped off your tank for
$10, you could be out $30, $50, even $100 until the station sends over its bulk transactions, which can take up
to three days. If your funds are running low, you might end up bouncing a check in the meantime—even
though you had the money in your account. Unfortunately, paying inside with your debit card isn’t much of a
solution either. Many banks charge their customers between 50 cents and $1 for the privilege of using their
debit card in any PINbased transaction. The American Bankers Association estimates only 13 percent of
consumers pay these fees, but critics say the practice is on the rise and consumers are often unaware of these
deals are really bad. Similar to store cards issued through retailers, gas cards are riddled with drawbacks, says
Curtis Arnold, founder of CardRatings.com. APRs are high, starting above 20 percent; many don’t offer
rebates on gas purchases; and they often lack standard protections such as fraud monitoring and zero liability
for unauthorized transactions. What about a Visa or MasterCard affiliated with a gasoline brand like Exxon or
BP? They often offer lower interest rates and significant rebates, but limit your ability to shop around. In
December 2005, a few months after gas hit $3 a gallon, Justin Andringa of Minneapolis considered a Shell
MasterCard with a 15 percent rebate on gas purchases. But the rebate was temporary; he decided to stick with
his Citi Dividend Platinum Select card, which gives him a 5 percent rebate on all gas purchases no matter where
he buys it. “I’m a college student,” Andringa says. “I need to save money.” The deals on these cards are
constantly changing. So visit CardRatings.com to find updated information.
them, GasPriceWatch.com and GasWatch.info help people track pump prices. But the most comprehensive of
the bunch is GasBuddy.com, which includes a network of 174 local sites, complete with maps and message
boards that tally gas price by ZIP code. “People are frustrated by the variation in the price of gas,” says
GasBuddy.com co-founder Jason Toews, and they’re using the Internet to take control. It has worked wonders
for Sue Foust. Every day, as she passes roughly 10 stations on her commute across Tucson, Ariz., Foust makes
a mental note of their prices, then posts them on TucsonGasPrices.com, a local affiliate of GasBuddy.com. Then
every four days or so, when she needs to fill up, she checks the prices others have posted in her area. It turned
out the Shell station she used to frequent is one of the most expensive in the city. Now she fills up elsewhere.
“I really do feel like I’m saving money,” she says.
chance you’re not. The state or county weightsand- measures department usually checks pumps for accuracy,
but in some areas it can be years between inspections. Arizona, for example, has only 18 staff members to
check the state’s 2,300 stations. That means stations there can expect a visit once every three to four years,
according to Steve Meissner, an Arizona Department of Weights and Measures spokesperson. In 2005, 30
percent of the more than 2,000 complaints the department received were valid, and it levied $167,000 in fines.
The good news is that it’s often easy to catch the most common problem: Older pumps in poor repair may begin
charging you for gas before you’ve pumped it. Check the meter to make sure it registers $0.00 before you
begin and doesn’t start charging you before the fuel is flowing.
gross margins—stations are increasingly looking to their convenience stores for income. Given that fact, you’d
assume the average Kwik-E-Mart to be a terrible place to buy just about anything. But that’s only partially
true. Stock that usually sits on the shelf does tend to be vastly overpriced, so if you forgot ketchup on the way
to a barbecue, you can bet you’ll pay a lot more for it at a gas station than you would at a supermarket, says
David Bishop, director of convenience retailing for Willard Bishop Consulting. What about popular beverages?
You’ll pay more for a 20-ounce soda at a gas station than you would for a two-liter bottle in a supermarket;
water and energy drinks similarly tend to have high markups. But there are bargains to be had: Some high-
volume goods, such as cigarettes and beer, are often competitively priced at gas stations. And a cup of coffee
goes for a fraction of what you’d pay at Starbucks.
swapping car lifts for beverage cases and car washes, anything that brings in a high-volume stream of income
and traffic, says Dennis DeCota, executive director of the California Service Station and Automotive Repair
Association. The more people who pull over for a soda, the greater the chance they’ll top off their tank and vice
versa, the thinking goes. Few owners want the hassle of a business like car repair even if it earns the same
amount of money as a convenience store. In addition, repairing cars is increasingly expensive, and the ill will
and potential liability from a fix-it job gone wrong are more of a headache than many owners are willing to risk.
Today a service station can require $100,000 worth of diagnostic equipment—a significant investment. It’s a
risky venture with little payoff, says Southern California station owner Arabshahi. In fact, Arabshahi removed
the service station from one of his locations after he bought it. “I don’t have a service station because I am not
a mechanic,” he says. “If he messes up a job, then it’s my name on there.”
from U.S. manufacturers and built since 1998) are “flexible fuel” vehicles that can run on E85, a fuel that is 85
percent ethanol and only 15 percent gas. When Minneapolis resident John Schafer bought a car in late 2001, he
chose a Chevy Tahoe because it’s a flexible-fuel car. Since then he’s filled up almost exclusively with E85. The
big difference he’s noticed: Cars using E85 get about 15 percent fewer miles to the gallon. But it’s a drawback
he’s willing to put up with. “I’m committed to the technology,” Schafer says. “With E85, it burns cleaner so it
won’t pollute as much.” While E85 generally costs less than regular gas, there is some concern that it may grow
prohibitively expensive as demand outpaces supply: By 2006 ethanol was not just being used in E85—it also
composed 15 percent of every gallon of gas sold. Supplies of ethanol are likely to grow thin, which could drive
up the price of E85. And even die-hard Schafer says he won’t buy E85 if it starts to cost more than gasoline.
|DUMBEST THINGS YOU CAN DO WITH YOUR MONEY
by Kathy Kristof
Friday, May 7, 2010
their money: He's a smart guy (with a doctorate in psychology) who lost
half of his assets in the technology stock bubble.
smarts, size matters: The logical part of your brain is so much smaller
than the emotional side that it's like "a circus performer riding an
elephant." To make smart decisions about your finances, you need the
logical side to dominate. But once you get tweaked by greed or fear, that
elephantine emotional brain is likely to run amok.
cling to stocks that are long past their expiration dates. Or find other
ways to let fear and superstition keep them from smarter financial
moves. Here are nine of these common, emotionally driven money
mistakes — plus some tricks from experts for getting that elephant in
1. Falling in Love ... With Your Investments
It can be great to fall in love with a person, but stocks can get you into deep trouble. Newport Beach, Calif., financial
planner Laura Tarbox says she sees this all the time: Some clients keep concentrated stock holdings because they
inherited them and "Mom just loved IBM," or because they work for the company and feel that selling would be
Then there's the couple who came to her asking for help investing $12 million. "That sounded really great until we
found out that this couple used to have more than $1 billion," Tarbox says. "All their money had been invested in a
company that the husband helped launch — and he couldn't convince himself to diversify when he walked away."
Sorry, but that relationship just won't work, says Tarbox. No one should have more than 10 percent of his or her
wealth locked in one stock. Just ask the former employees of Enron, who lost both their jobs and their retirement
savings when the company filed for bankruptcy 10 years ago.
2. Chasing a Fantasy
You've read it 100 times: "Past performance is not an indication of future returns." But no one appears to believe it.
Purveyors of investment data can trot out tons of statistics showing that when a mutual fund or asset class (such as
gold, emerging markets stocks, or junk bonds) gets singled out for great quarterly or annual returns, investors start
to pour money into that investment like it was going out of style.
And, of course, it is. One extensive study that looked at 19 years of market data found that investors consistently
poured money into "hot" investments just as they were about to turn cold. That left the average investor with returns
that fell way below the market as a whole and didn't even keep up with inflation. (For more on this, see our recent
story "The Biggest Mistake Investors Make.")
Klontz admits that this is why he lost his shirt in technology stocks. It's a natural inclination to "run with the herd,"
he says with a shrug. Maybe so, but if you don't want to get trampled, you have to devise an investment strategy that
suits your goals and then stick to it, even as your neighbor gets (temporarily) rich on the investment du jour.
3. Equating "On Sale" With "Good Deal"
Consider two television sets: Both are $500, but one is marked down from $800. Which one do you buy? If you're
being reasonable, you buy the one that got the better rating in Consumer Reports. But most people buy the one that's
on sale, says Matt Wallaert, a consultant for LendingTree, which owns the money management Web site Thrive. In
fact, even people who would never have spent $500 on a television often will when it's discounted — simply because
it's so cheap!
In reality, $500 is $500. If you wouldn't normally spend that much on a television (or any product, for that matter),
you shouldn't do it now. We've been fooled by "anchoring": the illogical, but nearly inescapable, tendency to base our
estimates of value on the nearest number we see, rather than an independent assessment. Just because the tag has
$800 crossed out and replaced by $500, that doesn't mean $800 was a meaningful price. Indeed, an MIT experiment
revealed that students who wrote down the last two digits of their Social Security numbers based their estimates of a
wine bottle's worth on those two random numbers. The higher their numbers, the more the students were willing to
bid for the wine.
Before you pull out your checkbook to splurge at a sale, evaluate whether the product, be it a television or a bread
machine, is worth that price in enjoyment. Consider how often you'll use it, for instance, and whether you can get
something of similar quality for less.
4. Retaliatory Spending
You don't need it. You don't want it. But, dang it, no one is going to tell you that you can't have it. New York
psychologist Bonnie Eaker Weil calls it "POP" spending — for "pissed-off purchases." She did a survey before
publishing her latest book, Financial Infidelity, and estimated from the results that POP spending accounts for about
$424 billion in purchases each year.
One of Weil's Brooklyn-based clients, for example, went on a retaliatory $500 shopping spree when her husband gave
one of her beat-up old jackets to charity without asking her first. When she got home, she informed him that since he
didn't like her old jacket, she had gotten a new one from Saks Fifth Avenue. Such purchases can also result from a
fight with your boss, mother, or best friend, according to Weil.
But as good as retaliatory spending may feel, it can do real damage to your financial health. Tarbox says a better
approach is to talk out the anger, hurt, or disappointment — or just your bad day — with a friend, or even a
professional counselor. If you have to spend money on a psychologist, it's probably still cheaper than the golf clubs or
designer shoes you put on your credit card after that last argument with the boss.
5. Hanging On to Debt
The number of people who have money in savings accounts, earning less than 2 percent, while carrying debt on credit
cards that charge more than 14 percent is "shocking," Wallaert says. Of Thrive's customers who have more than
$500 in credit card debt, almost 40 percent have more than enough in savings to pay it off, he says.
Wallaert connects this mistake to "mental accounting" that separates our money into different stacks that we think
ought to stay separate. But illogical separations can create mathematical mayhem.
Consider a person with $5,000 in credit card debt and $10,000 in savings. The debt costs him 14 percent per year, or
$700, but the $10,000 in savings earns just 2 percent annually, or $200. He could pay off the debt, saving the $700, and
still earn $100 annually on the remaining $5,000 in savings. Net result: He's immediately $600 richer and can start
You might argue that you need those savings for emergencies. And you do need some emergency savings, allows
Frank C. Presson III, a financial planner in Tucson, Ariz. But if you've got considerably more savings than debt,
there's no excuse. Keep one month's worth of living expenses in the bank, even at those sorry returns, Presson
advises. Use the rest to pay off the high-cost debt. Then rebuild the emergency savings, not the debt. Worst-case
scenario: You still have the credit cards (now with zero balances), and you can tap them in an emergency.
6. Parental Martyrdom
An emerging problem involves parents who spend themselves to the edge of insolvency bailing out their children. "It
starts from a good place, basically from wanting to be a good parent," Klontz says. "They'll say that Johnny is going
through a rough patch and needs some help. But it becomes financial enabling."
Worse, it often causes the parents to suffer money woes that keep them from retiring or living comfortably because
they're constantly paying Johnny's bills.
Any time you help an adult child, you should have a clear idea of how much help is necessary, how long it will be
required, how it will help the child get back on his or her feet, and when (or whether) the child will have to pay you
back. When there's no plan — just an open checkbook or couch — you turn the child into a dependent who becomes
increasingly incapable of taking care of himself, Klontz says.
"I talk to the parents about how their attempts to help are like giving a drink to an alcoholic because his hand is shaking.
This kind of helping is hurting," he says. "Then we talk about what kind of help would really help." (Hint: That kind
generally doesn't involve cash.)
7. Cyber Insecurity
Roughly half the world has signed on for free online banking, which makes money management easier and saves the
typical consumer about $50 annually in postage stamps. Among the people who don't use online banking, 41 percent
say they've held back because of security concerns, according to a recent survey by Gartner Research.
What do banks typically do to secure online customer accounts? They put up multiple firewalls, which are the
equivalent of brick enclosures around your house, and they have techno-security teams attempting to find the weak
spots and shore them up. They also patrol the firewalls 24/7, looking for climbers.
Now, let's look at your mailbox. It's probably unlocked and unguarded — just what a thief needs to steal your credit
cards. In reality, the chance of becoming a victim of identity theft or financial fraud as the result of low-tech crime —
whether it's somebody stealing cards or "spoofing" you into providing private information via e-mail — is a lot
greater than the chance that somebody will breach your bank's online vault.
So sign up already and save the stamps. And if you're worried about security, check your account regularly to make
sure there's no suspicious activity.
8. State of Denial
Remember when you were 2 years old and you thought you could hide by closing your eyes? When the stock market
plunged last winter and spring, that's just what investors did, leaving their quarterly statements sitting unopened on
If watching too closely would make you abandon a reasoned investment strategy, go ahead and ignore a statement or
two. But losses don't go away just because you don't look at them, Tarbox points out. At some point, particularly if
you're nearing retirement or need the dough for some other reason, you need to take a look, assess where you are,
and figure out what to do about it.
9. Hoarding Money
Children of the Depression did a lot of this — stuffing $20 bills in their bibles or balling up tinfoil and rubber bands so
they wouldn't have to buy more. But planners say that this is often a problem with wealthy and responsible older folks
today: They're so afraid of running out of money that they don't enjoy the money that they have.
"When people deny themselves things that they could clearly afford, you have to ask them what they're saving that money
for," Tarbox says. "We have to tell them that they're not spending enough."
If you're worried about running out of money, sit down with a financial planner and work out the math. Make sure
you consider worst-case investment scenarios, not just the averages. That will make you more comfortable about
weathering a bad patch like the one we just muddled through. Then, if you still have more than enough, make a plan
that will allow you to enjoy your wealth by either spending the excess or giving it away.
Money, after all, is a means to an end — not the end itself. You save it to make you, and the people you love, calm
and comfortable. And it's a lot more fun to take the kids and grandkids on vacation — or provide them with college
money or other gifts while you're around to get the hugs and kisses — than to know that they'll inherit a fortune
after you die.
Informative Link: FeedThePig.org
|This page is subject to be updated without notice.
|THE REAL LIFE SANTA CLAUS
has roamed the streets every December quietly giving people money. He
started with $5 and $10 bills. As his fortune grew, so did the gifts. In
recent years, Secret Santa has been handing out $100 bills, sometimes
two or three at a time, to people in thrift stores, diners and parking lots.
So far, he's anonymously given out about $1.3 million. It's been a long-
held holiday mystery: Who is Secret Santa?
But now, weak from chemotherapy and armed with a desire to pass on
his belief in random kindness, Secret Santa has decided it's time to
reveal his identity.
millions in cable television and long-distance telephone service.
His holiday giving started in December 1979 when he was nursing his wounds at a drive-in restaurant after getting
fired. It was the second year in a row he had been fired the week before Christmas.
"It was cold and this car hop didn't have on a very big jacket, and I thought to myself, `I think I got it bad. She's out
there in this cold making nickels and dimes,'" he said.
He gave her $20 and told her to keep the change.
"And suddenly I saw her lips begin to tremble and tears begin to flow down her cheeks. She said, `Sir, you have no
idea what this means to me.'"
Stewart went to the bank that day and took out $200, then drove around looking for people who could use a lift. That
was his "Christmas present to himself." He's hit the streets each December since.
While Stewart has also given money to other community causes in Kansas City and his hometown of Bruce, Miss., he
offers the simple gifts of cash because it's something people don't have to "beg for, get in line for, or apply for."
That was a feeling he came to know in the early '70s when he was living out of his yellow Datsun 510. Hungry and
tired, Stewart mustered the nerve to approach a woman at a church and ask for help.
The woman told him the person who could help was gone for the day, and Stewart would have to come back the next
"As I turned around, I knew I would never do that again," Stewart said.
Over the years, Stewart's giving as Secret Santa grew. He started a Web site. He allowed the news media to tag along,
mostly because he wanted to hear about the people who received the money. Reporters had to agree to guard his
identity and not name his company, which he still does not want revealed.
His entourage grew over the years, and he began traveling with special elves. People like the late Negro Leagues icon
Buck O'Neil, who handed out hugs while Stewart doled out $100s. NFL Hall of Famer Dick Butkus will join Stewart
this year in Chicago when Stewart hands out $100s in honor of O'Neil, the first African-American coach in the Major
They'll give out $100,000 between Chicago and Kansas City. Four Secret Santas who Stewart "trained" will hand out
an additional $65,000.
Doctors told Stewart in April that he had cancer of the esophagus and it had spread to his liver. He has been lucky, he
says, to get into a clinical trial at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. But the aggressive chemotherapy has
stripped away his appetite and energy. He's lost about 100 pounds, but has held onto his white hair.
The treatment costs more than $16,000 a month, not including the cost of traveling to Houston every two weeks and
staying there for five or six days. He now has two months off, but returns to treatment in February.
His insurance company won't cover the cost of the treatment, which has left him concerned about his finances and his
Now, his mission is bigger than handing out $100 bills. Stewart wants to speak to community groups about his devotion
to kindness and to inspire others to donate their time and money.
"That's what we're here for," Stewart says, "to help other people out."
|In The News
|| Home | TLC | TLC Calendar | TLC Notices | Job Postings | Colorado Community | Commentary |
| Mr. Davis | Keeba | Bath & Body Products | Rhonda | Bible Study | Helen's Unique Designs | Site Map |
|FIND OUR MISSING:
Has anyone ever heard of Caley Anthony, Baby Lisa Erwin, Laci Peterson, Jaycee Lee Dugard, Natalee Holloway,
Audrey Seiler, Dru Sjodin, and/or Elizabeth Smart?
Have you heard the names Jeanette Marie Lamb, James Dickey and/or Chassity Reed? Well, they have been missing
since 2002 along with Amanda Alexandra Jones, Janib Bennett and Sasha Davis. Jahessye Shockley, Zana Hollbrock,
Zakyyah Copeland-Taylor have all been missing since 2011.
While watching The View, Chris Cuomo and actress S. Epatha Merkerson were on talking about missing Black
children. Included on the panel was a policewoman.
(At first, I was a tad disappointed that Joy Behar, Barbara Walters and the dingy girl were excused from the segment
but I suppose it made sense.)
Anyway, Whoopi asked Chris Cuomo why White people received more attention than Blacks and he stated the
following: “Some of the media plays into attention span and attractability ...what they believe will motivate their audience,
and a lot of the times, the judgments are wrong.” He went on to say, “We focus on people –you say that they are white –
and they are and there could be several reasons for that. Sometimes, they’re atrocious. There are more white people than
anyone else in the Country so you’re gonna have a higher collection. Sometimes its how incredible the story is, but often its
because they look good uh to the media who wanna put them on. You know, it sounds sinister, and it doesn’t need to be
until it becomes exclusionary of other people. And that’s when it's troubling.”
What is troubling to me, is that the policewoman agreed with Cuomo. She said that the police don't put much
emphasis on missing Black children.
One Mother on the show said that her 7-year-old daughter, Alexis has been missing since 2002. She said that the
child’s stepfather walked her to the school, which is just right across the street from her house. After little Alexis
didn’t come home from school that afternoon, the Mother called the school and was told that little Alexis hadn’t made
it to school that day. (I can only wonder why the school didn’t call regarding the child’s absence. In addition, I
thought the AMBER Alert System was in place in 2002, but someone on the panel said it was not.???)
When Alexis’ Mother called the police to report her 7-year-old daughter missing, it took them over an hour to arrive
at her home. After talking to the Mother, the police treated the missing child as a runaway. They said she may be
over at a friend’s house and that they would give it the weekend until she returned. If she had not returned by
Monday, they would file a report. The Mother tried to get media attention for her daughter but I don’t think she
received much. I suppose it was her local media but not nationwide, either way, I certainly do not recall hearing about
Another missing child is Yasmin Acree who was just 15 years old when she went missing January 15, 2008. She was
an honor student who went missing in the middle of the night. That morning, Tuesday, January 15, 2008, her mother
dropped her off at school. Normally, Yasmin went to the YMCA on Tuesday afternoons. The Mother worked the
night shift so she had no idea her daughter was missing, so the next morning when she arrived at home she was only
told that someone broke into her home. She said she didn’t call the police at the time because she didn’t think it had
anything to do with her daughter. At about 5PM, the Mother began looking for her daughter but couldn’t find her
anywhere in the house so she called the police but they never came. The Mother said she had to call the police 3
times before they came out. The police asked what school she attended and because there was some sort of sports
game going on at the school, the police said she must be at the game. However, the Mother said no because she didn’t
give her daughter permission to go to any games. The Mother kept a close eye on her daughter at all times and the
daughter would have to ask before going anywhere. The police went by the school and then asked the Mother if the
daughter had returned, of course she had not. The police called a few times but didn’t file a report until the next day.
The Mother told the police about the break-in but they didn’t investigate any part of it. The following day – the
THIRD DAY - at a press conference, the police department had flyers printed that said ‘believed to be a runaway.’
Chris Cuomo said that it’s not unusual and said, “Very often in these cases we see in Black communities is that the
dynamics shifts from these people being victims to maybe they did something wrong. Maybe this kid ran away because it's
not a great situation or because it just happens. You even see it in the statistics…when they break down who runs away, the
number of Black kids who are found to be missing are right up there with white kids. It’s not like there aren’t a lot of Black
kids. …They combine white and Hispanics into one number. And it seems to suggest a preference and that’s what makes
Elizabeth Smart went missing in 2002; the media took over the airwaves for over 9 months until she was found.
Yasmin’s Mother said they couldn’t get much media attention about her missing child because the police had listed
her as a runaway. However, when the Mother complained that the police botched the investigation into her missing
daughter, then the media responded as they were only interested in a story of police misconduct.
S. Epatha Merkerson hosts “Find Our Missing” on TV1. I’ve been watching since its debut. (Channel 328 for Directv
subscribers.) I seen the one with Yasmin’s Mother and I REALLY think the boyfriend (or ex-boyfriend) killed her.
The stories are just as sad and/or interesting as other missing children, and more importantly, they are TRULY just as
heartbreaking. There was another one on there about a little disabled boy who went missing after he was left outside
alone. I REALLY think his “soon to be stepfather killed him.
|WHAT HAS PRESIDENT OBAMA DONE FOR THE PEOPLE:
Obama hasn’t done ANYTHING for America…except for:
|BLACK PEOPLE SHOULD NOT VOTE FOR PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA BECAUSE...
address and/or lessen your personal troubles, try a few of these and see
if anything here affects you in the Black Community:
she should or should not do to her body; that is not my right and it
should not be the right of our government. Imagine one of our Black
sisters who feels she is trapped and does something unhealthy just to
receive an abortion. Did you know that the GOP does not feel that
ANYONE to have an abortion???...even if they are rapped??!!
eating enough watermelon now, or does he need to do more – something
that he did not promise to do. The plan reads: “Strengthen Small
Business Administration programs that provide capital to minority-
owned businesses, support outreach programs that help minority
business owners apply for loans, and work to encourage the growth and
capacity of minority firms.”
thought of anyone else suffering needlessly due to government greed, really makes me angry! How many of
you know someone who is suffering with Lupus, Ataxia, Multiple Sclerosis or any other unknown-named
autoimmune disease? Would you not want the united states to at least seek the cure or would you rather travel
all the way to a foreign country that has been doing research for years)
adding unknown fees and reading pages upon pages for me to learn my rights. I also like the idea of knowing
how long it will take to pay off the balance… I don’t know about you, but I know a quite a few people including
family members who do have a lot of credit cards and a $1.00 fee for this and a $1.00 fee for that, hurts their
“back money.” So I see this as a win-win for Us…it’s not much, but it helps.
insurance premiums will increase. However, note the following FACTS:
Yes the Health Care Reform Plan will ultimately increase taxes on health care, but this tax would ONLY affect
those who earn more than $200,000.
Secondly, I do not know about any of you, but MY PREMIUMS HAVE BEEN INCREASING WAY BEFORE I
EVEN HEARD OF A BARACK OBAMA. Before Barack Obama became a household name, my premiums had
been increasing for the past 11½ years, so commonsense should show that Obama’s new health care plan is not
the reason for the premium increase. On the other hand, if my premiums increase to help someone who does
not have insurance, then I will be pleased as I’d rather help someone in need than the greedy insurance
companies to constantly take it from me.
This is a fact I almost forgot: Obama’s health care plan is VERY similar to the one Orin Hatch implemented
some time ago!
is the first Latina and only the third female justice appointed in the Supreme Court's history. Justice Kagan is
the youngest person on the court, the third woman on the current court, and the fourth woman in history to be
a Supreme Court Justice. As a woman, I like the idea of having Justice Kagan make decisions for a woman's
rights as well as the rights of a woman's body. This also includes the right to make healthy life decisions for all
women. As a minority, Sonia Sotomayor knows exactly what it's like to play in "their game." I like the idea of
her fighting for equal rights and has a clear view of working class individuals; not making things difficult but
uses assured commonsense.
Black friend who has been abused? Sometimes the legality of it does not help or save us, but I am certainly glad
that the extension of that law is in place…its better than before and certainly better than none at all.
college education? Personally, and I hate to even say it, but I know quite a few young and extremely intelligent
Black kids who SHOULD go to college but the lack of money stands in their way. However, some of these new
government programs are helping them today! And I am VERY happy for them because they should go to
college because they deserve and the lack of finances should not be an issue for them to achieve their dreams.
Do you not want more for the Black community?
Massachusetts Senate, she was often on television leading this committee, discussing all the many ways that
companies are getting over on innocent consumers, I was livid! Don’t scam and/or steal from me! In detail, it
"The new law is designed to help shield consumers from abusive financial practices, provide the public with
information about financial products and to help protect consumers from scams, hidden fees, abusive terms, and
deceptive practices. In theory, by requiring financial products to more clearly define risks, fees, and penalties,
consumers may be less likely to become victims of fraud. And when fraud does occur, there will be one point of
contact for them to call. Any institution that provides consumer financial products — from credit cards and payday
loans to mortgages, auto loans, and other consumer products — will fall under the CFPB’s jurisdiction."
should any United States Military man or woman have to worry about hiding their sexual preference when they
are already busy fighting for our rights? It’s as if they have to hide their true identity from their oppressors
when it is truly unnecessary.
all of his eight years in office. Of course if you’re unemployed, this may or may not mean much to you, but as a
Black woman, it means a LOT to me and if any of Obama’s plans helps at least one of my Black brothers or
sisters get a job, then I am more than happy.
women – have been in the work force more so then any of our Black men. And if this new law helps ANY of our
Black sisters, then hallelujah!
when there was a time when a lot of us saw no other way out of our communities and the military seemed to be
the best route. Either way, I’m glad this law is in place for any family of a fallen solider. I know they did not
have this law in place when both my Dad and Brother were in the military….thankfully, only one of them
fought in a war.
|HARP - Home Affordable Refinance Program:
Reprint from January 12, 2012
program will help you or someone you may know. (Please pass on info that you think
might benefit others.) This Bill is what Obama addressed in his State of the Union
speech a few months ago and it addresses homeowners who are “underwater”;
meaning they owe more on their home than what it’s worth. Obama said he will
bypass Congress by using a series of Executive Orders to help boost the economy and
this is one of those times.
only those who are NOT facing foreclosure yet do not qualify for a cheaper rate
and/or the current market interest rate.
Top Foreclosure States in September 2011:
In Nevada alone, 80% of homeowners are underwater and nationally, it’s around 25% which effects some 15 million people.
HARP & What It Will Do:
Perhaps the biggest limitation of the Program is that it’s voluntary for lenders. Therefore, a bank remains free
to reject refinancing even if a homeowner meets all requirements.
The following article said The Associated Press wrote it, however I found it under News-Press.com. Perhaps News
Press is an affiliate of AP…I don’t know. Anyway, it might be helpful to provide those interested with this additional
Reminder: The article states how you can check both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to see if you’re eligible.
A guide to the Obama administration's new mortgage-refi plan
Monday, October 24, 2011
WASHINGTON - Two big questions loom over the Obama administration's latest bid to help troubled homeowners:
Will it work? And who would benefit?
By easing eligibility rules, the administration hopes 1 million more homeowners will qualify for its refinancing
program and lower their mortgage payments—twice the number who have already. The program has helped only a
fraction of the number the administration had envisioned.
In part, that's because many homeowners who would like to refinance can't because they owe more on their mortgage
than their home is worth. But it's also because banks are under no obligation to refinance a mortgage they hold—a
limitation that won't change under the new plan.
Here are some of the major questions and answers about the administration's initiative:
Q: What is the program?
A. The Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, was started in 2009. It lets homeowners refinance their
mortgages at lower rates. Borrowers can bypass the usual requirement of having at least 20 percent equity in their
home. But few people have signed up. Many "underwater" borrowers—those who owe more than their homes are
worth—couldn't qualify under the program. Roughly 22.5 percent of U.S. homeowners, about 11 million, are
underwater, according to CoreLogic, a real estate data firm. As of Aug. 31, fewer than 900,000 homeowners, and just
72,000 underwater homeowners, have refinanced through the administration's program. The administration had
estimated that the program would help 4 million to 5 million homeowners.
Q. Why did so few benefit?
A. Mainly because those who'd lost the most in their homes weren't eligible. Participation was limited to those whose
home values were no more than 25 percent below what they owed their lender. That excluded roughly 10 percent of
borrowers, CoreLogic says. In some hard-hit areas, borrowers have lost nearly 50 percent of their home's value.
Another problem: Homeowners must pay thousands in closing costs and appraisal fees to refinance. Typically, that
adds up to 1 percent of the loan's value—$2,000 in fees on a $200,000 loan. Sinking home prices also left many fearful
that prices had yet to bottom. They didn't want to throw good money after a depreciating asset. Or their credit scores
were too low. Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan acknowledged that the program has "not reached the scale we had
Q: What changes is the administration making?
A. Homeowners' eligibility won't be affected by how far their home's value has fallen. And some fees for closing, title
insurance and lien processing will be eliminated. So refinancing will be cheaper. The number of homeowners who need
an appraisal will be reduced, saving more money. Some fees for those who refinance into a shorter-term mortgage will
also be waived. Banks won't have to buy back the mortgages from Fannie or Freddie, as they previously had to when
dealing with some risky loans. That change will free many lenders to offer refinance loans. The program will also be
extended 18 months, through 2013.
Q: Who's eligible?
A. Those whose loans are owned or backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, which the government took control of two
years ago. Fannie and Freddie own or guarantee about half of all U.S. mortgages—nearly 31 million loans. They buy
loans from lenders, package them into bonds with a guarantee against default and sell them to investors. To qualify
for refinancing, a loan must have been sold to Fannie and Freddie before June 2009. Homeowners can determine
whether Fannie or Freddie owns their mortgage by going online: Click fanniemae.com/loanlookup for Fannie's loan
tools. Mortgages that were refinanced over the past 2 1/2 years aren't eligible. Homeowners must also be current on
their mortgage. One late payment within six months, or more than one in the past year, would mean disqualification.
Perhaps the biggest limitation on the program: It's voluntary for lenders. A bank remains free to reject a refinancing
even if a homeowner meets all requirements.
Q: Will it work?
A. For those who can qualify, the savings could be significant. If, for example, a homeowner with a $200,000 mortgage
at 6 percent can refinance down to 4.5 percent, the savings would be $3,000 a year. But the benefit to the economy will
likely be limited. Even homeowners who are eligible and who choose to refinance through the government program
could opt to sock away their savings or pay down debt rather than spend it.
Q: How many homeowners will be eligible or will choose to participate?
A: Not entirely clear. The government estimates that up to 1 million more people could qualify. Moody's Analytics
says the figure could be as high as 1.6 million. Both figures are a fraction of the 11 million or more homeowners who
are underwater, according to CoreLogic, a real estate data research firm.
Q: Who will benefit most?
A: Underwater homeowners in the hard-hit states of Arizona, California, Florida and Nevada could be greatly helped.
Many are stuck with high mortgage rates after they were approved for mortgages with little or no money as a down
payment and few requirements. The average annual savings for a U.S. household would be $2,500, officials say.
Q: When will it start?
A: Fannie and Freddie will issue the full details of the plan lenders and services on Nov. 15, officials say. The
revamped program could be in place for some lenders as early as Dec. 1.
|PENNY PINCHING TIPS:
Below are a few tips that might help those who are facing hard times, or perhaps they just might help you save a little
bit more money.
Informative Link: FeedThePig.org
|REGISTER TO VOTE BY CALLING 1-866-My Vote 1:
Register To Vote
If you are a Black parent, you should be the FIRST to register to vote as well as NEVER missing a chance to cast you
ballot. By reason, in this century ALL of our Black children are unnecessarily explored and exploited just for being
Black in America. If you do not know, understand and/or in doubt, ask one of my family members.
I have said it once, twice, three times; too many times to count, but if you are eligible to vote but do not exercise your
right to vote, you should be ashamed of yourself. I've said it so many times, even received some semi-harsh criticism,
but I took it with pride, so I will say it again - until I'm blue in the face: If you are eligible to vote but do not vote, do
not talk to me EVER about politics and/or the state of affairs in these divided states. In fact, if I knew someone on
this list just decided not to vote just because, I would kick him or her off the list, just because.
People who are eligible to vote yet cease their right to cast their vote, are - in my opinion - ridiculous and absurd;
wasting much time doing nothing! I do not care what anyone says, but I do not surround myself with non-voters, as I
just do not see any reason to do so.
Someone once said that if Blacks know enough to pay taxes to support the government, he knows enough to vote;
taxation and representation should go together. Accordingly, if Blacks know that they must be more cognizant of
their peculiarity and surroundings, then they should know enough to note. Because I know this is factual, as a Black
person, I know I can always count on my local government official in time of great need.
If you are eligible to vote but not registered to vote, do it now by calling 1-866-MY-VOTE-1. (1-866-698-6831). When
calling, 1-866-MY-VOTE-1, not only will you be able to register to vote, but also locate your polling location.
After slaves were freed, all Black men were given the right to vote according to the Constitution, but in reality, very
few Blacks were able to vote. After the Civil War, the Constitution was changed to make sure Black men had the
right to vote. For twelve years after the Civil War, soldiers of the Union Army helped make sure that Blacks would
get to vote in the South. When the soldiers left, though, Whites in the South invented many ways to keep Blacks
from voting. They succeeded for almost one hundred years. Blacks actually did not have the right to vote at the end
of the Civil War, as Southern States put together governments that excluded Blacks from voting. From the 1870's
through most of the 1900's, Blacks were blocked from voting by threats of violence. Other obstructions required
Blacks to submit reading and writing tests, however some Blacks could not read or write so they could not pass the
tests. Another barrier was when one month after his presidency, Andrew Johnson directed the States to rewrite
southern State constitutions, giving them power as to who could vote in their State. There were several other voting
rules designed to keep Blacks from voting. It was not until the Voting Rights Act of 1965, signed by President Lyndon
Johnson over 100 years after the Civil War ended, that it became illegal to stop Blacks from voting. Blacks were
finally guaranteed their voting rights in 1965.
Voting is a privilege; something that Black people did not always have the right to do. Our people have died for the
right, so I cannot - for the life of me - understand why any eligible person would pass on this newly found right. It has
only been 47 years that Blacks have had the right to vote in every State.
If you are eligible to vote but not registered to vote, do it now by calling 1-866-MY-VOTE-1. (1-866-698-6831). When
calling, 1-866-MY-VOTE-1, not only will you be able to register to vote, but also locate your polling location.
Make sure you put the number (1-866-698-6831) in your cell phone so when you're at the polls, you can report any
shenanigans. (Your notification will help improve voting statistics as well as prove and provide details of voting day.)
|| Home | TLC | TLC Calendar | TLC Notices | Job Postings | Colorado Community | Commentary |
| Mr. Davis | Keeba | Bath & Body Products | Rhonda | Bible Study | Helen's Unique Designs | Site Map |
|IN THESE DIFFICULT ECONOMIC TIMES, SPEND ONLY WHAT YOU NEED:
questioned why I have not purchased a new one. I responded that I drive
it because there is not any value in a car but in property. Yes, there are
many cars, trucks and SUV's with supped-up niceties such as air
conditioning, leathered-cool seats with CD and DVD options and I have
test-driven a few. And although I must admit that I truly enjoyed the
surrounding of luxury, it was not for me.
vehicle cannot feed, clothe nor house me, however a home can, will and
Even in today's economy, there is still value in a home, so instead of putting your money into something that
will not provide you any profit, try thinking of your future instead - especially if you have children. I believe in
saving for a rainy or having "back money." (My parents taught me that at a very early age, and in my
opinion, parents are responsible for teaching their children about the value of a dollar - not the schools.)
When I was a child - with all their might - my parents tried not to just teach me the value of a dollar but about
saving pennies. More likely than not, I am the creator of copper as I can stretch a penny from here to the
East Coast. Although it did not always make sense when I was a child, as an adult, I have no excuse not to
have a little something saved. I appreciate my parents for teaching me about spending money on necessities
because like most people, every now and then a surprise expense comes out of nowhere.
Spending, Borrowing, Saving:
Some of my family members were aware that several months went by before I received my paychecks. Truly,
it was months at a time and most people would have fretted about their creditors however, I was concerned
about being a victim of stolen identity, the safety of my social security number and/or mail fraud.
Some (if not all) of my family members are aware that I would rather sleep under a bridge than borrow money
from any of them. Although my Mother had often reprimanded me about my haughty pride, I could never fix
my mouth to ask/beg for a loan from anyone. I did that once over 25 years ago and have vowed to never do
so again and thank God, I have not had the need to do so. Nevertheless, here I was. Again, I was not in
financial distress but had a deep concern of what could have happened to my "checks are in the mail."
When my checks failed to arrive month after month, I did what I thought was the best thing to do: I reached
into my savings account and paid all my bills. In my opinion, a roof over my head, groceries, electricity,
medication and the welfare of my spouse, his mother, my doggy and I, are more important than any car
payment. I was still able to tithe and if desired, purchase unessential items.
Had I purchased the latest faded new vehicle, I would have been okay with the monthly payment, but I am not
comfortable with paying that yearly continually increasing vehicle registration fees. My Parents always had
older vehicles until one day my Dad purchased one brand new and one thing he and my Mother always agreed
was, "There's no value in a car, but only in a home." That was true then and still is today.
If ya got it like that, then good for you, but I like knowing I have a roof over my had, food in my stomach and
enough money to take care of that rainy day. My parents taught me that it rains when we least expect it.
Spiritual Belief and Political Economic Note:
I believe in God and I know He will continue to shelter mine and me. Still and all, if the economy worsens
and/or the enemy arrives at the gates, (rather President Obama is re-elected or Mitt Romney takes the
helms) I like knowing I have the resources pickup and vacate.
I believe in saving as most economy watchers have noted two-thirds of Americans are just a paycheck or two
from being homeless and/or bankrupt.
So save for yourself, your family - your future.
Memorable Saving Quote:
"Stop buying things you don’t need to impress people you don't even like."
Suze Orman - worth $35 million; financial advisor, television personality, author, motivational speaker, self-
established as one of the top personal finance experts in the United States.
|DO NOT STOP DOING...
done that?), and the Lord spoke a word in my spirit and He said to
just start typing and I will give it to you as you type. Work on the
following and it will bless you.
says, don't be overcome with evil, but overcome the evil with
good. When the devil floods your mind with unloving negative
thoughts, find someone to love.
Don't try and find fault in people; look for the good in them
and forget the negative. Many people put themselves in a bad way
because they are always focusing on people and never letting the
Lord use them to be a blessing to others. Rent the movie
Don't ever,ever,ever, give up. Watch the movie "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" or "The Norwest Passage."
Don't stop praying. Satan will use situations to get you depressed and to get you out of focus. Pray every day and
pray with someone who can encourage you..... prayer partner.
Don't walk around with 'give up on you!' Shake the devil OFF! If you are going through hell, don't look like you
are going through hell.
Don't be led by your flesh! A lot of times God is not up with stuff that we say He is saying. If you do not have a
powerful prayer life, you are not hearing from God and you are just doing what seems right in your own eyes.
Don't put your mouth on people and have a gossiping spirit. You will speak a curse in your life and wonder where
did that big Mack truck come from.
Don't stop loving and forgiving. If you find yourself in a bad mood about people all the time, it may be you that
really have the love issue. Michael Jackson said "Look At The Man In The Mirror."
Meditate on this fact ........... love is always the answer. Whatever the devil or your flesh is telling you to do or say,
cancel that thought and LOVE.
Don't stop desiring to change! Don't worry about someone else changing, you change! Let the Word of God change
you into a beautiful person............ Amen
Don't keep sitting down and doing nothing. Do something! Get the CD ....... Do Something!
Don't you be the one to fight leaders and have an uncooperative spirit. Remember that God sits high and looks
low, and His eyes are over the good and the bad.
Don't be late to church services!
Don't let falling down ........ get you down. Get back up! Remember this. God knew you were going to fall before
you fell, but He has called you His own and the apple of His eye. Hot Dog! Glory! You just had a setback. You got
wounded in battle! God says that a just man falleth seven times, BUT SEVEN TIMES HE GETS BACK UP! The devil
loses. The only way that he will win if you stay down. God loves you no matter what............ and so do I.
Well, maybe you can think of others concerning yourself. I challenge you to be hard on yourself today. Get someone
else to be hard on you. That promotes change. On Wednesday night the Lord said not to minimize His word.
Print this one out and get into your spirit.
Love Is Always The Answer
|A WOMAN'S HEART
|A WOMAN'S HEART
A woman's heart should be so hidden in Christ
that a man should have to seek Him first to find her.
When I say that 'I am a Christian', I am not shouting that 'I am clean living.
I'm whispering 'I was lost, but now I'm found and forgiven.'
When I say 'I am a Christian’, I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.
When I say 'I am a Christian’, I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.
When I say 'I am a Christian’, I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.
When I say 'I am a Christian’, I'm not claiming to be perfect.
My flaws are far too visible, but God believes I am worth it.
When I say 'I am a Christian’, I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.
When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner who received God's good grace, somehow!
Pretty is as Pretty does but,
Beautiful is just plain Beautiful.
|NINE CRUCIAL TIPS THAT MAY HELP SAVE YOUR LIFE
Everyone should take 5 minutes to read this as it just may save yours or your loved ones life. Because of recent
abductions in daylight hours, refresh yourself of these things to do in an emergency situation. This is for you, and for
you to share with your wife, your children and everyone you know. After reading these 9 crucial tips, copy then and
send to someone you care about. It never hurts to be careful in this crazy world we live in.
the engine and speed into anything - wrecking the car. Your Air Bag will save you. (If the person is in the back seat
they will get the worst of it.) As soon as the car crashes get out and run. It is better than having them find your body
in a remote location.
b.)If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. (Some serial killers attack their
victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.)
c.)Look at the car parked on the driver's side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone
in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back and get someone -guard/policeman to walk you back
out. (IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. And better paranoid than dead.)
police because it was late and she thought it was weird. The police told her 'Whatever you do, DO NOT open the
door.' The lady then said that it sounded like the baby had crawled near a window and she was worried that it
would crawl to the street and get run over. The policeman said, 'We already have a unit on the way, but
whatever you do, DO NOT open the door.' He told her that they think a serial killer has a baby's cry recorded
and uses it to coax women out of their homes thinking that someone dropped off a baby. He said they have not
verified it, but have had several calls by women saying that they hear baby's cries outside their doors when
they're home alone at night. Please pass this on and DO NOT open the door for a crying baby ---- The Crying
Baby theory was mentioned on America 's Most Wanted this past Saturday when they profiled the serial killer
Please be reminded that the world we live in has a lot of crazies in it and it's better to be safe than sorry.
|Return to top of PageHEALTH
|STROKE AWARENESS - THINK F.A.S.T
Association is urging people to take charge of their health by
knowing the signs and symptoms of a stroke, asking their doctors
about stroke prevention and adopting healthy lifestyle habits. A
good first step is to have your blood pressure checked. High blood
pressure is the number one cause of stroke. Nearly 60 million
Americans - 29 million women - have high blood pressure, and
almost a third do not even know it.
stroke. Yet, despite being the third leading cause of death and the
leading cause of adult disability in this country, fewer than one in
five Americans can recognize a symptom of a stroke. In addition,
some people still believe that this condition is simply a “stroke of
fate,” not realizing that stroke is preventable and treatable.
race – women are uniquely impacted. Consider these facts:
A stroke, or “brain attack,” occurs when blood and oxygen flow to the brain is interrupted by a blood clot or a broken
blood vessel. This kills brain cells in the immediate area, often causing physical and emotional disabilities including
speech problems, memory loss and paralysis.
In addition to high blood pressure, there are several things that can contribute or increase a person’s risk for stroke
including cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, obesity and family history. Women have additional risk factors to consider
such as pregnancy and using hormone replacement therapy to treat menopause, all of which can increase stroke risk.
But the good news is that stroke is one of the most preventable of all life-threatening health problems, provided you
pay proper attention to lifestyle and medical risk factors. Treatment exists to help minimize the effects of a stroke,
however it must be given within 3 hours of the first symptom. So it is important for people to be able to recognize the
symptoms of stroke and seek emergency medical attention.
Recognizing stroke symptoms can be easy by learning to think F.A.S.T.
F= Face Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A=Arms Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift
S= Speech Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Does the speech
sound slurred or strange?
T=Time If you observe any of these signs, then it’s time to call 9-1-1.
Studies show that stroke patients who arrive at the hospital by ambulance receive quicker treatment than those who
arrive by their own means. But where are the best hospitals to go to for the treatment of stroke? There are numerous
hospitals across the country that have been certified as stroke centers, and specialize in the treatment of stroke. This
designation goes to hospitals that make exceptional efforts to foster better outcomes for stroke care, and whose
quality of care is effectively managed to meet the unique and specialized needs of stroke patients. To find a stroke
center in your area please visit www.stroke.org and click on the emergency stroke center locations.
Every year, more than 750,000 Americans experience a stroke, but with increased awareness 80 percent of all strokes
can be prevented. While the statistics are sobering, they are not irreversible. National Stroke Association is
committed to reducing the incidence and impact of stoke through creative educational programs. By educating people
about stroke, we can save lives and preserve quality of life. For more information on stroke and stroke prevention,
call 1-800-STROKES or visit www.stroke.org.
Article reprinted courtesy of the National Stroke Association
|ALWAYS REMEMBER F.A.S.T.
F= Face Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A=Arms Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S= Speech Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?
T=Time If you observe any of these signs, then it’s time to call 9-1-1.
|RECOGNIZING A STROKE
totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a
stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for
within 3 hours, which is tough.
Thank God for the sense to remember the '3' steps, STR .. Read and Learn!
lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain
damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.
2.) T - Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE
(Coherently) (i.e. It is sunny out today)
ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the
symptoms to the dispatcher.
New Sign of a Stroke -------- Stick out Your Tongue
NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue .. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it
goes to one side or the other, that is also an indication of a stroke.
A cardiologist says if people knew just the basics, there is a greater possibility that at least one life will be saved.
|Success To Me Is...
Success to me is seeing a smile on my face and others around me.
Success to me is achieving the impossible.
Success to me is showing love to those I care for.
Success to me is being proud of who I am.
Success to me is me giving a helping hand to those in need.
Success to me is helping others find a brighter future.
The difficult I do immediately.
The impossible takes a little longer.
|POLITICS AS USUAL?...THINK AGAIN:
United States Government Officials making derogatory statements against Barack Obama:
Republicans accused the President Obama of "stealing white Americans’
money to pay for his homies health insurance."
marijuana users, the chatter was that he was repaying the “bros” in the
ghetto for their votes.
Obama in the debt ceiling negotiations was “like touching a tar baby".
controversial book "Game Change," Harry Reid, a Democrat and
longtime Obama ally, was cited in the book for describing the president
before his election as a "'light-skinned' African American, 'with no
Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.'" (January 2010)
Earlier this month, Parry, then a GOP Senate candidate, was found to have scrubbed several tweets from his
Twitter account, including one that described Obama as a "power hungry arrogant black man."
Neither Parry nor his campaign manager returned calls or e-mail seeking comment. He told reporters recently, "My
opinion is that our president is arrogant and angry. The fact is that he is a black man." (January 2010)
The former president was one of many politicians called out in Mark Halperin and John Heilemann's new book
"Game Change." In the book, they said Clinton caught flak from Obama's campaign for reportedly telling the late
Sen. Ted Kennedy of Obama, "A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee."
During the presidential campaign Clinton also called Obama's run for the White House as "the biggest fairy tale I've
ever seen." (January 2010)
Settling down last month to watch the annual showing of "A Charlie Brown Christmas," Wiseman was irked to find
the Christmas favorite had been pre-empted by Obama's speech announcing efforts to send more troops to
Afghanistan. He took to Facebook, lashing out at Obama for being a "Muslim president."
"Try to convince me that wasn't done on purpose," Wiseman posted, according to the Memphis Commercial
Appeal. "Ask the man if he believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and he will give you a 10 minute dissertation
(sic) about it .w.hen the answer should simply be 'yes.'" (December 2009)
U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, (R-Kan.) congresswoman raised eyebrows in August when she told a public forum
"Republicans are struggling right now to find the great white hope." (August 2009)
Dr. David McKalip, a Florida neurosurgeon and healthcare reform opponent sent out an e-mail in July containing
an image of Obama as an African witch doctor, dressed in a loin cloth and with a bone through his nose. Underneath
the picture were the words "Obama Care: Coming Soon to a Clinic Near You." (July 2009)
Glenn Beck, the host of "Fox and Friends" said the president was racist in late July. While discussing the arrest of
Black Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., Beck said Obama had repeatedly shown that he is "a guy who has a
deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture. I don't know what it is." When it was noted that Obama's
administration was largely white, Beck continued, ""I'm not saying he doesn't like white people, I'm saying he has a
problem. This guy is, I believe, a racist." (July 2009)
Atwater, Calif., Councilman Gary Frago: The Merced Sun-Star newspaper revealed that Frago had sent several
racist e-mails, including a comparison between Barack Obama and O.J. Simpson and a crack about Michelle Obama
posing in National Geographic. (July 2009)
Rusty DePass, the longtime South Carolina GOP activist was responding in June to a Facebook post about an
escaped gorilla at the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia when he wrote, "I'm sure it's just one of Michelle's ancestors –
probably harmless." He later confirmed that he was referring to First Lady Michelle Obama. "I am as sorry as I can
be if I offended anyone," he said. "The comment was clearly in jest." (June 2009)
Tennessee State GOP Staffer Sherri Goforth, the legislative aid for Republican state Sen. Diane Black was
reprimanded in June for forwarding an e-mail image showing all the presidential portraits, with Barack Obama
appearing only as a set of white eyes on a black background. She later told the online publication NashvilleisTalking.
com that she only felt bad about sending it to the wrong list of people. (June 2009)
GOP activist Mike Green, the South Carolina businessman, whose communications company worked on the
gubernatorial campaign of U.S. Rep. J. Gresham Barrett, was caught by the Indigo Journal in June tweeting, "I just
heard Obama was going to impose a 40% tax on aspirin because it's white and it works." (June 2009)
Rush Limbaugh, the conservative radio host has been cited for a series of remarks that liberal Media Matters for
America has concluded are racially charged statements. Among them, are Limbaugh saying in June Obama was
"behaving like an African colonial despot" and calling Obama an "angry black guy" a month later. Early on in
Obama's White House bid, Limbaugh was flamed for playing "Barack, the Magic Negro" to the tune of "Puff the
Magic Dragon" on his show. (June 2009)
Texas GOP Leader Diann Jones, vice president of the Collin County Republican Party in Texas, forwarded an e-
mail to area Republican clubs calling a state-sponsored firearm tax "another terrific idea from the black house and its
minions." (May 2009)
Sean Delonas, the cartoonist caused a firestorm in February after his cartoon appeared in the New York Post
depicting two police officers, one with a smoking gun, standing over a dead chimpanzee with the words, "They'll have
to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill." The cartoonist was inspired by the mauling of a Connecticut
woman by a pet chimp which was shot and killed by police officers. The Rev. Al Sharpton quickly lent his voice to the
controversy, calling it offensive and divisive. Rupert Murdoch, chairman of the New York Post and also of News Corp.,
which owns the paper, apologized for the offending cartoon. (February 2009)
Buck Burnette, the Texas Longhorn lineman Buck Burnette was booted from the university's football team in 2008
after posting as his Facebook status, as quoted by NCAA Football Fanhouse, "all the hunters gather up, we have a
#$%&er in the whitehouse." (November 2008)
Chaffey Community Republican Women, Federated: The California women's GOP group put out a newsletter in
October 2008 with an image of "Obama Bucks" – food stamps with Obama's head on a donkey surrounded by fried
chicken, watermelon and ribs. (October 2008)
Former Florida GOP Leader David Storck: Storck, the former chairman of the Hillsborough County Republican
Party, forwarded an e-mail in October 2008 written by GOP volunteer Ron Whitley that said, "I see carloads of black
Obama supporters coming from the inner city to cast their votes for Obama. This is their chance to get a black
president and they seem to care little that he is at minimum, socialist, and probably Marxist in his core beliefs. After
all, he is black — no experience or accomplishments — but he is black." (October 2008)
Virginia GOP Leader Bobby May, then the treasurer of the Buchanan County Republican Party, wrote a column for
the Virginia Voice shortly before Obama's election questioning whether Obama would change the American flag to
include the Islamic symbol or divert more aid to Africa so "the Obama family there can skim enough to allow them to
free their goats and live the American Dream." (October 2008)
U.S. Rep. Geoff Davis: As Obama's presidential bid heated up in April 2008, Davis, R-Kentucky, said, "That boy's
finger does not need to be on the button," according to a blog in the Lexington Herald-Leader, referring to the
country's nuclear arsenal. (April 2008)
Geraldine Ferraro: The one-time Democratic vice presidential candidate made headlines while working on
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's presidential bid for saying Obama's candidacy wouldn't have been so successful if
he weren't black. "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position," Ferraro told reporters in March
2008. She left the Clinton campaign shortly after. (March 2008)
The racial hatred for the president is not really the issue, but defines the sentiment of the country. Racism is
endemic in America to the point where some feel as though they must "tolerate" another's race. I do not believe
there is a simple solution in solving racism in America, but a good start would taking seriously in making equality
normal and not something to legislate or force on anyone. No one - including the government or schools can teach
tolerance when the law does not treat every American equally.
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their
skin, but by the content of their character."
"I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will
be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood."
"Even when folks are hitting you over the head, you can't stop marching. Even when they're turning the hoses on you, you