Michael Vick Makes Me Sick, or Whoopi Takes a Payoff

Cheering as it is to be reminded about Michael Vick's lost endorsement income and prison experience, we are again reminded that he is getting out of prison eventually. Soon, in fact.

It raises the question of which football team is going to hire him. I can't wait for the justifications they give. Like, hey we kill pigs for the pigskin, don't we? Or, it's part of his Southern culture. My favorite: he's a different person now.

My question is: how much did Michael Vick's PR firm pay Whoopi Goldberg to advocate for Michael Vick on The View? Dog fighting is NOT PART OF SOUTHERN HERITAGE, Whoopi. What on G-d's Earth are you saying about the South?

Michael Vick is a cruel, evil man. Now everyone knows it. And Whoopi Goldberg can defend him for whatever reasons she has. But she isn't pulling Michael Vick up. He is pulling her down.

I don't think either Michael Vick or Whoopi Goldberg are prepared for what is coming should Michael Vick get a position on an NFL team.

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The Tacky Index by Rob Long

That's the thing about the National Review. They really hit the mark once in a while. That's what Rob Long did in his article on credit card companies.

It seems that credit card companies have started looking not just at an ability to pay, payment history, employment - all those tangible things - and have started looking at whether you are shopping at cheaper haberdasheries and doughnut shops. Because if you are (and who is not) you are now part of a new class of consumer: pre-deadbeat.

Yes, that's right. You, by glancing at panicked headlines and your 401K statement and reacting rationally, are a deadbeat in the making. Why else would you start scrimping? Why else question those $200 haircuts? You must be on the downward slide! Quick! Let's reduce the credit limit on his cards! Ha!

Mr. Long refers to the credit card prayer we have all done: please let it go through.

Leisure Lad and myself went cash-based four years ago. I found myself apologizing to dentists and mechanics, saying "I am one of those weird people who only gets things done when she has the money. I'll call you."

The cash-based lifestyle is kind of freeing. My entertainment is YouTube, Netflix, gardening and writing. I really don't need anything other than survival money. We don't have a t.v. anymore and we don't need one. We don't have cable and I must say that our quality of life has improved a lot since we got rid of it.

I used to have antiques shipped over from China all over my house. I made money on most of them when I sold them. Once, in a carpet store on Connecticut Avenue, I bought a huge armoire they had in the store for twenty years. It was magnificent. All inlaid wood, hand-carved, antique beveled glass, it was six hundred pounds of ego. Leisure Lad described it as obnoxious because it took up a lot of space and everyone always made such a fuss over it. "I hate the thing, but I have to admit, whenever a woman comes over she gushes over how wonderful it is."

I sold it. It did mean a lot to me to have my antiques admired by visitors. True. But in the end I would rather have the cash. When push comes to shove, that's what you find out: the person with the finest furniture does not win.

Space Aliens Run Our Economy!

OK, this is a good one. YouTube's Amazing Atheist refutes Gorilla199's claim that space aliens run 99% of the shops in the world. Well, either they do or the evil Masons who work for them do.

So does that explain John Thain and his funny glasses? He is one of the space aliens or just a Masonic follower. Their goal, no doubt, is to bring down our financial system by encouraging debt, being publicly humiliated, getting their banks taken over by the government, and having their salaries cut.

Good strategy for world domination.


Coraline is Not a Children's Movie ...

... and despite the good plot, great graphics, fun characters and twists of action, the crying children begging their parents to take them out of the theatre tended to be a distraction to all the fun. And guess what? None of the parents would take their children out of the movie. Not one. I could hear them telling their children not to worry, that little Coraline was still OK, etc. And all those little kids had to sit through that scary, haunting movie which even creeped me out a bit and I'm 44.

And let's not forget the obese old ladies who did a whole song and dance number on trapezes in pasties and a G string. I mean, really. Kind of funny, but a little gross. It was like old showgirls gone to seed.

So DO NOT TAKE CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 12 TO SEE CORALINE! That will spare you from having to make the difficult decision to walk out of the theatre. Just in case your decision isn't the right one.


The Dog Walker's Handbook

You don't need any money to start a dog walking business. This book tells you how for $5.99. The start up costs are literally zero. It would be helpful if you had a car and some sneakers, but neither are necessary.

A dog walking business is fun and athletic. A better cure for depression cannot be found anywhere. The sun and the exercise, not to mention the interaction with the dogs and cats, will pull you out of your funk in no time. It even helps with PTSD - trust me on that one.

The $5 book The Dog Walker's Handbook describes everything you need to know to run a profitable and fun dog walking business. It's perfect if you are totally broke, as I was when I started, since you don't need any money to start earning money right now.


WWII Hero Freezes in His Own Home

- Because the electricity was cut off for nonpayment. Elder law is the area I work in, and I fear that stories like these will be more and more frequent in the future. Call Axsmith Probate in Washington, DC for help. She saved my grandmother's life and has helped many people with their parents. Axsmith.net.

Getting help for an elderly parent is difficult because you want to trust the person caring for your parent. And sometimes you don't know that something is wrong at all. People, as they age, become fiercely protective of their independence and may go to great lengths to give the appearance of functioning - even lying to protect someone who is stealing from them. Asking for help would possibly mean losing control over their affairs. So they look the other way if they've been robbed by a home health aide.

Don't be surprised if your help is not welcome. Accepting help can seem like you need help, and many elderly people won't want to do that.

There are many things that can be put in place to protect your parent or elderly loved one to ease your mind. It doesn't have to be expensive, either. Contact me at Axsmith.net to find out more.

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Alternative Energy or Clean Energy?

The two are not necessarily related. The question is: what is more or a priority - relying on ourselves for energy, or protecting the environment?

In the future, you will see these two interests diverge.

Personally, I'm in favor of energy independence first. The sooner we can tell those oil nation to take a hike, the happier I'll be. Imagine a world where you no longer have to think about the Middle East. Hooray!

In pursuit of my patriotic duty, I am now composting, making my own yogurt which is WAY better than the store stuff, starting the seeds for my garden, and growing sprouts. Damn, I feel superior.

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Failures of the War on Drugs

Do you really want to stop illegal drug use? Focus on demand here in the United States. If all our efforts and money were used to arrest Americans fueling the drug trade with dollars, then the war would be won.

The punitive measures used by the United States to stop the illegal use of drugs are being criticized by the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy. We are accused of weakening South American governments and their democracies because our policies cause more drug violence south of the border.

Since when are your governments our responsibility? Personally, I agree with the unnamed U.S. official in the article: there is violence because the overall trade is contracting, not expanding. Let's contract it a little bit more.

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The ICEman Cometh: ICE, Torture and Illegal Deportation

The video posted here is about a man denounced by his father-in-law to the Department of Homeland Security, who bundled him up and put him in jail in Arkansas.

The local jailers in Arkansas allegedly tortured him. Frankly, I find this part very believable.

After being denied access to counsel and Pakistani Embassy diplomats, he requested to be deported to Pakistan. He was. His family joined him and now are under constant threat there because of hostilities towards Americans.

I am publicizing this case not because I believe all aspects of it, but because I believe enough of it to be concerned that it should be looked in to. Sadly, there has been enough bad behavior under the auspices of the Patriot Act that their story is far too believable.

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Planting Peanuts

So your soil is sandy and awful. Plant peanuts! They have pretty yellow flowers and no one will know to dig up the roots and get the food. At least in Columbia Heights there are problems with people stealing vegetables from gardens. I saw a tomato thief at work at 10th and Monroe Sts, NW last Fall. He actually had the nerve to bring a colander with him to hold the stolen tomatoes. I still wish I had gotten his picture on my phone.

So your losing your home or can't get a job. There's always some kind of peanut you can plant.

We are renting out rooms in our house, planting a garden, taking on odd jobs in dog care. We already sold most of our antiques a few years ago. I don't miss them at all. If we had to, we could get rid of the car because we live in DC.

What scares me most are the people who would rather see their children dead than living with someone else. Please reconsider. At least whoever gets them will care enough not to kill them. If worst comes to worst, send them to me. caxsmith@aol.com

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J.P Morgan CEO Whines Like a Baby

"JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said it’s “unfair” for politicians to criticize Wall Street pay without differentiating compensation based on performance." as quoted in Bloomberg.com today.

But it is OK for assembly line workers to have their compensation affected irrespective of performance - right? And if management decisions cause a company to tank, then it is the unions that need to adjust their compensation agreements - right? Not the management. Never the management.

The long-term security of pensions doesn't mean a thing if the management bonuses and private jets are at stake because it's not about the financial burdens at all. It's about who bears the financial burden.

NEWSFLASH: The days of wine and roses are over for corporate management. And aren't those deer-in-the-headlight looks just plain fun?

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