Janet's Jargon

Fun lifestyles, charitable acts, great fiction, author support, Patrick and Grace Mysteries, Keith clan trilogy,

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Making sense out of $ and ¢

OK, so President Obama (and most of the rest of America as well) are upset with the big banks and the guys and gals on Wall Street still getting all those big bonuses. I suppose, if I were among them, I wouldn't object, but I'm not, so...

But I have to wonder, why are we singling them out? Anybody who has read the headlines or listened to the news, or even the late night comedians on TV knows that there has been a war going on. No, I'm not talking about the one in Iraq or the one in Afghanistan. I'm talking about the one between NBC, Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien. I am getting too old to stay up to watch either of them, so again, why should it concern me? Yes, it does. Because, as I read the news, NBC has offered Conan a nice big fat $45,000,000--yes, that is $45 MILLION--to get off the air. Not only can he not be seen or heard on NBC, but it seems that they have put a muzzle on him, forbidding him to do any interviews on other programs or to start another program of his own for 6 months. Funny, but FOX hasn't, at least as far as I've heard, put such restrictions on Simon Cowell when he leaves American Idol. He will even be bringing his own competing program to the same network. It all reminds me of the government programs that pay farmers NOT to plant crops, yet the cost of everything at the grocery store seems to be more expensive than the last time you went. So what will Conan be doing for 6 months? My guess is that he will be writing a book, for which he will get umpteen million dollars as an advance, but that is purely speculation on my part.

The same policies that seem to be recommended for the bankers, Wall Street people, etc. don't seem to extend to the sports world either. I moved to Wisconsin just about the time the Brett Favre battle hit the fan. There was a lot of speculation at that time about whether or not he would retire, then he did retire, then he un-retired, then the Packers decided they didn't want him but New York did, then after just one season they didn't want him but the MN Vikings did. Reportedly he got $12,000,000 (yes MILLIONS again) for his first year there, with an additional $13,000,000 for his second year there. As a former Minnesotan and a current Wisconsin, I am just happy that I am not a big football fan. I'd have to have a split personality to figure out who to cheer for. There are many other multi-million dollar paid sports figures. And then there is Tiger Woods, who sort of cooked his own goose, but I somehow don't think he is living on Poverty Row until he makes a comeback, which I am sure he will do in time. I can't find a lot of sympathy for his loss of endorsements, but I do feel for his wife and child.

Anyway, I'm trying to figure out where the double--or triple, or whatever--standards should end. I don't like our money going to give millions of dollars to support the people I can't afford to hire because I'm way out of their league. Considering the ups and downs of the stock market, the scam artists fleecing the people they represent, etc., I guess the best thing I have going for me is that I have never had enough money to invest anyway. Who knew one day that would be a blessing? You can't lose what you don't have. I'm also glad that I don't have any desire to pay the new higher prices to go see the Packers next year, not even if they are paying the Vikings. Ah, the simple things in life!

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sometimes being a Christian is downright embarrassing

I am a Christian. I believe in the saving power of Jesus Christ. I am not ashamed to admit that. I hope and pray that those who see and witness my life can recognize the importance of my faith to me in my daily life.

And then along comes somebody who claims to be a Christian and who has a much larger following than I can ever hope to have that just blows my mind with a thoughtless, careless comment. Such is the case with Pat Robertson's remarks about the devastation in Haiti. Not since he remarked a couple of years ago that he thought that the American government should assassinate Venezuela President Hugo Chavez have I been so outraged--and so embarrassed by someone who so boldly claims to represent the God I love and serve. I will put the comments he made at the end of this post.

Meanwhile, please rest assured, our brothers and sisters in Haiti, that you are in our thoughts, our prayers, and our hearts. I lived through the horrendous flood in Grand Forks back in 1997, and one of our sons lived through Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. I know a miniscule bit of what you are feeling. These are the feelings of the majority of the Christian people around the world.

My mind goes to the passage in the Bible where somebody asked Jesus, "Who sinned that this has befallen this man, the man himself, or his father?" And Jesus replied, "No one, but that the Father might be glorified." How can God be glorified in such a situation as faces the people of Haiti? I have no idea, but somehow, with each miraculous person that is rescued, I think God is glorified.

Here is what Pat Robertson said. and Mr. Robertson, from my part, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today condemned TV preacher and Religious Right leader Pat Robertson for blaming the devastating earthquake in Haiti on the Haitian people’s alleged pact with Satan.

On his Christian Broadcasting Network’s “700 Club” today, Robertson said the Haitians “swore a pact to the devil” in order to become free of French domination.

“They said, ‘we will serve you if you will get us free from the French,’” Robertson asserted. “True story. And so, the devil said, ‘okay it's a deal.’ And they kicked the French out. You know, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other.”

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The benefits of old age

I have a friend (sadly, virtual only) by the name of Wanda who is as funny as all get out. She has a blog, and you can't leave there without smiling, or even laughing out loud. This morning her post tickled not only my funny bone, but also my memory. Hey, as we get older, that's not always easy to do!

Anyway, it made me think of an incident that happened when I was back in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Our daughter, Raquel, is a manager at Wendy's. One day we had stopped in there for a quick lunch. A gentleman that we knew quite well was in line ahead of us. He was a little Jewish fellow (Sam) who owned a men's clothing store that had been established by his father before the turn of the century (the 20th one, not the current one). One time, when I was writing an article for a regional magazine about early businesses in Grand Forks, I had called Sam to ask him about the business in the old days. Sam replied, rather in a huff, "Mrs. Smith, just how old do you think I am? I wasn't around then!" I quickly explained that I assumed he had his father talk about it, and he co-operated beautifully after that.

Another time Ivan asked him, in his store, if he could still get a certain Van Heusen shirt like he had found once in Colorado Springs. It had all of the inner seams piped and hidden so they would never fray. Sam took him down the basement and went directly to a shirt that must have been there since not long after the Mayflower landed. Well, not quite that long ago, but the cellophane wrapping was yellow with age. There was a price on it of $3.95. Ivan bought the shirt, and after I bleached it, he wore it for many years.

Anyway, to get back to Wendy's. Sam placed his order, and Raquel rang it up. (Raquel did not know Sam like we did.) He cocked his head to the side and asked Raquel, "Did you give me my senior discount?" Raquel quickly replied, "I thought about it, but I didn't know if you were old enough for it, and I didn't want to embarrass you by asking." She then entered the discount and gave him the new price.

As she went back to get the order, Sam turned to us and said, in a very low voice, "She obviously doesn't know I'm Jewish, does she?"

So, thanks, Wanda, for the laugh and the memory. You can see more on this subject on Wanda's blog here.