Jesse Jackson Jr. Blames Apple and iPads for Lost Jobs

In a sharp turn from his promotion of “an iPad for every schoolchild” on the House floor last month, Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. recently claimed that Apple has hurt our economy and cost usvaluable jobs with its innovative tablet computer.

Now Borders is closing stores because why do you need to go to Borders anymore? Why do you need to go to Barnes & Noble? Buy an iPad and download your newspaper, download your book, download your magazine.

And in news from 100 years ago, Henry Ford caused massive unemployment from horse and buggy manufacturing plants when he implemented the assembly line in his automobile factory to crank out Model-Ts.

Too bad we don’t use real horsepower as our primary mode of transportation anymore. I have extensive knowledge on the subject due to my vast collection of regency romance novels, and every girl worth her salt knows that the best way to seduce a duke is in a carriage.  Minivans have denied too many ladies ascension to royalty.

Read the rest at The Stir

Car Fuel > Jenny Fuel

I just filled up the gas tank on my Yukon. I take that back. I just filled up a little over 3/4 of the gas tank on my Yukon. The pump cuts off at $75 due to some credit card restriction thingy, and since I hate pumping gas, I refuse to re-swipe my card and spend 5 minutes re-punching in my zip code because the computers on those things are archaeic and therefore sllllloooooowww…

Anyway, at $4.05 a gallon, I got about 18 1/2 gallons for my $75. Hopefully it will last more than a week, because $300 a month to spend on gas for my car alone is not exactly in our budget.

On my way home, I swung through the McDonald’s drive-thru for a 42 oz. Diet Coke. We’re out of Coke Zero at home and I wasn’t up for the after-work rush at the grocery store. Plus I have other things I need to get at the store, and if I went for soda, I’d feel too guilty to not do the rest of my shopping too. Besides, McDonald’s has an excellent deal on their 42 oz. sodas — only $1.09!

I like math, so I decided to compare the cost of my car’s fuel with my own fuel. The gasoline works out to 3.16 cents per oz, and the Diet Coke was 2.59 cents per oz. Which means that the stuff I put in my car costs about 22% more than the stuff I put in my body.

Car food is more expensive than people food. Go figure.

Abercrombie and Fitch Needs to Stop Sexualizing Little Girls

When I was in college, I loved Abercrombie & Fitch. That super lame LFO song had come out a few years earlier, and A&F was where all the Summertime Girls and cool kids shopped. A lot of my dorm-mates even kept the notoriously sexy shopping bags tacked up inside their closets.

In 2002, I stopped shopping at Abercrombie. They had started selling thong panties as part of their tween line, complete with suggestive phrases like eye candy and wink wink. I just couldn’t in good conscience support a store that would call the underwear ‘light-hearted and cute.’

There is nothing light-hearted or cute about a ten-year-old in thong panties with the words eye candy stamped on her crotch.

The store eventually (and rightfully) caved to pressure from family-advocacy and Christian groups, and pulled the provocative panties from the shelves.

The clothing retailer is once again in the news for another product in their kids’ line. This time it’s padded bikini tops for girls as young as eight. As the mother of a little girl that will be eight and in third grade by the end of this upcoming summer, I’m disturbed on many levels.

Who looked at an eight-year-old girl and thought to him or herself, Hmmm … she’s a bit flat chested. Let’s help her out a little bit?

Who’s the designer that agreed to pad swimsuit tops for little girls?

Who are the parents that buy these and in effect encourage others to gawk at their prepubescent daughters??

What purpose does a padded bra or bikini top serve other than to make the wearer sexier than she would be otherwise?

As a capitalist, I agree that it’s Abercrombie’s right to sell completely inappropriate clothing. As a parent, it’s my right to be outraged over it.

High Gas Prices Make Me Want to Cry

This past weekend, my hubby and I decided to drag the kids to Costco after church on Sunday. We’re obviously masochists, I know. Our Costco has a gas station that sells fuel for about $.25 less per gallon than the average local station. When we pulled into the parking lot, the lines for these discount pumps were eight and nine cars deep.

People were waiting for half an hour or more to pay $3.75 per gallon of gas. I just hope they weren’t letting their engines idle — that sort of defeats the purpose. By the time we waded through the crowd in the warehouse store with our 12-pack of chicken breasts and so-cute-we-had-to-buy-them matching pajamas for the girls and were on our way home, the price of unleaded had gone up to $3.77.

Supply, demand, and speculation over the woes in the Middle East have contributed to some pretty pricey gasoline. Let’s face it: There’s a limited amount of oil in the world, more countries are developing industrially, and the place most everyone gets their oil from is, for better or worse, in the midst of a revolution.

Of course the cost of energy is going to go up. It’s written in The Law of Common Sense, right in between “what goes up must come down,” and “never stare down the barrel of a shotgun.” (You can find this book in the ‘Welcome Newbies’ section of the Republican bookstore, along with Facts Are Not Hard and A Convenient Truth.)

Read more at The Stir

‘Atlas Shrugged: Part 1′ Review: A Timely Must-See

It has been said that there is nothing new under the sun. From fashion to societal morality, history keeps on repeating itself. Who ever thought skinny jeans would come back in style? What’s next, stirrup pants and scrunchies?

Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 is an excellent reminder of the dangers of socialism in our current age of entitlement. The parallels between the story and our current political and cultural state are uncanny and more than a little bit unsettling. As a witness to the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, author Ayn Rand was well aware of the tragedies of statism, and her most famous work of literature depicts what happens when the wealth is spread around in the name of fairness.

The movie adaptation of Atlas Shrugged remains faithful to Rand’s themes of capitalism and the evils of collectivism. One major change from the pages to the screen was the decision to change the setting from a future fictional country to America in 2016. It was a good decision, in this writer’s opinion, as it illustrates the slippery slope of socialism our nation is teetering on.

It opens with America in decline. Fuel prices are through the roof, making air travel impossibly unaffordable and bringing back trains as the major mode of transportation for people and goods. Airplanes and buildings are in disrepair, businesses shut down, and successful citizens disappear after being sought out by a shadowy character calling himself John Galt.

Taylor Schilling does a beautiful job portraying heroine Dagny Taggart, who fights tooth and nail against her annoying brother James (Mathew Marsden) and his political cronies in Washington to make Taggart Transcontinental a success. Poised, polished, and with an iron will, Dagny partners with Hank Rearden (Grant Bowler), an entrepreneur who has invented a new metal that is lighter, cheaper, and stronger than steel. Together, they battle oppressive government restrictions and sanctions to rebuild the Rio Norte line in Colorado. The Centennial state is one of the last prosperous states in the nation, thanks in large part to oil tycoon Ellis Wyatt (Graham Beckel). Once the newly christened John Galt line is completed, Wyatt will have a safe way to transport his product to consumers. That is real job creation.

Dagny and Rearden hit roadblock after roadblock in their quest to build the John Galt line, but their determination to make a thing and see it work pushes them forward. Harry Reid-like politicians do all they can to destroy the business partners, while maintaining a public face of empathy and equality. They apply new taxes to steel mills, make it illegal to own more than one enterprise, and even get a government committee to testify that Rearden metal is untested and unsafe.

In a scene that could have included former SEIU president Andy Stern, Dagny is warned that she cannot force the union members to work on her ‘dangerous’ train. Her response shows the grit required for business success: “You can do whatever you want with your men … but that train will run if I have to drive the damn thing myself.”

Bravo to The Strike Productions for tackling this ambitious project and producing a wonderful film. Add it to your must-see list – it is definitely worth the price of a ticket.

Cross-posted at Big Hollywood

Republican Governors Decline Federal Funds for High-Speed Rail

President Obama sets aside large chunks of change in his 2012 budget for research and development in high-speed railroads. Because throwing billions of dollars at a choo-choo train is exactly what it’s going to take to fix the economy and lower those unemployment numbers.

The recently released 2012 budget proposal allocates $53 billion over the next six years for high-speed rail projects across the country. So far, three Republican governors have said ‘no thanks’ to federal funds to implement the trains in their states.

On Wednesday, Florida Governor Rick Scott joined his colleagues in Ohio and Wisconsin in rejecting more than $2 billion from the federal government for the rail project. Scott cited historically optimistic revenue projections and capital cost overruns in his decision. He stated:

The truth is that this project would be far too costly to taxpayers and I believe the risk far outweighs the benefits … higher taxes and more government spending is a recipe for disaster. Government has become addicted to spending beyond its means and we cannot continue this flawed policy … my background is in business, not politics. But you don’t have to be an economics expert to understand that if you spend more money than you take in, your business will fail.

Bravo to Governor Scott for turning down funds for a shiny new toy in his state. Thank goodness he has the good sense to recognize that the federal government’s place is not in research and development within the states. High-speed trains are pretty cool (those suckers go over 200 mph), but that’s irrelevant if it’s not profitable. With $14 trillion in national debt, now is not the time to be spending money on high-speed rail.

Read the rest at The Stir

Michelle Obama’s $495 Gardening Boots Irk Me

In a post I wrote regarding Michelle Obama and her plans to parent our children for us, I remarked about her $495 Tory Burch gardening boots. A few of the comments wondered why I brought them up, and why, as acapitalist, would I have a problem with pricey shoes?

The boots were mentioned to remind readers of how out of touch with reality the First Lady is. The average American mama doesn’t have a single pair of shoes in her closet that cost that much, let alone gardening boots. When I’m inclined to work outdoors, I put on a pair of three-year-old sneakers that are practically falling apart.

Referring to the self-appointed mom-in-chief’s aloofness when it comes to relating to us regular moms was useful to drive home the point that she is not qualified to make our parenting decisions for us. Only the best for the Obamas, whether it’s boots, school, vacation, vacation, vacation, or vacation. The rest of us can eat cake. Or carrot sticks.

Read the rest at The Stir

Democratic Appeasement in the Fight to Extend the Bush Tax Cuts

With only three weeks left until the Bush tax cuts are set to expire,Congress is scrambling to save taxpayers from the largest tax increasein history. There have been several proposals tossed around on the Senate and House floors, including extending the cuts only for those families making under $250,000 or individuals making under $200,000 per year.

It appears as though Bush’s tax cuts benefited the non-wealthy after all. Even Obama had to admit that the average American family profited from Bush’s tax policies:

Make no mistake: Allowing taxes to go up on all Americans would have raised taxes by $3,000 for the typical American family. And that could cost our economy well over a million jobs.

Last Saturday, the House passed a bill that would increase taxes on “wealthy” Americans only, but five Democrats in the Senate joined with the Republicans to kill it. Our politicians had to go back to the drawing board.

The current deal that has yet to be voted on is Obama’s compromise with Republicans. If passed, Bush’s across-the-board tax cuts will be extended for two years (with the exception of the inheritance tax, which will go from 0% to 35%), and the payroll tax would be cut by 2%, benefiting every working American. In exchange for the concession, federal unemployment insurance would be renewed for 13 months.

Read the rest at The Stir

Government Waste on the New Jersey Turnpike

In a perfect world, we’d all be kabillionaires. We’d all go to work and do something beneficial to mankind, like cure AIDS or breed cats that stayed adorable little kittens forever. Our children would all be on the honor roll, we’d all have 17 pairs of Manolo Blahniks, and our personal chefs would create delicious low-fat meals for us.

That’s fantasy. This is planet Earth. No one ever said life was fair, or easy, or even that you’d get what you deserved. Life has actually been pretty crappy for most people in history. Thankfully, today in America our biggest problems seem to be whether or not everyone should have to pay for doctors’ medical expertise.

We Americans have pretty much been left alone to flourish, and flourish we have. We have gone from a land of immigrant misfits to the biggest, baddest nation on the planet, and no, I will not apologize for it. Somebody has to be the best, why not us?

Capitalism isn’t perfect. It is flawed. But it does something that socialism doesn’t do. It takes into account basic human nature. We are flawed. We all want the best for ourselves, whether that means an Ivy League education and the corner office, or 2.7 beautiful, perfectly mannered children with your gorgeous lawyer husband that fixes up the house on the weekends.

In America, if you’re willing to work hard, make some sacrifices, and take a risk or two, there’s a high probability you will achieve your goal. But you have to work for it. People don’t just fall into primo jobs without working their way up the ladder, and children don’t behave unless they are taught to behave.

There’s no guarantee of everything coming up roses, but there’s the chance it will. This is uniquely American. Until our country came around, the idea that the government was there to protect our God-given rights, not decide what they were, people stayed in the same station they were born into. There was no opportunity for them to pursue a different life like there has been in the United States. Abraham Lincoln, the man that held a divided nation together with intelligence and grace, was born in a log cabin in the backwoods of Illinois, for Pete’s sake.

This genius system begins to break down when the government takes our money and wastes it. Of course we need things like roads and cops and super buff firemen. But do we need the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to waste $43 million on perks and bonuses?

According to reports,

The audit says that toll dollars From [sic] the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway were spent on items ranging from an employee bowling league to employee bonuses for working on birthdays and holidays.

It took place as tolls were being increased.

The biggest expense uncovered in the audit was $30 million in unjustified bonuses to employees and management in 2008 and 2009 without consideration of performance.

One example was paying employees overtime for removing snow and working holidays and then giving additional “snow removal bonuses” and “holiday bonuses.”

In a perfect world, everyone would get a snow removal bonus. But this is reality, and in reality, you can’t get something from nothing. The money for the government employees’ bowling leagues and ridiculous bonuses came out of our pockets — money that could’ve been spent on soccer uniforms or Manolos or fancy wine.

It’s easy to say that everyone deserves the best in life. It’s another thing to pay for someone else to have it.

Cross-Posted on The Stir

10 Biggest Truths About Conservatives

Conservatives, especially conservative women, can take quite a beating. Just ask Sarah Palin, Nikki Haley, Christine O’Donnell, Michele Bachmann, or Michelle Malkin, just to name a few that deal with constant attacks on everything from their politics to their parenting to their femininity.

Mashed up bag of meat with lipstick, anyone?

Sure we conservatives like guns and babies and the founders, but liberals have taken some of the core principles of conservatism and twisted them into something untruthful.

Allow me to clarify, and explain the reality behind some of thoseConservative Truths you think are so awful.

1. Conservatives Love Religion

Freedom of religion, that is. Crosses, menorahs, the Ten Commandments, and even those “COEXIST” bumper stickers don’t offend us. What is offensive is the left’s attempt to push around anyone that chooses to participate in religious rituals or traditions. They’re not “holiday” trees, people, and nobody is forcing you to decorate one, let alone celebrate the birth of Christ.

2. Conservatives Don’t Believe in Welfare

The problem with welfare is that it’s a system comprised of involuntary redistribution of wealth and rampant fraud. As earners are taxed more and more heavily, their ability to give to charity, expand their businesses, or even just purchase cool stuff (creating manufacturing and retail jobs) shrinks. Which means more people on welfare, to be supported by fewer earners. To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher, the problem with welfare is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.

3. Conservatives Think Men and Women Should Be Treated Differently

Equality does not mean sameness. Whether it was God or evolution that created us, conservatives understand that men and women are inherently different, and that we complement each other. At the same time, our gender doesn’t hold us back. Women have already achieved workplace equality, and we don’t need to open our own doors to prove our self-worth.

4. Conservatives Don’t Care Who’s Gay

Or more specifically, conservatives don’t care whether someone is gay or straight. We’re all about freedom of choice and expression on the right side of the aisle, and we truly believe all men were created equal. Sexual orientation doesn’t make one person better or worse than another, it just makes them different. Remember, equality does not equal sameness.

5. Conservatives View War as Necessary

The left labels Conservatives as warmongers, but this simply isn’t true. I don’t think anyone actually likes war and violence (aside from sickos like Chelsea King‘s murderer John Gardner), yet conservatives recognize the need for it at times. There are some seriously bad people out there that would destroy us without thinking twice if they had no fear of retaliation. War is a necessary evil in the fight for peace. I seriously doubt Osama bin Laden would’ve called off the 9/11 attacks if only President Bush had sat down for a chat with milk and cookies with him.

6. Conservatives Hate Abortion

Anti-abortion and anti-woman are not synonymous. Conservatives empower women to make their own choices, especially about their bodies, and then empower those same women to overcome any negative outcomes that those choices might result in. Women have a right to choose whether or not to have sex, and children (even unborn ones) have the right to live. Isn’t every baby a blessing — especially to adoptive parents?

7. Conservatives Like Money

Why not? Money makes the world go round, after all. Conservatives are capitalists, which means that we understand that it’s in man’s basic nature to want bigger and better things. To some people that’s a life of luxury, and to others it’s a life of philanthropy, but both take money. Getting back down to that conservative value of free choice, we believe that it’s up to the individual to decide how to spend their money, even if we don’t agree with it.

8. Conservatives Don’t Believe the Government Is There to Ensure Health and Prosperity

The preamble and article 1 of the Constitution refer to the “general welfare” of the people, and the government’s role in promoting it. When did this become a directive for the government to provide all sorts of welfare programs? The founders came from oppressive governments, and did not believe in a system that gave special treatment to privileged groups or individuals in society. The government is there to protect our rights to life, liberty, and property, not to provide a lifestyle.

9. Conservatives Believe Liberals Just Don’t Get It

Winston Churchill said, “If you are young and not a liberal you have no heart, and when you’re old if you are not conservative you have no brain.” Liberals truly want to help people, and their tender, bleeding hearts believe that government is the one to provide that help. As they grow and mature and gain wisdom through the years, they begin to understand that welfare and big government and peace talks with terrorists just don’t work.

10. Conservatives Have Legal Sex

I guess we don’t need to throw anything illegal (Drugs? Hookers?) into the mix to have crazy sex. We’re hot enough as is, in both looks and personality.

(To hear the other side of the story, read 10 Biggest Lies About Liberals)

Cross Posted at The Stir