Archives For December 2010

We talk about serious stuff all the time here at AFM. So, I thought I’d share something funny. I found this several years ago (it might have been in an email. I can’t remember for sure. Anyway, I read it at a Toastmaster’s meeting once and the entire room was rolling…it was awesome)

Dear Nadine,

The other day I went up to a local Christian bookstore and saw a “Honk If You Love Jesus” bumper sticker. I was feeling particularly sassy that day because I had just come from a thrilling choir performance, followed by a thunderous prayer meeting, so I bought the sticker and put it on my bumper.

Boy, I’m glad I did! What an uplifting experience followed!

I was stopped at a red light at a busy intersection, just lost in thought about the Lord and how good He is. I didn’t notice that the light had changed. It is a good thing someone else loves Jesus because if he hadn’t honked, I’d never have noticed! I found that LOTS of people love Jesus!

While I was sitting there, the guy behind me started honking like crazy, and then he leaned out of his window and screamed, “For the love of GOD! GO! GO! Jesus Christ, GO!”

What an exuberant cheerleader he was for Jesus! Everyone started honking! I just leaned out of my window and started waving and smiling at all these loving people. I even honked my horn a few times to share in the love!

There must have been a man from Florida back there because I heard him yelling something about a “sunny beach”. I saw another guy waving in a funny way with only his middle finger stuck up in the air. I asked my teenage grandson in the back seat what that meant, he said that it was probably a Hawaiian good luck sign or something. Well, I’ve never met anyone from Hawaii, so I leaned out the window and gave him the good luck sign back. My grandson burst out laughing; he was enjoying this religious experience, too!

A couple of the people were so caught up in the joy of the moment that they got out of their cars and started walking towards me. I bet they wanted to pray or ask what church I attended, but this is when I noticed the light had changed. So, I waved to all my sisters and brothers grinning, and drove on through the intersection.

I noticed I was the only car that got through the intersection before the light changed again and I felt kind of sad that I had to leave them after all the love we had shared, so I slowed the car down, leaned out the window and gave them all the Hawaiian good luck sign one last time as I drove away.

Praise the Lord for such wonderful folks!

Love,

Grandma

Check this out: House GOP: Bills will have to cite Constitution

House Republican leaders have unveiled a new rule to require that each bill filed in the House “cite its specific constitutional authority.”

Personally, I like this idea. Show me exactly where the constitution gives the authority for the spending. They should even go further than that and look at EVERYTHING and figure out whether or not it’s constitutional. Just because we want something doesn’t mean it’s constitutional. I would also like to see the end of lobbying and buying influence. In my opinion, lobbying borders on bribery.

My The American’s Creed post from the other day received this comment from BG:

…the rich have never had it so well as they do today! Ultra-ridiculously low tax brackets, $5 million tax-free estate transfers, etc.

The rich, my friend, are not hurting.

In 1918, the highest marginal tax bracket was a tax of 77% on income over $14 million (adjusted to 2009 dollars) for married-filing-jointly. Now the highest bracket is 35% on income over $373k MFJ.

What a joke.

A person who made $1,000,000 in 1918, would have paid over $703,000 in taxes (70.3% of their income). Adjusting those numbers for 91 years of inflation at 3%, a $1,000,000 income would be equivalent to $14,729,481 in 2009. Using 2009’s income tax brackets for married filing jointly, this person would have paid $5,125,739 in taxes (34.8%). Had we still been using 1918’s tax rates, this person would have paid over $10,354,825 in federal income taxes.

Interestingly, I took the lowest bracket (6%) from 1918, which was an income up to $4,000 and found that it would be equivalent to around $59,000 in 2009. A taxable income of $59,000 would have had a tax burden of $8,015 (13.6%) in 2009.

Wow!

December 16, 2010

What a guy…

Read: A Few Things You Should Know About Minimum Wage. The author makes the following point:

Working a job at the current federal minimum wage, $7.25, for 40 hours per week, all 52 weeks of the year produces an annual, pre-tax income of $15,080. If about one-third of that income is paid in taxes and benefits, net annual income becomes $10,556.

I would be interested to know how they arrived at this number. I guess if you’re using federal and social security taxes, you might get close. With tax credits and such, I doubt they would pay 10% in taxes. Regardless, it would still be a low income. Sadly, there are jobs that don’t deserve higher incomes UNLESS the market dictates they should be higher (supply and demand).

When I worked in the grocery business while in college, I knew lots of people who spent their careers as cashiers. These were people who could have done other jobs but for whatever reason, chose to stay where they were. Cashiering is a position that can be held by lots of people. A person doesn’t deserve a higher wage for working in a position that could easily be filled by another person just because they have worked in the position a long time.

Minimum wage jobs were meant to sustain people for a short period of time so that they could obtain the necessary skills to move on to higher-paying jobs. It was not meant to be a career path for people.

The American’s Creed

December 14, 2010

Every time I take my daughter to the library, I browse their stacks of books that are for sale. There’s usually not much that interests me but today I found a very old copy of “The Constitution of the United States – A Study of the Fundamental Ideals, Principles, and Institutions of the American Government.” It’s a tiny textbook from 1924.

I opened the book and found this:

The American’s Creed

I believe in the United States of America as a government of the people, by the people, for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a republic; a sovereign nation of many sovereign states; a perfect union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes.

I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it; to support its constitution; to obey its laws; to respect its flag; and to defend it against all enemies.

Below the Creed was this:

The American’s Creed, written in 1918 by William Tyler Page, Clerk of the House of Representatives, was selected from among the thousands which were submitted as the best brief statement of American political beliefs and principles. Mr. Page was awarded the $1000 prize offered by the Speaker of the House of Representatives as the National Creed

Not to get sentimental or anything, but what do you think Mr. Page would think if he knew that 92 years later, his Creed would be found by some guy in Beaumont, TX and posted on the internet? Of course he wouldn’t have know what any of this meant.

UPDATE: I posted this from my BlackBerry while I was at the park with my daughter. I didn’t take the time to research The Creed. I just did a search on Google and found several places that mention this particular creed.

Anyway, I think we should re-adopt this Creed for our nation.

I was on the Amazon website earlier this morning and I noticed this note:

We’re offering new sites with improved functionality for managing your media library.

You can now access your Kindle highlights and notes online, as well as rate your Kindle books on http://kindle.amazon.com. To get started, visit http://kindle.amazon.com and sign in using your Amazon accout. You can also download or wirelessly transfer your Kindle content directly from Manage Your Kindle.

We store all Amazon Video On Demand videos in Your Video Library. To access your videos, visit the Your Video Library page.

This is good news. If you’re someone who likes to highlight and take notes as you’re reading a book on your kindle, you’ll like being able to access your notes online. I like this feature since I do quite a few book reviews and such. Before this new web feature, I had to hook up my Kindle to my computer and access the notes text files through Windows Explorer, which was rather annoying.

So far, I have really enjoyed my Kindle. My wife bought me one for my birthday back in October. I have read several books on it and like the way it runs. My only complaint is that Kindle books seem overpriced (in my opinion).