Friday, July 29, 2011

Charlie Reese's Final Column ... His last column is here...

“Why we have taxes and deficits”

Charley Reese’s Final Column…Retired reporter for the Orlando Sentinel…

Charley Reese is retiring. His last column is this one. I know many will miss this southern gentleman.. He had a great run and we are all better off for it.

Farewell, Mr. Reese, and thank you.

Charley Reese has been a journalist for 49 years.

Be sure to read the Tax List at the end.

This is about as clear and easy to understand as it can be – read it!! The article below is completely neutral, not anti republican or democrat. Charlie Reese, a retired reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, has hit the nail directly on the head, defining clearly who it is that in the final analysis must assume responsibility for the judgments made that impact each one of us every day. It’s a short but good read. Worth the time. Worth remembering!

545 vs. 300,000,000


545 PEOPLE–By Charlie Reese

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them..

Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The President does.

You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don’t write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don’t set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don’t control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

100 senators, 435 in the House, 1 President, and 9 Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but PRIVATE, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don’t care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator’s responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 543 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits….. The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? John Boehner. He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted — by present facts — of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can’t think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red ..

If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it’s because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan …

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it’s because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like “the economy,” “inflation,” or “politics” that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

They, and they alone, have the power..

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.

Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees…

We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.

What you do with this article now that you have read it……… Is up to you.

This might be funny if it weren’t so true.
Be sure to read all the way to the end:
Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table,
At which he’s fed.
Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.
Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for peanuts anyway!
Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.
Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.
Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.
Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers,
If he cries
Tax his tears.
Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass.
Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won’t be done
Till he has no dough.
When he screams and hollers;
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He’s good and sore.
Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he’s laid…
Put these words
Upon his tomb,
Taxes drove me
to my doom…’
When he’s gone,
Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax..

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Excise Taxes
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Personal Property Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge Tax
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Sales Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY? Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, & our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.

What in the hell happened?

Can you spell ‘politicians?’

Share and Enjoy:

Categories : Taxes Comments
Bob says:
March 17, 2011 at 10:48 am
VN:R_U [1.9.10_1130]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)49 years of great writing but why did you save your very best for last?

You hit the nail 100% dead on the head.

Please reconsider retirement until we start the reversal with some potential leaders like Allen West and Mark Rubio as candidates for President and Vice-President respectively.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

How to Flourish in Your Writing (Plus Three Writing Prompts) by Natalie Goldberg (Wild Mind, Writing Down t...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Best-selling Author Debbie Macomber Lives At 1105 Yakima Street

“The books in Macomber’s contemporary Cedar Cove series are irresistibly delicious and addictive.” Publishers Weekly Review (44 Cranberry Point)

1105 Yakima Street

by Debbie Macomber

_This is the story of Cabot Cove resident Bruce Peyton, his daughter Jolene and her step- mom Rachel. Jolene and Rachel shared a wonderful friendship before Rachel and Bruce fell in love and quickly married.
_Suddenly, everyone’s life is in turmoil … Rachel is pregnant and out of the house, Jolene is jealous and upset, and Bruce doesn’t know what to do first … or next. When’s Rachel confides in Nate her former suitor the complications escalate.

“Readers new to Macomber’s considerable narrative charms will have no problem picking up the story, while loyal fans are in for a treat.” BOOKLIST Review (6 Rainier Drive)

_Debbie Macomber is a #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author with over 100 million copies of her books in print. She has become a leading voice in women’s fiction world-wide.
_Her Cedar Cove series (1105 Yakima Street is book #11) written over the past eleven years is regularly reviewed by Publishers Weekly, Romantic Times, and the New York Journal of Books.

“Macomber deftly combines sweet romance and a breath of suspense without losing the homespun charm that’s been delighting readers for years.” Romantic Times Review (92 Pacific Boulevard)

There is also a Debbie Macomber spin-off Cedar Cove Cookbook.

Mini-Writers Workshop (Follow the Rules of the Genre and The Series Novel) - Readers know what they like! and romance readers are particularly loyal to their genre and favorite authors. They purchase these genre-specific novels (and the authors who write them) because they deliver.
_While all satisfying stories have great characters, a compelling opening line, an interesting plotline and proper ending, genre novels come with their own specific guidelines (no, not formulas). But beware: break the contract, lose the sale.
_Writing the series novel comes with certain guidelines … and the necessity of creating a series bible. General advice is that the series character should be interesting and compelling and not change or die (unless the series is to end!). While each book will have a specific story question(s) to answer and must be able to stand alone, tying up loose ends isn’t important. These dangling ends are what help sell the next novel in the series.
_In the Cedar Cove series the community is the continuing character and provides the author with endless story possibilities.
_If you have an idea for a great romance (and book one in a possible series) it is important to really know the rules, and the authors’ who regularly deliver.
_Do your research … before you write your first or next draft. For those interested in love this can be a welcoming market.
_Romance readers are always on the look-out for the next creative genre-true novel.

A copy of this novel was provided by Harlequin Publishing House for the purpose of review. My comments are my own.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Spiritual Memoir, of Sorts by Ian Morgan Cron

Jesus, My Father, The CIA, and Me is one of those books to linger over. Quotable moments where I found myself nodding in agreement and then momentarily lost in thought. You know, remembering the good ole days when we were young and life seemed full of possibilities and sunny summer skies ... those moments in life before freedom and hope is trampled by reality. Growing up free is difficult when one's father is an alcoholic. The whole world slowly becomes amber-colored and dark much like the familiar long neck bottle or the measured shot of liquid in the clear drinking glass. His story is a poignant journey of drama, tears, faith and reflection, laughter and finally truth and grace. There was much work to be done on the way.

Perhaps you'll find yourself praying that his father will be there for him, tell him that he loves him before it is too late. It is a theme that travels throughout the memoir. There are dark and difficult parts to his story, and humor to see it through. His anger helped me remember my own. His storytelling will do that. The anecdotes are seamlessly incorporated, the writing crystal clear, the metaphors spot on.The ending brings the reader full circle. Mr. Cron is a writers' writer ... an author to emulate. This is a book to be savored.

Mini-Writers Workshop - Author Ian Morgan Cron uses all of the best fiction techniques to write his memoir: capturing his life's turning points to build the characters and produce tension, conflict, pacing, and crisp description. He understand how to use imagery to paint his pictures, he is a master at creating metaphors. "Some writers use metaphors and similes," said Leonard Bishop*, "as naturally as a kitten licks his paw." A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase that ordinarily describes one thing is used to describe another (i.e. the assignment was a breeze, heart of gold).

*Leonard Bishop was a noted author, best-selling novelist, writing teacher, and newspaper columnist. Listed in the Who's Who of American Authors, Mr Bishop was also recognized as one of the seven top writing teachers in the United States. He wrote the classic Dare to Be a Great Writer.

Kate Wicker, The Author of Weightless: Making Peace With Your Body

From Blog to Book Deal

In recent months, I’ve seen a handful of articles and erudite authors out there who claim bloggers aren’t real writers. I disagree. I actually started a blog after I’d been a real journalist - as in someone who made a living writing and editing.

When I became a mom, I knew I’d need to cut back on freelancing because I wanted to focus on motherhood and all those drooly grins and happy babbling. Not to mention, my first baby was a devoted nursling, and typing while trying to feed her proved to be distracting, difficult, and a multitasking act that really removed me from “living in the moment.” Yet, I couldn’t imagine a life without writing. I’d been keeping journals since I could first form my letters. So I decided to jump on the blogging bandwagon.

Sometimes I wrote as if I was writing in a personal journal and simply shared anecdotes from the trenches of new motherhood. Other times I wrote letters to the baby I was watching grow and change. Soon I started writing about other topics near and dear to my heart: faith, body image, and sleep (or lack thereof). Slowly, I built a modest audience.

Along the way, I began to realize that blogging was not a replacement for “real” writing. Nor did having an online presence turn you into a pseudo writer. Blogging was complementary to paid writing opportunities and a way of showcasing my writing style and publication credits. I continued to blog and occasionally contribute to various publications. I also continued to dream about writing and publishing a book. I’d always wanted to craft a Great American Novel, but I’d also started to consider writing about another topic that always seemed to generate a response whenever I marbled it into my writing.

I’d suffered from an eating disorder and had struggled with body image angst for a good part of my life. I’d sought healing in therapy, a multidisciplinary treatment program, and in books written by other women who had also dealt with body image problems, eating disorders, and/or food addictions. Yet, it wasn’t until I tapped into my faith that real healing began to take root. I wondered why more people (and more books) didn’t talk about God when they discussed how they made peace with their bodies. I started collecting quotes from saints and Scripture that had helped me overcome my own struggles. Then I decided to mention in my blog bio that I wanted to write a book about making peace with your body and/or or your appearance all through the lens of the Catholic Church. I never would have guessed my blog or this small wish would lead to a book deal.

But that’s exactly what happened to me, and it could happen to you, too. My first book, Weightless: Making Peace with Your Body, was recently released. The book came to fruition because an editor approached me about it after discovering my blog and reading my bio. (It also was pushed along with the support of an amazing friend, my husband, family members who were willing to entertain three little girls to give me time to write, and with God’s abundant grace!)

After the initial contact with an editor and several phone conversations and email exchanges, I ended up putting together a more formal book proposal. It was accepted, and then I started writing. And now here I am - a published author (someone pinch me, please!).

Maybe you blog because you want to sharpen your writing craft. Maybe you freelance write and don’t blog yet. Or perhaps you started a blog with the hopes of being discovered. I can’t promise that everyone who blogs will land a book deal or even grow a sizable audience. I don’t always understand the rhyme or reason to what makes a blog get noticed. I’ve read obscure blogs that are chock full of beautiful, witty, and excellent writing. On the other hand, I’ve also seen uber popular blogs that don’t appeal to me all that much or may not even be written well.

However, I do believe that bloggers can be real writers (even if they have no other publication credits to their name other than the posts they churn out) and that a blog, while it can’t guarantee a book deal, can’t hurt your chances of getting one if you embrace some simple, common sense wisdom.

Five tips that might help you go from blogger to author:

1. Find your voice. After I’d been blogging for about a year, I was ready for more than just Mom to be reading my musings. I started studying popular blogs and decided to try to write about topics I thought other people might want to read about. Likewise, I sometimes forced myself to use a voice that wasn’t really my own. Did my audience grow? Nope. It may have even decreased. Besides, I wasn’t having fun anymore. Blogging felt like work, so I started to write from my own heart again. I encourage all bloggers to do the same. Don’t write to please others. Don’t try to adopt a voice that isn’t yours or doesn’t feel right. Now let’s say you do try to write in a way that doesn’t come as naturally to you and a publisher or agent likes what she sees and asks you about writing a book. Now imagine writing an entire manuscript in someone else’s voice. Writing pages and pages isn’t easy no matter what. But writing while pretending to be someone you’re not? Pure agony. Be yourself. An authentic voice is what draws most people to blogs any way. Aside from using your own style and voice, write about what interests you. My mom recently sent me a quote (I’m not sure of the original source) that speaks to this: “Better to write what you like and have no public than to write for the public and hate what you write.” Wise words indeed.
2. Put your best work forward. I’m the first one to admit that blogging as an at-home mom means that I’m going to sometimes have typos in my posts or even things that might not make complete sense to anyone other than another bleary-eyed, sleep-deprived mama. However, I still do try to challenge myself and write well. Don’t post just to post. Don’t consistently put sloppy work out there for the public. Write as if you were writing for a published market. You never know who’s watching and who might stumble across your blog.
3. Make your writing goals known. If your dream is to write a book or secure a column, be sure to mention it on your blog. Whatever your writing goals, speak up about them. If you really are blogging because you’re hoping to get a big break, go ahead and mention it. If you have an idea for a book, say so. Just don’t give too many details. Unfortunately, it’s easy for people to steal your ideas, so you do want to be careful about sharing the nuts and bolts or major plot lines and themes of your book ideas.
4. Keep your audience in mind. Okay, this tip might seem to contradict tip number 1, but here’s what I mean by this. Definitely do write what interests you rather than what you think others want to read; however, if you find certain topics seem to really appeal to your readers, then consider building yourself a niche around what piques the interest of your audience. Let’s say, for example, you’re an outdoors aficionado and whenever you recount the time you spend connecting with nature, readers seem to comment or compliment your writing. Well, maybe you should consider molding yourself into a naturalist blogger. This doesn’t mean you can’t occasionally stray from your primary topic (I sometimes include some pretty random posts on my blog), but if you’re finding that an audience built around a niche topic is emerging, go with it. Making a strong connection with a well-defined audience is important and can even attract a publisher or editor’s eye more than the sheer number of comments or traffic your blog generates. Publishers are looking for bloggers who have built-in potential buyers. You can create these by first identifying who makes up your primary audience and then, second, by writing what seems to appeal to them.
5. Remember blogging will only get you so far. Remember blogging is a complement to building a writing career. Even if you have a brilliant blog, the best way to snag a book deal - especially a nonfiction one (fiction generally requires having an agent these days) - is to write a top-notch book proposal.Then you use the fact that you write a blog as a selling point for your book within your proposal. You show that you already have an online presence and a marketing platform for your book in the form of your blog.

Whatever happens down the road, have fun blogging. Enjoy the process of writing and building an audience. Be patient and know that it takes time to connect with readers. And just keep writing. Most of us wordsmiths don’t string words together to get rich or famous. We write because we want to, and that’s reason enough to keep plugging away, day after day, word after word.


Kate Wicker is a wife, mom, and author of Weightless: Making Peace with Your Body. She is a senior writer and health columnist for Faith & Family magazine. Learn more about Kate at her blog:

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Book Site @ USA Today

USA Today has launched, which will allow consumers to discover, discuss, share, preview and purchase books online. The site will include USA Today's current 150-title bestseller list as well as the more than 10,000 titles that have appeared on the list. Users will be able to browse books, news and reviews, comment on them and share recommendations. Users will be able to preview titles on the bestseller list.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Kate Wicker's Weightless

Kate's book, Weightless ... is coming out in August.

"There is a wave of body dissatisfaction sweeping across society. While bookstore shelves are well-stocked with tomes on how to overcome body image problems, very few take a faith-based, much less Catholic, approach to self-healing. Weightless: Making Peace With Your Body speaks not only to those who may have faced an eating disorder, but also to anyone who wants to live an abundant life, unencumbered by our culture's obsession with thinness, physical beauty, youth, or food." (Servant Books)

_Kate is one of the first real Internet connections I made. We met during an online writing conference and I quickly recognized that this young wife, and mother (to three girls and a baby due in August) is a terrific person and one that I hoped to get to know better. Over the years we've exchanged letters and thoughts, and I've sought her advice a time or two (thanks Kate) and I've watched this talented writer make a name for herself.

_Kate is a senior writer for Faith & Family. Her articles can be found in Atlantic Parent, Canticle, Catholic Exchange, Catholic Mom, Woman's Day, Writer's Weekly and a whole lot of other places. She blogs here And now her first book is about to be released.

_ I'll post a full review as soon as I snag my copy. Until then check out Elizabeth Foss' review on I hope you will join me in reading this book.

Her blog Mom... is here

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Soldier's Wife - B&N Review

I'm Morgie over at Barnes & Nobel reviews ... check out my review for Margaret Leroy's latest novel, A Soldier's Wife.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Soldier's Wife by Margaret Leroy ... A Novel Review for July 2011

How well do you really know someone?

_"As the war draws closer and closer to Guernsey and her home, Vivienne de la Mare knows that there will be sacrifices to be made. Not just for herself, but for her two young daughters and for her mother-in-law, for whom she cares while her husband is away fighting.

_"What she does not know nor expect is that she will fall in love with one of the enigmatic German soldiers who take up residence in the house next door to her home. As their relationship intensifies, so do the pressures on Vivienne. Food and resources grow scant, dementia takes hold of her mother-in-law, and the restrictions place upon the residents of the island grow with each passing week. Though Vivienne knows the perils of her love affair with Gunther, she believes that she can keep their relationship - and her family - safe. But when her young daughter befriends a prisoner from a work camp she must decide if she is willing to risk her personal happiness for the life of a stranger.

_"A novel full of grand passion and intensity, The Soldier's Wife makes readers take pause and wonder: 'What would you do for your family?' ...'What should you do for a stranger?' ... and 'What would you do for love?'" (cover copy)

Writers Workshop (Details of Setting) - There is a lot to notice and like with Margaret Leroy's newest novel. The story opens with Vivienne reading a bedtime story to her daughters. Blanche is sprawled out on the sofa pretending to read an old copy of Vogue while Millie is pressed up against her mother's side. Vivienne (POV character/First person) looks around the room. "It 's so peaceful in my home tonight. The amber light of the setting sun falls on all the things in the room, all so friendly and familiar: my piano and heaps of sheet music, the Staffordshire dogs and silver eggcups, the many books on their shelves .... I look around and wonder if we will be here this time tomorrow ... I turn back to the story. I read how there was a solider coming home.... The ceiling creaks above us as Evelyn gets ready for bed...."

_Notice there is no separation between the activity of the characters and their surroundings. Later Vivienne walks with Evelyn to Angie's house and the description and characterization are flawless. The pace may seem gentle and slow, but make no mistake Ms. Leroy has us firmly in hand moving us ever forward into the story.

_Details of setting can be troublesome for many beginning writers. Some choose to completely ignore them, while others burden the reader with too many details. Reading books like The Soldier's Wife shows us how to employ the details effortlessly.

Notice - I am grateful to Hyperion New York for the review copy of this novel. My thoughts, are however, my own.

this is a novel about choices

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Reviewer Wanted ...

... for What Can't Wait —the gripping debut teen novel from Ashley Hope PĂ©rez.

Here's an opportunity to a free digital copy of What Can't Wait, write a review for "Dialogue" and interview Ashley. Interested? leave a comment or send me an email.

This is the story of one girl's survival in a world in which family needs trump individual success, and self-reliance is the only key that can unlock the door to the future.

Friday, July 1, 2011