Time For Kids?

I received two envelopes in the mail — and boy was I shocked — one was from my granddaughter, the other was from my grandson. I was so excited to see their names on the envelopes that I couldn’t wait to open them. I was a little apprehensive, when I saw just how thick that envelope was.

It was the strangest thing…

Inside the children had written the name of their school (on the line provided for them). It was address to me – the child had written my name and address, then on the opposing side of the coupon looking thing was written…

Dear __________
(on the line "Grandma" had been hand written),

Our school can receive FREE subscriptions to a really fun and interesting magazine that my teacher will use with us in class to help us learn more about the world. It’s called TIME For Kids. You help me reach my goal simply by buying or renewing a magazine subscription for yourself.

Please look at the enclosed list (with savings up to 80%!) and pick your favorite. You can even order a magazine as a gift. Thanks for helping… I can’t wait to start reading TIME For Kids!

From, _________________
(the child wrote their name on the line)

P.S. __________________
(hand written – "Please help my school")

The opposite side of the envelope-sized card was an order form.

Included also was a brochure from TIME For Kids of magazine listings that claimed to offer magazines at a substantial savings, however, the prices appeared to be inflated, then marked down to regular prices. Along with the magazine listing I found a supplemental insert, return envelope, folded one sheet explanation entitled, "a friend is thinking of you…"

Lastly, I found a post card that totally took me by surprise. (Maybe I’m overly sensitive but this upset me.) The card read…

"I’m happy to support you and the special project you are working toward. I’m proud of who you are!"

TIME For Kids

Now, I’m certain someone felt that this was a good idea. What friend or family member wouldn’t appreciate a little help with sending a post card? Frankly, I don’t need a school (or TIME For Kids) to tell my grandchildren "I’m proud of who you are!" I find this demeaning and frankly, insulting.

What are they teaching these young students — certainly not how to write a cordial letter? They could have used this opportunity to get the children to actually write a letter. A skill these children might put to use at some point in their lives. Instead, they are teaching our children to beg.

Now of course because I refuse to bend to the will of a school, set on taking advantage of the friends and relatives of the children in their charge, I’m the bad guy. I really don’t appreciate being put on the spot like this. How do you explain to a child that this is called extortion and you refuse to participate in such schemes?

Oh, and don’t get me started on TIME For Kids. What a terrific racket for them. Not only does the school "earn" "free" copies of TIME For Kids, they push over-priced magazines to increase their profit margin on loving family members. Do they really expect us to buy what they are selling? These magazines are anything but free. I would have preferred to purchase a subscription for the kids. Teachers ordering at least 10-copies pay only $4.30 per student, which includes shipping and handling.

At home subscriptions cost $29.95 each and doesn’t include teaching guides, supplemental materials or any free gifts. Ouch, they certainly aren’t looking to break into the homeschool market with this kind of offer.

I’m almost tempted to purchase a subscription, of TIME For Kids, not for my son’s benefit, but just to see what kind of balderdash they are subjecting publicly schooled children to.

I believe instead, I’ll sit down and write my grandchildren each a letter and encourage them to write back, putting the skills I hope they are learning in school to good use by writing me an actual letter in return. Just what are they teaching these children in school? It makes one wonder.

Return to Sender

I thought I was the only person who is overly obsessive about spam. I’m talking about the postal kind, not the e-mail type. Years ago I received so much spam in the mail that I actually felt sorry for my postal worker.

Well today as I entered our neighborhood post office a man was standing just inside the door. He looked at me with that deer in the headlight look. I had plainly caught him at something he felt guilty about. He started rambling on about how he knew exactly what to do with junk mail.

I had to chuckle to myself because here was a grown man standing in the post office, stuffing business reply envelopes with the mail he had just received from that particular business. I used to take great pleasure in sending junk mail back to its originator – especially knowing they were paying the freight. It never would have occurred to me, not to take the mail home first. Talk about efficiency.

He stuffed it back in the envelope it came in, calmly walked over to the mailbox and dropped it in. He was my hero today — standing before me looking like the cat that had just eaten the canary. It made me feel like I wasn’t alone in the world – that I actually had some control over my life. It made sense.


The other shoe dropped.

I had been at the post office early this morning because I knew there was a package waiting for me and I couldn’t wait to get it into my hot little hands. It was the 10th Anniversary Edition of Pride and Prejudice complete with the book, The Making of Pride & Prejudice, one of my all-time favorite movies. As such the mail hadn’t been sorted yet.

So, when Shawn came home this afternoon we had mail.

I need to rest, I’ll finish this story up in a few hours. Check back in the morning. Continued at: Time For Kids?

What Candidate?

Non-newsworthy 2008 election candidates and their issues.

Watching the network news channels, specifically Fox News and CNN, a viewer would be led to believe there are only two candidates running in the upcoming 2008 Presidential Election: Some black guy named Obama that no ones ever heard of and the infamous Hillary Clinton, feminist champion in the flesh.

On a side-note, why is it that so called “feminist” supporters tend to look so masculine. After all, I can’t think of a soul that would make the mistake of calling Hillary feminine. She will never achieve the imperial air of the illustrious matriarchal figure, Barbara Bush. Now she has the look of a great woman, even if her sons both deserved a few more trips to the woodshed in their earlier years.

At any rate…

Congressman Ron Paul announced his candidacy several weeks ago.

Now this is a guy you can get excited about. He is honest and isn’t afraid to stand-alone as he’s shown it in the past. Patriots across the country were pulling for him last year, when he introduced a bill intent on abolishing the income tax.

Talk about a guy with no fear…just try taking on the IRS sometime.

It’s like David and Goliath, kind of a one-sided battle. Of course David does manage to come out on top once in while, but who wants to be David – and have to fight the battle in the first place?

My point is not that Congressman Ron Paul is in the race but that there are at least 16 other campaigns, which have been announced as of this writing, why aren’t we hearing about them? Is it not news in this country when a man decides to seek public office, let alone the highest office in the country?

When a man — a sitting Congressman isn’t considered news worthy or relevant to this election, voters can assume one of two things: Either certain candidates are subsidizing the news, namely organizations backing women or minorities, or the station is biased toward certain candidates.

If the major news networks want to be seen as “fair and balanced,” they must start telling voters the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Stop making up ignorant news stories about “Hillary” and start reporting real news.

Who knows? Maybe 2008 will be the year that voters finally make up their minds to vote their hearts and minds, instead of voting for “the lesser of two evils.” Evil will always be evil, no matter how you dress it up.

America was never intended to be the two-party system the Congress has created. We, as voters, have a duty and obligation to vote for the best “person,” not the best “party.”

Who’s reaching out to the young people? Have you encouraged a young person or even a senior citizen to get out there and vote? Sometimes they just need a ride or someone to remind them.

Parents, are you discussing politics with your children? Do they understand the voting process? Don’t leave it up to schools or others to educate your child on not only the mechanics of voting but also on discuss your own views and listen to theirs. Take a part in the process. It’s a huge opportunity to talk to friends, family members, neighbors and co-workers.

Some crazy person started a rumor that it is impolite to discuss religion and politics. How will you ever expand your thinking? How will you gain a real education, unless you can calmly and rationally discuss your views?

If you think you can really gain an understanding of the important issues (however they are defined) by reading/watching or listening to the major news outlets, you are missing the boat. You are accepting the lies being told and having all the issues framed for you.

For a true understanding of the process and the issues you must actively participate.

  • Attend a local speaking event. Your local college, community organization, or local lobbying groups often host local forums. Call your legislators’ local office and ask for a listing of scheduled events. Many even have weekly roundtable meetings.
  • Volunteer for your local candidate by stuffing envelopes, manning the phones, walking a beat or handing out fliers. There are a great many positions that need to be filled in any candidacy.
  • Host a political blog, website or e-mail newsletter.
  • Contact your candidate; make an appointment to meet with him/her or send an e-mail with your questions and concerns.

One lady just gushed on CNN, “I’m so excited I have so many choices.” Who is she kidding? If CNN doesn’t cover it, it didn’t happen. While they are busy peddling Hillary to us with a shovel, other worthy 2008 candidates are left begging for money so they can purchase enough air time get a foot in the race.

There is something seriously wrong with our system. This is still America isn’t it? Home of the free, land of the brave! Some how that is not the image we are seeing.

I’ll leave you with one word:


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