Friday, April 27, 2012
What in the world would make people think that if you’ve got some years on you that you can’t be a crook? It makes sense to me that being older would make somebody a better criminal. Older people have experience. So you would think that folks with common sense had already figured out that its character and not age that determines whether a person is honest or not, but I guess that’s not the case.
You see, on the TV news recently they had a story about this 73 year old woman in Oklahoma who was running a drug ring. They put her white-haired mug on the screen and the news anchors seemed to be in shock as they blabbed about how sweet she looked (which was a matter of opinion), and how they just couldn't believe that she ran a drug cartel. Ha!
The only question that I had about the whole thing was why couldn’t they believe it? From what the report said the woman was busted with 4 pounds of marijuana, worth about $276,000. That’s a lot of money, especially if you’re someone living on Social Security. The woman told the authorities that she was building a nest egg for her old age. I might not agree with how she did it, but what she said makes sense to me and from what I heard, she had been running this drug ring for some time without raising suspicion. I wasn’t surprised by that either.
It also seems logical that the most successful criminals would be the ones who would seem to be the least harmful. That’s why it would be easier for an older person to fool folks, especially the ones who refuse to give up the stereotypes. Things are changing and so are the times. I guess when “granny” or “paw paw” rip enough folks off, they’ll get the message.
I’m just surprised that there haven’t been more stories like this. Shoot, for the average person, Social Security is barely enough to live on. I guess that some folks figure that they have to get extra money somehow. Come to think of it there are probably a lot more “seniors” who choose illegal activities to make extra money than folks think. They just don’t get caught because they look too sweet.
And while I’m at it, whose bright idea was it to ease up on frisking blue haired old ladies and little kids at the airport security gate? I say search those suckers! Even I can think of a bunch of scenarios in which the most innocent looking airline passengers can be used for the worst things possible. I won’t give any examples of what I can think of to pull off terrorist attacks by “sweet faced old ladies”, but if I can think of some I’m sure that these terrorist can too.
I think that everybody who passes through the security gate at an airport should be searched with a fine tooth comb, particularly when my life is at stake. I don’t care how innocent they look. Any old fart can be a gangsta.
You can call me a cynic, but I’ll call myself sensible. So you can muse on that!
Friday, April 20, 2012
This is Bea Bell, and I think that I’m a fairly tolerate woman who accepts quite a few things that the Twenty-first century has to offer. I struggle with technology but I still try to keep up to date with it. Yet, I’ve got to say that there are some changes in this modern society that just get me riled.
I recently found out that the retail store, Dollar General, is test marketing beer sales in their stores. In Indianapolis, Indiana, 30 stores have applied for liquor licenses. I’m all for good business practices but liquor sales in this particular chain store is totally irresponsible. The majority of the 30 stores that are doing the test marketing are in low-income areas where there is no shortage of places to buy alcohol already.
This chain store defines its mission as "For Customers... Price, Quality and Great Prices; For Employees... Respect and Opportunity; For Shareholders... A Superior Return; and for Communities... A Better Life." Call me crazy, but I don’t see alcohol sales as providing a better way of life for communities.
Unfortunately, this chain of stores is not alone with the liquor sales. The White Castle hamburger chain is getting into the act. The ninety-year old burger chain is testing beer and wine sales in Lafayette, Indiana, which is home to Purdue University. According to a Bloomberg Business Week article, customers can buy a glass of wine for $4.50 or a domestic beer for $3.00. Can you believe that this is White Castle I’m talking about?
It doesn’t stop there. Burger King recently opened “Whooper Bars” in Miami, Las Vegas and Kansas City, and these bars sell beer. Even Star Bucks has begun to sell beer and wine in a few of their Seattle stores. Beer goes for $5.00 a bottle and wine can cost as much as $9.00 a glass!
Even though these stores claim to be giving the customers what they want, my guess is that the real reason for these liquor sales is that they’re trying to get a bigger share of our limited dollars. My concern is that there may be no place left in America that can be considered a family establishment. If kids can sit in a White Castle or Burger King and watch the adults drink I think there is a negative message finding its way into young minds.
Alcohol sales in fast food restaurants are nothing new. Pizza Hut has been doing it for years in their dine-in restaurants, but I don’t believe we need more places where children are exposed to alcohol. Just think about it. If you’re a kid who is under-aged and wants to drink it’s much less conspicuous getting an older person to purchase beer for you from a Dollar General store than it is waiting for them outside of a liquor store.
Millions of people drink responsibly, but I really don’t want the irresponsible element taking their bad habits into family-friendly establishments. I understand that business is based on the dollars you can bring in and not the high-sounding message of company mission statement as in the case of Dollar General. Business is about money and these businesses are making it obvious that the welfare of our children does not count. The slogan must be: more drunks mean more money, so bring ‘em on.
I know that I’m ranting, but I just can’t help it. I have some fond memories of White Castle as I was growing up. I do recall seeing drunks came to White Castle to quench their thirst, but for the munchies not for a beer or wine. Of course I might be concerned for nothing. If these places keep marking up the price of beer hard drinkers won’t be able to afford the burgers and the beer anyway.
Just muse on it.
Friday, April 13, 2012
I’m Hattie Collier and if you’ve been following us you know that my friend Bea is the one interested in politics. But, I’ve been thinking lately. We all know that over time words can change meaning. For instance take the word bad. Generally it means something that’s not good, or maybe immoral or wicked, but these days you can find folks that use the word to mean something cool or desirable. Crazy, ain’t it?
We’re always good at using words to label people and it looks like this election year politicians everywhere are stocking up on their arsenal of word bombs. My hope for us voters is that we listen not only to what these candidates call each other, but also to what they say they will actually do. These political candidates label each other so much that it got me curious about what those labels mean.
I looked up the word “conservative”, because these days—especially in the Republican Party—every candidate out there claims to be more conservative than his opponent. The word means “a reluctance to accept change. Politically speaking it’s a right-of-center political philosophy based on a tendency to support gradual rather than abrupt change and to preserve the status quo”. Okay, so what does that mean? Just say no?
Now candidates seem to attach the “liberal” label to Democrats like it’s some sort of disease. A political definition of a liberal is that it “refers to someone who favors gradual reform, especially political reforms that extend democracy, distribute wealth more evenly, and protect the personal freedom of the individual or to be broad-minded." Does that mean that's a person who will accept anything?
I’m getting tired of hearing all of the labels. No one is completely one thing or the other. Hopefully, there are few people who never budge on the way they think about everything. By the same token, I hope that nobody is so broad minded that they will accept anything and stand for nothing.
I might not be the brightest bulb walking this earth, but I’m smart enough to know that when I cast a vote for the candidates this year I’m voting for people who will move this country forward. I'm not voting for some label.
I read that the genius, Albert Einstein, once said that three great things rule this world: stupidity, fear, and greed. That sounds more familiar to me than labels, and it’s something to muse on in this election year.
Friday, April 6, 2012
As a woman in her sixties and a successful real estate entrepreneur, people are always asking me, “Is your business computerized?” They say it as though it’s a given that I couldn’t possibly be making any money if it’s not. Well I’m always glad to inform the busy bodies who ask that yes Connie Palmer’s enterprise is computerized and I’m taking care of business quite nicely, thank you. I have a business page on LinkedIn and on Facebook. I then whip out my smart phone and even on occasion my ipad to emphasize the fact that I am armed to the teeth with modern technology. Of course, the assumption is that I know how to use all of the weapons in my arsenal. I’m here to tell you that the assumption is wrong, because I am what some people in this country might refer to as being technically challenged.
Sure, I use computers in my business, and I’ve got to say they do make life a lot easier, but unfortunately I don’t hold the same high opinion of a smart phone . I can make a call, but this texting thing, I can’t get into it. Why in the hell would I want to talk to somebody on a phone without hearing their voice? A lot can be said in hearing the tones in the human voice. There are nuances that can’t be translated in a text message. My kids and grandkids have tried to show me how to text and how to understand the shortcuts in the language that are used in texting. All I’ve got to say is it really does not interest me and no wonder the academic scores are going down in our school system. The kids don’t know how to spell! What the hell is lol? Is it too hard to spell the words lots of love?
I don’t have to have my phone take pictures either, although I have to confess that it can be convenient at times and it can mean less clutter in my purse, but I’ve really got to get use to taking a photograph on a phone—that is when I learn how to do it. And what in God’s name is an App?
Shoot, I’m still using my computer as a giant word processor. If it hadn’t been for my office assistant showing me how, I wouldn’t be on the internet and I’m still struggling with how to get on it with my smart phone. Have Mercy! The phone is smarter than me! It’s all a bit too much.
Speaking of which, the GPS system that one of my sons gave me for Christmas almost got me killed recently when it gave me directions to turn right and drive into a brick wall. I can get lost following a paper map, or better yet, using Map Quest. I don’t need some irritating stranger’s voice helping me do it.
People, I know that we’re in the Age of Technology and I don’t want to be left behind, but I think that things are moving a bit too fast for me and catching up is taking a lot of effort. I’m not sure that I’m going to make.
With that in mind, don’t look for my personal page on Facebook. I choose to keep my personal business to myself only to be shared with my real friends. Expect to hear my voice over the telephone if you want to communicate with me, or better yet let’s have lunch or dinner. You see, I know that it’s old fashion, but human connection is what I’m into, and no smart phones, GPS systems, text messages or Facebook friends can replace it. Now you can muse on that!