America As “The Giving Tree”

There’s a child’s story called “The Giving Tree.”  The basic plot of it is this:

For those of you who haven’t read THE GIVING TREE since you were kids, here’s the story. When the boy is little, he plays in and around the tree all the time, and they’re very happy together. Then the boy gets older and asks the tree to give him some money, so the tree gives him her apples to sell at the market, and this makes her very happy. Then the boy grows up and wants a house, so the tree lets him cut off her branches to make one, and again, she is happy. Then the boy wants to sail far away, so the tree lets him chop down her trunk and make it into a boat. When the boy finally, finally returns to her, he’s an old man. The tree apologizes that she has nothing left to give him (and politely does not mention that this is because he has TAKEN IT ALL.) The old man says he’s tired and that all he wants is a place to rest, so the she lets him sit on her stump. AND THE TREE IS VERY HAPPY. (The full text is here if you’d like to see the madness for yourself.)

I’m sure the “tree is very happy” to be a shadow of its former self and only good for an old man to plop his ass down on it.  Not.  This young boy grows into a greedy bastard, plain and simple.  He took everything and left nothing for anyone else aside from an old stump.  No future children, his or anyone else’s, would be able to benefit from the tree’s shade or apples or branches to swing upon.  He kept taking and taking until there was nothing else to take, never giving back anything of substance.

America has always been a generous nation, a “Giving Tree” unto itself.

What we saw on Tuesday was a majority of America’s voters turning into the selfish little boy constantly demanding more and more free stuff.  How much longer until America is nothing but a stump?

After a long discussion yesterday morning, my wife and I decided to use the money that we are now spending on items we donate weekly to the local food pantry and on the Untrim-A-Tree Christmas gifts and instead send it to the St. Jude’s Children’s hospital for cancer research. A majority of America has spoken that they want the government to keep giving them free stuff paid for by our tax dollars. We are simply no longer going to supplement that in any way, shape or form and would rather give it to kids who we know are truly in need.

Our taxes are already paying for the 47 million Americans on food stamps, so why should we spend extra money to help stock food pantries?  Our taxes are already paying for people to get so-called “Obamaphones” — some of whom are now getting 4G LTE phones that even my wife and I do not have yet.  At one school in Prince William County last year, teachers pooled money together to buy a bike for a needy student for Christmas through their “Giving Tree” program.  When that student’s parent showed up to pick up the bike, she drove up in a BMW that is more expensive than the cars that either my wife or I drive.  Her child was with her, he hopped out of the car, grabbed the bike and rode home on it.  That was no Christmas gift and there was no expression of appreciation or gratitude from either the child or the parent.  Why should we continue to buy Christmas gifts for children whose parents’ own priorities are so out of whack?

Being a parent is about sacrificing your own desires to help better things for your children.  If that means owning a less expensive car so you can properly feed and clothe your child, then that is what you should do.  If that means you don’t buy something that is a luxury so you can instead provide a necessity, then that is what you need to do.

I would much rather redirect our charitable contributions to helping children suffering from rare forms of cancer than making sure some kid on Christmas morning has a new Disney Princess doll to go with the rest of her collection.  Let’s not forget how poverty is defined in America.

Data from the Department of Energy and other agencies show that the average poor family, as defined by Census officials:

● Lives in a home that is in good repair, not crowded, and equipped with air conditioning, clothes washer and dryer, and cable or satellite TV service.

● Prepares meals in a kitchen with a refrigerator, coffee maker and microwave as well as oven and stove.

● Enjoys two color TVs, a DVD player, VCR and — if children are there — an Xbox, PlayStation, or other video game system.

● Had enough money in the past year to meet essential needs, including adequate food and medical care.

Even 0.6% of people the government says are living in poverty have a jacuzzi while 18% have a big screen TV.

I’m done with it.  Spend my mandated tax money on what you want, but as of right now our discretionary charitable contributions will no longer go to supplement anyone’s “free stuff.”

One could only hope that the Giving Tree topples on this kid.

Announcing the Carnival of Christmas, 2009

Carnival of Christmas2009

It’s that time of the year again, and I am honored and delighted to announce that CatHouse Chat will be hosting the Carnival of Christmas for the third year in a row. This is the fifth year of the Carnival, which was originally begun by Adam Graham (previous editions are here, here, here, and here), and I hope and pray that the Carnival continues to grow and gain popularity each year.

Adam’s original statement for the Carnival was

A Carnival for anything Christmas related. You can share Christmas
stories, Christmas poems, Christmas podcasts, Christmas parodies,
Christmas pictures, etc. The only requirement is that the post be
respectful of the Holiday and in the Spirit of Christmas cheer and
kindness.

I am going to add just a couple of clarifications to that: first of all, absolutely no political or advertising posts. I want to make sure the Carnival remains focused on the season and that it celebrates the joy, solemnity and unity that the season ought to bring. Secondly, I earnestly request that all submitted posts be dated from November and December of this year, 2009. I really want to keep the Carnival fresh with new pictures, recipes, memories and meditations, so get cracking and send in some of that awesome creativity I know you all do so well!

The past two years that CatHouse Chat has hosted the Carnival, I have pretty much accepted as many entries as I’ve gotten and haven’t limited people to one submission per person; I’d like to continue that tradition. However, bear in mind that the Carnival has gotten bigger each year (hooray!), and I may have to limit people to, oh, three entries per person *grinz*

The deadline for submissions will be Tuesday, 22 December, and I plan to post the Carnival no later than 3 p.m., ET, on Christmas Eve. Hopefully, I’ll get it up by the 23rd, but I like to give myself that extra time just in case something crazy happens.

I will NOT be using the Blog Carnival tool for entries this year. Please send ALL submissions directly to cathousechat -AT- gmail-dot-com, and use CARNIVAL in the subject line. In the body of the post, please include the permalink to your post, as well as the trackback URL if you want me to send one when the Carnival is posted. Please also give a brief (one or two sentence) description of the post, and what category I should put it in. So far, I’m planning on

  • music and video
  • pictures and art
  • recipes
  • memories and traditions
  • meditations of the season
  • humor

I may end up adding some categories (and there’s always “miscellaneous!”), but these have been fairly standard for the Carnival so far.

All right, that’s it so far. If you have any further questions, please feel free to e-mail me at the cathousechat address above (NOT the romeokat e-mail listed in my right hand column) with QUESTION in the subject line, and I will get back to you with an answer as soon as I can.

May your Advent season be full of joy, and may your Christmas be truly blessed!

(crossposted from CatHouse Chat)

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Support “Tools for School”

I am excited to announce that my office is participating in two school supply drives this summer: the Regional Chamber’s “Tools for School” supply drive and SERVE’s “Ready to Learn” school supply drive. Both drives collect supplies for low-income school children grades K-12. Below is a list of requested items:

• Backpacks

• 3-Ring Binders

• Tabbed Dividers

• Folders with Pockets

• Spiral Notebooks

• Loose-Leaf Paper

• Colored Pencils

• Pencil Boxes/Bags

• Kleenex

• Hand Sanitizer

• Marble Composition Books

• Ink Pens

• No. 2 Pencils

• Markers

• Crayons

• Highlighters

• Glue/Glue sticks

• Rounded Scissors

• Index Cards

• Graph Paper

Please drop off any donations by Wednesday, August 12 to my office located at:

1 County Complex Drive

Prince William, VA 22192

If you would like to make a donation but are unable to drop it off please contact Alexandra Redman (703) 792-7473 to make other arrangements.

Thank you very much for your participation in these drives which help thousands of deserving children in our county every school year.

–Corey

Corey A. Stewart

Chairman

Prince William Board of County Supervisors

Virignia House of Delegates Celebrate the Lives of Jean and Jim Smith

Delegate Scott Lingamfelter submitted and the Virginia House of Delegates passed resolutions to celebrate the lives of Jean and Jim Smith.

H.J.R 808 and H.J.R. 809

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 809
Offered January 27, 2009
Celebrating the life of Jean Claire Smith.
———-

Patrons– Lingamfelter, Abbitt, Albo, Alexander, Amundson, Armstrong, Athey, BaCote, Barlow, Bell, Bouchard, Bowling, Brink, Bulova, Byron, Caputo, Carrico, Cline, Cole, Cosgrove, Cox, Crockett-Stark, Dance, Ebbin, Eisenberg, Englin, Fralin, Frederick, Gear, Gilbert, Griffith, Hall, Hamilton, Hargrove, Herring, Hogan, Howell, A.T., Howell, W.J., Hugo, Hull, Iaquinto, Ingram, Janis, Joannou, Johnson, Jones, Kilgore, Knight, Landes, Lewis, Lohr, Loupassi, Marsden, Marshall, D.W., Marshall, R.G., Massie, Mathieson, May, McClellan, McQuinn, Melvin, Merricks, Miller, J.H., Miller, P.J., Morgan, Morrissey, Nichols, Nixon, Nutter, O’Bannon, Oder, Orrock, Peace, Phillips, Plum, Pogge, Poindexter, Poisson, Pollard, Purkey, Putney, Rust, Saxman, Scott, E.T., Scott, J.M., Shannon, Sherwood, Shuler, Sickles, Spruill, Tata, Toscano, Tyler, Valentine, Vanderhye, Ward, Ware, O., Ware, R.L., Watts and Wright
———-

WHEREAS, Jean Claire Smith of Dale City, a respected citizen and outstanding community volunteer, died, along with her beloved son, Jim, on December 19, 2008; and

WHEREAS, a native of New York, Jean Smith was born to Rita and James Maloney; and

WHEREAS, Jean Smith married her one and only love, Richard Smith, and the couple had four wonderful children; and

WHEREAS, devoted to her family and community, Jean Smith was a compassionate, enthusiastic, and loving wife, mother, and friend; and

WHEREAS, an advocate for all children, Jean Smith volunteered with numerous civic and community organizations over the years, including serving as president of the Parent Teacher Association at Enterprise Elementary School and as president of the Choir Boosters at C. D. Hylton High School; and

WHEREAS, mindful of the needs of a growing Prince William County, Jean Smith served on the board of the Prince William County Park Authority from 2004 to 2007; and

WHEREAS, Jean Smith was a faithful member of Holy Family Catholic Church and was active in the church’s many missions in the community; and

WHEREAS, Jean Smith will be fondly remembered for her kind and generous nature and will be greatly missed by her loving husband, Richard; her children, Sarah, Connor, and Liam; and her many friends and admirers; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly mourn the passing of a fine community supporter and outstanding Virginian, Jean Claire Smith; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to the family of Jean Claire Smith as an expression of the General Assembly’s respect for her memory.


HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 808
Offered January 27, 2009
Celebrating the life of James Marshall Smith.
———-

Patrons– Lingamfelter, Abbitt, Albo, Alexander, Amundson, Armstrong, Athey, BaCote, Barlow, Bell, Bouchard, Bowling, Brink, Bulova, Byron, Caputo, Carrico, Cline, Cole, Cosgrove, Cox, Crockett-Stark, Dance, Ebbin, Eisenberg, Englin, Fralin, Frederick, Gear, Gilbert, Griffith, Hall, Hamilton, Hargrove, Herring, Hogan, Howell, A.T., Howell, W.J., Hugo, Hull, Iaquinto, Ingram, Janis, Joannou, Johnson, Jones, Kilgore, Knight, Landes, Lewis, Lohr, Loupassi, Marsden, Marshall, D.W., Marshall, R.G., Massie, Mathieson, May, McClellan, McQuinn, Melvin, Merricks, Miller, J.H., Miller, P.J., Morgan, Morrissey, Nichols, Nixon, Nutter, O’Bannon, Oder, Orrock, Peace, Phillips, Plum, Pogge, Poindexter, Poisson, Pollard, Purkey, Putney, Rust, Saxman, Scott, E.T., Scott, J.M., Shannon, Sherwood, Shuler, Sickles, Spruill, Tata, Toscano, Tyler, Valentine, Vanderhye, Ward, Ware, O., Ware, R.L., Watts and Wright
———-

WHEREAS, James (Jim) Marshall Smith of Dale City, a respected citizen and sophomore at James Madison University, died, along with his loving mother, Jean, on December 19, 2008; and

WHEREAS, Jim Smith was born to Jean Claire and Richard H. Smith III and was one of four siblings; and

WHEREAS, an inspirational, passionate, and fun-loving young man to be around, Jim Smith attended C. D. Hylton High School, where he was active in the choral department as a Troubadour, an honored vocal ensemble group, and was a leader on the wrestling team; and

WHEREAS, Jim Smith went on to attend James Madison University, where his love of music led him to become a member of the all-male a cappella group, Exit 245, and to play bass for numerous student productions; and

WHEREAS, a loyal and caring friend, brother, and son, Jim Smith was loved by his many friends; girlfriend, Emily; and family members; and

WHEREAS, Jim Smith will be fondly remembered for his kind and generous nature and will be greatly missed by his father, Richard; his sister, Sarah, and brothers, Connor and Liam; and many friends and admirers; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly mourn the passing of a fine young man and respected citizen, James Marshall Smith; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to the family of James Marshall Smith as an expression of the General Assembly’s respect for his memory.

eBay Auctioning Off Presidential Cabbage Patch Kids for Charity

eBay is auctioning off one-of-a-kind presidential Cabbage Patch Kids to raise money for Toys for Tots.

So, how goes the bidding so far?

$9,600.00 Cabbage Patch Kids Vice President Candidate Sarah Palin

$1,525.00 Cabbage Patch Kids Presidential Candidate John McCain

$710.00 Cabbage Patch Kids Vice President Candidate Joe Biden

$2,025.00 Cabbage Patch Kids Presidential Candidate Barack Obama

Looks like Sarah Palin is running away with it while Joe Biden is heading for the bargain bin.  Following the sky-high ratings for when Palin appeared on SNL, can there be any doubt whatsoever that the vast majority of people who tuned in to the record-setting VP debate did so on account of her?

Tools for Schools

Once again, PWC Chairman Corey Stewart is participating in the “Tools for Schools” program. As the husband of a public school teacher, I have long supported this program and encourage anyone who can to donate to this great cause!

I am happy to announce that once again, I will be participating the Prince William Regional Chamber of Commerce Tools for Schools Program. Tools for Schools assists underprivileged Prince William County School students by providing them with school supplies. If you have any questions please call or e-mail my staff assistant, Lori Bauckman-Moore (703) 792-7473 / email

Please feel free to drop off the following supplies to my office Monday – Friday 9:00am-5:00pm

Ø Primary Pencils

Ø Elmer’s Glue

Ø Binders

Ø Erasers

Ø Crayons (no fluorescent or glitter)

Ø Plastic crayon box

Ø Glue Sticks (white)

Ø Hand Sanitizer

Ø Scissors (fiskars)

Ø Loose-leaf Paper

Ø Plastic folders w/ pockets

Ø Marble Composition Books

Ø Index Cards

Ø Hi-lighters

Ø Tissues

Ø Book bags

Ø Binders

–Corey

Corey A. Stewart

Chairman

Prince William Board of County Supervisors