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-- AKA Boomer Sez:
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Guest Contributor: This month we have a guest contributor. Our guest contributor is Aga Kruk. Aga was born in Poland, but has lived in Arlington, Virginia since 2006. Aga works as a manager/designer at The Joy of Beading, a local bead store that doesn't sell our WigJig tools. Aga gets her inspiration for her jewelry from nature, places and people. She has recently started selling her hand made jewelry on her web site. If you want to view all of Aga's jewelry, please visit http://www.agajewelrydesigns.com. The pictures below show two of her jewelry designs. On the left is her Critique Earrings. On the right is her Mallory Earrings. Aga used our WigJig tools to make components of these earrings. If you would like to contact Aga you may contact her through her web site by selecting here.
Birthstone for October: The birthstone for October is the tourmaline. There are 14 officially recognized varieties of tourmaline varying in color from black, to yellow, to pink, to green, to blue and finally to colorless. Among the most common variations are the pink tourmaline and the green tourmaline. There is even one variation of tourmaline that is pink on one end and green on the opposite end. This variation is called, appropriately enough, watermelon tourmaline. Please select here to view more information on tourmaline.
Birthstone for November: The birthstone for November is the topaz. The natural color for Topaz is clear, but many varieties of Topaz can be found in nature with a yellow or light brown color. The blue topaz stones shown near right were mined from the earth, but the blue color is not a natural color. The blue color for topaz results from irradiation of a natural yellow topaz. (Please note that there is no residual radiation left in the gemstones after they have been irradiated.) Topaz has a hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale making it harder than most naturally occurring dust. This means that topaz is suitable for use in all types of jewelry including rings. Please select here to view more information on topaz gemstones. We sell both mined blue topaz gemstones and man-made, simulated blue topaz cubic zirconia gemstones. In the picture near-left you can view a mined Swiss blue topaz gemstone in AAA grade. In the picture far-right, you can view a blue topaz colored cubic zirconia. Please select either picture at right to view these products in our Internet store.
We update the jewelry supplies that we have "On Sale" with every newsletter. A small sample of the products we have for sale at discounted prices are shown below. Please click on any of the links below the pictures to view our entire list of sale items. Select the picture itself to view that specific item in our Internet Store. This sale will be effective through November 30, 2011 or until we run out of that item.
Our Nostalgia Corner project for this newsletter is our Spiral Link jewelry wire earring shown at right. This earring uses a design that is similar to our new jewelry making project for this month, the "S" Spirals earrings. Both designs rely on the way we make spirals with our spiral maker accessory to make a spiral wire component that is strong and will survive wear and tear without pulling apart.
Warning! Joke Follows.
If you have ever in your entire life been offended by any joke -- please skip the below paragraphs. It is not our intention to offend anyone! We don't write these jokes, we only re-tell jokes that we have heard on the public radio, television or over the Internet.
An environmental activist has car troubles and she has her car towed to a gas station for repair. She explains to the mechanic that the car was working fine, then just quit working. After working on the car for 20 minutes the mechanic calls the environmental activist over and explains that the car is repaired and is running fine. The environmental activist inquired "What was wrong?" The mechanic responded "Just crap in the carburetor." The environmental activist responded "How often do I need to do that?"
If you have ever in your entire life been offended by any political philosophy -- please skip the below paragraphs. It is not our intention to offend anyone! It is our intention to present current events from the perspective of a small business.
Since our last newsletter, the city of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania filed for bankruptcy. This occurred on October 12, 2011. In addition, the CEO of Coca-Cola, Muhtar Kent, noted to an interviewer with the Financial Times that "In many respects it is easier doing business in China" than in the US. Also, the CEO of Swiss America, Craig Smith, was interviewed and noted in that interview that the Obama administration has done everything possible to stifle businesses in the US. Finally, since our last newsletter, we now have people protesting Wall Street in New York and many other cities. While all this is going on, the Obama administration is attempting to blame the rich for all of our problems. Let's address these issues in turn.
First, the bankruptcy of Harrisburg, PA is very significant if you live in Harrisburg, if you worked for Harrisburg, or even if you live in Pennsylvania. The Democratic controlled city council was happy to file for bankruptcy, because they had spent the city into default and they saw default as a way that they could stick it to the rich folks who purchased the city's bonds. Citizens of Harrisburg are facing big problems. Employees of Harrisburg are facing big problems. Retirees from Harrisburg are facing monumental problems. The bond holders for Harrisburg are facing big problems. All of these problems could have been overcome in a more reasonable manner if the city had attempted to live within a budget. Unfortunately, because of class warfare, it became easier for the city to default than to try to pay its bills. The end result may be that the State of Pennsylvania has to take over the government of the city of Harrisburg. Citizens of Harrisburg may see the state government increase their taxes dramatically and reduce city services to almost zero. Many city employees will lose their jobs. City retirees will see their pensions cut. Unfortunately, it is likely that all cities in Pennsylvania will see a higher cost to borrow money as a result of the bad behavior of the City Council of Harrisburg. It is likely that union jobs in city services will be replaced by private industry non-union jobs as the city will be forced to sell all of its assets for trash collection and incineration of collected trash. City parking lots will also need to be sold to pay off the city's debts and city employees who work as parking attendants will be replaced by private industry. Decisions on how to apportion tax revenues in Harrisburg, will either be made by the bankruptcy court, by a court appointed conservator, or by the state government, with essentially no input from the citizens of Harrisburg. There are two points here. First is that this type of bankruptcy could happen to the Federal Government, or the states of California or Illinois just as it happened to Harrisburg's city government. Second is that the bankruptcy outcome is very bad for all citizens and should be avoided at all costs.
Second, we are frequently chastised by newsletter readers for publishing our Boomer Philosophy. We would like to point out to all of our readers that we aren't the only business to comment on the adverse business environment created by the Obama Administration. For our small company, we have created the equivalent of one to two new jobs in China or Pakistan producing our WigJig tools. These jobs were created because the costs of our raw materials increased so dramatically in the US and we were forced to purchase less expensive components in China and Pakistan. This has taken place since the Obama Administration took office. We did not want to create jobs in China and Pakistan. We would have preferred to manufacture our tools from parts made in the US. Unfortunately, environmental rulings made by the EPA caused the costs for our raw materials to roughly double. Since the Obama Administration came into office our costs have increased significantly and our profits have been cut in half. Most of the increase in cost for our raw materials can be directly attributed to actions of the Obama Administration and the EPA. New environmental regulations from the EPA have hurt dramatically. The "permitorium" on oil exploration has also resulted in increased prices for our acrylic plastic. The point here is that even for our very small business, the Obama Administration has taken actions that have directly caused us to send jobs overseas rather than hire new workers in the US. Most of the reduction in our profits can be attributed to actions of the this Administration. If you think that having jobs in the US is important, please understand that the Obama Administration may say that they favor jobs in the US, but the reality is that they don't. If you want more jobs in the US, the class warfare strategy of the Democratic Party coupled with the radical environmental agenda of the Democrats will not create the environment that will allow US businesses to grow. Every US business is impacted by the adverse business environment created by the current Administration. Our small company is not the only company to notice it or to comment on it.
Third, while the Democratic Party preaches class warfare between successful and unsuccessful people, their blame it on the rich philosophy has been successful in generating new protestors. These protestors call their movement "Occupy Wall Street" or the 99%ers. These protestors can't describe what they are for, but they can describe that they are against capitalism and the rich. These protests have been organized with help by the American Communist Party, by the SEIU labor union and with support from the AFLCIO labor union. The protests have been lauded by many Democratic politicians. The protests are reminiscent of prior protests against the meetings of the World Bank, and even remind an un-biased observer of the protests by government employees and students against the economic measures undertaken by the government of Greece in an effort to balance their budget. Many of the Occupy7 Wall Street protestors chant "What do we want?" followed by a chorus of "We don't know." This is then followed by: "When do we want it?" with a chorus response of "Now". Many of the protestors are the same anarchists who regularly join any protest. These people want a cause and are in general against everything in the status quo. Some of the protestors are paid to participate by unions or by Move On.org. It should be no surprise that the American Communist Party is behind these protests. It should be no surprise that labor unions are demonstrating sympathy with the American Communist Party. It should be no surprise that the protests have a communist message and theme. What should be a surprise is that the Democratic Party is so sympathetic with the communist theme of the Occupy Wall Street protests. Given that the Obama Administration has appointed members of the American Communist Party to their administration and has had several other appointments who voiced sympathy for the international communist movement, perhaps it shouldn't be a surprise.
The philosophy of class warfare -- blame it on the rich isn't going to improve the environment for businesses in the US. We have a lot of history of governments trying to balance their budgets on the back of the rich. Unfortunately, that history shows that increasing taxes on the rich just doesn't work. Simply put, almost every time that any government has increased taxes on the rich, the total tax revenues decreased. The end goal should be to actually collect more tax revenues and not less. What history shows us is that by raising taxes on the rich, the rich leave and the total tax revenues decrease. Can anyone answer why did John Lennon live in New York City instead of his home of England? The reason was simple. He was a tax refugee. He left the United Kingdom (UK) and moved to the US because of excessive taxes on the rich in the UK at that time. The rich have options and those options include taking their money and leaving. That is why the tax the rich approach just won't solve anything. You can drive the rich out. You can drive the jobs to foreign countries. Unfortunately, punitive tax and environmental policy won't result in higher tax revenues.
What happens when politicians preach class warfare? In the United Kingdom (UK), after years of a liberal governments preaching blame it on the rich, they had student riots and violence this spring as government subsidies for education were decreased in an effort to balance the budget. The theme of rich versus poor helped the students to justify in their minds the violence and destruction of private property. Similar destruction of private property and violence happened during riots in Greece and Italy. If violence and destruction of private property are the goal, then class warfare is an appropriate tool to use. If installing a communist government is the goal, then class warfare is a valid tool to use. If non-violence, and respect for private property are important, then class warfare is totally inappropriate. If you understand that the communist form of government has failed everywhere it was tried, then class warfare is totally inappropriate. My opinion is that any politician who vilifies people who are successful, and praises people who support the communist form of government that politician will not receive my vote and should not receive yours.
The following sunset pictures were taken during September, 2011.
Sunset September 9, 2011PM
Some people might be curious why we have so many sunset pictures. Our office and the desk in that office, face west. Every night at approximately sunset, we process our orders for shipping the next business day. This means that we see the sunset most days and have our camera sitting near us. Ergo, lots of pictures of sunset in Texas.
Shipping Policy. We waive the shipping charge on orders over $60 shipped within the US (as long as these orders remain over $60). For International orders we ship via Global Priority Mail and charge $5 over the US Mail charge for this shipping service. Please select here to view our entire shipping policy.
WigJig University. We provide over 3,000 web pages of free information, tips, techniques and free jewelry making designs in WigJig University. We encourage everyone to view this information as a source for new ideas, projects, or a way to learn new techniques. We now have a page in WigJig University that shows our designs sorted by the WigJig tool used to make them. Please select here to view that information.
International Vendors. We do have vendors who sell our WigJig products outside the US. We encourage customers to contact these vendors in their home country. Please select here to view our list of overseas vendors. We are also happy to sell our WigJig tools to stores. Please send us an e-mail if you are interested in selling our WigJig tools.
Classes. We have a listing of various jewelry making classes using our WigJig tools that are offered by bead stores throughout the country. If you are interested in classes, please select here. If you know someone who has classes in using our WigJig tools, please ask them to send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can include them in these pages.
We are continuing to improve our newsletter, so please feel free to provide feedback at email@example.com.
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