Sunday, October 30, 2011

Study finds priests leading happy, healthy lives

Ave Maria Press
Although modern secular portrayals often paint the priesthood in a negative light, the results of a new study reveal that Catholic priests are among the happiest people in the country. A thorough scientific evaluation conducted by Msgr. Stephen J. Rossetti, clinical associate professor of pastoral studies at The Catholic University of America, shows that priests as a whole are highly satisfied with their lives.
The study, which includes data from a 2009 survey of 2,482 priests from 23 dioceses and a 2004 survey of 1,242 priests from 16 dioceses, is the basis of Msgr. Rossetti’s new book “Why Priests Are Happy: A Study of the Psychological and Spiritual Health of Priests” (Ave Maria Press, $18.95).1 Msgr. Rossetti, a licensed psychologist, told Our Sunday Visitor that at first the study’s findings may seem surprising or even counterintuitive.
But the results, he explained, are in line with secular studies and social science research conducted over the past three decades. “Studies consistently show that religious people, those with a strong spiritual life and a religious faith, tend to be happier, more well-adjusted people,” Msgr. Rossetti said. “Frankly, the reality is that religion is good for you, psychologically and spiritually.” That is especially true for priests, he said. In the study, priests tested slightly higher on standard psychological evaluations than the average person, and reported one of the highest rates of satisfaction with their work of people in any profession.
That may come as a surprise in the wake of so many negative stories about the priesthood.
“News of the death of the priesthood is greatly exaggerated,” said Msgr. Rossetti. “The fact is that there are a lot of wonderful priests in this country, and they are doing just fine.”

Avoiding burnout
Being happy, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that priests have an easy life. Msgr. Rossetti noted that priests today are often greatly overworked, yet on a standardized test they have slightly lower measures of burnout than the average working person. “That’s an apparent contradiction. Priests are overwhelmed with the amount of work that they have to do, but they are not burned out,” Msgr. Rossetti told OSV.
The reason, he explained, is that burnout is not simply a measure of the amount of work one has, but also incorporates factors such as job satisfaction and personal support. “So if you have a lot of good friends, you have a good spiritual life and you like what you do, you are probably not going to burnout,” he said.
That’s been the case for Father Scott Hastings, pastor of St. Leonard Parish in Madison, Neb. Father Hastings told OSV that while his work can sometimes be stressful, burnout is not really a concern as long as he focuses on the blessings of priestly life. “I see my work as a gift from God. ... Some days there are things that I don’t enjoy, but prayer lets me see the Lord’s hand,” Father Hastings told OSV. “Staying close to him in work and prayer is what prevents burnout. Of course, knowing one’s limits is helpful, too,” he said.

Finding Joy in Priesthood
The study conducted by Msgr. Stephen J. Rossetti includes among its findings the following statistics on the happiness of today’s priests:

94.9% feel a joy that they consider a grace from God
93% have close friendships with laypersons
92.4% are happy overall being a priest
88.9% have good morale
87.6% have close friendships with fellow priests
82.1% would choose to remain celibate if priests were allowed to marry
76.6% have a good relationship with their bishop
75.1% say celibacy has been a personal grace

Joy of celibacy
Another common myth about the priesthood that Msgr. Rossetti’s study dispels is the perception that without spouses or children, priests are likely to suffer from loneliness. In reality, the results show no correlation between celibacy and loneliness, and the vast majority of priests say they find the celibate life to be a grace. According to Father Kurtis Gunwall, vocations director in the Diocese of Fargo, N.D., the assumption that priests are lonely is widespread and is often an obstacle for those discerning a vocation to the priesthood.
“The general public and most Catholics have a misconception that a man cannot be happy without sex, marriage and a family,” Father Gunwall told OSV. “Those are joyful things but they are not the ultimate source of true happiness,” he said. Father Gunwall said that he often explains the joys of celibate life by likening it to a marriage. Though some may face the temptation to be unfaithful, those who focus on the love of their spouse can remain happy in their commitment to be with only one person. “And neither do I struggle with keeping my love and commitment to God and his Church in place,” he said.
Msgr. Rossetti also noticed another interesting connection in his results — that priests who spend more time in prayer are even less likely to report feelings of loneliness. “I think that loneliness is not merely whether you are married or not. Loneliness is a measure of inability to really connect at a deep level,” said Msgr. Rossetti. “I know lots of married people who are really lonely. “But those who pray more tend to connect with God on a deeper level, and that helps them to connect with themselves and with others, so these people are living more deeply interpersonal lives,” he said.

Staying happy
Even with the study’s encouraging results, Msgr. Rossetti said that there are still areas of concern that priests should be aware of. Although the percentage of priests experiencing severe burnout is low, many still have excessive workloads, he said, and divisions over political and social issues may pose a threat to priests’ sense of unity. The best thing priests can do to avoid potential pitfalls and continue being happy, he advised, is to focus on living out their vocation to the best of their ability.
“I found that when priests live priesthood well, when they live it the way it is supposed to be lived, they are happier people,” Msgr. Rossetti explained. “That is true of all walks of life. In your marriage or your job or whatever you are doing, when you live it right; with integrity, with honesty, with good Christian values, you are going to be a happier person,” he said. And as priests continue living joyfully, he added, he is hopeful that opinions about the priesthood will change. “The reality is that being a priest is a wonderful life, and I think more people need to know that,” Msgr. Rossetti said. “It is the best-kept secret in the Catholic Church.”

By Scott Alessi - OSV Newsweekly, 10/30/2011
1 Polling thousands of clerics, new book refutes common misconceptions regarding priesthood.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Render Unto Rome

We all need to question Peter’s Pence, which is advertised as the collection for the Holy Father’s charitable uses, and determine where the money goes. The Vatican has released information about approximately 11 percent of the 2009 collection of $82 million; the rest is unaccounted for. What I learned during my research is that, for most of the last century, funds from Peter’s Pence went to plug the Vatican’s operating deficit. The Vatican Bank is not even listed as an asset on the financial records.
Secondly, we need to follow closely the wave of parish closings—an average of one church per week over the past 15 years. The priest shortage is the primary reason. Demographic changes are relevant, too. So is the reality of costly abuse litigation.
A related issue is the use of suppression, the Church-approved device by which a bishop literally seizes a parish and all of its assets for whatever uses he wants. In Ohio, for example, a bishop ordered a parish suppressed. When the parishioners raised $100,000 and hired an attorney [to keep it open], the bishop used almost $78,000 to pay his attorney to fight the parishioners. The court in that state ruled that the bishop owned the parish. When that decision was delivered, the bishop had the church torn down and used the parishioners’ money to pay the legal fees. I see this as rank injustice and a moral outrage!
Another key theme in the book relates to embezzlements by priests and lay workers. Several years ago the so called Villanova Study was conducted by the university’s graduate program for Church management. Approximately 85 percent of respondents reported embezzlement of funds from the Sunday collection. In my book I quote Michael W. Ryan, a retired U.S. Postal Inspection Service manager and rock-ribbed Catholic who has studied this for more than 20 years. He estimates that, since 1965, the Church has lost approximately $2 billion from the Sunday collection to embezzlement and theft.
Finally, a core theme of my book is that the Roman Catholic Church does not have an adequate justice system. Instead, we have these ancient tribunals at the Vatican that give bishops de facto immunity from prosecution. No matter what they do, the worst that can happen is they will “step down.”
It became clear to me in writing this book that, as Catholics, we really are shaped by a culture of passivity. It’s not just “pray, pay, obey,” as the old slogan goes. It’s deeper than that. The biggest benefit the bishops have at this time is the apathy of the average Catholic. Most people go to church to hear the Gospel, to be comforted, to be part of the community. We are not disposed to think about the Church as a political institution.
I think there is a parallel between the so-called Arab Spring and what’s going on in the Church. We are witnessing, I believe, the slow crumbling of the edifice of Catholic authority as we once knew it. We are living through the second Reformation. This one is coming from within—from Catholics who want justice from their own Church.

By Jason Berry (Excerpts taken from St. Anthony Messenger October 2011.)

Friday, October 28, 2011

I Pray You Enough

I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport.. They had announced the departure. Standing near the security gate, they hugged, and the mother said, 'I love you, and I pray you enough.' The daughter replied, 'Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I pray you enough, too, Mom.' They kissed, and the daughter left. The mother walked over to the window where I was seated. Standing there, I could see she wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on her privacy, but she welcomed me in by asking, 'Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?' Yes, I have,' I replied. 'Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?'
'Well...I'm not as young as I once was, she lives so far away & has her own busy life. I have some challenges ahead, and the reality is - her next trip back will be for my funeral,' she said. 'When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, 'I pray you enough.' May I ask what that means?' She began to smile. 'That's a prayer that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.' She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail, and she smiled even more. 'When we said, 'I pray you enough,' we wanted the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them.' Then, turning toward me, she shared the following as if she were reciting it from memory.

I pray you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear..
I pray you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I pray you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I pray you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
I pray you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I pray you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I pray you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

Then, she began to cry, and walked away.

They say, it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but an entire life to forget them.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Untimely Death

To prove the truth of the Bible, a passage is quoted and several examples are given to show that the passage is true. As you read down below, mocking God can have dire consequences. The suggestion here is that a single statement made by the individual leads to his/her death because it seems to violate a single passage in the Bible. This completely overlooks the many passages that focus on God’s mercy and desire for us sinners to repent and be saved. My concern in sharing this is to alert you to the dangers of using Bible passages this way.

Did you know that death is certain but the Bible speaks of untimely death? It is written in the Bible (Galatians 6:7): 'be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sow, so shall he also reap!

Here are some men and women who mocked God:

John Lennon (Singer): Some years before, during his interview with an American Magazine, he said:
'Christianity will end, it will disappear. I do not have to argue about that I am certain. Jesus was ok, but his subjects were too simple, today we are more famous than Him' (1966). Lennon, after saying that the Beatles were more famous than Jesus Christ, was shot six times.

Tancredo Neves (President of Brazil): During the Presidential campaign, he said if he got 500,000 votes
from his party, not even God would remove him from Presidency. Sure he got the votes, but he got sick a day before being made President, then he died.

Cazuza (Bi-sexual Brazilian composer, singer and poet): During A show in Canecio (Rio de Janeiro),
while smoking his cigarette, he puffed out some smoke into the air and said: 'God, that's for you.' He died at the age of 32 of lung cancer in a horrible manner.

The man who built the Titanic: After the construction of Titanic, a reporter asked him how safe the
Titanic would be. With an ironic tone he said: 'not even God can sink it.’ The result: I think you all know what happened to the Titanic.

Marilyn Monroe (Actress): She was visited by Billy Graham during a presentation of a show. He said
the Spirit of God had sent him to preach to her. After hearing what the Preacher had to say, she said: 'I don't need your Jesus'. A week later, she was found dead in her apartment.

Bon Scott (Singer): The ex-vocalist of the AC/DC. On one of his 1979 songs he sang: 'Don't stop me;
I'm going down all the way, down the highway to hell'. On the 19th of February 1980, Bon Scott was found dead, he had been choked by his own vomit.

Campinas (2005) : In Campinas, Brazil a group of friends, drunk, went to pick up a friend. The mother
accompanied her to the car and was so worried about the drunkenness of her friends and she said to the daughter holding her hand, who was already seated in the car: 'My daughter, go with God and may He protect you.' She responded: 'only if He (God) travels in the trunk, cause inside here.....it's already full'. Hours later, news came by that they had been involved in a fatal accident, everyone had died, and the car could not be recognized what type of car it had been, but surprisingly, the trunk was intact. The police said there was no way the trunk could have remained intact. To their surprise, inside the trunk was a crate of eggs, none was broken.

Christine Hewitt (Jamaican Journalist and entertainer): said the Bible (Word of God) was the worst book
ever written. In June 2006 she was found burnt beyond recognition in her motor vehicle.

Let us pray: Lord, I love you and I need you, come into my heart and forgive my sins, I believe that you
died and rose from the dead on the third day. Please bless me, my family, my home and my friends in Jesus' name. Amen!

Apology to My Brothers and Sisters in developing Countries

To my brothers and sisters in developing countries:
While I was deciding which oat bran cereal to eat this morning, you were searching the ground for leftover grains from the passing wheat truck.
While I was jogging at the health center, you were working in the wealthy landowner’s field under a scorching sun.
While I was choosing between diet and regular soda, your parched lips were yearning for a sip of clean water.
While I complained about the poor service in the gourmet restaurant, you were gratefully eating a bowl of rice.
While I poured my “fresh and better” detergent into the washing machine, you stood in the river with your bundle of clothes.
While I read the newspaper and drank my cup of steaming coffee, you walked the long, dusty miles to a crowded schoolroom to learn how to read.
While I scanned the ads for a bargain on an extra piece of clothing, you woke up and put on the same shirt and pants that you have worn for many months.
While I built a fourteen-room house for the three of us, your family of ten found shelter in a one-room hut.
While I went to church last Sunday and felt more than slightly bored, you stood on the land with those around you and felt gratitude to God for being alive for one more day.
My brothers and sisters, forgive me for my arrogance and my indifference. Forgive me for my greed of always wanting newer, bigger, and better things. Forgive me for not doing my part to change the unjust systems that keep you suffering and impoverished. I offer you my promise to become more aware of your situation and to change my lifestyle as I work for the transformation of our world.

By Joyce Rupp ("Apology to My Brothers and Sisters in Developing Countries" taken from: Out Of The Ordinary: Prayers, Poems, And Reflections For Every Season)

We need St Francis now

Some things never go way. The best ones, in fact, come back to us in whole new ways. Saints are like that. The church calendar that formed me, for instance, provided the Catholic community one feast day after another designed to remind us of the heroes of the Catholic community. On those days, congregations held special masses, sang special songs, prayed special prayers and blessed special statues.
On St. Joseph's Day, for instance, the Italians had street fairs in which they spread a family feast from one end of the country to the other in honor of Joseph, the just one, who protected the Virgin and raised the child Jesus in a holy family. And so that Holy Family became a model for us all. For committed children and faithful fathers and strong mothers.
On St. Patrick's Day, the Irish carried shamrocks to remind us of Patrick's exegesis of the Trinity which, we were told, converted the pagans of Ireland and were still a clear icon to us of the God whose presence is "three in one." It was the articulation of a 'mystery' that became clearer as we got older.
On Halloween, all the saints of the church were honored for their faithful lives and their models of goodness. We dressed up to look like Therese of Avila and Ignatius of Loyola and the Children of Fatima rather than Peter Pan and The Terminator and a vampire or two on Halloween.
We named our children for saints. We dedicated our churches to their memory. We presented them as icons and heroes to our children long before celebrities and rock bands and rappers and reality shows conquered the airwaves and took their place. Long before Brittany and DeShaun and Darcy and Travis replaced Peter and Mary and John and Theresa as baptismal names.
In that period, we lived immersed in a veritable "communion of saints," surrounded by signs and images of those whose lives were themselves meant to be templates for our own.
We don't do those things anymore. For many good reasons, both liturgical and theological. At the same time, the stories and the figures go on stirring in my memory, raising old ideals, provoking old memories of beauty and fidelity and awareness and commitment. Only now those figures and those stories ring in strong new ways. For instance, Oct. 4 is the Feast of Francis of Assisi, IL poverello, the poor one, whose voice in the newly emerging mercantile class of the 13th century warned of the greed and corruption and destitution that would come when the world was run more on profit for the rich than it was on a prophetic commitment to the poor. And he was right. But Francis was known for more than protests.
Francis loved animals, too. He was a walking apostle for ecology and the protection of woodlands which having been destroyed for parking lots and housing estates leave animals who once lived in caves and forests spilling over into our largest cities. He talked to the animals. He understood them. He knew their place in creation.
Francis talked to the birds about their call to the unceasing singing of the praises of God. When the birds surrounded him, he told them, "My sister birds, you owe much to God, and you must always and in every place give praise to Him; for He has given you freedom to wing through the sky and He has clothed you.
He calmed the wild. The wolf Gubbio who had been ravaging animals and people alike lay down at his feet like a puppy when Francis scolded him for his violence: "All these people accuse you and curse you. But Brother Wolf, I would like to make peace between you and the people." Then Francis led the wolf into the town, and surrounded by startled citizens made a pact between them and the wolf. Because the wolf had "done evil out of hunger", the townsfolk were to feed the wolf regularly, and in return, the wolf would no longer prey upon them or their flocks. In this manner Gubbio was freed from the menace of the predator."
No doubt about it. In a world where species after species is disappearing under the rubric of "progress," where animals are being used for research on materials and cosmetics, where the boundaries between forests and cities are fast disappearing, where bears show up in shopping districts of major cities and crocodiles show up on people's front lawns, we need St Francis now. It is also becoming clear that Francis knew what we are only now discovering.
In our time, the science that separated us from nature is now declaring that animals, too, have intelligence, have emotions, have needs like ours. Research by Dr. Filippo Aureli, professor of animal behavior and co-director of the Research Centre in Evolutionary Anthropology and Palaeoecology in Liverpool, England, indicates that the study of animal emotions, particularly in birds and primates is providing new insight and information on the emotions of humans, as well as the feelings of animals.
Well, I am an animal lover, too. And I have been threatening for years now that my last book would be Two Dogs and a Parrot: The Spiritual Lessons I Have Learned From My Pets. The parrot, named "Bennie" for obvious Benedictine reasons, is the most obvious educator of them all.
From Bennie I am learning persistence and emotional sensitivity. Both of which are needed in this world of invisible women and neglected children.
Persistence is a very good thing for a woman to know in a man's church. If Bennie needs something, she simply refuses to give up trying to get it. She will knock at her hopper until it gets filled, until the door gets opened, until you put her on your shoulder and make her a real part of the community.
Emotional sensitivity, the awareness of the needs of needy others, is her forte. She stretches herself out on the top of her cage, thin as a pencil, rigid as a piece of steel and stares at you until you stop work and give her the loving she seeks, for her sake and yours. She teaches us to be very aware of very small signals in life.
No wonder that churches to this day bless animals on October 4, the Feast of St. Francis. St. Francis would find it all very normal, very necessary. From where I stand, we need to take another look at what animals have to teach us today, yes, but we have to take another look at what the saints have to say to us today, too. Somehow or other, the models we have put in their stead have not, as a class, managed to fill the gaps.
And what does the Lord ask of you? To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

By Joan Chittister

Monday, October 10, 2011

God's "Phone" Number

Hello God, I called tonight to talk a little while I need a friend who'll listen to my anxiety and trial. You see, I can't quite make it through a day just on my own. I need your love to guide me, so I’ll never feel alone. I want to ask you please to keep my family safe and sound. Come and fill their lives with confidence for whatever fate they're bound. Give me faith, dear God, to face each hour throughout the day, and not to worry over things I can't change in any way. I thank you God, for being home and listening to my call, for giving me such good advice when I stumble and fall.
Your number, God, is the only one that answers every time. I never get a busy signal, never had to pay a dime. So thank you, God, for listening to my troubles and my sorrow. Good night, God, I love You, too, and I’ll call again tomorrow! Please bless all my friends and family too.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Little Southern Humor

A group of Alabama friends went deer hunting and paired off in twos for the day. That night, one of the hunters returned alone, staggering under the weight of an eight-point buck. "Where's ben?" the others asked. "Ben had a stroke o' some kind. He's a couple of miles back up the trail," the successful hunter replied. "You left beny layin' out there and carried the deer back?" they inquired. "A tough call," nodded the hunter. "But I figured no one's gonna steal ben!"
The owner of a golf course in Georgia was confused about paying an invoice, so he decided to ask his secretary for some mathematical help. He called her into his office and said, "Y'all graduated from the University of Georgia and I need some help. If I wuz to give yew $20,000, minus 14%, how much would you take off?" The secretary thought a moment, and then replied, "Everthang but my earrings."
A senior citizen in Louisiana was overheard saying ... "When the end of the world comes, I hope to be in Louisiana ." When asked why, he replied, "I'd rather be in Louisiana 'cause everythang happens in Louisiana 20 years later than in the rest of the world."
The young man from Mississippi came running into the store and said to his buddy, "Bubba, somebody just stole your pickup truck from the parking lot!" Bubba replied, "Did y'all see who it was?" The young man answered, "I couldn't tell, but I got the license number."
A man in North Carolina had a flat tire, pulled off on the side of the road, and proceeded to put a bouquet of flowers in front of the car and one behind it. Then he got back in the car to wait. A passerby studied the scene as he drove by, and was so curious he turned around and went back. He asked the fellow what the problem was. The man replied, "I got a flat tahr." The passerby asked, "But what's with the flowers?" The man responded, "When you break down they tell you to put flares in the front and flares in the back. I never did understand it neither."
A Tennessee State trooper pulled over a pickup. The trooper asked, "Got any ID?" The driver replied, "Bout whut?"
The Sheriff pulled up next to the guy unloading garbage out of his pick-up into the ditch. The Sheriff asked, "Why are you dumping garbage in the ditch? Don't you see that sign right over your head." "Yep," he replied. "That's why I'm dumpin' it here, 'cause it says: 'Fine For Dumping Garbage.' "

Monday, October 3, 2011

Advice from Snopes.com

Any time you see an email that says "forward this on to '10' (or however many) of your friends", "sign this petition", or "you'll get bad luck" or "you'll get good luck" or "you'll see something funny on your screen after you send it" or whatever --- it almost always has an email tracker program attached that tracks the cookies and emails of those folks you forward to. The host sender is getting a copy each time it gets forwarded and then is able to get lists of 'active' email addresses to use in spam emails or sell to other spammers. Even when you get emails that demand you send the email on if you're not ashamed of God/Jesus --- that is email tracking, and they are playing on our conscience. These people don't care how they get your email addresses - just as long as they get them. Also, emails that talk about a missing child or a child with an incurable disease "how would you feel if that was your child" --- email tracking. Ignore them and don't participate!
Almost all emails that ask you to add your name and forward on to others are similar to that mass letter years ago that asked people to send business cards to the little kid in Florida who wanted to break the Guinness Book of Records for the most cards. All it was, and all any of this type of email is, is a way to get names and 'cookie' tracking information for telemarketers and spammers -- to validate active email accounts for their own profitable purposes.
You can do your Friends and Family members a great favor by sending this information to them. You will be providing a service to your friends. And you will be rewarded by not getting thousands of spam emails in the future! Do yourself a favor and stop adding your name(s) to those types of listing regardless how inviting they might sound! Or make you feel guilty if you don't! It's all about getting email addresses and nothing more. You may think you are supporting a great cause, but you are not! Instead, you will be getting tons of junk mail later and very possibly a virus attached! Plus, we are helping the spammers get rich! Let's not make it easy for them! Email petitions are not acceptable to Congress of any other organization - i.e. Social security, etc. To be acceptable, petitions must have a "signed signature" and full address of the person signing the petition, so this is a waste of time and you are just helping the email trackers.

Tips for Handling Telemarketers
Three Little Words That Work! The three little words are: 'Hold On, Please...' Saying this, while putting down your phone and walking off (instead of hanging-up immediately) would make each telemarketing call so much more time-consuming that boiler room sales would grind to a halt. Then when you eventually hear the phone company's 'beep-beep-beep' tone, you know it's time to go back and hang up your handset, which has efficiently completed its task. These three little words will help eliminate telephone soliciting..
Do you ever get those annoying phone calls with no one on the other end? This is a telemarketing technique where a machine makes phone calls and records the time of day when a person answers the phone. This technique is used to determine the best time of day for a 'real' sales person to call back and get someone at home. What you can do after answering, if you notice there is no one there, is to immediately start hitting your # button on the phone, 6 or 7 times as quickly as possible. This confuses the machine that dialed the call, and it kicks your number out of their system. Gosh, what a shame not to have your name in their system any longer!!!

Junk Mail Help:
When you get 'ads' enclosed with your phone or utility bill, return these 'ads' with your payment. Let the sending companies throw their own junk mail away. When you get those 'pre-approved' letters in the mail for everything from credit cards to 2nd mortgages and similar type junk, do not throw away the return envelope. Most of these come with postage-paid return envelopes, right? It costs them more than the regular 44 cents postage, 'IF' and when they receive them back. It costs them nothing if you throw them away! The postage was around 50 cents before the last increase and it is according to the weight. In that case, why not get rid of some of your other junk mail and put it in these cool little, postage-paid return envelopes. Send an ad for your local chimney cleaner to American Express. Send a pizza coupon to Citibank. If you didn't get anything else that day, then just send them their blank application back! If you want to remain anonymous, just make sure your name isn't on anything you send them. You can even send the envelope back empty if you want to just to keep them guessing! It still costs them 44 cents. The banks and credit card companies are currently getting a lot of their own junk back in the mail, but folks, we need to overwhelm them. Let's let them know what it's like to get lots of junk mail, and best of all they're paying for it...Twice! Let's help keep our postal service busy since they are saying that e-mail is cutting into their business profits, and that's why they need to increase postage costs again. You get the idea!

Cosby Has Done It Again

I have decided to become a write-in candidate for president in the year 2012. Here is my platform:

1. Any use of the phrase: 'Press 1 for English’ is immediately banned! English is the official language; speak it or wait outside of our borders until you can.
2. We will immediately go into a two year isolationist attitude in order to straighten out the greedy big business posture in this country. America will allow NO imports, and we'll do no exports. We will use the 'Wal-Mart’s policy, ‘If we don’t have it, you don't need it.' We'll make it here and sell it here!
3. When imports are allowed, there will be a 100% import tax on it coming in here.
4. All retired military personnel will be required to man one of the many observation towers located on the southern border of the United States (six month tour). They will be under strict orders not to fire on south bound aliens.
5. Social Security will immediately return to its original state. If you didn't put nuttin in, you AIN'T getting nuttin out. Neither the President nor any other politician will be able to touch it.
6. Welfare. -- Checks will be handed out on Fridays, at the end of the 40 hour school week, the successful completion of a urinalysis test for drugs, and passing grades.
7. Professional Athletes -- Steroids? The FIRST time you check positive you're banned from sports ... for life.
8. Crime -- We will adopt the Turkish method, i.e., the first time you steal, you lose your right hand. There are no more 'life sentences'. If convicted of murder, you will be put to death by the same method you chose for the victim you killed: gun, knife, strangulation, etc.
9. One export of ours will be allowed: wheat; because the world needs to eat. However, a bushel of wheat will be the exact price of a barrel of oil.
10. All foreign aid, using American taxpayer money, will immediately cease and the saved money will help to pay off the national debt and, ultimately, lower taxes. When disasters occur around the world, we'll ask The American People if they want to donate to a disaster fund and each citizen can make the decision as to whether, or not, it's a worthy cause.
11. The Pledge of Allegiance will be said every day at school and every day in congress.
12. The National Anthem will be played at all appropriate ceremonies, sporting events, outings, etc.

My apology is offered if I've stepped on anyone's toes.... nevertheless..... GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Sincerely,
Bill Cosby

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Maxine Questions

If 4 out of 5 people suffer from diarrhea...does that mean that one out of five enjoys it?
If people from Poland are called Poles, then why aren't people from Holland called Holes?
If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?
Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist, but a person who drives a racecar is not called a racist?
If it's true that we are here to help others, then what exactly are the others here for?
If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, then doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed?
If Fed Ex and UPS were to merge, would they call it Fed UP? ?
Do Lipton Tea employees take 'coffee breaks?'
Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What are we supposed to do, write to them?
Is it true that you never really learn to swear until you learn to drive?
Whatever happened to Preparations A through G?
As income tax time approaches, did you ever notice: When you put the two words 'The ' and 'IRS' together, it spells 'THEIRS'?