Cheap Tomatoes

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We Need Fewer of These

Cheap Tomatoes
(Or why Donald Trump is leading the pack … if this doesn’t get your attention, you better check your pulse!)

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and More of These

900 teachers got laid off from the Los Angeles Unified School District. They are $650,000 over their annual budget. The following comments by an English teacher help to explain one area that looms large over California’s educational crisis. I hope each person receiving this mail will read it carefully, all the way to the end. It is sad what is happening to our great country, all because our politicians are afraid they will miss out on a vote. What a travesty!

This has got to be passed along to as many as possible, or we will all go down the drain because a few don’t care.

This English teacher has phrased it the best I’ve seen yet and it should make everyone think, be you Democrat, Republican or Independent.

From a California school teacher…..

As you listen to the news about the student protests over illegal immigration, there are some things that you should be aware of: I am in charge of the English-as-a-second-language department at a large southern California high school which is designated a Title-1 school, meaning that its students average in the lower socio-economic and income levels.

Most of the schools you are hearing about are South Gate High, Bell Gardens, Huntington Park, etc., where their students are protesting – these are also Title-1 schools.

Title-1 schools are on the free-breakfast and free-lunch program. When I say free breakfast, I’m not talking about a glass of milk and a roll … But a full breakfast and cereal bar with fruits and juices that would make the Marriott proud. The waste of this food is monumental, with trays and trays of it being dumped in the trash uneaten. (Our tax dollars at work!)

I estimate that well over 50% of these students are obese or at least moderately overweight. About 75% or more have cell phones. The school also provides day care centers for the unwed teenage pregnant girls (some as young as 13) so they can attend class without the inconvenience of having to arrange for babysitters or having family watch their kids. (More of our tax dollars at work!)

I was ordered to spend $700,000 on my department, or risk losing funding for the upcoming year even though there was little need for anything. My budget was already substantial, but I ended up buying new computers for the Computer Learning Center, half of which, one month later, were carved with graffiti by the appreciative students who obviously feel humbled and grateful to have a free education in America. (More and more of our tax dollars at work!)

I have had to intervene several times for young substitute teachers whose classes consist of many illegal immigrant students here in the country less than 3 months, who raised so much hell with the female teachers, calling them putas (whores ) and throwing things, that the teachers were in tears.

Free medical care, free education, free food, free day care, etc., etc., etc. Is it any wonder they feel entitled not only to be in this country, but also to demand rights, privileges and entitlements?

To those who want to point out how much these illegal immigrants contribute to our society, because they happen to like their gardener and/or housekeeper, and they like to pay less for tomatoes, I say: Spend some time in the real world of illegal immigration and see the true costs.

Higher insurance, medical facilities closing, higher medical costs, more crime, lower standards of education in our schools, overcrowding, new diseases, etc., etc., etc. For me, I’ll pay more for tomatoes.

Americans, we need to wake up. The guest worker program will be a disaster because we won’t have the guts to enforce it. Does anyone in their right mind really think they will voluntarily leave and return?

It does, however, have everything to do with culture: A third-world culture that does not value education, that accepts children getting pregnant and dropping out of school by age 15, and that refuses to assimilate, plus an American culture that has become so weak and worried about “political correctness,” that we don’t have the will to do anything about it.

If this makes your blood boil, as it did mine, forward this to everyone you know including your Congressman and Senators.

Cheap labor? Isn’t that what the whole immigration issue is about?

Business doesn’t want to pay a decent wage.

Consumers don’t want expensive produce.

Government will tell you ‘Americans don’t want the jobs.’

But the bottom line is cheap labor. The phrase “cheap labor” is a myth, a farce, and a lie. There is no such thing as “cheap labor.”

Take, for example, an illegal alien with a wife and five children. He takes a job for $5.00 or $6.00/hour. At that wage, with six dependents, he pays no income tax, yet at the end of the year, if he files an income tax return, he gets an “earned income credit” of up to $3,200, free.

Also….

1 He qualifies for Section-8 housing and subsidized rent;

2 He qualifies for food stamps;

3 He qualifies for free (no deductible, no co-pay) health care;

4 His children get free breakfasts and lunches at school;

6 He requires bilingual teachers and books;

7 He qualifies for relief from high energy bills;

8 If they are, or become aged, blind or disabled, they qualify for SSI;

9 Once qualified for SSI they can qualify for Medicare (All of this at taxpayer’s {our} expense);

10 He doesn’t worry about car insurance, life insurance, or homeowners insurance;

11 Taxpayers provide Spanish language signs, bulletins and printed material;

12 He and his family receive the equivalent of $20.00 to $30.00/hour in benefits;

13 Working Americans are lucky to have $5.00 or $6.00/hour left after paying their bills and his;

14 The American taxpayers also pays for increased crime, graffiti and trash clean-up.

Cheap labor? Yeah right! Wake up people! These are the questions we should be addressing to the Presidential candidates for either party. And when they lie to us and don’t do as they say, we should replace them at once!

Ugleee!

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For all the folks in the world who think I am a loser here is evidence that I am not. A few months ago a blog that I follow offered an ugly tomato contest and solicited entries. This was my big chance to show the world I can grow a tomato. The plant came from Home Depot and I planted it late. The species was labeled as Big Beefy. I wanted a big, juicy, meaty, red tomato to slice on to my sandwiches. Alongside the Big Beefy I planted a cherry tomato. I can report that I thoroughly enjoyed the cherry tomatoes in abundance all summer. The Big Beefy was somewhat sluggish to produce. When it did finally yield a fruit, it was always a distorted orb with tumor like growths projecting. The one in the photo caught my eye as a work of art and not as a meal. I picked it green to take photos. That’s when Soulsby Farm was looking for candidates. I seized the opportunity if only to redeem this fruit’s self-esteem. It would be an entrant in the ugly tomato contest. Never in a hundred years did I expect Big Beefy to become a finalist. Big Beefy won the runner up award.

I must confess I doctored the fruit just tad. Big Beefy looked very much like an Ogre. So I got creative and used a heavy marking pen to enhance his features with eye-pupils and eye brows. I thought Big Beefy looked rather scary. If he lasts until Halloween he will be my contribution to the night of horrors.

Thank you Soulsby Farm for an entertaining post.

Look Out Idaho Here I come!

A cherry tomato and a beefsteak tomato, showin...

Image via Wikipedia

The devil made me do it. Earlier this summer I left a potato on the counter top too long. I had it there waiting to use it with a dinner.

One day I looked at it and it had all these green sprouts protruding from the eyes. The great experiment began. My mother taught me that if you plant the sprouting eye of a potato it will grow into a plant and produce more potatoes. Why not? I was late in getting my vegetable garden started, and potatoes are a vegetable, right? I carefully cut the sprouting eyes out of the Idaho potato and planted them, five in all.

Sure enough, within a few days five green sprouts broke through the soil. I let them be. I paid more attention to the three varieties of tomatoes I  planted. Of the three, the biggest crop came from the grape size tomato plant. The smallest crop came from Beefsteak, and the third, also called beef-something produced fruit that wouldn’t turn red on the vine.  Last year, the grape tomatoes were sweet and flavorful. This year they were acidic and sour. The fruit on the beef-something distorted and resembled Siamese twins joined at the chest. I wrote a Halloween post about one of the beef-somethings called Graden Creature. Once a beef-something turned red it was tasty, but it required a lot of  trimming of the stem and from the juncture and the distorted twin top.

Visions of my Grampa Jim ran through my mind all summer as I waited for the potato beetle to come and devastate the five plants. Grampa Jim invented the green movement of organic gardening. His method of eliminating the potato beetle was to tour the rows and pick the bugs off the plants by hand. He flicked them into a coffee can with kerosene. Often, when I scoured the shed for nails and tools, I’d look into a coffee can only to find an inch of kerosene in the bottom and a layer of bugs floating on the top. He didn’t waste his cans or kerosene either.

Miraculously the potato bug didn’t arrive in my tiny garden. Last week, during garden cleaning, I finally harvested the potato crop. My heart raced with excitement as I dug for the tubers. Success, I found several under the first plant. These potatoes have a way to go to compete with the Idaho they sprouted from, but it is a start. Look out Idaho, Look out Maine, Grumpa Joe is adding potatoes to his crop.

The 2011 crop

The largest is three inches long, the smallest is the size of a large marble

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