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By Rosie Flores
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What's the most popular toy this Christmas? What's on every child's
dream wish list? Cabbage Patch dolls? Power Rangers? The Holiday Barbie?
The answer to all of the above is "no." None of these toys is tops on
children's lists this Christmas.
"Tickle Me Elmo" is the hottest new item on every child's wish list.
What's a "Tickle Me Elmo?" The Sesame Street character that giggles
when you press his tummy is the latest toy craze this Christmas. And
everybody is out to purchase one for that special child they have
waiting at home.
A few years back shoppers were scrambling, bartering and begging for
the Cabbage Patch doll. Dolls with big round faces, that basically
didn't do anything, but became collectible items for those who really
Other toys have come and gone. Remember the Power Rangers? These were
very popular, what only a year ago? It seems the rangers aren't as
popular as they were then. They, too, have been replaced.
But what really makes a toy so popular? Is it because it can do
something special? Because it comes from a popular cartoon character?
That's a mystery that's yet to be solved.
Indiviuals this Christmas are trying to net one of these beloved dolls,
the "Tickle Me Elmo," from any place they can including through the
Internet. They are fighting for it in normal stores such as K-marts!
They are bartering, trading and, yes, begging for this special
acquisition. They just have to purchase it for their 2-year-old at home.
Does a 2-year-old even know what they want for Christmas or is it more
Maybe it's just the thrill of the chase. The plush doll is made by Tyco
Toys., giggles when you press the stomach and is really not that
One teenager got smart and put his bidding on the internet. E-mail
bidding went up to $200 for the furry prize, which sells for under $30
at retail stores.
If you can find it, that is!
EDITOR'S NOTE: Rosie Flores is an Enterprise writer and editor of
Lifestyles and Golden Years. Her column appears each Thursday.
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By DR. RICHARD L. LESHER
WASHINGTON - After all the overwrought criticism of the alleged
conservative "extremism" of the 104th Congress, and the often virulent
denunciations of House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the voters saw fit to
return a legislative majority led by Gingrich that is, if anything, more
conservative than before.
This just might be because the voters, despite some reservations about
tactics, recognized the significant achievements of the 104th Congress
and wish to see its work continued for another legislative cycle. That
the 104th Congress was one of the most productive in memory is
abundantly clear. Among other things, it:
* Applied basic labor laws, such as The Fair Labor Standards Act and
the Occupational Safety and Health Act, to itself and congressional
employees. Now our elected representatives are learning first hand how
petty and obnoxious federal regulations can be. This sensible measure
should have been enacted years ago.
* Reduced federal discretionary spending for the first time since 1969,
thus significantly reducing the federal deficit.
* Reduced the number of bureaucrats employed by 29 of the 39 major
federal departments, including staff reductions of the Internal Revenue
* Actually eliminated more than 270 programs and agencies.
* Privatized more federal programs in two years than the Reagan
administration did in eight years, despite its strong commitment to
* Enacted the most sweeping reform of agriculture in 60 years, freeing
farmers to plant what they wish to plant free of government dictates.
* Enacted long overdue reforms of our food satety laws, including
repeal of the obsolete Delaney clause's applicability to pesticides.
* Enacted the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 to curb the federal
appetite for records and reports from the private sector.
* Enacted the Unfunded Mandates Act to require Congress to fund
requirements it imposes upon local government, and to review mandates
imposed on the private sector.
* Enacted legislation requiring an accounting of regulatory costs
imposed on the private sectog and an assessment of the impact on our
* Enacted sweeping reforms of a welfare system which everyone agrees
tends to trap people in an endless cycle of dependency.
* Enacted important reforms of the telecommunications and securities
industry, making changes that were long overdue.
* Enacted health care reforms to enable people who change jobs to take
their health insurance with them. and people with pre-existing
conditions to acquire health insurance.
Of course, the most important work of the 104th Congress was to greatly
reduce the federal deficit, thus freeing up capital for productive
private investment and consumption. The continuing growth of the economy
we see about us is the result.
It may be true that in some areas the 104th Congress tried to do too
much too fast. Certainly, some of the items on the famous Contract With
America did not become law - at least not yet. But great achievements
seldom flow from timid aspirations. The 104th Congress aimed high and
achieved much. The 105th Congress will serve itself well to honor that
record and seek to build upon it.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Dr. Lesher is president of the U.S. Chamber of commerce.
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Wise men and women have pondered many things since the beginning of
mankind, and there truly seem to be no answers to some questions.
However, this puzzle has one, and if any of you readers have the answer,
would you please drop me a note in the mail in care of your newspaper?
You put $50 in the bank, then make withdrawals as follows: Draw out $20
- leaving $30; Draw out $15 - leaving $15; Draw out $9 - leaving $6;
Draw out $6 - leaving $0; Total Draw = $50 - Total left = $51. Huh?
For the moment, let's assume there really is no logical explanation to
the above puzzle. The question is, what difference does it make and why
do I present it? First, I don't think it will make any difference in the
overall scheme of things. However, it might serve a useful purpose if it
hits your hot button and forces you to think about the puzzle. In the
process of searching for the answer, some creative thoughts will be
generated, which could be quite beneficial.
In our hurry-hurry world, we're on an "acquisition journey" to acquire
all the knowledge and information in this high-tech world of ours we
possibly can. Question: How do we use that knowledge? Knowledge has been
described as the fuel of wisdom, so the more knowledge we have,
theoretically, the more wisdom we will have. However, wisdom is the
correct use of the truth in the knowledge which we have. Incidentally,
wisdom is a spiritual dimension, and it's important that we understand
that because God is the source of wisdom. He uses man to dispense
knowledge, which helps us in our journey toward that wisdom. Think about
it, ponder this, take the appropriate action, and I'll see you at the
"Get the pattern of your life from God, then go about your work and be
yourself."- Phillip Brooks
EDITOR'S NOTE: Zig Ziglar is a motivational speaker whose column is
copyrighted and distributed by Creators Syndicate Inc.
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Editor Mac McKinnon's "Observations" on the first Thanksgiving (PE
12-6-96) will be welcomed by every Christian patriot.
Juan de Onate's trek across the desert of Samalayuca in Chihuahua to
the present city of El Paso, climaxed by a Christian service of
thanksgiving in 1598, serves to reinforce claims of this nation's
We welcome yet another evidence that our forefathers, whether of the
northeastern United States or the Southwestern United States, looked to
the Heavenly Father as provider and Lord.
My wife has for several years joined the El paso Thanksgiving to the
Plymouth Thanksgiving in her classroom. Prompted by mac's "Observations"
and my wife's example, I intend to enrich my annual tribute to the
Pilgrims - from the pulpit - with at least some grateful recognition of
the Onate expedition and its service of thanks at El Paso in 1598.
-- Rodney B. Peacock
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