Geography Lesson: Egypt

Egypt has been in the news recently because of civil unrest and violence over the continued rule of President Hosni Mubarak. Mubarak was ‘democratically’ elected and has served for more then 30 years as president. Many American’s do not pay much attention to foreign affairs and I assume most of us don’t know much about the country other then the pyramids. Therefore, here is a short geography lesson on Egypt:
Egypt is located on the northern corner of Africa along the southern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Gaza Strip and the Middle East are neighbors to the east while Libya is to the west. With history dating back as far as 3200 B.C, it is one of the worlds oldest civilizations. The population is just over 80 million in a country 3 times as big as New Mexico. To learn more about Egypt (or any other country) go to The World Factbook at http://www.cia.gov/ where I found most of this information.

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Agent Orange

I love shoes but they don’t love me. My shoe size is 11.5 EEE. Understandably this makes shoe shopping difficult. But as anyone with wide feet can tell you, New Balance is a bear’s best friend. I have owned a pair of NB sneakers consistently for the past 10 years. Now the creative team at J Crew is getting in on the action. The preppy retailer is now selling limited edition New Balance sneakers in colors specifically designed for their customers. I’m in love with this orange pair. The ‘retro’ style has always been one of my favorites but it has also been the one style typically no offered in wide width. J Crew continues that tradition by offering only standard width. For that reason, I am sharing them with you. If I can’t have them hopefully someone else will give them a good home.

New Balance® for J.Crew 1400 sneakers in Raw Steel. $130

Shop http://www.jcrew.com/ for more details and colors.

Beach Bear Drag Queen

Dear Sir,

You are hot. However, the hotness is ruined by your tattoos. Lets start below the waist. You look like you’re wearing thigh high stockings. It’s not a good look. Second, you’re neck… Why did you choose the boyscout neckerchief design for a tattoo? Just the sleaves would have been perfect, but now you look like beach bear drag queen.

Sincerely
Judgemental in Jacksonville

P.S. If you are a drag queen, props for saving money on leggings.

More Money More Problems

Gov. Quinn of Illinois
Tax season has started. With that in mind, I wanted to give a shout out to Gov. Pat Quinn and Illinois lawmakers. Earlier this month Gov. Quinn passed a tax increase that is the largest increase in the state’s history. (from 3% to 5%) It may sound strange that I am applauding an increase in taxes, but I give Illinois credit for making some hard decisions that needed to be made. The state now has a $13 Billion debt. (that’s nine zeros) Many states around the country are facing similar budget issues. However most have not come up with a plan to fix the problem. Something has to give. No one wants higher taxes, but they also don’t want budget cuts. Republicans are always talking about cutting government spending. Although I’ve never heard a someone actually say what specific programs should be cut. I’m not saying one way is better then the other, but if you don’t want higher taxes you better prepare for deep budget cuts. Which logically leads toward jobs cuts. So if you had to choose a tax hike or loosing your job…which would you pick? In that light, the idea of a tax increase doesn’t sting as bad. This always makes me think of Southwest Airline. I remember learning in college that the company has a policy where they will not lay anyone off. Instead they have the right to lower wages in order to save jobs. It’s a very interesting policy.
There is a basic rule of finance that I’ve used in my own life. To pay off debt there are three options:

1. Make more money

2. Spend less money

3. A combination of steps 1 and 2