Personal Benefits of Supporting Local Business

A recent report from American Express suggests for every $100 spent in a locally-owned business, $60 stays within the immediate community. Local consumerism is a conscious choice (not always the cheapest or most convenient) for many people. Some of my favorite local companies are Linda's Gifts, San Diego Hat Co, Macbeth, and Toe Sox.

American Express Identifies 'A New Era of Pause and Purchase' With Five Key Trends Driving Consumer Spending in 2011 and Beyond
  • Report finds locally-sourced goods, digital shopping and "Give-a-nomics" are among top trends re-shaping the American consumer
  • More than half (54%) of Americans said they try to support their local economy
  • Over a third (38%) of Americans equate being good and ethical to quality of life, far higher than being rich (5%)
  • 41% of Americans cite internet accessibility as the biggest factor affecting spending habits in years to come.
The key trends that are shaping American consumer spending today were identified based on a combination of consumer survey data, expert interviews and qualitative research that form consumer case studies:

1. Rurbanism
Urban consumers report that they are shifting their habits towards those of their rural neighbors, seeking more local, home-grown and community-focused interactions, both in-person and online. These "rurbanites" buy to be part of their local community and are shopping for more sustainable products that protect the environment.
  • 31% of survey respondents say they want to be part of their local community so they purchase from more local brands and vendors
  • 55% of consumers are concerned about the quality of products over quantity
  • More than half (54%) of Americans said they try to support their local economy
2. Give-a-nomics
Consumers are choosing purchases that allow them to give back to charity, preserve the environment or help their communities. They are increasingly expecting brands to be socially responsible, and are looking for ways to make their everyday purchases count.
  • 83% of Americans wish more products, services and retailers would support worthy causes
  • 36% say they expect brands to be ethical
  • 30% expect brands to be environmentally friendly


  • Organization: The Flower Fields
  • Date(s): March 1 - April 30, 2011
  • Contact person: Joni Miringoff
  • Phone: 760-930-9123 x118
The Flower Fields® in Carlsbad, California, is currently seeking volunteers for our spring 2011 season.  Duties will include conducting walking children’s tours and/or adult tours.  Sitting positions include conducting visitor surveys, hand stamping at exits, and distributing general information to our visitors.  Training will be provided in January and January for tours being given from March 1st – April 30th, 2011.  Tours are normally scheduled between the hours of 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM.  Hours are flexible. Volunteers must like flowers and must enjoy working with people and being outdoors.  Experience is not required.
Professor Blight offers some thoughts on the nature of history and the study of history, before moving into a discussion of the reasons for Americans' enduring fascination with the Civil War. The reasons include: the human passion for epics, Americans' fondness for redemption narratives, the Civil War as a moment of "racial reckoning," the fascination with loss and lost causes, interest in military history, and the search for the origins of the modern United States. 
This course explores the causes, course, and consequences of the American Civil War, from the 1840s to 1877. The primary goal of the course is to understand the multiple meanings of a transforming event in American history. Those meanings may be defined in many ways: national, sectional, racial, constitutional, individual, social, intellectual, or moral. Four broad themes are closely examined: the crisis of union and disunion in an expanding republic; slavery, race, and emancipation as national problem, personal experience, and social process; the experience of modern, total war for individuals and society; and the political and social challenges of Reconstruction. - Courtesy of Academic Earth


A Roomful of Yearning and Regret

"I know this for two reasons: No. 1, I have had an affair; No. 2, I have been the victim of one. When you unfurl these two experiences in the sunlight for comparison, and measure their worth and pain, the former is only marginally better than the latter. And both, frankly, are awful." Wendy Plump


"Unbroken," Author of Sea Biscuit

Looking For a New Read or a Terrific Christmas Present?
Check out this review of Unbroken, from the Author of Seabiscuit: Hillenbrand tells his story as a nearly continuous flow of suspense. She opens with a gripping two-page glimpse of Army Air Forces bombardier Zamperini in mortal danger, lying on a raft in the Pacific on June 23, 1943. He and three other survivors of a plane crash are gaunt after 27 days at sea: "Sharks glided in lazy loops around them, dragging their backs along the rafts, waiting." Spotting a plane, Zamperini fires off two flares only to discover that it is a Japanese bomber. Strafing begins.


Scammers Target Desperate Job Seekers

I have always wondered about these "work from home" adverts seen around town and in local newspapers. "It's an epidemic. It's opportunity time for fraud artists, and people are so desperate to earn a living that they easily fall for the scam," said Ellyn Lindsay, an assistant U.S. attorney in Los Angeles who has prosecuted several of these swindlers. Read this expose and its' cautionary tale.

 "Remind each other of what is at stake, as third-siders. It's easy to lose perspective, become angry, and overreact. "