So Sad To Report This…

I’m wafting my way through hundreds of emails, just like I do every morning, and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but an email from Trip Advisor. So I look at it and discover that it has the new listing of the “Top Ten Airlines In The World”. Curious, I decided to open it. I was shocked and saddened by what I found.

 

There were only two United States based airlines in the top ten, and neither are what you are thinking of.

 

The top rated airline in the world was Emirates Air out of Saudi Arabia. That was followed by Singapore Airlines, Azul, an American airline at number four, Air New Zealand, Korean Air, Japan Airlines, Thai Smile, the other American airline at number nine, and Garuda Indonesia at number ten.

 

The two American airlines were Jet Blue at number four and Alaska Air at number nine.

 

What’s sad is that America started the airline industry. We created it. And we have sunk so low in the race to make the most money at it that we are totally out of it when it comes to service (which is what America is supposed to be good at these days, right?). Airlines from all over the world (and mostly the developing nations of the world) have over-taken us. Where are the United’s, American’s, Delta’s, hell, even Southwest’s? Have we become so much of a cattle-call nation when it comes to air travel that we have forgotten what quality air travel is all about?

 

I used to fly a lot more than I do now because quite frankly I live in a vacation hot-spot and don’t have to travel to one two or three times a year. I don’t fly for business anymore, so I don’t have to worry about that. And while I do make the occasional flight to see my son or daughter and their families, it’s usually once a year. So I’m no longer what I would call a semi-frequent flyer. Oh, I still fly for free because I have one of those credit cards that gives you air miles, and my wife loves to shop…but beyond that, I rarely fly. It’s too much of a hassle. The airport parking, the security, the wait at the gate, the delays with no information, the mad-dash to the plane when boarding is announced, the sitting on the tarmac because of some unknown delay, the flight, and then the whole rewind thing on the other end. In a lot of cases, I’ve found it’s easier (and cheaper) to drive. And I don’t have to put up with being cramped for hours at a time and can’t listen to my IPod, or watch a show on my smartphone when I want.

 

No, America has lost a lot in my generation…we’ve lost the ability to effectively manufacture. We’ve lost the ability to effectively govern. We’ve lost the ability to effectively educate our students. And apparently, we’ve lost the ability to effectively and efficiently fly from point A to point B. It’s shocking… and more than a little sad.

 

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Did Politics Catch Up To Howard Schultz?

Howard Schultz, the 63 year old CEO of Starbucks, who’s been at the helm of the coffee giant twice, is stepping down.

Schultz oversaw the growth of the world’s largest coffee company from its inception in 1992 to 2000, and then again in 2008 after profits crashed (along with pretty much everybody else’s) until it’s horrendous downturn this year. It’s unclear why he’s leaving at this particular point in time, some say he’s determined to run for political office, others say it’s because of his controversial remarks dealing with hiring “10,000 refugees” in the wake of Donald Trump’s travel bans that caused the departure. Any way you look at it, since the beginning of the year, Starbucks has been on a downward slide.

Most of the people that understand this stuff better than I, are pointing to the 10,000 refugee remark. They wonder why the uber-lib didn’t offer 10,000 jobs to returning veterans instead, as several other noble-minded companies have done. Instead, he has continued on a leftist bent that has struck a chord with a lot of eco-minded folks, and lately has upset about half of his base, some of whom have refused to purchase their morning java from a company that is so politically motivated.

You can’t argue with success though, and Schultz has built a company from nothing to a multi-billion dollar giant throughout his 17 years at the helm. Oh, there was some growth between 2000 and 2008, when Schultz had stepped away, but that was basically wiped out in the crash of 2008. But as happens with so many, if you stay too long in a position, you risk losing it all if you make a wrong move. Whether Schultz was forced out because of his political stances, or whether he is looking for a different path, like politics to pursue, is something we will have to wait for up the road.

The future for Starbucks isn’t as crystal clear as it once was. Analysts are quick to point out that it may not be because of Schultz and his leadership, but it will be interesting to watch and see what happens to the coffee juggernaut without Schultz at the helm, and the country moving more to the right. It made sense that with an uber-liberal socialist in the White House, the country would be more apt to accept the liberal stances of the company. Now with a much more moderate president, and congress, and soon Supreme Court, will the country be as accepting to a company whose views are rather out of step with mainstream America? Only time will tell.

And whether we will hear from Howard Schultz again, or whether he slips to that rocking chair on his front porch is a question only time will answer as well!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Losing Your Job To Overseas???

One thing that I just can’t wrap my head around is the talk about shipping jobs overseas and how nasty it is and that the practice should be stopped. Now, before I go any farther, let me state unequivocally, that I don’t think it’s a good practice at all, and yes, we should be able to keep these jobs here at home. What bothers me most is WHY this is happening. Let’s examine it a little further.

The left will tell you it’s all because of corporate greed. These greedy huge multi-trillion dollar corporations are shipping the jobs overseas because they’ve found people in Pago Pago or someplace that will work for 23 cents an hour as opposed to the $23 an hour that they want to do the same job in this country. OK, I’ll agree that is a huge problem. But whose fault is it?

Frankly, I blame the unions that have negotiated that $23 an hour wage for those workers. In business terms, they’ve priced themselves out of the market. They are trying for “living wages”, and all of the benefits, and all the while the unions are trying to show the rank and file that they are paying union dues (sometimes in excess of $6,000 a year!) because the unions are worth it. And then it gets to the point where the company sees they can shut down their plant in this country and move somewhere else in the world that doesn’t have unions, doesn’t have $15 minimum wages, and doesn’t know what a “living wage” is, and doesn’t care. And they look at their bottom line, and the fact their stock price is dropping and they wonder what they can do about it. Well, but shipping 2,000 jobs overseas, they save millions of dollars a year in wages and probably millions more in benefits. Is it fair to the American worker? Or, is it a business decision because the American worker has now priced themselves out of the market when compared to the rest of the world?

And no…for the record, I agree that CEO’s that make $50 million a year while shipping jobs overseas isn’t a smart move either. But what you forget is that CEO has been told to make the company profitable for the shareholders anyway he or she can. That’s a pretty short putt when you look at it, and take the emotion of firing a bunch of American workers out of the equation. After all, what do you think the unions’ response would be if that CEO went to them and asked for a $2 an hour wage cut? There’d be a nasty strike. There’d be bad publicity, and there’d be all sorts of added expenses. The “easy” solution for the company is to go where things are more competitive, and you can’t blame them entirely.

So the next time someone on the campaign trail or someone on Facebook tells you that it’s just plain wrong to fire a bunch of Americans and move their jobs overseas, ask the question, “Why?” Why in the world would a company do that? The answer is always going to come back to profitability and money, because after all, that’s what the company’s job is to do…make money for their shareholders. They’re not there to be “good corporate citizens” or show the world how “green” they are. They are there to make their shareholders money. Period.

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Mexico Paying Illegal Aliens To Live In US (And Other Things Rotten In El Paso)

For years I’ve wondered how the Mexican government can just let their people leave like they have. Millions and millions of Mexicans departing their homeland and moving to America…most of them illegally. All the while the Mexican government seemed to turn it’s back to the situation and let them go. Were we getting the scum of the earth like the boat lifts of Castro’s day in Cuba? Are these productive members of society? And why would Mexico give up on it’s people like that rather than try to make their lives better in their own country.

Then I read a piece at Breitbart.com that shed a new light onto the mess. Mexico is actually not turning their back on their people. They’re actually HELPING their people by paying them to live here illegally. They’re paying them to fill out the right documentation to get working permits and papers, to get their kids registered in schools. They’re paying for attorneys that help them through their court proceedings. Overall, the 50 Mexican consulates in this country are working very hard to support their illegal brethren. And we’re the ones not doing anything about it.

Do you think there’s a conspiracy here between the Mexican and American governments? Think about it for a minute. Neither party has been able to stem the tide of illegals coming into this country for years. Hell, for decades. Mexico isn’t doing anything about stopping it. And neither has either party in our government. It just keeps going like a river flowing north. The answer is, of course there’s a conspiracy going on here. I’m not a big conspiracy guy. I don’t think aliens are watching every move, and if there was more than one person that shot Kennedy, they did a great job hiding it for over 50 years. But on this one, I think the only way you can keep millions of illegals pouring into our country and keep our borders porous is with an agreement between the two governments. Somebody has to be turning their back on this, and I think both governments are.

It’s cheaper for Mexico to pay a $400 legal bill one time, than to try and get these people jobs when there aren’t any. And it’s easier for America to accept them tacitly  and to look the other way when businesses hire them to do menial work they can’t find Americans willing to do. Of course, we’re starting to run out of those jobs now that everybody has “redefined” the normal workweek to 30 hours, and most employers are trying to push everyone to part-time status so they don’t have to go along with Obamacare.

Speaking of Obamacare, there is a move afoot, also from Breitbart.com, that these “dreamers”, I still call them illegals, now want to be included in Obamacare. Of course they do. Any medical care that is subsidized by the government for free in most of these cases is better than anything they’re currently getting. And of course, all of these illegal aliens are screaming for a vote “on citizenship”. Wait a minute. No one has said anything about a vote on citizenship. I’ve heard “path to citizenship” but I’ve not heard anything on a “vote on citizenship”. Did I miss something?

No I did not. That has been the goal of the Mexican government, and the illegals from day one. They saw the amnesty back in the Reagan era, and they want another round now, figuring if they have 11 million illegals here, it’s a big enough number to demand amnesty. I don’t think that’s going to happen…especially if the GOP takes over the Senate. Obama may try to issue an executive order, but that’s easily over-turned if the GOP wins the White House in 2016. That’s how you go from amnesty to deported in one fell swoop.

What if the “path to citizenship” vote that probably will take place next year with the new congress, includes securing the border as a condition to any pathway? Well, then you’re going to see the Mexican government pitching in to help. If you impose a $10,000 fine to these people, you’re going to see the Mexican government come up with the money and write the check. Of course, that would be $110 billion dollars. How are they coming up with that much scratch? Pretty easy actually. They have a GDP of $1.2 trillion a year, and that’s growing at 2.9% this year. They could very easily ship off oil to us that would equal $100 billion and not miss much of a beat.

Why are they doing it? It’s not to lose the “best and brightest” because they’re not. Mexico has a better unemployment rate than we do (4.5% in Mexico, 5.9% in the US). They have the 14th largest economy in the world. In short…they’re sending us the people that are not contributing, and we’re getting played by a country that doesn’t have the best economy in the world, but they’re far from being a third-world hell hole that everyone thinks they are. These folks aren’t stupid!

Immigration reform? Sure…why not. But I bet when faced with MY version of it, most illegals from Mexico will be heading back south of the border. Just a hunch.

Carry on world….you’re dismissed!

Emeril Lagasse Gets It…Why Doesn’t Obama?

Emeril Lagasse isn’t what I would call a political figure. The guy single handedly made Food Network a household name. He was the first “super-chef” with his “BAM” and his unique style. But you don’t see him spouting off about politics or how the Democrats need to retain congress. I guess he’s like most chefs. I don’t know Gordon Ramsay’s political point of view either, and I guess that doesn’t matter since he’s British.

But Emeril was appearing on a TNT show the other day and oops…happened to hit the nail on the head. He said that if the Obama Administration doesn’t get out of the way, and let the restaurants in this country be restaurants, they’re all going to pack up and leave this country. He said he doesn’t have anything against Obama per se, other than the fact that no one can afford to follow all of the regulations, and still make a living. All we will have at the end of it are super-high end restaurants that only the uber-rich can afford, and fast food. And he’s right.

That’s because that Emeril understands food. He understands business. He understands what it takes to be successful. And when you take the (R) and the (D) out of it and look at the policies, you have to assume that most businesses are in it to get and keep their customers. You don’t do that in the long run by pissing people off with poor service, or under-cooked chicken. Not for most businesses anyway. And that’s the crux of the problem with government today. They get into our lives too much.

Look, I don’t care if you’re Democrat, Republican, or a friggin’ owl. Your label doesn’t matter to me. What matters to me is the freedom you allow me, and my fellow Americans to enjoy. When you start throwing the EPA down someone’s throat because the red-breasting tufting tit-willow humming bird that lives in a marsh in southeastern Oregon is down to the final 800,000 members of it’s species and you’re going to stop humans from living because of it, we have a problem. When you’re going to tell the millions of coal miners in this country they can’t ply their trade anymore because they pollute the air with their product, yet China is adding a new coal mine every single week? There’s something wrong with that equation. The Chinese don’t have the right to put me out of business by polluting more than I do. When Al Gore wants me to buy carbon credits to “save the planet” because of global climate change warming or whatever he’s calling it this week, he’s lying to me. He wants control of my money. That’s what it’s all about. And it’s got to stop or we’re all going to slowly give away our rights as Americans.

Emeril Lagasse gets it. A friggin’ chef from New Orleans understands the way of America better than the president of the United States. That in and of itself should make the president feel really small and petty. I know it doesn’t but it should. Bobo Obama is a joke to the world. His administration is a joke to Americans. The EPA is nothing more than a bunch of tree huggers who’d do us all a favor if they went away and stayed away. We don’t need them anymore. We don’t need the regulations they pass (without congress) that cost us billions of dollars. And we don’t need other departments in our federal government. I’m going to do some research here in the coming weeks and post what these departments actually cost us, and what we can do without. I doubt I can save at $17 trillion that we’re in debt, since the government isn’t that large, but I bet I can save 30%. We can have the federal debt paid off in less than 20 years. And I’ll be happy to show you how I would plan to do it.

It sickens me that a chef from Louisiana is smarter than his senator. But it’s true. And it’s gotta stop, or we’re all gonna stop. And that’s the way it is!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

If GDP Is UP 4.6% (revised), Why Are 25% Of 25-54 Adults Not Working?

Here is your “Obama Victory Lap” warning of the day. The government came out with a revised second quarter GDP growth of 4.6% late yesterday. That means that Bobo will be out spouting off about how great he’s doing (he has to keep telling himself that!). He’ll rant about how despite a GOP congress that has blocked every single initiative he’s had to fix the economy, and how they’ve constantly not done anything in the House of Representatives, he’s managed to get the economy going again. He’ll use the phrase, “We’ve still got a long way to go” at least once or twice. And I’m just here to tell you there are some real problems with what he’s going to say. Some would call them “Pinocchio’s”. I prefer to call them what they are….lies.

See, if Obama doesn’t toot his own horn, nobody else will. The press turned on him after racist attorney general Eric Holder went after the Associated Press phone records, and tried to say that Fox News’ James Rosen was spreading classified information for just doing his job. Of course, most of the people at AP are white, and oops. So is James Rosen! Shame on you Eric Holder, you little racist you!

Anyway, the economy grew at a revised 4.6% in the second quarter compared to a dismal retraction in the first quarter that could have been partially blamed on the weather, but mostly on Obama’s policies. Obama lies on the GOP House not doing it’s job. There are currently 327 bills sitting in Harry Reid’s in box in the senate that the House has passed, but their waiting for Harry to schedule a vote. Bobo, I don’t think the problem is in the House. Call your boy, Harry and ask him what the holdup is! We know it’s happening, you don’t have to lie about it anymore. Secondly, I will actually agree with Bobo when he says, “We’ve still got a long way to go!” He’s 100% right. That’s because even though the economy has grown, his unemployment rate is way to high for the growth we’re seeing. It doesn’t make economic sense. In fact, the Senate Budget Committee’s minority report (the majority, in case you didn’t know, are all Democrats), says that one in four adults between the ages of 25-54 are not working. That translates into a 25% unemployment rate for that age group. 25%! That’s about the unemployment rate of Spain. Now, it doesn’t show up in the number the mainstream media shows you every month. That number is usually around 6%. So why the difference?

The 6% number that’s often touted as the “official” unemployment rate doesn’t count people that have stopped looking for work because they know they’re not going to find anything. When you factor those folks into the equation, the number balloons to 25% for 25 to 54 year olds. It includes men and women, black, white, Hispanic, Chinese, and every other nationality and ethnic group under the sun. It’s the big enchilada. It’s the REAL unemployment number…the number any administration doesn’t want to show you because it’s a lot higher than the “official” number. But it’s the REAL number.

So, if we’re growing at a 4.6% revised rate, why does a quarter of the “working age” population not work? Is it because they are lazy? Is it because they’re tired? Is it because they’ve moved to Colorado or Washington to get high? Maybe a little of each, but the main reason is because the economy hasn’t returned the jobs it lost in the Great Obama Recession. It happens a lot, and the job market has to adjust after every recession. Usually there are a certain number of jobs that just go away. Businesses realize they don’t need that many people, and they work the ones that do have a job a lot harder, demanding more out of them for the same pay. Those folks that DO still have a job are between a rock and hard place. If they complain, they could become the next ones to get the pink slip, so they keep their mouth shut, lucky to have a job…a full time job with health insurance that doesn’t have Bobo’s name attached to it.

We won’t be seeing that unemployment rate coming down anytime soon either. That’s because when it’s up there, usually most of those folks either get an entrepreneurial spirit and start their own businesses, or they get re-trained and find something else to do with their lives. Very few actually say “Screw it”, and stay on the sidelines because most can’t afford to do that. It’s getting to the point where you’ve got a lot of government handout programs like SNAP that make it easy to do just that. And it will take an act of Congress to undo all of Bobo’s handouts, what we affectionately refer to as “Obama Money”.

Getting an economy moving again after a recession isn’t a big deal. These things are cyclical and they have their own lives. They rise and fall regardless what the government does. Oh, they may be able to prolong a growth period or, shorten a recession by a little, but not by a lot. And the inverse is true as well. The problem comes when you have feckless leadership that has no clue what they’re doing. Like now!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

It’s A Bird…It’s A Plane….It’s On FIRE!

Imagine yourself driving through California. You’re seeing some remarkable sights. And I bet you’re going to see one that you didn’t expect. As you drive by a “solar farm”, a bunch of land with thousands of mirrors all aiming the sun’s rays at a boiler tower, you see something else. A flock of birds, I don’t care what kind, flying over the site. One by one the birds burst into flame and fall to the ground. An environmental nightmare? That depends which environmentalist wacko you want to listen to.

Oh, it’s happening every single day. In fact, thousands of birds have been bar-b-qued as they flew over such a field. On one hand, you’ve got people like PETA nad the Wildlife Federation that are incensed that these solar farms are killing their feathered friends. On the other, you’ve got the alternative enrgy nuts that are applauding this great new source of energy…so what if a few birds get fried while we don’t have to use coal!?

I actually think it’s funny because it points out the biggest flaw in liberalsm. Well, it’s the second biggest flaw. The biggest flaw in liberalism is you always run out of other people’s money. The second biggest flaw is, it’s a bunch of rag-tag groups that are stitched together against “the man” and want to see their particular cause, be it gay rights, abortion rights, environmentalism, animal protection, dairy cow flatulance, whatever, get more attention. And when you get some of these guys butting heads, it’s just plain fun to watch.

Take the Keystone XL Pipeline project that Bobo Obama is sitting on. He doesn’t want to make a decision on it, because he’s going to piss off one of his strongest support groups if he does. Unions want to see the project go through because they stand to gain a crap load of new union members. That’s something they’re sorely needing at this point. Environmentalists are hell bent against the Keystone project because they say it will damage the land. Actually in truth the Environmentalist Wacko’s are wrong. It would cause a lot LESS damage to the environment than what they’re currently doing, which is using trucks and rail cars to go from the tar sands of Canada to Houston to refine it. You actually have a much greater chance of spillage and damage if you ship by rail and road as opposed to pipeline. But the wacko’s are wacko’s and they don’t care.

So, in California, you’ve got animal rights groups…people that think animals have all the rights that you and I have, versus the alternative energy wacko’s that think that using coal or oil, or God fobid nuclear is just an abomination. You have to use wind or solar or hydro-electric to generate power. And the birds be damned.

So the battle lines are drawn. Where will it end? Who knows with this bunch. No one is playing with a full deck on that side of the Arizona border anyway, so I guess it doesn’t matter!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!