Sunday, September 24, 2017

Observations From the Poop Deck



I just returned from a cruise to the Eastern Caribbean for 7 days.  Here are my observations from the “Poop Deck”.

  • It seems that 70% of the passengers on the ship were overweight with some bordering on the semi-obese and the obese.
  • How some of these “proportionately challenged” passengers were able to navigate around the ship and in the “midget-sized” (a politically incorrect description) bathroom was beyond my comprehension.  It looked like the shower stall was modeled after Olive Oyl, so getting in and out of it by these bloated passengers was an almost impossible task.
  • Some of these over sized passengers were even lounging around in bathing suits on the sun deck.  It reminded me of someone trying to put 10 lbs. of potatoes in a 5 lb. bag.  It was a sight to behold.
  • Of course, the various restaurants around the ship were frequented by these huge “patrons of the culinary arts” with platefuls of mostly food with a high carbohydrate content.
  • In addition to the plus sized group were the passengers with mobility problems.  On some occasions it looked like a form of that old carnival attraction called “Bumper Cars” only this time it was between the passengers using walkers and wheelchairs.  It was quite a sight to see.
  • And then there were the passengers who thought they could break the ships “Casino Games”, not realizing that the slot machines were rigged to limit any enormous payouts, and that the “21” table was there to relieve the naive passengers of any money left over after playing the slots.  The odds of winning on cruise ships is like winning the lottery.
  • A major change has taken place on most all the cruise ships in regards to the “dress up nights”.  For many years, it was the practice for both the men and women to dress up in tuxedos and evening dresses on a couple of nights in order to add class to the atmosphere aboard the ship. NO MORE.  Now they have “smart casual” and “smart chic” nights.  To some it meant wearing pressed jeans with no holes in the pant legs.
  • I also noticed that the food portions were less than what was offered years ago.  On the night of the standard “lobster dinner” you had to order a double portion in order to get more than one bite of the lobster tail that was presented. In a way, less food on a cruise ship might be considered a healthy way to eat with less calories.
  • The entertainment provided was excellent as usual.  The energetic singers and dancers (mostly guys and gals in their early twenties) were very talented and they put on a great show which most of the passengers enjoyed immensely.  The production numbers were professionally done and rivaled the Broadway shows which cost a fortune to attend.
  • Finally, the ports-of-call were geared to the females being able to drag their less than enthusiastic husbands and traveling partners to visit the various jewelry and watch stores that proliferated in these port towns.  Most stores had chairs available for the “bored” men to sit down and relax as the women-folk went about charging up a storm on the credit card.
  • As usual, the cruise experience was both a relaxing and hectic adventure for all who were aboard, and it was a good feeling to be going back home to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the old abode.

Conservative commentary by Chuck Lehmann  














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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Monument to Hillary


I have the distinguished honor of being a member of the Committee to raise $50,000,000 for a monument to Hillary R. Clinton.

We originally wanted to put her on Mt. Rushmore until we discovered there was not enough room for her two faces.

We then decided to erect a statue of Hillary in the Washington, D.C. Hall of Fame. We were in a quandary as to where the statue should be placed. It was not proper to place it beside the statue of George Washington, who never told a lie, nor beside Barack Obama, who never told the truth, because frankly, Hillary never could tell the difference.

We finally decided to place it beside Christopher Columbus, the greatest Democrat of them all. He left not knowing where he was going, and when he got there he did not know where he was. He returned not knowing where he had been, and did it all on someone else's money.

____________
Jim Pirretti
Chandler, AZ













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Sunday, September 17, 2017

There's No Such Thing as a “Free Lunch"


That expression has been regularly used over the years to convey the idea that anything that is offered as “free” really isn't free, but is a hidden cost and a possible burden to others.

Ever since the “New Deal”, during FDR's administrations, politicians have been promising people something for nothing in hopes that those people will respond favorably in the future and vote for those politicians doling out the “free” largesse from the public treasury. Well, today the “chickens are coming home to roost” (a phrase made popular by Obama's former pastor/mentor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright). Many states are facing bankruptcy due to the fact that their “generous” fiscal policies, granted to favored groups and unions over the years, are coming back to bite them in the butt, big time. Many state pension funds are woefully underfunded, government salaries have been grossly inflated, and work rules shamefully relaxed, under intimidating union pressure. These past labor policies have now prevented many states from prospering, and as a result, have brought them to a “financial Armageddon” which is now being played out in the states of Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, California, New York etc.

Most rational people are not against government workers getting a public funded pension and benefits, but feel that these government workers should have to contribute towards these “Cadillac” pensions and health care programs and not leave the burden to be carried on the backs of the taxpayers by raising their taxes to pay for these fringe benefits alone. Over the years, due to pressure from the union bosses, during collective bargaining negotiations, the politicians have “sweetened” the “pot” to make public pensions and health care impossible to sustain by the taxpaying public.

How can you justify that 80% of the retirees in the NYC Fire Department retire on “disability pensions” collecting almost 100% of their salary, tax-free? How can you justify that a NYC bus driver, sanitation worker, transit authority employee, train conductor etc., can almost double his/her “lawful” pension by using “overtime pay” during their last couple of years of service as a pension enhancer to jack up their annual retirement pay to be used in the determination of their pension? Unused sick days and unused vacation time have also been used to jack up a potential retirees final salary, giving them a much higher pension than they would have earned by using their regular salary only.

Most private employees do not get what the public employees (government workers) get and feel that the salary enhancing ploys are not fair or justifiable in today's dire economic environment. They believe that everyone should be contributing something toward their own retirement fringe benefits.

The governor's, of many of our states, have to balance their budgets and must rein in these overly generous “freebies”. That must be their priority in trying to bring financial sanity back to the public workplace. The demonstrations in both Illinois and Ohio are a pitiful display of self-serving boorish behavior on the part of these well-paid government union workers, who want to keep the status quo by opposing any changes whatsoever, even in the face of a state going off the “financial cliff”.

Yes Virginia, there is no such thing as a “free lunch” and the sooner we realize that the better off we will be.

Conservative commentary by Chuck Lehmann






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Thursday, September 7, 2017

The LEFT, the RIGHT and the FAR OUT


The Far Out are phony demonstrators known as Antifa, Occupy Wall Street, Black
Lives Matter and other idiotic but dangerous mobs, who have been given life and
headlines by fake news media.

This past week we witnessed the best that America has to offer, in Texas and
Louisiana, coming from every corner of the country, to assist those in distress and
dire need.

Unfortunately, it will be just a matter of time for the worse in America to appear again,
when the Far Out flex their muscles in another phony grievance, blemishing the good
Godly people gave for their fellow man, abetted in support by ungodly fake media
news sources and some on the Left with the Democratic label.

The President and members of his administration's commendable approach toward
the devastation created by Hurricane Harvey has the editorial boards from fake news
sources grinding their teeth and busy exploring ways to come up with a viable,
nonfactual creative story, to blame the storm on President Trump,knowing what ever
he does can easily be twisted to dupe the naïve public; but so far all they came up
with was a critique on First Lady, Melania's shoes.

Stay tuned for more creativity by the Gray Lady, Washington Post and CNN.

Conservative column from George Giftos















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Sunday, September 3, 2017

Trickle Up Poverty


When Ronald Reagan ran for president in 1980, his opponents scoffed at his proposal to lower taxes, calling the possible results as “Trickle Down Economics” (a/k/a Reaganomics). They said it was a worthless economic policy. Was it?

In theory, TDE is an economic system where there is no significant barrier to accumulation of wealth by individuals. If the rich do well, as the theory goes, benefits will “trickle down” to the rest of the people. Lower taxes on high income earners or capital gains will benefit not only the rich but everybody on the lower income rungs, is how that theory is supposed to work. Reagan's critics had to “eat crow” as the economy boomed after the Reagan tax cuts kicked in. The resulting prosperity lasted more than 25 years. Yes, the rich got richer, but so did the poor and middle-class, “a rising tide lifted all boats”, as Jack Kennedy once opined. The economy was booming during the late 80's and 90's as a result of Reagan's “Trickle Down Economics”.

As envy took hold among a certain section of the population, mainly by liberal Democrats, they thought that by lowering taxes it would decrease government revenue, but during Reagan's two terms, government revenue practically doubled as a result. The clamor for higher tax rates resonated across the national scene, pushed by the Democrats. They claimed it was unfair that rich people got richer and as a result they felt that some of those extra riches should be confiscated by the government by raising taxes on the wealthy. For the last 20 years, drip by drip and little by little, the Democrats have pushed for successful people to pay more taxes into the federal treasury to help fund the money losing social programs instituted by the liberal politicians looking to shore their low-information and poor people voting base. Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, the Democrat presidential candidates in 2016, both championed the Marxist/Socialist economic philosophy, as part of their campaign proposals which included “income redistribution”, which is one of the planks of socialist theory (take from the rich to give to the poor – the Robin Hood syndrome).

During the period of when Reagan's tax cuts kicked in (1983 to 2007), America's net worth climbed from $25 trillion to $57 trillion. In fact, more wealth was created in the U.S. during those 25 years than in the previous 200 years. This period was called by many economists “the greatest period of wealth creation in the history of the planet”. Besides cutting taxes, Reagan lifted price controls on oil and natural gas, cut regulations, took on the unions, and advocated for free trade. All this booming economy came to an abrupt halt in 2008, mainly as a consequence of wrongful public policy (the housing mortgage meltdown), which was promoted by the Democrats to give mortgages to not creditworthy poor people (potential Democrat voters) which resulted in massive credit defaults and a nasty recession.

The old adage of “people who don't learn from history are bound to repeat it” (this was a George Santayana quote) is something the Democrats haven't learned, as they want to punish success through taxing and regulating the producers over and above what is fair and equitable. In economics, there comes a “point of diminishing returns” which generally comes about when you take the incentive away from businesses and entrepreneurs by over taxing and over regulating them. After all, the top 10% of income earners now pay 70% of all income taxes, and they are vilified by the liberal left as not paying their “fair share”. Compare that “fairness” with the fact that 47% of income earners pay no federal income tax ( is that fair?). For example, a few years back the government, in their abject stupidity, instituted a “luxury tax” on products that wealthy people normally bought such as yachts, expensive cars etc. that cost $30,000 or more. The result of this action caused the wealthy people to curtail or stop their purchase of these luxury goods, thereby putting some of the producing companies of these luxury products out of business and the resulting layoff of thousands of workers, who were not wealthy. This oppressive tax was finally repealed after a short period of time. Was that a lesson to be learned by the Democrats, apparently not?

The policies put forth by the Democrats today is tantamount to reversing the theory of “Trickle Down Economics” which worked so well for so many years, and now they want to change it to “Trickle Up Poverty” as that will be the result if the tax and spend Democrats ever get back control of the government in future elections.

Conservative commentary by Chuck Lehmann





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