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Saturday, August 25, 2012

REMEMBERING WOODIES AND 1969 EXPENSES


From the Hedda Hopper school of journalism:

Dammit, Biden!  I said move the prompter over a 
TRACE; not in front of my FACE!
Flash!  Obama joins the faculty of the Biden school of gaffes. 

A few months ago, Biden referred to candidate Romney as “President Romney” and now Obama refers to current House member and Senate hopeful Todd Akin as “Senator Akin.” 

Was it a Freudian slip?  Was it Biden who pushed the teleprompter in front of Obama’s face recently?  …..And the beat goes on.

This week (August 21) Barb and I had our 45th anniversary so I thought I would dredge up some numbers from that era to compare to now.

I was looking through some old check entries from 1969 which show quite a contrast to the expenses of today.

I don’t have my check register of 1967 when we got married but I still have the receipt from our first grocery shopping trip in Warrensburg, Missouri.    We were setting up house so we needed everything from food to brooms, mops and other one time purchase items.  Our total bill for three jam packed grocery carts was $54 and change.  Today, we spend that much just dropping into the store to “pick up a few things.”

Probably the biggest shocker would be a check I wrote on July 1, 1969 for $19.50.  That was our monthly cost for health insurance through Blue Cross.  Barb had some minor surgery in the summer of ’69 and I later got a bill from the hospital for $2.30.

In those days my doctor in Warrensburg charged me $3 a visit.  That included a $2 discount I received from his usual fee of $5 since I was a student and a veteran.  When we moved to Kansas City later in ’69, my doctor’s fee was $7.50.

In September of ’69 my gas bill in KC was $2.74 for our one bedroom apartment in Overland Park, Kansas.  My monthly bill for the KC Star newspaper was $7.  On June 20, 1969 I filled my ’61 Chevy with its 20 gallon tank for $4.40.  We were shocked if gas ever drifted over 30 cents a gallon.  My electric bill in December, ’69 was $13.82.  My Kansas driver’s license cost $4.50

Houlihan’s Restaurant was a big deal in those days.  Barb and I would eat there for about $12 which included a bottle of rot gut Riunite wine.  Cover charges to great nightclubs were a buck and the beers were 50 cents.

With an income of $13,500 a year, we lived like royalty.  I even had a company car at my disposal.  Sweet memories!
 On the last blog, we got into some car talk and the subject of “Woodies” came up, in particular Middy’s ’49 Ford wagon.  At left is a photo of a ’49 Ford Woody probably a lot like Middy’s.
                             
                              A '48 Ford Woody 
                              How bout that shine!
The woody style was popular mostly in the1930s and 1940s with the Big Three turning them out.  Many early versions were made by third party carpenters or coach builders.  It didn’t matter whether you had a 4 door, coupe, convertible, or station wagon, you get it in a woody style.

A '42 Ford Woody.  (Photo from 1948)
People loved their woodies and many took great pride into polishing them to a beautiful sheen.  They were classy as they looked like a vehicle from some posh country estate.  Ford and Buick even played up that image calling their woodies the “Country Squire”, and the “Estate Wagon.”

By the late 50s the woody style was disappearing mainly because of new safety regulations that wood vehicles couldn’t pass.

I remember those cars very well having grown up when their popularity was at its zenith.  

Friday, August 17, 2012

GOVERNOR BREWER MAKES CORRECT DECISION ON DEFERRED ACTION


It doesn’t take much common sense to see what Obama was up to with his “deferred action” executive order allowing children of illegal immigrants to come out of hiding and stay two years in the U. S. while hopefully working.  It was strictly a political move to grab votes in November since he sees cracks in his veneer being exploited.  Why else would he go after the Hispanic vote?  His record of deportations shows he didn’t care that much about them before.

Now we have 80,000 illegal young immigrants crawling out of their holes in Arizona wanting everything legal citizens get just because Obama is in a bind.  The sobbing sentimentalists continue to sing the same sad song that “they were brought here illegally through no fault of their own.”  That’s true, but whoever said that life is fair?  Their parents should have thought of that instead of selfishly putting their own interests ahead of their kids. 

The parents broke the laws of the United States of America by coming here illegally.  That illegality has cost American taxpayers millions in welfare expenses.   Now, we are supposed to accept their kids in addition to that?  There is a limit to the patience Americans can bear.

Keep it peaceful, Sheriff Joe is watching.
So, in typical fashion, the protesters have once again taken to the streets of Phoenix complaining about Governor Brewer’s not allowing them to get drivers licenses and the inability of them to get in-state tuition to go to school.  Don’t they know that illegals can’t get driver’s licenses?   That is pretty elementary information.  Just reference the brouhaha over SB 1070 for details.  Regardless of what Obama says, they are still considered illegal.

As far as in-state tuition, it’s the same story as they are lucky to even get the $317 per credit hour nonresident fee.  If an American citizen from Utah, New Mexico, or any other state comes here for school, they pay out of state fees.  So, why should illegals get the in-state fee of $76?

One 21 year old illegal female said “It’s really, really disappointing to not be able to get a driver’s license.”  A 24 year old male exclaimed   “She (Governor Brewer) shattered my dreams today.”   I have a suggestion for both of them:  Quit whining and be glad you got what you did. 

I don’t know who is advising these people telling them that they can just walk into the United States and get handed all the luxuries of taxpaying citizens.  They are lucky we have a president who would not even have given them that if not for his hope of political gain.  Yadira Garcia, who is illegal, seems to “get it” when she said “It’s a reality check for everyone who thinks deferred action is the best thing out there.”

In addition to the items mentioned above, other public benefits are also not available such as subsidized child care, unemployment benefits, KidsKare, and a children’s health insurance program.   To those who think that is a bad deal, pay attention.  Spell this word: I-L-L-E-G-A-L.  Sorry, but that’s life.

One thing that will not help the members of the deferred action group is any type of violent protest imvolving  burning and/or defecating on the American flag.  They are getting one hell of a benefit just being able to walk the streets without fear of being arrested.  If they are smart, they will be industrious and make the best of what they have and hope for better in the future.  If not, there are plenty of immigrants waiting at the border to get their opportunity to become citizens the correct way.  

Monday, August 13, 2012

LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO WORRY ABOUT THE SMALL STUFF

The do-gooders are comical is their endless attempts to make sure no one’s feelings are hurt; especially minorities.  I’m sure many minorities are sick to death of these self important phony guardians and wish they could make them disappear with a snap of their fingers.

One of the great black actresses of film in the 1930’s and 40s was Hattie McDaniel.  Hattie played maids in most of her roles in films like “Gone with the Wind” (1939) and “Since You Went Away” (1944).  She was once asked if she felt demeaned because maid roles were about all that were offered black women in those days.  Hattie answered, “I’d rather play maids for $700 a week than be one for $7 a week.”  I’m sure that Hattie’s contemporary, Louise Beavers, would share that opinion.

Hattie needed no help from the PC crowd and neither did black actors like Willie Best (1906-1952) who always played the pop eyed prototype black servant in his many film and TV roles and made good money doing it.

Many other black actors did well in the 30s and 40s. Guys like Fred “Snowflake” Toones, Mantan Moreland, Dooley Wilson, and Rochester (Eddie Anderson) were making big bucks in radio and film and were happy to play sidekicks to white guys to make nice livings.

Stepin Fetchit
 By the end of the 40s guys like Sidney Poitier and James Edwards finally broke the stereotype.  But, McDaniel, Best, and especially Stepin Fetchit (Lincoln Perry, 1902-1985), had immense talent and made a lot of money.  Probably the last thing on their minds was how politically correct their roles were.

Perry became a millionaire with his portrayal as a lazy, slow-witted, jive-talkin' black guy.  He was big in films during the 1930s and still offends some African-Americans now; more than 50 years after his huge popularity. Yet some African-Americans claim he is the first black superstar, and thus a trailblazer for others of his race.  I think they should look at him as a funny and talented guy who portrayed characters that were not uncommon at the time.  You can’t change history so enjoy the humor of Perry and forget the PC garbage.

How long do you think this song would be played today before the PC’ers would faint?  It’s “Chew-Chou Ching-Chong, Cincinnati  Ding Dong” (2:34) and it was huge in 1950 when I was a kid in Cincy.  No one was offended.  Any radio station playing it today would be picketed in about one minute although the song sounds quite innocent to me.

The topper in PC hell has to be the small town of Pekin, Illinois.  Apparently, Pekin is directly across the globe from Peking, China (now Beijing) so to celebrate that fact, the high school sports teams were called the “Chinks” until 1981 when, under some pressure from PC groups, they changed their name to the “Dragons.”

Pekin Chinks, still controversial 
The liberal New York Times did a comment about how wonderful it was that Pekin saw the light and did the right thing in respecting globalization and the feelings of the Chinese who were hurt by the term “Chinks.”

So, how did the town of Pekin respond to their being forced to change their school nickname?  Writer Jeff Lewis, a former resident can tell you:   How did globalization by fiat fare in Pekin? More than twenty years later, home for the holidays, I decided to pick up a Chinks T-Shirt because no one ever believes a High School would select such a ridiculous name. Pop and I rolled over to the T-Shirt House (on South 2nd Street in Pekin). I found no Chinks — and, tellingly, very little Dragons — regalia. Pop isn’t shy. He sauntered over to the desk to inquire with the clerk who, after surveying the store from behind the desk (presumably to ensure no Chinese were shopping), led us into a reasonably-sized, back room with every manner of Chinks memorabilia right down to letterman jackets.

Like the Confederate flags adorning local pick-up trucks, Pekin Chinks continues to linger, reflecting the persistent hold that hatred exerts upon the human mind. I own a Pekin ChinksT-shirt to prove it.”

Right or wrong, ya gotta love the will of Middle America.  My advice?  Lighten up!

Quote of the day from Paul Ryan:  "We promise equal opportunity; not equal outcomes."
  

Saturday, August 04, 2012

CHICK-FIL-A, 8.3? NO, 8.254!, AND DIRTY HARRY'S ENDORSEMENT


A gay “kiss-in” at the Chick-fil-A restaurants?  Chick-fil-A welcomed it as long as the participants were orderly.  The restaurant chain issued a statement that “We understand from news reports that Friday, August 3, may present yet another opportunity for us to serve our customers with genuine hospitality, superior service, and great food.”  Great line!  Hell, why not take advantage of the extra business?

About 15,000 gays were expected to participate across the country which doesn’t sound like many.  Some of them thought it is too much of an “in your face” protest.  I have to agree.  As we noticed from the Chick-fil-A appreciation day this week, thousands joined forces to support the chain and their ideals.  Common sense says that a day of same sex kissing at Chick-fil-A was not going to help the gay cause and would probably hurt it.

According to reports in today’s (8-4) media, the “kiss in” was a giant flop nationally, including in the Phoenix area.   About fifty people showed up at one location in Paradise Valley but the kissing was minimal.  Most of the action was shouting lines like “I am somebody and I demand equal rights.”  That’s a bit confusing to me as I didn’t realize Chick-fil-A was abusing anyone’s rights.  All they have done is state their opinion of marriage when asked.  Gays are welcome in their places any time they wish and some are employed there.  This is just another example of a pressure group taking themselves way too serious.

Is Obama getting more desperate?  It’s almost comical that when the unemployment rate went from 8.2 to 8.3 for July, the White House would say it is actually 8.254.  That is a good example of splitting hairs. There is the cheering over 163,000 jobs being created last month.  Unfortunately, not much mention of the 150,000 jobs lost.  But it is all meaningless when you realize that the actual unemployment figure is 15%.   It doesn’t matter how much creative accounting is applied and how much Obama says it is your “patriotic duty” to pay more taxes, he is on the wrong track.

Clint Eastwood backs Romney:  "I think the country
 needs a boost." (Getty)
As if Obama doesn’t have enough on his plate, Clint Eastwood has announced his support for Romney.  This line from Dirty Harry (1971) is pretty appropriate:  Harry Callahan: “When are you people gonna stop messing around with this guy. He’s gotta be stopped now!”

Interesting recent letter sent to The Arizona Republic:  It was in response to another letter stating that “We don’t fight mandated auto insurance.”

Not everyone owns a car.  Those people are not mandated to buy auto insurance.  Does the letter writer actually believe everyone driving has auto insurance?  If so, why do I have to have coverage against uninsured drivers?

Not everyone owns a house.  Are renters mandated to have insurance?  What about all the exemptions to the mandate.  Not everyone is required to buy mandated health insurance (Just ask Nancy Pelosi).

I would advise all young, healthy people with a good income to pay the penalty tax.  It will be cheaper than a high insurance premium.  Then, later when they get a serious condition, they can buy the mandated health insurance because they can’t be refused coverage and there will be no cap on their costs.

Another letter asks:  If we have a failed Social Security system, failed Medicare, failed Medicade, failed postal system, failed solar companies financially aided by the government, what do we expect to get from Obamacare?   Good question.