America Just Can’t Make It Anymore.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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USA industrial economy

The statement in the title is not true, except that it is.

If you are a little confused stay with me and let me clarify.

The United States used to be the industrial power house of the world. Its industries generated unprecedented wealth for the country, creating the world’s first self-made billionaires and productive wealth creating jobs galore for everyone. The whole country prospered.

Today, however, the United States has become the world’s second biggest importer of goods. Worse than that, even though America still exports billions of dollars’ worth in oil, consumer goods and automotive products, it imports even more. This creates a trade deficit ($471 billion according to recent figures).

US Trade Deficit

So what are all these imports into the US?

Well, they include industrial machinery and equipment ($681 billion), automotive vehicles, parts, and engines ($309 billion), miscellaneous private services, primarily financial services ($201 billion), cell phones ($90 billion), travel passenger services ($86 billion), pharmaceuticals ($84 billion), computers ($65 billion), chemicals ($61 billion), other transportation services ($59 billion), computer accessories ($57 billion), telecommunications equipment ($54 billion), royalties and license fees services ($42 billion), apparel ($49 billion), petroleum products ($48 billion), fuel oil ($44 billion), industrial supplies ($29 billion), U.S. Government service imports primarily defense ($25 billion), fish ($18 billion), fruit ($13 billion), and vegetables ($11 billion).

Cartoon imports

If you are a bit shell-shocked by all those figures let me phrase it a bit differently using as examples the types of goods you would tend to buy.

  • 100% (almost) of the shoes bought in the U.S. come from China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Mexico;
  • 90% of white goods (washers, fridges, etc.) and consumer electronics are imported;
  • 85% of household furniture is imported;
  • 80% of cars on U.S. roads come from Canada (31%), Japan (24%), Germany (16%) and Mexico (12%); and,
  • 65% of U.S. clothing is imported from China (37%), Vietnam (9.4%), Indonesia (7.2%) and Bangladesh (6.7%).

Probably the saddest part is that even things you thought were “American” are now actually made overseas and imported.

I remember while on a business trip to the US many, many years ago I bought a gift for the young son of a friend of mine. He was a big sports enthusiast so I reckoned that one of the most iconic symbols of sport from America would be a baseball. I bought one in Wal-Mart. It was marked with all the different holding positions for the various ways to throw a baseball (fast ball, curve ball and all that). The perfect gift.

I gave it to him on my return feeling ever so pleased with myself. The kid opened it, showed momentary delight, then looked up at me accusingly. “It says ‘Made in China'” he told me.

Baseball made in China

But it’s not only baseballs. Similar types of product that you would think are all-American, like Converse All Stars, Levi’s, Huffy bicycles, televisions, Monopoly, Etch-a-Sketch, Radio Flyer wagons, Barbie dolls, and last but by no means least, most of those American flags just ain’t American no more.

modern monopoly board

It really doesn’t have to be this way. Apple, for example, doesn’t have to become the richest company in the world by manufacturing its products in China and storing its vast hoards of cash overseas.

Or does it?

Everything on the lists above could still be made in the US and surpluses exported to other countries. But the US government and its moronic bureaucrats are spending their time and our money thinking up new ways, not to help American businesses, but to add ever-increasing amounts of rules, regulations and bureaucracy on to American companies.

American businesses can no longer compete, because their own government has ensured that the deck is stacked against them.

In the mind of a bureaucrat losing a million productive wealth creating jobs, for example, in the automotive industry, and replacing them with a million more administrative jobs that cost the country money evens things out.

It doesn’t. Simple math will tell you that. Every time it happens things get worse and America gets poorer.

So America just can’t make it anymore, but not because China has stolen the jobs. It’s because the US government bureaucrats gave them away.

Put the blame where it should be.

StimulusBureaucrats

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People Who Have Bluetooth Handsets Need A Clip Round The Ear.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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I’m tempted to say that you need a clip round the ear if you don’t like puns, but I know you do.

Why else would you be here?

Unless it’s for pun-ishment.

Enjoy or endure!!

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rofl

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Why are photographers always so depressed?

Because they always focus on the negatives.

 photographers

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I bought a flea circus yesterday,

but one of them won’t go on the high wire.

It’s a nervous tick.

 flea circus

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I played in a football match

that ended in a 2-2 draw.

No 1-1

 football match

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I don’t mind doing crosswords,

but dot to dot puzzles are where I draw the line.

 crosswords

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What do you call it when a prisoner

falls from the top of a building?

Condescending.

 prisoner

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I invented the upside down house.

It’s now a top cellar.

 upside down house

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To neigh or not to neigh.

That is equestrian.

 equestrian

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Support your local

search and rescue squad.

Get lost

 search and rescue

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Why did the Mafia boss cross the road?

Revenge!

The road had crossed him the week before.

 Mafia boss

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My uncle slipped on some beans last week.

If only he had the benefit of Heinz sight.

 baked beans

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I took my dog to a car showroom today.

I turned to him and said,

“They have an interesting Range Rover.”

 Range Rover car showroom

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If you lined up all the cars in the world end to end,

someone would be stupid enough to try to pass them,

five or six at a time, on a hill, in the fog.

queue of cars

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J.F.K.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Fifty-one years ago today the United States 35th President, John F Kennedy, was assassinated at Dealy Plaza, in Dallas, Texas. We all know the story and the various conspiracy theories that have been written about ad nauseam over the past half century so this post is not about that.

Rather it is about one of the legacies of the JFK name, the USS John F Kennedy, the only ship of her class (a variant of the Kitty Hawk class of aircraft carrier) and the last conventionally powered carrier built for the United States Navy.

Although it was retired in 2007 after nearly 40 years of service in the United States Navy, the Kennedy was a very impressive ship. For those who like the details it measures 1,052 feet long, has a beam of 130 feet, and draws 37 feet of water. The flight deck is 1,046 feet by 252 feet.

The JFK displaces 81,430 tons at full load and her compliment is 155 officers, 2,775 enlisted (ship’s company), and 2,160 enlisted and 320 officers (embarked air wing).

it’s top speed is 32 knots, and her cruising speed is 20 knots. The operational range at 30 knots is 4,000 miles while the maximum cruising range is 12,000 miles.

USS JFK is equipped with 4 aircraft elevators and features 4 steam-powered catapults and 4 arresting wires. The carrier was capable of launching and recovering aircraft simultaneously and could embark 80+ aircraft, depending on mission requirements.

Aircraft on board included 56 F/A-18 hornet strike fighters, 6 S-3B Viking ASW aircraft, 4 EA-6B Prowler offensive electronic warfare aircraft, 4 E-2C Hawkeye electronic early warning aircraft, 2 ES-3A Shadow electronic warfare (SIGINT) aircraft, 4 SH-60F Seahawk ASW helicopters, and 2 HH-60H Seahawk combat search and rescue aircraft.

Its armaments included two Mk 29 Sea Sparrow Guided Missile Launch Systems, two RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile) systems, and two Mk 15 Phalanx 20mm CIWS (Close In Weapon System.)

During it’s service it was stationed some of the time in the Mediterranean area.

If you have never seen one of these babies up close and personal and wanted to get an idea of just how big and impressive they are have a look at the aeriel photograph below, taken as the JFK berthed at the island of Malta.

Compared to the houses, cars and people you can see in the shot I’m not sure the word ‘big’ is big enough to describe it.

I mean I wouldn’t want to mess with it. Would you?

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uss jfk in malta

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Twenty Questions – Are You Up For It?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Hi and welcome to another fasab quiz day.

If you know about history, geography, politics, technology, music, movies, cars and a lot of other stuff then you should do okay.

And as always, if you get stuck , you can find the answers waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please NO cheating!

Enjoy and good luck.

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quiz 10

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Q.  1:  Who or what is a ‘FLOTUS’?

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Q.  2:  Most of you will have heard of the company called ‘3M’ but what do the three ‘M’s stand for?

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Q.  3:  Everyone has heard about the Titanic and probably seen at least one of the movies depicting its fateful inaugural voyage, but to which shipping line did the Titanic belong?

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Q.  4:  What waterway did Britain buy a share of in 1875?

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Q.  5:  In 1975 King Faisal of Saudi Arabia was assassinated by which male member of his family?

            a) son            b) grandson            c) nephew           d) father

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Q.  6:  What are the terms ‘Hi-Fi’ and ‘Wi-Fi’ abbreviations of? (A point for each correct answer.)

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Q.  7:  In 1935, British engineer Robert Watson-Watt was working on a ‘death ray’ that would destroy enemy aircraft using radio waves. What did he invent instead?

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Q.  8:  General Leopoldo Galtieri was president of which South American country in 1981 and 1982?

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Q.  9:  When did the construction of the Berlin Wall begin and in what year was it demolished? (A point for each correct answer.)

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Q. 10:  What makes of car were featured in the following movies? (A point for each correct answer, and a bonus point if you get them all correct.)

            a)  Herbie, The Love Bug                                  b)  Back To The Future

            c)  Smokey And The Bandit                              d)  Bullitt

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Q. 11:  In which year did South Africa have its first all-race elections?

            a) 1990            b) 1992            c) 1994            d) 1996

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Q. 12:  One of the best television mini-series ever made was the western ‘Lonesome Dove’, but what were the names of the two lead characters and who were the actors who played them? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you get all four names correct.)

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Q. 13:  Held by Cuban athlete Javier Sotomayor, what is the current Men’s High Jump World Record?

            a)  2.37 m             b)  2.39 m            c)  2.41 m            d)  2.45 m            e)  2.47 m

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Q. 14:  ‘Operation Barbarossa’ was the codename used by the Germans for their plans to invade which country in 1941?

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Q. 15:  What is considered to be the hottest desert in North America?  (A bonus point if you know in which State it is located.)

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Q. 16:  Who was ‘Mork’ and who was ‘Mindy’ in the hit TV sitcom ‘Mork & Mindy’ originally broadcast from 1978 until 1982 on ABC? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you can name both correctly.)

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Q. 17:  From which country did Norway secure its independence in 1905?

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Q. 18:  Approximately how many rifles did American factories produce during World War II?

           a)  1 million        b)  3 million        c)  5 million        d)  7 million       e)  9 million

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Q. 19:  It is the name of a hybrid between a mandarin and a sweet orange and Winston Churchill’s wife, what is it?

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Q. 20:  Who was ‘Talking To The Moon’ in 2011?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  Who or what is a ‘FLOTUS’?

A.  1:  FLOTUS is the First Lady Of The United States, or currently Mrs Obama.

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Q.  2:  Most of you will have heard of the company called ‘3M’ but what do the three ‘M’s stand for?

A.  2:  ‘3M’ is an abbreviation of ‘Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing’.

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Q.  3:  Everyone has heard about the Titanic and probably seen at least one of the movies depicting its fateful inaugural voyage, but to which shipping line did the Titanic belong?

A.  3:  The name is mentioned in the movies, it is the White Star Line.

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Q.  4:  What waterway did Britain buy a share of in 1875?

A.  4:  The Suez Canal.

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Q.  5:  In 1975 King Faisal of Saudi Arabia was assassinated by which male member of his family?

            a) son            b) grandson            c) nephew           d) father

A.  5:  Answer c) his nephew.

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Q.  6:  What are the terms ‘Hi-Fi’ and ‘Wi-Fi’ abbreviations of? (A point for each correct answer.)

A.  6:  ‘Hi-Fi’ and ‘Wi-Fi’ are abbreviations of ‘High Fidelity’ and ‘Wireless Fidelity’.

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Q.  7:  In 1935, British engineer Robert Watson-Watt was working on a ‘death ray’ that would destroy enemy aircraft using radio waves. What did he invent instead?

A.  7:  Robert Watson-Watt’s ‘death ray’ evolved into RADAR, otherwise known as ‘radio detection and ranging’.

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Q.  8:  General Leopoldo Galtieri was president of which South American country in 1981 and 1982?

A.  8:  Argentina.

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Q.  9:  When did the construction of the Berlin Wall begin and in what year was it demolished? (A point for each correct answer.)

A.  9:  Construction of the Berlin Wall began in 1961 (August 13th) and it was demolished in 1989.

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Q. 10:  What makes of car were featured in the following movies? (A point for each correct answer, and a bonus point if you get them all correct.)

            a)  Herbie, The Love Bug                                  b)  Back To The Future

            c)  Smokey And The Bandit                              d)  Bullitt

A. 10:  a) Herbie, The Love Bug featured a Volkswagen Beetle    

            b) Back To The Future featured a DeLorean DMC-12

            c)  Smokey And The Bandit featured a  Pontiac Trans Am

            d)  Bullitt featured a Ford Mustang GT fastback

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Q. 11:  In which year did South Africa have its first all-race elections?

            a) 1990            b) 1992            c) 1994            d) 1996

A. 11:  The correct answer is c) 1994.

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Q. 12:  One of the best television mini-series ever made was the western ‘Lonesome Dove’, but what were the names of the two lead characters and who were the actors who played them? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you get all four names correct.)

A. 12:  The two lead characters in the Lonesome Dove TV miniseries were ‘Captain Augustus “Gus” McCrae’, played by Robert Duvall, and ‘Captain Woodrow F. Call’, played by Tommy Lee Jones.

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Q. 13:  Held by Cuban athlete Javier Sotomayor, what is the current Men’s High Jump World Record?

            a)  2.37 m             b)  2.39 m            c)  2.41 m            d)  2.45 m            e)  2.47 m

A. 13:  The correct answer is d) 2.45 m (8 ft 1/2 in), achieved in Salamanca, Spain on July 27th 1993.

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Q. 14:  ‘Operation Barbarossa’ was the codename used by the Germans for their plans to invade which country in 1941?

A. 14:  It was the codename for their plans to invade Russia.

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Q. 15:  What is considered to be the hottest desert in North America?  (A bonus point if you know in which State it is located.)

A. 15:  The Mojave Desert, located primarily in southeastern California is considered to be the hottest desert in North America.

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Q. 16:  Who was ‘Mork’ and who was ‘Mindy’ in the hit TV sitcom ‘Mork & Mindy’ originally broadcast from 1978 until 1982 on ABC? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you can name both correctly.)

A. 16:  The series starred Robin Williams as Mork and Pam Dawber as Mindy McConnell.

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Q. 17:  From which country did Norway secure its independence in 1905?

A. 17:  Sweden.

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Q. 18:  Approximately how many rifles did American factories produce during World War II?

           a)  1 million        b)  3 million        c)  5 million        d)  7 million       e)  9 million

A. 18: The correct answer is d) approximately 7 million rifles were produced in American factories during WWII.

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Q. 19:  It is the name of a hybrid between a mandarin and a sweet orange and Winston Churchill’s wife, what is it?

A. 19:  Clementine.

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Q. 20:  Who was ‘Talking To The Moon’ in 2011?

A. 20:  Bruno Mars. Here he is……

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The Opportunity Of A Lifetime!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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How often have you seen “The Opportunity Of A Lifetime” pop up on the internet or in your email?

This time it’s different, though.

This time it’s true!

Well, sort of.

stupid dog cartoon

Because this is your chance to own what is possibly the stupidest dog in the world.

And it won’t cost you anything either, we’re giving him away to the first good home

FOR FREE!!!

If you are stupid, and you want a companion at least as stupid as you are, if not more so, this is the perfect dog for you.

His name is ‘Scotty’, (and, yes, I have asked to be “beamed up” several times), but don’t let the name put you off.

You can call him anything you like, ‘Rover’, ‘Patch’, ‘Lassie’, ‘Monday’, ‘Tuesday’, ‘Wednesday’, ‘November’, or whatever, because it’s all the same to him – this dog is so dumb he doesn’t even know his own name.

His lack of knowledge is on such a vast scale I’m astounded the known Universe is expanding rapidly enough to contain it.

He doesn’t know how to sit. He doesn’t know how to stay. He doesn’t know how to come, or to stop, or to heel, or anything you can teach a normal dog to do.

He just doesn’t know anything.

And you won’t have to waste your time and money training him either, because this dog just cannot learn. Believe me I have done my best!

He is painfully stupid in at least the four different languages we have tried. He doesn’t speak English, nor does he hablar español, he hasn’t a clue how to parler francais, and you might as well try to speak klingon as sprechen Deutsch to him.

A big plus is that he is small and won’t eat you out of house and home. All you have to remember to do is buy cat food and not dog food and you’ll be fine. The cat beats him up every time he eats her food, but he doesn’t learn from that either. I don’t think he even knows he’s a dog.

The only one thing he has learned, is not to shit in the house, but in truth I think this has more to do with the fact that every time he tried he discovered he couldn’t with my toe up his arse.

He barks at strangers, which is good. And if he left it at that we wouldn’t mind.

But he also barks at people he knows, or rather, people he should know if he had the brains to remember who they were, which he hasn’t.

And some of the time he barks at nothing at all. It can go on for ages because, when he does bark at nothing, he must hear his own bark, think it’s another dog, and off he goes. Sometimes you can look at his face and watch him trying to figure it out.

“Woof!”

“Who said that? Grrrrr.”

“Woof!”

“There it is again!”

“Woof! Snarl.”

“WTF?”

“Woof!  Woof! Woof!”

“There’s another dog here somewhere.”

“Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof!”

And on it goes for a while, until it stops for no reason, the same way it started.

He also doesn’t know his left back leg belongs to him. When he notices it is there, he attacks it as if it is another animal trying to insert itself into his leg socket. I’ve seen other dogs chasing their tail, but this is just ridiculous.

stupid dog zone sign

Finally, every time the front gate is opened, he has taken to running down the street after bicycles and motorbikes – that he doesn’t know how to ride – and after cars and other vehicles – that he doesn’t know how to drive. What he would do with them if he ever caught one I just don’t know! Neither does he, but he does it anyway.

Somehow, and I find this rather incredible – and disappointing – he has always managed to find his way back home. I think it’s because he tries every other house on the way back and we are the only one silly enough to let him back in. I’ve told everyone to pretend they don’t know him when he turns up and he’ll just move on to the next house and then next, but they won’t listen to me.

So come on good people of the blogsphere, which of you is going to take advantage of this incredible opportunity of a lifetime?

You know how much I love dogs, I’ve said so before on this blog, but please get in touch as soon as you can and take this stupid dog off our hands before I crack up completely!

My father gave me a lot of good advice, and one of the things he told me many years ago was never to get a dog whose arsehole was bigger than its brain.

I should have listened! 

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Did You Know? – Americans, Chinese, French, Greeks, There’s Facts About All Of Them In Here!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes, today is a bit of a multi-cultural fact feast.

Hope you enjoy.

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did you know2

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Brown eyes are actually blue,

under a layer of melanin.

blue eyes

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Billionaire Chuck Feeney donated most of his fortune

anonymously and with no recognition,

while flying coach, owning a $15 watch,

and having no cars or homes.

Billionaire Chuck Feeney

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George Washington was surprised to discover

that the Chinese were not white.

(I wonder how surprised they were to find out he was?)

chinese drawing

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When it first opened in 1955 Disneyland had

a lingerie store on Main Street called The Wizard Of Bras

The Wizard Of Bras

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In the mid 1800s France gave a crucial patent

in photography as a free gift to the world…

except for Britain who had to pay for it!

photographing the eiffel tower

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Disaster comes from the Greek

“dis” meaning bad,

and “aster”, meaning star.

The ancient Greeks used to blame calamities

on unfavorable planetary positions.

disaster-sign

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If you are in a room with 23 people,

there’s more than a 50% chance that

two of the people have the same birthday.

Birthday_Paradox.svg

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There are more tigers living in Texas

than in the rest of the world.

tiger

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While serving as sheriff of Erie County, N.Y.,

Grover Cleveland had to spring the trap

at a hanging on two occassions.

This earned him the unflattering nickname

“Buffalo Hangman.”

Grover Cleveland

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Workers at Amazon’s distribution centers

can be expected to walk up to 11 miles per shift,

picking an order every 33 seconds.

Amazon's distribution centers

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The shortest French word with all

five vowels is “oiseau” meaning bird.

oiseau

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Des Moines has the highest per capita0

Jello consumption in the U.S

Des Moines jello capital

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In 1770 the British parliament passed a law

condemning lipstick, stating that

” women found guilty of seducing men

into matrimony by a cosmetic means”

could be tried for witchcraft.

law condemning lipstick

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Mr Feng, a Chinese father, hired a bunch of assassins

to kill his son’s online World of Warcraft character.

Apparently his son was wasting too much time after being laid off.

Mr Feng, World of Warcraft

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Spencer Eldon was the name of the naked baby

on the cover of Nirvana’s album

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The Stupidest Car Thief In The World.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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In Britain and some other countries, vehicles with automatic transmission are the exception rather than the rule. It tends to come as standard only on the high-end cars and SUVs. I’m not sure whether this is a result of tradition, or stupidity, or maybe even stupid tradition, but it’s how things are.

In many other countries, however, including the United States of America, automatic transmission on vehicles is standard.

So what has this got to do with stupid criminals you may ask?

Well, the answer is that cars get stolen. A lot of them. Every day.

And every so often, you’ll hear about a dumb car thief in America who got completely stumped in their criminal career because they didn’t know how to operate a manual transmission.

But 19-year-old Jasmine Hernandez from Phoenix was different.

She wasn’t dumb. She was VERY dumb!

One Saturday evening, a man was dropping off his kids at a home to visit friends and he left his car running on the driveway while he went inside with the youngsters.

When he returned outside again, he heard his engine revving and saw that a woman, Jasmine, was in the driver’s seat of his car.

The owner of the vehicle opened the door in an attempt to prevent her from getting away and saw that she was frantically using the levers that adjust the lights and windshield wipers in an attempt to put the car into drive.

Poor Jasmine had no idea how to operate the transmission because she was apparently unaware that some vehicles  –  in fact, many, many vehicles  –  don’t have column-mounted shifters.

The rest of the story is easy to guess.

The owner of the vehicle was able to pull Hernandez out and detain her until police arrived.

Police discovered Hernandez had a warrant out for her arrest for aggravated assault and arrested her on those charges.

Her attempt at becoming a car thief was apparently so bad that police haven’t even charged her with that crime.

And that is the story of Jasmine Hernandez, the stupidest car thief in the world!

dumb criminal jasmine-amorette-hernandez

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