Give That President A Cigar …er… A Great Big Cuban One!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

Cuban American flags

Strangely, when President Barack Obama was elected with ease in 2008 and had a comfortable Congressional majority he didn’t really capitalize on his advantage. He may have gotten elected promising ‘change’ but he didn’t make many when he made it into the big seat.

Now, perhaps sensing the end of his term as President, and in spite of the Democrats’ recent crushing defeat, he is becoming ‘Obama the bold’, maker of decisions, changer of things.

Hence his recent decisions to re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba and an amnesty for five million illegal immigrants in the US.

JFK imposed the embargo on Cuba way back in 1962, in the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis. In JFK’s day the embargo was America’s way of thumbing its nose at the Soviet Empire. Cuba was less than 100 miles from the continental US and its defiance of the mighty Uncle Sam was an embarrassment, particularly after the Bay of Pigs fiasco.

Cuban missile crisis

Curious therefore that Obama cannot see the similarities with Putin’s stance in the Ukraine, but that’s another story.

However, getting back to the Cuban embargo, it was a decision that has been condemned by almost every nation in the world ever since. I think it smacked too much of the big rich kid in the schoolyard picking on the little poor kid.

But, like a lot of things that are half a century old and more, the Cuban embargo was well past its sell-by date. Not least because it didn’t work!

Neither of course did the Cuban system, which failed mainly due to the disintegration of the Soviet Empire that had kept Cuba financially afloat long after Castro’s communism would have bitten the dust if left to its own devices.

In Cuba today there is a realism and a recognition of that very fact. Fidel Castro himself admitted that their model “….no longer works even for us,” when he was speaking in support of his brother Raúl’s “liberal” reforms announced a few years ago.

For the moment, that ‘liberalization’ in Cuba means allowing employees, most of them former civil servants, to become the owners of the small businesses that employ them.

I call that capitalism. What do you think?

Lots of US corporations are queueing up to develop their business interests in Cuba. Big names, like American Airlines, Hilton Hotels and PepsiCo are already in the starting blocks.

It will be interesting to see what happens when the new US regime sweeps into power.

In the meantime I think I’ll buy a nice big box of cigars.

A-Box-Of-Cigars

.

==================================

.

Charles Munger Agrees With Me.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

I always think it’s nice when someone agrees me. Even more so when they are well versed in the subject matter.

Charles Munger is such a guy. And he agrees with me, or at least he would do, had he read a post I wrote recently about Burger King’s move to Canada to avoid high US corporate taxes. (Click here if you want to read it.)

Anyway, we’re saying the same thing, and that’s what matters.

For those readers who don’t know who Charles Munger is, he is vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the world famous investment company headed by Warren Buffet, one of the richest men in the world.

Charlie_Munger

Munger says people who criticize Burger King’s plan to shift its headquarters to Canada, where tax rates are lower, are “stark raving mad”. What they should be calling for are cuts in corporate taxes to encourage business to stay in the US and even relocate there.

More than 40 U.S. companies have reincorporated abroad since 1982.

In fairness it has to be said that Munger does have a vested interest of sorts to stick up for Burger King. Berkshire Hathaway committed $3 billion to help finance Miami-based Burger King’s planned takeover of Tim Hortons Inc., the doughnut maker with headquarters in Oakville, Ontario.

Burger King meal

But that’s not why he said what he said. He is smart enough to know what is good for business generally and levying hefty taxes on corporations is not good. In fact he said, “If I were running the world, I would probably have low corporate taxes and get at the well-to-do people in some other way, like consumption taxes.”

Unfortunately President Barack Obama isn’t so smart. He has continued to criticize American companies that move to other nations in search of lower corporate tax bills.

And his Treasury Secretary, Jacob J. Lew, has recently announced new rules aimed at making it more difficult for American companies to lower their tax bills by relocating overseas and that would wipe out the benefits for those that do.

The changes will affect only deals that are completed from now on. But they could include pending inversion deals, like the one involving AbbVie, an Illinois-based pharmaceutical company that is in the process of acquiring its smaller British rival, Shire, or the Minneapolis medical device maker Medtronic, which is acquiring Covidien in Ireland.

And if the government continues on this path what will happen?

I think if US companies are prevented from making these kind of deals by ever greedy and intrusive government legislation they will simply close down altogether in the US. Wealth creation will be lost, many thousands of jobs will be lost and America will lose its long held position as the commercial powerhouse of the world.

When the American people were offered “Change” I don’t think this is what they were expecting.

Barack Obama Hope Change

.

======================================================

.

The Ambassadorks Of America!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

The Sunday Sermon

. 

Oh dear where to start. 

I’ve said before that America is bad – that’s capital ‘B’, ‘A’ and ‘D’ – at foreign policy. The US Government should know this by now, I’m not the only one saying it. It is a well known fact all over the world – except in America which apparently doesn’t know very much about the rest of the world and also apparently isn’t going to learn any time soon.

There hasn’t been any time in history when America needed to take stock of what has happened and try to make a few friends out there in the big wide world rather than pissing everyone else off needlessly.

Sure if you’re the biggest and strongest on the field you can kick anyone around. But to what purpose when it’s just as easy to get people on your side. Most of the woes America faces, the rest of the world faces too. There’s more in common out there that you might at first think.

Cue the man who was going to bring in great change and had the power to do so. But, no, President Obama hasn’t changed a damn thing. He inherited a great big hole and he just jumped in there with his shovel and keeps on digging.

Worse, he has yet again allowed croneyism to take the place of innovation and good sense.

To help him he has given government positions to the biggest bunch of idiots that you could ever imagine.

Their first job it seems was to continue to piss off Europe. Hot on the heels of the NSA getting caught spying on German Chancellor Merkel,  the U.S. Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, was caught in a phone call recording saying “F*** the EU”.

Yes, you read that correctly. And she did all this as she was discussing who should be in the new Ukrainian government. 

Whoops! And Double Whoops!!

.

Here it is if you want to hear it for yourselves.

.

That’s the Secretary of State.

Now what about the Presidential appointeees, the Ambassadors.

You would think the main criteria for choosing your Ambassadors would be to get someone who has an in depth knowledge of the country where they will be posted. Someone well versed in the culture, history, politics etc. Someone who will fit in straight away and make a good impression on behalf of the American people.

Sound sensible?

Yes, of course it does.

Is it the way America chooses its Ambassadors?

No, of course it’s not.

America chooses its Ambassadors, not on ability, but rather on how much money they have raised for the President’s election or re-election campaign.

That’s what you call corruption in any other country. I’m not sure what it’s called in America but the consequences are plain and pathetic to be seen.

Nowhere better than in the most recent hearings for the ambassador positions.

In this lot of new Ambassadors we had Colleen Bell, a TV producer for a soap opera who was picked as the U.S. envoy to Hungary. Did she know anything about Hungary? No. She didn’t utter a word of sense, just relied on waffle and bluff.

The only thing that eased her humiliation was the new Ambassador to Norway who was so clueless he didn’t even know who was in Government there. He even called the Progress Party, which is part of Norway’s ruling coalition, a hate-spewing “fringe element.”

And last in these examples, but not least in terms of inability and unsuitability for the job, was Noah Bryson Mamet. He was the nominee for the Argentina ambassadorship despite the fact that he’d never even visited that country and can’t speak Spanish.

A couple of million dollars for Obama apparently goes a very long way to getting you the job of representing America on the world stage.

Incredible! And not in a good way.

I’ll give you the opportunity to hear Anderson Cooper’s take on it too.

Until the next rant!

 .

.

.

And Abbey Martin

.

.

================================================

.

No Mo Town?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

Here comes the Sunday Sermon folks!

.

Before his first election victory the platform was one of “change” and “yes we can”, not very specific policies but the implication was that everything would get better under his administration, and people went for it.

Guess what?

“No he couldn’t” and “nothing changed”, not for the better anyhow.

Then last year during the re-election campaign he said, “We refuse to let Detroit go bankrupt”, and people went for it again.

.

.

Guess what?

Detroit is bankrupt! Yes, last Thursday, Detroit became the largest U.S. city to declare bankruptcy, filing for Chapter 9 protection.

Are you seeing a trend here?

You should.

But it’s not all Obama’s fault. By no means. He’s just the latest in a long line of clueless politicians who made big promises and had no idea how to pay for them.

So how did it get this bad?

How did the city of Detroit that was once the powerhouse of America, and from whose industry came wealth creation that stimulated the entire economy, get to the stage of being bankrupt?

Sadly, what has happened to Detroit is the culmination of decades of political incompetence and graft and corruption.

For example, the most recent mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, is currently facing charges of racketeering conspiracy, extortion, bribery, mail and wire fraud, filing false tax returns and income tax evasion, Quite a guy!

Kwame-Kilpatrick-Gangsta-HD-Wallpaper

.

It is also the culmination of years of union’s self-serving greed that meant, for example, that every car Detroit manufactured had to be sold at a loss – if it were to sell any at all.

But the problem goes even deeper than that.

Detroit is just the latest example of political and economic stupidity that has been allowed to fester within many western nations. It is not just an American malaise. The very same thing has happened in other countries, like Britain.

And it has happened because American and British politicians got the idea that their countries were a bit better than everyone else’s.

That they could leave the blue collar stuff like steel-making, ship building, car assembly and everything else that created true wealth for a nation, to be done by other ‘inferior’ places such as Japan, Korea, Taiwan and more lately China.

They actively helped to destroy their own manufacturing base through lack of investment, over taxation, needless government interference and over-regulation, etc.

Worse than this, they thought they could replace real industries making real money, with ‘service’ industries.

They never figured out that the former is the foundation that means you can afford the luxury of the latter!

And guess what? They still haven’t!

So instead of making real money, greedy banksters were allowed to conjure imaginary money out of nowhere. Then they were allowed (and encouraged) to invest money that didn’t exist in products that weren’t real either! And of course they lost the money. 

And the governments were willing accomplices to this fraud. When they could’t balance their books they simply printed more money and used this imaginary wealth in their economic statistics reports to show everyone how well they were doing.

Detroit is just the latest and biggest example of what the policy of living well beyond your means….. means!

So is this the end for this once great city?

Absolutely not. In fact it might be the making of it. There are going to be tough times ahead, but getting rid of a crippling $20 billion debt, which their bankruptcy will do, at the very least makes a recovery a possibility.

The halcyon days may be gone and never to return because of the damage the politicians have done. But there will be better days ahead.

When you reach the bottom you may bounce around there for a while but eventually the only way is back up.

If the politicians let you, that is.

. 

. 

. 

====================

. 

The Primary Responsibility For A Child’s Education Is Apparent.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

Yes, that’s right, The primary responsibility for a child’s education is apparent.

But everyone’s education would not be complete without a healthy dose of puns.

Always here to help, here’s today’s selection.

Enjoy!

.

.

I went into a fancy dress shop and asked the woman

working there if they had any ghost costumes.

She said “We don’t sell those, I’m afraid.”

Stupid woman. They’re not that scary.

ghost-towel

.

.

ABC NEWS:

French Chef commits suicide after critic’s attack.

After further investigation it turns out

he simply lost the huile d’olive.

huile-d-olive

.

.

I went to a really posh school.

In fact, the school was so posh that the Gym was called James.

gym cartoon

.

.

I have a friend who’s half Indian.

Ian.

half indian

.

.

Cleavage is the only thing that you can look down on

and approve of at the same time.

cleavage

.

.

My girlfriend broke up with me yesterday because of my obsession.

She said, “I’m sick of it. You actually believe that you’re a Transformer.

It’s stupid. I’ve had enough and I’m leaving you.”

I said, “But, Baby, I can change.”

She said, “There you go again!”

Transformer

.

.

I put a couple of ‘t’s in my beer last night.

I think it made it better.

BeerBetter

.

.

Shouldn’t the Air and Space museum be empty?

air and space museum

.

.

I put a wooden desk and a blackboard in my bedroom.

You know, to make it more classy.

school desk

.

.

I was only young when I learned to count.

It was odd at first, even then.

cartoon-numbers-set

.

.

In a cave, I found pictures of women’s breasts,

but when I picked them up, a giant net fell on me.

Damn booby trap.

booby_traps_by_vmv_81-d3ickn1

.

.

I make £1,000,000 a month cleaning Windows.

I invented Norton Anti-virus.

Norton

.

.

My parents gave me a really cheap dictionary for my birthday yesterday.

I couldn’t find the words to thank them.

dictionary

.

.

I never let my children watch big band performances on TV.

Too much sax and violins.

sax_and_violins

.

.

There’s one thing I can’t stand when I’m drunk.

Up!

drunk

.

.

Einstein eventually developed a theory about space.

And it was about time too.

albert_einstein_328565

.

.

I’m so broke at the moment that all I can

afford to eat are herbs my mate has lent me.

I’m living on borrowed thyme.

thyme

.

.

I’ve just seen a group on Facebook called, ‘I hate feet’.

Obviously these people are fans of the metric system.

metric-system-copyright-Allan-Inman

.

.

Talking to her about computer hardware,

makes my mother board.

motherboard

.

.

My wife has packed her bags and gone –

just because of my fetish with touching pasta.

I’m feeling cannelloni right now.

pasta

.

===============================

.

The Richest Nation The World Has Ever Known Has Become The Greatest Debtor The World Has Ever Known

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

. 

****A Saturday rant****

One day this week, according to all reliable financial sources, the United States of America’s debt burden reaches the $16 trillion mark, or as close to it as makes no difference.

That’s $16,000,000,000,000.00

The richest nation the world has ever known has now become the greatest debtor the world has ever known.

And the problem which began to get seriously out of control under the Bush Presidency is still spiraling out of control under Obama’s regime.

go bananas
go bananas

To add a little perspective to the huge numbers, it took the United States government more than two hundred years to accumulate its first trillion dollars of debt, BUT it took only two hundred and eighty-six days for the most recent trillion dollars of debt to be added. And that was under the  “Yes We Can” and “Change” administration.

So what has changed?

Nothing much.

Yes we can what?

  • Borrow and borrow and borrow again?
  • Let the horrific bankster’s mess run on for a few more decades?
  • Dream up more and more new government programs that we cannot afford?
  • Leave future generations in so much debt that they will never and can never get out from under it, (because there won’t be enough money to pay the interest on the debt let alone repay it)?
  • Continue to stick our heads in the sand while other nations kick our ass?

As I write this I can hear the Fed’s printing presses clunking away producing more new dollars out of thin air, which they will distribute through the banks  –  who will keep most of the money instead of releasing it to individuals and businesses to stimulate the economy and create employment.

Sadly, not only is the nation bankrupt, but the politicians who govern it are too  –  bankrupt of good ideas, intelligence and common sense. Their mentality is, ‘if something isn’t working, don’t change it, just do more of it’.  (Aaaarrrrrrggggghhhhhhh!!!)

Their ultimate solution will be, as it inevitably always is – more taxes and more control! Just wait for those shoes to drop.

In the US, Hawaii and Florida are the only states that grow bananas. I suggest that they start looking for ways to up production because that is the type of republic the politicians seem hell bent turning us into!

****End rant****

naked banana
naked banana