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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Highlighter Pens Are The Future. Mark My Words!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Mark my words indeed.

It’s Pun Day again.

Enjoy or endure!

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rofl

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Know what’s odd?

About every other number.

odd numbers

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When I asked my best friend to be my best man,

he said he was “speechless”.

So I said, “You’re no good, I’ll find someone else”.

Best_man by Martin Stratton

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I always win at Twister.

Hands down.

Nintendo_Twister_26

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On reflection,

vampires aren’t that scary.

Vampire reflection

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I’ve just seen a huge Egyptian woman

sticking her ass out the window of a car.

It was a two-ton car moon.

mooned

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My neighbor Dave has drunk many

weird and wonderful things in his time.

I asked him if he’d ever drunk cologne.

“No,” he replied. “Always with friends.”

cologne

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As they say in France,

one man’s fish

is another man’s poisson.

 

poisson

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Everything is easier said than done.

Except procrastination.

procrastination

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“I’ve got two words for you”

“I can’t count”

can't count

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Upon reaching the peak of Everest with my wife,

we realized that there was only enough oxygen left

for one of us to get back down.

So I did the descent thing…

abseiling

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I recently wrote an essay on the “Communist Manifesto”.

Unfortunately I didn’t really understand the topic,

so I got no Marx.

karl marx

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Calvin Klein were supposed to

be bringing out a new fragrance…

But it was just aroma.

Calvin Klein perfume

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The Sahara Desert walks into a bar

The barman says, “Long time no sea.”

Sahara Desert

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Discovery Channel are releasing a new series about wildlife.

The first program is called “Siamese Ducks”.

It’s a double bill.

double bill

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The wife will go spare when she finds out

I’ve lost her only copy of Beethoven’s Unfinished symphony.

I’ll never hear the end of it.

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End September With Some Facts.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Indeed, what better way to end the month of September than with another random selection of facts.

I’m sure there are at least a few things in this lot that you didn’t know.

Enjoy.

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facts 04

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There are more than 100,000 chemical reactions

happening in your brain every second.

chemical reactions happening in your brain

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The first machine-made chocolate was

produced in Barcelona, Spain, in 1780.

machine-made chocolate

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A blue whale´s tongue alone

can weigh as much as a single adult elephant

which gives you an indication of the size of the former.

blue-whale-tongue-n-elephant

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About 275 million new stars are born everyday.

275 million new stars are born everyday

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Ohio lawyer Clement Vallandigham

managed to shoot himself in a court room in 1871

while demonstrating to a jury how his client’s

alleged murder victim had actually shot himself.

Apparently no one checked the gun.

Clement Vallandigham

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The Chinese language (Mandarin/Cantonese)

has about 50,000 characters.

To read a newspaper you would

need to know about 2,000 of them.

Chinese language

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Gum is not sold in any Disney Park.

disneyland_map

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The word ‘Lukewarm’ is actually a redundancy.

‘Luke’ meant ‘warm’ in Middle English

so ‘lukewarm’ technically would mean ‘warm warm’.

lukewarm

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The most remote island in the world

is the uninhabited Bouvet Island

which lies somewhere between

Antarctica and Tristan de Cunha.

Bouvet Island Location

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Did you know that dolphins are so smart that,

within a few weeks of captivity,

they can train people to stand on the

very edge of the pool and throw them fish?

feeding-dolphins

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‘Linn’s Stamp News’ is the world’s largest

weekly newspaper for stamp collectors.

Linn's Stamp News

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The little lump of flesh just forward of your ear canal,

right next to your temple, is called a ‘tragus’.

tragus

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The United States has never lost a war

in which mules were used.

army mule

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Will Clark of the Texas Rangers is a direct descendant

of William Clark of Lewis and Clark.

Will Clark Rangers Photocard

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Running from 1972 through 1983, M*A*S*H*

was one of the most successful shows on television ever.

It won 8 Golden Globe awards,

14 Primetime Emmy awards,

the 1976 Peabody award

and was the People’s Choice winner

for Favorite TV Comedy five times.

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It’s The Quiz Of The Week!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Hi and welcome to another week and another quiz.

Twenty more random questions to test you knowledge, some easy and some difficult, but there are a few multi-pointers in to help you with your score.

As usual the answers can be found waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please NO cheating.

Enjoy and good luck.

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quiz confused1

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Q.  1:  How many ‘contiguous’ states are there in the United States of America?

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Q.  2:  In which movie would you find the robot or cyborg known as the ‘T-800’?

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Q.  3:  The 2014 Winter Olympics are being held next month (February 2014) in what country? (A bonus point is available if you can also name the City.)

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Q.  4:  Where were the previous (2010) Winter Olympics held and what location has been chosen for the next Winter Olympics in 2018? (A point for each and bonus points if you can also name the Cities.)

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Q.  5:  Which company built the ‘1972 911 Carrera RS’ classic automobile?

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Q.  6:  In what country did the soup known as ‘Miso’ originate?

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Q.  7:  Name the fictional detective associated with ‘Mrs. Hudson’.

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Q.  8:  What kind of mixed drink takes its name from the Hindi or Sanskrit word for ‘five’?

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Q.  9:  What is the common name for the garden flower ‘Helianthus’?

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Q. 10:  ‘Thimpu’ is the capital of what country?

            a) Nepal        b) Bhutan        c) Bahrain

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Q. 11:  Where was Super Bowl XLVII played on February 3, 2013?

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Q. 12:  In the late 1960s and early 1970s Leonard Nimoy starred in two classic television series, what were they? (Yes, a point for each correct answer and bonus points for the names of the characters he portrayed.)

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Q. 13:  ‘Rosalind’, ‘Portia’ and ‘Ophelia’ are moons of which planet?

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Q. 14:  A picture of Betty Grable wearing a white bathing suit made her the most popular pin-up of which war?

            a) WWI        b) WWII        c) Korea        d) Vietnam

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Q. 15:  Scandinavia is a large region of Northern Europe. What are the four mainland countries and one island nation that are generally collectively known as ‘Scandinavia’? (A point for each correct answer.)

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Q. 16:  As of the end of 2013, who has won the Academy award for Best Actor the most times? (Bonus points if you can name the movies too.)

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Q. 17:  What sort of creature is a whinchat?

            a) fish        b) insect        c) bird        d) mammal

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Q. 18:  ‘Columbo’,  ‘Morse’,  ‘Magnum’,  ‘Bergerac’,  and  ‘Nash Bridges’ were all television detectives and policemen who had one thing in common apart from their jobs, what was it?

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Q. 19:  With one word complete the following Acme Corporation inventions in ‘The Roadrunner’.

           a) dehydrated  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _    and, b) portable  _ _ _ _ _

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Q. 20:  Released in 1954, a single by Bill Haley & His Comets became one of the best selling songs of all time with sales of 25 million. What was it?      

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  How many ‘contiguous’ states are there in the United States of America?

A.  1:  48.

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Q.  2:  In which movie would you find the robot or cyborg known as the ‘T-800’?

A.  2:  Terminator.

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Q.  3:  The 2014 Winter Olympics are being held next month (February 2014) in what country? (A bonus point is available if you can also name the City.)

A.  3:  The 2014 XXII Winter Olympics will be held in Sochi, Russia.

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Q.  4:  Where were the previous (2010) Winter Olympics held and what location has been chosen for the next Winter Olympics in 2018? (A point for each and bonus points if you can also name the Cities.)

A.  4:  Vancouver, Canada in 2010 and Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018.

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Q.  5:  Which company built the ‘1972 911 Carrera RS’ classic automobile?

A.  5:  Porsche.

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Q.  6:  In what country did the soup known as ‘Miso’ originate?

A.  6:  Japan.

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Q.  7:  Name the fictional detective associated with ‘Mrs. Hudson’.

A.  7:  Sherlock Holmes.

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Q.  8:  What kind of mixed drink takes its name from the Hindi or Sanskrit word for ‘five’?

A.  8:  Punch.

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Q.  9:  What is the common name for the garden flower ‘Helianthus’?

A.  9:  Sunflower.

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Q. 10:  ‘Thimpu’ is the capital of what country?

            a) Nepal        b) Bhutan        c) Bahrain

A. 10:  b) Bhutan.

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Q. 11:  Where was Super Bowl XLVII played on February 3, 2013?

A. 11:  At the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Q. 12:  In the late 1960s and early 1970s Leonard Nimoy starred in two classic television series, what were they? (Yes, a point for each correct answer and bonus points for the names of the characters he portrayed.)

A. 12:  Mr. Spock in Star Trek (1966-1969, 79 episodes) and Paris in Mission Impossible (1969-1971, 49 episodes).

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Q. 13:  ‘Rosalind’, ‘Portia’ and ‘Ophelia’ are moons of which planet?

A. 13:  Uranus.

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Q. 14:  A picture of Betty Grable wearing a white bathing suit made her the most popular pin-up of which war?

            a) WWI        b) WWII        c) Korea        d) Vietnam

A. 14:  b) WWII

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Q. 15:  Scandinavia is a large region of Northern Europe. What are the four mainland countries and one island nation that are generally collectively known as ‘Scandinavia’? (A point for each correct answer.)

A. 15:  Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland.

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Q. 16:  As of the end of 2013, who has won the Academy award for Best Actor the most times? (Bonus points if you can name the movies too.)

A. 16:  Daniel Day-Lewis. (In 1990 for ‘My Left Foot’, in 2008 for ‘There Will Be Blood’, and in 2013 for ‘Lincoln’.)

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Q. 17:  What sort of creature is a whinchat?

            a) fish        b) insect        c) bird        d) mammal

A. 17:  c) bird.

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Q. 18:  ‘Columbo’,  ‘Morse’,  ‘Magnum’,  ‘Bergerac’,  and  ‘Nash Bridges’ were all television detectives and policemen who had one thing in common apart from their jobs, what was it?

A. 18:  They all drove classic or distinctive cars.

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Q. 19:  With one word complete the following Acme Corporation inventions in ‘The Roadrunner’.

           a) dehydrated  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _    and, b) portable  _ _ _ _ _

A. 19:  a) dehydrated boulders   and, b) portable holes

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Q. 20:  Released in 1954, a single by Bill Haley & His Comets became one of the best selling songs of all time with sales of 25 million. What was it?      

A. 20: “Rock Around the Clock”

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Did They Really Mean To Say That? Newspaper Headlines Nightmares, Part Five!!!!!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Some more newspaper headlines today.

It’s quite amazing the capacity people have to get things wrong.

Worse if the result is on view to the general public.

Here is the latest batch.

Enjoy.

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np_pornstarsues

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np_povertymeeting

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np_psychicspredict

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np_republicanssplit

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np_scottwantsheadjob

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np_seeingwormafterbowelmovement

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np_seniorluncheon

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np_sewagespill

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np_sexteacher

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np_slowdowncontinutestoaccelerate

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np_starvationcanleadtohealthproblems

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np_suicidebombers

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np_suspectspic

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np_teenpregnancy

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Perfectly Timed Photos, Part Three

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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More photos for this weekend.

Nothing beats a perfectly taken photo except perhaps a perfectly timed photo.

You will find a selection of the latter variety below.

Enjoy.

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ptp little

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ptp littleman

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ptp lol

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ptp longarm

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ptp longdog

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ptp Monkey_Bites

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Ronnie Brewer

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ptp oi fishface

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ptp ouch

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ptp pefect

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ptp perfectlammas

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precision flying COPYRIGHT RAPHAEL AMAR²

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ptp putindevil

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ptp photo

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Did They Really Mean To Say That? Newspaper Headlines Nightmares, Part Three!!!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Another mid-week selection of linguistic catastrophes in the form of newspaper headlines that went sadly wrong.

I bet the authors were congratulating themselves when they wrote them on how clever they had been.

Sorry (at them), but hurrah to us, they had quite the opposite result.

Enjoy.

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np_dianastillalive

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np_drycleanersworkingonsamespotforyears

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np_dwis

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np_federalagents

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np_firmlosesairport

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np_fishneedwater

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np_funeralhomesbring

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np_gascompanybehindbeans

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np_helppeoplewithgas

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np_homocidevictims

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np_hospitalshiredoctors

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np_housearrest

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np_Kayakinghardwithfrozenwater

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np_lawyersback

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