It took a while, but it finally happened. American Airlines, with its crushing cost structure, finally declared bankruptcy. Driving this decision was the inflexibility of its greedy unions and their crazy wages and benefits that have saddled American Airlines with unsustainable debt.
Pensions take the lion's share of the blame, and then comes out of control union wages and benefits. Pensions are in the red to the tune of about $8 Billion dollars in unfunded checks to geezers who no longer load a single bag, check a single ticket or replace a single rivet on a single plane. In the long run, the pensions that were coerced out of American Airlines have run the ship into the reef. In reality now, American Airlines is paying three baggage handlers for every one that actually handles baggage. The other two are retired and collecting pensions. No business can run like this indefinitely, and American Airlines finally has hit bottom.
They can thank their greedy, selfish unions for wrecking their company. When you pay a baggage handler, who flunked out of high school, a wage that is wildly beyond the actual value of his service (such is the nature of unions), in time the costs of doing business will disadvantage that company in the market place to such an extent that in the long run, the chickens will come home to roost. The company simply cannot compete against leaner, meaner competitors. And in the long run they go broke, just like American Airlines. And United Airlines before them. And TWA before them, and Pan AM before them, and on and on.
The United States of America is heading down this exact same path: paying three teachers for every one teacher that stands in front of students: one teaches, and two more are retired, but the school district is on the hook for all of the teachers salary, and the pensioners pensions. Ditto policemen: for every one cop on the beat, there are two more drawing pensions. And ditto for firemen: for every firefighter fighting fires, there are two more watching the Bears game in their Lay-Z-Boy, sucking down Molsons and collecting pensions.
All on the county, state and federal dime. We are not so unlike American Airlines, the U.S. as a whole. When only 47% of Americans pay federal taxes, where are we headed in the long run? Into bankruptcy, just like American Airlines.
We better wake up and smell the coffee before it's too late.
If you recall, prior to his scandalous sexually deviant behavior a few months ago that forced his ouster from congress, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) was the voice of the vicious far left, to whom all of the cameras and mainstream news reporters went for juicy soundbites that put Republicans in as bad a light as was possible. And Rep. Weiner was also great to have as a guest on the Sunday shows and could always be counted on to shout down any opposition to the views and policies of his radical Left buddies on Capitol Hill.
Barney Frank (D-NY) was also one of the go-to guys on the left, and the venomous bile and invective Rep. Frank spewed to any microphone he saw was always greedily gobbled up by the mainstream media and put out as valid political expression. Of course, Barney was a favorite on the Sunday political shows as well, shouting down and railing against any opposition to anything liberal he and his Marxist pals foisted on us.
Now Barney is hitting the road, no longer interested in re-election to his House seat, presumably to spend time with his children and grandchildren in his Golden Years. Oh, that's right. Barney's gay, and has not produced any progeny. Thank God.
Much like his scandalous partner in New York congressional crime, Anthony Weiner, Rep. Barney Frank has also had his share of scandalous sexual deviancy associated with his lifestyle, if we all recall. Remember way back when , Barney's 'partner' was running a homosexual house of prostitution out of Barney's residence. New York voters didn't seem to mind all that much, and re-elected Barney about 12 times since then, so it can't be any big deal.
And of course who could forget Barney's blockage of any reform attempts by the Bush administration to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, categorically stating on the floor of the House of Representatives that both of these institutions were fundamentally sound, and that there was no need to make any changes to these solid mortgage lending programs.
That was before the 2008 financial meltdown, caused by mandated federal requirements against 'red lining' and forcing banks to give home loans to bums and scalawags who never intended to pay the loans back. Barney made sure that Fannie and Freddie would make the banks whole by insuring that those two crooked institutions bought up the paper on those loans, and he personally nearly brought down the global economy when the sheer weight of these criminal loans crashed and burned in front of Barney's eyes. As he looked the other way, of course, and blamed Republicans. And fat cat bankers. And everybody except himself.
We'll miss Barney's sound bites, and blatant lies and distortions. And with any luck, his seat will be filled by a Republican, just like the deviant Anthony Weiner's seat was.
When I was looking at a recent article about the 'Most Admired American Women' list, I couldn't help but gape in disbelief as Lady Gaga made the list. The article did not say where she was on the list, but she did not appear in the Top Ten.
However, the fact that Lady Gaga made the list AT ALL was stunning to me.
Most of my flabbergasted disbelief stemmed from the fact that Lady Gaga's entire professional persona is that of a pornographic slut. And she is admired for this by more than a few idiots among the 1019 Americans chosen by Gallup to partake in this foolish telephone poll in March of 2011. Some might say that Lady Gaga's persona is just that, an onstage act that has no bearing or resemblance to her personal life, and that she is actually chaste and pure, much like her button-down, 'church lady' mother who appears from time to time with her trollop, hussy looking daughter.
Lady Gaga can certainly claim that this is true, but in the real world perception is reality. And her onstage presence is one of a shameless, scantily dressed strumpet. Who gets mention on the Most Admired U.S. Women List. What has become of us, and Western culture in general, when we adore pornographic personas such as this brazen harlot?
Now Oprah and Laura Bush have legitimate standing on this list, as both are accomplished Americans, Oprah in the entertainment business, and Laura Bush as the wife of an ex-president and a supporter of many charities and foundations too numerous to mention. Hillary Clinton and Angelina Jolie also made the Top Ten, although I might note that Angelina Jolie is closer in public persona to Lady Gaga than to Laura Bush, although not to Lady Gaga's extremes.
At times, I know why Osama bin Laden hated the West. And, sad but true, these are the times that I agree with Osama.
Our culture is at times one that lauds decadence and debauchery.
These days, we all hear a cacophonous harping from liberals that we need to focus on exchanging our energy sources away from the evil polluting carbon based 'fossil fuels' and into earth and Gaia friendly renewable green sources of energy. You know, the stuff of liberal dreams: wave power, switch grass, solar, wind, and the great achievement of the Left: vegetable oil powered VW microbuses.
The left wants no part of that vile, evil carbon based fossil energy anymore. They say it produces greenhouse gases that are killing us all.
The Obama administration is acutely bent on chasing this ridiculous premise, and has squandered billions and billions of taxpayer dollars towards the promotion of these hopelessly futile green energy projects. Solyndra is only the poster child of this stupid and foolish chase of these dumb progressives of an elusive Utopian dream: an energy source that is 100% pollution free.
Physics doesn't work that way. God doesn't work that way. We can't pave a path from here to utopia that is downhill both ways. We can't eliminate the up hill side of physics, namely that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Liberals wish it weren't so, but the laws of God and physics simply can't be undone, or worse yet ignored, not even by the president of the U.S.
Oil, coal, natural gas, uranium, plutonium, and good old fashioned wood: all of them great sources of energy. To harvest the energy from these materials, we have to light them on fire or otherwise raise their temperatures. Accordingly, the bi products of these chemical reactions are various pollutants in the form of hydrocarbons or radiation. We need the energy it produces, but we don't like the 'smoke.' Duh. And we should be more concerned about limiting the pollutants generated by fossil and nuclear fuels with research, without limiting the necessary production of needed power. A burgeoning economy needs to accommodate an acceptable yet limited amount of pollution: this is basic economics. To seek 'zero pollution' from energy production is a fools game, and is simply not physically possible.
There is no smokeless fire. There is no radiation free nuclear energy. There is no free lunch, as the late great Milton Friedman constantly reminded us. There is no such thing as a perpetual motion machine. There ain't no such thing as cold fusion, and never will be. I will be the first to admit that I am no nuclear scientist. But a basic understanding of chemistry necessitates that separating the two hydrogen atoms from the bonded oxygen atom in a single molecule of fresh water requires enormous amounts of energy: heat. And producing such heat will generate some kind of 'smoke,' or pollutant in one form or another. Chasing this dream of hydrogen power without pollutants of some kind just will not happen under any circumstances. In other words, the liberal Utopian dream of filling our fuel tanks on our 'green cars' with simple water and getting a few thousand miles per gallon from this 'pixie dust' is never, ever going to happen.
But liberals insist that we can produce energy without the equal and opposite effect of an undesirable and offsetting bi product. These liberal idiots of today are chasing dreams. Utopian ideals that will never come to pass. Much like the alchemists of a thousand years ago, trying to turn lead into gold. And ignorant governments of many nations of long ago pursued this stupid and elusive goal of chasing an unachievable alchemy dream for generation after generation: all with no success whatsoever even to this very day.
We will never see any viable 'green energy' that will lift a Boeing 777 even so much as an inch off the ground. That feat requires oil. Or perhaps uranium. You know, a real live existing source of proven energy in the real world of today. To think that we can generate our nation's power with only the wind, the sun, the ocean waves, or vegetable oil is the dream of naive children.
Science says it can't be done.
God says it can't be done.
But this still wont' stop today's stupid liberals from commandeering our tax dollars in their fool's errand of this modern day alchemy: chasing viable green energy that will completely replace fossil fuels is no different than trying to turn lead into gold.
With the way the media are covering Joe Paterno's disgraceful exit from the Penn State coaching ranks, you would think the guy was next in line for sainthood. They depict a tearful son Jay wishing his dad were here, and posters hanging everywhere in the football stadium of loving farewells to good ol' JoePa.
The evidence of what Joe Paterno's legacy will be is in front of everyone's nose: this is the guy who put football money and power above the protection of the innocent. Estimates are around $50,000,000 per year in 2011 dollars of Penn State's football program revenue, and these are the dollars Joe Paterno chose to protect, not the children victims who may number in the hundreds by the time this investigation into the pedophile Jerry Sandusky and his crimes committed while associated with the Penn State football program are completed. Joe chose the approximate $500 Million dollars over the children, when he made his decision to leave the police out of this situation. And I suspect, but can't verify that Joe didn't make this decision by himself, either. He had the ear of the athletic director and the university president at the time, and I suspect also that the revenue that might be adversely affected should this story come to light was discussed at length. And then jointly, the whole scummy lot of Penn State athletic poobahs decided to keep all of this hush hush.
And Joe Paterno knew of this reprobate's activities for years, and chose to turn a blind eye to the irreparable damage that he was inflicting on untold numbers of children. What kind of monster does this? And this scumbag Jerry Sandusky was still held in high esteem by Joe Paterno until just the last few weeks when the story broke.
Don't feel sorry for poor ol' Joe Paterno, getting fired after years of his basking in everyone's perceived love and adoration. He is just as much a scum sucking dog of a man as is his defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky. And now we hear Joe has lawyered up, pending the civil and possible criminal proceedings that may come his way.
He is the scum of the earth, and not the hero we all thought him to be.
We all know one of these guys. You know, the professional college student who is constantly changing his course of studies, and spends about 9 years and untold thousands of dollars in finally obtaining a bachelors degree in fine arts. Or film studies. Or sociology.
And we all know where to find this guy: playing video games in the basement of his parent's house, where he has lived for the last nine years since enrolling in college. This guy can wipe out hundreds of bad guys in Call to Duty XXI, but couldn't talk his way into a real life job interview to save his soul. Accordingly, he will be a burden on his aging parents until they finally work up the backbone to kick him out. And then and only then will he actually start to look for a job. And very, VERY likely, it will be one flipping burgers, if he's extremely lucky.
There are millions of guys like this out there. Millions and millions of 'em. Some of them are camped out on the sidewalk in Manhattan these days, but most are still in their parent's basement. And nearly all were ill served by their choice of studies in school. Some of them have degrees that are pertinent to some employers, but most simply chose worthless degrees, and the Top Ten Most Worthless are:
1. Fine Arts. This degree has virtually no bearing on life, and particularly is irrelevant when it comes to an employer. Just how does one transfer the skill of making paper mache figures into being part of a productive business enterprise? That would be a tough one to explain. Sure, a few fashion houses here and there will specify this degree, but those jobs are as plentiful as chicken lips. Meaning: not very plentiful at all.
2. Art History. Another degree that is high on the scale of worthlessness. Just how many employers are interested in your knowledge of the impressionist era, or of art deco? I know the answer to that one: approximately ZERO, give or take zero.
3. Women's Studies. Sure, there are employers everywhere falling all over themselves to throw money at women's studies graduates, since they are in such high demand. Actually, I am dripping with sarcasm as I wrote that first sentence. In the real world, there are NO employers who would touch a women's studies diploma holder with a ten foot pole. They are perceived as walking, talking sexual harassment lawsuits, waiting to descend with a God awful vengeance on whatever hapless employer stupidly hires them.
4. Marine Biology. Of course, every kid who ever had a pet turtle or goldfish, or ever watched an episode of Jacques Cousteau tells their parents that when they grow up, they want to become a marine biologist. Just like we all wanted to be ballet dancers as girls, or train engineers as boys. Eventually, though, we grow up and know that those professions, while they exist, are few and far between and we get real jobs. But not real, live marine biology graduates. The only jobs for those guys are teaching other guys to be marine biology graduates, and even those are tough gigs to land. Question: what is the most common question asked by a marine biology graduate these days? Answer: 'would you like fries with that?'
5. Archaeology. Just like all kids who want to be marine biologists, when we started learning about dinosaurs, the first thing we did when we came home from school is tell mom and dad, 'when I grow up, I want to become an archaeologist.' Sigh. Ask all of those fifty three genuinely employed archaeologists, out on a dig in the middle of Montana, what they get paid for digging through a few tons of dirt with a toothbrush. When they tell you $7/hour, don't visibly gasp, as it might hurt their feelings. On the bright side, at least those 53 archaeologists are working. The other 5 million archaeologist degree holders are still living in their parent's basement, playing Mortal Combat.
6. Law. These are some of the saddest cases, these new law school grads, and especially the ones who passed their state's bar exam, and find that for every scummy little paralegal job opening that pays $20,000 a year, there are about a million unemployed new lawyers standing in line to get an application. That, after they just coughed up about $150 Grand worth of expenses getting this jewel of a degree. They should have taken note of all of those lawyer jokes they heard growing up. Turns out, those jokes are not jokes. They are all true.
7. Sociology. Social work. That is a magnet for all of the do-gooders in high school, who 'just want to help people.' Oh, boy. Where to start, where to start....first of all, these dreamers have to know that all jobs in social work pay almost nothing. And some pay exactly that: nothing. If you really want to help, your employer says, you will voluntarily do this for nothing and that will really, REALLY help (unsaid, it will mostly help keep the boss' payroll down). Eventually, these dopes wise up and go get real jobs flipping burgers.
8. Journalism. It could be said that dumb ol' Fredd here is a journalist (although I was not dumb enough to get a degree in this stuff). Sitting here, writing an article that is published on the World Wide Web. And what kind of dough does Fredd pull down in payment for the crap, er I mean, material he publishes? That's right: ZERO dollars. And in the communications age, transfer of information is virtually free. Accordingly, we all see print media struggling, newspapers going belly up, and what do these numbnuts do when considering a degree? Journalism. Doh!!
9. Fashion Design. For all of the girls in high school who were called 'clothes horses,' this is the degree for them as they know when they graduate, they will quickly develop a line of clothing named after them, such as Vera Wang, Johnnie Versaci, Calvin Klein and that gang. With 500,000 fashion design degrees pumped out each year, and about 7 fashion design slots available, the simple math here suggests that the only fashion designing decisions these dumb degree holders will be doing is deciding which color of McDonald's name tag they will wear that day: Red, Yellow or Black. Question: typically what material is the hat made of that a fashion design degree holder wears? Answer: paper.
10. Performing Arts. Or acting, as it used to be called. Question: what is the main activity engaged in by those holders of a performing arts degree? Answer: busing tables. I lived in North Hollywood for a year or two way back when, and everybody I met had a script in their pocket: they either wrote it, or were studying lines in it, but everybody had a script. In their back pocket, of course, because they needed their hands free to wipe down counters, bus tables, flip burgers and wash shot glasses as they tended bar. But they were all actors. And they all had performing arts degrees. As do most mimes, by the way...