However, I wanted to add something to my last blog, concerning wage increases. I joined the Air Force in 1971 and for you young people, yes, we had airplanes back then. When I graduated basic training, my pay as an E-2 or a one stripe holder, I was paid all of $168 a month. I was soon married, having been engaged my whole senior year of high school, and collected an extra housing allowance and rations. This totaled, with my regular pay, $345 a month. With this I rented a trailer for us to live in, opened a charge account to buy our needed housewares and also bought a brand new car- 1971 Chevrolet Vega Coup. To help out, during the summer I worked at the trailer park's pool as a life guard. Oh, we ate pretty well, gas was cheap and most stations were under 30 cents a gallon. Then President Nixon came through with his promised pay raise for all ranks and services and my pay jumped from $168 a month to $360 a month and wow, we thought we'd found out pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. First thing we bought was a new stereo system for under $50. BUT, within two weeks, the Base Exchange and Commissary prices had doubled in most everything. Sure we had a pay hike, but we ended up losing it all to the new prices. Internet wasn't around back then, so we had to drive 70-miles to Kansas City to find any savings. The outlining towns raised their prices 20% to 50% and I do not believe the town locals were all that crazy about the military pay hikes. I was also paying income tax for the first time.
So, as I said, be careful for what you wish for. You'll pay for that wage increase and probably a little bit extra too. Business owners, especially the bigger chains, where states pass their own wage hikes for minimum wage, will use this moment to add additional percentage beyond what the wage increase will cost them. They do not believe the consumer will even notice. My beloved wife has taught me how to shop, by looking at the cost per pound instead of the price per article and this has saved us a lot of money. Beef has skyrocketed because shortage of corn to feed the critters, plus numerous droughts. Chicken is up and down, but you need to be wary of where the chicken is coming from- how it was cared for-what kind of growth incentives were shot into it that would now be consumed by you, and please be careful with your eggs and milk. We only buy certified organic. Same with pork. This stuff is going into you and your kids.
Okay, enough on Bill's culinary corner. Our snow is still here and our refrigerator is still outside on the sidewalk. I could say it works will out there and no electricity costs, but truthfully we just haven't gotten back into the kitchen. This is our replacement, given to us by a dear friend and our old borrowed one has gone back to the church for our new pastor to use. We are just getting a few final items out of the way before we bring the monster in. Back in the old days I could move one of these by myself- plus a dolly. I recall being a furniture mover for a company in Arizona, I was 16 years old. One day we had to move a 8-foot long couch up to the 7th floor and it wouldn't fit in the stairwell, so we took it up the elevator. By the time we reached the 7th floor, two frustrated movers ended up with a 6-foot section and a 2 foot section- yes, it came out of our pay. But that summer I learned a lot about moving furniture. One thing was how to not drive the company's facility golf cart into the side of a millionaire's car...more about the side of a boat. I had to apologize to him and found out he was a retired Washington D.C. politician, a trusted adviser to President Eisenhower. I just knew I was going to prison. My only excuse I was busy staring at a pretty gal in a bikini coming from the pool. That made him laugh and I was off the hook. Oh, I had to pay for his vehicle repair and then my Dad fired me. Girls always got me into trouble. I add this into my books.
Some News Briefs:
United States: So you know, our Federal Deficit or national debt, has recently surpassed $18 trillion dollars. But the Obama Administration still says they've cut the deficit by two-thirds since President Obama took office. But the figures they give out and the actual figures listed in government accounting do not match. When Obama took office 6 years ago the National Debt was $10.6 Trillion, which he blamed all this on President Bush and his running to China with a credit card, but President Bush had only driven the deficit up to $4 trillion in his 8 years, with two wars going on and the 9-11 security response build-up around the country. President Obama then in 6 years drove it up an additional $7.4 trillion dollars, nearly twice what President Bush did and in less time. Obama still had driven it from $10.6 in 2008 to over $18 trillion dollars in 2014- 6 years. But Obama's Administration like to play loose and fast with the old smoke and mirrors routine and hope you will not check deep into the numbers and simply take them at what their favorable newspapers print; those owned by the democratic party. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said, this is a "Sad milestone for America."
Belgian: Parliament in line to recognize Palestine as a state, after France does. ( No offer of land for Palestine from France or Belgian, though.)
Britain: United Kingdom Members of Parliament call for "action" on Palestinian state recognition. ( Maybe they could give Wales to Palestine, of course the Welsh might object.)
Egypt: Sentences 188 people to death for the murder of 11 police officers in a 2013 incident.
New Zealand: Research of the Antarctica waters have found polluting chemicals found in everyday soaps, cosmetics and sun screens, at the same levels found in many urban areas of the world.
Russia: Soviet propaganda in play-using anti-police protests and riots in the United States for their basis of giving Russians the impressions the US is all up in flames. Russia-China military ties deepen, growing significantly amid the year long Ukraine crisis, which has pitched East against West in Cold War style conflict.
Ukraine: Energy minister voices "No threat" from accident at their nuclear plant. No news on what actually occurred at the plant has been released, yet.
Earthquakes: (15) 4.0 or better quakes for around the globe in last 24 hours. (6 mild ones) Alaska, (4 mild ones) Oklahoma, (1-4.8) Indonesia, (1-4.8) Philippines, (2-4.7/4.6) Japan,
(1-4.7) New Guinea, (1-4.6) Sumatra, (1-4.4) Mexico, (1-5.3) Ecuador, (1-4.9) Fiji,
China: President Xi Jinping has urged accelerating development of military equipment systems to help build a stronger army. Beijing denies recent reports that Venezuela intended to pay off its debt to China by giving China an island. But Chinese representative is meeting with Venezuelan Economy Chief. ( If such action was carried out, this would place a possible Chinese military base dangerously close to American territory.)
Libya: Islamic State has set up training camps in Eastern Libya. ( So, how much of previously purchased weapons, already provided to Libya and tax money gifted to them over last couple of years, will end up in the hands of the Islamic State?)
Ukraine: Approximately one-third of the fighting force Ukraine is facing in pro-Russian territory, is shown to be 10,000 Russian troops and paid mercenaries from Russia.
Philippines: Super Typhoon is gaining strength and heading for the part of the Philippines already devastated by previous mega-storms. Thousands have already died this year in the storm struck communities. Armed forces on highest alert for the storm, which is due to hit on Saturday.
US: Obama Administration is refusing to discuss reports that emerged early Thursday claiming the White House is considering imposing sanctions on Israel for continuing construction of Jewish homes in Jerusalem. ( What is this man think he is doing? Does he truly desire to take down the wrath of God upon our country? Does he hope for a civil war, using our military to stop protesting Christians by the hundreds of thousands, plus the Jewish. Or is that his plan? Which could leave our country defenseless as Christian and Jewish soldiers lay their weapons down, refusing to dishonor God. Maybe Obama wants to bring in scores of Muslims, declaring an act of emergency to call a postponement to the 2016 election to leave him in power. Only a fool or a planner like Hitler would attempt such a thing and I doubt Obama is a fool. I sincerely hope his advisers can stop this action from taking place or Washington DC may end up being targeted by an Israeli Nuke.)
Russia: Russian Ruble rose up for a few days but then took a bad drop following Putin speech to his country. Ruble now sitting at 54.5 rubles to the US Dollar. Oil in Russia was previously selling at $115 a barrel in June, but is now down below $70 a barrel. Putin optimistically based his upcoming yearly budget on $100 a barrel.
United Nations: World Food Program announced suspension of its Food Assistance Fund for 1.7 million Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt due to a lack of funds. The food program requires $70 million each week, but many of the donors have not honored their pledges.
UN: Ebola- Virus has risen to 17,145 cases, of which 6, 070 have died. Health Care Workers in the three worst hit areas; Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone account for 605 infected and of them 339 have died- over 50%. There has been no report on an US Military cases.
China: The People's Daily newspaper, China's largest paper and official Communist Party outlet, has accused the West for stoking extremism in the Middle East, for support of anti-government opposition movements. These involve Syrian Rebels fighting the Islamic State in Syria. Western sources feel China is apparently growing nervous about the effect the Jihaddist groups might have on its far-west region of Xinjiang, where Beijing could face its first threat from the Islamic State, or already has with at least fellow Jihaddists. China has shown no sign or desire to join the United States efforts to use military force against the Islamic State. The People's Daily accuses the West of allowing Jihaddists to pass unchecked into Syria, which allows the Islamic State to expand in number. China says in the article how the US needs to understand, "That the enemy of your enemy is still your enemy." But riots have broken out in Western China's Region of Xinjiang, where 12 people were killed in the Chinese City of Kashgar. Rioters armed with knives killed their 10 victims, while police killed two assailants. Turkish Muslims reside in this area and China maintain a strong security police presence to to past years of rioting and murders. China blames past riots and this recent one on the Muslim religion for breeding frustration. Unfortunately, China rarely provides much details about the criminal goings-on in this region. There is no approximate count on the number of Muslims in China or how fast it may be growing, due to its western borders lining up with Muslim held lands. However, I doubt even the Islamic State will attempt to take on a country that can field an army of 100 million and flatten their lands with nuclear weapons. It might be interesting to see who has the most patience?
Well, that's all for now. I wish you all a good night and a great coming weekend. God Bless, BILL It is now 2:22 a.m. and my dogs are snoring.