Man Attempting to Ban Popcorn in Theaters

A man in the UK is attempting to ban popcorn in movie theaters. You heard it correctly. He wants to prevent movie attendees from consuming the butter-laden, salty snack. He said that listening to people munch and crunch popcorn while watching a film is distracting. I just have one question. How close is this guy sitting to his fellow neighbors? And just how loudly are these people eating?  Maybe an optional Popcorn Eating 101 class should be offered.

Along that same line, perhaps we should teach people how to drink those tall soft drinks that the theater sells for several dollars. Maybe we could also instruct them on the art of sipping instead of slurping and making those obscene noises with their straws when they get to the last few drops of liquid.

This isn’t the first time such a thing has been proposed. According to a February 2014 article, popcorn was once banned from theaters in the U.S. During the Depression, vendors used to sell popcorn to patrons before they entered the theater. Recognizing a good idea, movie theater owners bought popping machines and offered the snack in the lobby. They learned that they could make as much as 85 percent profit from concession sales.

Personally, I love eating popcorn while watching a movie. But the last time I attended a movie, about a month ago, there were only about five other people in the theater in addition to my husband and I. And most of them brought their own snacks. So, I suspect the profit margin for popcorn has gone down a bit.

And really, how can you justify charging $4 or $5 for a small tub of popcorn anyway? By the time a person buys popcorn, a drink, and a movie ticket, it’s not hard to have $20 wrapped up in the whole situation. I admit that it’s not a bad deal for one or two people, but for a family the cost can be prohibitive.

Maybe that’s why Netflix is doing so well. You can sit at home on the couch and eat your snack and crunch to your heart’s content. And if mom or pop or sis or brother is making too much noise during the viewing, you can pelt them with fluffy kernels dripping with butter. Just kidding. Maybe.

At any rate, I think popcorn and movies are here to stay. It’s sort of like peanut butter and jelly. It’s a union we’re used to, and I don’t anticipate a divorce between the two parties anytime soon.





The State of Chaos

The State of Chaos

President Obama’s State of the Union address might as well have been called the State of Chaos address. While he was busy patting himself on the back, the average American must have been sitting on their couch, if they still have one, cringing.

I don’t know how he could stand there and congratulate himself on an increase of jobs. The fact is that many people are underemployed or don’t have jobs at all. You can skew the numbers any way you want, but more people are unemployed than he claims. Many people have lost their jobs. But to be fair, it’s not all Obama’s fault.

Whoever came up with the H-1B work visa idea must have gotten a big campaign contribution that year. I suspect the contributions came from big tech companies. Somehow, an influential individual convinced someone in government that there aren’t enough tech people in the U.S. so we need to import them at lower than average hourly rates. Who wins in this scenario? Big business, of course. Who loses? The taxpayer and the American worker.

And Mr. Obama talked about the deficit. I care about how much money the country spends and borrows, but I don’t understand why we spend billions on wars and aid to other countries, yet many lower and middle-class Americans stand in line at food pantries each week. And veterans have to wait weeks for a doctor’s appointment.

I also don’t understand why the majority of people that want to work in State and Federal jobs need to have some kind of inside connection or know someone in order to qualify for those jobs. That’s cronyism not hiring the most qualified person. Along that same line, I don’t get why people in the military can retire after 20 years with access to base privileges and full medical insurance. And to add insult to injury, these retirees can bid for the same jobs they performed and work as a contractor at exorbitant hourly rates. But don’t ask me. I work in the private sector where people have to compete and scrabble for their jobs.

And don’t get me started on healthcare and the costs related to it. While it’s true that Americans with chronic diseases can’t be excluded from medical insurance anymore, it’s also true that Obamacare is unaffordable for the average person. Who in their right mind thinks that $600 a person per month is affordable? That’s what they wanted to charge me when I took an early retirement. And the coverage was poor. I’m lucky enough to be on generic prescriptions, but I know people that aren’t. The cost of a name brand medication can be astronomical. Maybe the insurance companies have to cover people with chronic illnesses, but they don’t have to pay for medicine. As a result, Insurance companies instituted large deductibles. That’s like having no coverage at all. Pharmaceutical companies have expensive lobbyists and few people in government care what it costs the average person for a prescription. After all, government workers get their healthcare free, especially if they serve in Congress.Then they get it free for the rest of their lives.

And I don’t really give a damn about carbon emissions. It’s great that there’s a group that wants to reduce smog and the like, but I’m more concerned about being able to walk about freely and not worrying about potential terrorists. Until now, I’ve never thought much about the second amendment, but I can understand why it’s important to be able to buy a gun. People need to feel safe. It’s starting to feel like the Wild West in some parts of this country. We don’t need new gun laws. Let’s enforce the ones we have, and give every purchaser a background check. And maybe a mental one too.

There’s also the pending nuclear deal and the closing of the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. Because President Obama has weakened the U.S. to such an extent, he feels inclined to give away billions of dollars to Iran. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see him give Guantanamo back to the Cubans after he releases the remaining terrorists on the unsuspecting free world. I don’t know what Obama studied at Columbia and Harvard, but he obviously didn’t take a class in negotiations.

And of course, there’s the potential influx of refugees. I’m all for giving people a fair shake. My family came here as immigrants. But for God’s sake, let’s vet these people thoroughly or refuse them entry into this country. I don’t care if they’re from Timbuktu, people with visas need to be thoroughly checked. Perhaps it’s time to close the borders for a bit and think carefully about our next move.

Along that line, I have a radical idea. The next time we elect a president, let’s pick someone that’s experienced enough to have some business sense and negotiation savvy. He or she doesn’t have to be a dyed-in-the-wool politician. We don’t need someone that has devoted their life to public service. Rather, it should be someone that is honest and intelligent and has held a job in the private sector, at least for a few years. It should be someone that gives a damn what happens to the average American. I know that’s going to be hard to find, but let’s try.

Denmark Wants to Grab Assets

Whenever I think things are getting bad in the U.S. all I have to do is look around the world and see what else is going on. The BBC World News reported today that Denmark is considering seizing the assets of migrants wishing to immigrate to their country. This proposal is set to be voted on later in the month.

To paraphrase the situation and a Danish official, the government feels that since the migrants are essentially applying for welfare in that country, they have the right to seize any cash or items worth more than 10,000 kroner or about $1,450 in U.S. currency. They have decided to let the newcomers keep sentimental items such as wedding rings. Big of them.

I’m not saying that the U.S. is a sterling example to follow regarding welfare or immigration, but as far as I know we haven’t pre-taxed welfare recipients yet. We do make people prove need, but seizing assets of those that have lost their homes, country, and in some cases loved ones, seems a little harsh.

Some critics have compared the proposed measure similar to the Nazi’s treatment of the Jews during the Holocaust. Whether you like the idea of refugees coming to your country or not, I think seizing what few assets these poor people have managed to keep is cruel.

If you’re like me, you might not know that much about Denmark especially their religious views. So, I did a little research. Wikipedia states that the most prominent religion in Denmark is Christianity, specifically the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark. The second largest religion is Islam due to an influx of believers migrating there since the 1980’s. About 3 percent of Denmark’s population is Muslim. The online encyclopedia points out that church attendance is generally low in the country. It goes on to say that the “vast majority of Danes are technically agnostic or atheist…and that four of Denmark’s prime ministers have identified themselves as atheists.”

So, I guess it would be pretty hard to ask them to open their hearts to the less fortunate. For sure, they haven’t read Matthew 7:12: “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Many of us refer to this as the Golden Rule. Whether a person is religious or not, most people live by this moral maxim in one way or another. I guess in Denmark they want the gold, not the underlying principle or rule that goes with it.

I’ve heard it said that Denmark’s healthcare is remarkable but that the average tax rate is 50 percent of a person’s income. The website cites that “. . . most residents in Denmark receive payments of some kind from the public sector.” So maybe the government is used to their residents paying a substantial bit of their income to receive basic benefits. But to open your borders to migrants and then in essence pre-tax or fleece them is just plain mean. Why don’t they just say that they don’t want the immigrants and be done with it?




Why Women Shouldn’t Support Hillary Clinton

When Hillary supported her husband, Bill, during his “I did not have sex with that woman” debacle, she essentially said the following to other women, “You just stand there and take it bitch.” Really?

Aside from the obvious naked ambition and greed, Hillary has planned for years to become the nation’s first woman president. But she’s trying to lead women down the wrong path, especially young women. She’s a narcissist and, of course, power-hungry. And I truly think that she believes what she says. If you tell yourself lies long enough, pretty soon you start to believe them.

In these columns, I’m going to tell it the way I see it. If she really believed in women’s rights, equal rights, she’d have kicked Bill’s ass right out the door. And if she had done that, she might have been president by now. Women and men alike would have had more respect for her. They could understand someone saying, “Look, he’s a sleazebag, and I’ve put up with it long enough.”

The problem with the 2016 Presidential Election is that both Democrats and Republicans have come to expect that elected politicians are corrupt and lie much of the time.  They’re used to “scumbag” politics.

Hillary would have been a good example for women if she had shown how to stand on her own two feet without corruption. And she might have garnered more sympathy that way. All we’ve learned so far is that if you lie, cheat, and connive like the “good old boys,” it’s okay. For her, the end justifies the means.

The fact that this woman has two separate FBI investigations going on to cover such subjects as sharing top secret emails, Benghazi, the Clinton Foundation, and possible corruption boggles the mind. I guess it’s possible that the woman’s stupid enough not to have known what she was doing. And I might believe that of a neophyte, but not a savvy ex-lawyer that is used to dodging one scandal after another. Remember Whitewater? Travelgate? Filegate? Vince Foster?

Someone that has been involved in as much scandal as Hillary Clinton should not be held up as an example for women let alone be a presidential contender. Young people need role models, but they need good ones. Not someone that has escaped one scandal after another by using her political influence.

The fact that anyone – the Democratic Party, voters—male or female, majority or minority, would even consider someone for the office of the President of the United States with such lack of ethics is appalling. It makes me wonder what would happen if she did succeed to the Presidency.

America doesn’t need someone in office that thinks she is above the rest of us. We fought a revolutionary war to escape such aristocracy. Let’s not revert back to colonial times.