Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My favorite quote so far from Herman Cain

There were a lot of things to comment on from last night's Western republican debate.  But this was my favorite moment:

Anderson Cooper asked the question, “How do you explain the Occupy Wall Street movement happening across the country? And how does it relate with your message?”  Herman Cain, I’ve got to ask you, you said, — two weeks ago, you said, “Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks. If you don’t have a job, and you’re not rich, blame yourself.”  That was two weeks ago. The movement has grown. Do you still say that?   (APPLAUSE)
CAIN: Yes, I do still say that. And here’s why. (APPLAUSE)
CAIN: I still stand by my statement, and here’s why.

They might be frustrated with Wall Street and the bankers, but they’re directing their anger at the wrong place. Wall Street didn’t put in failed economic policies. Wall Street didn’t spend a trillion dollars that didn’t do any good. Wall Street isn’t going around the country trying to sell another $450 billion. They ought to be over in front of the White House taking out their frustration.
GO HERMAN!!!!!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

A closer look at a Wall Street "Fat Cat"

One refrain we keep hearing from the protesters trying to occupy Wall Street and other places is that corporate CEOs make too much money.

These Wall Street "fat cats" just sit around in their plush offices - they should pay their fair share.

It's so wrong that these guys get these huge executive salaries and bonuses while the rest of us don't even have jobs.

Really? I think that these protesters may be barking up the wrong tree.

Here's some information I dug up about one of those Wall Street "fat cats" - Jeffrey Immelt, President and CEO of General Electric Corporation (better known to us as GE).

Jeffrey Immelt's salary in 2010 was $3.3 million, and he received an executive bonus of $4 million.
In 2010, Jeffrey Immelt's jobs included:
  • CEO of GE
  • Trustee at Dartmouth College
  • Director of the Robin Hood Foundation, a non-profit foundation dedicated to helping people obtain the dream of home ownership
  • Director of NBCUniversal Media
  • Trustee of the Ronald Reagan Foundation
  • Director, Catalyst, Inc.
It appears that Mr. Immelt owns two homes; one in New Canaan, Connecticut and an apartment in New York City.

Mr. Immelt earned a degree from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Now, let's take a look at another famous person. His name is Johnny Depp, a high-school dropout.
2010 income (estimated): $75 million
In 2010, Mr. Depp's jobs included making 2 films:
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • The Tourist
His charitable efforts included donating a pair of underwear to be auctioned off for the Helen and Douglas House (the underwear sold for $3,000). He also donated a headband that he wore in one of his Pirates of the Caribbean movies to be sold at auction. In early 2010, he played guitar on a single to benefit earthquake victims in Haiti. It looks like Mr. Depp supports several different charities.

Johnny Depp owns the following properties, and possibly more that are unknown:
  • Mansion in Somerset, England
  • An unnamed island in the Bahamas
  • Mansion in West Hollywood
  • Penthouse in Los Angeles
  • Home in the South of France
  • Home in Hawaii
  • Palazzo in Venice, Italy
Oh yes, one other thing. The company that Jeffrey Immelt runs employed 287,000 people in 2010.

So remind me again, why are we picking on corporate CEOs and presidents here?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Dusting off the blog . . .

I'm dusting off my poor neglected blog. The Wall Street occupants and the Republican primary process are giving me plenty of stuff to yak about!

But before I go into a new rant, if you read back two posts to my entry about airport security, you'll see my comment about 95% of people not having to go through body scanners at airports.

I TAKE THAT BACK. Things have changed in the past year. More people than ever are going through the airport body scanners for no apparent reason. It seems to be luck of the draw these days, unfortunately. So I was wrong, and I admit it. You probably will have to go through a full body scanner at some point if you travel.

More to come, once I can get my thoughts into a coherent form!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Follow the Rules!!!!!

If you don't fly often, you may not be familiar with the latest rules for getting through airport security. Here's a rundown in plain English.

Before You Go
Ship or mail any questionable items to your final destination if you don't want to check your bags. I'm a jewelry maker and have done this several times. I'd rather go through this hassle than have my tools confiscated!

Check-in online and use the electronic boarding pass option if you can. You can check-in with your airline up to 24 hours before your flight. If you are not checking a bag, there is absolutely NO reason to check in at the airline counter at the airport.

Have the following four items easily accessible and removable:
  • Photo ID
  • Boarding pass or electronic device with boarding pass
  • Laptop
  • Quart size liquids bag (more on this later)
Once you Arrive
Before heading to security, confirm your departure gate on the airline screens. I find that about half the time I fly, my departure gate changes between the time I checked in online to the time I arrive at the airport!

The Three Basics
1. One carry-on and one personal item per person.
You are allowed one small "suitcase" or bag (which must fit in the overhead bin of the airplane) and one personal item on every flight. The personal item may be a purse, laptop bag, briefcase, or shopping bag. As long as the personal item fits under the seat in front of you, it's fine.
I can't tell you how many women I see trying to get a suitcase, purse, and shopping bag/laptop bag/briefcase aboard a plane. Ladies, your purse IS the "personal item." My suggestion: Carry a small wristlet with your essentials in it and tuck it inside your shopping bag/laptop bag/whatever.

2. Liquids must be inside one quart-size plastic zip-lock style bag.
That means one of these little bags per person, not all of your liquid items stowed in 10 separate bags. (Yes, I've seen someone try.) And be aware of what a liquid is. When in doubt, here's my rule: If it's gushy, it's a liquid. Lipstick, lip balm, shampoo, hair gel, even soft-solid deodorants all qualify as liquids. Bar soaps and solid deodorants are OK. (By the way, snow globes are not allowed, period. That's a new rule I learned last week!)

3. You are required to show your photo ID along with your boarding pass.
Period, no exceptions, unless you're not old enough to have a driver's license. So go ahead and get both in your hand before you get in line.

And here are some suggestions to make things easier:

Dress appropriately.

Wear easy on/off shoes with socks. (Especially if you're a germophobe - you DON'T want to be walking barefoot through the security line! Ewwwwwwwww!)

Leave the huge belt buckle, metal earrings, or clunky bangle bracelet behind. If you insist on wearing these, take them off and put them in a bin before you go through the metal detector.

Liquids & Laptops Out
Pack your liquids bag and laptop where you can get them out quickly and easily. Once you reach the screening area, take your laptop out of its bag and put it in a bin all by itself. Take out your liquids bag and put it in a second bin along with your shoes and jacket if you have one. Empty your pockets into one of the little change bins. Don't put your carry-on and personal item in bins; they'll go through the scanner just fine by themselves. There's always a shortage of bins so don't be a bin-waster!

No Boarding Pass Required
You do NOT need to show your boarding pass before going through the metal detector. Once these have been checked, tuck them away.

Get Out Of The Way (My personal pet peeve!)
Once you and your stuff have made it through the scanner, gather everything as best you can and then move on. Most airports have an area right outside the screening area where you can sit down and re-pack. Use this area instead of clogging up the security lanes so that your fellow passengers can move through.

I hope this has been helpful to someone; please feel free to ask any questions and I'll answer as best I can!

Tips from a Frequent Flier

The TSA's new screening procedures have been all over the news this week. From what I've seen, a lot of people have some critical misconceptions about airport security.

*****First and foremost, even if an airport has the full body scanners (AIT, as they are sometimes called), 95% of passengers will NOT be asked to go through the scanners. If you are asked to go through the scanner, you have the option to request a pat-down instead.*****

So how can you avoid being one of the 5% that is asked to go through the extra security measures? Here are three tips, all based on my personal experience and observations as a frequent traveler.

1. Follow the rules. This is a big one. Every person I've seen pulled out for extra screening had done something wrong. For example, that tube of ChapStick in your pocket (instead of your "liquids" bag) may seem innocent to you, but to an agent that little infraction makes you a rule-breaker. And it could lead to extra security measures for you. I'll do a separate post on following the rules shortly.

2. Do not display a defiant, "They're not gonna touch me" attitude. You may not be aware of it, but you are being watched constantly while waiting in airport lines. Don't go attracting extra attention to yourself with cocky declarations.

3. Be kind and polite to every airport worker that you come in contact with. ESPECIALLY the very first person in the security protocol - the agent who checks your boarding pass and ID. That person can actually single you out for extra screening down the line. Also, these folks really appreciate it when you use the electronic boarding pass option. So use it every time you can.

More to come!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

In Loving Memory

Lora Bell McClure Dodd, born January 17, 1912, died April 12, 2010.

She was the youngest of 13 children. She leaves behind one sister, three children, four grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and countless nieces and nephews.

My grandmother is in a much better place now, reunited with her family and in the presence of God.

Monday, April 12, 2010

These Hands

They worked hard on the farm.

They picked cotton.

They sewed in a garment factory.

They embraced a husband on his way to war and embraced him again when he returned.

They held three children, four grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

They churned butter.

They made biscuits without measuring any ingredients.

They canned tomatoes, corn, and homemade chow-chow.

They made muscadine jelly and fig preserves.

They made breakfast for her husband every morning.

They sewed beautiful quilts one stitch at a time.

They held bibles and hymnals in countless church services.

They folded in prayer.

They loved.

They belong to my grandmother, Lora Dodd, age 98.