Cuban Bicycle Diary Shows Socialism Fails

Cuban Bicycle Diary — A friend has forwarded us the below article:

TRIP TO CUBA . . .well worth the read!

A 77 yr. old guy goes to Europe, Canada, Mexico and now Cuba for bicycle road trips.  I  thought you might enjoy reading his report of his bicycle trip to Cuba:

On February 1st I flew to Atlanta, met some friends  and we flew to Cancun, Mexico.  We spent 4 days there, mostly touring  the Mayan ruins of Tulum and Chichen Itza and getting ready for the next  part of the adventure.  Seven more people flew in and we all boarded a Mexican airline, Interjet, and flew to Havana for a week of bicycle riding in Cuba.

Cuba, where nothing works, including the people.  Unemployment is 48% and of those who do work, 8 out of every 10 work for the government.  Before heading to the western part of the island, we spent a night in Havana at the Riviera Classic, the finest hotel at the time.  20 stories with 3 elevators, but only one worked.   Contrary to what I found in the rest of  the country, my shower only had hot water.  Turn the knobs all you want, but you only got hot, scalding water.

The stories about the old cars is quite true, but many of those cars are used to take tourists on tours of the city.  $30.00 gets you 2 hours in 1952 Cadillac convertible and you can pile in as many people in as you want.  Old Chevys seem to be the most  popular and a few are quite nicely restored.  They all fell in the 1941 to 1957 range.  I saw nothing newer than a 57.  By restored, I  mean they look good on the outside but, as our Cuban tour guide said, there would not be a V8 under the hood.  The original had failed decades ago and with no parts to fix it, other means had to be found.  Generally that involved putting a 4 cylinder Russian made diesel in and making the necessary changes to get it to fit and mate up with an unknown transmission.

Outside Havana, the country is still in the 19th century.  Many people walk, but equally as many use horses, both to ride and to pull carts.  I saw wagons pulled by oxen on the highway.  We traveled by motor coach, stayed in crude motels, and ate in restaurants – all owned by the government.  Staying clean was a challenge.  In the public restrooms, washing your hands was interesting.  You need 3 things to wash your hands — water, soap, towel to dry.  Well, the towel was your shirt or pants, because there never were any towels.  In 1/3 of the toilets there was no water and in one case there was a lady standing beside the sink with a bottle of water to pour over your hands.  In an equal number of places, there was no soap.

If you thought not having soap and water in the restroom was a problem, imagine not having a toilet SEAT.  Yep, no toilet seat and it wasn’t just confined to public facilities.  One of  the rooms we stayed in had no toilet seat, which was matched by the fact  there was no toilet paper.  In its place, somebody had carefully torn individual sheets of toilet paper from a roll and placed them on the back of  the toilet.

Free health care and education is one of the things Castro brought with his revolution.  The health care is generally limited to the bigger cities.  Our guide told us that a taxi driver in Havana earned more in tips each day than a medical doctor earned  in salary in one month.  Oh, and the doctor can be arrested and jailed if he attempts to treat people on the side for extra money.  Education is free, but the reality is that most people cannot afford to stay in school.  Our tour guide was the exception.  He completed college and got a Master’s degree in computer technology, but can’t find a job in that field, so he conducts tours.

We visited a tobacco farm, where we had the opportunity to purchase genuine Cuba cigars for $3.25.  The farm had been in this man’s family for 3 generations, but only recently had actual title been put back in his name.  The  government claimed it after the revolution.   After harvest, the  government takes 90% of the tobacco, leaving the farmer with just 10% for his own personal use.  He chose to demonstrate how to hand roll a cigar, then sell it to tourists.  I asked our guide if all farmers lost 90% of their crop to the government.  His reply, “Oh no, vegetable farmers only give up 60% of their crop.”

The roads looked like they had been carpet bombed with huge pot holes everywhere.  Add that to the very steep hills we encountered and it made for slow biking.  While I am no speed demon, one day I averaged just 4.5 MPH as I attempted to find bits of pavement between the holes in the road.  In many cases, there was no road, just dirt.  When trucks went past, we were engulfed in a storm of dust and exhaust fumes.  A few of the  trucks were leftover Russian military vehicles.  Personal  transportation in the rural area was provided by stake bodied trucks.   People would stand by the side of the road and climb aboard when such a  truck came by.  The fare was around 8 cents and you stood packed in the bed of the truck with several dozen other people.

Those on welfare receive $25 a month, plus a ration of beans, rice and  cooking oil.  The money came from the Cuban government, but the Russians provided the food.  Each month a supply cargo ship docks with beans, rice and cooking oil sent by the Russians.  Speaking of them,  the Cuban version of the Missile Crisis is quite different from what we heard in the US.

Glad I went, but have no desire to return.  Cuba makes our inner cities look like paradise and the poverty is staggering.  After 2 weeks abroad, we flew home and I spent the night in a Hampton Inn at the Atlanta airport, before catching an early morning flight back to Seattle.  Took the longest hot water shower ever after having a cheeseburger, fries and two gin & tonics for dinner.  I was really glad to be back.

Dedicated to all Bernie Sanders supporters and others who believe “Government Socialism” is so much better than our country that was built on “Capitalism.”

 

Cuban Bicycle Diary Shows Socialism Fails

Cuban Bicycle Diary Shows Socialism Fails

 

 

Chester Amazon Would Make A Good Match

Chester Amazon Would Make A Good Match — Chester, which not-so-long-ago was listed as one of the 10 places in America to avoid, is among the sites being pushed for Amazon’s second HQ.

And a pretty good case can be made for it.

It has under-used, under-taxed land along what could be a lovely waterfront, and easy access to I-95, the Philadelphia International Airport and numerous institutions of higher learning.

Go for it Chester and good luck.

Chester Amazon Would Make A Good Match

Chester Amazon Would Make A Good Match

 

 

Samantha Harris Explains Sally Ladd Case

Samantha Harris Explains Sally Ladd Case — America’s Future Foundation which describes itself as “the premier network for liberty-minded young professional” will have a meeting 6:30 p.m., tonight, Sept. 18 at the Heritage Ballroom in Ridley to address Sally Ladd injustice.

Samantha Harris and her family hired Sally Ladd to get tenants for their vacation home at Arrowhead Lake in the Poconos and were very happy with her performance.

Unfortunately she did not have a real estate broker license. Getting one would have required 300 hours of approved instruction, pass two exams, and spend three years working as an apprentice under an already-licensed broker.

Ms. Ladd was 61 years old.  She said she was quitting her business rather than deal with burden.

Mrs. Harris, who is vice president of policy research at Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, talked her into filing suit  against the Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission and the Pennsylvania Department of State. They are seeking relief from the law—the Real Estate Licensing and Registration Act, 63 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 455.1.

Heritage Ballroom is at 2107 MacDade Blvd. Homes, Pa. 19043.

Admission is free and refreshments will be served.

Hat tip Kim Kennedy

Samantha Harris Explains Sally Ladd Case

Samantha Harris Explains Sally Ladd Case

Gab Lawsuit Google Standard Oil

Gab Lawsuit Google Standard OilGab Lawsuit Google Standard Oil — Typically ham-handed actions by Silicon Valley progressives has led to a lawsuit in Philadelphia that may shake the world.

Thank God for our enemies one can say.

The suit was filed Thursday (Sept. 14) in the United States District Court of Pennsylvania by Gab.Ai.Inc. Texas-based Gab claims a place of business at 1900 Market St., Philadelphia.

Gab is a social network akin to Twitter. It was removed from Google Play on Aug. 17 with the corporate behemoth citing that convenient catch-all “hate speech by users” as the reason.

Right. Nothing nasty is ever said by users of Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube.

So the “hate speech” accusation gets an LOL. Gab cites a more realistic motive in its suit namely that Gab competes directly with Google at several levels especially regarding its partnership with Twitter.  Hence, Gab is a threat to Google’s near monopoly regarding social news especially on mobile devices.

Gab is accusing Google of violating the Clayton Act and Sherman Act, anti-trust legislation from 1914 and 1890 respectively.

If Gab shows that Google is a trust that should be treated in accordance with these laws, well, consider what happened to Standard Oil.

Gab is easy to sign up for on the desktop and can be found here. 

Gab Lawsuit Google Standard Oil

Royal Farms Glenolden Store Is A Hit

Royal Farms Glenolden Store Is A Hit

Royal Farms Glenolden Store Is A Hit

By Kate Rainey

Today, May 16, is the First Anniversary of the opening of Royal Farms on 145 N. MacDade Blvd, Glenolden.

The Wawa competitor was was founded in 1959 by Baltimore’s Cloverland Dairy. The company, owned by third generation Kemp family, started in 1918 delivering milk by horse and wagon to Maryland homes. Today it is known for their “World Famous Chicken” and has over 170 locations in the Mid-Atlantic.

Royal Farms Glenolden Store Is A Hit
Matthew and Colin at the Royal Farms Glenolden.

Colin, a cashier who has been working at the store since March said nothing special was being done for the anniversary.

“The company is busy opening other stores,” he said.

There are 16 new stores listed on the website, along with four locations under construction, which includes their first to open in New Jersey.

The other Delaware County stores are on Stewart Avenue in Ridley Park just across from Boeing which opened in January 2015, and at 314 Market St., Aston, which opened in July.

Last week when I tried this store for the first time, I had a $5 coupon for their $13.99 eight piece chicken. Advertised as “always fresh, never frozen – lightly breaded and pressure cooked in trans fat free cooking oil,” it was moist, crisp and well seasoned. The only disappointment was there is MSG in it.

Upon arrival, the server behind the open kitchen announced they had to cook more chicken and there would be a 10 minute wait. Because I didn’t get my number, I missed that round and then had another 10 minute wait. When I went to check out,  didn’t charge me due to the long wait. He also returned the coupon to be used again.

When I returned for my second visit, I found Ray who I met the first time.

He was having an egg white and cheese biscuit sandwich ($1.69), and has been a daily customer for the last four months.

“Part of the Royal Farms experience is coming in here to relax,” said Ray of Crum Lynne. “The Royal Farms Reserve coffee is really good.”

A retired professor, Ray, became a patron for the “cheap gas,” which is $2.42 for regular. This store, which is 5,100 square feet with high ceilings, has 16 fueling stations. The kitchen also serves hand cut fried western fries, hot and cold subs, wraps and other side dishes. There is a variety of fresh brewed coffee that is served 24 hours.

According to Colin, the coupons that went out in flyers earlier this month have brought in a lot of new customers. Because of the seating area, unique menu and positive interactions with employees, I would return for this fast food. It is a different adventure than WaWa, which had it’s first store built down the street in 1964.

Royal Farms Glenolden Store Is A Hit

Dave Magrogan Flees Philly Over Regs, Taxes

Dave Magrogan Flees Philly Over Regs, Taxes
Not the best place for business.

Dave Magrogan Flees Philly Over Regs, Taxes — Noted restaurateur Dave Magrogan is saying farewell Philly with the closing of his last restaurant in the city, Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar at 40th and Walnut Streets.

He cites paid sick leave, city wage tax, the soda tax, and other city regulations.

He says he is going to stick to the suburbs.

And Florida, where he open an establishment in Delray Beach around New Year’s.

Only two types let Democrats take control of government — masochists and fools.

OK, three types. There are also soulless liars out to get rich and who know how to take advantage of masochists and fools.

Dave Magrogan Flees Philly Over Regs, Taxes

 

 

Carrier Deal Crony Capitalism Not

Carrier Deal Crony Capitalism Not
Tax cuts coming for all.

Carrier Deal Crony Capitalism Not — Some — including some conservatives —are calling Donald Trump’s Carrier deal that kept about a thousand jobs from moving from Indiana to Mexico “crony capitalism.”

The deal gives Carrier about $6 million in tax credits over 10 years along with a $1 million training grant.

Since when do tax cuts upset conservatives? You say it is unfair to other businesses? We suspect any business willing to spend  $16 million-plus to save a facility can drive a similar bargain.

What Trump did to save Carrier is not the cronyism that has poisoned our economy. The Carrier deal is not the same as spending $400 million in tax money to save an obsolete shipyard. It is not giving $188 million in tax money so Jeff Lurie can preen on TV.  It isn’t this garbage passed by the Pennsylvania Legislature back in 2012 that bestowed millions in public subsidies on chosen favorites.

High taxes, health care costs and regulation are why businesses flee the U.S. Any tax cut is a good thing. We fully expect that what Carrier and its employees got is what all U.S. businesses and their employees are going to get when The Donald is inaugurated.

Carrier Deal Crony Capitalism Not

MyPillow Settles $1 Million Lawsuit

MyPillow Settles $1 Million Lawsuit — Sad news. MyPillow has agreed to settle a civil lawsuit brought by several California consumer-protection groups for $1 million.

The groups claimed that the pillows really didn’t cure insomnia, sleep apnea, fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis.

Oh, how could they have led so many astray.

The company based in Chaska, Minn was  founded in 2004 by Michael Lindell and uses a patented open-cell, poly-foam design.

MyPillow Settles $1 Million LawsuitHopefully, this legal issue doesn’t prevent Lindell from airing his  commercials on so many different media. We know one person who would be truly heart-broken judging by the passionate commentary he provides each time he sees one.

MyPillow Settles $1 Million Lawsuit

Auto Subscribe Makes Bad Service Pay

Auto Subscribe Makes Bad Service Pay — Several years ago we accepted an offer from AOL, found the service lacking and went on with our lives. Months later we noticed their charges continued to appear on our credit card statements and tried to cancel. We found we couldn’t do it due to long waits and disconnections and such. We resorted to going to our credit card company and having them stop the automatic payments.

AOL, wouldn’t take no, however, and sent us threatening letters. It only backed off after we made a complaint to the state attorney general’s office.

What brings back these memories is a brief blurb in the December/January Popular Mechanics called “The Impossible Cancellation” in which Gary Dell’Abate describes the difficulty he had in cancelling the $7 month fee he was paying to Microsoft for his son’s Xbox Live account. He said the hold times were eternal. He eventually resorted to cancelling it through his credit card company as we did.

Corporate pigs have obviously found a way to make bad service pay.

There are legislative solutions. Auto-subscriptions could be limited by law to a year or six months, for instance, with client permission needed for each extension. Auto Subscribe Makes Bad Service Pay

Or a market solution could be pursued. Credit card companies could separate automatic payments on their bills and put them in bigger type while informing sellers than the customer will always be considered right in any auto-payment disputes.

Regardless bad service should never be rewarded.

Auto Subscribe Makes Bad Service Pay