A Penney Postcard

The JC Penney store around the corner has closed.  And they’ve sent us a postcard.  A Penney Post card.  For those of you too young to remember, a post card from the USPS used to cost one cent. For those of you too young to remember, James Cash Penney was one of America’s leading merchants.  The name means something. Until the store closed, his picture hung near the office. Ninety five when he died.  And almost immediately, the store started sliding downhill.  Happens a lot when a big outfit turns on one personality. If you think otherwise, take a look at Apple between Jobs-1 and Jobs-2 and again now.  Lost its polish, though not its value. Be patient. Look at Microsoft post-Gates. So, here comes the postcard.  “We’re sorry your store has closed.”  Our store?  Not Read more

Mississippi Hanging

Wait a minute. They found WHAT?  Yeah, a dead black man hanging from the branch of a tree in Mississippi.  Now. In 2015. A branch 12 feet off the ground.  No ladder in sight.  No stool. A suicide?  It’s possible to assume so, but improbable. Otis Byrd, missing since March 2 from his home in postcard-like Port Gibson, near Vicksburg and right on the river.  Served 26 years in prison for killing a woman in a $100 robbery.  By all accounts, rehabilitated.  Working. Going to church.   And going to the casinos, of which there are three in Vicksburg, population 49,000.   In 1980, already on probation, Byrd robbed a grocery clerk of about $100.  Shot and killed her.  The money, says the sheriff, was to pay fees owed to his probation officer.   So, how did Byrd get Read more

It’s Barack’s Fault

I've learned a lot over the past seven years but I didn't understand it until earlier this week when I heard stiff mouth Lou Dobbs talking. This is the same Lou Dobbs who drives an Astin Martin among other luxury cars and who lives on a 300 acre horse farm in New Jersey. This week I learned two major lessons from the likes of Lou Dobbs, the first of which is why he is always so negative. Lou Dobbs, like Rush Limbaugh and others of that ILK, must be negative in order to retain an audience. Imagine if both of these men were nice people on the air. They would have zero audience. They need to be the way they are in order to maintain jobs, Astin Martins and acreage. Even CNN founder Ted Turner once said Lou Dobbs had the worst show on television. The other lesson I learned from the man whose lips Read more

Run For Your Lives, It’s Inflation

First it was Wal-mart. Then came TJMaxx. Who will be next?   These retailers are going to raise wages. Nine dollars an hour for TJ’s and its Marshall’s and Home Goods brand stores. Great news, right?  Maybe.   First, let’s do the math.  $9.00 an hour x 40 hours = $360. Times 52 weeks (assuming a two week paid vacation) = $18,720 before taxes.  Sounds decent, right? Well, not really. But better than now.   Now, let’s look at the poverty line:   If you’re single, it’s $11,670 according to federal figures for 2014, the latest available. For a couple, it’s $15,730.  Family of three: $19,790.  Getting iffy here.  And for a family of four: 23,850.   You still there after all that math?  Good. Here’s more.  Assuming a two income household, Read more