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Stan says the cost of living is getting costly

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Friday night, Juan Williams, substituting for Bill O’Reilly, said that there is no inflation. Somebody please find out where Juan lives, because I want to shop there.

One year ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual rate of inflation was 1.14 percent. The current rate is triple that — 3.56 percent. Even that number has me wrinkling my forehead. I don’t know who these people who compute the numbers are and how they arrive at their results.

The United States Department of Agriculture recently announced that the cost of important staple food items such as milk and eggs have increased by at least 10 percent in one year. Coffee and gas seems to have doubled. I cordially invite the Washington heavy hitters to join me in a walk through the aisles of Waldbaums and Key Food where strolling through the meat department is like browsing at Tiffany’s. Pretty soon we will be forced to raise the debt ceiling on our Mastercards.

I have a hard time believing the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If the three percent number was accurate, most of us would barely be aware of the change. A 77 cents head of lettuce would be 79 cents. A $1.29 pound of apples would be $1.32. Hardly noticeable. A Rasmussen poll taken early this month tells us about a new high. At this moment, 93 percent of Americans are shouting that they are paying more for groceries than they did a year ago.

How much more? A lot more than three percent. Enough to be noticed.

• • •

Everybody knows that the United Nations is a wonderful tourist attraction for visitors to New York City. What most of us don’t know is that Uncle Sam pays 22 percent of the regular U.N. budget and 27 percent of its peace-keeping costs. Add to that the expenses of the quasi-independent U.N. organizations and we find that American taxpayers shelled out more than $6 billion — that’s billion with a capital “b” — last year. Is the cost worth it? Mr. Raisman, in these trying economic times, do you think we are getting our money’s worth?

• • •

In the first five months of this year, there were a total of 262,282 illegal immigrants deported from the United States. Maybe if we had more border controls, they wouldn’t have been able to cross over in the first place. We are told that there are more troops guarding the Korean borders than there are on the American borders. Now we know where to put our troops when they come home from Afghanistan.

• • •

In 2001, F. Lee Bailey was found guilty on seven counts of misconduct by the Florida Supreme Court and was disbarred. In 2003 the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, using the state’s reciprocal agreement, also disbarred the noted attorney. That same year Robert Kardashian was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. The 59-year-old attorney passed away eight weeks later. Brent Shapiro, son of Robert Shapiro, died in 2005 of a drug overdose.

Also in 2005 Johnnie Cochran died of brain tumor. The common thread among Messers Cochran, Kardashian, Bailey and Shapiro is the famous O.J. Simpson murder trial. The four attorneys have become victims of what has come to be known as the O.J. curse. Do you believe in karma? I am StanGershbein@Bellsouth.net wondering if Casey Anthony’s defense team does.

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