Why Employers Hate Unions

•June 12, 2009 • 1 Comment

I have mixed feelings about Unions.  On one hand, they do serve a good purpose in making sure its members earn decent and livable salaries (usually), get decent benefits, vacation pay, etc; on the other hand, they also abuse their power.

While I can understand their purpose and agree with it, I have a problem with most Unions’ stand about companies having to tolerate poor performance/behavior from employees for unreasonable amounts of time.  It really isn’t fair to the employer (not all of them are dogs after all).   IF an employee is absent a lot, doesn’t do their job, doesn’t keep up, causes extra work for their fellow employees who have to pick up the slack, a company should be allowed to replace that person.  I don’t think a union should force a company to tolerate such poor performance and have to pay the person on top of it.

An article on the NorthStar Writers’ Group today gives an interesting take on the GM and UAW:

But that’s me, and it’s probably you. If you want to know why General Motors is now in bankruptcy, get this: GM’s recent big triumphant new contract with the United Auto Workers stipulates that an employee who helps himself to an unexcused absence can be fired – once he’s done it six times.

Six times!

© 2009 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.

Read the FULL STORY here.

Can you imagine what would happen if I just didn’t show up to work with no phone call, no email, no explanation?   I might get away with it once, but since I’ve never tried that I can’t say for sure.  But I could pretty much guarantee I’d be fired the second time I tried that.  I remember once in my first job and apartment, I had no phone.  I woke up with a fever and sick as a dog.  I had to walk a block to the pay phone to call in sick.  And I did!

At GM you can take all your scheduled PTO (paid time off) time (vacation, sick days, personal days) and still blow off work with NO notice or anything 6 times before you can be fired?  That’s like an extra week off each year……………….guaranteed by your union.  How nice for the GM employees.  However, I wonder about GM’s management team for agreeing to this nonsense to start with.

Years ago while I was living on Cape Cod, I worked for a while in a Bradlee’s department store.  For those who don’t know Bradlee’s, they are like Target stores.   Anyway, they were also unionized and it was a pain in the butt to fire anyone.

So the next time you are shopping, and the staff is unresponsive, lazy, rude, etc.  I’d bet if you asked you’d find out they were in a union and the Store’s management can’t do crap about it until they have a bazillion complaints on file.  It’s no wonder so many companies don’t want unions for their employees.  In which case, my suggestion to those companies would be to treat your employees with all loyalty and respect you demand and pay them living salaries.

Unions were good at one time; then they got too big, too political, too powerful…….now they seem to create as more headaches than any good they might do.


The Pandemic That Isn’t

•May 1, 2009 • 3 Comments

I know I said I wasn’t going to do anything on the Swine Flu issue, but Sandy over at Junkfood Science has done a fabulous job of cutting through the media hype and hysteria over this, and well………..I just couldn’t NOT do something here.

Swine Flu update: April 29, 2009

Part One of the Swine Flu epidemic here.

By the end of the day, panic over swine flu had reached pandemic proportions, with more than 117,607 news stories appearing on Google News. As media professor, Robert Thompson, at Syracuse University in New York, told Reuters this morning: “If as many people had swine flu as those [in media] that are covering swine flu, then it would be a pandemic to reckon with.”

He was more right than readers realize. As of tonight, the World Health Organization’s Swine Influenza Update reports 91 confirmed cases of the swine flu in the United States and one death; while Mexico has 26 confirmed cases, including seven deaths.

117 cases

117,607 news stories

That’s 1,005 news stories for each case of the flu.

Read the FULL STORY here.

Realizing that the CDC‘s own statistics show that over 30,000 people – in the U.S. alone – die every single year from influenza (63,000 in 2005); and the World Health Organization‘s (WHO) own statistics state that between 250,000 and 500,000 people die every single year globally from influenza, I’ve been wondering WHY all the hysteria over less than 2,000 cases globally and less than  200 deaths globally?  I don’t hear about pandemic levels every year during flu season.  So why all the hysteria so soon?

The media is having a field day with this.  The fact that the WHO is calling this a near pandemic has me questioning their credibility.  Actually, it is just confirming their lack of credibility for me.

The bigger question for me though is WHY they feel the need to try to keep us in a constant state of fear?   Why are so few of us questioning this?

Does H.R. 1913 Violate The 14th Amendment?

•April 30, 2009 • 10 Comments

I’ve been bombarded with “special news” lately about everything.  Swine Flu being the latest and greatest of course, but my roommate is covering that over at the JustMyTruth blog, so feel free to check it out.

I’ve often wondered what every new “pandemic” warning was covering up.  This time it looks like it might be the International Gun Treaty that everyone says Obama is all set to sign which would greatly diminish our 2nd Amendment guarantee to ‘keep and bear arms’.  I’ll save that for another time when I have been able to decipher the whole thing intelligently.

For now, I want to talk about H.R. 1913 otherwise known as the ‘Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009’.

I’ve been bombarded this past week with “must read” email notices about this bill.   The name alone makes me laugh…..this bill will PREVENT nothing (just like every other bill made that ONLY law-abiding citizens will obey anyway while criminals do as they damned well please).

Let me state here and now that I am actually against the whole premise of the bill, for reasons I’ll go into later on.

The calls for action have been claiming that this bill limits our free speech, is an attack on christian preachers (sorry if you preach that homosexuals are not worthy of life and someone takes you seriously you have helped incite them), though I admit this is a really tricky thing since free speech without self-responsibility can create havoc and harm, it is a fine line to walk between that and censorship (which I abhor).  They also state it will include pedophiles (and possibly rapists) as a protected class under “sexual orientation”.

The bill does not define sexual orientation OR limit it to homosexuals, bi-sexuals, transvestites, etc.  Apparently some in the House actually feel that since pedophilia is listed UNDER sexual disorders (along with those I’ve mentioned here) in the DSM-IV that they will be provided extra protection under the law from “attack”.  The reasoning being given is that if a mother discovered her child were sexually molested, and she confronted the perpetrator and slapped him (actually he’d be lucky if that was all she did), he might only be charged with a misdemeanor while the mother could be charged with a felony.

Personally, I don’t think any person in their right mind or in good conscience would feel the mother was guilty of a worse crime than her child’s molester.  Then again, knowing politicians and shyster lawyers just LOVE twisting common sense so hard you can’t recognize it anymore, I’m not wondering if these “panic” emails don’t have some merit.

First, what exactly defines a “Hate Crime”?  I know in MY mind what that means, and I’m sure you do also, but for some reason the government feels the need to actually “define” it and provide special protections to certain groups of people:

Sec. 249. Hate crime acts

    `(a) In General-
    • `(1) OFFENSES INVOLVING ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, OR NATIONAL ORIGIN- Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin of any person–
      • `(A) IN GENERAL- Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, in any circumstance described in subparagraph (B), willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person–

Is it just me, or does this not also define “crime” in general to you too?  We already have laws on the books regarding the fact that it IS against the law to attack another person; whether by fist, club, gun, knife, whatever else you might think of using.  So right here, I want to know why an attack on me as a white, heterosexual female not be considered as terrible a crime as someone else?    Seriously, why should crime that kills or injures me, or anyone else not included in this “protected class”  not be prosecuted to the same extent?

This bill will require jurors to now also consider what a person was feeling or thinking to determine if it is a “hate crime” or just a “crime”.   Aren’t all crimes hate crimes of some sort?

This bill really just expands Federal authority in these cases.  I’m not sure that is necessary as any State is free to request help from the feds at any time in any situation IF they so desire.

Another good breakdown of this bill can be found here.  In particular the section under additional views which spells out the objections of some of the House members nicely.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, my main objection to this bill is that it goes against our 14th Amendment to the Constitution:


Passed by Congress June 13, 1866. Ratified July 9, 1868.

Section 1.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Note that last sentence:  nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Now it just seems to me that by making special laws for some people, when that same crime committed against anyone else would not be pursued as hard perhaps, we are denying other segments of the citizenry “equal protection of the laws”.

And THAT is my whole problem with this bill.  I’m sorry, but a homosexual being beat up or killed for being gay is no more serious a crime than some white straight guy being beat up and killed for no good reason.

Sorry, murder is murder, assault is assault and one’s religion, sex, etc should have NOTHING to do with how it is investigated and prosecuted……………..Justice is supposed to be blind and this bill removes that blindfold and creates a new form of discrimination.

That’s how I see it.

It’s Been A While…

•April 25, 2009 • 2 Comments

I know I’ve been really bad about posting lately.  I have no excuse other than I allowed myself to crash after my lay-off from work.  I’ve just not been able to really focus on anything, let alone reading/researching/writing.

Today I stepped about a mile outside of my own personal comfort zone and did something I’ve never done before.  I participated in a small protest here in Phoenix……sign holding and all!  Trust me, for ME THIS was a huge step as I absolutely abhor doing anything that draws attention to myself.

I did attend the Tea Party Rally here in Phoenix on April 15th, but that was a little different, at least in my eyes it was.

Anyway, today’s protest was to “End the Fed” (as in the Federal Reserve Bank).  It turns out that right here in Phoenix we have the Fed’s cash processing center.  And before anyone tries to accuse me of being anti-government, understand that the Federal Reserve is NOT a government agency….it IS a PRIVATE bank!!!

So we spent the glorious morning we had here with our signs exercising our first amendment right to peacefully assemble/protest.  OK, so I didn’t do any yelling or anything, BUT this was still a major step for me.

In my life I never dreamed I’d turn rebel or activist, let alone wait until my 56th year to do so, and yet this seems to be the path I’m being pulled to.

I just want to see us go back to the basics of our Constitution.  I just want government reduced in size to what our founding fathers meant it to be.  I don’t need the government telling me how to live my life or pursue my happiness.

I’ll get to blogging shortly.  Think I’ve lazed around enough for now, and now I need to pick myself up and start focusing again.

This Is So “Hitleresque” It’s Not Even Funny!

•April 8, 2009 • 4 Comments

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana, American philosopher – (1863-1952)

Winston Churchill must be spinning in his grave to see all he fought against being utilized in what was once a free country.

You have to ask yourself what exactly WWII was about.  Did all those fighting men (and women) die for nothing?

The UK is starting to look more like Hitler’s Germany than any semblance of a free society.

‘Snoops’ to nag their friends to live healthier lives

Well-meaning ‘snoops’ are being recruited by the Government to nag their colleagues, family and neighbours into living healthier lives.

Public health “mentors” will be enlisted by the NHS to offer ‘on the spot’ advice in their local neighbourhood when they see people smoking, eating or drinking too much.

The Government hopes that the volunteers will help to get across its messages on healthy living in a new and influential way but the plans have been criticised as evidence of the creeping ‘nanny state’.

While this might sound all well and good, how many people appreciate their family, friends, neighbors “preaching” to them about their personal lifestyle habits, etc?  We used to call people like this “busy-bodies”.

The article goes on to say:

The mentors, who as volunteers are not paid, are expected to work to influence the people around them, offering advice to workmates, family and friends about how they should change their unhealthy habits.

Eating a third fried breakfast of the week in the office canteen, having a drink ‘for the road’ at your local pub or chain-smoking another cigarette while waiting for the bus could all see the mentors spring into action to offer the Government’s advice.

Considering how I was the only one in my office who smoked, ate all the so-called “wrong” foods, and was overweight………….it is amazing to me that I was also the only one who never got sick, wasn’t always running to the doctors office for a sniffle or ache.   Seems to me that my co-workers’ “healthy” habits were rather unhealthy.

I’ll go on with what I know works for me and keeps me healthy.   I’ll go on using natural remedies for those times that I don’t feel well, and can still not lose time from work because of it.

The government really doesn’t know me or my body and therefore is in no position to tell me what is healthy for ME.

This new “one size fits all” mentality is going to do more harm than good and in the end cost a whole lot more than just leaving people alone.

Then there is also this to consider:

Ministers are concerned that some people are turned off by its traditional methods of advising on public health, including large-scale advertising drives such as the recent £75 million Change4Life campaign.

Andrew Lansley, the shadow health secretary, said: “If local health bodies have got spare money to spend they should really be focusing on higher priorities like recruiting more school nurses and health visitors.

Susie Squire, campaign manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “When the struggling NHS cannot provide taxpayers with prompt doctor’s appointments or the right drugs for their ailments, there is no way the Government should be pouring money into costly gimmicks.

The NHS is crying broke….BUT they always seem to find the money for programs that have little to do with providing the care they are set up to provide.   It’s amazing they have the money for this stuff, but don’t have the funds to hire on more medical staff to handle the amount of people in need of real care!

But then this is what can be expected when you allow government to provide for your needs.  They then feel the “right” to tell you how to live since it is all taxpayer monies being used.  No matter that you yourself ARE providing the taxes and paying your way, so to speak.

IF this is what Obama has in store for us in this country in terms of healthcare……….I’ll take my chances without his help then.  Thank you very much!

Read the FULL STORY here.

The UK isn’t the only “free” country invoking “behavior modification via peer pressure” on its citizens.  The U.S. is doing the same thing, just taking a different route.

Under the guise of “Wellness Programs” many companies are not only providing such services but many are offering financial incentives to participants OR charging those who don’t participate (or don’t meet the “one size fits all” healthy standard) more for their health insurance.

Even Japan is getting into the act with it’s “Metabo” rules for employers, who will be fined IF their employees don’t meet the appropriate “waist” size mandated by the government.

One size does NOT fit all, and sooner these busy-bodies learn this the better, AND healthier, we will all be!

Most of the major ills of the world have been caused by well-meaning people who ignored the principle of individual freedom, except as applied to themselves, and who were obsessed with fanatical zeal to improve the lot of mankind…. Henry Grady Weaver

Human beings will generally exercise power when they can get it, and they will exercise it most undoubtedly in popular governments under pretense of public safety….Daniel Webster

If you see a man approaching you with the obvious intent of doing you good, you should run for your life….Henry David Thoreau

Who Is Left To Trust?

•March 17, 2009 • 11 Comments

Professional, peer-reviewed and published medical studies have long been the most trusted source of information.   I don’t know about you, but I was always taught that those in the medical profession were honest and above-board.  They spend years in school learning, they constantly stay on top of the latest new discoveries and reports.  The welfare of the patient is always first, and they never allowed their own personal beliefs interfere with their Hippocratic Oath.

There have probably been instances in the past where these reports and their researchers were called into question, but I admit to not having paid much attention.  Like most of us, I didn’t stop and listen until it hit home personally.

Tobacco Control is the area that brought my attention to the lies and deceptions of these so-called studies.  Today, most of these “studies” are issued by press release before the studies themselves are even made public; before they have been peer-reviewed and published.  By then it’s too late to undo any damage the exaggeration or lie has embedded in those who want to believe it.

And don’t even get me started on the pharmaceutical companies.  I swear they create “diseases” to match some new pill they designed.  Have you ever really paid attention to one of those ads and listened to the “possible side effects”?  I have, and I’d rather deal with my initial and immediate problem than use their pill and risk any one of the worse conditions that might occur.

The FDA is no better.  The corruption, fast-tracking, under-staffing and all around ineptness of this agency makes me wonder why they even exist, sucking up taxpayer dollars in the process.

We are being bombarded daily with fear mongering news headlines.  Everything is a “new study reports” scare tactic of one kind or another.   It’s never ending and I for one am getting burnt out hearing it all.  It’s like the story of the boy and wolf.  He cried “wolf” so often that when there really was a wolf to worry about, no one believed him.  That’s how I feel.  The media blasts us day in and day out with this will cause cancer; that will cause heart attack; the other will [fill in the blank].  I tune them all out now.  I no longer believe what is being reported.

However, for me, the worst mis-use of trust is with the medical profession.  When you have scientists fudging numbers to make a study show what they want it to show……………..well, I have real issues with trust after that.

Here’s an example of why it is so important to pay attention and make your own informed choices after doing your own reading and research.

One of the biggest cases of academic fraud in medical history

One of the largest known cases of academic fraud and misconduct made the news this week when Anesthesiology News reported that a leading medical researcher was found to have fabricated much, if not all, of the data in his research.

Scott S. Reuben, M.D., of Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts, is said to have made up and falsified data in at least 21, and perhaps many more, studies published at least since 1996, according to the results of a year-long investigation by Baystate Medical Center. Jane Albert, a spokeswoman for Baystate, said that the fraud was spotted after questions were raised about two studies for which Dr. Reuben had not even received approval to conduct human research.

Read the FULL STORY here.

Medical research is supposedly peer-reviewed before being published and ONLY peer-reviewed studies ARE published.  So, you have to ask why so many of this man’s studies were approved for publication in medical journals IF, obviously, nobody actually reviewed them?  And if they were properly reviewed, then I’d start demanding independent reviews since obviously “peer-reviewing” doesn’t work.

This is just ONE person.  Don’t think for a moment that he is the only one.  The EPA even fudged it’s own work so that a study would match the press release they issued BEFORE the study was complete.

It’s truly a sad day when not only can you not trust your government but now we have PROOF that you can’t even trust the medical profession.  And this is just one reason why I no longer believe everything I hear.

Bailout Money to Pay Executive Bonuses?

•March 14, 2009 • 9 Comments

I admit it! I don’t get it!  I don’t understand the whole financial industry.

Seriously.  I don’t understand a business contract being written that guarantees huge bonuses every year, even IF the company loses so much money that it needs the government to bail it out financially, on the backs of the taxpayers for 2 or more generations to come!!!

How do these people sleep at night?  How do they look themselves in the mirror?

Insurance giant paying out $165 million in bonuses

By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger, Ap Economics Writer 38 mins ago

WASHINGTON – American International Group is giving its executives tens of millions of dollars in new bonuses even though it received a taxpayer bailout of more than $170 billion dollars.

AIG is paying out the executive bonuses to meet a Sunday deadline, but the troubled insurance giant has agreed to administration requests to restrain future payments.

The Treasury Department determined that the government did not have the legal authority to block the current payments by the company. AIG declared earlier this month that it had suffered a loss of $61.7 billion for the fourth quarter of last year, the largest corporate loss in history.

What company pays huge bonuses after suffering a $61.7 BILLION loss?  Better yet, WHAT legal eagle writes a contract guaranteeing said bonus no matter how poor the business decisions made were?  And what company in their right mind would even agree to this?    Is it just the financial industry that is this convoluted?   AIG so far has already received $170 BILLION of taxpayers’ money!!!

Can you imagine telling your bank that you need a loan to keep you afloat, and then spending it lavishly on a vacation in some super expensive resort for a month?  Can you imagine telling your boss that you don’t care IF they are about to lose their business you still demand your yearly raise and bonus?

This official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said that Geithner had called AIG Chairman Edward Liddy on Wednesday to demand that Liddy renegotiate AIG’s current bonus structure.

Geithner termed the current bonus structure unacceptable in view of the billions of dollars of taxpayer support the company is receiving, this official said.

In a letter to Geithner dated Saturday, Liddy informed Treasury that outside lawyers had informed the company that AIG had contractual obligations to make the bonus payments and could face lawsuits if it did not do so.

It’s lawyers like these that make all lawyers look bad.  I wonder how they managed to get AIG to guarantee these bonuses no matter if business was about to fold.

Liddy said the company had entered into the bonus agreements in early 2008 before AIG got into severe financial straits and was forced to obtain a government bailout last fall.

The large bulk of the payments at issue cover AIG Financial Products, the unit of the company that sold credit default swaps, the risky contracts that caused massive losses for the insurer.

A white paper prepared by the company says that AIG is contractually obligated to pay a total of about $165 million of previously awarded “retention pay” to employees in this unit by Sunday, March 15. The document says that another $55 million in retention pay has already been distributed to about 400 AIG Financial Products employees.

Just to add insult to injury these bonuses are going to the same people who actually manufactured this disaster?   They are being rewarded for bankrupting the company?  I’m sorry, the logic here escapes me.  I’m just a simple taxpayer who works her butt off just to meet basic living expenses.  I live within my means. I take responsibility for my choices, good and bad.  AND if I make the wrong decisions, I am the one who pays for it, there is NO bailout for me.

But he also told Geithner that he felt it could be harmful to the company if the government continued to press for reductions in executive compensation.

We cannot attract and retain the best and brightest talent to lead and staff the AIG businesses, which are now being operated principally on behalf of the American taxpayers — if employees believe their compensation is subject to continued and arbitrary adjustment by the U.S. Treasury,” Liddy said.

OK, seriously, WHAT planet are these people from?  The only way to attract and retain the best and brightest is guaranteeing them all the money they want even if they bring the company to the brink of disaster?  WHAT other company does that?  More insulting is that they are offended that the government wants to restrict their bonuses after feeding it all that taxpayer money?

Personally, considering the mess these people put AIG in, if they are best and the brightest then AIG might want to re-think its hiring practices also.

I’m about to join the millions of already “laid off” unemployed taxpayers, so excuse me if I feel NO PITY for these greedy brats!  All of us, our children, grandchildren and great-children are going to be paying off this money and they want OUR sympathy and understanding?  I don’t think so!

Just for the record, I feel this way about any and all hugely obscene bonuses, especially for executives in companies that are in trouble and laying off it’s lower-level employees.  It is absolutely disgusting!!!

You can read the FULL STORY here, I just can’t wrap my brain around the arrogance and audacity of AIG and the rest of the Wall Street crowd.

Someone explain to me WHY our economy, our very lives basically, are dependent upon and ruled by these cretins?  AND WHY ARE THEY BEING REWARDED FOR POOR SHODDY WORK?