Archive for August, 2010

Unions are like onions

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Yeah, Unions are like onions.   Some people like them, some people don’t, and it has many layers after you peel off the skin.  

   This is one place where I’m split down the middle.   I’ve had beef with Unions ever since I had a conversation with a friend of mine who was a half pipe builder on a 2-Hip King of Very Series, a national BMX Freestyle competition.   He was complaining to me how when they came to NY city, he wasn’t allowed to actually build the ramp, he had to let the union workers from the even location build the ramp.   He couldn’t pick up a wrench, or level, or anything.   He had to let the venue construction team build something that most of them had never even seen, putting safety of the riders in jeopardy, simply because they were union, and “that’s the rules”.   Back then, a half pipe wasn’t as standardized as it is now, and that led to a last minute scramble for corrections on the day of the event.   So yeah, ever since then, I’ve been trying to wrap my head around the pros and cons of Unions.    I’m no closer to a decision than I have ever been.

   Even my earliest memories with Unions were set in confusion.   My Father was an air traffic controller back in the 70’s and was part of a union, PATCO.  Don’t ask me what it stood for, I was 9 when I first heard the term.   The union decided that working conditions were too difficult on air traffic controllers, and from what I remember, they were excessively hard and stressful for people that have thousands of lives in their hands every hour.   Listening in on meetings, I really didn’t understand what they were talking about, but I could tell they were angry.   So PATCO decided to go on strike.   And strike they did…  And I even got to help make a sign and hold it up high in the picket line (having no clue why).    Then the president (Reagan) fired my dad.   As a child of 9 years old, this was confusing.   Why did these PATCO people think it was okay to stop working and why did the president fire all of them?   It took me until about the age of 12 to realize just what had happened, which also gave me enough time to hate the positions of power on both sides of the spectrum.   The Union for its incredibly dumb decision to hold an illegal strike, and the Presidency for firing people that were trying to better their working conditions.   So it’s no wonder why I have a problem with choosing a side to sit on.

   So I see the good and the bad in Unions.   I see how a Union can help it’s members and protect their rights, salaries, and even their health.   But I’ve seen the harm Unions can do by creating some members with a deep sense of entitlement, and making it impossible to fire lazy and worthless people.   I’ve seen the Union fight for better working conditions, but I’ve seen them strong arm management into ridiculous demands.   I’ve seen the Union work for an equal opportunity work place, but I’ve seen management promote worthless individuals, because it is easier than fighting the Union, if they tried to fire them.   Unions are responsible for the 8 hour work day.    Unions are responsible for paying some lazy-ass to sit around doing nothing and collecting time and a half.   Unions are there to protect your job against an evil corporate management system, and secure your retirement.    Unions make it impossible to fire the bad apples, and make it entirely too easy to abuse the system.

   So you see, I’m totally confused.    There is a good reason to have them, and a good reason to not have them.   All I can say at this point is this:    There seems at this point, still a need for Unions, but if the Unions are unable to police themselves better and stop the abuse from its members, they may find themselves on the out.   It is entirely possible that Unions have become a haven for the lazy and corruptible, but does that make them obsolete?   Do Unions need to go the way of the Dodo, or is there redemption in the air?

I’m waiting for a sign.



Side NOTE:    Congrats to the courts of France, restoring at least a tiny portion of honor to the French, by blocking the Roma deportations.    Keeping in mind, they only had a tiny portion of honor to begin with, so that’s great.  Good job! 

Ugh… that guy again.

Friday, August 27th, 2010

   On the eve of Glen Beck’s “Ode to himself” Rally, it’s important to note a few things.   As the Supreme Lord of the Douchebags takes the stage, there will be a lack of coverage by Fox News.   Not only that, but a lack of supporter held signs!?   Why is that, you wonder?   Well, because both Fox and Beck know a very important little tidbit of information…  Tea Partiers are INSANE, and those that aren’t insane are idiots.

   You might ask yourself, “So, why should that make any difference?  We already know that.”    Well to answer the obvious.   Nothing hurts your cause more than destroying the credibility of your base of support.

   Big Business isn’t stupid.   They support the right wing agenda because it lines their pockets with cash.    Big Business doesn’t care about the hard core Christian fundamentalist views or gun control, or even Glen Beck, but what it does care about is getting the proper people in positions of power.   Both Beck and Fox need the support of Big Business to continue paying the bills.   And in turn, Big Business needs Beck and Fox to motivate as many voters as possible to ensure that it gets its allies elected.   There in lies the problem.   The catch 22.    How do you shield your “high end” Republicans from seeing the crazy nut-jobs, that make up the majority of your support?  

   The biggest fear of Big Business, is that if the rest of the country is exposed to the true nature of the Tea Party and subsequent followings, that it could push the fence sitters over to the other side.   Or even worse, could spawn a movement against the Tea Party in a public backlash.  

   For example, say you went to a rally to support your local candidate, and in the middle of the rally the KKK showed up, also in support of your candidate.   You may actually think twice about giving your support to someone the KKK thinks is a good choice.  At the very least, you’d probably leave (I hope).   Well that’s exactly what Big Business doesn’t want…   Thinking.    They’d prefer not to give anyone a reason to actually consider what this Tea Party movement is all about, hence giving them the chance to reconsider their support for anyone aligned with them or the GOP.

   In conclusion, that’s why Beck will have a herd of volunteers out there trying as hard as they can to keep the crazy in check.   A futile endeavor, to say the least, but I’m curious how these ultra “Don’t Tread on Me” folks will take being silenced by their King?



Side NOTE:   I find it despicable that Glen “Supreme Lord of the Douchebags“ Beck and his horde of bigots chose the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s renowned “I have a dream” speech to hold their rally.    Glen Beck’s social sensitivity FTL!

Message to my Readers

Friday, August 20th, 2010

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