Shots Across the Bow

A Reality Based Blog


Things I’m Thinking About INstead of Sleeping. (dammit!)

I'm a bit pressed for time this week (2 football programs to write, edit, layout, publish, print and bind; one house to rewire; 5 football games to announce, 3 to write up and add to the website, not to mention the standard load of chores) but there are some things that must be addressed.
  • Bush's nomination for Supreme Court Jester err Justice, Harriet Miers Have I stumbled into some alternate bizarro universe where Jimmy Carter put Billy in charge of the ATF because he had so much experience with cigarettes, whiskey and shotguns? This nomination makes about the same amount of sense as that one would have.
  • Speaking of Carter remember how the dems hollared "Dynasty!" when Bush first got the nomination? It appears the dems have decided if you can't beat 'em, join 'em! Not only are we looking at Clinton v2.0 (New and Improved!! Guaranteed to sleep with 50% fewer women than the first model!), but there's a Carter looking to run for office. Not Amy but Jack Carter, Jimmy's oldest child. (Is this guy like Chuck Cunningham in reverse? If you'd asked me yesterday, I would have sworn Amy was an only child.) He's contemplating running for the Senate because he didn't like the government's response to Katrina. Given that he lives in the desert, I'm sure FEMA is breathlessly awaiting his expertise in dealing with large oceanic storms and massive flooding.
  • Global Warming: It isn't just our problem anymore! Measurements taken of the surface temprature on MArs show that it has heated up aling with Earth's surface. I knew we wee evil nasty polluters, but I never thought that wewere so bad that we could cause the next plabet over to sta heating up!

    Unless of course, something else is causing both planets to heat up. Like the sun, maybe?
  • Oregon's Assisted Suicide Law is Challenged at the Supreme Court Oregon State Law says your doctor may prescribe a lethal dose of drugs to assist you in killing yourself. The Bush Administration insists that a doctor's responsibility is to preserve life, not end it. Also at issue is the federal government's ability to regulate how drugs may be used. They reason that if Oregon is allowed to prescribe drugs in contravention to federal laws, then that opens huge loopholes in the War on Drugs.

    As Glenn Reynolds would say, "That's a feature, not a bug."

    Incidentally, Oregon's governor is using an argument fundamentally identical to the one used by George Wallace, and will probably prove equally as successful.

    As for me, well, I just figure if you really want to die, you don't need a doctor's help to do it. But it's nobody's business but yours if you do.
  • Walmart employees in Florida are organizing. And that's pretty cool if you ask me.


    Simple numbers. Look, Walmart is known as a company that is, well, to put it kindly, thrifty. They don't pay much, their benefits are below average, and they routinely treat their workers shabbily. At least, that's what I hear via most news stories and through the gossip mill. SO when I hear that current and past employees are banding together to gain leverage against the retail giant, it warms my heart.

    After all, the only way a union, excuse me, "worker's group", can weild any power is if the employer would have trouble replacing them if they quit. So that must mean that there is a shortage of people available to work for Walmart, which means unemployment is effectively zero!

    Seriously, when I first read the story in the Mountain Press (story not in the online version, I had a positive reaction to it. The AP story I linked to was the basis for the story, but it was heavily edited. The paper made it sound like this was a grass roots groun up type organization, not some union trying to muscle in, or some PAC disguised as a union looking to leach out a few more campaign dollars for their politician of choice.

    Then I read the full piece from USAToday and I find out that it's something completely different. Instead of a grass roots employee driven effort, it's a coalition of unions and interest groups, including ACORN and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. As you recall, ACORN was implicated in voter fraud in several states during the 2004 election cycle, notably swing states.

    Yeah, I trust these guys.

    And the UFCW, well, I had a brush with them several years back. I was still in the Navy, and my buddy's wife was an RN in a Washington State hospital. The hospital was unionized (a frightening thought in itself) and the nurses were members of a nursing union. One day, UFCW workers showed up at the hospital, performing what they called a 'survey.' One of the questions on the survey asked if the nurses there would like more information on the UCFW and how it worked. What the nurses weren't told was that the question was actually a vote on whether or not the UCFW would be allowed to come in and try to replace the existing union.

    Real nice fellows, eh?

    So they filled out the surveys, and a bare majority checked yes on the more info question, and so several weeks of hell began as the UCFW minions descended on the hospital, working feverishly to convert the nurses over to their union.

    Now you may wonder what a food service union had to do with nursing. So did we, but we didn't discover the answer until it was far too late.

    The blitz was intense and as is usually the case in a propaganda fight, the first casualty was truth. The UCFW workers promised the nurses the moon and the stars and all for free, and enough of them bought it and the UCFW became the official reps for the nurses.

    Then they found out the truth. The reason the UCFW wanted the nurses is that they got paid lots more than a grocery worker or a dishwasher, so their dues represented a tremendous financial windfall for the union and the lower paid membership. The nurses represented nothing more than a cash cow for the union, and they began milking immediately.

    Suffice it to say that I'm less than impressed with the organizers of the 'worker's group.'

    Looking at the numbers, out of 92,000 employees working in Central Florida Walmarts, only about 250 have joined the group. That's only 0.2% of the current employee pool, and remember, some of the 250 come from former employees. It seems to me that if Walmart were truly so horrific to work for, we'd see just a tad more activity.

And that's it for now folks. I've got to get busy on more of this free stuff I'm doing.

Hey, does anybody know of a way I could actually get paid to write this stuff? Wouldn't that be a cool job!
Posted by Rich
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