Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Meet me at the bottom, don't lag behind, bring me my boots and shoes

I call bullshit:
Factory Jobs Return, but Employers Find Skills Shortage

BEDFORD, Ohio — Factory owners have been adding jobs slowly but steadily since the beginning of the year, giving a lift to the fragile economic recovery. And because they laid off so many workers — more than two million since the end of 2007 — manufacturers now have a vast pool of people to choose from.
Sounds good so far but ...
Here in this suburb of Cleveland, supervisors at Ben Venue Laboratories, a contract drug maker for pharmaceutical companies, have reviewed 3,600 job applications this year and found only 47 people to hire at $13 to $15 an hour, or about $31,000 a year.
Wait, isn't this where your beloved 'the free market' comes into play!?

If you can't find a skilled worker at $15/hr shouldn't you pay better wages? And/or pay for training?

Not to mention companies like this shipped as many of their jobs overseas as possible to make their stockholders happy, (IOW, help the rich get richer), and now they complain that their dog they wouldn't feed is biting them.

Just a guess, but if you didn't pay upper management 100x more than labor then maybe you could afford to find/train qualified workers. At the least qualified workers could afford to move there.

Not since right before the Great Depression has income inequality been so large. One would think MBAs and CEO's would get this: Henry Ford was an *hole in so many ways, but even he understood if people can't afford to buy your product it severely limits your product's profitability.

Now for the post's title song, Working Man's Blues #2

Monday, September 27, 2010

I've got to admit it's getting better (Better) A little better all the time

From Dan Savage:
Another gay teenager in another small town has killed himself—hope you're pleased with yourselves, Tony Perkins and all the other "Christians" out there who oppose anti-bullying programs (and give actual Christians a bad name).

Billy Lucas was just 15 when he hanged himself in a barn on his grandmother's property. He reportedly endured intense bullying at the hands of his classmates—classmates who called him a fag and told him to kill himself. His mother found his body.

Nine out of 10 gay teenagers experience bullying and harassment at school, and gay teens are four times likelier to attempt suicide. Many LGBT kids who do kill themselves live in rural areas, exurbs, and suburban areas, places with no gay organizations or services for queer kids.
I wish I could have talked to this kid for five minutes. I wish I could have told Billy that it gets better. I wish I could have told him that, however bad things were, however isolated and alone he was, it gets better.
Dan's right, and he did something about it, the It Gets Better Project. and it's catching on.

Here's Dan and Terry

If you have a problem with someone's sexuality or sexual orientation? GO FUCK YOURSELF ... regardless of what teabagger [ironic, ain't it?] Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell says.

And here's some brain bleach

You're no good, baby, you're no good

CNBC will never be considered as anything but wildly supportive of the investor class and anti-labor/common people.

Yet even by their Gordon Gecko standards, Carly Fiorina was too greedy:
A consummate self-promoter, Fiorina was busy pontificating on the lecture circuit and posing for magazine covers while her company floundered. She paid herself handsome bonuses and perks while laying off thousands of employees to cut costs. The merger Fiorina orchestrated with Compaq in 2002 was widely seen as a failure. She was ousted in 2005.

THE STAT: HP stock lost half its value during Fiorina’s tenure.

And then there's her little Iran problem:
Fiorina's having a rough time of it. Her latest problem: defending herself against charges that HP made loads of money during her tenure by selling its products in Iran despite a U.S. trade embargo. "To her knowledge, during her tenure, HP never did business in Iran," Fiorina's campaign told the San Jose Mercury News.

Really? Fiorina had no idea? That's odd, since...

  • Fiorina in 2003 noted Middle East sales were defying global trends, and, as theMerc notes, HP's partner there issued a press release saying sales topped $100 million and that "the seeds of the Redington-Hewlett-Packard relationship were sowed six years ago for one market - Iran."
  • Three of the three HP partners in the Middle East contacted by Christopher Stewart for a story in Portfolio magazine's August 2008 issue readily agreed to ship printers to Iran. Portfolio notified HP of the incidents, but the company didn't condemn them, instead refusing comment. Fiorina was gone as CEO at this point, but Portfolio noted that diversion of American products to Iran trough Dubai had been going strong for many years.
  • HP had an office in the Dubai free-trade zones notorious for funneling American goods to Iran, Portfolio reported — so it had ample means to be aware of how its products were being shipped.
  • After the SEC noticed the prevalance of HP products in Iran, it asked the company about the matter, and got back a letter from the company saying its Dutch subsidiary sold $120 million to Iran in 2008.
  • Finally, in January 2009, HP severed ties with Redington Gulf, the distributor that had publicly bragged about its Iran trade six years earlier.
Yep, Carly was selling to embargoed/Demonic Iran while most people, especially conservatives, thought we should be invading/bombing Iran back to the Stone Age.

Making a profit from blood and tears and American lives. A good conservative, Carly is.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

t'is I'll be there in sunshine or in shadow

Perfect music performed perfectly:

I've been aware of Eva Cassidy for some time, and having heard her just a bit, I assumed she was a cult hero, a musician known more for her brief and tragic career rather than her talent. But tonight on NPR I heard this performance, and I understood. I finally understood what the big deal was.

Many singers pound the high notes, since it's somewhat easier to work at the top of one's range when over-singing. But Cassidy doesn't do that. Instead she interprets the lyric with control and nuance. The high notes are delicate, appropriate for the message of the song. This is fine singing by a fine singer.

Oh, and songwriters? Let me know when you've written a melody that can compare with this one.

Danny Boy is actually a melancholy song, sung by a father whose son is going off to war. But it can be interpreted as a cry for unrequited love, or anything the listener feels right. But the melody . . . again, most songwriters would give a limb or 2 to have composed that melody.

Here's a completely alt version of the song, fun performance of the still lovely melody:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

How does it feel to be one of the beautiful people?

McJoan @ DKos on tax cuts for the ├╝ber-wealthy:
They'll argue that it's about protecting seniors and middle-class people who have significant investments, but they'll lie. It's about making the rich richer and driving up the deficits to make the case for killing Social Security and Medicare.
Read it all, makes perfect sense. These guys (The Professional Right) are not just out to steal your $$, but to game the system forever in their favor.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Girls just wanna have fun

I'm lucky to have had special unique relationships with all my siblings. One thing they all had in common was nicknames.

Kristin's full name was Kristin Carol Anderson. But for reasons only known to my twisted synapses, I came to call her Kristin Carrot, and often just Carrot for short. Luckily she embraced it.

When she bought her condo, she decorated with carrot motif items, some of which I have now. All the more to better remember her. As if I'd ever forget.

Today, Sunday, Sep. 19, Kristin would have been 51. I'd give just about anything to celebrate the day with her. In my heart, I will.

Happy Birthday, Kristin Carrot!

Kristin went with me to see Cyndi Lauper in concert in '91 (Pam was out of town), and we went backstage and met Cyndi through Catherine Russell, who was singing backup on the tour.

So for Kristin, here's Cyndi:

Addendum by The Sailor: Steve? Your true colors are shining thru

I never wanted 2 be your weekend lover I only wanted 2 be some kind of friend

Music for the rages
Purple Rain - Prince
Willow Weep For Me - Chad & Jeremy
Put A Little Love In Your Heart - Lennox & Green
For Your Love - The Yardbirds
I Can't Make You Love Me - Bonnie Raitt
You And I - Earth Wind & Fire
Space Child - Spirit
I Ain't Missing You - The Babys
As Tears Go By - Rolling Stones
Time After Time - Cyndi Lauper
Just because you love someone with all your heart doesn't mean they have to love you back.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fire, I'll take you to burn

Some one once said "Judge not . . ." Well, screw that. I'm going to judge nutbag phony pastor 'Dr.' Terry Jones by saying he isn't a Christian.

How can I know this? How can I know what's in a person's heart? And aren't modern evangelicals saved by 'grace' alone, leaving them fully able to be assholes & jerks?

Simple: no one who has truly embraced the message of Jesus can act this awfully. This self-aggrandizing prick with his phony doctorate and eBay store is no more a Christian than Jim (no relation) Jones was. Self-important charlatans leading the delusional. At least in this instance (so far) no one has died.

So 'Dr' Jones? Go to Hell. Fuck off and die.

And for the traditional media that sucked up all his droolings like water from Lourdes and sprayed it across our teevee screens? You're not much better.

Jason Linkins at Huffpost puts the whole sad mess in perspective:
The story of how one lone idiot, pimping an 18th-century brand of community terrorism, held the media hostage and forced some of this nation's most powerful people to their knees to fitfully beg an end to his wackdoodlery is an extraordinary one. It's a modern media retelling of Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying", in which a gang of Islamaphobes, cast in the role of Addie Bundren, bamboozle the media into carrying their coffin full of malevolence on a journey of pure debasement. Let's begin at the beginning.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Saturday Sailboat Blogging

The above pic is from a relatively calm moment today. Winds were 8 Kts, gusting to 25!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Summertime, And the livin' is easy/There Ain't No Cure For The Summertime Blues

I apologize to my blog colleagues and our readers that I haven't posted lately. Sometimes life just gets in the way. I think this is a good way to get back into my groove.

Stray Cat Strut

CEOs are often not necessary. They can be like interior decorators: they make changes and crave praise for no tangible reason. Anyone who has spent much time in business understands that.

At their best, they're idea people who also make great spokespersons: think Steve Jobs. At their worst, they're either preening hulks who are attention whores (Donald Trump) or they're just annoying idiots who get in the way of actual progress. These last types are about as welcome in the workplace as that one-eyed one-eared stray cat you chase from your yard every night.

CEOs also have something in common: they mark their territory. Do you really want the smell of CEO urine stinking up the place?

So California, do you really want a failed-upward right wing tool like this representing your interests in Washington? She'll probably outsource police and firefighters to India: