Sunday, May 30, 2010

Caveat Lectores: Devil’s Neck Memorial Day Report on Oval Track Racing

Let’s lighten things up a little with a lap by lap report of the race(s) E/S and the Lector attended after cleaning up the massive oil spill last weekend. You will recall our trip the DNCC to eradicate the environmental disaster caused when Alliburton attacked a large bottle of Hawaiian Tropic Suntan Oil causing an oil slick only slightly smaller than the Exxon Valdese spill. E/S cut down a Cypress tree to use Spanish moss to successfully soak up the oil slick. We burned off the moss and killed all the mosquitoes at DNCC.

After the EPA and the Devil’s Neck Fire Brigade left the scene, we went to the Citrus County Raceway to enjoy seeing our friends Ferd and Eunice Strychnine race their matching color coordinated open wheel racers on a quarter mile asphalt track.

This was a new adventure for me because previously I had only ventured into the world of road racing where the cars turn left and right, speed up and slow down and hardly ever wreck. I will share the reports on racing with JBADER Racing/BG and Associates/Carnes Law Firm ORW/WFO SCCA/ITB BMW 2002 Racing Team on another occasion. As you may not know, the Lector was the sponsor, team captain, crew chief and spiritual leader of the JBADER Racing/ BG and Associates/ BG and Associates/ Carnes Law Firm ORW/WFO SCCA/ITB BMW 2002 Racing Team. More about my incredible contribution to racing history on another day.

In a quarter-mile oval track race, the cars go fast, turn left and do not really slow down unless they crash. Ferd and Eunice’s race cars only have brakes on one wheel. Since there are no fenders on open wheel cars, there are no fender bender minor crashes. He does not know if the car will even turn to the right.

Even without the crew chief help of this writer, Ferd and Eunice managed to finish all their races without incident. It really was exciting. I heard the Eunice is planning on an IRL career when Danika Patrick finally gives up IRL to go to NASCAR full time. Eunice is such a racer diva; there is not room for two of them on the track.

Ferd Strychnine is a retired dingle berry farmer from Port Tampa who now has a million dollar fortune made from selling his unusual product to snow birds on their annual migration south to Miami Beach. Unfortunately, he started his business with two million. He now restores antique go carts and sells them for fantastic sums or at least tries to sell them. So much for the second million.

All in all, oval track racing is exciting. Here is the lap by lap report on what we saw and heard. Vroooom, vrooom, vroom. Accelerate until you see god, slow down and turn left. Accelerate, slow down and turn left. Accelerate, slow down and turn left. Accelerate, slow down and turn left. And so forth. Break something and go home. Remember the old race track saying (I did not make this up)… "If it has tits or gears, it will give you trouble."

Ferd and Eunice were nice enough to put E/S and I on their crew list so we could get into the pits to spend time with them before the race without paying.

Unfortunately, he did not know that pit passes cost $25.00 each. General admission to the race was $10.00. BOHICA. Welcome to racing on the inside track. It cost me $500.00 per race to work as the crew chief for the JBADER Racing/ BG and Associates/ Carnes Law Firm ORW/WFO SCCA/ITB BMW 2002 Racing Team.

And oh yes, Have a nice Day?


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Caveat Lectores on Racism, Bigotry and the First Amendment

Just a few minutes ago, Caveat Lectores received an email that directed me to the site listed below:

I went there just to see what it was even though I knew something was up. The individual who sent the email is the person who is responsible for most but not all the racist bullshit that hits my email inbox. He has banned me from sending him responses but sends his crap anyway. You gotta love him. I just delete most that comes in but occasionally curiosity gets to me.

Caveat Lectores is reposting the site to express utter outrage that something like this exists. Apparently, the site is not new or unknown. Googling “border patrol game” returned 537,000 hits. The website is a game that allows the player to place a scope sight on the head of a moving target consisting of a pregnant woman running across a border with two small children in tow. Hitting the target explodes the pregnant woman’s head into a bloody mess and gives points for killing “wetbacks.” One hit rewards the shooter with four points. It is easy to assume “wetbacks” refers to Mexican immigrants, but I suppose it could refer to Canadians and others as well.

Yeah, right.

The Lector does not suggest this site should be outlawed. The First Amendment is a wonderful thing that protects even hate speech. Obscenity is addressed only in terms of sexual content. We worry more about images of people fucking (that’s right fucking) than we worry about racism and hate speech that encourages violence. I will assume the leaders of the various religious orders who have seen this are organizing rallies in protest. No Christian, Jew, Muslim or anyone else who has any moral fiber could help but go ballistic at seeing this.

Anyone who thinks this is amusing or entertaining should be castigated, ridiculed and held in contempt by a civilized society. I can only hope that is not you. If you do like this trash, please do not tell me who you are. I do not want to know for I would think less of you until the day I die. Unlike Fox News, there is nothing fair and balanced about me.

And oh yes, have a nice day?


Caveat Lectores on Less Big Government and States’ Rights

Now is the time for Bobby Jindal and the four other rePuPlican governors whose states border the Gulf of Mexico to stand tall along with the Tea Baggers who call for less government intrusion and more free enterprise.

Now it the time to demand the federal government stay out of the their state’s lands and waters while they consummate their public/private partnership with BP, Halliburton and TransOcean to clean up the mess created when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig blew up killing 11 people and began spurting crude oil and natural gas into the gulf waters.

Let private enterprise and the free markets self police themselves without the interference of “big government.” It is only a fucking oil spill. JFTDC! It is not like it is a national emergency or a terrorist strike by 19 Saudi Arabians that requires the invasion of Iraq. There are 45 states that do not border the Gulf of Mexico. If the Feds get involved, this will just be another instance of the creeping socialism that must be avoided at all costs.

These rePuPlican governors control the politics in five southern states that have for all of my life sounded the “states’ rights” mantra. It is now time for the states to step up to the pump (pun intended) and show what they are made of.

Tell the Feds and their greedy, incompetent public employees to go to hell. We don’t need no stinking public employees to regulate the drilling operations, clean the beaches or stop the leak in the floor of the Gulf. We don’t need no filthy federal dollars to finance the effort. The oil companies are perfectly capable of stopping the flow and scooping up the crude. After that, they will replant all the vegetation and restore the marine life. They will also pay for the damages they caused to the businesses that depend on the Gulf of Mexico. That is what self regulating ethical businesses do. Why would anyone expect less?

Newly unemployed Elizabeth Birnbaum former director of the Minerals Management Service, the federal agency in charge of regulating the oil and gas industry, is the underlying cause of this entire hubbub. She was on the job but asleep at the wheel for 10 months. This federal agency is tasked with interfering with the free market, unregulated operation of mining and sucking crude oil from the ocean floor. They caused the oil spill by being unsuccessful in requiring oil producers to maintain safe oil platforms. The fact that the prior “laissez-faire” rePuPlican administration, headed by oil men Bush and Cheney, turned a blind eye to big oil and environmental dangers is not the point. Birnbaum and Obama were in charge when the disaster occurred and have to pay the price. Let’s impeach Obama. Yeah, that will stop the oil flow.

Do not allow “big government” to fail again. Let the rePuPlican governors of these five gulf border states and the private oil companies handle this. It is not a big deal.

If this whole Rant fails to make sense to you, you got the idea. If it does make sense, you are a Tea Bagger. Neither Caveat Lectores nor Ron White can fix stupid.

And Oh yes, have a nice day?


Monday, May 24, 2010

Caveat Lectores on Political Endorsements

"In general, endorsements are worthless and don't often lead to victories for most candidates, even when the individuals giving the endorsements are extremely popular. …There always will be some voters who don't like the individual making the endorsement, and those voters will be more likely to vote against the endorsement rather than for it. And newspaper endorsements often hurt candidates, costing them as much as 3 percent in the polls."

The Lector found this quote in a news article recently from Larry Powell, co-author of the book Political Campaign Communication: Inside and Out.

This feeling has been my uneducated opinion for many years. Insecure candidates like endorsements because of the touchy feely nature of having a group of people say good things about the candidate. Endorsers, particularly unions, want to feel important and show their members they have clout.

What “works” in an election is never a known quantity; therefore, candidates will try anything that might help them win. An endorsement from a “powerful” group may not hurt but it does not win elections.

More and more unions, both local and national, are feeling the pressure to endorse and send a check. Money is the favored mode of endorsement, but in local elections money alone is not what is the most helpful to a candidate.

“Sweat equity” derived from many campaign workers doing the “grunt work” is what is the most helpful and in the end appreciated. Some union locals have abandoned real campaign work in favor of sending a check to emulate the big spenders. This is foolishness at its worst.

Yes, political campaigns are fueled and sustained by money. About that fact there can be no doubt. However, a local union will not have enough money to compete with the big spenders for the attention of a winning candidate. Spend you must but contribute time as well as money.

A 100 member local that contributes $500.00 has invested only $5.00 per member. That is not spending largesse. The candidates will take your money and smile but little else.

A local campaign needs bodies to do all the things that can only be done by people. Union members are the people who can do the work and get the glory. Winning and losing candidates remember the faces they saw helping them when they walked neighborhoods knocking on doors, polled precincts, stood on street corners on election day and were at the polls to vote.

A local union has the organization in place to help the right candidates win elections. That is the kind of endorsement a candidate really needs.

Choose your candidates well and help them win elections.

And oh yes, have a Nice Day.

Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes
600 Readers in 390 Cities, 41 States and 15 Countries
Read at your own risk.
You may learn something you did not want to know
about political and labor relations complications that affect ALL
Public Employees: Firefighters, Paramedics, Law Enforcement,
General Employees and Teachers.
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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Caveat Lectores on Environmental Disaster Averted at Devil’s Neck

We did it. We saved the Devil’s Neck Convention Center (DNCC) from an oil soaked death.

You may recall that, two weeks ago, we reported the news of an oil spill at DNCC threatening its very existence. The neighborhood alligator attacked a large bottle of Hawaiian Tropic Suntan Oil and squirted nearly a gallon of banana scented oil all over the shoreline. We surveyed the disaster and pretty much abandoned the site in hopes the oil slick would dissipate. Does the BP Corporation response sound similar?

E/S and I returned to the scene Saturday morning only to find a layer of sludge on the beach that rendered me nearly catatonic. I could not react. I just wept with remorse over having allowed such tragedy to unfurl.

E/S, the ever resourceful member of the Lectores family, looked up to the skies and saw the Spanish moss hanging from the Cypress trees and suggested we use it to absorb the sludge. Brilliant!! But how to get the moss from the trees to the water’s edge? Another brilliant idea. Just cut down one of the 100 year old Cypress trees in a way to make it fall into the water. She picked the tree she had been complaining was obstructing her view of the lake.

I was still whimpering when she took her trusty Sears electric chain saw and cut down the tree so cleanly it fell right in the water and left a stump we can now use as a water side cocktail table for the pink wine and cheese doodles we love so much. JFTDC. Is this woman a genius or what?

The Spanish moss worked great. All the oil sludge and even the oil slick and most of the smell vanished. We did have a disposal issue with the saturated moss, but she handled that as well. She had me pile all the moss on the concrete slab next to the beach, and she splashed a little gasoline on the pile and torched it off. Holy Moly Batman, did that get hot or what? Water soaked, oil saturated Spanish moss sure smokes a lot of when it burns. How was she to know?

Just before the Devil’s Neck Volunteer Fire Brigade and the EPA arrived on the scene, the fire burned itself out and the wind dispersed the smoke and soot into the neighborhood. There was a lot of coughing, but the mosquitoes have now disappeared and will not return unless the neighbors scrub the soot from their yards and cars and houses and boats and docks and children. Life is full of choices.

E/S made a deal the with Asplundh tree trimming crew that passed by to see the fire, and they let us use their wood chipper to make Cypress mulch out of the downed tree. We now have enough mulch to supply the DNCC for two years. There are so many sun blocking Cypress trees in the beach area, we will not have to buy mulch until we are in our nineties. The DNCC needs more parking for the remodel anyway. Again, life is full of choices.

And Oh yes, Have a nice day?

Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes
600 Readers in 390 Cities, 41 States and 15 Countries
Read at your own risk.
You may learn something you did not want to know
about political and labor relations complications that affect ALL
Public Employees: Firefighters, Paramedics, Law Enforcement,
General Employees and Teachers.
Lectores Labor Consulting 813-240-8165
Caveat Lectores
Caveat Lectores on Facebook

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Caveat Lectores on Tea Baggers

Yeah, yeah, yeah. The Lector promised the loyal readers to Rant more about Public Sector employment issues and less about political issues. However, the Lector did not count on RuPaul winning the Kentucky rePuPlican primary. How could anyone expect me to ignore this piece of news?

I thought RuPaul was an American actor and drag queen. Who woulda thunk it? Now I find that the Tea Baggers have allowed a Negro cross dresser into their midst. Maybe I could now openly become a Tea Bagger. I am not a cross dresser or an African American; but if they would accept RuPaul, maybe they will accept me. I thought it might be nice for someone to present me with a ceremonial Tea Bag until I learned more about Tea Bagging. Wow.

BTW. I just saw some pictures of Ron Paul and his son, Dr. Rand Paul. They do not look black to me. Maybe I need to check my facts further. Something does not sound right. I need to do some more checking.

Oops. NEVERMIND. RuPaul did not win and I do not want a Tea Bag.

Others need to check their facts better as well.

Just today, I received an email from a formerly well respected right wingnut who was, as usual, spreading bullshit about President Obama. It was an alleged article from Dr. David Kaiser, a respected historian who was supposed to have authored a piece that in the main likened the current President to Adolph Hitler and the Nazis.

(Not unlike a recent book authored by formerly disgraced but newly resurrected right winger Newt Gingrich

The problem with the allegation about Dr. Kaiser was that the whole thing was a hoax. He did not write the article. The research needed to uncover the hoax required only to Google his name and the news of the hoax came right up on Snopes.

Naturally, I felt it my civic duty to tastefully (you know how gentile I can be) inform this wonderful scholar about his innocent mistake. When I sent the news of the real facts, I found that my emails are blocked. The dumsumbich would rather be ignorant. He likes spreading lies without being held accountable. Maybe he really is a Tea Bagger. I will never qualify as being that stupid. I might as well give up on being a RePuPlican, a right wing nut or a Tea Bagger. Oh well.

And Oh yes, Have a nice Day?

Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes
600 Readers in 390 Cities, 41 States and 15 Countries
Read at your own risk. You may learn something you did not want to know
about political and labor relations complications that affect ALL
Public Employees: Firefighters, Paramedics, Law Enforcement,
General Employees and Teachers.
Lectores Labor Consulting 813-240-8165
Caveat Lectores Blog
Caveat Lectores on Facebook

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Caveat Lectores on Overtime Pay Redrafted

This Rant is the most read of them all and has gotten the most comment. I could rewrite the same message but why? I did dress it up a little.

I have just been through another round of idiocy wherein an employer is squealing about how much the employees make in overtime. I am about sick of hearing about how much firefighters, police and other public employees make in overtime.

Maybe a short history lesson is needed here. A federal law (FLSA) requires a public employer to pay time and one half the regular hourly rate to non-exempt employees when they work more than a certain amount. For most employees the ceiling is 40 hours before O/T kicks in. For law enforcement the ceiling is 43 hours in a 7 day period. For firefighters the ceiling is 53 hours in a 7 day period. There are all kinds of ways the employer can manipulate the work period to reduce the financial impact of this law, and some employee take “comp time” off in place of the money.

The only reason for overtime at all is because the employer does not hire enough employees to provide the needed service.

Follow closely here, but this is not rocket science.

The lack of manpower forces the employer to require somebody to come to work on their regular day off. When public employers chronically under staff, the employees work a lot of overtime. Some employees volunteer to work and others do not. When there are not enough volunteers, the employer requires the employees to work. The work is not a gift or bonus.

The purpose of the law was and still is to penalize the employer who does not hire enough people to provide the service with employees working their regular hours. The FLSA went into effect during the Great Depression and was passed, among other reasons, to decrease unemployment by encouraging the employer to hire more employees by penalizing them if they did not. That may not be a bad idea today. We have over 10% unemployment and employers are whining because they are understaffed and have to pay overtime. Go figger.

In today’s news, we regularly read about the “greedy” public employees who make all this extra money in overtime. This is bullsh*t. In order to discredit the employee side of the resistance to taking pay cuts, the employer, with the media’s assistance, inflates the earning of employees to make it seem like they are overpaid.

Frequently, a firefighter’s work schedule is 24 hours on duty followed by 48 hours off duty. This benefits both the public and the employer as it allows for 24/7 coverage. Law enforcement frequently uses 10 or 12 hour shifts to provide this coverage. Many other employees work similar shifts in the public sector to provide the needed 24/7 service. Such concentrated work time allows for concentrated time off for the employee as well.

What this means is that regular work schedules require the employee to work more and the employer by law must pay overtime rates. It is a part of the job not a #@!%&(^%^ benefit.

Frequently when a union negotiates a wage rate, it finds that the employer is trying to maintain a lower hourly rate to make the yearly salary fit into the “market.” Hourly rates for firefighters are frequently relatively low. When the union wants to increase the rate, the employer reminds them of how many hours they are “allowed” to work which makes their yearly salary more competitive. The same applies to police and other workers.

Sure, some fire, police and other public employees work a lot of overtime, but they did not force the employer to decide to under staff which causes the overtime.

Here is an interesting video that actually addresses the excesses of public employees.

Then just when you thought you had heard enough nonsense

And Oh yes, have a nice day.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Caveat Lectores on FPF Convention 2010

For those attending the FPF 2010 Convention please stop by one of the two workshops put on by the FPF/Lectores Lobbying School. Check the agenda for times and location. All this year’s seminars should be attended by new and senior leaders. There is a good variety of opportunities to learn new skills and relearn the old ones.

We will be discussing the true skinny how to's of successful lobbying. FPF Lobbyist Randy Touchton will assist with helpful real time knowledge of what happened in Tally.

For those of you not attending, shame on you. How do you expect to get ahead if you are always behind?

Oh yeah, I forgot. Some of you are not firefighters who belong to the Florida Professional Firefighters. Sorry about my ignorance.

You can always get a CD copy of the Lectores Labor Lobbying School by ordering a copy for $20.00. The Lector’s creditors like that idea.

You can also get a digital copy for free by subscribing to Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes. This is a limited time offer. Subscribe today. If I get 500 new subscriptions by June 1, 2010, I get a free trip to summer camp at the Devil’s Neck. Daniel will hate me if he has to process and send out 500 copies of the Lectores Labor Lobbying School. He will get over it.

How are things going with your Local these days? Why not quit losing the battle?

And Oh yes, have a nice Day?


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Caveat Lectores on Grievants and Grievances

Any labor leader regularly finds herself faced with troubling grievances and the grievants that follow behind the grievance. From experience, we know that there are countless categories of both grievants and grievances. There is the:

• chronic grievant who always seems to have a complaint with management;
• reluctant grievant who wants to grieve, but is afraid of how management will react;
• aggressive grievant who not only wants to pursue his/her grievances to the hilt, but will add any details necessary to strengthen his/her case, factual or not;
• cynical grievant who wants to file a grievance "just to see what the union will do about it."
• loyal union member/grievant who grieves to protect his/her livelihood and family because of some alleged violation of the CBA

Whether the grievant or grievance fits into any particular category or not, there is one important thing to remember: THE COURSE OF ACTION IN ANY GRIEVANCE MUST BE DETERMINED BY THE MERITS OF THE GRIEVANCE, NOT BY THE MERITS OF THE GRIEVANT. It is when the latter becomes a determining factor in grievance handling that a breach of the duty of fair representation (DFR) can occur. More about that problem in another Rant.

and Oh yes, have a nice Day?


Monday, May 10, 2010

Caveat Lectores on Doomsday Predictions About Global Warming

The Lector does not know WTF to believe. So I share three videos that address some of the issues.

The last one comes from Glenn Beck. Apparently, there are several where he denies global warming and attacks Al Gore, which is not too hard to do. Al Gore was the first loser to lose the presidential election to W. Bush. What a putz. I still blame him and the Democraps for allowing W. Bush to screw me over for two terms. But I’m not bitter.

The fact that Glenn Beck has weighed in on something of which he knows nothing is enough to convince me that all the talk about global warming must be true.

I know that there is a warming of the world going on. If you do not share that knowledge, where the hell have you been? The polar ice is melting. Ice only melts when the temperature gets warmer. JFTDC. That part is not rocket science. Whether modern man is contributing to the well documented phenomenon is open to conjecture.

It could be a natural weather cycle that will decimate much of the earth’s coastal communities and low lands, or it could be something to which we are contributing that will decimate the earth’s peoples. Either way we are screwed. BOHICA.

There are some real issues that the portion of the human race represented by Glenn Beck et al would like to ignore. Fortunately, I will probably be dead of old age before the worst happens, but it still will be a crisis for those I left behind. Global warming will not subside because I stick my head up my ass and deny it is happening.

Casa Carnes is 53 feet above sea level. Global warming could turn Casa Carnes into waterfront property, but I do care that others may suffer while my land becomes more valuable.

I am assuming that Glenn Beck also thinks the world was literally created in 6 days. Maybe the Lector should save that for another Rant.

And Oh yes, have a Nice Day?


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Caveat Lectores on the Devil’s Neck Disaster

There is some disturbing news from the Devil’s Neck. We went up to the House on Devil’s Neck this week only to find an ugly oil slick and sludge on the banks of the Devil’s Neck Convention Center. It could easily be THE environmental disaster of the fifth month of the second decade of the 21st century.

When the Lector saw the devastation, he called the world famous environmental engineer Dr. Hooby Boo who immediately declared a state of emergency. We determined the source of the pollution to be a foul smelling, gooey liquid that smelled like a combination of rotten bananas and coconuts. At first, Dr. Boo suspected that somebody had poured pina collada mix into the pristine waters, but further investigation revealed that the alligator that frequents the steps on the dock had snapped at a bottle of Hawaiian Tropic Tanning Oil and burst the plastic bottle thus polluting the entire beach front. The only good news is that the Gator has a nice tan.

While we are cleaning up the mess, we have had to completely suspend any work on the renovations and cancel the remaining 17 scheduled 1st Annual Devil’s Neck Labor/Management Kumbaya Retreats for 2010. This could put a kink in our funding.
Caveat Lectores wants to remind you that the off-site Enhanced Version of the Devil’s Neck Labor/Management Kumbaya Retreat is still available for only $500.00 more than the in-person workshop. It really is a good value to just get the credit without actually having to attend. The instructional literature along with T-shirt, embossed ball cap and the coveted Lectores Labor Institute Graduate Certification are always available.

Dr. Hooby Boo has applied for a grant to finance the clean-up, but we are short of funds until the FEMA check arrives in the mail. Therefore, we are appealing to our loyal student and Caveat Lectores base to keep the message coming. We are requesting a love offering of $500.00 from each subscriber and reader. If you want to call in your pledge, the number is: 1-800-YOU-BNHD. Remember to make the check out to Mr. Cash.

As a footnote to today’s message, Caveat Lectores must announce the demise of our political arm, Caveat MEPAC. We were unable to achieve our goal of 2000 contributors. Apparently, we misjudged the number of rePuPlicans and Tea Baggers among the Caveat Lectores readers who would be willing to donate money to a political cause designed to fail but at a profit to Caveat MEPAC.

Please be advised, the money actually contributed was well wasted.

And Oh Yes, Have a Nice Day?


Caveat Lectores on Gulf Oil Spills

Yes, yes, I know. The Lector has been off message lately with Rants about abortion and topics that apply to the lower right corner of the country. However, with the possible exception of Arizona, much craziness has been resident in Florida for the last couple of weeks. Today’s Rant is about something that will affect all public employees and the entire nation. So indulge me.

First of all, This is not about an oil spill. It is an oil gusher 5000 feet below sea level. JFTDC. This is a colossal fuck-up. W. Bush probably never found an oil strike that productive in all the years he solicited money from investors to finance dry holes.

Second of all, the Florida politicians will screw this up if given a chance. RePuPlicans want to pretend this is only a minor oil slick that will dissipate in a few days. We cannot let a minor setback interfere with cheap oil for SUVs. Drill, Baby, Drill. Democraps want to rush the Florida legislature into emergency session to outlaw future oil drilling in the sovereign Florida waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It is a little late for that. We did not care much when the Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama coastlines were dotted with approximately 6659 active and abandoned oil drilling operations as long as there was nothing to mar Florida’s “pristine” white sand beaches. Now that WE are directly threatened, it is a BIG DEAL.

Florida Governor Charlie Crust, a man without a party, is said to have promised to do “whatever it takes” to protect the Florida fishing industry. WTF? Is he out of his mind? The Florida fishing industry has been in decline for years because of over fishing and developmental pollution. How will he fix that? Oh yeah, I forget he wants to move from Florida to Washington, D.C. Governor Crust is the only person I ever heard of who actively lobbied to get himself on the rePuPlican Vice-presidential ticket. A job with no duties. Instead, they picked Sarah Phalin. How did that work out for yah?

Third of all, we can count on nothing of value from Capitol Hill or the Whitehouse. They cannot fix this with a couple of Presidential flyovers, Senate Subcommittee meetings and sending FEMA trailers for the birds and fishes to live in. Come to think of it, maybe some blue FEMA tarps spread out over the estuaries may approve the appearance if nothing else. It would be kind of like a piece of art by that guy Christo who covers the world in fabric.

The government could always hire the laid off workers in the states surrounding the Gulf to work on mopping up the oil, but that would make too much sense. Halliburton will need a few more days to form a corporation and get the contracts drafted for the government to pay them to repair what should never have happened. Former governor and clandestine RePuPlican presidential candidate Jebster Bush (rhymes with mush) calls this kind of corporate welfare “entrepreneurial capitalism.”

OBTW, you can count on BP Corporation to pay for the total cost of their fuck-up. So what is the big deal after all? Here is the rub. BP will blame the government for not properly regulating them and allowing BP to improperly maintain their rigs and fail to comply with all engineering and safety rules.

And Oh yes, have a nice day.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Caveat Lectores on the Florida Legislature 2010

I could not have said it better; therefore, I will make no attempt.

and Oh yes, have a nice day?


Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Survivors Guide to a Successful Public Sector Union

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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Caveat Lectores on Public Sector Wages

Public employees are regularly assailed, castigated, ridiculed and harassed because of the perception they are not worthy economic actors, make too much money and their benefits are too generous. Right? Well, maybe not.

The following website is a summary of recent findings to the contrary. Maybe we should quit hiding from a reality that is perceived but not quite factual.

A recent study commissioned by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence and the National Institute on Retirement Security provided an analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and found that:

• Jobs in the public sector typically require more education than private sector positions. Thus, state and local employees are twice as likely to hold a college degree or higher as compared to private sector employees. Only 23% of private sector employees have completed college as compared to about 48% in the public sector.
• Wages and salaries of state and local employees are lower than those for private sector employees with comparable earnings determinants such as education and work experience. State workers typically earn 11% less and local workers 12% less.
• During the last 15 years, the pay gap has grown - earnings for state and local workers have generally declined relative to comparable private sector employees.
• The pattern of declining relative earnings remains true in most of the large states examined in the study, although there does exist some state level variation.
• Benefits make up a slightly larger share of compensation for the state and local sector. But even after accounting for the value of retirement, healthcare, and other benefits, state and local employees earn less than their private sector counterparts. On average, total compensation is 6.8% lower for state employees and 7.4% lower for local employees than for comparable private sector employees.

The Lector is not foolish enough to believe that the common perceptions of the ignorant masses will be effectively changed by this study, but maybe, just maybe some of the lies will begin to be recognized for what they are.

The anti government right wing politicians are what they are. Ignorant fools? No. They are neither ignorant nor fools. Well, they may be arrogant fools. They cry crocodile tears for less government, but they do not describe what that means. They want less of those things they do not appreciate which usually means less social programs, fewer services their supporters do not want and more privatizing so their friends can profit. They want less regulation so their corporate supporters can plunder at will. They want fewer taxes so their constituency can buy luxury freely. They want to starve government into oblivion because government serves all the people if run effectively. There is no room in the political platform for serving all the people, just those who have paid the price of admission.

The Tea Baggers are merely dupes who have fallen prey to the mantra. Tea Baggers are disenfranchised rePuPlicans who cannot get satisfaction unless they see others suffer as much as they think they suffer. Tea bagger leadership, if there is any, adopts and invents issues that inflame the sense of dignity of those with neither dignity nor pride. The right wing media has become adept at stirring the fears of a certain segment of the right wing population that is consumed by more fears and phobias that even I can imagine. Just because I am paranoid does not mean they are not out to get me.

Public employees are just one of the targets, and a frighteningly large segment of public employees support a movement determined to put them out of work and deny them basic government services. BOHICA.

And Oh yes, have a nice Day?


Caveat Lectores on Abortion

This Rant may not apply to public employees except that we are people too.

Make no mistake, I am against abortion. However, there are a few things worse than having an abortion, and at the top of the list is having government dictate whether and how such a drastic medical procedure will occur.

Abortion is an effective means of ending a pregnancy, but it is not efficacious method of birth control and should never be a substitute for more appropriate methods. At one time, I was something of an expert on birth control because I was a very well trained drug rep selling the various means of preventing pregnancy to physicians.

In the early 70’s, abortion was illegal in Florida, and I was well aware of the avenues open to some unfortunate but economically privileged females faced with an unplanned pregnancy. Poor women had to fend for themselves. None were good options. Fortunately, the Supreme Court did the right thing in Roe vs. Wade by finding a right to privacy for a female in making such a serious decision. The availability of safer options became widespread.

Since that day, there has been a deluge of effort by right wing conservative political ideologs (I am being kind here.) to strip the right to make such a decision from the only persons with a stake in the decision, the woman and her physician. The reasons for such an intrusion into someone else’s life may seem compelling to some, but they are wrong. And all the efforts to make it more difficult or even illegal are more immoral that the act of abortion itself.

For some illogical reason that I have never understood, the same pin headed politicians who take a stand against legal abortion also reject publicly funded sex education and making affordable birth control available to all. They even recoil against HIV education because they would rather use scare tactics to try to persuade people not to fornicate outside the bonds of marital bliss.

Just say no to drugs AND sex. How is that working out for ya?

They not only want to deprive aid to the poor women who have children they cannot afford but also want to prevent them from doing anything that might reduce the number of children they produce.

Albert Einstein was right. “Insanity is doing the same thing over again expecting a different result.”

Just yesterday, April 30, 2010, the Florida Legislature passed a piece of draconian legislation designed to pander to the right wingers and to punish women even more than before. Maybe, just maybe, the governor will do the right thing exercise his veto power like he did on SB 06. As you may recall, SB 06 was about public employees and public education.

Remember who did this to you on Election Day. Nearly all have an R behind their names.

And Oh yes, have a Nice Day.