Author Archive: kurtsloan

The Baker’s Union Did What Michelle Obama Couldn’t

The end of an era…

So do you think that the “Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union” is regretting their unwillingness to follow the Teamsters Union’s directive of taking an 8% contract cut to save jobs?

In case you didn’t hear Hostess Brands (makers of Twinkies, Wonderbread, and so many other yummy treats), who filed bankruptcy earlier in the year and has been trying to find a way to stay in business, decided to close shop today for good after talks with the Baker’s union fell through and they decided to strike. Management decided that they couldn’t afford to continue the fight along with their other financial problems and so they announced today that they have decided to shut down all production nationwide and close up shop for good!!! 18,500 people are not out of work because the representatives for 5,000 of them weren’t willing to make the adjustments needed to keep people employed!

Now, in all honesty, if the Baker’s union had taken the same deal as the Teamsters Union, there is still a chance that Hostess Management would still not have been able to right the ship and the jobs may have been lost at some future point anyway, but we’ll never know if those jobs could have been saved or not now.

A quote in the article states that: “Unfortunately, the company’s operating and financial problems were so severe that it required steep concessions from a variety of stakeholders but not all stakeholders were willing to be constructive,” said Ken Hall, the Teamsters’ Secretary-Treasurer. “Teamster Hostess members, based on the facts and advice from respected restructuring advisers understood what was at stake and voted to protect all jobs at Hostess.”

The Baker’s Union says it isn’t their fault as Hostess was already having money problems, but if you know that and you decide you’re not willing to work with management to try and save jobs that are there and go on strike adding to the monetary issues during a time of crisis, aren’t you just as guilty for those job losses as the management is?

Source:
http://money.cnn.com/2012/11/16/news/companies/hostess-closing/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

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Well At Least We Get to Pay More for Food and Bail Out the Insurance Companies Too!!

By Kurt Sloan


OK, somebody PLEASE help me with this logic…

There is an article on CNBC today (http://www.cnbc.com/id/48782861) about the drought and it’s effect on corn farmers. 

According to the article corn farmers are better off with the drought because:

1.The U.S. Department of Agriculture said despite the drought, it predicts net farm income will rise 3.7 percent this year to over $122 billion, as high grain prices offset loss of production. (so because of the low yield of corn to sell they can sell at a higher price, so farmers will make out ok – but consumers get stuck with the higher costs.)

and…

2.  Most grain and oil seed farmers have taxpayer subsidized crop insurance (yes, you read that right, TAX PAYER subsidized crop insurance) which will cover, on average, 70-80 percent of their loss of “average production.” And because of this, the article states that “some farmers will make more money this year having crop insurance than they would have if there was a normal yield because we planted so many corn acres”. (So if I understand that correctly some farmers planted extra crops in case of drought so when they lose those crops they can claim them as part of a total loss of expected income and insurance companies pay them for what they MIGHT HAVE SOLD if the crops had survived and then get money from the government to off-set what they had to pay out!!!)

So under option 1 the consumer gets screwed and under option 2 the tax payer gets screwed because they are forced to subsidize insurance companies that set up some deal with the government. So the Insurance Agencies (the article mentions: Endurance Specialty Holdings, American Financial Group and Ace Limited) collect the premiums, but then when they have to pay out on those claims, they come to the government and the U.S. Taxpayers cover a portion of their losses?!? WTF?!?!

With a national debt at around $16 Trillion, why the hell are we bailing out Insurance Companies, without even getting a say it in?

http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000112351

Some Farmers ‘Will Make More Money’ in Drought – US  Business News – CNBC

ABC’s Irresponsible Reporting

This Kind of Irresponsible Reporting INFURIATES Me – I’ve been reflecting on the shooting this morning and trying to learn more about it. Imagine my surprise (and honestly DISGUST) when I came across the following.

Here we are still trying to gain an understanding of the tragedy that befell Aurora, Colorado, last night and cost 12 people their lives and changed the lives of 50 other movie-goers, their families and communities probably forever, and ABC News decides to make it political with no proof.

ABC News Reporter, Brian Ross, on “Good Morning America”, before all facts were in, or statements from the police, or anything proven, decided to announce on the air and over twitter that “There is a Jim Holmes, of Aurora Co., page on the Colorado Tea Party site as well, talking about him joining the Tea Party last year. Now we don’t know if this is the same Jim Holmes, but it’s Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado.”

REALLY?!? WTF?!? Because there is a Jim Holmes from Aurora, CO, in the CO Tea Party and the shooter’s name is “James Holms” they MUST be the same guy, right? To state outright that “we don’t know if this is the same Jim Holmes, but it is Jim Holmes of Aurora, CO” is ridiculous! No proof, just similar names, so let’s get our political agenda out there! Is this really what they are calling reporting today?

As shown in the source article below, they found 208 (!) people named “James Holmes” in and around the Aurora/Denver area, so OF COURSE the shooter and the Tea Party member HAD to be the same guy!

The ABC News web site later retracted the statement stating “Editor’s Note: An earlier ABC News broadcast report suggested that a Jim Holmes of a Colorado Tea Party organization might be the suspect, but that report was incorrect. ABC News and Brian Ross apologize for the mistake, and for disseminating that information before it was properly vetted.”

BUT one of the things that burns my butt is that the accusation went out on national TV and via twitter, but the retraction appears to have been posted only to their website. (Note I’m taking the articles word for this as I didn’t see any retraction on Twitter from them, but I may have missed it.)

I am sorry but this is shoddy “reporting” at the least and to use this tragedy before all the facts are even known to push personal agendas (why else even bring up the Tea Party, they were not part of the story at all until he made them part of the story) is outrageous to me.

Can we please just put away the politics for a while and concentrate on figuring out how to help those who were hurt and the families of those who were killed? Is that really too much to ask?

Source:

http://twitchy.com/2012/07/20/shameful-media-malpractice-abcs-brian-ross-links-aurora-theater-shooter-to-tea-party/

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/aurora-dark-knight-shooting-suspect-identified-james-holmes/story?id=16818889

Once Again, President Obama Only Tells Part of the Story

I’ve been thinking about these comments a lot in the last few days, and I gotta say, I think I get where he’s coming from but I think he’s only partially correct in his line of thought, let me expand on that.

Where he has some valid points: If you built a successful business then you needed the people who worked for you, who supplied your materials, who taught you your skills and business sense, who delivered your product, who built the roads and electrical lines and sewers that supported your business. All of the pieces that are required to run a successful business rely on the input of others to make it happen. Here he is right.

Other valid points: Yes, many people work hard, and yes many people are smart… so why are there more financially successful business people like I believe he’s trying to put down in this comment?

Two sets of factors: ones we have no control over and ones we do…

Factors We Don’t Control: Luck and Natural Opportunity … There is no doubt that some successful people can trace back to one or more events in their lives when luck was in their favor or life presented them with an opportunity that they jumped at. But there lies the key… “that they jumped at”.

Have you ever had the chance to invest your money in something, but didn’t feel good about it so you didn’t and then it took off? I had the opportunity early in my life to invest in Blockbuster Video and thought “eh, it’s just another video store” – WHO KNEW?!? Which leads me to our “Factors we do Control”.

Controlled Factors: Willingness to Take a Risk, Drive (or Desire if you will) and Gumption (Man-made Opportunity) – I submit here that you can look at the majority of financially successful people and look at their work ethics and you’ll see not just smarts and hard work, but also a drive to succeed, a desire to win, a willingness to take that risk to be successful (or fail miserably!) and the personal gumption to go out, knock on doors and create their own opportunities. Personal traits that should be REWARDED for those willing to take those risks and make their own opportunities.

I’m sorry President Obama, but once again we see you only looking at part of the picture and using that information to divide the populace further along classes.

You were supposed to be the president that could pull everyone together, but so much of what you do seems to be bent on alienation and partial facts.

It’s really sad if you stop to think about it.

 

2012 WTF #28 – What Do You Do If You Don’t Like The Supreme Court’s Ruling?

2012 WTF #28 – So what do you do when the United States Supreme Court issues a ruling you don’t agree with? If you are the Dept of Homeland Security, it looks like you issue directives to your agents to IGNORE the ruling!

In case you didn’t hear, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the Arizona immigration law today, and ruled that Arizona may not impose its own penalties for immigration violations, but it said state and local police COULD check the legal status of those they have reasonable suspicion to believe are in the country illegally.

I guess that DHS didn’t like this because DHS officials stated today that it is suspending existing agreements with Arizona police over enforcement of federal immigration laws, and said it has issued a directive telling federal authorities to decline many of the calls reporting illegal immigrants that the Homeland Security Department may get from Arizona police.

What does this mean? In a nutshell, the Supreme Court upheld that Arizona police statewide can immediately begin calling to check immigration status on suspected illegals, BUT, thanks to today’s directive from Homeland Security, federal officials are likely to reject most of those calls.

Federal officials went on to say that they’ll still perform the checks as required by law but WILL ONLY RESPOND WHEN someone has a felony conviction on his or her record. Absent that, ICE will tell the local police to release the person.

So if you don’t commit a crime, you’re welcome here if you are an illegal… wait a minute, isn’t coming across the border illegally a crime in itself? Why yes, I believe it is…. Hmmm… Ahh, but it’s not a felony – and even if it was, if they haven’t been CONVICTED yet of that felony, then it doesn’t count! GOTCHA!

Source:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jun/25/homeland-security-suspends-immigration-agreements-/

2012 WTF #25: When is a “Quote” Not a “Quote”? When Given by President Obama

2012 WTF #25:  When is a “Quote” Not a “Quote”?  When Given by President Obama – 

Does it bother anybody else that President Obama “quoted” two republicans in the last week in such a way as to draw ire by not actually quoting what they said but by actually paraphrasing what one person said and calling it a “quote”, and by quoting the other out of context?

OBAMA SAYS:

Earlier this week during a speech at the University of North Carolina, Mr. Obama said:

“I’m going to quote this because I know you guys will think I’m making it up, she (Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.)) said she had ‘very little tolerance for people who tell me they graduate with debt because there’s no reason for that.’”

Which would be outrageous, except it’s not quite what she said.

ACTUAL QUOTE:

For whatever reason, President Obama chose to leave out a couple of key words in his “quote” (making it a paraphrase, not a quote as he stated) because what she actually said while on the G. Gordon Liddy radio show was that she had “very little tolerance for people who tell me that they graduate with $200,000 of debt or even $80,000 of debt because there’s no reason for that”.

It looks to me like she was saying you could choose a lower cost education and not graduate with $200K in debt if you chose to (nobody MADE you go to an ivy league college just because they accepted you), not that she thought graduating with ANY debt was bad.

In that interview she goes on to say that she reminds people that the Declaration of Independence promises life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — stressing the word “pursuit.”  Adding that “You don’t sit on your butt and have it dumped in your lap”  Amen, sister!

OBAMA SAYS:

Then at the University of Iowa, Obama said, “You’ve got one member of Congress who compared these student loans — I’m not kidding here — to a ‘stage-three cancer of socialism’”.

No Mr. President, you’re not “kidding”, just misleading.

ACTUAL QUOTE:

Now, even though the president didn’t name him by name, this comment can be traced back to a comment made by Congressman Todd Akin, Missouri, in a recent debate with Republican senate candidates. When asked about the student loan issue, Akin slammed the government for taking over college loans in a 2009 bill.

“America has got the equivalent of stage 3 cancer of socialism because the federal government is tampering in all kinds of stuff it has no businesses tampering in,” he said.

So it appears his comment about “stage 3 cancer of socialism” is NOT about student loans, per se, but about the government taking over the student loan program as part of a number of national debt increasing moves instead of leaving it in the hands of the financial institutes better suited to handle financial matters.

I’m sorry, but if you are going to “quote” somebody, it’s supposed to be word for word, and hopefully in context, not mostly what they said, reworded in a way to fit your agenda.

COME ON ALREADY, I AM CALLING SHENANIGANS HERE!

SOURCE ARTICLES:

http://weaselzippers.us/2012/04/27/shameless-obama-quotes-republican-house-members-completely-out-of-context/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/2chambers/post/two-republican-house-members-say-obama-misquoted-them/2012/04/26/gIQAtQ8MiT_blog.html

http://akin.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1707:akin-responds-to-obama-criticism-during-iowa-speech&catid=32:2012-press-releases&Itemid=88

2012 WTF 24 – The Dept of Labor Banning Farm Chores

By Kurt Sloan
2012 WTF 24 – The Dept of Labor Banning Farm Chores – I grew up in Ohio farm country, and had a great childhood there, but now new rules by the Dept of Labor would change how those farm kids I grew up with would grow up today.
The Department of Labor has stated that it is putting the finishing touches on rules that would apply more child-labor laws to children working on family farms, prohibiting them from performing a list of jobs on their own families’ land.  Under the rules, children under 18 could no longer work “in the storing, marketing and transporting of farm product raw materials.”  “Prohibited places of employment,” a Department press release read, “would include country grain elevators, grain bins, silos, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions.”
The new regulations, first proposed August 31 by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, would also revoke the government’s approval of safety training and certification taught by independent groups like 4-H and FFA, replacing them instead with a 90-hour federal government training course; and would prevent kids from doing 4-H and FFA projects if they are not conducted at their parents’ house.
According to the article below, when pressed by the American Farm Bureau regarding why they felt the need to release these new rules now, the DoL indicated it was because the number of injuries are higher for farm kids than in non-ag industries, HOWEVER a US Dept of Agriculture study released recently says that farm accidents among youth fell nearly 40 percent between 2001 and 2009, to 7.2 injuries per 1,000 farms.  I guess they missed that report.
Cherokee County Farm Bureau president Jeff Clark declared the rules were “so far-reaching, kids would be prohibited from working on anything ‘power take-off’ driven, and anything with a work-height over six feet…” including most farm equipment.  He went on to point out that the “anything ‘power take-off’ driven” clause would also prohibit children under 16 from using battery-powered screwdrivers, and other power tools, since their motors, like those of a tractor, are defined as “power take-off driven.”
Additionally, the new rules say that jobs that could “inflict pain on an animal” would also be off-limits for kids, but they don’t bother to define what “inflicting pain” means.  So if putting a halter on an animal causes it discomfort, does that mean kids can no longer do that?   Montana Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg complained that the animal provision would also mean young people couldn’t “see veterinary medicine in practice … including a veterinarian’s own children accompanying him or her to a farm or ranch.”
Kansas Republican Senator Jerry Moran blasted Hilda Solis for getting between rural parents and their children.  “The consequences of the things that you put in your regulations lack common sense, and in my view, if the federal government can regulate the kind of relationship between parents and their children on their own family’s farm, there is almost nothing off-limits in which we see the federal government intruding in a way of life.”
To me, this just seems like more of the gov’t overstepping its bounds to control the people of America, trying to control how we raise our kids, instead of operating as representatives of the people’s wishes who elected THEM (or in this case elected the people who put Solis and company in their positions).
Source Articles
  
Additional Sources
Dept of Labor Report “US Labor Department proposes updates to child labor regulations” (http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/whd/WHD20111250.htm)
USDA Report “Injuries to Youth on Farms in the United States, 2001, 2004, 2006, and 2009” (http://www.usda.gov/nass/PUBS/TODAYRPT/injr0412.pdf)

“The Road We’ve Traveled” video? (aka “Why I’m the Greatest President Ever…”)

BWAA HAAA HAAAA – Oh geez politicians are such LIARS! And they must think we all have no memory because they keep trying to get away with it!

Have you seen President Obama’s new “The Road We’ve Traveled” video? (aka “Why I’m the Greatest President Ever…”) In it Tom Hanks (yes, THAT Tom Hanks) says:

“Not since the days of Franklin Roosevelt had so much fallen on the shoulders of one president. Now when he faced his country who looked to him for answers, he would not dwell in blame or dream in idealism.”

And he says it with all sincerity too!

WHAT THE @#%&?!? How many times have we heard Mr. Obama say “I inherited…” or “Bush’s fault…” or some variance of those statements in the last three years? TOO MANY TO COUNT to my thinking! But “he would not dwell in blame” – BULL$HIT! DON’T LIE TO US! If we like you and what you’ve done, we’ll vote for you; if we don’t, we won’t! Simple as that… BUT QUIT BULL$HITTING US! WE DESERVE BETTER FROM YOU AS OUR LEADER!

And even though Hanks says it, Obama’s re-election campaign is behind this thing and happily gloss over all the bad stuff while high-lighting the stuff their proud of.

Why isn’t there ANYBODY running for president this year I can get behind and honestly support whole heartedly?

WE DESERVE BETTER DAMN IT!!!

The Road We’ve Traveled” video:

2012 WTF #20 – To ID or Not to ID

2012 WTF #20 – Hmmm – Is it just me or does this seem suspicious to anyone else?  The Justice Department’s civil rights division on Monday declared its opposition to new photo ID requirement for voters in Texas because many Hispanic voters lack state-issued identification (just like they did with S. Carolina’s similar law last year.)

In a letter to Texas officials the Justice Department said Hispanic voters in Texas are more than twice as likely than non-Hispanic voters to lack a driver’s license or personal state-issued photo ID. The department said that even the lowest estimates showed about half of Hispanic registered voters lack such identification.

Uhm, excuse me, OK, so then how do they buy a beer?  Maybe they don’t drink!  OK, so how do they cash their paychecks then?  But Kurt, maybe they use direct deposit!  How do they open a banking account then?   But Kurt, maybe they don’t have jobs so they don’t need a bank account!  OK then how do they get money?  Well Kurt, maybe they get state assistance while they’re trying to find a job!

OK, but then that is where this gets really interesting.  To apply for Federal Welfare, all applicants are given a list of REQUIRED documents to bring to sign up including: “proof of income, ID, and utility bills or other proof of residency” (see “How to Apply for a Welfare Program” section, http://www.welfareinfo.org/)

SO… you shouldn’t need an ID to prove you are who you say you are when voting in elections, but you damn well better have ID proving you are who you say you are to get government assistance?  Where is the outrage!  These people need help!  They shouldn’t have to prove that they are who they say they are or even that they need help!  Just give them the money already!   SHEESH!

Our government is sooo ridiculous sometimes it’s almost funny.  ALMOST!

Oh and in case you didn’t hear, James O’Keefe, who “screwed” over ACORN, just released a video from Vermont and New Hampshire showing one of his employees going into multiple voting areas, giving a different name each time and being handed the REPUBLICAN primary ballot without ever being asked for ID (note: he went for the Republican to show this problem is NOT a partisan issue, but can be exploited by anyone with the desire to.)

ARTICLES
Justice Dept
http://news.yahoo.com/justice-dept-opposes-texas-voter-id-law-144238429.html

James O’Keefe Video


http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/03/13/OKeefe%20Video%20Exposes%20Voter%20Fraud-Friendly%20Policies%20in
%20Vermont

SUPPORTING MATERIAL
http://www.welfareinfo.org/

2012 WTF #19 – OR Couple Wins $3,000,000 “Wrongful Birth” Suit

2012 WTF #19 – These people make me sick!  A couple in Portland, OR, was awarded almost $3 million in a “wrongful birth” lawsuit after their daughter was born with Down syndrome although a prenatal test didn’t show Down syndrome as a possibility.  I know we’ve become such a litigious society, but come on!  No test is perfect and to say you would have aborted it if you’d only known is sickening.

And the lawyer, in the same interview, saying don’t misunderstand they love this child, but they would have aborted her if they’d known and they are only suing because it’s too expensive to raise a special needs child and it’s the hospitals fault after all they are in this mess.

Did the hospital make a mistake?  Yep, it looks that way.  Do they deserve financial help raising the kid (beyond the normal help the government offers for children with special needs)?  Probably.  But is that an excuse for saying publicly that although they “love” this child they would have preferred to abort it?  No, not in my eyes.

I feel sooooo bad for this child.  There are sooooo many good homes in this world looking for children that would have happily taken and raised this little girl, but no, the parent decided to keep her and now feel it is too expensive to have her.  The saddest part to me is that at 4 this little girl doesn’t get it, but she’s got siblings and they all get to grow up now knowing that their parents would have gladly killed her had they only known!!! Despicable!!!

ARTICLE

http://www.mrconservative.com/2012/03/2898-couple-sues-for-baby-birth/

VIDEO STORY

http://www.cnn.com/video/?hpt=hp_t2#/video/us/2012/03/11/dnt-couple-gets-millions-for-wrongful-birth.kgw

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