5.13.2005

You Are Holding Your Glorious Company Back

Attaturk @ Eschaton on the 'merican worker:

...in the media, hour upon hour, column inch after inch, is devoted to stock performance and corporate profits. Workers are now described as an impediment to corporations and a burden to their own government.
Sad, but true. By the by, they're commenting the Krug's latest & greatest must read.

Why Does Maytag Hate American Workers?

Hey, look we understand the need to make a profit: nobody is in business to lose money. And we're not asking anyone to, but what we are saying is that moving jobs overseas doesn't help: you can't expect to keep a healthy market here in the States if you keep putting folks out of work...

Maytag Corp. Chief Executive Ralph Hake took harsh criticism from shareholders at the company's annual meeting in Newton, Iowa, but reaffirmed a plan that may include closing the company's flagship factory in the central Iowa town and moving the 1,200 jobs overseas.

Shareholders complained that exporting jobs is bad for Maytag's corporate image. Hake responded that moving jobs to Mexico and outsourcing agreements with Asian companies are part of the company's strategy to compete with low-cost imported appliances. "We must do more to meet fierce offshore competition," he said.
We sympathize with Maytag, but laying off folks here out of work may a short-term solution to Maytag's problems but it creates long-term problems for the rest of us and this country. Think about it.

5.12.2005

Why Do Creationists Hate America?

Oh Tom The Dancing Bug, truly you are a great American (don't even get us started on the 'Lucky Ducky' series that makes us cry so). This is taken from today's comic about Creationists challenging the theory that water freezes at 32 degrees. Don't laugh, because that's pretty much what they're doing. Why do they want to destroy this great country?

5.11.2005

Good Times at the Gas Pump

Nice. Real nice... love it: gas is $2:40+ here in La La Land and we get this sort of stuff:

OIL INDUSTRY COFFERS SWELLING WITH CASH: According to the Wall Street Journal, "Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch/Shell Group both reported huge increases in first-quarter income, benefiting from the industrywide bonanza also swelling the coffers of their peers: high prices for the oil they pump and high margins for refining it." [Wall Street Journal, 4/29/05]
Time to face facts folks: this is a scam and nobody is remotely doing anything about it.

5.10.2005

They Outsourced the Reception Desk???

Please, please, please someone tell us that this is a joke: The Virtual Secretary

In a chic downtown lobby across the street from the Old Executive Office Building, Saadia Musa answers phones, orders sandwiches and lets in the FedEx guy.

And she does it all from Karachi, Pakistan.

As receptionist for the Resource Group, Musa greets employees and visitors via a flat screen hanging on the lobby's wall. Although they are nine hours behind and nearly 7,500 miles away, her U.S.-based bosses rely on her to keep order during the traffic of calls and meetings.

The Resource Group, a call-center company, represents a model that might sound familiar: U.S. companies save money by offshoring certain tasks to developing countries with cheaper workers who can telemarket, integrate data and program computer code. These "back-office" functions have created a booming, multibillion-dollar industry in countries such as India, Ireland and the Philippines.
You have to see the picture that accompanies this article.

(Oh, and for those of you that don't know: the Old Executive Building is the much larger grey building next to the White House that houses stuff like the Vice President)

Quick Thought

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: this Evolution 'debate'? Only hurts our country. In the previous post we mention the broadcast of 'Is It China's Century?' and when we talk about the challenge from China & India, education comes up all the time and we'll lose this fight, in no small part, if people keep underming education like this. If you don't teach Evolution then you the sciences don't make sense (any of them: it's all related and they all support evolution) and you only institutionalize ignorance.

(Best line lately? You can teach kids that the South won the Civil War but that doesn't make it so... hilarious!)

We ♥ iPodder

Folks, digital media has changed everything... even the way we listen to the radio. Now, we love XM Satellite Radio (Fred & Air America alone make it worth it), but we still plug into terrestrial radio in the car... and on our computer. See, everyone talks about 'Podcasting' but we're really just talking about MP3 files you can play on your computer sans iPod (but we own several of those anyways).

Here then are a few Podcasts we think are worth your time (the links? copy them and paste them into iPodder):

Le Show: http://kcrw.com/podcast/show/ls
Left, Right & Center: http://kcrw.com/podcast/show/lr
To The Point: http://kcrw.com/podcast/show/tp (go and listen to 'Is It China's Century')
Which Way LA?: http://kcrw.com/podcast/show/ww
(lots of Podcasts at KCRW)

and not to be forgotten...
Morning Sedition from AirAmerica! Must listening!

5.09.2005

Sacrifice? What 'Sacrifice'?

Amazing. These people are just amazing... from the LA Times...

A Wall Street tycoon accused in the 1980s of cheating thousands of investors out of their savings in one of the biggest financial scandals in history now says the state of California cheated him.

So he has launched a campaign to change the state tax code — retroactive to 1992 — in hopes of getting $5 million back.

Peter Ackerman, who worked for "junk bond king" Michael Milken, walked away from the Drexel Burnham Lambert scandal with what financial experts say was hundreds of millions of dollars. Now a lobbyist for Ackerman has crafted a bill in the Legislature that would permit the refund — one of several measures apparently written with a single taxpayer in mind.

Another is a push by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, one of the world's richest people, to restore a tax break that would benefit his company. And a Central Valley container maker is making a bid for millions more in state subsidies for its manufacturing equipment.

Large-scale across-the-board tax breaks may be out of the question as long as California has multibillion-dollar budget shortfalls. But some businesses and wealthy individuals hope that a few million in specific breaks here and there — amounting to "budget dust" in a state that spends more than $100 billion a year — will sneak through.
It better bloody not now that the LA Times has printed a story about it... though we're positive you'll never hear a word of it on your local evening info-tainment here in LA LA Land

(Really, UPN come on: we love breasts as much as anyone but making them the selling point of your "newscast" is just not right... where is your sense of 'civic responsibility'?_

Clawback

If you haven't heard the term "clawback" in terms of Social Security, well you problably need to read the following:

"Clawback" Would Eat Into Any Gains In Accounts. Upon retirement, workers would be subject to a "clawback" and would have to repay the money diverted into private accounts, plus interest, plus inflation, through automatic reductions of their guaranteed benefits. The total interest rate would be 3 percent above inflation annually. Unless the amount in their accounts grew by more than 3 percent plus inflation, the "clawback" would take away all (or more than all) of the value of the account.

What does this mean exactly? Well according to the Washington Post...
If a worker sets aside $1,000 a year for 40 years, and earns 4 percent annually on investments, the account would grow to $99,800 in today's dollars, but the government would keep $78,700 -- or about 80 percent of the account. The remainder, $21,100, would be the worker's.
Aww man, these people are ballsy... unbelievable. This isn't a 'clawback' as much as it is a Knife In the Back...

HuffingtonPost.com

Stop reading that Drudge crap (you're only making him $$$) and check out Arianna Huffington's new group blog: the HuffingtonPost.com

Rock & Roll: we love Arianna.

More to come...