Category Archives: Stupid

Would you take a job where you were paid *NOT* to work?

Would you take a job where you were paid *NOT* to work?

In recent discussions on the future viability of US auto manufacturers, one of the topics to come up was the UAW job bank program.

According to that document, the basic guarantee from the 1987 agreement is that no eligible employee will be laid off over the term of the agreement, except under the following specific circumstances. 1)Reduced customer demand, a maximum of 42 weeks over the life of the agreement (commonly known as loss of marketshare); 2)Acts of God or other conditions beyond the control of management; 3)Conclusion of an assignment known in advance to be temporary; and 4) Plant rearrangement or model changeover.

Eligible employees can not be laid off because of new technology (robots), sourcing decisions, or company-implimented efficiency actions. There are generally three states of layoff: temporary layoffs where workers know their return date, indefinite layoffs where workers get 48 weeks of unemployment benefits and a supplemental from their employer equal to 100 percent of your salary. After 48 weeks workers are reemployed by the Job Bank, at which time they receive 95 percent of their salary.

Now if you are like me, you’ve never heard of this program before very recently. Ultimately, what the program is used for is to keep paying some number of UAW union members a worker’s salary while they don’t work. This is part of a program implemented in the 80s as a concession by auto manufacturers to the union to get support for productivity improvement efforts. In other words, the union realized that improving worker efficiency would mean fewer workers needed, so brought in this program as a way to keep paying some of the people who lost their jobs as a result.

How much does this cost the auto manufacturers? Well, we don’t know for certain, but looking back a few years gives us at least some idea:

Continue reading Would you take a job where you were paid *NOT* to work?

D.C. tries new method for “controlling” guns in the District

After losing the fight to keep the Unconstitutional gun ban in the District, the Washington D.C. council has now turned to harassment law in hopes of reducing firearm ownership. Rather than saying you just can’t own a handgun, the new law will require permit renewals every 3 years and included a mandated annual recertification of ownership with district police.

Since September, D.C. residents have been allowed to register magazine-loaded semiautomatic handguns as well as revolvers. The legislation banned magazines that are capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

Yesterday’s legislation would also require firearms owners to take a safety course and undergo a background check every six years.

After the vote, council member Phil Mendelson (D-At Large) said in a statement, “Today’s vote puts the District at the forefront of using regulation to reduce gun violence, rather than the simpler, prior approach of hoping that an outright ban will be effective.”

I am not a firearm owner, but to me the 2nd amendment is pretty clear on the right of ownership. While my limited reading of the recent legislation seems to follow the letter of the law, I think there is some question as to following the intended rights protection inherent in the amendment. I have to question my visitors who partake of this right – doesn’t it seem that the proper way to reduce gun violence to implement much harsher penalties for misuse? Rather than making legal owners suffer under laws illegal users will just ignore, isn’t it smarter to make sure the chance of repeat offense is reduced? Increase jail time for theft of a firearm. Increase jail time for theft carried out via firearm. Tack on additional sentencing mandates for homicides carried out by firearm.

I don’t directly benefit from loosening firearm restrictions for legitimate users. I do, however, know that if someone tries to rob a McDonald’s or a bank while I am there, I want to have the hope of someone in the facility being a legal carrier. My interactions with those that carry suggests to me that I am safer with them around than with most police.

[tags]Firearms, 2nd amendment, Washington DC, Right to bear arms[/tags]

Drinking was involved – dead from overdose

Now normally, drinking and overdosing might be a forgettably passable story.  However, when one overdoses on sexual enhancement drugs

Well, that’s just all kinds of crazy, for sure.

A French man was found dead with drug overdose. Officials found twenty-four DORMILAX pills missing from the strips, a bottle of Thai whiskey and a pack of LM cigarette in the room. Bargirl said that the man took quite a few pills and wanted more sex.

I guess so.  Somewhere in there is a joke about too many sex pills and death that’s just waiting to be expressed right.

[tags]Sex, Drinking was involved, Overdose[/tags]

Rep. Michelle Bachmann and the Urban Legend

Today, we have a video daily double.  Play along at home and see if you can win the prize.

In early October of this year, Rep. Michelle Bachmann said The news media should do a penetrating exposé and take a look.  I wish they would.  I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out are they pro-America or are they anti-America?  I think people would love to see an exposé like that. (view video clip starting at about 1 minute and 50 seconds)

To me, this leaves no doubt that she believes some Congress-critters are anti-American, and that with investigation Americans could find out who these critters are.

Cue up an interview last week on Hannity and Colmes in which she was asked about this, and she claims she never said it – it is an urban legend.  Responding to a quote read by Alan Colmes taken word-for-word from the above-viewable video, she says Actually, that’s not what I said at all.  Actually that’s not what I said.  It’s an urban legend that was created.  That isn’t what I said at all. (about 15 seconds in)

I didn’t say the media needs to investigate Congress-critters and find the anti-Americans!

Whatever.  I get that we all sometimes say things we don’t mean, have a slip of the tongue/brain and say something wrong, or say things we shouldn’t have (e.g., Obama’s 57 states or McCain’s my fellow prisoners).  But let’s at least ask that she own up to what she said and at least apologize or stand behind her suggestion that President-elect Obama and some Congress-critters are anti-American.  The first two times I ever listened to Rush Limbaugh, he did the exact same thing and wouldn’t stand behind the comments he made when his listeners called him out on them just 2-3 minutes later.  I realized then that he doesn’t really believe what he says, and now I know the same about Rep. Bachmann.

[tags]Bachmann, Lies, Urban Legend, Colmes, That’s not what I said[/tags]

Protected speech?

Should betting on predicted Presidential assassination date be legal?

Is betting on the assassination date of a newly elected President free speech? I would say yes, although it sure is poor taste. Is offering a betting pool on the assassination date and then saying Let’s hope someone wins similarly protected? I would argue that it is not. This changes expressing an expectation that an assassination will occur to something that instead looks to incite violence in a manner long ruled illegal. Or at least to be dangerously close to that. To me, the betting alone seems legal and protected, even if offensive and remarkably stupid. Including the indication of hoping for a successful assassination does not seem reasonably protected speech.

The Town Council in Standish condemned the sign on Thursday in a 6-0 vote and declared it reprehensible at a meeting where some residents defended the store owner, saying he had a right to free speech even if in bad taste, local authorities said.

. . .

The sign in the Oak Hill General Store asked customers to place a $1 bet on the date of Obama’s assassination, and said “Let’s hope someone wins,” the Portland Press Herald reported. It was called the “Osama Obama Shotgun Pool.”

Am I way off here? Is this something that should be allowed? If you say yes, would you believe the same if this had happened 4 years ago, and the betting were instead for what date President Bush would be assassinated? If you say no, am I being too lenient in believing that the betting pool itself is legal without the Let’s hope someone wins quote? Where is the line on talk about expected/anticipated assassinations of our leaders?

[tags]Obama, Assassination, 1st amendment, Betting pool, Inciting violence, Free speech[/tags]

Down time

Lately, the site has been down a lot.  I have tried to make some updates but haven’t been able to most times when I’ve had free time because the site has had trouble.  I’m seeing a lot of errors in my web logs, but when I contacted my hosting provider in the past I was told first that yes they could see the problem and then that no, I shouldn’t have that problem because they’d patched it months earlier.  Since I can’t seem to get it resolved, I’m looking to move to another host I use and like.  Hopefully that will happen before the week is over and I’ll have opportunity to update the site more regularly again.

Too much pr0n? -or- How can you even surf that much pr0n?

According to rule 34, there is a pr0n for everything on the intarw3bs – if you can think it, there is pr0n for it. Given that, it’s probably unsurprising for most people to know that many people surf for pr0n at some point in their intarw3bs-life (note: I have not been able to verify those statistics yet, but believe from previous research that site to be reliable in this aspect irrespective of other doubts I may have over the site content). However, sometimes, just every-once-in-a-while, there enters the web-world an internet-pr0n abuse story that shocks the mind and makes you wonder, well, WTF were they thinking?

A Japanese civil servant was demoted for logging more than 780,000 hits on pornographic Web sites on his office computer over nine months, an official said Friday.

. . .

The man’s supervisors discovered his extensive porn site visits after his computer became infected with a virus, prompting officials to examine his Web browser’s history.

Those viruses are causing all kinds of problems, though, aren’t they? There is, of course, the possibility that the worker did very little of the pr0n surfing, and the virus caused many non-human-driven pr0n-site hits. The linked MSNBC article does not hit on this aspect of the story, so I can’t personally say how much of this might be automated rather than user-created.

I will admit to being surprised by the punishment for this. Most places I’ve worked, very-light pr0n surfing is enough to get one fired, although most typically a warning on high will come down first unless the viewed content involves non-adult subjects or any animals (yes, I’ve worked in a field where I have to know these kinds of things and have had to monitor people doing this stuff). As already noted in the above quote – the worker was demoted for his actions. Additionally:

Along with the demotion, he received a 20,000 yen ($190) monthly pay cut, Waki said.

Yup. Loss of rank, and small paycut. Now in a society like Japan, where appearances of propriety are so highly valued, I realize this is much more of a punishment than the same actions would be here in the States. I’m still surprised by this, though, as it sounds fairly mild compared to what I’ve seen in places where I was one of the net-abuse monitors.

NOTE: All links above are safe for work – I try hard to keep stuff here mostly worksafe, and hide non-worksafe stuff below “Read More” tags or NSFW warnings.

[tags]Pr0n, 780000 pr0n hits, Virus, NSFW, MSNBC, WTF, Stupid[/tags]