Category Archives: WTF?

Chicago returns to its political roots

Hell yes! This, dear reader, is how a political corruption scandal should break. None of this suspicion of vote fraud, no question of people kept away from the booth, no question of “Well maybe he didn’t really do that.”

On December 9, federal agents arrested Democratic Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich on charges that he had put president-elect Barack Obama’s senate seat up for sale–though not on eBay, which probably would have made things a lot easier. The Blagojevich portrayed in the 76-page criminal complaint is, according to the New York Times, a “[d]elusional, narcissistic, vengeful, and profane” man who has been under investigation for years. They’re not kidding.

You want corruption?  They did it old-school in Chicago.  “Here’s a powerful position.  How much you pay me to get it?”  Plain.  Simple.  Direct.  Like was done in Capone’s time.

The really touching thing about this scandal is we also get to find out what kind of family the Blagojevichs have.

111 a. On or about November 27, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH, his wife and daughters, and BLAGOJEVICH’s chief of staff JOHN HARRIS ate Thanksgiving dinner together. BLAGOJEVICH’s wife asked BLAGOJEVICH to “please pass the potatoes.” BLAGOJEVICH asked what his wife was willing to give him for “the f—ing potatoes” because “these f—ing things aren’t f—ing cheap.” HARRIS said that BLAGOJEVICH’s wife might donate $250,000 to Friends of Blagojevich in exchange for the potatoes. BLAGOJEVICH’s wife said she thought that was a high price for a spoonful of mashed potatoes and asked BLAGOJEVICH to carve the turkey instead. BLAGOJEVICH said “What am I, your f—ing butler?” and reminded her that “I don’t f—ing work for free.” HARRIS asked BLAGOJEVICH to consider carving the turkey in exchange for a helping of BLAGOJEVICH’s wife’s cranberry sauce. BLAGOJEVICH said he “hated f—ing cranberry sauce, you stupid f–k,” and reminded his wife that the “only reason we have this f—ing turkey in the first place” was because Senate Candidate 5 had personally delivered it to the BLAGOJEVICH residence that morning. BLAGOJEVICH’s wife said BLAGOJEVICH could take Senate Candidate 5’s turkey and “shove it up your a–.” BLAGOJEVICH said she could have the turkey “but if you feel like you can do this and not f—ing give me anything, then I’ll f—ing go.” HARRIS volunteered to carve the turkey if BLAGOJEVICH did not want to and the group returned to eating in silence.

Not only is he an inspiring, honest, upright public servant, he also is a loving, caring, good-natured provider for his family.  Most areas of the country have tiny little bribery or abuse of power corruptions going on.  In Chicago, they show the rest of the country what a government employee should do to abuse power and stamp out democracy.

[tags]Blagojevich, Old school corruption, Chicago, Capone’s way, Family man[/tags]

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?

Never doubt the ‘hoff

He is one of the greatest performers ever, wouldn’t you agree?  This is 211 seconds of heaven wrapped up in a sexy black spycoat and wintry fur…

I hear he is huge in Germany, although all the video I’ve seen him makes me think he’s really the same size as all the other people there.  Therefore, either everyone in Germany is huge, or Hasselhoff is the same size in Germany as when he is in the US.

[tags]I can’t stop this feeling, Ooga chakka, Hasselhoff, Huge in Germany, Ich bin ein Hasselhoff[/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]

My FaceBook WTF?!? moment

Anyone who uses FaceBook knows there are ads in the sidebar.  I usually ignore them – I’ve been online long enough to automagically tune that stuff out.  Today, however, the FaceBook ad server caught my attention with this WTF moment:

Now I have to figure out just what I’m doing in my surfing that makes FaceBook think that first ad is appropriate for me.  Maybe I need to surf more straight pr0n?  I thought maybe the $1 million from the second ad would be available for me if I got involved with the hot gay men, but sadly, the money is pretend only.

[tags]FaceBook, WTF, Ad Service, More pr0n please[/tags]

ExtremeTech: Technologies we wish had caught on

Recently, I was reading an article at ExtremeTech discussing technologies the site editors wish had caught on. For the most part, I can see why the article creators wish the technologies had caught on, but I confess that I am mostly indifferent to or mildly in disagreement with the items they listed. One mention, however, I felt I could respond to since I long ago mentioned it here on the Blahg. I wanted to remark on the text made in the article in regards to the Microsoft Zune. Rather than start with what I agree with, I’ll pop the negative portion of my rather long comment out first, just below the break, so we can end on the happy, let’s all hug agreement section at the close.

Continue reading ExtremeTech: Technologies we wish had caught on

Spitzer and the high-priced hooker

The message here, kids, is that if you pay enough for a hooker, you can walk away scot free when caught.  Particularly, if you are, say, the mayor of New York and you spend thousands of dollars per booty call, you can get away with your marriage intact (good or bad depends on your view of your marriage) and no penalty beyond having to resign your position.

The decision not to press charges against former Gov. Eliot Spitzer for his involvement with a high-priced prostitution ring last year came as no surprise yesterday to several former prosecutors and defense lawyers, many of whom said that the case, while full of lurid and suggestive details, would have been hard to prosecute.

. . .

In laying out his decision not to prosecute Mr. Spitzer, Michael J. Garcia, the United States attorney in Manhattan, said he had three main rationales: Mr. Spitzer had apparently not used any public money or campaign funds for his trysts; there was insufficient evidence that he had broken the law in how he had structured payments to the call-girl ring; and, finally, it was not the policy of his or other federal prosecutors’ offices to charge the customers in matters of prostitution.

Hard to prosecute.  Not policy to charge customers.  Remember that when you get caught in Nevada after paying $15 for a blow-job.  If you are a nobody and buy a cheap whore, you will get busted.  If you are a big-name politico, you get to apologize in public, say you are sorry, then wait for the whole thing to go away.

[tags]Eliot Spitzer, Hookers without penalty, High priced hookers, Scot Free[/tags]