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31 October 2008

Beware of the Clown


Who'd you think I was talking about? (No not him ... or him either, this isn't a political post!).

It is Halloween you know so of course it's time to don our costumes and often conceal the inhibitions that go with them.

****

In my former life I used to do some work for a very popular consumer product company that produced television shows, movies and CD's about a, uh, larger than life character. This character was like crack cocaine to kids and they couldn't get enough (of the character, not the crack). Of course that spawned consumer goods of all types from lunch boxes to pajamas to stuffed dolls. Kids lost their freaking mind with this character. Think of the equivalent of a 'tween going ape over Hanna Montana when she first hit the scene.


Well, as is often the case in cynic-land (from whence I sire), along came the criminal element that hi-jacked container loads of these toys so they could sell them quickly at a 100% profit, counterfeit everything they could get their hands on as well as the even darker criminal element: pedophile adults who dressed as this character in order to lure children into, well, you get the idea. Another notable problem was the guy with Turret's Syndrome who would wear an adult costume and host birthday parties....at least until he started lashing out at the kids using vulgarities. Think about your favorite childhood character screaming at you to "bleepity-bleep off". It wasn't pretty.


Needless to say, with visions of John Wayne Gacy, my client didn't find any of this even the least bit funny and made it a point to not produce ANY adult sized costumes or apparel of said character.


And sadly, this was not my only client with this problem. So each year around Halloween, I found myself marshaling the forces to try to put a stop to the wide spread, black market sales and rental of adult sized character costumes. Who knew, right? I even had to testify as a Subject Matter Expert on this issue in my state's legislature if you can imagine that.

****

Dressing up in costumes to entertain kids is a time honored tradition dating back to 1800 BC. Yet somewhere along the line the practice has obviously taken a darker turn.

Coulrophobia is the fear of clowns and it affects an estimated 15% of the population. Are you one of them?

Back in 2005 the town of Sarasota Florida decided to honor its clown heritage by installing dozens and dozens of fiberglass clowns all over town. After all, Sarasota has been the home to the Ringling Brothers Circus for over 30 years, 15 major circus companies are based there and more circus people live there than anyplace in the world. Clowns on parade seem like a natural fit, yes?


The measure was vigorously protested. The voters said “Clowns give me the creeps,” and "How would you like to be driving around downtown and see your worst fear everywhere and super-sized?”

Obviously there are good clowns and evil clowns. And then then there are clowns that are evil clowns regardless of what costume they wear. The challenge is being able to tell the difference.

Y'all be careful out there trick-or-treating, ya hear?




30 October 2008

Shocking Campaign Development

Boy shocked after man powers up campaign
sign

Seems that a Mr. Shawn Turschak of the North Carolina Turschak's likes the McCain-Palin ticket. So much he posted a standard fare McCain-Palin campaign sign or two in his yard.

Also seems that a 9-year neighbor boy, son of one Andrew Noble likes the Obama-Biden ticket. The budding young Democrat and part-time misfit allegedly made it a habit to discreetly enter Mr. Turschak's property to, uh, re-allocate his McCain signs to points unknown and replace them with Obama signs. How annoyingly clever.

Mr. Turschak did not find such thefts funny so he electrified the replacement McCain signs in his yard. The next time a theft was attempted of the signs on Mr. Turschak's property, the attempted thief was met with 110 volts of "No-Not-This-Time".

Of course the way some people get worked up over these elections, the little dude is lucky he didn't get a round of buck shot in his behind.

With his hair on end, Mr. Noble's son went whimpering home to Daddy, who promptly marched down to Mr. Turschak's house for an explanation. I can hear it now "Why did you think it was okay to protect your signs on your private property from my unduly influenced and unsupervised pre-teen from committing what could have been his first felony at your expense?"

Nonetheless, the Po-Po was summoned and the modern day Hatfields and McCoys were separated. No charges are expected, according to the police.

At last report, Mr. Noble was teaching his son how to light a bag of flaming poo while Mr. Turschak was seeking a permit to tether an alligator to his McCain-Palin signs until Tuesday.

Anybody else looking forward to this election to be over?

Election is Fowl?

An election is coming. Universal peace is declared, and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry.
- George Eliot


Yippee! The election is drawing near! Do you have your election day outfit picked out yet? Have you called ahead to your election administrator to let them know you're coming? Have you thawed the beanie-weenies for the election night watching party at your house?

No? Well, phooey on you.

The election on Tuesday is the most important election in November of 2008! Despite the fact that it is the only national election in November of 2008, let's continue, shall we?

For starters, if you are looking for smack talk for or against one the candidates, keep looking. Lately I have been limiting my smack talk to Baptist Bigots.

Secondly, this will soon be over. The news, the blogosphere and the TV commercials will all return to exploits of Britney Spears privates, er, I mean private life.

And what we will be left with will be a sack of promises, a $10 Trillion federal debt - that's $33k per person folks - and a new administration tasked with actually doing what they told us they would do. Yeah, right.

The latest power grab is almost complete and new foxes will soon be knocking at the door of the hen house.

Do you have good locks on your chicken coop?


29 October 2008

Is there an "I" in Cry, Marion?

Good grief.

One doesn't have to look far to find yet another example of arrogance and selfishness on display in the news. And lucky for you, one doesn't have to look beyond Daddio's Daily Dose to have arrogance exposed.

In The Oprah Winfrey Show set to broadcast today, disgraced Olympic sprinter Marion Jones will spill her guts about 'how her memory of the Olympics is tarnished' because of her prior bad deeds. Poor baby.

Let's recap shall we?

  • Oct. 12, 1975 - born
  • early 1990's - High School state champion sprinter 4 years in a row, rumors of drug use begin, missed a required drug test to compete and was banned for 4 years. High profile attorney Johnnie Cochran got her suspension reversed.
  • 1997 - Graduated UNC-Chapel Hill, drug use allegations persist
  • 1998 - 1999 - 1st place in 100 meter World Championships
  • 2000 Summer Olympics - won 3 gold medals and 2 bronze, husband later testifies that she injected herself in the stomach with performance enhancing drugs
  • 2004 - Drug dealer gives her up and admits supplying her performance enhancing drugs, Jones denies it
  • 2006 - her urine and blood samples test positive for drugs
  • 2007 - Marion Jones finally admits to using drugs, lying to federal agents and to her role in a check counterfeiting scheme
  • 2008 - Marion Jones is ordered to return all of her medals she won since 1999. The relay teams she was on during those years also had to forfeit their medals and results. Marion Jones gets sent to the hoosegow (prison) for 6 months.

Said the head of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF):

"Marion Jones will be remembered as one of the biggest frauds in sporting history."

Now, in late 2008, after all the damage she has caused to her international sport, her country, her team mates and her family, she arrogantly sums the experience up this way:

"I truly believe that the reason I made the awful mistake and a few thereafter was because I didn't love myself enough to tell the truth."

The 'few mistakes thereafter' I assume refer to the attempts along with her boyfriend and friends to defraud several banks of millions of dollars in an money laundering scheme after her net worth went in the tank. No big deal, right Marion?

Not a single mention of her responsibility to her team, her fans, her country or her sport. And looking at her history, one shouldn't be surprised. Yet she will get the pity treatment and get a venue to tell her horrid tales of her 6 months in federal prison. And all the while, her fans and her teammates that also lost their medals for being teamed with her, will get nada. Except another reminder that there really is no "I" in the word TEAM.

****

I know some of you readers, including you career lurkers, have a direct or indirect hand in raising kids. How did you explain this former iconic athlete's fall from grace to your kids? Or is it safer to not try and emulate highly visible athletes in the first place?

Wanna be President??

"Mothers all want their sons to grow up to be President, but they don't want them to become politicians in the process."
- John F. Kennedy

Is this true?

When I was a kid, my parents and my teachers told me (and everyone else of course) that I could be President of the United States someday. A lofty goal to be sure because in civics class we learned how prestigious the office of President is and how powerful he (or she) is on the world's stage. Who wouldn't want that opportunity for their children?

As an adult, I have also dangled this carrot in front of Emily. You know the refrain: Do good in school, eat your veggies, polish my boots, respect your parents, do good by others and you too could be President of The United States!

But somewhere in there is the inconvenient truth of what it takes to actually be president. Sure, a command on the issues, a US citizenship, and a decent looking presence in a suit. But as the years go by we - yes we - have come to demand more from our elected officials.

  • They must be completely unscathed in their personal lives
  • They must possess the ability to collect zillions of dollars from wealthy supporters
  • They must be able to placate every faction of society in order to earn and maintain the popular vote
  • They must promise change - without consequence - even if there is no reasonable mechanism to create that change

Yet, by demanding these criteria, the proposed candidate gets further and further from actually representing us, the populace. Who among you is unscathed personally? Who has access to zillions of dollars? Who lives in an environment where you can say one thing and do another and be consequence-free?

And when these people are elected - that, again, end up being nothing like us - we turn on them because they are out of touch with our lives. Hmmmm.

Perhaps we should inspire our children to become illegal aliens instead?? Most of them have a very bright future in this country and it costs them next to nothing.

28 October 2008

Truth is Absurd

"It is always the best policy to speak the truth - unless, of course, you are an exceptionally good liar."
- Jerome K. Jerome, 1859 – 1927; English author


Here are some common lies:

Age - some age related lies are through the liars admission and some because they doctor an ID and dress 'older'. It starts young too. I recall a young girl named Stephanie who told me she was 5. Her grandmother shook her head and said that Stephanie was really 4. Stephanie vigorously disagreed and insisted that she was 5. I don't think any child that age could have believed anything more strongly than Stephanie did about her false age.


Work History - Note for hiring managers: "I worked for the State" in an increment of 7 or 10 years means your applicant was in prison. Got it?

Politics - Every candidate promises "change" (yeah, look it up, they all do). Few deliver plausible details, therefore few actually deliver change, ergo, all we get is another big fat goose egg of a promise and/or an outrageous tax bill for their efforts. Sound familiar?


Love & Money - When I was in my 20's my friend Trout and I agreed to be the designated drivers for his younger brother and his band of hooligans for the brother's bachelor party. I must confess, I have been to many, many bachelor parties, but that was the only one where I was a tee-totaller. And is was great.

Here is what we learned, out of the mouth of babes (no, not those babes, I mean the baby brother and his buddies):

Everything in life can be boiled down to either BANK or SPANK. Or for those slow on the uptake, they meant, Money or Sex. (Yow, can't wait to see what the Ad Crawler displays now!)

Now, before I go against my pledge for keeping it PG here at D3, I won't go into the depth's of the discussion we had that night, but suffice to say, we had a hard time trumping their assertion.

And because of motivation being what it is, many people will lie their ever lovin' asses off modify the truth in order to achieve said Bank or said Spank. It may be noted that one of the more hard core participants that night even went as far as to say that the only purpose of Bank was to get Spank in the first place, thereby removing Bank from life's equation and leaving only Spank as his life's primary purpose. I do wonder where that chap is sometimes...

Well, as we age most of us add a bit of perspective obviously. We mature, we love, we lose, we love again, we have kids ... and life takes on meaning that so far surpasses the Bank or Spank equation. Or does it?


"Talk is cheap, and lies are expensive."
- Green Day, Rock group, from "Walking Contradiction"



A notable companion piece to this post can be found in the earlier 6 part series entitled Mating Growl. Check it out. So sure, one can (and boy do they!) deceive to get their Bank or their Spank....but can they really afford the COST?

Have you ever been on the receiving end of a Bank or Spank lie?

****


Hey lookie there! Daddio got philosophical. The Absurdity Tour is almost over (NOT)....so don't leave your seats just yet....




25 October 2008

Thinking is Murder


Did you know that if you or your lover use birth control that you are a murderer?

Yep, in the latest example of
Bible Banging zealot-ness run amok, it seems that in the heart of the bible belt, one Thomas White, the vice president of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary told his students that "birth control is murder". What the ...?!?

No, not abortion, no not plunging a knife into the chest of an otherwise innocent person; but simply taking a birth control measures, like the Pill, is the "murder of a life"
.

Besides his obvious absence of medical (and, uh, pregnancy) know-how, this would typically be a laughable side bar. Except there's more.

In digging deeper, his bio says that he is "A systematic theologian by training with a focus on the doctrine of the church, he can relate to seminary students on many levels." How comfortable Baptists must feel that this dude is so far out in left field (or right field as the case may be) having had such a strong systemic background on the church's doctrine.

Oh, but wait a minute. Perhaps they didn't really mean that he was that focused on the doctrine. Perhaps he was a tad cloudy that day during his own seminary training? One would think that even the Southern Baptists would want to step back from this bit of lunacy, right?


****

Southern Baptists have had their share of silliness through the years. Back in 1997, remember when they boycotted Disney's AND all of it's subsidiaries - ESPN, ABC, etc. - because they allowed gay people into Disneyland in Florida? How did that work out you ask? Well during the 8 years that the Southern Baptist's 'maintained their boycott, Disney's earnings nearly doubled. I guess even Southern Baptists can't live without Extreme Home Makeover and Sportscenter.

In the 'lesson' that he gave to his students, White mentioned his own guilt in family planning that while he was working on his career as a small minded bigot man of the cloth, he and his wife held off having kids by using birth control themselves. An important feature to his position I think is that he and his wife never did conceive and later adopted a child. For folks who typically have a football team worth of kids, not conceiving on their own couldn't possibly be the Lord's fault, so therefore his choice in making his wife take The Pill seems like a logical target. In trying to explain this guilt to his students, White says this:



"The reason that we did it was my own selfishness, I wanted kids, but I wanted kids -- not in God's timing, but in my timing."


Selfish timing? Because the world has sooo much extra room for kids that are born into unwanted environments, right? When a reporter sought to clarify his position, he eventually replied in a curt email that he was busy. No retraction, no attempt to clarify. Nothing. Just a 'leave me alone', 'I'm busy'.


To most free thinkers, his is a ridiculous premise. God has a timing for when we are supposed to have kids, and therefore to have sex? Talk about pressure! But this is not as ridiculous to some apparently.


****

The brainiacs over at Alas, a Blog have an article entitled The Bible Says That God is the Only Opener and Closer of the Womb, which is equal parts creepy, elitist and offensive.

One of the proponents of this peculiar position is a dude named Mohler. Wanna guess where he's from? Yep, the den of biblical oddity itself, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Perhaps he is a bunk office mate with the good Mr. White mentioned above? Here's Mohler's take on the birth control plague:

“If a couple sees children as an imposition, as something to be vaccinated against, like an illness, that betrays a deeply erroneous understanding of marriage and children. Children should be seen as good by default.”

Well it is not hard to figure out what the theologians are saying there now is it? For those of us that have ever tried to control a birth, these elitists presume that we think of children - or our children-to-be, as contagions (teenagers notwithstanding I presume). Since they can't possibly know what goes in your house or my house, perhaps that says more about them and their attitude on children? Hmmm.

Furthering their efforts to promote their total omniscience over all things, Rick and Jan Hess make their own case that God controls our health, not the other way around. Really. In their 1989 book, A Full Quiver: Family Planning and the Lordship of Christ, they argue that God, as the “Great Physician” and sole “Birth Controller,” he opens and closes the womb on a case-by-case basis. Women’s attempts to control their own bodies–the Lord’s temple–are a seizure of divine power. So, if we dare to control our own bodies, then we are improperly seizing God's power. Astonishing.

These are no doubt the same type of parents as those of 11 year old Madeline Neumann that earlier this year watched her increasingly suffer from nausea, vomiting, excessive thirst, loss of appetite and weakness over several months without ever taking her to the doctor. Eventually family members intervened but
Madeline died a terrible death anyway (diabetic ketoacidosis). To render aid, these parents of three were only willing to pray for young Madeline and hadn't even taken her to a doctor in 8 years. In the end, they acquiesced that their daughter died because "apparently they didn't have enough faith". The "Great Physician" doesn't make house calls apparently and now Dale and Leilani Neumann are facing second-degree reckless homicide charges.

Holy Nut Job Batman.


****
Unfit parents like above may be well suited to make an informed discussion about birth control before they find themselves on the receiving end of a 25 year year prison sentence for murdering their child. Duh.

Which is one of many reasons why pre-planning a birth - by not having one if you are not properly equipped, for instance - is a rational idea. Duh, again.

The Pill Popeth


After nearly 10 years of development The Pill aka Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill (COCP)was approved by the FDA in 1960. Within a year of its release, over 1/2 a million women took it and currently nearly 15 million American women and over 100 million women worldwide take The Pill.

The Pill has been proven to be 99% effective in preventing pregnancy and it also reduces several forms of cancer in regular users by nearly 50%. Me thinks The Pill-ith has doth caught-uth on.

Yet the right wing sees The Pill as a form of homicide? Let's look at their position a little closer.

The most common Pill in existence works in three stages (triphasic):

Phase 1 - The Pill inhibits ovulation

Phase 2 - The Pill prevents sperm penetration and survival (contraceptive)

Phase 3 - The Pill disrupts the growth of the endometrium so that it is not capable of nurturing an embryo

It is this last phase that has the fundamentalist's bloomers in a bundle. It seems that they believe that if a sperm and an egg are in the same place, that conception occurs. And therefore, disrupting that meeting is abortion and therefore The Pill is murder.

So, if a Southern Baptist Man and a Southern Baptist Women meet in a swingers bar, does that mean that they will automatically get married and become bigots?

If a red Chevy and a green Honda meet at an intersection, does that automatically mean they will ram into each other?

If a logical, fact based thought and an irrational, mythical based thought meet in the blogosphere, will the logical thought automatically trump the irrational one?

But I digress...

The problem is that while a woman is on the Pill during Phase 3, an egg and a sperm being in the same room is no closer to being pregnant than me being elected president just because I am in the same room as a polling booth.

Since The Pill makes the endometrium incapable for an egg and sperm to implant, fertilization does not occur so there is no conception in all but 1% of cases (in which The Pill becomes a non-issue since now there is a pregnancy). So why don't they acknowledge that medical fact instead of dramatizing falsehoods to our youth?

But then perhaps therein lies their perverse, double-dipping advantage in their logic: In the same breath, they can condemn those heretics which do not conform to their misinformed, elitist and chauvinistic doctrine while at the same time continue to cultivate the next generation of "systematic theologians".


"Hey, can you take the wheel for a second, I have to scratch my self in two places at once."
- Homer Simpson

****

If you read this post to the end...thank you. If it lit a spark in you then you will want to read the don't miss series entitled "Save Thee or Sell Thee" available for free on the right panel under "Doozy's by Daddio". Of course, if you need more Daddio in your life (duh), make sure to grab your free RSS feed by clicking the "Feed Me" link to be updated whenever new content is posted.

22 October 2008

Medicine is Absurd - Part II

As a follow up to my riveting, acclaimed and spellbinding article on Medicine and their Absurdity-ness, comes this news report from the intrepid reporting crew at the Associated Press (They no doubt are close watchers of the trend setting Daddios Daily Dose):

"Reports of Serious Drug Reactions Hit Record"

Seems that the watchdog group, Institute for Safe Medication Practices reported recently that the FDA received 21,000 reports of serious drug reactions, including over 4,800 deaths in just the last 4 years. Yikes.

Chantix - an aid to quit smoking - and heparin - a blood thinner - were the main culprits.

An interesting statistic within the statistic: Within the last year, a man who was reportedly taking Chantix to aid in his smoking cessation tried to break into his neighbor's home in the middle of the night. His neighbor, not finding the folly in this event and not knowing - or caring - who was prying his door open, fired several gunshots through the door, killing the would-be intruder.

Seems fairly clear: "Man A" attempts break in, "Man B" kills him, within his legal right to protect life and property from imminent harm. Right?

Wrong. "Man A" was on Chantix. And apparently the Chantix made him do it, according to the widow, who also was reportedly enjoying some adult beverages with Mr. Chantix the night of his undoing.

So is Chantix to blame for "Man A's" death? Would Chantix also be to blame if "Man A" had actually broken in and say, killed, "Man B"?

This drama was, well, made even more dramatic because Mr. Chantix was a celebrity musician apparently. That makes your bad choices fodder for the 'celebrity excuse' and makes your death one of a martyr.

What always gets missed in these sorted affairs is the guy who was woken up in the middle of the night, forced to use deadly force to protect his family and then be cast aside - or chastised - because his righteous choice took the life of a pinhead who made a bad choice.

So, have you taken your meds today??

21 October 2008

Baaaaah

"Great bodies of people are never responsible for what they do."
- Virginia Woolf

Group think, institutional learning, etc. It has it up side, right? Put 10 big brains in the same room and tell them to figure out how to build a better widget ... and they probably will.

But what if that widget turns out to be a dud and costs the organization excessive amounts of time and money. Then who is responsible? The group? Or will a leader step up and take responsibility?

****

People and groups of people that avoid accepting responsibility and merely follow the group around them are often referred to as sheep. Oh, and with good reason.

Sheep have a tendency to congregate close to other members of a flock yet they haul ass as soon as any risk is detected. For the flock to move, it usually is as a result of following the first sheep to actually start to change locations. Think about that. If a flock of sheep is standing near a cliff and one sheep stumbles down the embankment to their death, then the others will instinctively follow the movement of the first sheep down the same embankment. Nice.

Sheep are very food reward motivated too and they can be herded easily with a bucket of feed or with a staff or herding dog since controlling the urge and activity of one controls all of them.

Sheep have their place. But don't look for them on top of the food chain any time soon.

****

Last night Emily and I conversed about her school's 7th grade political activities. Apparently the school is holding mock elections and is encouraging the youth to select a candidate based on their belief system. The challenge of course is that a typical 12 year olds political belief system is not exactly refined enough yet to make a well informed decision on the best equipped candidate.

So they fall innocently into the role of sheep. Waiting for someone to make the first move that makes even a little bit of sense and then they follow. If someone or something spooks them into thinking a candidate is a scary figure, then they flee to the other side. And the teachers pat themselves on the back with delight that they have taught the kids how the political system works. And the kids grow up to be actual voters having learned that it is completely acceptable to know a little bit about the candidate, and then follow the popular kids to the candidate who is also the most popular.

In fairness, some kids seem to have a grasp of the big picture issues. They know that the economy is in trouble, but they don't know that the economy is a cyclical system; that government influences from years ago may have contributed to the negative environment now whereas government influences now may help create a positive economic that won't be felt until years from now. That makes placing blame or giving credit a little more difficult.

They may know that the war in Iraq is costly and unpleasant. But they may not fully understand the alternatives and consequences if our government were not engaged there.

It is likely that my daughter - if she were a legal voter this election cycle - would vote differently than me. And for the most part, I think it's great. She is learning to be an independent thinker and I submit to you that we need a lot more of that to go around.

"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth."
- Bible; Matthew 5:5

That may be true....but who would want to live in a world run by sheep?

Are you raising your kids to be independent thinkers? Or are they expected to sing from the same family hymnal?

19 October 2008

Doctors are Absurd

I bet the creators of this advertisement thought they scored a coup then they came up with nifty statistic huh?

So now, put these into your pipe and smoke it:

  • More than 46 million Americans smoke, despite the overwhelming science that proves its damaging effects.

  • In the United States, the equivalent of the entire city of Albuquerque's dies from smoking each year.

  • Second hand smoke causes nearly 4000 toxic substances to enter the second hand breather's bloodstream within seconds of breathing the smoke.

So why do smokers continue?

Well, I don't know why. In part because I don't smoke and in part because I am not charge of their choices.

Doctor's are subject to human error too unfortunately. In choice and in practice.

Nearly 100,000 people under a doctor's care each year die from direct medical error. Including all medical intervention deaths, that's pushing 3 quarters of a million fatalities. Now you know one of the reasons there are so many plaintiff lawyers in the TV guide.

With all that though, I would rather trust my medical emergency to a trained medical provider than a plaintiff lawyer any day. Right or wrong, all of us human-types make mistakes, some are just more noticeable than others.


"To get maximum attention, it's hard to beat a good, big mistake."

- Joseph R. Alsop, Jr.


But to inject a little perspective, the fatality rate for hospitalizations in America is .0005%. Of course that is meaningless if you or your loved on is in that percentage, but is that risk a reason to not go to a doctor?

With an infant, there has not been a shortage of people - well meaning people - that provide advice and opinions on all things baby. Some is valued and some is not. Context is important in deciding what advice we accept because information and intelligence can come from many places. However, the rule of that of thumb that has served us well has been that we seek professional help from professionals. If we want our car fixed professionally, we go to a mechanic instead of our plumber. So if we want solid medical advice, we tend to go to the professionals that have spent their career learning how to treat us. Even if they tell us something we don't want to hear. And if we hear about a new fangled strategy to treat this or that, we do so in conjunction with our professional medical folks. It's so simple, but the news is filled with people that mix alternative routes to care and end up sick with toxic mixes of herbs, etc., premature death or misinformed answers.


For my part, I consider myself well trained at the things I do and my percentage of accuracy in my various tasks is pretty high. How about yours?

15 October 2008

Working is Absurd

"Hanging focuses the mind very clearly."
- Vice President Gerald Ford, USA, commenting on staff cutbacks




Boy, I'd say.


1.5 million Americans stood in the unemployment line in 2006. At the same time, the Fortune 500 was in line at the bank depositing $785 Billion smackers....an all time high. That was their post tax profit too, after making $9.9 Trillion dollars in revenue. What's wrong with that picture?




Hey, my stock profits like that as much as anyone. So lest I sound a hypocrite, I am a capitalist pig from way back. I used to stay after the professional soccer games when I was a kid to collect the free, souvenir programs that people left behind, then come home, load my wagon and then go door to door trying to sell them. I support Free Enterprise and Buy Low - Sell High; they are part of what makes this country work.



Perhaps a company was over inflated with people in the first place, or perhaps the company was an ineffective competitor and lost sales, or perhaps the company sold schlock and nobody buys schlock anymore, or perhaps the upper management wanted more, you know, cabbage and could get more it for themselves if they procured people, services and resources in places where you need a passport to visit. Or perhaps the employee was a turd and needed to be shown the door.




In all but the last case, the caucus-heads decide that downsizing or right-sizing is what in every one's best interest for the economy. Except for the economy of the Garrison Family down the road who now must choose between their truck payment and their rent. Oh well.




Most economists agree that nearly 2/3 of all corporate spending is on labor costs (oh, those pesky employees!). The humanitarians over at Fortune Magazine calls labor costs "the big gorilla" (and they don't mean that affectionately either) because of what employee's do to impact profits (that is not a positive remark either sports fans).




As mentioned, I understand the role of big business and admittedly support more than my fair share of them. I also know tomfoolery when I see it. There is no law, written or unwritten, that says that profits or prestige have to come before investing in the livelihood's of what is admittedly any company's most valuable asset.


"We spend all our time on people. The day we screw up the people thing, this company is over."
- Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric


Great quote dontchathink? Jack was reportedly an effective and honest people person in his day...and GE's profit's reflected that. In fairness though, Jack Welch also laid off over 25% of the GE workforce during his first 5 years as CEO. Ouch.




Seems that for being called a Free Market Economy, they sure come with a hefty price too huh?

Which should come first, the chicken or the egg, er, I mean, the dollar or the worker?





More Absurdity Tour to come!