Sanctity of employees contracts

As focus has shifted from protests in the Middle East to protests in Madison, we need to think about one of the underlying issues of this debate, employee contracts.

For those of you that think this is all about the state budget crisis and that alone, you are very mistaken.  This is about destroying the last institution, the last guardian for middle class and poor Americans from the ruling elites.  This is about destroying unions, so there is a weakened support organization for the Democratic party.  Not that the Democratic party has been the best friend of unions, I often think that many Democratic politicians play them lip service, but it is better than the outright hostility that they face from Republican politicians.

Remember in the spring of 2009 and 2010 when we heard about the on-going obscene bonuses going to folks on Wall Street?  We had funded the bailout of their industry, keeping them employed.  But that wasn’t enough, they had their contracts and we had to pay them bonuses.  But when the outrage over the bonuses came out, I didn’t hear from Republicans asking to make them re-adjust their contracts because of the bailout.  No, they said it was dumb for Wall Street to give huge bonuses, tried to lay blame on Democrats (many which are as beholden to Wall Street as Republicans), but never once pushed for a clawback on bonuses.

Yet, when it comes to bailing out a union industry like big auto, they ask for union members to take a cut.  When they are facing state government deficits, they ask public government unions to alter their contracts and take a cut.

It is not because unionized employees have more income in which to give, no that is what you find on Wall Street.  Wall Street can give more, but are not asked to because they are special, they represent the wealthy class that has an exaggerated importance in our country.  They demonstrate the lie that is supposed one person one vote democracy with their lack of sacrifice and exaggerated importance.

Republican hatred of unions is very clear to those who are willing to listen.  Their willingness to violate contracts in some circumstances and say they are inviolate in other cases shows that they have a political agenda, destroying unions.  As Rahm Emanuel has said, and Governor Walker and his fellow Republican state politicians are taking to heart, “don’t let a crisis go to waste.”



Minneapolis snow emergency delayed again

Over the years we have continued to see the city of Minneapolis wait to call a snow emergency.  This time, it wasn’t too much of a burden upon me, as my street had at least one plow through by this morning.  But I have noticed this trend for a few years, where they wait until all the snow has stopped before declaring.

Far and away the worst example of this was the 2009 Christmas storm.  This was one where we got a lot of wet snow, then the temperatures dropped.  That time, I pulled into a slushy unplowed parking spot, and after the temps dropped my axle got frozen to the cooling snow/ice mix.  My only remedy was a plow.

I realize the city must consider the cost of and effectiveness of when to plow.  However, these decisions that are to help us, often can be quite a nuisance for us citizens.  I don’t know what the solution is, but I expect that we will see Minneapolis call a snow emergency later than the rest of the twin city municipalities.

Granted, Minneapolis typically does a better job than St Paul who will usually call the emergency quicker, so maybe there is a method to their madness.  However, I think that disparity in effective snow removal predates the frequently delayed snow emergencies.


Why can’t they let us go green?

So a few weeks ago, my anti virus subscription was up.  I had Norton Internet Security Suite 2010 with a 1 user/3 pc license which I had purchased from for I think $30.

So my options were to upgrade directly from Norton it would have cost me $49.99 for 1 year for the same service.  Or I could buy a CD from with the same service for $29.99.  So I can be green, not paying for a CD nor its shipping and packaging, or I can save $20.  Sadly in these economics times I went with the extra $20 in my pocket.

Why doesn’t Norton offer existing customers a renewal license that is competitive with Amazon’s price?  It saves the production costs and makes the world a little greener.


P.S.  Granted, I don’t download mp3s, but rather buy CDs to rip them to my computer, which could be considered a little hypocritical.  However, those are CDs that I own until lost, given away or destroyed, whereas anti-virus is really a one year license.