Saturday, September 29, 2007


The line between commercials and programming has officially been erased.

This fall, ABC debuts a new sitcom called "Cavemen", which involves characters created by the insurance company GEICO for a series of commercials.

First of all, the commercials weren't even that funny. Second, of all the boneheaded ideas the programming execs at ABC could have come up with, creating an entire series based on a group of about 5 un-funny commercials ranks right up there with New Coke in terms of bad business decisions.

I seriously hope this ridiculous series dies the quick but painful death it so richly deserves.

And that Big Business will learn that some lines should never be crossed.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Shortest. Strike. Ever.

Yesterday, I posted an entry about the U.A.W. strike against GM.

Today, that strike ended as quickly as it began

I don't know who blinked, and I'm sure neither side will ever admit who it was.

But the dispute is over, pending ratification of the new agreement.

Today, I was introduced to the process of a contract negotiation. Y'see, I am a union steward.

And I gotta say this: Good God!

Any outsider with no experience can wonder why contract negotiations can take so long.

Anyone who has the slightest inkling of what goes on at the bargaining table would never question that.

I will never again accept a bargaining committee nomination.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

This is IT!

So. The strike is on.

Unless you've been living in a cave for the last day and a half, you know that the U.A.W. has gone on strike against GM. This strike will be the true test of whether organized labor has any real power left.

I don't claim to know all the details, but I know that the big issue separating the 2 sides of the bargaining table is--of course--health care. What a surprise.

The figure I've heard is that GM currently pays approximately $1300 per vehicle it manufactures to cover the costs of health care for its current and former employees. I can't imagine the other American automakers pay much less.

And that is the problem! American manufacturers are losing their competitive edge in every market due to the rising cost of health care in this country. And they seem to have NO problem with that.

I mean, if American business was at all serious about cutting their manufacturing costs, they would press the government to provide universal health care, thus removing a major cost of doing business. But there is no interest in doing that. They are more interested in buying politicians to give them more tax breaks while blaming workers for their financial woes.

So I will be interested to see how this strike turns out. The PR machines of both sides are in full-on attack mode. And, while the U.A.W. may be in the weaker position financially, they have the power of the people. Including me.

It remains to be seen how powerful that power is.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Progress?! I thought "major combat operations have ended" in Iraq!

Does this mean Bush lied? Surely not! He would never lie!

Would he?

(Thanks to for the video.)

Sunday, September 09, 2007



That was the score of last Saturday's Michigan-Oregon game

Oregon was the team with the 39, by the way.

Oregon's mascot is the Duck

Michigan dropped the game to Oregon.

The team that was supposed to have dominated the Big 11 has now lost its first 2 games of the season

On a smaller note, Ohio State's offense was rendered nearly useless by Akron.

Could there finally be a state of equity in College football?

Time will tell.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Labor Day

First, a brief history lesson:

Labor Day is a United States federal holiday that takes place on the first Monday in September. The holiday began in 1882, originating from a desire by the Central Labor Union to create a day off for the "working man". It is still celebrated mainly as a day of rest and marks the symbolic end of summer for many. Labor Day became a federal holiday by Act of Congress in 1894. (source:

But nowadays, what began as a federal Holiday created to honor the Organized labor movement has now, sadly, become something else entirely. About the only thing closed on Labor day any more is the government. Labor Unions, once a powerful force to be reckoned with, have been reduced to a shadow of their former selves, thanks to the actions of Wal-Mart and other corporate powers that work actively day in and day out to diminish the power of organized labor even further.

It was the power of organized labor that instituted the 40-hour work week, the child labor laws, and scores of other laws that forced businesses to treat their employees like people instead of assets to be used up and then disposed of. Corporate America has never forgotten that, and they have been working ever since to undo those changes. And they have time and an endless supply of money on their side.

So before you, the 3 readers of this blog, kick back and enjoy your barb-B-Q and beer, pause and take a minute to reflect what your life would be like without the laws Organized labor instituted. For one thing, you'd probably be working right now instead of reading this.

Then, count your blessings.

By the way, for those of you keeping score at home, this makes 3 posts in 3 days. That's a personal record for me!

Restoring My Faith

Yesterday, September 1st, I went shopping at the newly opened COSTCO wholesale store.

But when I went onto my pocket to pay for my purchases, I discovered that I had lost my money clip with all my cash in it. I had to visit the local ATM to get more cash to pay for my purchases.

After spending a day searching my house for it, I decided to call COSTCO on a hunch. I was informed that someond had found the clip and turned it in to the office.

I went back and retrieved it, and discovered that all the cash that was in it was still completely intact. I asked who had turned it in, only to discover that it had been returned by an anonymous employee, robbing me of any opportunity to financailly reward this good Samaritan.

This act of anonymous kindness has, at least temporarily, restored my faith in the human condition, and given me hope that there may be a slim chance that we as a race will survive in the long run. Maybe.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Appalachian State

Division 1-AA school Appalachian State has defeated Michigan in what may be the upset of the year, decade, century, or EVER.

In the first few games of the year, the major teams of Division 1-A college football pay large amounts of money to bring small, easily beatable teams to their home fields to massacre them. The Big schools get easy wins, and the small schools get national exposure for their stars and a big paycheck.

But today, that strategy may be turned on its end.

Because, today, for the first time in years, decades, or CENTURIES, the sacrificial lamb turned tails and devoured the feaster.

Every other weak team fulfilled its job, lost, and went home with a big paycheck for its division.

App. state refused to do that. They BEAT their Goliath. And they earned 400K for doing so.

Hopefully, the message they sent was that just because the scouts ignore the 2nd tier players, it doesn't mean don't have the talent to be the best.

Because if today has proved anything, it is that you cannot count ANYBODY out!

Go Bucks!

Update (9/2/03): Bowling Green State University, a local team, upset Minnesota in OT. Another lamb slaughters its would-be killer! God, I love it!