Twinkie Hoarding Has Begun

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

CEO Gregory Rayburn of Hostess Brands, maker of Twinkies, Ho Ho’s, and Sno Balls, has announced plans to liquidate the 83-year old company. The company is in its second bankruptcy in a decade. Hostess sold about $2.5 billion worth of snack products last year with Twinkies leading the pack. However, the company has nearly $1 billion in debt and has $2 billion in unfunded pension obligations.

About 18,000 jobs are at stake. The unionized employees are represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM). BCTGM in September rejected a last, best and final offer from Hostess and went out on strike.

While Hostess CEO Gregory Rayburn was planning to ask his employees for wage and benefit concessions, he was awarded a 300 percent raise (from approximately $750,000 to $2,550,000). Nine other top executives of the company received massive pay raises.

Over the eight years since the first bankruptcy, Hostess employees have watched as:

money from previous concessions that was supposed to go towards capital investment, product development, plant improvement and new equipment, was squandered in executive bonuses, payouts to Wall Street investors and payments to high-priced attorneys and consultants.

BCTGM stated that “Our members are on strike because they have had enough.” The union’s members voted 92% to reject the company’s “best and final offer.”

Hostess plans to sell its most popular brands like Twinkies, CupCakes, Ding Dongs, Ho Ho’s, Sno Balls, and Donettes. In the mean time, Hostess products are flying off store shelves.

Competitors like Bimbo Bakeries USA (pronounced “Beembo”), also employing union workers and the largest bakery corporation in the US, may be a likely purchaser of some of the Hostess brands.

H/T: LGM, Think Progress, Policy Mic, Sacremento Bee, WSJ, Courthouse News.

302 thoughts on “Twinkie Hoarding Has Begun

  1. This sounds a lot like American Airilines saga….. Executive bonuses…..

    On a serious side note…. The brand will live on…..in some form……

    In reality this is the greatest fear of any true stoner….. What…. No more twinkies…. No more ho hos….. The crime rate will go up……

  2. All these Ayn Rand disciples keep pushing abrasive levels of greed will get less “Atlas Shrugged” and more “The Communist Manifesto” and the rise rebellion of the proletariat.

  3. This story has “convergence” with the story of all the chinese communists plutocrats and billionaires are their party meeting this week.

    On another note ya gotta be a diabetic chump to eat a twinkie.

  4. It is time to end vulture and crony capitalism with new laws. It used to be that CEOs and management thought that doing their jobs well was what they got paid for. Unfortunately, they simply think that looting a company is their main buisness now. We have unenforced anti-trust laws which need to be enforced and new laws to ban the practive of leveraged buyouts of companies. I wish that Holder was a bit more concerned about such anti-trust laws and less concerned about the “rights” of illegals.

  5. What is life without Donettes? Meaningless, that’s what!

    Bain Capital won’t buy Hostess- Hostess management has already sucked the creamy filling out of all the Twinkies and licked the squiggle off the cupcakes.

  6. Cannabis is becoming legalized and Twinkies are no more. If one wants to understand history, politics, business, etc., an appreciation of irony is required.

  7. Life as I know it is over. No more cupcakes. The sky is falling, it is true. What will we ever do, I wonder if bread will still be sliced.

  8. I read this after waking, asked if I was awake, and am thinking about setting my alarm for Monday. Maybe America will change by then, and we’ll go back to a world before this skit can happen.

    Thanks, Nal. All the signs of gonzo journalism. Good oness.

  9. It is not hard to see where that $3 billion went, check out the “equity” firm that owns 50% of the company (bought with money borrowed by the company) and who now dominates the Board of Directors. One highlight is the son of the CEO was recently brought in as a consultant to the tune of $100,000.

    Hostess has been “Bained” and the unions are being blamed despite the obvious legal theft taking place in broad daylight

  10. it seems to me the problem is the 2 billion in unfunded pension obligations. I dont know why companies do that, pay the people more and let them put away for retirement. And tie matching company funds to profit for the year.

    I dont understand why unions would want their people dependent on a company for their pension. Why not set it up so the people are in charge of their own retirement and let the union hire some good financial advisers to help the rank and file invest for a good retirement.

    This country is all about business and the average person knows nothing about money, economics, finance or investing.

    Why not?

    My answer is that the powers that be have no vested interest in an independent people who dont need to turn to unions or government for their daily bread

  11. Such is life. I have been looking into the death of businesses for over 30 years, and time after time, what kills them is mismanagement and greed and a complete failure to understand their employees and customers, a culture of abuse and treating them both like cattle.

    So another one bites the dust. All those brands are great culinary inventions that can be sold for good money; at least somebody, 83 years ago, knew what made a good bake sale.

    Don’t blame the union, blame the incompetent management, past and future, that has failed to succeed in a business with great products loved by consumers and in high demand.

  12. @Bron: I dont know why companies do that, pay the people more and let them put away for retirement.

    You answer your own question; it is easier to pay people with pretend money than it is to pay them with real money. If you can sell them on the idea that you will be around forever, you can pay them with tomorrow’s dollars, instead of today’s dollars.

    Then, it is somebody else’s problem, and ultimately cheaper: Like in this case, the company will go bankrupt and save two billion dollars, promised but never paid, and the workers of the past get ripped off with no recourse. They do it because they are greedy and do not care what the fallout of their decisions may be; agreeing to an unfunded pension plan gets the workers back to work and pushes most of the problem a few decades down the road. The CEO that agrees to that will still retire rich, as will Rayburn in this case, even as he presides over the final step of that fraud.

  13. Bron,

    Here comes a NON-socialist solution to pensions from Sweden.

    The Association of Business and the Combined Labor Organisation created a company with a monopoly right to manage pensions monies through investment, collect the premiums and dispense them to retirees. It covered roughly 60 per cent of workers in Sweden. The board of directors are 50-50 from labor and owners. It doesn’t have a government board member but is regulated and controlled like all such companies.

    We still have pensions from employers with funded monies, not that thingy thay you manage——–401k????

  14. Bruce–“Headline should be, UNIONS PUSH HOSTESS OVER FISCAL CLIFF”

    In the meantime, please feel free to ignore these two important points:

    “While Hostess CEO Gregory Rayburn was planning to ask his employees for wage and benefit concessions, he was awarded a 300 percent raise (from approximately $750,000 to $2,550,000). Nine other top executives of the company received massive pay raises.”

    And:

    “money from previous concessions that was supposed to go towards capital investment, product development, plant improvement and new equipment, was squandered in executive bonuses, payouts to Wall Street investors and payments to high-priced attorneys and consultants.”

    Yup, those unions sure are evil for pushing the company over a “fiscal cliff”.

  15. TonyC,

    It would appear thet this company was bought with loaned money (50%+) for the purpose of stripping before selling the marketable assets. Legal?

    So the management is doing the job for which the board hired them. Quite well in fact.

    But the time of payoff to the management for the stripping went faster so they negotiated a higher rate to compensate for the shorter time, so their total money earned will be the same as in the original deal, ie some percent of the calculated yield from the slaughter of Hostess.

    1) Is it legar (of course)? And why?
    2) I gether that these words of yours was to reflect what the original purpose of the company was; expansion and profit.
    =====================

    “Don’t blame the union, blame the incompetent management, past and future, that has failed to succeed in a business with great products loved by consumers and in high demand.

  16. @Bron: I dont understand why unions would want their people dependent on a company for their pension.

    That is an inherited condition. When unions were rising people tended to work for the same company for life. The rationale back then was that they spent their life earning for that company, so it was the company that should contribute to their retirement, it was the only the employees of that company that could agree to take less in pay from that company in order to let that company fund their retirement, etc. At the time it made sense, in that culture employees were loyal to their companies and companies honored their contracts.

    Why not set it up so the people are in charge of their own retirement and let the union hire some good financial advisers to help the rank and file invest for a good retirement.

    People in charge of their own retirement end up with no retirement. That is just a fact of human nature, Bron, short term financials always trump long term planning, for companies, for people, for clubs, for political parties.

    There are no “good” investment advisors or “good” investments, the economy can crash and nobody can anticipate it. The winners in investment are the giants, not the people working the Twinkie factory.

    The proper venue for retirement is already here; Social Security and Medicare. Those work. People love them. 75% of us do not want them changed in the least, and I truly believe most of the 25% opposed to SS/MC are either consumed by greed or have an inaccurate picture of the alternatives.

    SS/MC divorce the tie between company and employee, free the employee to seek better work places when those are available, and free the employee from relying on the competence and honor of management when they are too old, frail, sick or poor to do anything about betrayal.

    SS/MC are a boon to companies, too, because it forces their retirement contribution to their employees and lets them take risks, be incompetent, and go out of business without having to worry about the fallout of that.

  17. TonyC,

    In addition to mobility, which you name the solution I sketched above does provide a two-pronged backup.
    A government agency that pays out of current tax dollars. and an investment account. The investment account provides the capability to change your portfolio, to let it be managed by the agency experts. or by an external consultant who you pay. So far stats show a slight edge to the ones who make no active decision!!!

    With the exception that we still have funded pensions with fixed undertakings, while you in the USA do NOT, it is similar to your system. Except nobody is raiding companies for draining off pension funds.

    So my question: What keeps SS and Medicare slim and fit and not bureaucratized obese ineffective blimps?

  18. @Idealist: The problem with any company is that it can go under. If it isn’t the government itself, and one capable of printing its own money, then there is the risk it will die.

    The problem with any for-profit company is that they inherently must charge more than is absolutely necessary for their product, because the residue after all bills are paid is the profit. A company focused on profit is inherently biased toward the rich at the expense of the poor; a higher price may exclude some buyers (those that cannot afford it) but produce a higher overall profit. Since non-profit organizations can do anything a for-profit organization can do, a for-profit organization always operates at a pricing disadvantage to the identical non-profit organization.

    And finally, a private company focused on profit has an inherent conflict of greedy interest in providing any kind of benefits, because the more claims they can deny, reduce or evade, the higher their profit is. Paying for retirement into a private company is, quite often, paying your future enemy the money they need to deny you your rights.

    A government program does not have these problems. It can be run as a zero profit operation that just covers it costs; it can use civil servants at modest pay to run it; it will never go out of business as long as the country exists; and it has no inherent greedy conflict of interest: Nobody gets more money if somebody is denied benefits, which ensures that greed is not the motive for causing somebody harm.

  19. OTOTOTOTOT

    As should be expected BIG OIL wants to influence the rush away from fossil fuels. Here is one example of big money and good production talents. the so-called “documentary”
    approach with known “reliable” narrators as front men for a “reasonable” message.

    Titled of course appropriately: “RATIONAL MIDDLE energy series”.

    Linked below to a place in Átlantic, sponsorship is npt shown nor that it is just that a paid advertizement.

    So now BIG OIL does not admit, at least in the beginning, that we have a climate crisis. It instead begins by selling you on how energy is so important in your daily life (Twinkee eaters) and why you should be fearful—and NATURALLY follwo their “RATIONAL MIDDLE energy series” way.

    Just follow us and you will be secure! Recongnize the tactic?
    Security, that warm fuzzy alternative to whatever fear they are using to herd you with today. Carrot and stick.

    Oh yes, the company fronting this BIG OIL message. SHELL OIL. How did I know that? Not because they give their name in the beginning. No becaused it is tagged as theirs by Google.

    I’m sure that this could be used (if it has not been) as a xchoolbook example of propaganda.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/sponsored/shell/rational-middle/

  20. TonyC,

    I am not pushing the Swediah solution, just offering it as an object which helps elucidate the issues.

    The Swedish company AMF (Labor Market Insurance) is a insurance company established with joint ownership and is jointly managed. The sponsoring “National Assn of Industrial Companies'” side wants good insurance at a cheap price (premiums) and unions want a good secure stable pension for its members. The cost of the whole is borne by the return on investing the premium moneys. There is no profit, It is a non-profit.

    What if it fails? Not sure how this possibility is handled, it cannot as a result of a product failure to a market, but it can due to failure of the investment products that it invests in. For example the ratio between stocks, property, bonds, etc are regulated by government.

    An example which I believe effected AMF and has admittedly effected the other “private profit-making pension companies” was what happened when CDs (whatever?) went to hell and that market dollapsed. As for fat salaries, well the insurance business has never been a big pay employer since time eternal, and rationalization has kept the costs down for personnel.

    Total figures are made each year and published as a measure of excellence: Return on investment and percent of premiums used as operating costs.

    As for private non-coop profit making companies, I have no idea. The ideas that you advance as the ills which accompany profit-making are self-evident and correct.

    Anyone who has made an insurance claim has had that unhappy experience which confirms the points made.

    As I pointed out above we have had a social security since the 1920’s and a 401k similar one since 10 years as a supplement. (Take advantage of a rising bull market has become somewhat a sadening opposite, but not as much as with you, it is not all 401ks here)

  21. idealist707 1, November 17, 2012 at 10:42 am

    OTOTOTOTOT

    As should be expected BIG OIL wants to influence the rush away from fossil fuels. Here is one example of big money and good production talents. the so-called “documentary”
    approach with known “reliable” narrators as front men for a “reasonable” message.
    ========================================
    Your comment is not as OT as you may think.

    Twinkies and oil cannot be separated without ultimate Twinkie death:

    The dessert cakes contain sorbic acid, which is derived from natural gas. Some ingredients were found to come from the oil fields of China. Others came from phosphate mines in Idaho. So-called vitamins in the dessert come from petroleum.

    (A Closer Look At MOMCOM’s DNA – 2). There are thousands of products that contain or are made from oil.

    These products and the company Nal writes about could be a harbinger of things to come, since oil is finite.

    Any civilization founded on finite energy sources will live a Twinkie existence.

  22. Sorry Junk Food lovers, but Hostess anything has always been unadulterated, over sugared confections, that aren’t worth the calories. If I’m going to “pig out” on cake/cookies there are much tastier choices. I regret those who will lose their jobs though, through this man’s ego maniacal actions.

  23. Awesome comments people. I didn’t know vultures ate Twinkies. I guess it’s true, Vultures thrive on death. Those carcasses on the future highways of the US middle class are middle class jobs. The vultures will simply fly to the Caymens and other areas to reproduce.

  24. If anybody is left after our jacking the thread (Bron, TonyC and me), then let me offer another jack.

    The fiscal cliff, manufactured in R land. You remember last year when the R’s wanted and got an extension to Bush’s tax cuts for nothing in return from Obummer. (As long as he keeps screwing up he deserves the epithet.)

    Well, nnow the cuts are up again, pushed up in general accord.

    Here’s two articles/editorial on it signed NYTimes.

    I would like one in return that does a better job than these do. Any offers?

    http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/f/federal_budget_us/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/17/opinion/the-other-tax-breaks-for-the-rich.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20121117

  25. Sometimes a company has to be culled from the herd. The assets will be used more productively on another venture.

    You can call them vultures if you like but they keep the rest of the herd healthy by cleaning up the carcasses.

    In a healthy economy that money would go to starting other, more profitable companies which would in turn hire workers.

  26. woosty:

    lets say 9 million additional to executives vs. a 2 billion dollar pension obligation. It is obvious as to the problem with Hostess. Do I agree with giving under-performing executives raises, no. They should be fired but then they probably have contracts which provide for these lavish severance packages. Blame that on the board of directors who made the deal in the first place.

    We also dont know the reason for the raises, it may have been a one time payout the company was obligated to pay or there was some deal done where they did not take a severance package.

  27. I heard on the radio that someone’s wife was chagrined because she always made “a twinkie casserole” on Thanksgiving!

    The host of the show said, with deep disbelief in his voice, “A twinkie casserole”? Then I began to think about a twinkie casserole. Then I tried to begin thinking about something else. Pretty quickly.

  28. Bron

    CEOs can do whatever they want. I have no argument with that as long as they play by the rules.
    The rules here suck. I believe this is nothing more than corporate raiding. I believe (hope not) the company may be manipulated in such a way that the Government is going to pick up the 2 billion unfunded liabilities in pension.
    Something is wrong here.

    Yes twinkies will survive. Yes new jobs will be created by other companies picking up the slack. I just think it is twisted if the raiders make out like bandits, and the public picks up the pension bailout.

    The rules in play allow this. That’s why I think the rules suck.

  29. How can a company legally rack up that much unfounded pension obligations? Sounds to me like the company has been drained of assets by the owners in an attempt to break the unions and avoid their other legal obligations. Another example of corporate greed and the governments refusal to police employers who fritter away money that should be going Into pensions. When is this type of labor abuse going to stop?

  30. What Blauw and Holms said.

    And even in Bron’s imaginary economy, such decisions are made by the market, not by raiders.
    ===========================

    Malisha,

    Is it served with a meat sauce topping? Double ugh!
    Brine, you’re kidding.

  31. Gettting off the Twinkies more.

    Brine is good for lots of things:
    —making rotten canned fish
    —firming up meats, vegetables, etc.
    —bathing wounds
    —preliminary to drying meats.
    —extracing vitterness from sume vegetables

  32. Had a deep fried Twinkie in a funky downtown Vegas casino once @ 3am. Of course, you coulddeep fry one of my Chuck Taylors and it would taste good. I think FLOTUS has a junk food hit team and this was one on the list.

    I’ve been stocking up on real lightbulbs. While you all are sitting in your living room lit like an Eastern European tenemant apartment hallway, I’ll be bathed in light.

  33. Bron
    1, November 17, 2012 at 12:29 pm
    —————————————–
    Bron there is a huge difference between taking huge sums of money because of the restructuring work you are going to do and taking huge sums of money and then hi-tailing it out of town because a venue will be re-structuring. One is earned, the other stolen. It would be important to see the exact timeframes and the expectations of those who signed off on those bonuses and ‘goodies’ and how close to the actual bankruptcy proceedings….we are in an age where people think piracy is endearing and little players forget to look at the harm they do…..having been on the receiving end of ‘oversight’ in the worst sense of the word, I would hope there is in actuality, a best sense of the word at hand….

  34. You should always brine your turkey. You know how the breast gets dried out. Brine it overnight, 1/2 cup kosher salt, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 oranges cut in half, 2 lemon halved, 3 springs of rosemary then water to cover the bird. I brine my turkey in a big stockpot. You will never cook turkey another way. The breast will be moister than a vagina after 15 minutes of cunnilingus.

  35. Malisha,

    I think you make Brine by soaking Bron in a tub of water for X number of minutes. He has so much salt he is his own salt mine !!!! :o)

    PS, do not over soak, unless you need extra to melt ALL the snow off an upstate NY blizzard in February. LOL

  36. WOOSTY:

    I dont agree with raiding a pension fund but apparently this fund doesnt exist and was paid for like social security.

    The share holders earning common stock arent going to make any money on this either.

    Why would a company not have a real pension fund, well invested instead of unfunded obligations? Why is that legal? And why would the union accept that? Seems to me no entity is protecting the little guy, not the company, not the unions and not government.

    We just pay the bills. The only system a little guy has a shot in, is free market capitalism. Not the ba$tardized economy we have now which is more a combination of socialism, fascism and corporatism or broadly statism or collectivism.

  37. NickSpinelli,

    A man after my own heart. Energy pig, cunnilingus giver, and willing to try anything to save a dry turkey breast.

    Eastern European tenement? Ha. West European penthouses, except those who are furnished with low voltage lighting.
    You can up the wattage to 100W equivalent on energy bulbs, but the sickly yellow jaundiced light and atmosphere remains. I’m basking in it now.

  38. I bought a package of Hostess cupcakes yesterday. You know; with the double swirl of white icing on top. I don’t ordinarily eat them, and have not had a Hostess cupcake in several years, but thought I would get them for old times sake–it will be the last one I ever get. The store was almost out, and the clerk said the price had gone up on all Hostess products the past few days. That little package of two cupcakes was $1.75. They only had one other package left. The clerk said they had sold out of Twinkies several days ago.

    Somebody posted the recipe for homemade Twinkies a couple of days ago. I had not realized the filling included cream cheese. There are whole cookbooks of so-called “secret” recipes used by popular restaurants and bakeries. My daughter can make a Bloomin’ Onion that is indistinguishable from what you can get at an Outback steakhouse.

  39. I had a friend who worked for Eastern Airlines for many years. He couldn’t believe his luck when he got a job where they paid him to fly airplanes that he would have paid them to let him fly.

    Eastern was a Rockefeller cash cow. They decided to get rid of Eastern (with its unions) in favor of Continental (without unions) so Frank Lorenzo, a Rockefeller by marriage, was given the job. Eastern has lots of assets (an excellent and widely used reservation system, slots in many airports, aircraft, etc). The best of the assets were “sold” to Continental at bargain basement prices for worthless paper. The sale to Continental wasn’t direct. There was a whole network of holding companies so it didn’t look like everything was going from the right hand to the left.

    Working conditions deteriorated. My friend decided on early retirement and devote more time to his fledgling air charter business. He had a choice of taking his retirement in monthly payments or in a lump sum. Fortunately, he decided on the lump sum. A friend of his wanted some of his retirement money and was told he could borrow it and pay interest on it. I’ve lost touch with the Eastern pilots I knew but have often wondered if they’ve been collecting their retirement funds. It was a VERY big pot so I wouldn’t be surprised if they got screwed big time.

  40. The beauty part of hoarding Twinkies and cupcakes et al Is that they will last forever seeing that they are made with preservatives such as propyleneglycol and other wonderful ingredients.

  41. Too bad it is in Swedish, anybody got a good translation site?
    Today’s headline OT item is a report comparing the total blackout in 1970? and Sandy’s aftermath. Seems then that it was out on the NYC side of the Hudson and crime soared.

    http://www.dn.se/blogg/framstegsbloggen/

    Whole blocks were ransacked and in one area it was 173 stores raided. Murder surged, etc.
    Now it is peace after Sandy.

    Point, it’x coming? The crime rate has dropped since the 1970 decace. The murder rate has gone down to one-fourth of what it was in NYC then. Many explanatios: economy, gun availability, etc but nothing holds. NB This is true for the whole of USA, but double down in NTC.

  42. bettykath, Didn’t Hairpeice Trump buy the shuttle from Lorenzo? I also remember Icahn trying to take it over along w/ TWA[another airline corpse].

  43. I am a little late to this discussion, but I agree with Frankly. Hostess was “Bained” and they have sucked the money out and will attempt to kill the unions and come out of bankruptcy with no union contracts and no pension liability. Disgusting.
    Great article David and I agree with nick about the Zombieland clip! “This Twinkie thing is not over!”

  44. Imagine living from 1700–1790. Ho hum. Same ol’.

    And between 1930 and 2020. Only the cigarette brands are the same. And the rotten politics. Corporoligarchy.

    Have you got your combined camcorder and cell mounted in the same pair of glasses yet. Coming soon.
    LJC has her brain implant and I my heart one. When will you get yours. Build a new heart for you in a testtube made from your own stem cells and fully compatible with you. Five years max. Don’t blink, you will miss an opportunity.

  45. raff,
    I had forgotten just how bad those Hostess cupcakes really are until I ate what I bought yesterday. The chocolate icing on top tastes like wax and the cake itself has a waxy aftertaste. I am spoiled by home baking.

  46. Whole blocks were ransacked and in one area it was 173 stores raided. Murder surged, etc.~ Id
    ——————————————————-
    and 9 months after the blackout was a mini-baby boom….. not everyone sees the dark as an opportunity for theft… ;)

  47. OK boys, let me break it down and say it slow:

    How * much * salt * goes * into * how * much * water * to * make * “BRINE” ?

    When y’all are done with yousalls’ activities, somebody enlighten me. :razz:

  48. Depends on what use you want it for.

    Conserving meat before drying 1 half cup to one quart.
    Firming up lake fish two hóurs before frying 2 tbsp to one quart.

    Now what do you want it for?

  49. well, ‘boys will be boys’ I guess the Twinkie folks were just ‘throwing the money’ at em….kinda like this guy….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?

    rarely do you hear about those lady pirates of the pension destroying ilk tho I’d bet they are out there….

  50. This may not be for thh Twinkie lovers, but….
    For those who want something unrehearsed, a great battle, Colbert getting Bill O’Reilly angry on O’Reilly’s own show.

    Breathtaking!

  51. @Idealist: What keeps SS and Medicare slim and fit and not bureaucratized obese ineffective blimps?

    Targets. Guidelines. Management demands. That is why people earning a salary or hourly wage do things; because they want to meet the expectations of their managers. The vast majority of workers are salaried or hourly wage employees, they do not earn more money by doing a better job, or taking pride in their job, or striving to do their job right. Yet some will do a good job anyway, take pride in their job, and strive to do their job right anyway, because there are motivators besides money.

    Most people do not work out of greed, but out of necessity, because the world demands money for food, shelter, safety and entertainment, because they are emotionally driven to romance, mate, have children, and feel like their life is worth something. Greed is in fact a late addition to the game of life, we have at least 50,000 years before the invention of wealth (it is a ramification of farming) when anatomically and mentally modern humans worked a great deal, motivated by the same necessities of food, shelter, safety, entertainment, romance, mating, and having children. Life worth was not defined by wealth, which did not exist back then, but by skills, courage, contributions, friendships and relationships.

    The world has not changed much on that front, the vast majority of people are not wealthy but see themselves as successful anyway, because they do not define success in dollars, but by their own feelings of wins and losses, accomplishments and social worth.

    At the very top of an organization there needs to be some motivation to do well. In a non-profit hospital setting, which I have some familiarity with, that motivation is set by the board, which is often to do the most good with the resources we have.

    So greed could be a motivator for company; the board could make decisions and set directions and targets and goals that are designed to make investors or owners more money. That is possible, but greed is only one candidate for the motivational job to be done.

    In an American government program, the “board of directors” is technically the Congress, and the CEO is the President. In a non-corrupt government, neither the President or Congress has a profit motive; they are paid fixed salaries regardless of their decisions. (The same is true for the military, postal service, and most academics). If they represent the citizens, Congress will set goals that do the most good, and have the least waste, within the budget provided by taxation. Unless they are personally corrupted, the only “profit” motive they have is the satisfaction of managing to achieve the most public gain within the budget they have.

    That has largely worked properly for Social Security, Medicare and the Veteran’s Administration hospitals; they all have lower overheads by FAR than comparable civilian programs, they all move more of their budget to the recipients and waste less than comparable civilian programs. As an example consider Medicare, for which we have seen real numbers fairly recently, as an insurance program its entire administrative overhead is about 5%, compared to national medical insurance companies that are spending over 20%.

    You cannot get rich working for Medicare, even at the top. No bonuses, no big salaries, no lavish offices, no perks or stock options. But, and this is a critical point to follow, people know when they come in they will never get rich at this job. They also know there is no great power to be had, no real fame or celebrity to be had. That is the filter that helps exclude the sociopaths and psychopaths; the people working there are pragmatic adults influenced by more ancient motivators.

    It isn’t greed, it is the necessity of working to finance their home life. They work because it benefits others. Scientists in Academia earn much less than their industry colleagues. I earn a third of my previous income in industry (and I am still offered MORE than that to work for industry again). Why would we take the jobs paying the LEAST? In general because we are motivated by something besides just earning more money.

    People can be driven by principle, patriotism, empathy, charity, and the satisfaction of knowing you are doing something right, paying your own way and helping others. The vast majority of people are willing to work on a team toward a common goal; the vast majority of people are bored with inactivity, and if denied surreptitious entertainment will work just to pass the time.

    What causes bloat and non-productivity is usually a failure of management, it is people believing they do not make a difference, or resentful of controls (or accusations or performance reviews) they feel are unfair. It is often credit stolen where credit was due. But these are ancient motivations too! It isn’t about money, it is about emotions. Respect, unfair treatment, lies or theft of honor or being given work that others do not care about and that benefits nobody. When people believe their work makes a difference they do their work. When people believe the success of others depends upon them finishing their leg of the relay on time, they run their hearts out to make it. And if they don’t, most will feel guilty for letting the team down. (If they do not, a good team will detect that and expel them.)

    I hate the “family” metaphor in business (because I hate demoting workers to the status of children), but I believe in the egalitarian tribe of adults metaphor. Heck, I am not even sure it IS a metaphor, I think it may be reality.

    So looking through the pragmatic lens, what keeps a government organization from become a bloated drag on society is the same thing that keeps a corporation healthy; competent (salaried) management with sensible goals to meet within a sensible budget.

    Looking through the emotional lens, what will keep them motivated to self-governance is a constant stream of reminders (if their clients are not enough) of what is absolutely true: You are saving lives, you prevent despair and thwart misery. You are the rescuer wading into disasters, and every form you handle has an impact on a human life. Your work matters and people are depending on you, they are trusting you to come through.

    For those too self-centered to be motivated by such beliefs, let them migrate to the commercial side of society, where they can labor for their sociopathic kings. I have had enough of those guys; I will take those that put people above their personal fortune any day.

  52. I would like to briefly (delete briefly) discuss two important and slightly relevant topics:

    1. The Deliciousness
    2. Premature Death

    Hostess Powdered Donettes in the paper bag are way delicious, but will kill you over a period of time.

    Entenmann’s Powdered Mini-Donuts (if that’s what they are called) in the paper bag are slightly more delicious, but will kill you a little bit sooner.

    Little Debbie also makes powdered mini-donuts, but I have never tried them, so I can’t rate them. I just spent a pleasant half-hour on the Little Debbie website(s), which unsurprisingly do not provide any nutritional information.

    I can discuss one Little Debbie snack that I am familiar with:
    The hefty little missle known as Little Debbie Donut Sticks. (Ralphie! Don’t throw your Little Debbie Donut Stick at your little brother! You’ll put his eye out!)

    When I was still working, one of my favorite lunchroom vending machine snacks was the 2-pack of Little Debbie Donut Sticks. I think they were once called Dunkin’ Sticks. Since L.D.’s website doesn’t have nutritional info, I will give you my best guess:

    10% Flour
    15% Whatever Is The Very Worst Form Of Sugar
    75% Lard

    The Little Debbie Donut Stick is the absolute pinnacle of donut deliciousness, but will kill you tomorrow.

    Summary:

    1. Deliciousness
    a. Hostess- Way delicious
    b. Entenmann’s- Slightly more delicious
    c. Little Debbie- The absolute pinnacle of donut deliciousness

    2. Premature Death
    a. Hostess- Will kill you over a period of time
    b. Entenmann’s- Will kill you a little bit sooner
    c. Little Debbie- Will kill you tomorrow

  53. Malisha, most recipes call for 1 cup of salt and 1 cup of sugar for 8 qts. of water. 8 quarts will cover a 14-16lb. bird. I have used those measurements and found the bird to be a bit salty, albeit moist. I cut it to 1/2 each and found no dimunition in moist and less salty. The citrus helps balance the salt/sugar and the rosemary a bit of aroma. However, you can just go w/ the pure salt and sugar for a pure brine.

  54. TonyC, Can we call you the Bureaucracy cheerleader? Ever work in one? I have and it’s the height of ineffieciency, laziness, and waste. I have worked for the Federal govt., County govt., large corps., mid sized company, and run my own small company for almost 30 years. What you call “greed” I call pride of accomplishment and achieving higher goals. Bureaucracies are stifling.

  55. Id-check out the ‘Rumble in the Air Conditioned Auditorium’….
    especially around 3:40…

    you can find the whole thing on utube, it is well worth the watch…

  56. TonyC,

    Great essay, Just like mine. Too long but yours is at least coherent and legible and correct English, lots of good fuzzy warm buzzwords.

    I won’t bother picking nits, cuz’ am tired now.

    But onw point.
    You dealt primarily with the personnel, with a brief mention of Congress.

    You did not take up the largest problem with bureaucracy. Try reading “Human Factor” by Ishmael Jones. That’ll clue you into the “manager factor”, as well the personnel factor when facing a screwed up place to work, with screwed up managers, culture, etc.

    Managers want to have more managers under them, they want to climb the management ladder, thay want to expand their turf, the number of people that they command. They want to look like they are busy, maxed out, working 12 hours least, spurring their teams, enthiastic about new projects, new organizations—-a real promotable LEADER.

    So they do all sorts of skit to do themselves a good deal, which leads to new layers with no real content, no real mission, no real product, no real accountability, and no risks. Just more people and less product going out the door to the citizens served.

    Now this is an opinion. And based to a large degree to Jone’s book. So don’t ask for references.

    Have you ever worked at a level in a bureaucrasy about 3 levels up, and known that the ladder was pretty static in terms of new layers? If so, it was not really rewarding to go to work, was it, in terms of challenges?

    I never have had and have never worked a non-challenging job in my life. When viewing a new cliff, I did not ask my boss IF he wanted me to walk over it. Sometimes I even went and found my own. I just did it for the challenge of it and started flapping my arms for kicks. I have survived and failed too.

    With all due respect.

  57. HenMan, I eat healthy food because I’m diabetic. However, one needs to indulge once in awhile. I believe everything in moderation, unhealthy in more moderation. Here’s my philosophy, those days, months, etc. eating a powdered mini donut[mine is Hostess cupcake in the snack machine genre] comes @ the end of your life, when you’re incontinent and drooling. You’re doing your kids a favor. My wife’s comfort junk food are those donuts. I buy them for her after a trauma. When I come home and see a pack on the kitchen counter that she had purchased I immediately ask, “What’s wrong?”

  58. Woosty,

    “I wish real life was like this.”
    maybe it can be.
    What says that Jon Stewart can not be Prez?

    If you haven’t, read “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail in 1972” by Huster S. Thompson.

    It was commonly known that Hubert Humphrey was seriously on uppers of special concoction. He’d say one lie to a peacenik and pledge to beat the commies in Vietnam to the next group—18 hours a day. He was simply senile ALSO.

    Muskie of Maine was doing some weird drug from Africa, which gives strength/endurance but has serious mental/emotional side effects. He stopped after his collapse in Wisconsin.

    Nixon was on stuff for 20 years, the whole time he was Prez.

    Why the hell NOT Jon Stewart. Only he says that he is addicted to hearing laughs. He said that to 60 minutes program. Not many in the Oval.

  59. The swedish text means that embedding from Sweden of this clip is not possible from here. If you are a resident of Sweden, go look at it on YouTube.

    Maybe it will work from here for USA folks.

  60. @Idealist, Nick: Yes, I have worked in a bureaucracy before. I support that and people that do not simply do not understand the purpose of it; either because they are ignorant newcomers that fail to understand the predators it is defending against, or too lazy to learn, or too childish to understand the value of information, control and coordination; the wannabe cowboys that would shoot first and ask questions later.

    It is very easy, when one does not know why a complication exists, to view it with disdain and presume it is worthless.

    As for working in a government agency, I have worked in several; at both the state and federal level, and I have consulted or worked in about twenty commercial companies. I would say commercial is worse off overall; but on both sides of the fence it is less than half what it COULD be if the employees were properly managed. Pick any Fortune 500 company and I will find you people that work less than an hour a day. But I will start that search from the top down; not the bottom up. The problem with the commercial side is that it really is all about the money, and that attitude infects the workers, and most will work as little as they can in order to maximize their dollars to productivity ratio. People like “fair,” and for some that means if the higher ups are getting a bonus they are too, by whatever means they can get away with.

    On the government side many will work as little as possible, but that is personal laziness, not resentment at the profit being made off their back. In my experience there were more people and managers emotionally involved in their mission, whether it was national defense or aid to the needful. It wasn’t all about money, and that attitude can be infectious too.

  61. @Nick: What you call “greed” I call pride of accomplishment and achieving higher goals.

    What I call greed is putting money ahead of people. If you take pride in that, I feel real pity for you.

  62. My mom, nostalgist that she is, bought a box of Twinkies. I had one today. It was awful, not nearly the treat I recall from childhood. One, the sponge cake tasted like it was made from real sponge – the plastic kind, not the natural kind. Two, whatever that filling was, it wasn’t natural either. With the market now cleared due to executive greed, maybe someone will come along and make a real Twinkie like product again and in another 20 years I’ll try one to see if they’ve fixed the problems.

  63. just a tip for brining

    if you like to make gravy with the pan drippings from turkey or chicken you may want to skip adding sugar to the brine

  64. 5 CEOs Who Are Punishing Employees For Obama’s Re-Election
    November 15th, 2012 6:12 pm Henry Decker

    Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter

    Schnatter, who raised money for Mitt Romney during the 2012 campaign, has reacted to Obama’s re-election by claiming that — now that the Affordable Care Act is clearly here to stay — Papa John’s will have to raise pizza prices and cut back on workers’ hours to make up for the higher costs.

    Schnatter claims that the law will cost him 11-14 cents per pie, a figure that is disputed by Forbes. Of course, if Papa John’s is really hard up for cash, instead of punishing workers, it could maybe reconsider its plan to give away 2 million free pizzas.
    Restaurateur John Metz
    ————–

    Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray

    Murray made headlines during the presidential campaign for forcing his employees to forfeit a day’s work (and pay) to attend a Mitt Romney rally and pressuring them to donate money to his campaign. After President Obama was re-elected — despite the fact that nothing at all had changed in the coal industry since Election Day — Murray responded by reading a prayer and firing 156 employees.
    —————–

    Apple-Metro CEO Zane Tankel

    Zane Tankel, a New York-area Applebee’s franchisor, has claimed that the cost of providing insurance to his employees has made it impossible for him to hire more employees for the foreseeable future.
    ——————–

    Restaurateur John Metz

    Metz, who is a franchisor of Hurricane Grill & Wings and the president and owner of RREMC Restaurants, which runs several Denny’s and Dairy Queen locations, has a particularly retributive way to offset the cost of insuring his employees. Metz will cut all of his employees to under 30 hours a week, and add a 5 percent surcharge to customers’ bills.

    “If I leave the prices the same, but say on the menu that there is a 5 percent surcharge for Obamacare, customers have two choices. They can either pay it and tip 15 or 20 percent, or if they really feel so inclined, they can reduce the amount of tip they give to the server, who is the primary beneficiary of Obamacare,” Metz explained to The Huffington Post.
    —————

    Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini

    Bertolini, who allegedly used over $7 million of Aetna’s corporate funds to try and defeat President Obama and other Democratic candidates in 2012, may be the next CEO to take out his political anger on the American people. On Tuesday, Bertolini warned that if Obama and Congress don’t make a deal to avoid the debt ceiling, “The American people are going to suffer because we’ll lay them off — because we know how to respond to these kinds of situations.”

  65. @Idealist: Managers want to have more managers under them,

    That is up to the board; if the extra layer is superfluous it should not be allowed; if it is justified then it should be allowed. The question is whether the group becomes more efficient that way, and of course in truth it CAN become more efficient that way.

    I believe a manager should be able to spend an hour a week with each of his reports (whether he actually spends that hour or not). In a forty hour work week, that works out (both mathematically and in psychological tests, taking account of his other meeting and working responsibilities) to around 20 people. After that, not enough attention is being paid to the workers, and they will drift, or no longer feel they are part of a team. Technical teams (intellectual workers in general) should be even smaller, about a dozen people. Unskilled teams can be twice as large, their work does require as much understanding and guidance.

    Boards should be competent and understand business organization; that is all I can tell you. There is absolutely no organizational principle that can survive rampant incompetence, or rampant favoritism, or refusal to follow rules, or rampant corruption or cheating or self-serving. Some are more resilient than others, but at some point of rot and corrosion every system will suffer catastrophic failure.

  66. @bettykath: Well, commerce needs to experiment. We shall see, when Metz puts his politics on his menu, how many liberal democrats choose to go elsewhere out of spite, and how many self-interested Republicans decide a 5% price hike is more than they want to pay.

    Of course there is always the possibility that this is all just scapegoating, fools love any opportunity to blame somebody else for their own incompetence.

  67. tony, I, too, will be interested to see what happens. I agree that it’s easier to blame Obama when they do something that they want to do but don’t want to take responsibility for it. I’d boycott these places but i don’t go them in the first place. Well, I go to Denny’s with my sister when we eat out together. She used to work there and had a very good experience. That’s the problem with a lot of the called-for boycotts – I already don’t patronize them.

  68. Ugh. Superfluous layers of management are one of my biggest complaints with large corporations. It often leads to more problems than it solves and encourages a lack of accountability – which is of course exactly what some people want in an organization. Flatter organizations generally work more efficiently.

  69. tony,
    “What I call greed is putting money ahead of people. If you take pride in that, I feel real pity for you.”

    I used to work for a corporation. I wondered why certain managers seemed to get a lobotomy once they reached a certain level. They changed from managers who seemed to care about the people to ones who really didn’t care. Once I got close to that level myself, and there was a real possibility of achieving it, I found out that that was the level where the paycheck depended upon the profitability of the product. Prior to that they got a salary. Greed was the lobotomy.

  70. OS,

    Sorry for the duplication. I haven’t read all of the thread. I’ve been running around all day doing Thanksgiving prep stuff. But one can never have too many recipes.

  71. Woosty,
    Part of my family has been in the funeral home business for well over a century. I know embalming when I see it. Much of what one buys at the supermarket is embalmed food.

  72. Otteray Scribe
    1, November 17, 2012 at 8:06 pm
    Woosty,
    Part of my family has been in the funeral home business for well over a century. I know embalming when I see it.
    ————————–
    lol!!!

    wow, my family also….I credit my dark Martha sensibility to a childhood w/ curious early days filled with coffins, beakers, and strangely pretty draped fabrics…(kidding) but yes, I also had family in that business…

  73. Woosty,
    I got my first real anatomy lesson when I was five years old. I went to the morgue to see the hobo who had fallen off a boxcar and was run over by the train. Talk about a study in gross anatomy. I remember the severed thigh looked exactly like a bone-in round steak.

    I was hooked for life.

  74. OS, eeeeeewe……I was just the opposite, until Nursing school. I only agreed to dissect the frogs in HS because we had ‘preserved’ frogs….I also remember shooting and cleaning my first grouse….it was not my idea of fun and I was happy to let my boyfriend clean the damn thing for me. It was not tasty either ….I sometimes like to think I could rough it but really, these days I would grow a second stomache before I shot a deer….

  75. OS….. You can say that again….. Most don’t realize that the fast food prepared the way it is….. Is even more embalmed…..

  76. Woosty,
    My dad started letting me go squirrel hunting with him when I was 13. I used the little single shot .410 shotgun his father had given him when he was 13 or 14.

    We never just skinned and dressed the squirrels. Oh no! We had to autopsy the damn squirrel. We spread newspaper out on the kitchen floor and he would use his pocket knife which he kept as sharp as one of his scalpels. He would make the usual Y incision and I would have to determine the exact cause of death. Such as the shotgun pellet entry wound below the fifth left rib, traversing upward diagonally through the lower lobe of the lung and piercing the aortic arch. I was the only kid in the seventh grade who could rattle off the coronary arteries.

    Every once in a while we would find a tumor or cancer in the squirrel. We did not eat those.

  77. I get that, I had the curiosity, but not a consistently strong stomache…I also remember my first rifle shot, hunting, I ended up with a black eye and the guys who were teaching me to shoot ended up spending the afternoon looking for the poor prairie dog whose nose got clipped by my shot. They didn’t ask me to go hunting again but I learned to fill a mean shell….

  78. gross stuff, folks. I practiced shooting but quit when I deliberately missed a raccoon that I should have been able to hit easily. No shooting since. I should have known. I took biology in summer school so I wouldn’t have to dissect whatever it was they dissected in lab. No lab in summer school.

  79. Gene H. No indeed, todays Twinkies are not the same as the Twinkies made before the 1980s. When I ate them, they were made with real sugar. Now they are mostly GMO corn based HFCS. Any sugar used now is GMO sugar beets unless otherwise stated on the package.

  80. Tony C: “That is an inherited condition. When unions were rising people tended to work for the same company for life. The rationale back then was that they spent their life earning for that company, so it was the company that should contribute to their retirement, it was the only the employees of that company
    that could agree to take less in pay from that company in order to let that company fund their retirement, etc. At the time it made sense, in that culture employees were loyal to their companies and companies honored their contracts.”

    In response to Bron re employees should get paid more and take care of it themselves.
    _________

    A quibble with your explanation Tony: That’s the most current phase of LMR. Previously, prior post WW2, there were few pensions and benefits. Labor, especially skilled labor, was under pressure to migrate to jobs that paid more money in order to take care of ongoing, rising expenses and future concerns. A retirement fund was what you had saved in the bank. Unionized workers would agitate and strike for more money, contracts were short duration, and business would be disrupted. I believe it may have been the auto industry that began negotiating labor peace and stability for retirement plans and health insurance. It was also a reason to stay with a company and the company saved up-front money as well as replacement costs.

    Bron’s model was tried and didn’t work well for business. Stability and peace in the relationship and pensions make the success of a company over time everybody’s desire.

  81. The freedom to fail is as great as the freedom to succeed.

    Without both being our goals we are all straw people.

    Who wants to engrave that on a rock ???? SCARECROWS !!!!!!!

  82. bettykath
    1, November 17, 2012 at 9:28 pm
    gross stuff, folks.
    ——————-
    gross, maybe……the idea had crept into my head that I had no right to eat meat unless I was willing to learn to shoot it and dress it out. I was also going to raise rabbits for their healthy meat way back when.But I lived out West at the time and hunting and fishing was to the people there the same as a grocery list is to most people these days, and it could be dire if the deer was not caught. Now….if the apocalypse comes I’m afraid I am doomed to die like an Eskimo whose lost their last tooth…

    (and NONE of this is as gross as eating a twinkie… ;)

  83. ID707, Here there is ERISA and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. As I understand it though the PBGC only deals with defined benefit pensions. Employees can still get screwed with dbp’s because in a bankruptcy, pension fund money is not automatically considered administrative costs (of running the business) and bankruptcy courts appropriate that money to pay off creditors; employees are treated the same as creditors with unsecured claims. At least with PBGC some amount of pension money is invested by PBGC and returned to employees.

    “An employer can voluntarily ask to close its single-employer pension plan in either a standard or distress termination. In a standard termination, the plan must have enough money to pay all accrued benefits, whether vested or not, before the plan can end. After workers receive promised benefits, in the form of a lump sum payment or an insurance company annuity, PBGC’s guarantee ends. In a distress termination, where the plan does not have enough money to pay all benefits, the employer must prove severe financial distress – for instance the likelihood that continuing the plan would force the company to shut down. PBGC will pay guaranteed benefits, usually covering a large part of total earned benefits, and make strong efforts to recover funds from the employer.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pension_Benefit_Guaranty_Corporation

    Defined contribution plan contributors are on their own. When the company dies the ‘retirement fund’, which is purely an investment fund dies- that is what roll-overs and lump-sums or annuities on investments made are all about. If there is a downturn in whatever market the fund is invested in employees are SOL, the money disappears. I know a bunch of people that have experience with that.

    Social Security is the only sure thing. It has and brings in massive amounts of money and that’s why the fight to privatize it, sink it into private investment, is such a relentless and ongoing battle on the Hill.

    Generally:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Employee_Retirement_Income_Security_Act

  84. OS, the Snowballs are better than the chocolate cupcakes but I have to buy a package of cupcakes about once a year just to revitalize my inner child. Same with chocolate iced Donnets- I had no idea they were Hostess products. I went looking for Moonpies at my store after the Moonpie thread (actually the JT being stranded by Sandy thread) because I had seen them stocked there and just had to have one. But NO! They have stopped stocking them. Truly, it’s the end times.

  85. Twinkie twinkie little confectionar.
    How I wonder how good you are.
    Up above the bread so high.
    Like a diamond in the sky.

    Twinkie twinkie little star.
    how can always my Mom deny.
    I want that and cry and cry.
    Now I’m old and “YOU” DIE!!

    Twinkie twinkie You little rat.
    I have money and I want fat.
    I am an adult now you sellout.
    What the EFF is life about.

  86. Dear Jack, I had two businesses over my 34 years of delivering mail, that received letters addressed to your relatives. The correct and most efficient spelling I saw was…. Meoff. No “H” necessary. Yes we meaning my brother and sister working crew, did share this occasional humor (I wasn’t the only one) to make our day somewhat more enjoyable.

  87. “…. For the past 8 years, Hostess has been owned by Wall Street investors: so-called “restructuring experts,” managers from other non-baking food companies, and now a “liquidation specialist.”

    The Wall Street investors that own Hostess have no interest in the company succeeding – very similar to the situation of Bain Capital and KB Toys in 2000.

    Hostess has had six CEO’s in 8 years, none of whom had any experience in the bread or cake baking industry. This, not any action by the unionized workers, led to their failure.

    Hostess workers made numerous concessions, including this year when the company stopped making contributions to their pensions. They went on strike because management offered a contract cutting wages and benefits by 27-32 percent.

    Despite their troubles, Hostess’ CEO got a 300 percent raise, from $750,000 to $2,250,000. Other top executives have also gotten raises worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Earlier this week when workers at 20 plants went on strike, Hostess management claimed they would close plants in response. In fact, they already had plans to close at least nine plants as part of a company-wide reorganization. The Mayor of St. Louis said of the closings “I was told months ago…” ”

    “AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka made this statement in response to the latest news from Hostess:

    What’s happening with Hostess Brands is a microcosm of what’s wrong with America, as Bain-style Wall Street vultures make themselves rich by making America poor. Crony capitalism and consistently poor management drove Hostess into the ground, but its workers are paying the price. These workers, who consistently make great products Americans love and have offered multiple concessions, want their company to succeed. They have bravely taken a stand against the corporate race-to-the-bottom. And now they and their communities are suffering the tragedy of a needless layoff. This is wrong. It has to stop. It’s wrecking America.”

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/11/16/1162379/-Romney-Style-Economics-Behind-Decline-of-Hostess-But-Workers-Are-Paying-the-Price#

    Right, what he said.

  88. Mike Spindell, it’s late and it’s Saturday, I now step outside my maturity. For twenty years (more) closer to thirty. I delivered city streets. I saw, knew, talked with, and delivered many a HO HO. Also many a TWINKIE. This was normal and Life as it is. ….I enjoyed being a mailman. ( I wonder if there is a more real job than this???) …. Anyways my joke is…also my observation is, sometimes problems occurred when the TWINKIEs dressed up as HO HOs. LMAO.

    I delivered a house where a young man came to the door one day, and maybe the next day He was dressed as a young woman ?? !!!.
    He…She, was very HOT as a woman. I saw on a number of occasions this person dressed as a woman flaunting His Her stuff down Lyell (should be a song) And specifically on one day by a construction crew. …Yes this person (he or she) did not fill out a tax form based on total yearly income. …. Anyways, there were wolf whistles and cat calls. I kept my mouth shut.
    It’s amazing what “invisible mailmen” see. Life is out there. I may mean out there as in space, but I also mean Life is out there on this planet earth.
    Look around People, every day there is amazing things happening.
    Often I and You, and Others are too busy to notice.
    I ain’t the cats Meow, …. and no one on this blog is. We are all equal in our futures. EFF THE RELIGIOUS FANATICS THAT THINK DIFFERENTLY.
    Sorry for the caps, my sincerity does not need them.
    I think I’ll hang up now. hnmmmmmmm hnmmmmm hnmmmmmm. WAHHHHH BANNNNNG CLAANNNG CLANNNNGGGGG. Remember when you forgot to hang up, and the dial tone turned into a loud raucous noxious demanding cacophony of noise….. well eff that… silence (and goodnite).

  89. TonyC, To mix corporations w/ small and medium sized businesses is stupid and intellectually dishonest. I want a country where people who work 70-80 hours a week, who pay their employees before they pay themselves. I don’t want a corporate country and I sure rhe f@ck don’t want a govt bureaucracy country. Are you naive enough to think that the Dems or Repubs will control the corporate and govt bureaucracies? That will never happen. They stick it to the people who work 6-7 days a week so the public and private sector leeches can sit around scratching their nuts and twazzies all day getting a nice salary and pension. Tony, unlike some of the “intellectual” bozos here, I sense you actually have done something w/ your life. I would appreciate your take. Underachievers need not reply, but I know will reply.

  90. HenMan

    they’ll get my little debby swiss rolls when they pry them from my cold dead chocolaty fingers.

    i also just got told i need to get a stent next week so maybe i’ll back off about the cold dead part.

  91. Malisha, I went to the Twinkie casserole recipe and it broke my internets- my Explorer froze up and I had to close it down. Just think of what that recipe does to your arteries, the same no doubt. :-)

  92. Woosty, didn’t mean to freak anyone out about Moonpies. They are just gone from my grocery. LOL, I can see that it would be a loss almost too great to bear for them to go out of business too.

    OS, great site! I like their RC cola and a selection of Moonpies basket.

  93. Woosty
    “(and NONE of this is as gross as eating a twinkie… ;)”

    Right you are.

    Went fishing once. Brother put the worm on the hook, I held a pole, Dad took the fish off the hook, cleaned it and cooked it. Family (minus me) ate it – about one bite each. It was a tiny fish.

    We had chickens when I was a kid. Had forced turns at pulling pin feathers. The really bad smell kept me from eating chicken for many years.

    I tend seriously toward being vegetarian.

    There was a discussion a few days ago about moon pies. There was a display in the local grocery store. I think they were peanut butter instead of chocolate. I should have stayed with the memory of them. It was much better than the reality of eating one. yuck. Seemed like lots of waxy stuff and no flavor so I really don’t know if it was peanut butter or not.

    Best nutrition: get rid of pesticides, processing, and preservatives.

  94. bettykath,

    They’ve started experimenting with new flavors of Moonpies. Amongst the purists, it’s a bit of a sacrilege. Stick to the classic flavors and they are pretty much as they always were. I’m a chocolate with the occasional vanilla guy myself. And if you’re tempted to try an orange one, by all means resist that urge. Blech! doesn’t begin to cover it. :D

  95. The point of government isn’t to control corporate bureaucracy. Internal corporate structure is a private matter. The purpose of government is to protect citizens and employees from corporate malfeasance and exploitation – a process that has been corrupted by political spending which amounts to little more than formalized graft where industries are allowed to write their own regulations which is almost as bad as having no regulation at all. Keeping governmental bureaucracy efficient, on the other hand, is the job of elected officials and if they aren’t doing the job properly regardless of their party affiliation, they should be replaced in the voting booth by those who will get the job done. Anyone who thinks otherwise is simply ignorant as to the function of government as it relates to bureaucracy, private or otherwise. However, given the huge percentage of our economy is poured into the hole of perpetual war for private profits, one would be wise to consider what this nation could be like if we didn’t waste billions of dollars fighting wars against countries that didn’t attack us (even by proxy). Our military spending is out of control and starting to negatively impact our common infrastructure. That’s a far more pertinent issue than efficiency of individual subunits of government dedicated to civil services at the moment. Many of them, efficient or not, simply don’t have the money to do the job they are tasked with properly because we are wasting money doing the Saudis dirty work for them. The FDA is a prime example of this. Even if the agency was split in two to form a Food Safety Agency and a Drug Safety Agency (which would create efficiencies), they are still hopelessly underfunded and undermanned to perform the job of food safety inspections and properly evaluating new drug submissions. Because fighting for oil profits is more important than stopping e coli and salmonella outbreaks or making sure the new psych meds don’t cause 5% of those treated to have suicidal thoughts or other harmful side effects.

  96. pete-

    Whenever I pass the Little Debbie display at the local Piggly Wiggly, my arteries constrict and I pass out on the floor. The employees at the Pig think I’m the town drunk, but I really haven’t been a town drunk since 1963 when I actually worked at it.

    Good luck with the stent. Ask the surgeon for a size XL so you can continue to nosh on the Little Debbie Swiss Rolls.

  97. pete,

    Good luck on the surgery. For my part, I’ll be sending good vibrations your way as I am sure others here will too. The place wouldn’t be the same without your particular brand of weirdness.

  98. Pete

    Good fortune with your surgery, my dad had a stent emplaced several months ago and he said it wasn’t a difficult experience for him. Hope yours is as easy.

  99. TonyC,

    Now it is the day after and so many comments to read for me. So I’ll scroll down to answer you directly.

    TonyC said:
    “@Idealist, Nick: Yes, I have worked in a bureaucracy before. I support that and people that do not simply do not understand the purpose of it; either because they are ignorant newcomers that fail to understand the predators it is defending against, or too lazy to learn, or too childish to understand the value of information, control and coordination; the wannabe cowboys that would shoot first and ask questions later.” (sic)

    I guess that you did not notice but the sentence is incomplete. What are these people to do, do you suppose? Go phuck themselves. My! my!
    Was that directed at Nick and I? Why not say it instead of implying it. I can’t defend those you define so scabrously, but myself, readily.

    The fish rots from the head down.

    That is what I said was the cause of the expansion and ineffectualness of bureaucracy, as opposed to the workers being thecause of the faults.

    I use ineffectual instead of ineffectivity because the bureeaucracy can expand to the point that their is no product produced, ie ZERO percent effectivity.
    An example is “intelligence” by the CIA, be it Benghazi, or maps of Granada Island for the Marines, or WMD stats from Iraq.

    The high ideals providing the basis for an agency is fine. Moat of the visible ones are quite idealistic and are serving public interest—nominally. And it is not the bureaucracies’ fault that lobbyists and Congress hinder it from functioning as planned.

    It is instead a structural fault.
    Solution? An enlargment by many factors of the GAO is necessary, together with an extension of its functions to include remedial action teams empowerd to improve functionality, including the right to propose changes in laws which would automatically go the the relevant Congressional committee.

    A last repeat: Managers are motivated to advance. They do so by the methods I mentioned. They not only advance their careers, they even create them by creating new layers.

    Bureaucracy works fine. A Swedish king created what may be the world’s first bureaucracy in the 1500s, Karl XI. They work fine here today, because the Swedes keep after them. Sweden is a lean society, in many ways. No layer creation here. It is a flat society and easy for the voters to keep an eye on.

    All bureaucratic documents are available upon request, for centuries. No FOIA needed. But persom connected info is protected. As is national security, which can be misused, but that’s OT.

    TonyC, why do guys who know a lot, think that they know it all? That is patently absurd. And why jump in the gutter and sling ad hominems, like “cowboys who shoot from the hip”. Was that an idea to improve the discussion or finish it off by degrading it?

  100. OS,

    VV squirrel anatomy. I think all kids should be taught that way. Plant a curiousity seed and watch it grow on its own.
    ========

    “Every once in a while we would find a tumor or cancer in the squirrel. We did not eat those.”

    Did you find masks and parasites in the muscles? We did and did not eat them either.
    We used a .22 rifle, harder but less lead to pluck.

  101. LottaKatz,

    Thanks a lot. My Kerstin could have come back with something intelligent, as she was the operations and insurance director for AMF pension company that I mentioned. I can’t offer more.

    If SS funds are not invested, and accdg to some are skimmed or “borrowed” for budget costs, what is the
    status of them?

    You mentioned, I thought, that some want to invest SS funds. Our SS is paid from current tax income, thus the problem with an aging population. Fewer workers pay for more elders.

  102. Lotta,
    Re Hostess and press release.

    In the twenties or earlier it is said that management feared that workers would literally take over the
    business and run it communist style, ie together.

    Now if that is true, and if then management believed that running it could be done by workers, why not now.

    It is property rights that are the sole hinder protecting owners?
    Do not workers have an investment too? I worked for a tech company. Without the employees it would have been worthless.

    Have we not seen examples of employees buying out a company to then run it. As a product producer Hostess is not a company I would cry for, but as an example of how to stop WS vultures from draining the blood from a company over 8 years, some solution needs to be tried.

    We have FDIC who protects, up to a point, the savings of depositors. Could an oversight agency and/or a compelling law in re CPAs work, force a yearly oversight of drainage activities, such that the companies would be put into protective managememt, or liquidated and/or reconstructed before only the bones are left?

  103. David Blauw,

    Think that a mailman could be my favorite writer and observer of life. No others named but several are right behind, but you lead. Have you published yet?
    Not said derisively, in all honesty. You should.

    Inside each body is a soul. Some souls are emptier than others. But all souls have their stories, of wider or narrower interest.

  104. pete:

    I had that procedure but ended up not needing one. It is pretty simple or at least mine was. A friend of mine had one too and he said the same thing.

    The worst part is the end where they press on the spot they put the catheter in, feels like an elephant is standing on your hip.

  105. “Because fighting for oil profits is more important than stopping e coli and salmonella outbreaks or making sure the new psych meds don’t cause 5% of those treated to have suicidal thoughts or other harmful side effects.”

    I approve of the whole, and I know that you don’t give a rat’s a55, but I say it anyway. BUT, any specific solution other than words? None advanced so far.

  106. pete,

    Got mine done two weeks ago, all except the stent, which was not found to be needed. The problem was not constriction of flow as suspected, but the same procedure was done. I once earlier had a stent inserted over 10 years ago.

    It is easy as pie nowadays. Expert team, well-drilled, team leader nurse, mil style report before the actual process starts. Tell the doc what’s on your mind.

    A slight twinge as they open the artery in the wrist (not groin as before), local anaesthetic for the first
    2 feet of the arm artery, insertion of sond, and then you wait, no other sensations after that.

    I was out with a general sedative when they put in my stent 10 years ago, so can’t report how that will feel.
    I presume you have had an ECG before this procedure, so the decision for a stent is based on that.

    You’re in good hands. My first one was on the fly during a heart attack. Be glad that yours is not.
    I had two inebriated docs called in from their suppers.

    Reason for all the info, is that, for me, I fear the unknown more than the known.

    So relax and enjoy the view. Your fingers won’t go cold. Ask the nurse on your right to hold them if needed. She is the chief reassurer.

    Very proffs, 27 years since it was chancy. Long time, much progress.

  107. Pete get back quik, and when you do there is just 1 word…. Flax.

    and the best Moonpie? no doubt, it’s a S’more…..made w/the best chocolate and a marshmallow toasted on a stick, at an open fire, with the skin light brown and bubbly…..and chased with an Italian Coffee (it’s the strega……. ) ;)

  108. David Blauw
    1, November 17, 2012 at 11:09 pm
    ———————————————–
    I used to have a crush on the mailman! He was not typical of todays mailmen, he loved the dog and brought the mail right to the door, he always stopped to chat for awhile….the town was not that big but not so small either…and of course the mail back then wasn’t all just terrorist marketing crap…..

  109. Bron,

    So they went in via the groin/hip artery. Have had that twice before, messy.

    With the wrist artery insertion they have a little cuff which insures the exact right amount of pressure is applied to stop bleeding but not the flow of blood to the hand. Pressure is lightened, screwing a little thingy, stepwise over the next 24 hours until it can be taken away. No bleeding problems, no elephants either.

    Did you get a rebate for the groin insertion, or was there some special reason? Are you sure that they were doctors and not interns or residents?

  110. @Nick: I don’t want a corporate country

    Neither do I.

    @Nick: Are you naive enough to think that the Dems or Repubs will control the corporate and govt bureaucracies? That will never happen.

    Are you naive, Nick? What do you think can happen? Seriously, what is your alternative?

    Bureaucracies exist on a spectrum for large work organizations; whether they are companies, government, charities, or universities. No control is chaos, too much control is stifling. But “bureaucracy” per se is not evil, it is a tool for controlling the flow of information from the bottom up (the organization becoming informed of reality), or from the top down (the body becoming informed of plans to be implemented and work to be done.)

    Whether specialized sub-units are called “bureaus” or not, this is how we have to organize things. Bureaucracy is the nervous system of the large organization, in our government it is responsible for service to 310 million people. Calling for an end to that is calling for chaos.

    @Nick: so the public and private sector leeches can sit around scratching their nuts and twazzies all day getting a nice salary and pension.

    Why not join them? If you are jealous of their salary and pension, if you think it is a wonderland of fun and an easy life, put in an application! Put your belief to the test, Nick.

    Bureaucracy is a necessity. There is no plausible way (meaning one that works with people as they really are) of accomplishing what the citizenry, through their Congress, has decided we should accomplish.

    Bureaucracy is not just the nervous system of a large organization, it is also the immune system. Some small minority of people will say and do anything for personal gain; and the way to thwart most of them is with bureaucracy; by investigating people before rewarding benefits, by filling out forms, having independent checks to catch forging or skimming or internal fraud or waste or abuse. That is how we do it. It isn’t a perfect filter, but it helps. Just like the police cannot stop all crime, but most of us still believe crime would be much worse with no police at all. Just like your immune system does not stop all illness, but you can’t live long without it.

    What defines the ideal size of a bureaucracy is much more an art than a science, because it depends on fairly unquantifiable externalities. Such as the size and number of threats the “immune system” component must face; and the necessary rates of information flow within the “nervous system” component, and the “sensory” effort it takes to acquire or develop that information.

    My niece, for example, is involved in law enforcement, in particular she visits women with children on probation or parole for drug offenses to determine if the children are at risk and child services should be called. (Also women with deferred adjudication, sentenced to rehab, etc). She does that because a law requires it be done. But it is a rather slow and expensive chunk of information gathering to fill out a form; she averages three a day. (And such an easy job for a bureaucrat filling out a form, except for the filth, squalor, mice, fleas, lice, cockroaches in the crib and armed gangs on the stoop…)

    *******

    I am not defending bloat or corruption or laziness within our current bureaucracy; those are a result of a severely flawed political system that allows the people responsible for minimizing those flaws to ignore their oversight responsibilities without consequences. So, people being what they are, they take the route of least resistance and neglect their duty.

    However I will defend government bureaucracy in general, it is as much of a necessity as having an army. There is no alternative, laws must be enforced, predators must be stopped, free riders must be thwarted both from within the bureaucracy and from outside of it. Such a system is going to be large, complex and imperfect.

    I believe the complexity and imperfections are an inevitable consequence of providing protection to the citizenry; so sure, call me the Bureaucracy cheerleader if derision is a salve for your resentment. I am actually a cheer leader for the perception of reality and working within it.

  111. TonyC,

    Exactly the reasons that Karl XI started his in 1600.
    He needed a system to stop the corruption and apply justice evenly without rakeoff. But oversight with teeth are needed in government bureaucracy.

  112. TonyC, I appreciate your intellect and passion. As I said, I worked for the govt.[total of 6 years]. The work was important, law enforcement as is your niece. I applaud her work. My wife worked for the Federal Bureau of Prisons and Federal Probation for 26 years, retiring in 2006. We both have the same attitude toward govt. bureaucracy and the same hard work ethic. She stayed and worked her ass off while many of her colleagues drank coffee and talked ssports and politcs. I had to get the f@ck out. She volunteered to do presentence investigations for her office. It was a win/win. She got to work on the truly interesting part of that job, investigating the offense before the court, the defendants background, and they apply that investigation to an incredibly complicated Federal Sentencing Guidelines. And, her lazy colleagues didn’t have to do them. She worked @ home on virtually every weekend. As you might imagine, we had many converstions about the horrible work ethic of too many Federal employees. We also knew other hard working law enforcement people[FBI, DEA, US Attorneys and AUSA’s, etc.] When we socialized we would usually laugh @ the slackers, but not always. TonyC, I understand the public and private sectors better than most because of my aforementioned varied experiences.

    The most responsive, efficient, CARING, institutions are small businesses in this country. My immigrant grandfather started a small biz and w/ my uncle and dad’s help, built it into a restaurant and catering business. Small businesses care about their customers/clients and their employees. If they don’t, they don’t survive. I have taught my children, when you hear a politician talking about their caring for small biz, they’re lying. It doesn’t matter if there is a D or R after their name. Your neglecting to address small business, the backbone of this country, is telling.

  113. @Idealist: TonyC, why do guys who know a lot, think that they know it all?

    I do not think I know it all. I do think I know some things, my work, personal life and academic life experiences proves to me I know some things.

    @Idealist: why jump in the gutter and sling ad hominems, like “cowboys who shoot from the hip”

    Yeah, I suppose that is a bit snarky and over-generalized. But here is what I was thinking of:

    In my experience with hundreds (literally) of workers in dozens of companies, those that complain about bureaucracy are complaining that it is standing in the way of their efficiency. Sometimes they are right, often they are wrong and it is a self-centered, unrealistic attitude that their job should be easy and the company should trust them. They fail to realize how that change of focus would transform the rest of the company, or allow people in their position to commit fraud, waste money, make catastrophic mistakes or just create an unreasonable work load on others in the company that have to more work so they can do less work.

    As just one example, an engineer that worked for me, twenty years ago, thought it was ridiculous he had to clear parts with purchasing before he could use them in a design. He didn’t have to do that in the company he came from, and that was proof to him it was an unnecessary step.

    But that is not a ridiculous check at all; building a machine with a part that is too expensive, or not available in quantity, or going to be discontinued in a year, or is single-sourced and / or made by a financially unstable supplier is a recipe for corporate disaster.

    That is what the purchasing “bureau” in a company does, we didn’t invent that rule just to delay projects. The purchasers are not our adversaries, they are our scouts and helpers and doing part of our job. (Part of the “parts” part!)

    They are experts at developing that kind of “meta information” to help us steer our way to a stable design that won’t require a redesign every six months because some actuator was discontinued and nothing else is available that fits in its envelope.

    So sure, many bureaucratic requirements are nonsense, but (like laws) many exist because somebody was trying to correct a painful failure in a complex system. Perhaps they over-corrected, and now you have to sign for a box of pencils because some uncaught thief was stealing toner from a previously open supply cabinet.

    But that is not a reason to use “bureaucracy” as a pejorative term. Those that disdain all bureaucracy are, I presume, ignorant of its necessity or function within an organization.

  114. @Nick: I agree about small business; if I were King, or a founding father, I would put a limit on the size of all businesses. If they grew larger than that, they would have to split into competing businesses. I have been involved in many micro-businesses (under 25 employees) and I agree, those are more humane than bigger businesses. That is true for psychological reasons, btw; the more layers of abstraction there are between a leader and the effects of their decisions, the more sociopathic (i.e. uncaring, bottom-line oriented regardless of hardships created) the decisions are.

    But I am not King, or a founding father, and I fail to see how a discussion of small business informs the argument about bureaucracy. Big business is a fact of life. Our government has to serve and protect 310 million people, big government is a fact of life.

    I have started and run both successful and unsuccessful micro businesses, I learned my lessons from the failures and we made a lot of money from the successes. Right now I have one winding down (it made me money but cannot continue), and I have begun meetings for a new product with a college friend that has an idea (we were partners in one failure, followed by two successes, and this would be our fourth venture).

    What works in small business will not work in big business. There is a natural limit on how many people can be in our “tribe” before we lose track of who is who and start to coalesce into cliques of “us versus them.” Organization and rules are a necessity; specialists are a necessity, and the interaction of rule enforcement and specialists and the flow of information is called “bureaucracy.”

    What do you think is “telling?”

  115. Why is it that people who don’t know much often think people who know a lot think they know everything?

    The Chinese have an interesting and applicable proverb: “A closed mind is like a closed book; just a block of wood.”

    Fear of the depth of their own ignorance, perhaps. An unwillingness or inability to learn? Maybe. Over compensation? Possibly. But for certain bluster about the knowledge and experience of others is not the same as knowledge.

    “This man, on one hand, believes that he knows something, while not knowing anything. On the other hand, I – equally ignorant – do not believe that I know anything.” – Socrates

    And he was the wisest man in Greece according to Phythians, certainly as smart or smarter than anyone here.

  116. “Organization and rules are a necessity; specialists are a necessity, and the interaction of rule enforcement and specialists and the flow of information is called “bureaucracy.””

    So spot on it bears repeating.

  117. ” … certainly as smart or smarter than anyone here.” (Gene)

    Harrumph!

    Seriously, about two years ago I put into practice a couple of the suggestions Tony made in a post on this blog about business. Those two suggestions made a world of difference … a definite improvement in the overall performance. Recognizing that ego is often involved and willing to poke a little fun at myself, I say … I was smart enough to know to whom I should listen. :mrgreen:

  118. TonyC, What I meant by “telling” was your reply @ 10:59a didn’t respond to my point on small biz. You have now responded and we agree to a certain degree. I could not abide putting a cap on the size of businesses. It’s akin to telling families how many kids they can have. As stated previously, you have a breadth of real world experience. We all respond differently to our work experience, but that’s the beauty of life. I think we can agree we wouldn’t want it any other way. It’s the ones who have done nothing w/ their lives that seem the most angry and negative. That’s the ugliness of life. C’est la vie.

  119. You know what my grandfather used to say, Blouise. “The only day wasted is the day you didn’t learn something new.” Like you, I try to never waste a day.

  120. Gene,

    I’ve learned to use both of your posts at 1:36 and 1:39 and implement them in practice….. Thanks….

  121. TonyC.,

    You started out with a blanket defense of bureaucracy.
    I came with speciific criticisms based on corrupt interests of managers. That was all that I came with.

    The rest has been your writings, some of which I can agree with but would correct slightly. IE. bureaucracies are fine as ideals, but in reality, as I plead for, need sharp external supervision. type GAO.

    Now again you address two of my points, and unlike GeneH you concede at least the first. Admirable.

    However, I did not say that you said you were infallible. I only wished to imply that people who are in the know, DO tend to regard themselves as authorities. Which is OK, as long as they are willing to argue their points, and not just assert them as self-evident, due to their own knowledge.

    Again, you use me for a springboard, which implies with no clear connection as to whether you are arguing against me (ie items I never mentioned in fact) or have my tacit agreement with.

    This is patently (that word again) inequitable.
    I think you should stop, which you have done before and repeat doing, enlisting me in making your points which I have not brought up.

    Make a demarcation.
    Make your posts of YOUR points in your own comment without me as object to whom you are replying.

    For this reason, I shan’t even comment your last comment, although were it separately written, I would be inclined to agree with parts, note parts of it.

    BTW, when designing for NASA, I had help of the parts people. Very helpful. I never had a problem with bureaucracy at NASA, JPL, USAF Pacific Civil Engineering Directorate, the computer people at Vandenberg AFB (satellite launching site), USN engineers, Department of Water Resources in California, nor with the people working in our company for 30 years.

    Sometimes I had to push, but I respected their limits. At NASA, you did not do crap without a test or handling procedure approved and dry tested. For a good reason, which I can explain.

    So to put me in the group of bureaucracy haters is incorrect.

  122. I didn’t address any of your “points”, id707. So far all I’ve done is agree with Tony. Because he’s correct. What is sheer irony is there is that you criticize Tony for false attribution while doing the very same thing. That’s just adorable.

  123. As for GeneH, a pile of skit smells the same by whatever name you call it.

    He always comes running when he smells a bullying going on.

    The problem for GeneH this time is that TonyC does not need to bully to win conflicts. TonyC and I have differed and agreed many times with no one feeling put upon or bullied.

    So drop the dog erection, GeneH. You wiil not be able to stick it to me, even tho’ you have already tried.

    As for learning new things every day, that was the most humble thing that I have ever heard you say.
    Join the club, it is true for me and others as well, so you’re not special at all.

    New things about you, however, are rare, if not never forthcoming.

  124. Gene H. 1, November 18, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Why is it that people who don’t know much often think people who know a lot think they know everything?
    ============================
    Because of the biased concept of intelligence depicted in itsy-bitsy-evolution for one thing.

    Eating Twinkies has its downside, like posting things twice.

  125. “Gene H.
    1, November 18, 2012 at 2:00 pm
    I didn’t address any of your “points”, id707. So far all I’ve done is agree with Tony. Because he’s correct. What is sheer irony is there is that you criticize Tony for false attribution while doing the very same thing. That’s just adorable.”
    ============================================

    Where are you coming from? I addressed only TonyC, not you. Projecting yourself as usual?

    Read what I addressed to you immediately above, if you want to know what I think of you. Your comment has no basis in reality as to timing or to the discussion between TonyC and I, which you stuck into with comments—which is OK, but not relevant as to his and my discussion. You try, but fail.

    Your approval of TonyC or the phase of the moon is indifferent to me. You live solely in your own mind.
    So are therefore useless as a source of information.
    You have talents, but thinking out of the box is not one of them. So drag your blanket of logic over you in comfort. You need it.

  126. Lay off those Twinkies, Dredd. :D

    *************

    When attacked, I’ll defend myself, id707. This: “Now again you address two of my points, and unlike GeneH you concede at least the first. Admirable.” Constitutes not only an attack, but an unprovoked attack. If you don’t like that “your points” aren’t conceded by others, perhaps you should learn to make them better. But if you just want to attack me? Sure, I’ll defend myself.

    Whether you like it or not.

    Your almost total lack of logic and logical skills notwithstanding.

    Think about that next time you just want to do a little back biting.

  127. idealist707 1, November 18, 2012 at 2:09 pm


    So drop the dog erection, GeneH. You wiil not be able to stick it to me, even tho’ you have already tried.
    ================================
    “I notice that there are a lot of recounts in this erection …” – Confucius

  128. ID, When Gene resorts to “I know you am but what am I” you know he’s really got nothing. And, as we’ve discussed many times, the ONLY experience of which he speaks is law school. All down hill after that. This blog all he’s got and he will angrily and classlessly defend this little fiefdom. Sad, if he weren’t a man w/ no apparent redeeming qualities beside intellect. This is where he has threatened a defamation suit 2-3 times previously.

  129. And once again, you know absolutely nothing about me, nick. Except the limited information I choose to share.

    And I’ve told you that you have nothing to worry about on defamation.

    No one important to me cares what you think of me. Or anything else for that matter, douche bag. But by all means, you and your crazy buddy try to dogpile.

    It’s really funny.

  130. Gene H. 1, November 18, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Lay off those Twinkies, Dredd. :D
    ============================
    I can’t, that is why this bankruptcy Nal posted about is not all negative.

  131. Dredd,

    I see your point. To create is sometimes to destroy and vice versa. Sugar is a powerful substance. Almost as powerful as greed and money. But rest easy. I’m sure someone will come along to provide your sponge cake and sweet unidentifiable cream filling fix.

  132. Yeah. A clever double entendre you’d have never gotten without an explanation is so much less funny than comparing a Congressman to the Chinese because “everyone knows” the Chinese are all short. :roll:

  133. NickS,

    I think you are too kind when speaking of GeneH.

    I have spoken of vultures/turkey buzzarda (NC) before.

    It describes him well. I even once shared the same, not for rhe same purpose as he however.

    I looked for others fights, n’importa qui. to quibble with both or take sides. Again, just as it fell in for me to do.

    Now GeneH has a tracker on me (hee hee, I should dream) and pops up whenever I have a discussion with someone in order to stick me.

    He should get a job on Crossfire, saw recently on Youtube how Jon Stewart handled them!!!

    Notice how Gene always comes back to logic. He and Plato are in the same cave. He is proof that a good mind can be ruined by a bad spirited personality.

    I have kicked TonyC several times and will continue to do it when he hops up on his pedestal/highhorse/whatever role he’s wearing for the day.

    Some other time I’ll tell you of other a55es who also have too high opinions of themselves.
    I respect, but refuse to worship either TonyC or any othere arsle here.

    So what’s for dinner? And you won my heart telling us of your wife’s need for comfort food and when she needs it. Thanks for inviting us into the family.
    Takes a big warm and secure heart to do that!!!!

  134. Betty Kath,

    I’m pulling out. Dealing with hardheads and nutheads is tough work. Need food. One less noise maker.
    You are sweet voice of reason here. Was so glad when you said your first words. Not all of them, but the first ones! :-)

  135. Some people mistake others having a low opinion of them as the other having a high opinion of themselves.

    This is an example of what is called projection in psychology.

  136. ID, I’m making what I call Italian stew. It’s something I just invented using leftovers. My parents and grandparents lived through the Depression and taught me well. I have some leftover marinara sauce and green beans and potatoes I need to use. I saute boneless chicken and spicy Italian sausage w/ onions, potatoes, carrrots, green beans, and red pepper. I then simmer it in the marinara sauce for an hour or so. Served w/ some crusty Italian peasant bread. Nothing fancy, just wholesome, hearty and good. Fits both our personalities. Maybe we’ll break bread someday, it’s a small world.

  137. @Nick: We all respond differently to our work experience, but that’s the beauty of life. I think we can agree we wouldn’t want it any other way.

    That is also the ugliness of life, Nick, people that learn the wrong lessons from their work experience, often because they are so vested in the idea that they never did anything wrong that they arrive by pretzel path to wildly inaccurate assumptions about the motivations of others, because that is the only way for them to explain the outcome without accepting any of the blame.

    So I actually would want that to be another way.

  138. @Idealist: Why not?

    Why should I write to meet your demands? If you address a question to me or the world, I will answer as I see fit. I do not demand any special consideration, respect or deference from you or anybody else here; nor will I provide it. This is not my job, it is my entertainment. Grow a thicker skin, or just do what everybody does, write a post denying whatever crimes for which you think you are unjustly charged.

    I will not make an effort to be careful of your sensitive ego; and in the spirit of egalitarianism, please make no special effort to be careful of mine.

  139. TonyC, I heard a great line recently. “Always respect people who seek the truth. And, always doubt people who say they have found it.” Right and wrong are very relative words.

    “And now….here’s Spock!” We’re about to be dazzled by his profound words, logic, and probably a litle venom.

  140. “Always respect people who seek the truth.”

    Which is just really funny coming from someone who can’t accept the truth that they argue for crap and this is why they loose arguments. Maybe this is why I respect Tony and I think you’re just looking to have your confirmation biases stroked.

    “And, always doubt people who say they have found it.”

    You mean like you? No one here has laid claim to the absolute truth except possibly you with your steady stream of unfounded assertions people are supposed to accept as unquestioned truth simply because they came from the mouth of nick. That you fail to persuade others to the “rightness of your truth” is again (and again) your failure in argumentation. You lose arguments, nick, because your arguments are weak – sub-standard logic often backed with little or no evidence other than “nick and his widdle feelin’s says so”. Just like you are losing to Tony right now.

    However, if you don’t want me to join in and point out what’s wrong with your statements, you certainly have a strange way of showing it. Inviting comment won’t stop me any more than trying to oppress comment. You making better arguments might though. Maybe you should look into that.

    That you continually appealing to emotion as if it somehow gives you a superior argument when such appeals are a manifest and well accepted logical fallacy is simply funny. Your emotional state is irrelevant to the logic and evidence in an argument. You’ll feel a lot better once you realize that.

    Tsk, tsk, tsk. So hard of learning for someone who claims to be a seeker of truth.

    Carry on.

  141. @Nick: If “Spock” refers to me; you could not be further from the truth. I firmly believe the rational mind exists as an adjunct and assistant to the more ancient emotional mind. Unlike Spock I embrace that, the reason for reason is to let us engineer a happier life.

    Doubt is healthy; denial is not. Sometimes there simply are not two ways about it, sometimes the truth is singular.

  142. That was an “insult” directed at me, Tony. He’s done it before. He seems to think that because – like you – I think reason should govern emotion but be informed by it, that it somehow equates to me not having emotions. Even Vulcans have emotions. They just don’t let them rule them. He who would be a slave to emotion submits to an inherently irrational master. That, I think, qualifies as a singular truth.

  143. @Gene: I agree, emotion is inherently irrational. But as I have described before; those that have lost their emotions due to accidental injury, cancer or surgery but still retain their rationality, are essentially disabled. Without joy or fear or greed or lust or boredom or irritation or some emotion to put a thumb on the scale of their decisions, they will heap reason on both sides of the scale in equal quantity until they fall asleep; they can’t pick a tie or blouse to wear. The can still do calculus in their head, but they can’t pick lunch from a menu (not without following arbitrary rules).

    Apparently the rational mind will just spin its wheels until the emotional mind is convinced one way or another. So in that sense we are all slaves to our emotions. But I do not think that is the sense you mean.

    In the sense I think you mean, I also believe that we must teach ourselves to resist impulsiveness and that we will be happier in the long run to make considered decisions and plans. It may be a fact of biology that an emotional reaction gets the final say, but it is best if that reaction is triggered by a rational expectation of what will happen in the real world.

  144. Gene, You do have emotions, but they seem to be mostly negative ones. And those negative emotions control your life, disguised as self professed supreme logic and argumentation skils. It would be sad if it weren’t so self destructive and mean. Maybe volunteer to help kids in school. My wife does and finds it satisfying. I don’t like public schools so I volunteer @ a community center that helps kids in an after school program. It’s great to come out from within yourself. Share your intellect, that is if you like kids as we do. If you don’t like kids..please don’t ever work w/ them. Find some people you like and use your time you have to help your community. Just a suggestion. Volunteering isn’t for everyone however, that is your decision. But, I’ve seen skeptical people volunteer w/ kids, seniors, etc. and love it. And I’ve also seen the opposite.

  145. Tony,

    Exactly.

    ********************

    nick,

    For a guy who thinks he’s an expert on reading people, you clearly don’t understand me in the slightest. You don’t know me or know what I do yet you are perfectly willing to try to assert some kind of ethical superiority over me in a sad display of seeking the approval of complete strangers. All of this because when I’ve previously challenged your statements on logical and evidentiary grounds and the best you can respond with is usually emotionalism and ad hominem.

    Your opinion of me is meaningless, nick.

    I don’t seek the approval of others except for a very few select others.

    Sorry you don’t make that cut and that you haven’t figured that out about me yet.

    But if you don’t like me giving you a lot of shit, maybe you should consider that I’m real big on the Ethic of Reciprocity. That or buckle up. It’ll be a bumpy ride. Just because you aren’t a recipient of my kindness doesn’t mean I’m not kind. I tend to give what I get when I’m not just giving for the sake of giving. Maybe you should learn that about me. You aren’t learning proof, no matter how resistant you are. But I could be wrong about that.

  146. NickS,

    Just my style. Just a feel for food, spices and start at the base. I cheat a little with readymade Pecorino and tomatoe sauce sometimes, and such like.
    Yesterday it was potatoe, onion, leeks, garlic, chicken boullion, chili powder, parsley, french herbs, etc.

    Don’t worry about GeneH and TonyC. Someday their egos will explode. Until then regard it as the rain, it comes and goes. Why do you feel that you have to defeat them? They are self-admirers. Both write well and learnedly, and GeneH has the heart of a vulture.
    He spouts like a Washington fountain, but nary a solution in sight.
    Always polishing his rep and smelling the a55es of his followers to be sure they are in stiil farting on his command.

    I asked TonyC why he could not stop putting words in my mouth. He says that he can do as he wishes and go screw. That’s what you get when you say against the greatest mind in business, he thinks.

    Woo hoo, the idiots of self-acclaim ride again.

    GeneH cussed me out for dissing his favo Cowboy movie.
    You know one of those with the guy who talks to empty chairs in front of thousands of people and the national TV. GeneH thinks he is Dog. Or king, but we don’t have those anymore.

    Fun to make fun of them. Their words are instructive at times, but seldom lead anywhere.

    Nighty night Nick.

  147. Nick,

    The only thing you get from casting stones at Mount Everest is an avalanche in return. Not much to learn of that.

    Now the way to Gene’s heart is by kissing his a55hole and entering that way. I never could stomach that.
    But many here do. Sharing the top perch with him is what their egos need. The only problem is that it scares off ordinary people, even people who would have something to give here.

    Last words.

  148. ID, You’re very observant. When Gino goes over the top, or jumps the shark, he then starts schmoozing his followers in Wonderland Middle School. It’s like an alcoholic who is fawniing after a night of debauchery, making sure his enablers are still on board. And, I surmise that’s not a metaphor. What do you know about his work experience?

  149. @Idealist: I never put words in your mouth; in fact that is you accusing me of the crime you commit, because I never claimed to be the biggest mind in any business, either. You seem to have an inference problem; inferring slights to yourself where there are none, and inferring assertions of superiority where none was ever implied.

  150. TonyC

    Now you sound like someone who pretends to reason.
    Actually seldom seen you do such a reasonable thing.

    For the fun of It:
    I wrote in extenso explaining how I found you behavior overstepped the grounds of proper respect and not using debate techniques which take liberties with me—either casting me in the position of a tacit support of new points or as an opponent to new points.
    I simply asked you for the remedy of replying to my points in one comment and then posting you new ideas in another comment.

    You refused. I asked why, and received an abusive reply, with no actual argument.

    So in my separate comments, I simplified it by saying that you put words in my mouth, which in practice is

    what you do.

    As for inferring, TonyC. I don’t need to. Practically all you write is carefully prefaced with bona fides which prove that you are better at knowing the subject under discussion than the person you are engaging in what is nominally a discussion, but instead is a session of browbeating and showing off for you egos sake.

    As for inferring insults, I have no recall of any, however “von oben” type formulations are very easy to detect and decipher. I do so but don’t bother about them.

    So continuing to argue on the basis of what my one sentence summary is poor grounds to continue.
    I offered you my extended version and you ignore it with a one word answer: “NO”

    That describes you and your attitude here.

    That you have knowledge does not grant you position as an authority not to be subject to the questions.

    Remember that and it will go better.

  151. NIckS,

    I have never GeneH mention what he does IRL.
    Neither any part of a private sphere.

    Whether he shares with any others here is a maybe.
    He makes references as assertions to his being an suthority on Louisiana, etc.

    Work, no. Avocation: Alpha hound.

  152. What’s a paradox is…. They legal recreational marijuana one week and twinkies files bankruptcy the next……

  153. @Idealist: Your “remedy” is a demand that I do more work and take more care with your hurt feelings. That is a selfish demand that puts your feelings above MY time and MY feelings; it is an inherently unfair demand for deference or subordination, in the name of “proper respect,” that I find offensive and reject in its entirety.

    What you write on this blog is fair game; if I want to use your statements as proof of foolish thinking I will, if I want to expound upon them to expose the deeper flaws that often give rise to such thinking I will. I do not write to please you, I write to shine a light on bad reasoning and thinking as I see it, because I find that both entertaining and, in some cases, I believe that viewpoint can help others to see things in the different light I provide.

    If you are offended that your statement provided the example of flawed thinking I chose to critique, and served as the launch pad for a more general analysis, so be it. I cannot control the feelings of the hundreds that post or read here; if I strove to offend nobody then nothing could be said; and I see no valid reason to single you out for exceptional treatment.

  154. “Your “remedy” is a demand that I do more work and take more care with your hurt feelings. That is a selfish demand that puts your feelings above MY time and MY feelings; it is an inherently unfair demand for deference or subordination, in the name of “proper respect,” that I find offensive and reject in its entirety.”

    Oh, the irony of that statement.

  155. @Bron: I fail to see the irony. To my recollection I have never demanded that you be careful of my feelings, or pay “proper respect” to me. Respect for reality is one thing; respect for ME is not a prerequisite to follow any of my arguments.

    So where is the irony?

  156. Yes, Bron, it is ironic indeed.

    AND, he has adopted the last defense of bullies:

    “I can not concern myself about your feelings and devote my time to accomodate them.”

    Secondly, he climbs the high ground by saying clearly
    that HE has higher goals to achieve and address his time to here than cóncerning himself with not offending people. The claims on him in the name of respect, etc are flatly denied.

    Very self-revealing.

    Not worth arguing with. The motivation behind his skit is now revealed.

  157. TonyC,

    You say that you demand no respect for your feelings, implying that I had. Not true as to my feelings.
    I need no respect for them, I instead asked you to use fair debating techniques by not using me in the manner previously described.

    You, on the other hand, by listing your previous merits, demand that others defer to them, instead of meeeting you fair and square with an exchange of ideas and diseecting and meriting them with objective evidence.

    You don’t even know what discussion and argueing means.

    Your technique has served you well, but I won’t yield to it here.

    Oh, the irony! Indeed, indeed.

  158. Tony C. asks, Where is the Irony?

    There was none.

    Bron and idealist707 are making a common figurative language mistake.

    Irony is intentional and most often used as a vehicle of wit. Naming a large Greyhound dog Tiny is ironic. Irony is a wink at oneself, a situation, or others.

  159. Exclusive: Sun Capital wants to buy Hostess

    “I think that we could offer a slightly better, more labor-friendly deal than what was on the table last week,” says Sun co-CEO Marc Leder, in an interview with Fortune. “We also think that one point the unions have made is that there hasn’t been a great amount of reinvestment in the business. We’ve found that investing new capital into companies like this can be very positive for brand, people and profitability… We would look to invest in newer, more modern, manufacturing assets that would enable the company to become more productive and to innovate.”

  160. EGT,

    Counting the warts and ticks on the rhinoceros and forgetting its size, are you?

    I saw in fact no irony, bur saw that it stopped TonyC, which is always good.

    I in fact returned to my original argument which being the rhinoceros that you ignore. I used the irony as a signature tease in order to make Bron happy and TonyC sad.

    Do much puppet work for GeneH? Your label is showing.

  161. Nal,

    Great news, if it is true.

    A completely new textile fabric assortment was made possible by the South Koreans investing in new advanced USA machines in the 1980’s when American companies refused to modernize. I talked to the man who had been there and had sold the equipment.

    Go into any woman’s clothing affair catering to young women and you will see. These garment fabrics, texturized, interwoven, intertwining, etc etc could not be done by the old machines.

    How much America lost on that I do not know.

    Maybe machine parks do make a difference in the Twinkie business too.

  162. eighth grade teacher:

    “The great irony of human intelligence is that the only species on Earth capable of reason, complex-problem solving, long-term planning and consciousness understands so little about the organ that makes it all possible—the brain. —Amanda Bower, Time, 20 Aug. 2001”

    So a person cannot see irony in a given situation, it has to be manufactured?

  163. Nal, they would have to change every single ingredient to get me to eat one. Dont care how nice the new machines are, haha

  164. Hostess reprieves Twinkies, Ho-Hos and Ding Dongs
    4:01 PM ET, 11/19/2012 – MarketWatch Databased News

    Hostess Brands Inc. and its bakers union reportedly agreed Monday to arbitration on their labor dispute, likely saving the company from liquidation. That could spare its iconic brands such as Twinkies and Ho Hos. On Friday the company filed a motion with U.S. Bankruptcy Court to close its business and sell its assets after the strike by its 18,500 workers.

  165. @Idealist: Your presumption that you “stopped me” is premature; and certainly incorrectly using language is not something that would do it.

    Certainly, my defense is not the defense of the bully; that is another misuse of common language. Or is it another purposeful lie, like claiming irony when you say that you knew there was none? Is that your modus operandi; to just say whatever it takes, true or not, to win an argument?

    My defense is that your request is an unreasonable imposition. Not every denial of a request is “bullying,” it is just a refusal to spend time and effort coddling an overly sensitive individual. I am not bullying you, you are trying to bully me into acceding to your demand for “proper respect.” And now, as you resort to admitted lies just to gain some advantage, I see I am right to refuse because your tactics prove do not deserve any respect.

  166. Paul Krugman:

    The Twinkie Manifesto

    Above all, the success of the postwar American economy demonstrates that, contrary to today’s conservative orthodoxy, you can have prosperity without demeaning workers and coddling the rich.

  167. One definition of insanity is trying the same failed tactic over and over again all the while expecting a different result.

  168. TonyC,

    Now you are down to GeneH’s level.

    It wasn’t a lie sweety. It was a white “lie”, as I saw no
    irony, but it was only an accomodation of another one who saw it. Irony is subtle, and not so clearly defined as EGT would like it to be.

    Irony is in the eye of the beholder, as it depends on the unseen reference points of the viewer. Bron saw irony, I did not, but acceded to his capability to see what I did not. So get off your GeneH pedestal and show the real TonyC again.

    You want get more out of me until you show that you can see not just your ego and achievements but your smallness compared with reality.

    “Someone” cited Socrates, so proudly as though they were disciples. Such irony. From the mouths of idiots come words of wisdom—loaned by not understood.
    The chief knowitall here cites: “I know that I know nothing.” (Paraphrase) Ackackack such irony. From he who claims to know it all, and is always right, always best, etc. The alpha hound, the big frog, the bully in chief. And you are flattered by his support. You are beyond help I fear.

  169. @Idealist: …and show the real TonyC again.

    I think I am the best judge of who the real Tony C is. Right now, the real Tony C thinks you are just another disingenuous, say anything poster without any principles, sniping with petty and transparent lies in a childish pout because you didn’t get the cookie you asked for.

  170. Bron

    The example you offered is not a proper use of irony.

    This is a cartoon combining the proper and improper use of irony.

    First Panel: Sarge (looking at Zero’s crumpled shirt): That’s a very well pressed shirt you have on there!
    Zero (looking at his shirt): Looks crumpled to me!
    Sarge: You don’t understand irony do you??

    Next panel has Zero busily ironing his shirt, saying “I’ll show you who doesn’t understand irony!”

    Sarge’s claim of irony was really sarcasm which students often misidentify. The last panel is irony.

    Which of the following two billboard signs would you identify as ironic?

    A. We Are Committed To Excellense!
    B. We Are Committed To Excellence!

  171. Hostess shutdown on hold

    On Friday, management announced a shutdown of Hostess and appeared before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain on Monday afternoon seeking approval to liquidate.

    But Drain said he wanted the parties to try one last time to reach agreement. Drain will serve as the mediator at a session scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. Only one day of talks is set for now.

    Based on prior actions, I don’t think management wants to keep the company out of liquidation.

  172. @Nal: I don’t think they want to avoid it either; perhaps they have parachutes they want to deploy. It can sometimes be in their selfish interest; an ongoing company may leave them no choice but to continue with a modest salary (or resigning), an “event” like a bankruptcy or buyout can trigger an unusual circumstances clause that creates a windfall.

    (Just speculation on my part.)

  173. GeneH,

    I knew the connection. But as I said and you don’t understand, irony lies in the mind of the beholder.
    And for me to see such wisdom come out of your pretentious mouth is heighth of irony.

  174. Bron

    The following is another example taken from your source and described as irony but is actually sarcasm:

    ““What a beautiful view,” he said, his voice dripping with irony, as he looked out the window at the alley.”

    An online dictionary is useful to a point but is no substitute for a real education

    A useful hint when attempting irony is to test for the wit and the wink.

  175. EGT,

    Your ideas are irrelevant. It is what you feel which comes out as either sarcasm or irony. And where you view the scene and he who is part of it that matters.

    Don’t try to parse these words. Take contact with your heart. It is it which is speaking, and placing yourself in the scenne.

    If the words correctly and adequately convey either depends on wit, of the general kind. But that is another matter. It is the intent and the tone of delivery which establishs which it is.

  176. id707,

    I wasn’t addressing you but rather Bron and EGT ergo I have no idea what you are prattling on about. I know this will come as a shock, but not everything is about you.

  177. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and the Colbert Report are two productions where irony is employeed by a staff of writers who understand its usage.

  178. EGT,

    I’m pretty sure they dose the coffee with extra irony on those shows. Luckily the dark roast hides the metallic taste.

  179. Above it was stated that Hostess was directed to arbitration- at this point it was directed to mediation. If the parties cannot come to terms even with a disinterested party assisting them they are released from arbitration to move forward. Mediators do write reports though and in a perfect world that report carries some weight. A report that stated that the employer was not bargaining in good faith could have a significant impact before a bankruptcy judge. In a perfect world.

  180. Nal, I wonder if the “slightly better….offer” will include the 8% pay cut and no pension? If they really wanted to be labor friendly maybe profit-sharing of some substance would fit the bill. My experience with PS has been all theoretical, does anyone have any experience with it? Thanks for the updates Nal, well done.

  181. eighth grade teacher:

    and you notice I did not use that example, did I.

    Back to the question, why is the quote I used not irony?

    And what are your credentials, if you are going to offer yourself up as an expert in irony, it would be helpful to know your background.

  182. lottakatz:

    I once worked for a company that profit shared but I only stayed there for 2 years so I did not get vested. They would split a certain % of profits and give them to you as part of your retirement fund. When I left I had around $4,000 in the fund which stayed with the company. I only made about $30k so that amounted to about 7% of my salary.

    If I had a company with, say, 49 employees I would take 50% of profit and split between the 49 employees and I think I would split it equally among the employees. With the assumption being the senior people already did pretty well and it would be a good bonus for the jr. people.

    What is your theory?

  183. @Bron: I just reviewed half a dozen dictionaries for the definition of “irony,” and it seems clear they don’t have a 100% grip on it either. What they have in common is the requirement of a fundamental incongruity. I would add that the examples of somebody being purposely ironic are easier to identify than somebody calling a situation or somebody else’s statement “ironic.”

    I saw the quote you used; and I agree that is ironic: The incongruity is that the brain that lets you understand so much has so much trouble understanding itself. It is like the fire safety inspector’s house burning down, that is ironic. The people on the ethics committee caught taking bribes.

    However, that said, I still think you incorrectly used the word in describing my post; I do not see an incongruity there. Unless you are talking about your opposition to my liberal-socialist politics in which I claim people have an obligation to protect and support their society, and you think that is incongruous with my defense of “MY time and MY feelings.”

    If that is the case, I can see how you might think there is an incongruity, but there is none. I have never argued that you have a 100% commitment or obligation to society. After my societal duties are met I still have plenty of time, money and property that is mine to do with as I please; and that is what I was referring to as “MY time.”

  184. Tony C:

    yes that did strike me as slightly ironic but I do see your point.

    I have a feeling we disagree on the amount. But you are correct that some taxes do need to be paid.

    The population in 1913 was 97,225,000 people. When the income tax was implemented it was around 1%. We have 310,000,000 now. Do you think we need 20 to 30 times more tax for only a little more than 3 times the population?

    I can understand some increase to take care of our modern world but not that much more.

  185. “Unless you are talking about your opposition to my liberal-socialist politics in which I claim people have an obligation to protect and support their society, and you think that is incongruous with my defense of “MY time and MY feelings.””

    Bron,

    I’m not jumping in here to defend Tony, since he is more than capable of defending himself. What I want to discuss though is the use of a particular meme on the Far Right that is not only fallacious logically, but mendacious in its implication. The meme can be described as “If a “Leftist” cares so much for people in need, why doesn’t she/he give all of their money to them?” The notion is ridiculous on its face, but in truth what it implies is that
    a person is a hypocrite about expressing caring for others, if they don’t completely immerse themselves in that task. This meme is used by many conservative to imply that all expressions of caring are false. What I really think it exposes is the users inability to care as projected onto others who do. i.e. If I don’t care, then they are full of it if you say you care.

    Beyond that is at base a real inability to understand that caring for others lives does not mean you have to live a life of altruism and/or poverty. I have many friends and acquaintances that are quite wealthy. Most of them are quite liberal in their caring for others. They, for instances approve of the President’s stance on taxes even though it will affect them. They are under no responsibility to stop living their lifestyle to the fullest by believing in social fairness, but it is to their credit that they have empathy for those who are not faring as well in this unfair society.

    Even though my career was as a Social Worker and Psychotherapist, I very rarely took the pain I saw on my job home. I live my life by the Gestalt Philosophy which can be described by these words:

    “I do my thing and you do your thing.
    I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
    And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
    You are you, and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful.
    If not, it can’t be helped.”
    (Fritz Perls, 1969)

    There is no dichotomy between that and believing in:

    “That which is unpleasant to you, do not to your neighbor. That is the whole law and the rest but it’s exposition.”
    Rabbi Hillel (fl. 30 BC – 10 AD)

    and:

    “If I am not for myself, who is for me? And if I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?”
    Rabbi Hillel (fl. 30 BC – 10 AD)

  186. @Bron: Do you think we need 20 to 30 times more tax for only a little more than 3 times the population?

    I am not trying to dodge the question, but it depends on what you mean by “need.” Seriously. For example, does Intel “need” a research and development arm? It is not a necessity for them to continue selling the products they have already developed. If they fired everybody and sold all the buildings and equipment in 2013, they would have a big boost in profits. But most people would argue that is suicide, and they DO need it, and although we have no specifics about what they will invent or create we do know that Intel cannot survive many years without their R&D arm. Or spending even more for R&D done by others. (Why more? Because others will tack on a nice profit for their work in the form of licensing or royalties, which is an expense Intel avoids by developing its own intellectual property in-house.)

    In 1913 (in inflation adjusted dollars) the USA GDP was 22 times smaller than in 2011. So, if the population roughly tripled, their productivity and income has grown by roughly a factor of seven.

    You can attribute that increase in productivity to many things, but what is clear from the comparative analysis of countries in various states of development is that MOST of that increase is the result of a public infrastructure that eases commerce and expands markets for business owners. Not just roads and bridges, but ubiquitous power, communications, police, courts, contract enforcement, grade and high school education, cheap transportation, health care, expertise, and on and on.

    Much of that infrastructure is due to taxation. So we return to the definition of “need.” Does Intel “need” an R&D arm? Only if it wants to continue being a profitable company in twenty years.

    Do we “need” 30% taxation? Well, if I earn roughly 7 times as much as I could in 1913, and I am taxed 30%, I take home roughly 5 times as much money. We “need” 30% taxation only if we want to continue living in a country that lets us, on average, earn five times as much money as our 1913 ancestors. And do not forget, that is inflation adjusted; not some arithmetic trick. If our two monthly incomes were converted into white bread, we’d have five times as much bread per capita as they do.

    Because we are educated where they were not; we are healthy and able to work where they were sick, we can drive twenty miles to work without a thought where they were limited to home industry, a low-margin farm, or about a 5 mile radius for work (which means our geographic area of exploitable opportunity is about 16 to 20 times larger).

    So for me the answer is yes, we need the taxation to create a common infrastructure and order that did not really exist in 1913.

    I will also note the “free market” had over a century to develop that infrastructure and did not; certainly in 1913 markets were much more free and unregulated than they are now. I do not think that infrastructure develops without taxation that supports development for the common good, and regulations (which require taxation for enforcement).

  187. AY sez:
    “Thanks for the link…… Christians you say….”

    *******************************************

    Wasn’t me that said it. That’s what they claim. As for my own view, the evidence does not support the claim. I believe it was Gandhi who said something to the effect that he liked that Jesus fellow, but did not care much for his followers.

  188. Mike S:

    Why do people who are able bodied need to have everything paid for? Why do we have a system that discourages people from working?

    Why is the left so hell bent on discouraging industry?

    Why did we institute national health care to cover 30,000,000 people who could be covered for around $400/month which is $12 billion dollars? which would amount to about $85.71 per working person per month or about $1,000 per year.

    Helping people does not need to lead to financial suicide.

  189. @Bron: Why can’t you ask a question without exaggerating things into absolutes? everything paid for? Who advocates for that?

    The Left is not hell bent on discouraging industry, we are hell bent on preventing harm to people. If you think it is impossible to have industry without harming people, then I see your cognitive dilemma, if one thinks that wealth is only possible by phucking somebody over, they want the freedom to phuck people over.

    But the Left does NOT think it is impossible to create value without phucking people over. We think it is possible for people to get wealthy without destroying the environment, without screwing or lying to or endangering the health or lives of your investors or employees or suppliers or customers, and we believe they can do all of that AND ensure that after a life’s work is done, a person can survive in relative comfort and health without desperation.

    But the Left also apprehends reality, we know full well that it is easier to get wealthy by phucking people over. We know full well that there are millions of people that are not restrained by conscious, sympathy or empathy, that are only restrained by law and punishment. So we pass laws for that minority of millions that just cannot play nice without the threat of punishment.

  190. Thanks unions for destroying yet another business. Unions have outlived their usefulness. Yet another twisted metal fireball of a wreckage caused by obama’s getting another election. All those fraudulent votes are helping our economy go from bad to worse in this sickening tailspin.

  191. “Thanks unions for destroying yet another business. Unions have outlived their usefulness. Yet another twisted metal fireball of a wreckage caused by obama’s getting another election. All those fraudulent votes are helping our economy go from bad to worse in this sickening tailspin.”

    Hubert,

    How sad that you don’t realize that you will be damned in Hell for your lack of understanding of what Jesus really was saying. Jesus would be a member of the Carpenter’s Union and voted for the Democratic Party. You would be seen by him as a Philistine. I pray for your soul.

  192. hUBERT:

    Unions are not un-American, everyone has a right to sell their labor for the most they can get. And Jesus would agree as long as you gave unto Caesar and 10% to God.

    However I dont think Jesus would vote for democrats due to abortion. That I knew you in the womb stuff kinda predicts against it.

    I also dont think unions have outlived their usefulness, they just need to start spending more money on the rank and file and less on politicians.

    As to the Philistine part? You are somewhat dogmatic.

  193. @Bron: Actually, Jesus was opposed to money in general. Depend on God, ask and ye shall receive, look at the poppies of the field, they do no work and yet God provides for them. Be like them.

    Jesus was also opposed to organized church. Wherever two people gather in God’s name, God is there. The intermediary of the priest, “experts” in religion, “leaders,” and the organized church were all invented post-Jesus.

    What Jesus was saying about taxes is that the money was never yours to begin with, it is the property of the man that put his picture on it, so give it back to him if he demands it.

    (I am an atheist for anybody reading that doesn’t know that already. But I am an atheist that did my homework and read the Bible).

  194. So my point was, JESUS would demand no money whatsoever, he had no need of it and would encourage you to spend all of it on the poor and needy without him as an intermediary. I think Jesus would be appalled at a church in his name demanding any money at all.

  195. @Hubert: Unions were a private-sector response to the failures of government, to ensure that workers were being treated safely and fairly by employers.

    As such they had a flawed inception; for example they used violence to enforce their strikes, which was a way of enforcing their “law” against the employer. Violence should be reserved to the State, but the State was in corrupt and in bed with the wealthy industrialists even then, and thus was created the failure of government that could only be corrected by private violence.

    Eventually, because of unions, the State did do its job and pass laws that protected workers (and unions), because even the unions did not want the risk of enforcement. So in that sense, as we have protected workers better, the usefulness of unions is declining.

    But they will not have outlived their usefulness until the fair conditions, fair pay, and fair legal standing with respect to other debtors is 100% law. That just isn’t true yet.

  196. Tony C:

    Jesus was all for productive labor. He was a carpenter after all before he walked on water.

    For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11 For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. 12 Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.

    2 Thessalonians 3:10-12

    In all toil there is profit,
    but mere talk tends only to poverty.

    Proverbs 14:23

    Go to the ant, O sluggard;
    consider her ways, and be wise.
    Without having any chief,
    officer, or ruler,
    she prepares her bread in summer
    and gathers her food in harvest.
    How long will you lie there, O sluggard?
    When will you arise from your sleep?
    10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
    a little folding of the hands to rest,
    11 and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
    and want like an armed man.

    Proverbs 6:6-11

    And yes I know you can come up with admonitions for helping the poor.

  197. For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11 For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. 12 Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.

    2 Thessalonians 3:10-12
    —————————————————
    Bron, there is a world of difference between ‘willing’ and ‘able’ and most of the outcry today is not for money for nothing, it is for decent jobs and decent wages….in fact the ever rising ranks of those with 2,3 and sometimes 4 jobs just to maintain poverty level incomes is probably the reason for many abortions….and Jesus knows it……

  198. Bron: Actually, I was talking about the Biblical Jesus Christ, and you are not. Clearly those passages are not quoting Jesus Christ; they are other writers offering an opinion and interpretation.

    And Woosty is right; and I agree; if somebody CAN work they should, but there are reasons for being unable to work and earn a living, including old age, young age, illness, and a local economy in which no job is to be had. Even the inability to leave the local economy, due to lack of funds.

    Once again, we Lefties recognize those realities, the difference between being willing to work and FINDING work, and we believe the right thing to do is mediate the brutality of reality and help cover the gaps. We don’t like free riders any more than you do, we just aren’t going to throw good lives under the bus on the off-chance a free rider gets through once in a while. Some risks are worth taking.

  199. Woosty:

    I wish the economy was better too. But I just saw a report on the number of skilled jobs that are not being filled because there are not enough people with those skills. Jobs like welders, machinists, electricians, HVAC repair, auto mechanics.

    Everybody wants to go to college and thinks that is the way to a better life. It is a myth.

  200. Bron
    1, November 23, 2012 at 9:29 am
    Woosty:

    I wish the economy was better too.
    —————-
    wriggle wriggle wriggle….blah

  201. @Bron: Associates degrees (first two years of college) are available for welder, machinist, electrician. My university has junior college affiliates so those credits will transfer toward Bachelor’s degrees in appropriate fields, even if some transfer as electives.

    I would (and have) recommended that route for numerous high school graduates; including my daughter: Arrange to receive an applicable degree every two years. Her first degree, for example, was an associate’s degree as a paralegal. Or for another family member, an associate’s in computer programming before a bachelor’s in computer science. You can become an electrician on the way to becoming an electrical engineer, a mechanic on the way to becoming a mechanical engineer. Practicality first.

    @Bron: Everybody wants to go to college and thinks that is the way to a better life. It is a myth.

    No, it is not a myth. Statistics contradict you, people with degrees and credentials make more money, period, they do less physical labor, period, they have more professional flexibility and are more satisfied with their work life, period. We would have to redefine “a better life” for that to be false.

    The statistics report what Logic alone should tell us: If a person without a degree could land and perform in a job, that ability is not sabotaged in any way by them learning more in college. Credentials can only increase their flexibility and their options, and that translates into a “better life” of doing more of what they want and less of what they don’t want.

    A four year degree lets somebody be a public school teacher or a military officer, jobs not available to those without them. A Master’s degree trumps a Bachelor’s on a resume. A PhD lets somebody become a full professor at a four year university; if that is your goal you need one. And you might be able to pass the bar without a J.D., but if you want to be a lawyer for a living, you best attend a law school. If you want to be a medical doctor, you best attend medical school. A “better life” is doing what you want to do, if somebody wants to be an M.D. then college leads them to “a better life.”

    The reality of the world is that credentialism and GPA works. Having been on the employer-side of the interview desk, I want to see that the degree was earned with a decent GPA, and it is a long shot to spend time and effort trying to learn if somebody can do the job without it.

    I am no different than the vast majority of employers; we have to make shallow snap judgments to winnow twenty candidates to four worth interviewing, and this is how we all do it. If I see a misspelled word on a resume, it goes in the NO pile; If I see information unrelated to any job, it goes in the NO pile; if I see them trying to inflate their work experience, it goes in the NO pile (Paper boy does not count as an “entrepreneurial CEO experience,” and nobody was the “Chief Operating Officer” of the fry station.)

    The business world is necessarily shallow. Finishing even an associate’s degree with a 3.0 GPA or better really does prove something about the person. Namely that they are capable of learning something and achieving what they are told matters in the way they are told to do it, not just what they think matters and how they think it should be done. I do not want the latter working for me. My employees do not get to do things their way unless they can prove first that they know the old way backward and forward, because they will have to explain precisely why their way is superior to the old way. They cannot do that unless they know the old way, and finishing their degree with a high GPA shows me that foundation is (probably) there.

    College matters, and by any definition of “a better life” I can think of, it certainly increases the chances of achieving that.

  202. Tony C:

    “We don’t like free riders any more than you do, we just aren’t going to throw good lives under the bus on the off-chance a free rider gets through once in a while. Some risks are worth taking.”

    Who do you consider a free rider?

  203. Tony C:

    If you become a welder, you can make over $60,000 per year. If you own a fabricating shop you can probably make over $100,000. Same with plumbers and electricians and HVAC techs. Highly trained machinists the same.

    Only about 30% of the population has a college degree and most college degrees are not in the sciences. About 75,000 engineering Bachelors degrees are awarded every year. Not all are to Americans.

    Unless you go into management the top salary for an engineer is around $150,000 per year. Easily obtainable by a plumber or electrician who does their own thing.

  204. College is a preparation for working for the “man”. Learn how to take orders and become a zombie worker. Dont think, just do. Perfect little automatons in service to corporations.

    But then since you are in academia, you have a dog in that fight.

  205. @Bron: A free rider is a person that violates the spirit and intent of a law (or actually commits a fraud) for personal gain.

    Receiving a social security disability check when one has an actual disability presented realistically is not free riding; receiving one by exaggerating the disability, pretending it is worse than it is, or faking a disability is free riding.

    Using roads that the public fully intended to be used by anybody is not free riding, using Medicaid because one really is a Walmart worker on the edge of poverty is not free riding.

    When the public favors a program, especially by a wide margin, they intend for it to help certain recipients. A free rider is somebody gaining personal benefits from the social safety net under false pretenses, or even without that, under circumstances where the majority of citizens that were in favor of that particular social safety net would plausibly consider this particular beneficiary as cheating the system or exploiting an unintended loophole or flawed language in the law that should be corrected.

    I personally consider it free riding when somebody cheats on their taxes, they are aiming to get the benefits and protections of living in their country, state, and county without paying for the full ride.

    We (Leftists) want people to work and pay their way if they can, and we want to help those that cannot, either temporarily or permanently. We want people to get a fair start in life, with nutrition, safety, health care and education, regardless of how well or badly their parents have done in the economic lottery. That is our intent, and unfortunately it is difficult to craft law and policy and language that properly divides people into those two categories with 100% certainty, especially in the presence of corruption and political influence by those that care only about themselves.

  206. @Bron: I’ve worked for myself practically from the beginning, so twelve years of college didn’t teach ME to work “for the man.” In fact, I believe it taught me the opposite, to have little respect for anything other than ideas. College taught me to disrespect credentials; because I met many a PhD that was just stupidly dogmatic (and I still think so). So did my work experience, I met many a CEO I considered just stupidly dogmatic as well.

    For me it was college that demythologized the world class scientists like Newton, Bohr, Einstein and others, that showed me their errors, prejudices and human foibles, dumb statements and dumb beliefs. And in particular that all that didn’t matter, because what matters is individually perfected ideas and arguments, not the swamp from which they sprang.

    College doesn’t teach kids to work for the man. College frees kids by giving them the power to see reality as it is, and it gives them options to exercise in avoiding “the man” and finding instead a collaborative workplace with a manager that listens to reason.

  207. Bron,

    Tony is correct. College is the place where most people gain critical thinking skills. That’s hardly preparation for “working for the man”. In fact, it’s usually antithetical to taking orders without question. However, there is a training regimen that does create that kind of worker but it isn’t academia.

    And what raff said.

    I want to know why these guys aren’t being charged with larceny.

  208. @Nal: Wow, good catch with that article. Then …. sigh. As the article says, a very good argument for social security.

  209. http://youtu.be/k5_NI2CFdPU (from the Juan Cole link posted by Nal)

    ” In turn, the money inevitably supported the executives’ own bonuses. (This practice is not illegal in the US, just tacky.) -Juan Cole

    If it isn’t illegal, it should be.

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