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Twisties

It's not very hard to boggle my mind...

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Twisties

Bleach Enemas?????

 

Seriously, we've had such a backlash against science and fact:  Anti-vaxx, Global Warming and Evolution denialism and such a growth in conspiracy theories:  Birtherism, Chemtrails, Pizzagate, Sandyhook, even 911 and landing on the moon and so many more, that I'm not sure why I'm shocked by this.  

 

Here we have many of the very same people that won't give their kids a proven safe and effective vaccine, a modern miracle, over fears of all sorts, but they will subject their child to this against all reason. 

 

I read today, as well, people are rejecting vitamin K injections for newborns... no evidence of harm and bleeding deaths all but eliminated...  smh.

 

Some of these people are intelligent, otherwise well informed, successful, etc...

 

What leads to this?  What are the common denominators?  What does this say about us a people and our future as a nation?

 

 

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BendBill

I miss the good old days when pamphlet mongers needed a mimeograph in their basement to spread idiocies.  Now they have the web and 24/7 news.  Adrienne LaFrance of The Atlantic summed it up in her 2017 article, which began with 2000 year-old contemporary rumors swirling around Nero’s role in Rome’s burning:  

 

“Conspiracy theories flourish when people feel vulnerable. They thrive on paranoia. It has always been this way.

 

So it’s understandable that, at this chaotic moment in global politics, conspiracy theories seem to have seeped out from the edges of society and flooded into mainstream political discourse. They’re everywhere.

 

That’s partly because of the richness of today’s informational environment. In Nero’s day, conspiracy theories were local. Today, they’re global. The web has made it easier than ever for people to watch events unfold in real time. Any person with a web connection can participate in news coverage, follow contradicting reports, sift through blurry photos, and pick out (or publish) bad information. The democratization of internet publishing and the ceaseless news cycle work together to provide a never-ending deluge of raw material that feeds conspiracy theories of all stripes.”

 

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/06/the-normalization-of-conspiracy-culture/530688/

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greiffster
7 hours ago, BendBill said:

That’s partly because of the richness of today’s informational environment. In Nero’s day, conspiracy theories were local. Today, they’re global. The web has made it easier than ever for people to watch events unfold in real time. Any person with a web connection can participate in news coverage, follow contradicting reports, sift through blurry photos, and pick out (or publish) bad information. The democratization of internet publishing and the ceaseless news cycle work together to provide a never-ending deluge of raw material that feeds conspiracy theories of all stripes.”

 

 

Careful, we have a Flat-Earther at our office.  Us globe-heads have been brainwashed by the "Elite" for years.  Go down that rabbit hole for a while......

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Bud

There is a certain segment of the population which is anti-science. They have been encouraged by politicians who also question science when it doesn't jive with their personal ideologies. Just look at the current events in DC where scientists are censored when their findings differ from the political company line.

 

It doesn't bode well for our society. 

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John

I gave the thorium a good run the other day over transcontinental Australia...

 

99F10662-C04F-4FF1-9C14-AC3B71181E23.jpeg.2d79ed6a374c8a709e2cb4d094b44efb.jpeg

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Twisties

But who is Nichel?  Is she cute?

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Bill_Walker
On 5/21/2019 at 9:34 PM, Twisties said:

Seriously, we've had such a backlash against science and fact:  Anti-vaxx, Global Warming and Evolution denialism and such a growth in conspiracy theories:  Birtherism, Chemtrails, Pizzagate, Sandyhook, even 911 and landing on the moon and so many more, that I'm not sure why I'm shocked by this.  

 

You forgot to mention Jade Helm 15: https://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/05/02/403865824/texas-governor-deploys-state-guard-to-stave-off-obama-takeover

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Bill_Walker
On 5/25/2019 at 9:37 AM, Twisties said:

Russians again...  Texas Tribune....

 

Yep.  That's when they figured out how easy it was to manipulate some Americans.

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mickeym3

The dumming down of America has been  going on for generations.  Television was the start but guess it was a necessary evil since you won’t find the whole story in a newspaper and television opened our eyes to the whole world, both the good and the bad. At this point as long as most people have beer and sports television they are content to believe what they see on FB and the MSM. A pitiful state to be sure. 

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Mike

I think one needs to start with the assumption that everyone’s lying, since we’ve seen it in abundance...politicians may top the list, but corporations, political activists, journalists, news reporters, and scientists have all gotten in on it.  

 

Social media plays lays a role, but our traditional news media have exacerbated it, and have abdicated their responsibility, in favor of clicks and page impressions.  

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greiffster
3 hours ago, Mike said:

I think one needs to start with the assumption that everyone’s lying, since we’ve seen it in abundance...politicians may top the list, but corporations, political activists, journalists, news reporters, and scientists have all gotten in on it.  

 

Social media plays lays a role, but our traditional news media have exacerbated it, and have abdicated their responsibility, in favor of clicks and page impressions.  

 

that's depressing.

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Antimatter

Anyone watch 'Good Night, and Good Luck'?  The traditional media has always been more interested in selling advertisements rather than telling the truth.  As far as America getting stupider, the US has always been a country ruled by superstition and fear.  You have to remember that after the indigenous people were wiped out, America was settled by a bunch of religious nut-balls.  Since then, we've lurched from one crisis to another, usually based on the fear of the 'other' (black people, gay people, communists, socialists, etc.)  As far as I can tell, this stuff is like a merry-go-round;  oh, look, here comes the fear of gay people and communists again.  The rich need to scarf up some more resources?  (Looks at watch), must be time for another bout of fear of immigrants.  Defense contractor needs a new swimming pools?  Time for another 'war on terrorism' somewhere that'll involve a lot of guided munitions.  Or can we sell a bunch of stuff to our 'allies' in the Middle East.  That'll be good for another year of private school tuition for the kids.

The US was founded by a group of rich, white tax-dodgers.  Spreading fear to allow the 1% to grab more stuff is what we do.  America isn't getting more stupid, the stupid is just spread faster than it used to be.  

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Marty Hill

Antimatter, so sad and so true.

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mickeym3

A bit too jaded IMO, if I felt that way I would seriously look for another country to take up residence in. 

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Antimatter
13 hours ago, mickeym3 said:

A bit too jaded IMO, if I felt that way I would seriously look for another country to take up residence in. 

 

This is my home.  I'm lucky to live in a liberal, tax and spend state, so I work pretty hard to keep things 'nice' here.  We consistently have some of the highest voter participation in the country, so I know that the majority (here, at least) agrees with how I feel.

My opinion is that the America that was is known in popular culture is something that is actually a recent invention, and something we're working to still realize.  Since the frontier was closed, we've been working to improve our society, with the recognition of LGBTQ rights being the latest chapter of the struggle.  The failure of globalism is leading to a rise in nationalism, as folks who are frightened about their futures are easy pickings for demagogues and other extremists.  But, as I mentioned before, the cyclical nature of history makes me realize that each one of these episodes will end with us confronting another aspect of the dark river (racism) that runs through America's history.  I worry that each step forward only comes with a large number of dead and displaced people (as we're seeing in the Middle East), and I also worry that the sins we're committing to keep the oil flowing will come back to haunt us.  But when we empower people, things get better.  I just want us all the recognize that our history has a lot of bad things associated with it, but that if we confront it, we'll all be the better for it.

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Marty Hill

Got some serious morons in that part of the country.

 I served 15 years in the USCG so I will stay but try not to meet the morons.

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John
On 5/31/2019 at 9:34 AM, mickeym3 said:

A bit too jaded IMO, if I felt that way I would seriously look for another country to take up residence in. 

And there I was, thinking of moving over there :grin:

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Bud
3 hours ago, John said:

And there I was, thinking of moving over there :grin:

 

Sorry John, we are full up. :whistle:

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Selden

If you have never seen it, the 2006 film Idiocracy is worth watching. President Camacho's State of the Union address is a classic.

 

 

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John
18 hours ago, Bud said:

 

Sorry John, we are full up. :whistle:

Full of what, Bud? 😂

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Stir
On 5/31/2019 at 6:06 AM, Antimatter said:

 

This is my home.  I'm lucky to live in a liberal, tax and spend state, so I work pretty hard to keep things 'nice' here.  We consistently have some of the highest voter participation in the country, so I know that the majority (here, at least) agrees with how I feel.
 

 

This is my home.  I’m unlucky enough to live in a liberal, tax and spend state.  San Francisco is a literal sh*thole and people are paid to pick up the feces and needles marked by others on an app.  I’ve never seen such a huge homeless problem.  In San Diego, the tents stretch for miles on the freeways.  Meanwhile, those caring, woke politicians fund illegal aliens to the detriment of our veterans, seniors and homeless.  Liberal politicians pass laws making it illegal to be homeless.  Thankfully, lawyers have taken up the cause to get those laws nullified.  Look at any liberal city and you see nothing but poverty and angst.  Detroit has been run by Dems for 50 years.  Great result.  Liberals are like a virus, infecting the sane and safe parts of America.  My birth location, Boise Idaho is being destroyed by liberals.  Great place to live and grow up in.  Liberals move in because it’s so great and then promptly start changing the laws to mimic the mess they left.  No guns, no hunting, no fishing, no fireworks, more permits, more fees, more taxes.  I remember a woman leaving Austin Texas.  “Why are you leaving?”  “It’s too expensive!”  But she never met a bond, fee or tax increase she could vote against.  It’s like liberals lack the ability to connect cause and effect.

 

California cap and trade raises gas prices by two $ a gallon.  My kid pays $2 for unleaded in Texas, we pay $4 for unleaded.  Electricity is very expensive with many poor being hit with a surcharge last summer for using too much.  Turns out that AC is a luxury that only the rich can afford.  I was hit with a $700 surcharge and I have solar!  My mom, a senior on a fixed income, was hit with $500.  That money didn’t go to the utility, but into the state coffers.  The smallest amount I heard of was $300.  Year after year, a proposition passes which promises to fix our roads, or dams or schools.  The money never goes where it was intended.  The $1 increase two years ago for roads was instead diverted to pensions.  As to LGBQT..., they are waking up to the fact that liberals only use them for a vote.  Many are fortunately walking away from the plantation.  My don and father are gay.  They vote conservative.  When chastised by lessor thinking liberals, they can effectively communicate why the Democratic party has become the party of losers.  Many of their friends are walking away.

 

You may feel righteous in feeling the same as the other voters in this state, but it doesn’t make you right.  It makes you the swamp.  Conservatism is the counter culture.  Liberals practice racism and divisive politics.  Liberals cling to their mistaken beliefs that they are the champions of the down trodden when they are actually the catalyst for it. 

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Marty Hill

I had no idea that politics garbage is allowed on this site!  What a danm shame.

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roadscholar

It seems everything was groovy until a contrary opinion comes along..   

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eddd
4 hours ago, Marty Hill said:

I had no idea that politics garbage is allowed on this site!  What a danm shame.

 

Did you bother to read the disclaimer at the head of this forum?  

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eddd

There are many opinions stated by Stir along with some anecdotal statements. I don't intend to address all of them.  That being said, I recall the first time I was in California. It was 1977.  I was stunned by the air quality in the LA area.  I was so put off by it that I crossed it off my list of places to revisit.  I finally make a return visit to the area 35 years later. 

 

Fortunately, forward-looking Californians and others at the federal level recognized the gravity of the situation and took steps over the years that have produced remarkable results.  That takes money and commitment.  I'm not thrilled to pay California prices for fuel when I'm traveling in the state, but I recognize that there was a serious problem that was made significantly better and that requires money and behavioral changes. 

 

Let me use Stir's words to close...with some editing on my part:

"You may feel righteous in feeling the same as the others voters in this state, but it doesn’t make you right."

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Ponch
5 hours ago, eddd said:



"You may feel righteous in feeling the same as the others voters in this state, but it doesn’t make you right."

 

 

I prefer to say, you have a right to your feelings, but your feelings may not be right, often not.  

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Ponch
On 5/21/2019 at 9:34 PM, Twisties said:

Bleach Enemas?????

 

Seriously, we've had such a backlash against science and fact:  Anti-vaxx, Global Warming and Evolution denialism and such a growth in conspiracy theories:  Birtherism, Chemtrails, Pizzagate, Sandyhook, even 911 and landing on the moon and so many more, that I'm not sure why I'm shocked by this.  

 

Here we have many of the very same people that won't give their kids a proven safe and effective vaccine, a modern miracle, over fears of all sorts, but they will subject their child to this against all reason. 

 

I read today, as well, people are rejecting vitamin K injections for newborns... no evidence of harm and bleeding deaths all but eliminated...  smh.

 

Some of these people are intelligent, otherwise well informed, successful, etc...

 

What leads to this?  What are the common denominators?  What does this say about us a people and our future as a nation?

 

 

 

Some conspiracies are true. I prefer to be an analyst, not a theorist. Often, Occam rules, but that doesn't mean the government has our best interests at heart nor that they are truthful with us or anyone else. Michio Kaku did a video on it. 

 

 

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mickeym3

The “belief in nonsense” as Kaku puts it sounds reasonable but is contrary to the widely held belief that some phenomena is truly the work of a power far beyond our imagination.  

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Stir
On 6/2/2019 at 2:53 PM, eddd said:

There are many opinions stated by Stir along with some anecdotal statements. I don't intend to address all of them.  That being said, I recall the first time I was in California. It was 1977.  I was stunned by the air quality in the LA area.  I was so put off by it that I crossed it off my list of places to revisit.  I finally make a return visit to the area 35 years later. 

 

Fortunately, forward-looking Californians and others at the federal level recognized the gravity of the situation and took steps over the years that have produced remarkable results.  That takes money and commitment.  I'm not thrilled to pay California prices for fuel when I'm traveling in the state, but I recognize that there was a serious problem that was made significantly better and that requires money and behavioral changes. 

 

Let me use Stir's words to close...with some editing on my part:

"You may feel righteous in feeling the same as the others voters in this state, but it doesn’t make you right."

 

Yes, opinions, mine.  I remember when smog was so bad you couldn’t see 100 yards and your lungs would hurt to breathe it.  CARB did remarkable things to reduce it to minimal levels.  My issue with the gas tax is that the expenditures were not tied to the tax.  If they actually used the money to improve roads and implement useful mass transit, I’m in.  I loved using mass transit in Europe.  I didn’t need a car.  This money was used to shore up the fat public pensions that are underfunded.  

 

Every public worker’s pay is available on a gov website.  Most pensions are over 100k a year.  My mom, bless her heart earns that in retirement after 30 years as a high school teacher.  But work in the private sector, save to a 401, with SSN, you won’t produce that income for very long.  The pension system is unsustainable.

 

Several years ago, San Diego increased the local sales tax to improve the roads.  The fine print however said that only 4% of the funds would go to road repair.  The roads are merely patched.  The money went to shore up San Diego pensions.  A voter referendum to move public workers to a 401 passed.  The unions have been working to undo the will of the voters. The union is really only interested in dues.  A friend worked at Alpha Beta, a grocery store, for 20 years.  She left with a piece of paper saying she’ll get 1800 a month on retirement.  Several years ago, she got a letter saying, sorry, underfunded.  You’ll be getting 300 a month instead.

 

In the larger scheme, California panders for votes, but suggest some of those homeless shelters get built in their neighborhoods and their is massive pushback.  So much for all that liberal compassion.

 

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roadscholar

Just listened to a report on NPR no less that fires in Borneo purposely set by farmers create more pollution than the entire US for whatever that’s worth.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
14 hours ago, roadscholar said:

Just listened to a report on NPR no less that fires in Borneo purposely set by farmers create more pollution than the entire US for whatever that’s worth.

 

Reuters article on the subject.  They don't say so explicitly, but I'm sure they're talking about particulate-matter pollution, not CO2.  PM has limited residence time in the atmosphere - it eventually gets washed out by rain - so it tends to be more of a regional problem than a global one.   And since we've gotten really good at controlling PM emissions in the US, it's not hard to imagine a much smaller country being able to exceed our PM output by burning forests willy-nilly.

 

<browses web, reads some more>

 

OK, I stand corrected, sort of: Indonesia puts out a whole lot of CO2.  Not as much as the US, but it's high up on the list of bulk emitters.  Interestingly, it's not just the burning of surface vegetation (trees, grasses, etc.); it's the continued smoldering of the deep layers of peat below ground, a feature unique to that region, which hold a lot more carbon than surface vegetation.  Wow.

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longjohn
On 6/3/2019 at 7:10 PM, Stir said:

 

Yes, opinions, mine.  I remember when smog was so bad you couldn’t see 100 yards and your lungs would hurt to breathe it.  CARB did remarkable things to reduce it to minimal levels.  My issue with the gas tax is that the expenditures were not tied to the tax.  If they actually used the money to improve roads and implement useful mass transit, I’m in.  I loved using mass transit in Europe.  I didn’t need a car.  This money was used to shore up the fat public pensions that are underfunded.  

 

Every public worker’s pay is available on a gov website.  Most pensions are over 100k a year.  My mom, bless her heart earns that in retirement after 30 years as a high school teacher.  But work in the private sector, save to a 401, with SSN, you won’t produce that income for very long.  The pension system is unsustainable.

 

Several years ago, San Diego increased the local sales tax to improve the roads.  The fine print however said that only 4% of the funds would go to road repair.  The roads are merely patched.  The money went to shore up San Diego pensions.  A voter referendum to move public workers to a 401 passed.  The unions have been working to undo the will of the voters. The union is really only interested in dues.  A friend worked at Alpha Beta, a grocery store, for 20 years.  She left with a piece of paper saying she’ll get 1800 a month on retirement.  Several years ago, she got a letter saying, sorry, underfunded.  You’ll be getting 300 a month instead.

 

In the larger scheme, California panders for votes, but suggest some of those homeless shelters get built in their neighborhoods and their is massive pushback.  So much for all that liberal compassion.

 

It sounds like you're anti-union.  The graph below shows what looks to be a direct inverse relationship between union membership and income inequality.  If you're not anti union, my apologies.

 

 

 

1318517533_ScreenShot2019-09-22at3_26_03PM.png.f4df5e7996300824613a3956c7d9ead5.png

Oh and as for the homeless encampments that you say you see on the freeways, if they are on CalTrans land, CT will come out and make them move.  Now they may move right back in in the next day or two, but if you are persistent, you can make a diff.  Ask me how I know.

 

Click on this link for service request from CT:  https://csr.dot.ca.gov

 

 

 

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Stir
1 hour ago, longjohn said:

It sounds like you're anti-union.  The graph below shows what looks to be a direct inverse relationship between union membership and income inequality.  If you're not anti union, my apologies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm not for, or against unions.  In specific instances, they absolutely help workers get fair wages and benefits.  That said, why does California's poor have to bear the brunt of funding the pensions of state workers?  It is estimated that a CA family of 4 pays an extra $700 a year.   It may well be contributing to the homeless problem in California.  Why should a union retiree get a multiple of what they were earning as an employee.  I've heard from many CA state employees that yeah, they were making $70k a year, but now that they are retired, they are getting $90k a year?  Does that make sense to you.  It will if you are one of those employees enjoying a windfall at CA citizens' expense.

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longjohn
38 minutes ago, Stir said:

 

I'm not for, or against unions.  In specific instances, they absolutely help workers get fair wages and benefits.  That said, why does California's poor have to bear the brunt of funding the pensions of state workers? 

I don't know that that's true.

It is estimated that a CA family of 4 pays an extra $700 a year.   It may well be contributing to the homeless problem in California.

  Why should a union retiree get a multiple of what they were earning as an employee. 

Because that's what the union negotiated?

I've heard from many CA state employees that yeah, they were making $70k a year, but now that they are retired, they are getting $90k a year?

Everyone has anecdotes.  Canadians that I have talked to over the years have all spoken highly of their publicly funded health insurance (for instance), and yet on forums like this regressive people like to say that all the ones they talk to hate it.  Go figure.  

If you could post some links and data on, lets say CalTrans workers pay and subsequent retirement benefits, I would appreciate it.  I know that the USPS changed their retirement system shortly after I was hired on, so I was able to keep my CSRS benefits.  I'm now retired.  I'm not eligible for SS.  So I wouldn't be surprised if CA has done the same.

  Does that make sense to you.  It will if you are one of those employees enjoying a windfall and CA citizens' expense.

It sounds like you'd be happier in AL.

 

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Stir
45 minutes ago, longjohn said:

 

Why should I be happier any where else?  I grew up in California.  This is my home.  I am well off so I am able offset the money grabbing politicians.  But many people are not able to do so.  The middle class is leaving California in droves.  California is number one in poverty.  Yea!  Liberals did that, as they have done in every other liberal US utopia.  Point to a single Democrat controlled success story.

As to providing links, a simple Google search reveals this on the very first link.

https://publicpay.ca.gov/

 

The site contains millions of anecdotes, so at what point does an anecdote become a fact?

In addition, you mention that CT will come move those homeless off the freeway.  That wasn't the point.  Moving them isn't addressing the problem.  They are still there, but are now living in the riverbeds.  Not very compassionate.  My solution would be to take the funds from the pension system and give it to the homeless.  That would be the kind and humane solution.  It seems that if some state retirees started living in tents along the freeway, maybe we could make progress on the homeless problem.

 

M

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John Ranalletta
3 hours ago, longjohn said:

It sounds like you're anti-union.  The graph below shows what looks to be a direct inverse relationship between union membership and income inequality.  If you're not anti union, my apologies.

 

 

 

1318517533_ScreenShot2019-09-22at3_26_03PM.png.f4df5e7996300824613a3956c7d9ead5.png

Oh and as for the homeless encampments that you say you see on the freeways, if they are on CalTrans land, CT will come out and make them move.  Now they may move right back in in the next day or two, but if you are persistent, you can make a diff.  Ask me how I know.

 

Click on this link for service request from CT:  https://csr.dot.ca.gov

 

 

 

 

For back gound: My dad walked with John L Lewis to help form the Progressive Miners' Union when they carried their dead back from picket lines manned by "company union" goons.  My family's life was much improved by Pop's membership in the now defunct UMW.  The UMW monthly newspaper was always on our coffee table.  

 

In the early 80s, I negotiated labor agreements and arbitrated grievances for my employer.  Never had a strike, walkout or lockout in 17 at bats at the negotiation table.  I had a good teacher and when I looked across the table, I always saw my Pop and I treated those men like I would my Pop - with respect, even if we disagreed.

 

About the chart...I'd offer there's another phenomenon afoot.  For the most part, the jobs held by union members tend to be rule and process-oriented covering the lower levels of the corporate hierarchy.  Many of the jobs once held by hourly men and women who might join a union have been disappeared.  Try to find a tool and die shop today.  In 1968 I worked for Fram in the 1000-employee, Greenville, OH filter plant.  We had a full T/D shop on two shifts.  Those jobs are gone - likely to a machine shop using 5-axis machining centers where one operator running multiple centers can design, produce, sharpen, repair press molds.

 

Plus, many "grunt work" jobs went overseas.

 

There is a personality component to union membership.  Workers tend to be ripe for organizing when the majority believe they are being treated unfairly and/or the employer treats employees as clock numbers and not real, live humans.

 

In November of 2018, I toured the Subaru plant in Lafayette.  They were preparing breakfast with Santa for 5,000 employees & family members.  On Friday nights, 2nd shift employees who are never home during the week for family dinners can have family members join them for dinner in the plant cafeteria.  The Japanese know how to avoid unions: they give rule and process-oriented employees what they need and want.

 

 

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Stir

John, you nail it perfectly.

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John Ranalletta

Bob Chappuis was my mentor and teacher.  He was chief negotiator for our company - a real man's man and physically imposing figure who worked on his needlepoint when flying to company locations on the corporate jet or commercial.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Chappuis

 

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Joe Frickin' Friday
9 hours ago, John Ranalletta said:

About the chart...I'd offer there's another phenomenon afoot.  For the most part, the jobs held by union members tend to be rule and process-oriented covering the lower levels of the corporate hierarchy.  Many of the jobs once held by hourly men and women who might join a union have been disappeared.  Try to find a tool and die shop today.  In 1968 I worked for Fram in the 1000-employee, Greenville, OH filter plant.  We had a full T/D shop on two shifts.  Those jobs are gone - likely to a machine shop using 5-axis machining centers where one operator running multiple centers can design, produce, sharpen, repair press molds.

 

Plus, many "grunt work" jobs went overseas.

 

Not only is union membership down because of shrinkage in the manufacturing sector of the economy - so is their bargaining leverage.  Paul Graham, one of the venture capitalists behind Airbnb, wrote an essay in which he suggested that back when the manufacturing sector was booming, there was plenty of money to go around and business owners were much more willing to concede some of that cash in order to keep the machines humming and the business growing as rapidly as possible:

 

Quote

Difficult though it may be to imagine now, manufacturing was a growth industry in the mid twentieth century. This was an era when small firms making everything from cars to candy were getting consolidated into a new kind of corporation with national reach and huge economies of scale. You had to grow fast or die. Workers were for these companies what servers are for an Internet startup. A reliable supply was more important than low cost.

If you looked in the head of a 1950s auto executive, the attitude must have been: sure, give 'em whatever they ask for, so long as the new model isn't delayed.

In other words, those workers were not paid what their work was worth. Circumstances being what they were, companies would have been stupid to insist on paying them so little.

If you want a less controversial example of this phenomenon, ask anyone who worked as a consultant building web sites during the Internet Bubble. In the late nineties you could get paid huge sums of money for building the most trivial things. And yet does anyone who was there have any expectation those days will ever return? I doubt it. Surely everyone realizes that was just a temporary aberration.

The era of labor unions seems to have been the same kind of aberration, just spread over a longer period, and mixed together with a lot of ideology that prevents people from viewing it with as cold an eye as they would something like consulting during the Bubble.

 

 

I'd take issue with his claim that "those workers [decades ago] were not paid what their work was worth;"  that's a strange statement coming from someone who seems fairly well attuned to cold hard economics.  If someone is willing to pay $X for a thing, then clearly that thing is worth $X to them, even if may not be worth that much at a later date.

 

Looking at the chart that longjohn posted, I'm somewhat doubtful about the purported cause/effect relationship between union membership rates and the top 1% income share.  The latter did show a drop in the 1930s with the rise of unions, but AIUI, the rising income share of the top 1% since the 1980s comes from two factors:

 

  • The uptick in top 1% income around 1980 coincides with changes in tax rates to favor those top 1%.
  • the crazy skyrocketing starting in the mid-1990s coincides nicely with the rise of the internet economy, at which point people like Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk started raking in really large sums of money that had very little to do with what was happening to the manufacturing sector or its union workers.  

As John has noted, the decline in union membership is likely much more related to the disappearance of union jobs to automation and to migration of those jobs overseas.  On the former matter, YouTube offers countless fascinating (and somewhat depressing) videos showing fully automatic processes that deliver faster, better-quality product than human workers ever could, at a fraction of the cost.  If you're bored, go to YouTube and look up "pancake stacker", "automatic salmon processor", and "automatic carrot harvester" for starters.  

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John Ranalletta

Don't lose sight of the fact that employers are getting smarter and more strategic in their thinking.  Where some companies will lay off and re-hire and even send employees home mid-shift in response to demand, companies like Toyota never (to my knowledge) laid off employees during the 08 slump.  They sent them to other plants, shared work, etc.  IOW, they're willing to take the short term hit to build long-term loyalty.

 

Drive by any industrial or distribution park in the Midwest and almost every large building sports a "Now Hiring" sign and pay much more than minimum wage and I'd wager they'll lay off in NY minute as soon as the economy tanks .

 

Uber drivers and other gig economy folks in the tech space are clamoring for unions.  Unless the state (CA) forces companies to treat gig "contractors" as employees, they will never get unions because in the gig economy niches like coding, you don't have to cross a picket line to be considered a "scab".

 

 

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Rougarou

We have represented and non-represented workers at our location.  I work closely with HR on many matters, so I get to hear both sides.  My HR rep gets the most complaints from the represented workers,....the union boss is dealing with HR daily.  From non-represented, minimal to no complaints.  We are about 60/40 non-rep to rep ratio. 

 

My irks,....the represented employee will not do xxx job if it's not in the job description,.....which is BS.  The job is whatever needs to be done to keep the company going and if you are physically/mentally able to do xxx job, than do it (oh wait, you haven't gone through "light bulb changing qualification" yet, so it's a safety factor,....geesh).  Mandatory breaks,.....c'mon, give me a break (I go to our factory at certain times to deal with issues and have to wait for them to get off their "mandatory" break).  We are an "at will" company, which I like, no reason to fire you, just send you on your merry way (although I've had many calls dealing with the letting go proceedings with legal, ethics, HR, various management, so there is a process that gets completed prior to the letting go).  If you don't like the benefits, compensation, and hours don't apply for the job, find another one.  Haven't had a raise in so many years, do better at your job, excel, grasp more responsibility, apply laterally to broaden skills.  You don't like that the CEO makes $19million a year while you only make $35k,....he or she did something to get to that position, do that "something"(not all CEOs were silver spoon kids, some, like mine, were children of immigrants where the parent came over with nothing in the pocket).

 

I'm not anti-union, I'm anti-BS and my limited experience with dealing with the union environment shows me that there is a lot of BS with the current process.  Unions had a purpose when working conditions sucked, now laws are in place so that your nine year old isn't working heavy machinery getting paid pennies without the benefit of health/medical coverage in case of accident on the job and worker's comp after injury.

 

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longjohn
On 9/22/2019 at 5:19 PM, Stir said:

Why should I be happier any where else?  I grew up in California.  This is my home.  I am well off so I am able offset the money grabbing politicians.  But many people are not able to do so.  The middle class is leaving California in droves.  California is number one in poverty.  Yea!  Liberals did that, as they have done in every other liberal US utopia.  Point to a single Democrat controlled success story.

As to providing links, a simple Google search reveals this on the very first link.

https://publicpay.ca.gov/

 

The site contains millions of anecdotes, so at what point does an anecdote become a fact?

In addition, you mention that CT will come move those homeless off the freeway.  That wasn't the point.  Moving them isn't addressing the problem.  They are still there, but are now living in the riverbeds.  Not very compassionate.  My solution would be to take the funds from the pension system and give it to the homeless.  That would be the kind and humane solution.  It seems that if some state retirees started living in tents along the freeway, maybe we could make progress on the homeless problem.

 

M

You said " I’m unlucky enough to live in a liberal, tax and spend state. "  I would think you would be happier in a state where Cons dominate the legislature like in AL, where the senate has a 27-8 majority, and the house has 77-28 majority, which sounds like a super majority.  We all tend to make our own luck in the world, by and large, so you may feel better (luckier) by moving to a state that more closely resembles your values.

Short of moving, maybe you could get your Republican Congressman, who is currently under federal indictment to author some bills that would help CA solve some of its problems.

 

It sounds like you would like the Cons to totally control this country.  I wish you luck in that, but I think it would certainly help if the Cons would diversify their membership.  The demographics are changing in this country, and the Cons seem to be ignoring that fact.   I think women in this country don't want a bunch of white men telling them what they can and can't do with their bodies.  Dem women in the House outnumber the Con women 89-13 and in the senate the diff is 17-8!  I think people of color would like to see stronger laws against voter suppression, but here again there is an imbalance.  There are 56 Black members of the House.  One is Republican, and he isn't running again.

 

 Look at the close elections in the last go 'round.  There were close races in TX and GA for the senate!  AZ now has a Dem senator, and may soon have 2!  Who would have thought?  NC has just been ordered to realign their congressional districts to fix the gerrymandering put in place by Cons, so the Dems should pick up some more seats next election.

 

You said  "The site contains millions of anecdotes, so at what point does an anecdote become a fact?"  I'm not sure.  I do know that in online political discussions both sides can often bring up anecdotes to prop up their side of the argument.  Which why I rarely get involved in them.  Minds almost never get changed.

 

The times they are a changin'.

I hope to see you in DV.    Maybe we could get Bill or Big Fish or even you to put together a ride around SD one day soon.  Temecula Days is a long way off.   The pie is good in Alpine.  Enjoy some Merry Clayton:

 

 

 

 

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longjohn
On 9/23/2019 at 4:41 AM, Living the Dream said:

We have represented and non-represented workers at our location.  I work closely with HR on many matters, so I get to hear both sides.  My HR rep gets the most complaints from the represented workers,....the union boss is dealing with HR daily.  From non-represented, minimal to no complaints.  We are about 60/40 non-rep to rep ratio. 

 

My irks,....the represented employee will not do xxx job if it's not in the job description,.....which is BS.  The job is whatever needs to be done to keep the company going and if you are physically/mentally able to do xxx job, than do it (oh wait, you haven't gone through "light bulb changing qualification" yet, so it's a safety factor,....geesh).  Mandatory breaks,.....c'mon, give me a break (I go to our factory at certain times to deal with issues and have to wait for them to get off their "mandatory" break).  We are an "at will" company, which I like, no reason to fire you, just send you on your merry way (although I've had many calls dealing with the letting go proceedings with legal, ethics, HR, various management, so there is a process that gets completed prior to the letting go).  If you don't like the benefits, compensation, and hours don't apply for the job, find another one.  Haven't had a raise in so many years, do better at your job, excel, grasp more responsibility, apply laterally to broaden skills.  You don't like that the CEO makes $19million a year while you only make $35k,....he or she did something to get to that position, do that "something"(not all CEOs were silver spoon kids, some, like mine, were children of immigrants where the parent came over with nothing in the pocket).

 

I'm not anti-union, I'm anti-BS and my limited experience with dealing with the union environment shows me that there is a lot of BS with the current process.  Unions had a purpose when working conditions sucked, now laws are in place so that your nine year old isn't working heavy machinery getting paid pennies without the benefit of health/medical coverage in case of accident on the job and worker's comp after injury.

 

In my former work location the union was involved almost every day, but that can certainly vary with the manager.  The last manager I had appeared to be suffering from a Napolean complex, and would write me up once or twice a month.  I ended up filing EEO complaints against him which usually got his allegations dismissed.  So unions certainly do have a place in todays work force, not only to protect the workers from an over zealous management, but to give the workers, union and non union alike better pay and benefits.  

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realshelby

Right to Work laws

 

Anybody think those were passed to protect workers?

 

I know Unions create problems for businesses. I also know about working conditions that got unions started. I know that unions screwed themselves with poor leadership, corruption, and organizing groups that maybe should not be organized. Sounds like they would be good in politics!

 

But one thing overlooked here is the quality of work a Union job used to represent. Yes, I know about the refusal to do work "not in my class" and many other things that union workers have taken advantage of. And I mean taken advantage of in a way that the employer is just as responsible. I would be glad to get into that more....

 

The Unions that represented steel workers, heavy equipment operators, coal miners, and many of the manufacturing jobs had the most highly skilled workers. You wanted to be on a union job because they had the best workers. That is how and where you learned to be your best. It also paid more, had better benefits. One big factor in reduction of union jobs....is that the jobs they held are no longer around. Fault of the union? Probably is a factor in some cases. But not in coal mining. Not in the steel industry. Or others. Competition from China is a bigger factor than unions. Changing environmental concerns. Changing dynamics in business ( cheap natural gas is the biggest factor in pushing out coal). 

 

 

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lawnchairboy

I would invite anyone who is unhappy in the US, wherever they are, to travel for a while outside the country.  In my active duty days, I always felt like kissing the ground when I got back. 

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Antimatter
1 hour ago, lawnchairboy said:

I would invite anyone who is unhappy in the US, wherever they are, to travel for a while outside the country.  In my active duty days, I always felt like kissing the ground when I got back. 

I had a good time in New Zealand.  Different culture, but I could live there.  Ditto Italy.  Some things would drive me nuts, but the Italian's placing family and happiness over capitalism isn't the worst thing in the world. 

Peru and South America were an interesting study in what happens when you have a landed over-class that doesn't share social mobility with the rest of the population.  Not for me, but I had a good time in Cusco and the Amazon rain forest.  Trinidad and Tobago were really interesting, too.  Their proximity to Venezuela made for some interesting conversations.  Tobago especially-super friendly people, but it helps to have a local to point you towards stuff that can be hard for a tourist to find. 

I usually kiss the ground after a long and/or bumpy plane ride,  but that has more to do with survival instincts than geography.

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lawnchairboy

I agree with you on New Zealand.  It is a beautiful place with nice folks. 

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Patallaire
19 hours ago, longjohn said:

My irks,....the represented employee will not do xxx job if it's not in the job description,.....which is BS.

I owned a company many years ago which was a paper distributor.  We sold to Restaurants, etc.  One day our dock worker wasn't  there so I went down to unload a truck which just arrived.  Mind you we were non-union.  6 total employees.  As the driver opened his truck it was the 200 cases/rolls of aluminum foil we ordered, each roll was 10#, so i went in stacked up 5 on my arms and as I walked out, the driver yelled, "Put those down!" I did, I thought there was something wrong or they weren't ours.  He looked at me and said, "You are not allowed to carry more then one at a time, Union rules." I was dumbfounded!  After a few choice words that I shared with him, I emptied the truck with no help from him.  All I could think of was no wonder nothing gets done in a timely fashion and at a reasonable cost.  I had the truck unloaded in 15 minutes, he would have taken at least an hour, with breaks.  Crazy

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Stir
On 11/1/2019 at 6:00 AM, lawnchairboy said:

I would invite anyone who is unhappy in the US, wherever they are, to travel for a while outside the country.  In my active duty days, I always felt like kissing the ground when I got back. 

I understand this.  Even working in Switzerland and I was happy to get back home.

Long John thinks I should move to Alabama.  Why would I do that?  I live on a ranch in the mountains of California.  Me, along with most of RED rural California doesn't like the politics and policies that arise out of San Francisco.  The problems they face, and the problems they create aren't shared by the majority of the state.  It's just that the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles run rough shod over the wishes of the people who live in 80% of the state.  Those same cities have a massive homeless problem.  Those same cites have huge budget problems.  Those idiots want to make their problems, our problems.  My neighbors, for miles around are conservatives.  But the liberals have the bright idea to bring in people from the south, who like social policies.  We get the mandatory advertising coming across the border.  "What can the government do for you today?"  Free stuff and yet they still flee.

 

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