A Locke for the Reality Challenged

A blog in the tradition of Carneades, Xenophanes, and Montaigne.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Corprate Scam.....

Wow! Thats exactly my thought today. This is the best scam since Enron. Only the scammer is the CEO of United Airlines, Glenn F Tilton. I quote from the NY Times article....

"United is one of the proudest names in airline history. It has long been a synonym for fine service and extensive, convenient routes. In the early 1990's, when some investment bankers were casting around for a way to make tens of millions of dollars, they came up with a doozy: the employees of UAL would give up some of their salaries and benefits in exchange for stock in UAL, eventually becoming UAL's largest owner through an employee stock ownership plan.

The deal went through — with staggering compensation to Wall Street — and in 1994 the American employees of UAL, as a group, became its largest owners. Within a few years, overseas personnel were allowed the privilege of tossing their life savings into UAL, too.

Trouble was not far behind. The employees found management demanding pay cuts, big (and, for passengers, inconvenient) changes and cuts in scheduling and services, and even silly changes in their once-great flight attendant uniforms. Then came the blows of 9/11 and a recession, and then rising fuel costs. There were demands for more cuts in pay and benefits and more layoffs. That was not enough. About three years ago, UAL was "forced" to enter bankruptcy to stay alive.

This step meant that UAL could drastically cut workers' pay — and it did. Pensions were simply jettisoned and made the burden of the federal government's Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, which meant cuts of close to two-thirds in some pilots' pension payments. And, of course, the bankruptcy simply eliminated all of that equity in UAL that the employees had bought with their hard-earned savings.

Thus, in a series of evil events, management of UAL basically ruined the lives of the employee-owners, if that is not putting too fine a point on it, by taking away their savings, incomes and pensions."

Well thats just peachy. But I bet that some of my old IBM friends are just a little uneasy. Someone better stop these bastards or we will all be eating gruel when we retire, except for the CEO's and other upper officers. When will the average citizen wake up and start electing officials who are not fascists? Thats a teaser for my next post.

Friday, January 27, 2006

DRM against Apple?

I bought a DVD yesterday and when I looked at the summery on the back I happened to read the fine print at the bottom of the page. This is what it said.......

This DVD will not work in a CD-ROM drive and the DVD-ROM features are not available on Apple Macintosh.

What I want to know is why are they discriminating against Apple? I use an ibook for my laptop and when I travel I take it and usually some DVD's with me. But obviously I will not be taking this DVD with me. And I will write New Line Home Entertainment about this.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Now if they will only do it here !

The Union of European Beverages Association has agreed to limit their 'youth advertising' and control sales in schools. The European Union has determined that obesity will become a significant health problem for its citizens and a drain on its health care resources. Its too bad this can't happen in the US. But our schools (most of them, anyway) seem to 'need' the money from the soda/pop machines. The school district my children go to have pop machines in the school but they do not allow you to drink it in the school. Then I learned last week they had an important meeting because the revenue from the machines were not meeting expectations. Hmmm, wonder why? Sure wish the schools would just teach the students how to think. I suppose I am asking too much.
Link to story.....

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A New Begining......

This is a new blog about many eclectic subjects. This will be for the reality challenged and those who believe in the power of reason. I will be discussing just whatever strikes me that day. It might be a conversation I have had or an article I read on the net or one of the talking heads on the TV. I hope you enjoy what I have to say or at least you will know I made you think. That will be my objective. Thank you.