Archive for April 30, 2009

Ah the joys of public sector unions

Posted: April 30, 2009 by datechguy in local stuff, oddities
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Was at the post office today to quickly pick up stamps since I had a bill or two to pay. I noticed that the stamp machine was down. Fortunately there was no line so I was able to get my stamps quickly.

While there I asked how long the machine was down, the clerk told me that it was down permanently. The order came from on high to shut it.

This didn’t make any sense to me since it would make the normally long lines even longer. It didn’t make much sense to her either but that was the order.

On my way home I stopped at Romano’s Mkt and told the story to Mike. Since the guy who used to maintain those machines lived upstairs of the market he had interesting details to tell.

Apparently my local post office wanted to add another clerk to shorten the lines. As money is tight they needed to move someone to the clerk line. The fellow who maintains the machines was elected.

I asked why he couldn’t just fill the machines in the spare time? Well under the union contract the maintenance of the machine is classified as a full time position, the clerks can’t touch them. This had been a sweet deal for the fellow since it didn’t take 40 hours a week to maintain the machines so he was on easy street.

So the post office had two bad options to choose from: Continuing to give full time pay for part time work, or make him a clerk but eliminate the stamp machines. They choose the later likely figuring at least he would have to work for his pay.

Thus a foolish union rule made a government agency less responsive to the public while appearing as a positive on the accounting books.

As the public sector grows under this president expect to see a lot more of this efficiency all across the board.

…when they choose to support either a primary challenge to him and if that fails his republican opponent. You might remember that in Louisiana governor’s race the cry from the republicans was “Vote for the crook, it’s important.” back in 1991. I wouldn’t bet a whole lot of money on it.

Breast cancer at 10.

Posted: April 30, 2009 by datechguy in oddities
Tags: ,

I’ve been getting more and more cynical over the years but this story really is a sad one:

“They told me it was not breast cancer, because breast cancer does not happen to children,” said Carrie Auslam, Hannah’s mother.

In mid-April, test results came back with a shocking diagnosis – Hannah has Stage IIA Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, an adult form of breast cancer. The rest of the tumor, which had grown around blood vessels in Hannah’s breast, would have to be removed.

Her uncle’s blog chronicling her fight is here. You can donate to give the family a hand here.

Update: Welcome if you are coming from the our little sweetpea blog. Feel free to take a look around. May I suggest that if you are looking for two charities that are also worth your time check out Marriage Encounter which help people strengthen their marriages:

The First Mate has a great suggestion: try taking a walk through a local cemetery. Read the inscriptions on the markers or headstones. You won’t find any that say: “Drove a really cool car.” “She visited the French Riviera.” “His suits were all tailor-made.” “Got broadband Internet connections before everyone else on his block.” You’re going to see what people will really remember you for: “Beloved husband.” “Devoted wife.” “Loving father and mother.”

It’s all about building families, and that starts with the marriage.

My second suggested charity is called Soldiers Angels. It helps and supports troops deployed overseas in a number of different ways. You can send care packages, adopt a solder or through their project Valor IT help pay for a voice operated laptop for a disabled soldier.

Nordlinger on a roll

Posted: April 30, 2009 by datechguy in opinion/news
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I haven’t even finished today’s Impromptus column and it is necessary to link to it and quote two bits of it.

First on Sen Specter:

Beware the politician who needs the office.

Second on Perez of Israel:

I want to examine something that appeared in an Associated Press report, here. We read, “Peres, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, is a world-renowned Mideast peacemaker, while Netanyahu has a hawkish reputation.”

1) Peres is a renowned peacemaker, is he? Okay: What peace has he made? Ms. AP Reporter, please tell me what peace he has made. People in the Middle East will be curious to know, too.

2) Sometimes the hawks are in the best position to make peace — see Menachem Begin.

3) Peres and Rabin shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Yasser Arafat — lest one has forgotten.

Okay, I think three’s enough points for now.

Awesome, simply awesome. You want principled conservatism and straightforward truth? Here it is.