Saturday, June 24, 2017

ROYALS...AGAIN

I know, I know, you get sick of my posts about the Royals, but get this--they played in KC today, Saturday, June 24 and broke above .500 for the first time this season. Now 37-36 and still before the All-Star Break.

I think the last time I mentioned the Royals, they had slumped to something like 8 games under .500. This a big accomplishment. Ok, we are still not in the same stratosphere as Houston with 50 wins, but not bad.

Back to respectable, and that is pretty good.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

MEXICAN CONSTRUCTION WORKERS




My cynical side wonders if the reason California is so eager to harbor illegal immigrants with their sanctuary city business is so they can have their gardeners and maids. Frankly, I still don’t understand why the “illegal” part is overlooked so blithely.

Had an interesting conversation today, however, with a long-time client. Kirk is in the specialty construction business, and he said we have to figure out a way to get Mexicans into our country to work. That doesn’t mean they have to be citizens, as a lot of them are not seeking citizenship. They want to work and make some money, and the fact is that white and black Americans do not want to work in the construction industry.

He said that about 25% of their work force is Mexican, and they are the “nicest, hard-working, skilled, pleasant, loyal” people he knows. They are just good folks, and he said they are “good with their hands,” which might be because they have grown up working, not sitting in front of a TV or a game console.

Another client, Dennis, operated a demolition contracting business in Phoenix. I asked if he ever had black or white employees in the field force. “Yeah, once in a while, but they just stand around and watch the Mexicans do the work.” He stopped hiring white laborers. You still have to hire black workers, but they don’t last long.

When my mother’s youngest brother came back to California after WWII, he married (converted to Catholicism, see below) and eventually went to work for the fledgling firm United Parcel Service driving one of their ubiquitous brown trucks. At that time, UPS preferred to hire young, white, Catholic men from the Midwest. Young=strong. White=the times. Catholic=guilt, reinforced by their Midwestern work ethic. They were sued to stop hiring that way, of course, but employers want to have the work done.

Our young people are told to go to college when some of them might be better off to take up a trade. They have not been prepared to work with their hands, to do manual labor. It is hard and beneath them. The Mexican workers Kirk and Dennis referred to have not been brainwashed that way. They are much like those young, strong, white, Catholic Midwestern farm boys back in the day.

As you all know, I trust the observations and word of people I know and trust so much more than the media, so I’m going to say that my opinion right now is that we need to figure out, as a nation, how to utilize the energy, strength, skill and loyalty of Mexican workers who want to perform in the construction industry in the US. They are not taking jobs away from deserving white guys—in fact, a lot of the white guys are in unions that are disappearing since they just can’t get the job done.

Side note: The Governor of Missouri signed the right-to-work law in February 2017. That’s the end of unions in that state.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Almost June

Yeah, I know, it isn't June yet, but the Royals are in last place in the AL Central, 7.5 games back. This is not good.

Off to a terrible start and it isn't getting better. The unlikely Twins who swept the Royals to start the season are in first and cruisin'.

You never know what's going to happen in baseball...well, maybe this time we do.

Bask in the glory of those two seasons, ahhhh.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Dragonflies



Dragon Flies

Scientists have discovered that female dragonflies play dead when their eggs have been fertilized and the male is no longer needed.

Why do so many wives think this is amusing? There is so much about the ways of the world I just don’t understand.

Monday, April 3, 2017

SOMETHING YOU WON'T SEE

Here's something you won't see in your browsers. The media chooses to ignore stuff like this:

Alan Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum ...  cited data showing in emissions-sensitive southern California, more particulates come from brake dust and tire wear than from heavy diesel trucks.

Some time ago, an ultra-liberal (to the extent that he hated the country so much he moved to Brazil...wonder if he could lure Whoopi, etc??) correspondent chided me for mentioning something that was not from "national" media, like the NYT. Scoffed at my "trade publications." 

Unfortunately, these days you have to go to alternative sources, like trade publications, to piece together accurate information. You sure as the world don't get it from the NYT. 

The quote above is from Heavy Duty Trucking (HDT). "The magazine traces its beginnings back to the beginning days of trucking in the early 1900s and a regional publication called Western Drayman & Warehouseman."

If you have an interest in a topic, you might do well to go to that trade publication. Hopefully, you get a high quality editorial staff. HDT has won more than 100 top journalism awards and not just biased blather.



Monday, March 27, 2017

LEGGINGS

How silly can people be. Employees know that in order to fly free, they and their dependents have to abide by a pretty simple dress code. Free for a "small price."

Doesn't seem too difficult, does it? When Linda's sons would arrive at the terminal, they would have slacks (not denim) and a nice shirt with a tie. Didn't seem to hurt them a bit. And it sure as the world didn't hurt our pocketbooks.

So Sarah Silverman decided to quit United Airlines because two teenage girls flying on employee passes showed up in leggings. They were not allowed on the flight...for free. Had they decided to pay like the rest of us, no problem.

The Twitter-verse was ablaze with criticism of it. I'm reminded of the old SNL skit (when that show was actually amusing) where Gilda Radner would end it with "Nevermind."

FLASHBACK, COMMENT ON NEWSPAPERS


Formerly respected newspapers have behaved in highly partisan, often embarrassing manners during and after the 2016 election cycle. Their economics have descended rapidly. This essay was written in 2009, eight years ago, just when media manipulation was hitting its stride and before the masterful manipulation by Trump in 2016.

I think the questions raised here are still valid. The solutions are still not in sight.

NEWSPAPER EXTINCTION


When the day comes that there are no newspapers, who will correct my English?  Who will give me an example?

The Senate heard from executives in the newspaper business today.  The facts are not difficult to figure out—newspapers are going broke because their revenue streams, advertisers, are going to the internet.  For the obvious reasons—cost and results; because that is where the buyers are.

Imagine a world where all the news comes from MSNBC, NPR and the old “Ditto Head” himself, Rush Limbaugh.  Tonight, one of the MSNBC headlines was “American Idol down to Three.”  Hmmmmm.  Do you suppose NBC owns that “news” outlet?

According to NPR, there are only two countries in the world, the US (from New York to Washington) and Israel.  Then there’s Rush.  What if we depended on him for facts?  Instead of factoids?  He is an entertainer, the same sort of hogwash as the guy who was just elected to Congress from Minnesota despite the fact that he is a comedian by trade and this was just a schtick to get more exposure.

Suppose we were relegated to the position of depending on the chain letter “don’t break this, you will have bad luck” emails that quote Bill Cosby (falsely) and give us drivel written in the style of George Carlin…but not written by George Carlin, even when he was alive.  You have to run to Snopes every time you see one of those things because, this time, it may be true.

One of the suggestions is that the newspapers become non-profits.  That may help, but it is not a solution.  The solution is to get more revenue, not have “drives” to get contributions.  Who will pay Posnanski’s salary?  How will we get good, reasoned coverage of the Royals, the Chiefs?  How will we find out what is going on with the mayor of Sioux City?  Or, whatzizname in Kansas City?

More seriously, who will be the next Bob Woodward who seeks out Deep Throat and finds the mistakes and criminal activity of the Nixon administration.  It surely isn’t going to be the shallow “details at ten” group.

There will still be the George Wills, there will still be writers of books and poetry, but the mundane, down to earth and very valuable stuff that citizens in a democracy depend on—the truth—will be in short supply.  Maybe non-existent.  The only thing we will hear are the demagogues, the Talibans of the world.

Maybe national news, Newsweek, Time, network TV, will survive, but the really local news will be hard pressed to compete against a free and accessible, 24-hour source of information like the internet.  Who is going to cover the facts surrounding some goof ball who espouses a light rail system for Kansas City.  Cheeez.

I surely don’t know the answer, but I sense the loss.  The Kansas City Star has been a huge factor in exposing people who do wrong in the central US for a long time.  What will take its place?  Local TV news has been reduced to a police blotter recitation with the occasional cat up a tree.  Not likely to have any journalism there.

Something to think about.  I sure as hell don’t want to get my news from Rush and NPR and my sports from Carl Radich or someone like him with 3 second sound bites.  If you really want to perform a service for the country, figure out a solution to this one.  I can’t.