Don Turner Weblog

21 December 2008

Stuff 20081221

Filed under: Uncategorized — dhthinker @ 4:16 pm

stuff-20081221

click on the above link for this week’s stuff

(may have to right click and select “open link” – this system is quirky of late)

Hello Family and Friends:

Another Sunday…

…and…

…some Stuff that Seemed Interesting at the Time…

All the best…

Don

This week our curiosity brings us to:

stuff table of contents        1

In awe of a man stuff        2

christmas poetry stuff        2

a christmas story for those having a bad day stuff        3

shopping rules for men’s gifts stuff        4

livin’ in the south stuff        5

heartwarming story stuff        7

poverty in the cities stuff        8

500 million problems for madame secretary stuff        9

diary of a snow shoveler stuff        11

this is true stuff        13

quote of the day regarding women stuff        14

a perspective on the auto bailout – not in favor – stuff        14

My Perspective… 14

Letter from President of General Motors… 15

Letter from President of Knox Machinery… 15

another auto industry perspective – in favor of – bailout stuff        17

new for 2012 – the pelosi from congressional motors stuff        19

tough love versus spanking stuff        20

bacteria trickery stuff        21

final thought stuff        22

explanatory – yet poignant – disclaimer        23

In awe of a man stuff

Folks, this clip has been going around for a bit.

However, at Christmas time when we reflect on what is important…

…what we have to be grateful for…

…what inspires us…

…what drives us – what fuels our passions, our purpose, our pride, and our pain…

…I watch the following video and I am humbled, touched, inspired by this man.

At Christmas time, take the time to see this video of Nick Vujicic

I have met many a better man in my life – always glad to.  In fact, one of the true blessings I have in life is to have friends who make me a better man.

Though I have never met Nick – it would be an honor to do so and I’m sure I could only be better for the experience.

Check it out…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MslbhDZoniY

…and for a bonus…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5Of0JlUstk&feature=related

I cannot be anything but in awe of this man.

christmas poetry stuff

Well, lets take two of my favorite pastimes – Christmas and Shakespeare – and see what we come up with…

…hmmm…

…oh yes, The Bard did write some Christmas Poetry…here is one for your enjoyment…

…and by now I shouldn’t have to say this but for all you “newbies” you must give voice to Shakespeare.  Read it aloud, t’is was never meant to be captured within the silent confines of your mind but to be heard so that the words rather than simply pass through your neurons actually resonate and bounce around a bit – that is the magic of Shakespeare.

***

Heigh Ho, The Holly

By William Shakespeare

 

Blow, blow, thou winter wind,

Thou art not so unkind

As man’s ingratitude;

Thy tooth is not so keen,

Because thou art not seen,

Although thy breath be rude.

Heigh ho, sing heigh ho, unto the green holly;

most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:

Then, heigh ho, the holly!

This life is most jolly.

Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,

That dost not bite so nigh

As benefits forgot:

Though thou the waters warp,

Thy sting is not so sharp

As friend remember’d not.

Heigh ho, sing heigh ho, unto the green holly:

most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:

Then, heigh ho, the holly!

This life is most jolly.

a christmas story for those having a bad day stuff

Thanks Jan

A Christmas Story for people having a bad day:

When four of Santa’s elves got sick, the trainee elves did not produce toys as fast as the regular ones, and Santa began to feel the Pre-Christmas pressure.

Then Mrs Claus told Santa her Mother was coming to visit, which stressed Santa even more.

When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two others had jumped the fence and were out, Heaven knows where.

Then when he began to load the sleigh, one of the floorboards cracked, the toy bag fell to the ground and all the toys were scattered.

Frustrated, Santa went in the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered the elves had drank all the cider and hidden the liquor. In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the cider jug, and it broke into hundreds of little glass pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found the mice had eaten all the straw off the end of the broom.

Just then the doorbell rang, and irritated Santa marched to the door, yanked it open, and there stood a little angel with a great big Christmas tree.

The angel said very cheerfully, ‘Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn’t this a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?’

And so began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.

shopping rules for men’s gifts stuff

Shopping Rules for Men’s Gifts

Rule #1:

When in doubt – buy him a cordless drill. It does not matter if he already has one. I have a friend who owns 17 and he has yet to complain. As a man, you can never have too many cordless drills. No one knows why.

Rule #2:

If you cannot afford a cordless drill, buy him anything with the word ratchet or socket in it. Men love saying those two words. “Hey George, can I borrow your ratchet?” “OK. “By-the-way, are you through with my 3/8-inch socket yet?” Again, no one knows why.

Rule #3:

If you are really, really broke, buy him anything for his car. A 99-cent ice scraper, a small bottle of deicer or something to hang from his rear view mirror. Men love gifts for their cars. No one knows why.

Rule #4:

Do not buy men socks. Do not buy men ties. And never buy men bathrobe s. I was told that if God had wanted men to wear bathrobes, he wouldn’t have invented Jockey shorts.

Rule #5:

You can buy men new remote controls to replace the ones they have worn out. If you have a lot of money buy your man a big-screen TV with the little picture in the corner. Watch him go wild as he flips, and flips, and flips.

Rule #6:

Do not buy a man any of those fancy liqueurs. If you do, it will sit in a cupboard for 23 years.

Rule #7:

Do not buy any man industrial-sized canisters of after shave or deodorant. I’m told they do not stink – they are earthy.

Rule #8:

Buy men label makers. Almost as good as cordless drills. Within a couple of weeks there will be labels absolutely everywhere. Socks. Shorts. Cups. Saucers. Door. Lock. Sink. You get the idea. No one knows why.

Rule #9:

Never buy a man anything that says “some assembly required” on the box. It will ruin his Special Day and he will always have parts left over.

Rule #10:

Good places to shop for men include Northwest Iron Works, Parr Lumber, Home Depot, John Deere, Valley RV Center, and Les Schwab Tire. (NAPA Auto Parts and Sears’ Clearance Centers are also excellent men’s stores. It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t know what it is. “From NAPA Auto, eh? Must be something I need. Hey! Isn’t this a starter for a ’68 Ford Fairlane? Wow! Thanks.”)

Rule #11:

Men enjoy danger. That’s why they never cook – but they will barbecue. Get him a monster barbecue with a 100-pound propane tank. Tell him the gas line leaks. “Oh the thrill! The challenge! Who wants a hamburger?”

Rule #12:

Tickets to a Red Wing/Lions/Pistons/Tigers game are a smart gift. However, he will not appreciate tickets to “A Retrospective of 1 9th Century Quilts.” Everyone knows why.

Rule #13:

Men love chainsaws. Never, ever, buy a man you love a chainsaw. If you don’t know why – please refer to Rule #8 and what happens when he gets a label maker.

Rule #14:

It’s hard to beat a really good wheelbarrow or an aluminum extension ladder. Never buy a real man a step ladder. It must be an extension ladder. No one knows why.

Rule #15:

Rope. Men love rope. It takes us back to our cowboy origins, or at least The Boy Scouts. Nothing says love like a hundred feet of 3/8″ manila rope. No one knows why.

livin’ in the south stuff

Thanks MB

Okay, tongue-in-cheek here, but fun nonetheless.  I do so love the south

Tennessee

The owner of a golf course was confused about paying an invoice, so he decided to ask his secretary for some mathematical help. He called her into his office and said, ‘you graduated from the University of Tennessee and I need some help. If I were to give you $20,000, minus 14%, how much would you take off?’

The secretary thought a moment, and then replied, ‘Everything but my earrings.’

Alabama

A group of Alabama friends went deer hunting and paired off in twos for the day. That night, one of the hunters returned alone, staggering under the weight of an eight-point buck. ‘Where’s Henry?’ the others asked.

‘Henry had a stroke of some kind. He’s a couple of miles back up the trail,’ the successful hunter replied.

‘You left Henry laying out there and carried the deer back?’ they inquired.

‘A tough call,’ nodded the hunter. ‘But I figured no one is going to steal Henry!’

Texas  

The Sheriff pulled up next to the guy unloading garbage out of his pick-up into the ditch. The Sheriff asked, ‘Why are you dumping garbage in the ditch? Don’t you see that sign right over your head’. ‘Yep’, he replied. ‘That’s why I was dumpin’ it here, cause it says ‘Fine For Dumping Garbage’.

Louisiana

A senior at LSU was overheard saying… ‘When the end of the world comes, I hope to be in Louisiana.’ When asked why, he replied he’d rather be in Louisiana because everything happens in Louisiana 20 years later than in the rest of the civilized world.

Mississippi

The young man from Mississippi came running into the store and said to his buddy, ‘Bubba, somebody just stole your pickup truck from the parking lot!’

Bubba replied, ‘Did you see who it was?’

The young man answered, ‘I couldn’t tell, but I got his license number.’

Georgia

A Georgia State trooper pulled over a pickup on I- 75. The trooper asked, ‘Got any I.D.?’

The driver replied, ‘Bout whut?’

North Carolina

A man in North Carolina had a flat tire, pulled off on the side of the road, and proceeded to put a bouquet of flowers in front of the car and one behind it.

Then he got back in the car to wait. A passerby studied the scene as he drove by and was so curious he turned around and went back. He asked the fellow what the problem was.

The man replied, ‘I have a flat tire.’

The passerby asked, ‘But what’s with the flowers?’

The man responded, ‘When you break down they tell you to put flares in the front and flares in the back.  Hey, it don’t make no sense to me neither.’

And this from  South Carolina

‘You can say what you want about the South, but I ain’t never heard of anyone wanting to retire to the North

heartwarming story stuff

Thanks Mark

A heartwarming story for those of us who would like to believe in divine providence.

***

In 1986, Peter Davies was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University . On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Peter approached it very carefully. He got down on one knee, inspected the elephant’s foot, and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it.

As carefully and as gently as he could, Peter worked the wood out with his knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot. The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments. Peter stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away.

Peter never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

Twenty years later, Peter was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenaged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Peter and his son Cameron were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Peter, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.

Remembering the encounter in 1986, Peter could not help wondering if this was the same elephant. Peter summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing, and made his way into the enclosure.. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder.

The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Peter legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

 

Probably wasn’t the same elephant.

THE END!

***

This is for everyone who sends those heart-warming stories.

poverty in the cities stuff

Thanks Brad

First, lets take a look at the number of folks below the poverty level in some of our largest cities

City, State, % of People Below the Poverty Level

1. Detroit , MI 32.5%

2. Buffalo , NY 29.9%

3. Cincinnati , OH 27.8%

4. Cleveland , OH 27.0%

5. Miami , FL 26.9%

6. St. Louis , MO 26.8%

7. El Paso , TX 26.4%

8. Milwaukee , WI 26.2%

9. Philadelphia , PA 25.1%

10. Newark , NJ 24.2%

SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau, 2006 American Community Survey, August 2007

 

What do the top ten cities (over 250,000) with the highest poverty rate all have in common?

 

Detroit, MI (1st on the poverty rate list) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1961;

Buffalo, NY (2nd) hasn’t elected one since 1954;

Cincinnati , OH (3rd)…since 1984;

Cleveland , OH (4th)…since 1989;

Miami , FL (5th) has never had a Republican mayor;

St. Louis , MO (6th)….since 1949;

El Paso , TX (7th) has never had a Republican mayor;

Milwaukee , WI (8th)…since 1908;

Philadelphia , PA (9th)…since 1952;

Newark , NJ (10th)…since 1907.

 

Einstein once said, ‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’

 

It is the poor who habitually elect Democrats—yet they are still poor…

 

Abraham Lincoln

“You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.

You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.

You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.

You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.

You cannot build character and courage by taking away people’s initiative and independence.

You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.”

500 million problems for madame secretary stuff

500M PROBLEMS FOR MADAME SECRETARY

By DICK MORRIS & EILEEN MCGANN

Published in the New York Post on December 19, 2008

Now that Bill Clinton has released the list of his 205,000 donors who have given close to $500 million to his library and foundation, it is clear why he resisted releasing the list while his wife was running for president.

Now, compelled by the Obama transition team to make it public as a condition of his wife’s appointment as secretary of state, it becomes clear that the list is a virtual encyclopedia of conflicts of interest for the husband of a senator – to say nothing of the husband of an incoming secretary of state.

Particularly troubling are the massive donations from Arab governments in the Middle East.

Pardon us for looking such generous gift horses in the mouth, but it is hard to imagine so many governments, monarchs and businessmen in the Middle East giving money unless it was with some hope of a political return. Will that return now come with the appointment of Sen. Clinton as secretary of state?

How can Hillary Rodham Clinton mediate and negotiate conflicts in the Middle East impartially when her husband’s library and foundation – over which he has total control – have been bankrolled by the very nations with whom she must negotiate?

The list reveals another key center of conflicts of interest in Kazakhstan, the former Soviet republic, now home to some of the world’s greatest mineral deposits and ruled by a corrupt dictator, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who, according to The New York Times, has all but quashed political dissent.

Bill Clinton visited Kazakhstan and met with its president on Sept. 6, 2005, accompanied by Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra.

Soon after, Giustra was awarded a highly lucrative contract to mine uranium there. Now, lo and behold, Frank Giustra turns up having given the library and foundation between $10 million and $25 million and the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative of Canada gave $1 million to $5 million more.

And Clinton got $1 million to $5 million from Lakshmi Mittal, the fourth-wealthiest person on the Forbes billionaire list and a member of the Foreign Investment Council in Kazakhstan.

In addition, Clinton further fished in troubled waters by taking $1 million to $5 million from Victor Pinchuk, the son-in-law of the controversial former president of the Ukraine.

Given the complexities of US policy toward the former Soviet republics in Central Asia, it is hard to see how this massive and incestuous relationship cannot but complicate Hillary’s independence.

One of the largest donors to the library and foundation was UNITAID, an international organization largely controlled by France, which donated more than $25 million. And the conflicts of interest are not all just foreign. Corporate bailout recipients and recipient wannabes donated to the Clinton fund. They include AIG, Lehman, Merrill, the Citi Foundation and General Motors.

And, almost as an afterthought, the list reveals a donation of at least $250,000 from Denise Rich, presumably in return for her ex-husband’s presidential pardon.

How could a US senator possibly serve dispassionately while her husband was collecting money from these donors on this kind of scale? And how could we have almost elected a president without realizing these conflicts existed? And how on earth can a secretary of state function with these conflicts hanging over her head?

diary of a snow shoveler stuff

I do so love living in the South.

Case in point

***

“The Diary of a Snow Shoveler”

December 8 – 6:00 PM. It started to snow. The first snow of the season and the wife and I took our tea and sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a Grandma Moses Print. So romantic we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow!

December 9 – We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be a more lovely place in the whole world? Moving here was the best idea I’ve ever had. Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again. I did both our driveway and the sidewalks. This afternoon the snowplow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life.

December 12 – The sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a disappointment. My neighbor tells me not to worry, we’ll definitely have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says we’ll have so much snow by the end of winter, that I’ll never want to see snow again. I don’t think that’s possible. Bob is such a nice man, I’m glad he’s our neighbor.

December 14 – Snow lovely snow! 8″ last night. The temperature dropped to -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The snowplow came back this afternoon and buried everything again. I didn’t realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I’ll certainly get back in shape this way.

December 15 – 20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4×4 Blazer. Bought snow tires for the wife’s car and 2 extra shovels. Stocked the freezer. The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that’s silly. We aren’t in Alaska, after all.

December 16 – Ice storm this morning. Fell on my butt on the ice in the driveway putting down salt. Hurt sooooo bad. The wife laughed for an hour, which I think was very cruel.

December 17 – Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was off for 5 hours. I had to pile the blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her. Guess I should’ve bought a wood stove, but won’t admit it to her. I hate it when she’s right. I can’t believe I’m freezing to death in my own living room.

December 20 – Electricity’s back on, but had another 14″ of the horrid stuff last night. More shoveling. Took all day. Stupid snowplow came by twice. Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but they said they’re too busy playing hockey. I think they’re lying. Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snow blower and they’re out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they’re lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he’s lying.

December 22 – Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of the white stuff fell today, and it’s so cold it probably won’t melt till August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel and then I had to stop and help my wife. By the time I got back out there again I was too tired to shovel. Tried to hire Bob who has a plow on his truck for the rest of the winter; but he says he’s too busy. I think he is lying.

December 23 – Only 2″ of snow today. And it warmed up to 0. The wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. What? Is she nuts!!!?? Why didn’t she tell me to do that a month ago? She says she did but I think she’s lying.

December 24 – 6″. Snow packed so hard by snowplow, I broke the shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the idiot who drives that snowplow I’ll drag him through the snow by his hair and beat him to death with my broken shovel. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling and then he comes down the street at 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over where I’ve just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was too busy watching for that rotten snowplow.

December 25 – Merry -GROAN- Christmas! 20 more inches of the white slop tonight. Snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. I hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she’s lost her mind. If I have to watch “It’s A Wonderful Life” one more time, I’m going to stuff her into the microwave.

December 26 – Still snowed in. Why on earth did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She’s really getting on my nerves.

December 27 – Temperature dropped to -30 and the pipes froze, plumber came after 14 hours of waiting for him, he only charged me 1,400 to replace all my pipes.

December 28 – Warmed up to above -20. Still snowed in. THE WOMAN I MARRIED is driving me crazy!!!

December 29 – 10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in. That’s the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?

December 30 – Roof caved in. I beat up the snowplow driver! He is now suing me for a million dollars for the beating I gave him !!! The wife went home to her mother. 9″ predicted.

December 31 – I set fire to what’s left of the house. No more shoveling.

January 8 – Feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep giving me. But wonder why I am tied to the bed?

this is true stuff

WILD DATE: Anthony Zitnick, 21, allegedly took a 16-year-old girl into the home of an animal collector — uninvited — to show her the wild animals kept in the North Miami-Dade, Fla., home. Neighbors say Zitnick was trying to “impress” the teen, and became aware of their intrusion when “I heard her scream, ‘I’m gonna die! I’m gonna die!’,” said Richard Miralles, who lives next door. He is familiar with the cats, so he jumped a fence and ran in to find the girl’s head in the mouth of a 150-pound cougar, who was biting down, and Zitnick looking on in shock. Keeping the animals is apparently legal: the resident, a retired science teacher, has proper permits, authorities say. Miralles saved the girl, and carried her out to wait for an ambulance. (Miami Herald) …Zitnick: not too impressive. Miralles: pretty darned impressive. See the difference, boy?

THE LONG, UPHILL BATTLE: The “mindless” attempts by government and society to eliminate all dangers in life are threatening personal freedom, says Tom Mullarkey, chief of the U.K.’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. “The application of common sense and balance is much more reasonable than the seeking of mindless increments towards ‘absolute safety’,” he said, which is “a destination which is neither feasible nor, in all probability, desirable, since it would come at such cost to our freedoms.” While some areas obviously need regulation, he says, such as nuclear power and aviation, individuals should merely be given information on safety and be allowed to make their own decisions on whether risks are worth taking, so long as they don’t put others in danger. (London Telegraph) …The mindless elimination of all dangers: malarkey. The new patron saint of common sense: Mullarkey.

NOT QUITE HOME FREE: A car reported stolen in Beachwood, N.J., was spotted in nearby Toms River. Officers there started following, and the driver turned into a side street and ducked into a driveway in hopes of eluding his pursuers. It didn’t work: “Of about 34,000 homes in Toms River, this guy pulls into my driveway,” said Toms River Police Chief Michael Mastronardy, who was one of the officers following the stolen car. The driver, George Parker, 49, was captured in the chief’s driveway. (Asbury Park Press) …”He followed me home, and we’re going to keep him” — the police version.

I’M GONNA WASH THAT MAN RIGHT OUT OF MY HAIR: An unnamed woman called police in Port St. Lucie, Fla., to report that her ex-boyfriend had stolen her wig. The 20-year-old said she was out walking at 3:00 a.m. when her ex rode up on a bicycle. They argued, and the man grabbed the black wig that was “sewn” to her blonde hair, slapped her, and rode off. She told officers she had lived with the man for eight months — but could only remember his first name. Investigating officers are stalled until they get more information. (Port St Lucie News) …”Let’s see: he snored. He left the cap off the toothpaste. He always left the toilet seat up….”

quote of the day regarding women stuff

This is interesting, poignant, and oh so TrueCredit

***

‘Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater.

If you give her sperm, she’ll give you a baby.

If you give her a house, she’ll give you a home.

If you give her groceries, she’ll give you a meal.

If you give her a smile, she’ll give you her heart.

She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her.

 

So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of sh*t.’

a perspective on the auto bailout – not in favor – stuff

My Perspective

Folks, the following letter(s) give a great perspective on the trouble with the U.S. automotive industry.  Though I haven’t worked for General Motors for 30 years and my last exposure with the industry with any depth was 25 years ago, I have seen what Mr. Knox talks about.  As I’ve said there are several factors associated with the current morass the industry finds it in:

n  Inbred and ineffective management practices
n  Union that won’t try to be part of the solution, only sits on the sideline and asks for MORE, MORE, MORE, and yep, you guessed it Virginia, MORE
n  Addiction to the large gas-guzzling SUV’s that generate the most profit – the last small domestic car that was attempted to be profitable was the Dodge Neon
n  American consumers hypocrisy over a relatively large segment of the population still wanting to drive vehicles ill-equipped for their actual needs.  Case in point, in Atlanta, we have more Hummers per capita than any other metro area.  How many of these actually are used for their intended purpose – off-road driving?  If you guessed virtually zero, you are right.

Anyway, there are fundamental changes required in the automotive industry and I offer the following as insight into those aforementioned changes.

Letter from President of General Motors

Dear Employee,

Next week, Congress and the current Administration will determine whether to provide immediate support to the domestic auto industry to help it through one of the most difficult economic times in our nation’s history.  Your elected officials must hear from all of us now on why this support is critical to our continuing the progress we began prior to the global financial crisis.  As an employee, you have a lot at stake and continue to be one of our most effective and passionate voices.  I know GM can count on you to have your voice heard.

Thank you for your urgent action and ongoing support.

Troy Clarke, President

General Motors North America

Letter from President of Knox Machinery

In response to your request to call legislators and ask for a bailout for the United States automakers please consider the following:

You are infected with the same entitlement mentality that has bred like cancerous germs in UAW halls for the last countless decades, and whose plague is now sweeping the nation, awaiting our new “messiah” to wave his magical wand and make all our problems go away, while at the same time allowing our once great nation to keep “living the dream”.

The dream is over!

The dream that we can ignore the consumer for years while management myopically focuses on its personal rewards packages at the same time that our factories have been filled with the world’s most overpaid, arrogant, ignorant and laziest entitlement minded “laborers” without paying the price for these atrocities and that still the masses will line up to buy our products.

Don’t tell me I’m wrong.  Don’t accuse me of not knowing of what I speak.  I have called on Ford, GM, Chrysler, TRW, Delphi, Kelsey Hayes, American Axle and countless other automotive OEM’s and Tier ones for 3 decades throughout the Midwest and what I’ve seen over the years in these union shops can only be described as disgusting.

Mr.  Clark, the president of General Motors, states:   “There is widespread sentiment in this country, our government and especially in the media that the current crisis is completely the result of bad management.  It is not.”

You’re right, it’s not JUST management. How about the electricians who walk around the plants like lords in feudal times, making people wait on them for countless hours while they move at a snail’s pace so they can come in on the weekend and make double and triple time for a job they easily could have done within their normal 40 hour week?    How about the line workers who threaten newbies with all kinds of scare tactics for putting out too many parts on a shift and for being too productive (mustn’t expose the lazy bums who have been getting overpaid for decades for their horrific underproduction, must we?!?) Do you really not know about this stuff?!?

How about this great sentiment abridged from Mr.  Clarke’s sad plea:   “Over the last few years we have closed the quality and efficiency gaps with our competitors.”

What has Detroit been doing for the last 40 years?!?

Did we really JUST wake up to the gaps in quality and efficiency between us and them?

The K car vs. the Accord?

The Pinto vs. the Civic?!?

The Malibu vs. the Camry?

Do I need to go on?

We are living through the inevitable outcome of the actions of the United States auto industry for decades.

Time to pay for your sins, Detroit.

I attended an economic summit last week where a brilliant economist, Alan Beaulieu surprised the crowd when he said he would not have given the banks a penny of “bailout money”.  Yes, he said, this would cause short term problems, but despite what people like George Bush and Troy Clark would have us believe, the sun would in fact rise the next day and something else would happen.  Where there had been greedy and sloppy banks, new efficient ones would pop up.  That is how a free market system works.  It does work if we would let it work!

But for some reason we are now deciding that the rest of the world is right and that capitalism doesn’t work; that we need the government to step in and “save us”.  Save us?  We’re nationalizing and unfortunately too many of this once fine nation’s citizens don’t even have a clue that this is what’s really happening, but they sure can tell you the stats on their favorite sports teams. THAT’S important.

Does it occur to ANYONE that the “competition” has been producing vehicles, EXTREMELY PROFITABLY, for decades now in this country?…

How can that be???

Let’s see:

Fuel efficient – – – Listening to customers – – – Investing in the proper tooling and automation for the long haul – – – Not being too complacent or arrogant to listen to Dr. W. Edwards Deming 4 decades ago – – – Ever increased productivity through quality, lean and six sigma plans – – – Treating vendors like strategic partners, rather than like “the enemy” – – – Efficient front and back offices – – – Non union environment – – – Again, I could go on and on, but I really wouldn’t be telling anyone anything they really don’t already know in their hearts. I have six children, so I am not unfamiliar with the concept of wanting someone to bail you out of a mess that you have gotten yourself into.  My children do this on a weekly, if not daily basis, as I did at their age.  I do for them what my parents did for me (one of their greatest gifts, by the way).  I make them stand on their own two feet and accept the consequences of their actions and work them through.

Radical concept, huh?

Am I there for them in the wings?  Of course, but only until such time as they need to be fully on their own as adults.

I don’t want to oversimplify a complex situation, but there certainly are unmistakable parallels here between the proper role of parenting and government.

Detroit and the United States need to pay for their sins.

Bad news people, it’s coming whether we like it or not.

The newly elected Messiah really doesn’t have a magic wand big enough to “make it all go away”.  I laughed as I heard Obama “reeling it back in” almost immediately after the vote count was tallied. “We might not do it in a year or in four”!  Where was that kind of talk when he was RUNNING for the office.

Stop trying to put off the inevitable!

That house in Florida really isn’t worth $750,000!

People who jump across a border really don’t deserve free health care benefits!

That job driving that forklift for the big 3 really isn’t worth $85,000 a year!

That couple whose combined income is less than $50,000 really shouldn’t be living in that $485,000 home!

Let the market correct itself people, it will.  Yes it will be painful, but it’s gonna be painful either way, and the bright side of my proposal is that on the other side of it is a nation that appreciates what is has and doesn’t live beyond its means and gets back to basics and redevelops the work ethic that made it the greatest nation in the history of the world.

Sorry, don’t cut my head off.  I’m just the messenger sharing with you the “bad news”.

Gregory J. Knox, President

Knox Machinery Inc.

Franklin, Ohio 45005

another auto industry perspective – in favor of – bailout stuff

A Ford Dealer in the Pittsburg area, outstanding letter to the editor

Intermountain Letter to the Editor- Elkins Fordland

Incredible editorial from one of our Dealers in the Pittsburgh Region….

***

Editor:

As I watch the coverage of the fate of the U.S. auto industry, one alarming and frustrating fact hits me right between the eyes. The fate of our nation’s economic survival is in the hands of some congressmen who are completely out of touch and act without knowledge of an industry that affects almost every person in our nation. The same lack of knowledge is shared with many journalists whom are irresponsible when influencing the opinion of millions of viewers.

Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama has doomed the industry, calling it a dinosaur. No Mr. Shelby, you are the dinosaur, with ideas stuck in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. You and the uninformed journalist and senators that hold onto myths that are not relevant in today’s world.

When you say that the Big Three build vehicles nobody wants to buy, you must have overlooked that GM outsold Toyota by about 1.2 million vehicles in the U.S. and Ford outsold Honda by 850,000 and Nissan by 1..2 million in the U.S. GM was the world’s No. 1 automaker beating Toyota by 3,000 units.

When you claim inferior quality comes from the Big Three, did you realize that Chevy makes the Malibu and Ford makes the Fusion that were both rated over the Camry and Accord by J.D. Power independent survey on initial quality? Did you bother to read the Consumer Report that rated Ford on par with good Japanese automakers?

Did you realize Big Three’s gas guzzlers include the 33 mpg Malibu that beats the Accord? And for ’09 Ford introduces the Hybrid Fusion whose 39 mpg is the best midsize, beating the Camry Hybrid? Ford’s Focus beats the Corolla and Chevy’s Cobalt beats the Civic?

When you ask how many times are we going to bail them out you must be referring to 1980. The only Big Three bailout was Chrysler, who paid back $1 billion, plus interest. GM and Ford have never received government aid.

When you criticize the Big Three for building so many pickups, surely you’ve noticed the attempts Toyota and Nissan have made spending billions to try to get a piece of that pie. Perhaps it bothers you that for 31 straight years Ford’s F-Series has been the best selling vehicle. Ford and GM have dominated this market and when you see the new ’09 F-150 you’ll agree this won’t change soon.

Did you realize that both GM and Ford offer more hybrid models than Nissan or Honda? Between 2005 and 2007, Ford alone has invested more than $22 billion in research and development of technologies such as Eco Boost, flex fuel, clean diesel, hybrids, plug in hybrids and hydrogen cars.

It’s 2008 and the quality of the vehicles coming out of Detroit are once again the best in the world!

Perhaps Sen. Shelby isn’t really that blind. Maybe he realizes the quality shift to American. Maybe it’s the fact that his state of Alabama has given so much to land factories from Honda, Hyundai and Mercedes Benz that he is more concerned about their continued growth than he is about the people of our country. Sen. Shelby’s disdain for “government subsidies” is very hypocritical. In the early ’90s he was the driving force behind a $253 million incentive package to Mercedes. Also, Alabama agreed to purchase 2,500 vehicles from Mercedes. While the bridge loan the Big Three is requesting will be paid back, Alabama’s $180,000-plus per job was pure incentive.. Sen. Shelby, not only are you out of touch, you are a self-serving hypocrite, who is prepared to ruin our nation because of lack of knowledge and lack of due diligence in making your opinions and decisions.

After 9/11, the Detroit Three and Harley Davidson gave $40 million-plus emergency vehicles to the recovery efforts. What was given to the 9/11 relief effort by the Asian and European Auto Manufactures? $0 Nada. Zip!

We live in a world of free trade, world economy and we have not been able to produce products as cost efficiently. While the governments of other auto producing nations subsidize their automakers, our government may be ready to force its demise. While our automakers have paid union wages, benefits and legacy debt, our Asian competitors employ cheap labor. We are at an extreme disadvantage in production cost. Although many UAW concessions begin in 2010, many lawmakers think it’s not enough.

Some point the blame to corporate management. I would like to speak of Ford Motor Co. The company has streamlined by reducing our workforce by 51,000 since 2005, closing 17 plants and cutting expenses. Product and future product is excellent and the company is focused on one Ford. This is a company poised for success. Ford product quality and corporate management have improved light years since the nightmare of Jacques Nasser. Thank you Alan Mulally and the best auto company management team in the business.

The financial collapse caused by the secondary mortgage fiasco and the greed of Wall Street has led to a $700 billion bailout of the industry that created the problem. AIG spent nearly $1 million on three company excursions to lavish resorts and hunting destinations. Paulson is saying no to $250 billion foreclosure relief and the whole thing is a mess. So when the Big Three ask for 4 percent of that of the $700 billion, $25 billion to save the country’s largest industry, there is obviously oppositions. But does it make sense to reward the culprits of the problem with $700 billion unconditionally, and ignore the victims?

As a Ford dealer, I feel our portion of the $25 billion will never be touched and is not necessary. Ford currently has $29 billion of liquidity. However, the effect of a bankruptcy by GM will hurt the suppliers we all do business with. A Chapter 11 bankruptcy by any manufacture would cost retirees their health care and retirements. Chances are GM would recover from Chapter 11 with a better business plan with much less expense. So who foots the bill if GM or all three go Chapter 11? All that extra health care, unemployment, loss of tax base and some forgiven debt goes back to the taxpayer, us. With no chance of repayment, this would be much worse than a loan with the intent of repayment.

So while it is debatable whether a loan or Chapter 11 is better for the Big Three, a $25 billion loan is definitely better for the taxpayers and the economy of our country.

So I’ll end where I began on the quality of the products of Detroit. Before you, Mr. or Ms. Journalist continue to misinform the American public and turn them against one of the great industries that helped build this nation, I must ask you one question. Before you, Mr. or Madam Congressman vote to end health care and retirement benefits for 1 million retirees, eliminate 2.5 million of our nation’s jobs, lose the technology that will lead us in the future and create an economic disaster including hundreds of billions of tax dollars lost, I ask this question not in the rhetorical sense. I ask it in the sincere, literal way. Can you tell me, have you driven a Ford lately?

Jim Jackson

Elkins

new for 2012 – the pelosi from congressional motors stuff

Congressional Motors Announces The First Car for 2012 – The Pelosi

It’s in the way you dress. The way you boogie down. The way you sign your unemployment check. You’re a man who likes to do things your own way. And on those special odd-numbered Saturdays when driving is permitted, you want it in your car. It’s that special feeling of a zero-emissions wind at your back and a road ahead meandering with possibilities. The kind of feeling you get behind the wheel of the Pelosi GTxi SS/Rt Sport Edition from Congressional Motors.

All new for 2012, the Pelosi GTxi SS/Rt Sport Edition is the mandatory American car so advanced it took $100 billion and an entire Congress to design it. We started with same reliable 7-way hybrid ethanol-biodiesel-electric-clean coal-wind-solar-pedal power plant behind the base model Pelosi, but packed it with extra oomph and the sassy styling pizzazz that tells the world that 1974 Detroit is back again — with a vengeance.

We’ve subsidized the features you want and taxed away the rest. With its advanced Al Gore-designed V-3 under the hood pumping out 22.5 thumping, carbon-neutral ponies of Detroit muscle, you’ll never be late for the Disco or the Day Labor Shelter. Engage the pedal drive or strap on the optional jumbo mizzenmast, and the GTxi SS/Rt Sport Edition easily exceeds 2016 CAFE mileage standards. At an estimated 268 MPG, that’s a savings of nearly $1800 per week in fuel cost over the 2011 Pelosi.

Even with increased performance we didn’t skimp on safety. With 11-point passenger racing harnesses, 15-way airbags, and mandatory hockey helmet, you’ll have the security knowing that you could survive a 45 MPH collision even if the GTxi SS/Rt were capable of that kind of illegal speed.

But the changes don’t stop there. Sporty mag-style hubcaps and an all-new aggressive wedge shape designed by CM’s Chief Stylist Ted Kennedy slices through the wind like an omnibus spending bill. It even features an airtight undercarriage to keep you and a passenger afloat up to 15 minutes — even in the choppy waters of a Cape Cod inlet. Available a rainbow of color choices to match any wardrobe, from Harvest Avocado to French Mustard. Inside, a luxurious all-velour interior designed by Barney Frank features thoughtful appointments like an in-dash condom dispenser. A special high capacity hatchback holds up to 300 aluminum cans, meaning fewer trips to the redemption center. And the standard 3 speaker Fairness ActoPhonic FM low-band sound system means you’ll never miss a segment of NPR again.

With an MSRP starting at only $629,999.99, it’s affordable too. Don’t forget to ask about dealer incentives, rebates, tax credits, and wealth redistribution plans for customers from dozens of qualifying special interest groups. Plus easy-pay financing programs from Fannie Mae.

So take the bus to your local CM dealer today and find out why the Pelosi GTxi SS/Rt Sport Edition is the only car endorsed by President Barack Obama. One test drive will convince you that you’d choose it over the import brands. Even if they were still legal.

tough love versus spanking stuff

Thanks Larry

***

Most people think it improper to spank children, so I have tried other methods to control my kids when they have one of  ‘those moments.’

One that I found effective is for me to just take the child for a car ride and talk.

Some say it’s the vibration from the car, others say it’s the time away from any distractions such as TV, Video Games, Computer, IPod, etc.

Either way, my kids usually calm down and stop misbehaving after our car ride together.  Eye to eye contact helps a lot too.

I’ve included below a photo below of one of my sessions with my son, in case you would like to use the technique.

Sincerely,

Your Friend

***

bacteria trickery stuff

Bacteria Tricked Into Killing Themselves To Survive

ScienceDaily (Dec. 21, 2008) — Like firemen fighting fire with fire, researchers at the University of Illinois and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst have found a way to fool a bacteria’s evolutionary machinery into programming its own death.

 “The basic idea is for an antimicrobial to target something in a bacteria that, in order to gain immunity, would require the bacteria to kill itself through a suicide mutation,” said Gerard Wong, a professor of materials science and engineering, of physics, and of bioengineering at the U. of I.

Wong is corresponding author of a paper accepted for publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper is to be posted this week on the journal’s Web site.

The researchers show that a synthetic “hole punching” antimicrobial depends on the presence of phosphoethanolamine, a cone-shaped lipid found in high concentrations within Gram-negative bacterial membranes. Although PE lipids are commandeered to kill the bacteria, without the lipids the bacteria would die, also.

“It’s a Catch-22,” Wong said. “Some mutations bacteria can tolerate, and some mutations they cannot tolerate. In this case, the bacteria would have to go through a mutation that would kill it, in order to be immune to these antimicrobials.”

In their work, the researchers compared the survival of the bacterium Escherichia coli with that of a mutant strain of E. coli, which lacked PE lipids in its membrane. The fragile PE-deficient mutant strain out-survived the normal, healthy bacteria, when exposed to a “hole punching” synthetic antibiotic.

However, the opposite was true when both strains were exposed to tobramycin, a conventional metabolic antibiotic that targets the bacterial ribosomal machinery rather than the membrane.

The researchers first reported on compounds that functioned as molecular “hole punchers” last year in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Their latest work further elucidates the “hole punching” mechanism.

“The antimicrobial re-organizes PE lipids into holes in the membrane,” said Wong, who also is a researcher at the university’s Beckman Institute. “The perforated membranes leak, and the bacteria die.”

Finding new ways to treat emerging pathogens that are more and more resistant to the best antibiotics will be increasingly important in the future, Wong said. “Now that we more fully understand how our molecular ‘hole punchers’ work, we can look for similar ways to make antimicrobials that bacteria cannot evolve immunity to.”

With Wong, the paper’s co-authors include U. of I. graduate student and lead author Lihua Yang, materials science and engineering professor Dallas R. Trinkle, microbiology professor John E. Cronan Jr., and University of Massachusetts polymer science and engineering professor Gregory N. Tew, who earned a doctorate from Illinois.

The work was funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the Office of Naval Research.

final thought stuff

Random Thoughts (as if I have any other)…

…well, Christmas is finally among us…

…if only the warm feelings and good intentions of this season would last all the year long…

…the world would be a far better place…

…sitting here watching – for the second time this season – the 1951 “A Christmas Carol” with Alastair Sim…one of the classics…as it says at the end “God Bless Us, Everyone”…

…btw, thank you Mr. Dickens for a timeless classic that warms our hearts every year and reminds us of what is important about the Season…

…had the munchkins over Friday night so we could celebrate Christmas Saturday morning…

…the “little ones” won’t be with us for Christmas this year since my son and his family are spending it with the in-laws…expected…understood…

…but Christmas won’t be the same…

…though helped by having my brother over and his family along with a dear friend and his…

…anyway, spent Friday night with a munchkin under my left arm, a munchkin under my right, and a little “Cindy Lou Who” munchkin laying on top of me – all watching Christmas cartoons…

…I have no idea of what Heaven might be like but if it is better than moments like those than it must truly be someplace to aspire to…

…Georgia weather?  Actually have had to turn on the air conditioning during the day of late – getting some warm weather…

…do I miss snow at Christmas?  I did and still wouldn’t mind it – but it is no longer much of a thought when I get to be outside playing in the yard on Christmas Day…taking a walk with my bride…sitting out in the bistro with family, friends, and a glass of vino…

…as I’ve said, nothing against the North but if I moved back there it would be like I am “losing” three to four months a year…

…besides my blood has officially “thinned” and I’ve become a “sissified” Yankee…

…music? Third Day singing Christmas Songs from their “Christmas Offerings” album…

…the Reason for the Season…if you are a Believer like I am – it is amazing to think of the Creator of the Universe sending himself down in the manifestation of His Son to live among us and set an example that personifies perfection yet serves as a role model for us all – Believers and non-Believers alike…

…well, family coming over this Sunday for dinner…my youngest son…two of my brothers and their families…this is yet one more day to be grateful for…

…I wish to one all the very best of the Holiday Season…

…to my Jewish friends, Happy Hanukkah – starting December 21st this year – I say to you “Happy Hanukkah”…

…to my non-Believer friends, “Happy Holidays” – may the Season touch you in ways you never knew were possible…

…to my Believe family and friends, I say “Merry CHRISTmas” and wish you the reflection that comes with the “Reason for the Season”…

…to one and all I say “God Bless Us, Everyone”

Reflectively Yours,

Don

explanatory – yet poignant – disclaimer

For those new to this mailing, this Stuff memo is an ongoing email that I periodically send out for no other reason than to synthesize all the “stuff” I read as well as express my views on the world in general and life in specific.

It serves as an intellectual catharsis, an emotional catholicon, and a spiritual revivification.

Bottom line, this is simply the way that I soothe the synapses. 

If you decide you don’t want to receive, simply reply with a “Thank You, No Thank You” and you’ll be removed from the mailing list.

 

 

 

 

 

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