Friday, June 19, 2009

The Board of Education

Buyer beware. Anyone who desires to be a teacher in New York City, should be highly critical of efforts that claim to recruit new diverse teachers. While the ads on public transportation sounds great, one has a better chance of winning the lottery vs. being hired as a school teacher, especially if you're a career changer.

The red tape is so numerous, that perspective candidates need additional qualifications such as a PhD in navigating never ending documentation and never ending paperwork. Only after months of such navigation, will you arrive 0.5 of an inch closer to your destination.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Final Four

The blue and white Villanova sign sat quietly on the rear window of car stopped at a red light. As the rains are sure to visit us in April, so to will the final four and the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship game on Monday night. The spectacle of the championship game is marred each year by allegations against either a coach or player for some rule violation. Academic ineligibility, bribery and players illegally accepting gifts from agents seems to top the list each year.

This year its Jim Calhoun, coach of the University of Connecticut Men's Basketball team. Players who receive full basketball scholarships are not supposed to accept cash, gifts or other forms of monetary compensation while playing for their respective teams. For some strange reason, poor kids who create unimaginable revenue streams for their schools should not be compensated, except for their athletic scholarships.

If the NCAA is concerned about the moral sanctity of collegiate sports, they can simply increase the value of the scholarships awarded to their players. The difference between the cost of actually attending school and what's left over should be evenly distributed in equal monthly payments during the school year. This would allow poor kids on campus to meet basic necessities like clothes, food and miscellaneous expenses. Those of us who have attended college understands the cost of a good education.

This system is fair and just. People who create revenue should not be denied fair compensation simply because of an institution's moral perception. It's time to pay these kids a living wage. After all, they are only filling stadiums seating thousands of rowdy fans, plus millions in merchandising and television revenue.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cold Turkey

What does quitting cold turkey have to do with the current job market? Everything. The New York Times ran a great story in Thursday's business column about employment-preparedness. The usual suspects were made bare. Updated catchy resumes, proper formatting and free links to professional resume sites.

I could not help but wonder that there was no mention of the all important self. When an employer hires someone, they are not simply hiring a resume, curriculum vitae, credentials and techno-savvy websites. While these attributes might serve as one's ultra academic ego, in the end, employers are hiring the "self." The media is abuzz these days with news about the unemployed and the blow-by-blow statistics that tallies the jobless.

For some of us who have jobs, the daily tidings to work is equivalent to traversing a daily obstacle course fraught with unimaginable hazards. Confidants are quietly discussing issues that they've never dealt with in the past. Undue stress, panic attacks, anxiety, feelings of helplessness, longer hours at work and an inability to cope, just to mention a few. What's even worse is the deepening fear and anxiety of speaking out and reasserting basic rights in the workplace. Activities like lunch breaks and bathroom breaks are frowned upon in some work settings. Time off is sometimes equated with a dirty four letter word.

This might sound a bit insane, but as the economy slowly recovers, some employees will have to quit their daily nightmares cold turkey! A stressed-out perspective employee is a liability, not an asset to potential employers. Saving at least three months of expenses before quitting your nightmare cold turkey is the way to go.

Depending on the circumstances, one may not have that option. While individuals must survive, it makes no sense to lose thy soul, spirit and self, simply because the economy is in shambles. Remember that you are the one being hired, not a summary of your work experience technical expertise, accomplishments, affiliations and the like. if you're stressed-out these attributes are irrelevant.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Outrage!! Not In My Name

I can't seem to escape that word these days. It starts with the letter o, and ends with the letter e. In case you just returned to planet earth from a distant galaxy, it's "Outrage." Merriam-Webster defines it as "An act that violates standards of behavior." We can't seem to get a break from politicians being outraged, the press-core being outraged and private interest groups being outraged over AIG bonuses, General Motors bailout fiasco, Bernard Madoff, the financial wizardry of Wall Street and the increasing failure of "Capitalism."

Bernard Madoff and his Ponzi Buddies did not steal enough money. They should have stolen a trillion dollars and then some. When the "ten-percenters" allow the two-man council to run everything then that's the price they should pay.

During the go-go good old days when the economic mafia, the academic mafia, the political mafia and of course the media mafia and their pundits enjoyed the spoils that membership in the 10% ownership club of American conferred on them, there was no outrage to be had. But now that mathematical magic brought down the house of cards created on Wall Street, it seems that everyone and their grandma is outraged in the name of the ordinary taxpayer. Well, I'm tired of the ten-percenters being outraged in my name.

Now that AIG and so many other firms are partially owned by the federal government, one would think that fair hiring practices would be put in place. These practices would ensure that those who are otherwise locked out from these lucrative jobs will now have a fair chance to participate in the selected club when the economy recovers, but no. The Federal Government and its ineptitude, lacked the gravitas to secure board representation on AIG's Board of Directors. This means that the same people who caused this financial calamity will continue to reap the benefits in good and bad times at our expense.

Sometimes during financial transactions, stocks are bought on "margin." This means that stocks are purchased on loans from brokers to be repaid at predetermined intervals or when these stocks are sold at a profit. "Margin Call" means that a stock broker requires a client to bring a margin account up to a certain level by depositing more money into that account. Like margin buys and calls, the consent to govern in a Democratic society is marginal. i.e., we the citizen-politic decides how we want to be governed and to what extent.

Although the economic mafia, the academic mafia and the communication mafia (Media) govern from the Divine Right of Kings playbook, that governance is marginal. I see no reason why millions of New Yorkers are not in the streets of lower Manhattan peacefully "calling" the manner in which we have been governed into question until things change. The Bretton-Woods style of capitalism is only working for 10% of the population.

The remaining 90% are left empty-handed no matter how diligent they toil. This is feudalism all over again. It's time for the body-politic to place that "Margin Call." The body politic in past times rejected feudalism and it also rejected slavery. Why is Capitalism allowed to stand when only 10% of citizens benefit, while 90% are left in the cold? When will we gather the courage and strength to place that "Margin Call on the Capitalism?"

Monday, March 23, 2009

I Want the List Of A Different Kind

The outrage and anger is thick enough, that it can be cut with a knife. Citizens far and wide are demanding the list of employees from American International Greed (AIG) who wrestled bonuses from the government's bailout program.

Now that these companies are owned by the tax payers, I want a list of a different kind. I want a list detailing the following: the total number of employees who are employed in the New York and Connecticut offices, the top one hundred managers, and most importantly, the composition of the work force, i.e., women, men, Black, Latino etc. Because AIG is now a government entity, the citizen-politic can demand fair hiring practices in line with not state, but Federal law.

This is the perfect opportunity to find qualified minorities who otherwise would never make it pass the glass and steel facade of these corporations. As the great Aristotle once said, "When an elephant is down, even an ant will kick him." This is a great opportunity to move in on the elephant and literally get qualified minorities in, before AIG returns to being a private entity where the ten percent club calls the shots.

Real wealth is a concept of the the past. Today, one's life which includes health insurance, retirement benefits and quality of life, is wholly determined by one's line of work or career. Many corporations functions as well organized mafia organizations in plain sight. Now that many of them are owned by the Federal Government, this an opportunity for outsiders. When the economy bounces back, the ordinary citizen needs to be part of it. Never has there been a more perfect opportunity to dismantle the 10% Club.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Financial Chickens

We cannot escape the call from various corners of society to vent some type of frustration or righteous indignation. It seems within the last few weeks the call to join the throngs of dejected citizens grows louder with each passing day and each new Wall Street Scandal.

Should we the citizen-politic continue to voice our anger and frustration at say AIG, Bernard Madoff, General Motors and other Bailout Babies and thieves? During the Go Go days of the 90/10 Rule i.e, ten percent owning 90% of the wealth, power and decision making, no one cared about the average worker.

In fact, conservative talk show host vehemently criticized any measure designed to help the American worker. Tax reform, health care reform and most social programs were viewed as clever government efforts designed to take money away from hardworking Americans and give it away to poor lazy people. This philosophy echoed by Rush Limbaugh and many other conservatives is nothing more than double speak aimed at Black and Brown People. Although the largest percentage of welfare recipients are poor white single mothers who reside in the middle of the country, Blacks and Hispanics bear the brunt of conservative outrage.

Now that the country is in a self created financial mess they seek our angst. The average worker was asked to accept less and less from American corporations during the last decade. Any questions asked by him was met with a "stiff no" for a response. Only Chief Executive Officers and other members of the 10% club were allowed full membership.

This financial crisis is an opportunity to take back the country and a vibrant opportunity for the working class to reassert itself. We should avoid getting too emotionally involved. We were locked out during the good old days and now they want us to be upset. In my opinion, Bernard Madoff did not steal enough. Hevesi's good old pals did not siphon enough money from the New York State Pension fund.

I was utterly disappointed that former State Comptroller Hevesi's two-man crew made off with only a few million dollars New York State's Pension Fund. Those thieves should have destroyed the entire fund that they stole from. They, the ruling class has established the limited council of control. Let the financial chickens that they created roost where they belong.

Quincy Jones - Ai No Corrida (1981)

The Master Lives On.

Pseudo Donkey

I happen to like David Brooks, a brilliant New York Times contributor. However, the Times like so many other Pseudo Donkeys got it wrong with the endless outrage for American Incompetence and Greed (AIG). There are many axes to grind from those who are screaming murder with Wall Street Chief Executive Officers who by virtue of their jobs, are entitled to whatever they desire, while ignoring the very capitalist market response that they bow to.

The moral outrage can be summed up on these two fronts: Moral outrage just for the hell of it. For most people, their moral outrage with AIG's behavior emerges from the tea leaves of the bonuses themselves, or the 90/10 rule. The 90/10 is a new capitalism phenomena that asserts the following: Only ten percent or a very small percentage of society deserves the spoils of life. This theory and practice has served to eliminate whole sections of the American body-citizen and the Democratic ideals that they adhere to.

Left out of the fray on the Sunday Morning political talk shows is another outrage, unearthed last week, by New York State investigative officials. Two top advisers of Alan Hevesi, former state comptroller, had their way with $122 billion dollars of state pension funds in a pay-to-play scheme. The 123 count indictment that followed is by state prosecutors is a "damn joke."

We have grown accustomed by now, to these gargantuan figures. What's even more troubling about rumors and evidence of financial slight-of-hand, is the small number of people who benefit, ruin and control them. What many citizens are becoming more weary of, is the creation and expansion of an economic mafia. A small group of mostly old men and women who determine who eats, when they eat and how much they eat, literally. Th AIG bonus scam is quietly awakening the common sense in us, while slowly washing away the braying donkeys in the press, government and other institutions, whose commentary serves to do nothing more than reinforce the status-quo.

We are on the verge of a much needed uprising of some sort. Calling for the rubbing out of Chief Executive Officers and their families is counter to the ideals of freedom and Democracy and the rule of law, but something needs to be done. That something cannot and should not be left in the hands of politicians from either side of aisle,political pundits or the media. For they represent the dangerous and out of control pseudo donkey of our society. The one voice and minority ideology that contends: Only they know what's best for us and when.
As I listened to those who believe that things will get better and the economy will recover, the question remains, for who? The same 90% that wins all the time.

It is time for the people to stand up and take back what is rightly theirs. Dignity, a fair wage, stability and a larger piece of the pie than the 90/10 rule that has been shoe-horned down our collective throats. If that action leads to uncharted territory, then so be it. Capitalism, like other political systems that it usurped needs a major overhaul, and it needs that overhaul today. Not next week, next month, or next year, but right this minute. This once revered system has quietly turned into a dinosaur. How much more ruin, dreams stolen and souls displaced must we tolerate, before we insert the balance that is needed to safeguard and guarantee the equality that is desperately needed.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Merit Need Not Apply

The idea of merit has been hailed as one of the hallmarks of democracy, freedom, upward mobility and career enhancements. Those who have excelled based on merit are often Gods of self righteousness. Examining the current financial crisis, the golden parachutes given to failed executives and one quickly realizes that merit is nothing more than rules created by the powerful elite to restrict climbing underclassmen.

What's even more dangerous is hordes of honest and talented individuals who are being brain washed about merit. Conversations these days can't seem to escape the Bernard Madoffs of this world. The question remains, "Would anyone of us have acted differently given similar circumstances?"

This world is nothing more than what it has always been. "A dog eat dog world." It's every man for himself! As Hobbes once said "Life is Nasty, Brutish and Short."

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Time On The Job

Should you really remain on a job for a minimum of six months before moving on the next assignment? It's a question that many employees are quietly pondering during these tough economic times. The answer depends on who you are and where you are in your career.

Six months or more represents stability or does it? It is a well known fact that employers spend a pretty penny training new employees. Therefore, if someone has a history of short stints, potential employers might be weary of hiring them.

If you fall into this bracket and you do not want to pass up a great opportunity, you can simply delete assignments that are less than six months. With a record number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits, this is a great explanation to account for periods of unemployment. Time is critical in landing your dream assignment. Don't pass up a once in a life time opportunity simply because you want to conform to an academic schema.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Importance of Habit in the Workplace

Habits are behavior that require little or no thought. No matter who you are, you probably have some habits that are less than desirable. So what happens if you've been laid off from an old job where your bad habits were tolerated and now you're forced to confront them in a new less desirable job?

For starters, don't beat yourself up too much. What makes us unique is the good and not so good in us. Procrastination may sometimes feel like a weight around your neck. If you're in a leadership position, that procrastination could provide you with extra time to think of more innovative ideas for your department. If you must break some of your old habits, simply replacing them with a new one is probably the best way to go. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day. Separating yourself from the stimulus produced by that not so good habit is yet another step in the right direction.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Will The Real Stimulus Please Stand Up

So much has been written and debated about President Obama's stimulus plan, that I am forced to weigh in. The huge gripe stems from two main issues: President Bush's tax cuts will be allowed to expire and employees earning $250,000.00 will see a tax increase.

The real issue here is a gigantic income and wealth inequality in America. While I'm not advocating socialism, or a command economy, those who make more should pay more. With 90% of the country's wealth held tightly in the hands of the top ten percent of citizens, there is a real problem in this country. I'm not sure how we should pay for two wars and many other essentials in this country.

The Republican philosophy advocates a nation with a few wealthy patrons and massive poverty everywhere else. We've seen the disaster that significant spending cuts by average citizens has on the economy and still, conservative Republicans are raving mad about taxes. Conservatives are entitled to their opinions but not their own facts.

Finally, the Government should not prop up the failing auto industry. Americans do not buy American cars in drove anymore. Why prop up a dinosaur auto industry that the car buying public has and continues to ignore in larger numbers quarter after quarter?

A trillion dollar stimulus package to Detroit will not change consumer's perception of American cars. Consumers simply want safe, reliable products that work. That's it, nothing more. The Japanese has proven over the last three decades that they are capable of designing cars that the world swears by in droves.

Detroit for some strange reason, did not get the message. Although there has been some improvement, the car buying public continues to ignore their product year after year. Hardworking citizens will not now, start buying American cars if their design and engineering sucks. Patriotism is out the window when hard dollars are at stake.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Domestic Violence and the Work Place

Mention these words: Domestic Violence, especially against women and you're sure to hear a mouthful of righteous indignation. Despite our angst against various forms of domestic violence, ordinary employees rarely believe that they could contribute to this form of social insanity.

If you have to communicate with coworkers away from the office be cautious when communicating with spouses and significant others. I was surprised when a colleague tried to contact an employee at her residence to inform her that her assignment had changed.

Unfortunately, she left a message for the intended party with her jealous husband. When she arrived home later that day, she was savagely beaten by her spouse because he claimed that her job had called and inquired about her, when she should have been at work.

Although records confirmed that the employee in question was on assignment at a different location, she was savagely beaten nonetheless.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Grape Vine and The Office

By now we all have been instructed to ignore the grape vine. The reasons are as obvious as day. The information from this source is often described as gossip, inaccurate and damaging to fellow employees. Despite these dire warnings from experts, the grape vine does have its place in the office.

Managers do not have to share every organizational decision with subordinates. Therefore it is their responsibility to stay informed. For example, learning that you will be responsible for a team member's assignment during their absence will provide you with ample time to prepare for additional work. Also, employees who have difficulty with child care could prepare in advance and arrange for childcare that will coincide with longer working hours.

Using the grape vine to one's advantage involves good judgment. Avoid the usual: rumors about your co worker's sexual orientation, who is sleeping with the boss etc as these can get you into serious trouble. Using the grape vine successfully will limit surprises in the work place. The less surprises you encounter, the more prepared you are to respond appropriately to changes in the office.

Stop Buying the New York Post

It's crystal clear how the New York Post thinks about President Barack Obama. One look at their Chimp Cartoon impression of him reinforces the editor's view point. Now we need to let them know how we feel. Simply stop buying the post. That's it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Protecting Employee Privileges In A Recession

The basic rules of supply and demand are more prevalent than ever before in the work place today. When there is a low supply of highly trained, experienced and talented employees available, and a high demand for their expertise, potential employers are willing to bend over backwards to hire them.

When the reverse is true, some employers behave like Superman and bend the rules to their advantage. Rule bending could prove disastrous for new and older employees alike who might be afraid to speak up for fear of losing their job.

The deceptive nature of rule bending makes it very difficult to detect. Be aware of phrases such as, "We rarely take lunch or breaks during regular working hours." "We have so much to do that I don't understand how you find time for lunch." "It's been a while since I last took lunch." "Lunch is such a luxury around here." I'm sure most of us have skipped lunch on occasion to finish an important assignment.

If this is a chronic pattern and the above phrases continue, then your superiors are employing the use of "Soft Power." It's difficult to respond appropriately to soft power because the aforementioned statements are often disarming. Their disarming nature could make some employees feel as if they are walking on egg shells. If you're faced with such a scenario here's a few tips to combat it successfully:

1.Remind your supervisor that you're more productive with a break in between assignments.

2. Review your letter of employment with your supervisor and company policy regarding lunch breaks, overtime, pay rates and time off.

3. If you're unable to eat lunch at your normal time, drink as much water as possible.
Water acts as barrier between the lining of your stomach and the gastric juice that's released to break down complex food particles in your stomach. Although skipping lunch breaks might seem like the epicentre of productivity, prolonged starvation could lead to serious medical issues later in life, such as ulcers. Always remember that no employee is indispensable.

Finally, it's not what you say, but how you say it.Be polite but firm when communicating with superiors. Focus on written company policy and your official letter of employment instead of the "Self." This approach will help you regain privileges that you're entitled to without feeling guilty.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Importance of Work-Shape

As companies continue to lay off workers, employees are forced to make difficult decisions. Some individuals are forced to choose between unemployment benefits and a lower paying job than they are accustomed to. New York State pays qualifying individuals a whopping $405.00 a week in unemployment benefits. So what should you do if you have been offered a new job and the weekly salary is only a few dollars more than weekly unemployment benefits?

Unless you have three-six months of savings, you should take the job. One of the key benefits of steady employment is something called Work-Shape. Professional athletes often prepare themselves physically and psychologically for several months, to maintain and improve their performance. One of the dangers of being unemployed for a considerable length of time is being out of work-shape.
Most experts agree that it takes at least thirty days before human beings develop a consistent routine. The longer you remain unemployed, the more time is required to get back into work-shape. If you're one of the casualties of this economic crisis, there are a few steps that you can take to retain your edge, ability and attitude.

1. Develop a routine that mirrors an eight hour work-day.
2. Exercise at least thirty minutes a day.
3. If you have access to a computer, review Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point and Access at least one hour per day.

This routine should help you to retain your technical skills, just in time for the next opportunity around the bend. Finally, keep a positive attitude and don't be afraid to visualize your future job. If you have a vision of where you would like to be, there is a great chance that you will make the appropriate decisions and take the right steps to get there.

Don't be afraid to rekindle old acquaintances and friendships that fell apart. There are always opportunities. If you do not ask, no one will know that you're in need. I myself recently found employment through a former classmate. Had I not asked for help, this individual would not have been able to assist me.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Team Work On The Job

So you've been hired for your dream job, or in this economy any job and the environment pales in comparison to the image that the Human Resource Recruiter painted. Additionally, you learn after being hired that there is no formal training. What should you do?

Besides throwing your hands in the air and living in regret, there are a few steps you can take to make your situation more bearable.

1.Take Initiative

2.Introduce yourself to a member of your team. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

3. Inform your team members that you will be asking questions and seeking their assistance until you're up to speed.

4. Take copious notes. No matter how computer proficient you are, every system is different.

5. Don't be afraid to adjust your learning style. Remember you're not school. Once you leave the classroom, pedagogy is out the window. Your employer's main concern is the completion of tasks that enhances their bottom line.

These four simple steps should help ease your frustration and increase your learning quotient. In time you will fill like a full fledged capable team member. The experience will make you wiser, stronger and more competent.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Wall Street Fears ABC News

Wall Street heavy weights are running scared tonight. No, they're not worrying about parting ways with their private jets, limousines, fancy offices and outrageous salaries.

The US Government free giving ways without one iota of accountability will continue to pay for their lavish lifestyles, super charged libidos and satanic persona despite the growing list of failing firms.

They are afraid of Kristin Davis. Who is Kristin Davis you inquire? She's a convicted Madam who recently spent three months in the big house. According to her, Apartment 3A located on William Street in the heart of the "financial district" was the scene of the crime, or should I say high priced fun.

Davis Investments was nothing more than a front for guys who had too much money too spend, and had no clue what else to spend it on. Her clients spent thousands of dollars monthly, and billed their corporate accountants. Whoohoo!! The question is, should the Johns be charged with a crime? Would you convict guys who had access to these type of girls in real time? That's what the comments section is for. Don't be shy.

Small Vs. Big

As the economy continues to slash jobs with no abatement, I thought it was only fitting to comment on the advantages and disadvantages of working for a small firm/organization vs. large firm/organization.

Small firms offer employees opportunities to showcase their skills and talent. They also allow flexibility with work assignments and immense opportunities for growth.

Before you start raving about the benefits of working in a small firm, there are some crippling demerits that accompany these settings.

1. Trust your emotional intelligence.
2. Be mindful of experienced employees who may perceive you as a threat.
3. Do not rave about your old firm and its innovative techniques.
4. When making suggestions, focus on how they will improve tasks and enhance your current settings.
5. Mimic the culture of your new settings closely and try to fit in.
6. If you're accustomed to wearing tailored suits, dress to suit the environment not your ego.
7. Speak with managers when appropriate and ask if its okay to make suggestions for improving business.
8. If they give your their blessing, it will be much easier to gain a promotion if your innovations and suggestions bear fruit.
9. Don't be afraid to include longstanding employees in your new plans for the firm.
10. Seasoned employees are an asset to you and your plans, despite their lack of big firm experience. Their experience will help you navigate troubled waters that you least expect.
11. Finally, have fun with your new environment. If you have a job in this economy, you should build a shrine to your desk and the people you work with.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

To Catch A Thief

Boosters Beware! If you're planning on pilfering items from Target, they're waiting for you. As seen on ABC's Night line, Target has a high tech forensic lab in Minneapolis Minnesota that is the envy of many police departments.

They are able to retrieve latent finger prints left on items by thieves. They're also able to carry out covert surveillance on any of their stores from their high tech lab in Minneapolis. These thefts are quickly moving from misdemeanor to felony in some states.

Let's Talk About Telephone Manners

The importance of the telephone to the organization is unmistakable. Managers understand that proper telephone etiquette influences customer behavior and their desire to purchase goods and services from certain vendors.

Today you're considered outdated If you do not have a fancy cell phone devise complete with over the top ring tones. How long should your ring tone last? One or two versus from a song is okay, but an entire song is far too much.

Although your favorite song might be dear to your heart, no one wants to listen to an entire song before they're prompted to leave a voice message. That's why the iPod was invented.

In the same vein, listening to an entire jazz album while you're on hold with customer service is also annoying. Jazz Lounges were created to fill that void. Those who love these excessively long ring tones should consider the people being tortured who are simply trying to leave a voice message.

I Smoked The Competition

Hey guys, I smoked the competition during the Olympics and now I am swimming in more trouble than I'm prepared to deal with.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Things That Make You Go Umm..

Why is Produce Pete always on the TV Path Mark, but not at the one where I regularly shop?
Why is Mrs. Butterworth always alone on supermarket shelves?
We know she makes pancake syrup for a living, but what does her husband do for a living?
Does Mr. Butterworth even have a job?

When will Mr. G. on Channel 9 reveal his real last name?
Is he in the Federal Witness Protection Program? Most Weather men usually tell us their entire name, but not Mr. G.

When did Lil Wayne become the in-thing?
What happened to Toni Braxton?
Who said Mary Jay Blige could sing?

Can we allow 15,000 teachers to lose their jobs, and deny kids a proper education?
Is it fair for Wall Street Bankers to shell out $18 billion in bonus money to their cronies, while receiving federal bailout monies?
When will this town begin prosecuting financial crooks and sentence them to long prison terms until they are old and grey?
Things that make you go Ummmmmm...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I Wish

I wish I was a Wall Street Banker.
With the power to ruin my firm all out
While raking in millions in a federal bailout
And as the country loses jobs and focus
I continue receiving my fare share of bonus

Suicide and the Employer

She had given the corporation more than twenty of her most productive years. Her husband also followed suit. Theirs was a friendship at work that quickly blossomed into courtship and then marriage for more than two decades.

The wicked cancer had stricken them both, not once but twice. As the insurers haggled over payment for treatment, the corporation ended her professional tenure. Feeling alone, in debt, ravaged by cancer and depressed, she searched for the supervisor who had fired her before taking her own life in the female bathroom on the second floor. An act of defiance that was as shocking as the person involved. This is a true story of a woman who worked for one of my former employers a few years ago.

Earlier this week Antonio Lupog a medical worker in a quiet Los Angeles suburb, allegedly killed his family and subsequently took his own life after alerting authorities. Before this tragedy, another family in California suffered the same fate. Before them, a wealthy pilot allegedly tried to end his life in a botched plane crash after his investment firm went belly up.

These suicides are more than coincidental and involve so much more than money and the inability to meet one's commitments. They speak not only of the employee's psyche, but that of the employer and their corporate power. With the decline of real wealth for America's working class, the job, career, and corporate entity is essentially their last and only ride.

The employer's increasingly reach is exercised both in and out of the workplace like never before. The New York City Police Department is now requiring new recruits to log on to their Face book and My Space Web Pages before they are hired. Sure, no one wants to hire a budding racist or someone who engages in kiddie porn to uphold law and order. However, this new corporate intrusion is having a disastrous effect on the lives of workers across the United States.

Many corporations and employers are quietly eroding the most central facet of an employee, i.e. their individual identity. It starts out slowly with fingerprinting, credit checks, background checks, the annoying urine sample, medical report and psychological evaluation. Those who were born outside the United States are sometimes subjected to the intrusion of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL Background Check). How is that for freedom and individual liberty?

It progresses with company uniforms, pens,pencils and other paraphernalia including the company logo. An increasing number of employees have quietly and without notice, replaced their own identity with that of the employer. It is no coincidence that when their employment is no longer, they have not only lost their livelihood but their sense of self and existence. As the intestines of this economic recession continues to impose its will on the general citizenry, suicide headlines will only continue.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

CBS News Interviews the Saint Patrick Chronicle

This is a great piece. Many thanks to CBS News and reporter Cindy Hsu for a job well done.

Thank You Very Much (Part 2)

Stop Bashing Thick Women

What is wrong with Inside Edition? Who on earth told these Moron Producers that a Crack-Head Like Skinny woman is sexy? Enough with the Jessica Simpson Bashing Already!

Families are trying to eat and keep a roof over their heads. Do we want anymore young women to starve themselves to death for the bragging rights of a size zero? The size of the average woman in the US is a Lucky Number 13.