google-site-verification: google1ebcbd3f9084755c.html Eclectic writing: December 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Auto rip-off

Aaaah! The Auto Industry...

The House giveth and the Senate tooketh away....

So... the Big 3 show up filled with arrogance to demand tax payer money so they can continue with business as usual. Which includes making sure the unions in this country no longer exist, along with the middle class.

So... they are turned down because they have no plan of action, just an extended hand.

So... they come back a bit more humble and they almost... almost... got what they wanted.

Today was the final straw and they walk away empty handed, so George W. Bush is thinking that maybe what they are asking for should, and might have, to come out of the insanely unsupervised and major league squandered tax payer dollars allocated to Hank Paulson to "save" the financial institutions.

I am betting they'll get it and there will be no oversight or a plan in place. Just the way they want it and the way this whole financial crisis has been mishandled by Hank Paulson and his buddies. More on the financial later....

In the meantime, I learn the following:

Ford is opening a plant in Mexico. Yes, where the labor is cheap, Unions non-existent and the government if far more corrupt than ours. Ford apparently has the $15 MILLION that it takes to build this factory while not bothering to consider that they already have factories in the USA with skilled, capable and ready to produce workers. Instead, laying them off is the company financial plan that resonates with Ford executives.

It is offensive to see that the Ford Fiesta will be built in Mexico to be sold in the USA.

"Ford's plans in Mexico also include moving one of its factories from large truck to small car production, and opening a new diesel engine line at another plant."

"The decision to invest in Mexico will be a blow to the United Auto Workers union, which reached a cost-cutting agreement with Ford in a bid to make US plants more competitive."

The full article can be read here:

In the meantime, we have Volkswagen opening plants in the USA with an investment of 1 BILLION dollars. By 2011, Volkswagen plans to be producing and selling 110,000 vehicles in the US.

You can read the full article here.

Let's not forget about the lovely car I wrote about in a previous post, the Ford Fiesta's ECOnetic which is not only produced in Europe, but sold in Europe and give 65 miles a gallon. A car that Ford has no intention of building or selling in the USA.

Check it out, it is not a golf cart or a vehicle for the vertically challenge. It would look good here too and it would sell like hotcakes.

How about GM? How are they doing? Well, thank you for asking, apparently they are doing fine since their Russian plant is costing them $300 MILLION dollars and they will be building SUV's, a highly sought after vehicle in a fuel rich Russia. It is their status symbol and they can't get enough of it.

Would it be a stretch of the imagination to use the plants we have here, with the qualified and trained employees they have here, to build it here, and ship it there?

No, I guess it is easier to ask for tax payer's dollars and move their operations over seas.

here is the article:


When is a bonus, not a bonus? When you use different words to describe a stinking rose. Let's call it.... "A retention payment". Yes, that sounds good. So when you are making 4 million a year, your boss wants to hand you another million as a "retention", so you stick around for another year and "earn" another 4 million of tax payer dollars for the next 12 months.

These people will stay on until the well runs dry. YOU, the taxpayer, own 90% of AIG. These are in effect, government employees since it is no longer a privately financed company and yet, they are paid more than the Senators, the Congressmen or the President.

*note to self.... apply for employment as executive with AIG*

Back to reality.... According to AIG spokesperson, they need to make these payments to retain "the talent". I ask you, what talent? If they had any they would not be in the situation they are in.

I suggest we all screw up royally at work and do our best to bring the company to the brink of disaster and test the company loyalty to us by seeing what our "retention" check would be. Wanna bet that we are shown the door by the real talent in the company?.

The financial bailout was a bad idea then, and it is a bad idea now. We are witnessing the most blatant bank robbery in the history of the world and they don't even bother to wear ski masks to do it.

Meanwhile, our neighbors, family and friends have lost their jobs and we have reached the highest unemployment rate in the history of this country.

There is no middle class anymore, just the wealthy lining up their pockets in total glee with taxpayer's dollars.

I am sure their holidays will be jolly since the business of making money is still going strong.

Bank of America, Stanley tools and Sara Lee are going to cut thousands of jobs. Sara Lee is going to be outsourcing hundreds of jobs. KayBee toys is closing their doors.

Joy to the World! (Maybe some will trickle down in our direction)

Maybe, just maybe, someone is going to realize that the greatest consumers in the planet cannot fulfill their mandate without paying jobs? Without a roof over their heads? Without financial security and a future to look forward to? Without their retirement savings having been plundered?

Just a thought.

PEACE to all

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

How to get a job in this economy

Here is an incomplete list of what is awaiting some of our neighbors, friends and family this holiday season. Hint: It is not good.

Sharper Image is going bye-bye and following in the footsteps of more familiar and affordable places, like CompUSA, Linens & Things, Mervin's, etc.

Major Layoffs are in the works for Sony who will be cutting over 15, 000 jobs, 3M is letting over 1,800 workers world-wide, Dow Chemical and Dupont are going to let go almost 10,000 people. Circuit City already filed for bankrupcy and closed down a huge number of stores and the few that are left are not that secured.

Other retailers have seen and felt the crunch consumers are in and acted accordingly by closing doors, places where luxury items are found are going bye-bye too, we can all say our collective goodbyes to Zales and Wilson's leather and one I have always meant to go in but now will not get the chance, Fashion Bug.

(T)RUSTED SKILLS need to be sharpened.

Aside from the fact that there are fewer opportunities available and greater competition, the basics of getting a job in this economy are the same as always:

Personal presentation, Resume presentation and use of language (both verbal and written)

1. Personal presentation

We all know the old axiom; "you only get one chance to make a first impression" and yet, sometimes we fail miserably due to lack of time or forethought.

Presenting ourselves is the first package we are selling, true it is unfair, but the fact is that a well groomed individual that is dressed appropriately for the job is the first impression that sticks in the interviewer's mind as well as those of the staff that we maybe working with.

I'll give you an example; my boss once refused to interview a lawyer because she was dressed in what she interpreted as "nightclub" clothes and would send the "wrong" signal to the board of directors. In other words, it would reflect poorly on my boss. Her judgement would be in question and she would be the one fighting scrutiny and perceptions. Being a "good fit" for any company starts with how we present the whole package and the first part of the package we are selling is ourselves. The contents of the package comes shortly afterwards and is revealed by body and verbal language.

In these days of economic upheaval, we need all the help we can get and even though it is not fair to make assumptions about people because of the way they show up dressed to an interview, the fact is that this is not going to change any time soon. In my opinion, why take a chance? Those first steps should be carefully orchestrated to our advantage and not to the advantage of our competition.


I can't tell you how many people's resumes ended in the "no way, not now, not ever" pile because of the improper use of grammar and spelling errors. Some of us think that these spelling errors can be easily remedied with a spell checker, unfortunately, many of us make the mistake of assuming that the spell checker knows what we mean to say and since the word is spelled correctly, we must have done the job right.

Nothing can be further from the truth, since many words with similar spelling carry different meanings. How many times did we meant to say "too" (as in "also") and wrote "to" (as in going somewhere)? That maybe an excusable error among friends but one that denotes lack of education or carelessness to a prospective employer.

Verbally speaking.... (Redundancy). How we express ourselves matters and if we say things such as "the installation is adequate" when we mean to say "the insulation is adequate", we may get a quizzical look and elicit an unwanted impression from our interviewer.
vocabulary learning

I like to try things first and see if they work for me. Espindle is one of those things that costs nothing to try out and for the first time ever, I am actually advertising something that I have chosen to advertise. Espindle is the first product I have chosen to endorse because a) it is free to try for 10 days and b) sharpening those job hunting skills never goes out of style.



Let's leave the man alone. Let's wait to pounce on him once he takes office, say... around January 20th?. Let's all demand perfection on the 21.


Another day, another dollar. Or in his case, the other half of the gizillion dollars this Congress sought to give him to stimulate the economy without oversights, a plan, or a clue.

Are we sufficiently sick to our stomachs yet? I know I am.

The BIG 3

Thank Goodness it is over! we are loaning them the money with restrictions and oversight. Wish we had done that with Paulson and friends. Don't you?


Lovely city, great people and .... a governor that wants to sell the vacant seat in the Senate left by Obama to the highest bidder.

What works here? Fitzgerald! the Attorney General that seems to be determined to make sure this bozo does not hold another job in government. Glad to see we are cleaning house in a bipartisan way and we are getting all these trash out to the curb.

Some days, there is light at the end of the tunnel and it is not an incoming train. (At least for us)

Unfortunately, there are some very real human beings sitting in a freezing cold warehouse demanding that the company that fired them without sufficient warning pays them what is owed to them.

This Governor was making the news by backing them up in their time of need. Who better than their Governor?. And now the guy gets arrested and some seem to think that the timing not only sucks, but is incredibly suspect. I am not given to conspiracy theories and like to have the facts on hand.

The fact is that Governor Rod Blagjevich was arrested based on how openly he has been taped demanding money for favors. For Goodness sake! when are these people going to realize that it is a lot harder to rewrite history now than it was in the past due to the advance tehcnology that recalls verbatim everything we have ever said and done at the push of a button?

Speaking of clueless idiots... Have you heard about John Thain? He is the CEO for Merril Lynch and seems to think that he is entitled to $10 million dollar bonus after he (and his team) lost over $10 BILLION dollars last year. The disconnect between the reality for millions of Americans whose pensions they squandered and lost and these CEO's lifestyle is bigger than anything we can think of. (A black hole million years away from the Milky Way seems about right)

Clueless does not begin to address this type of mentality and their sense of entitlement is in dire need of mental health services. (or a firm hand with a sharp stick, followed by a long stretch in prison).

This type of disconnect seems to afflict everyone in those circles, apparently the words "Are you kidding me?" do not flow freely from the lips of those in charge of handing out bonuses to these embezzlers, so instead, they are just "reluctant" and "considering it". You can read about it here.


Yes, much better and we are going to do it together, so let's all hang in there and keep the faith.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Big 3 Bailout


It has been on every channel:

How did the Big 3 arrive to the hearings? ~ In private jets. Outrage at the lack of connection between the lives of most Americans and the fact that they are arriving in luxury to beg for money. Except that they weren't begging, they were expecting it and demanding it.

Their level of perceived arrogance has not escaped the public. The latest poll shows that over 60% of the public does not want to bail out these people with loan that will pay interest.

To be honest, this is money we are likely to get back, as opposed to Paulson's dealings with the financial and insurance companies. Our great-grandchildren will most likely be paying off this horrific giveaway.

The Big 3 arrived the second time around for their begging/demanding session with Congress by more modest, less polluting ways, but is it too late? Are Americans too fried to give a damn anymore about big corporations when they are loosing, or have lost, their homes and jobs?

Who is bailing out the economy and rushing to make sure that the individual American does not have to hit in shame the food banks and food stamps just to have something on the table? Where is the rush to action?

Perhaps this is the reason we are sick and tired of these companies and their plights due to their lack of leadership, foresight and self control.


It is happening around the country; your parents or your kids, maybe even yours, medications are no longer approved by the insurance company you pay into. The elderly and disabled are on Medicare and they change to part D (XYZ) on a yearly basis to obtain the most coverage. A formulary is used by most to determine which way to go.

The book looks like a phone book, the paperwork and amount of scrutiny is time consuming and there are time limits in which to make this decision and can only be changed on a yearly basis.

Nothing prevents the pharma portion from changing what they cover, how much and how often. Now, to add insult to injury, the are pitting the medical offices against the patients by demanding prior authorization for a medication the ill person needs and has had covered for years.

The pharmacist states that it is no longer covered and to call the insurance company or pay out of pocket (no reimbursement on the horizon either).

The insurance company tells you to call the doc and have them request authorization, the doc calls the insurance co., and they say there was never a problem and to just have the patient call the pharmacy to refill the order.

You call the pharmacy and they call the insurance company who states to have the patient call the doctor's office and request authorization.

This was a typical day in the life of a spousal caregiver. Unfortunately, this one day was GroundHog Day because it lasted 2 weeks.

Smarty pants that I am, I started this before the meds run out completely, you see, my oldest has asthma and she could just drop dead if she has no inhaler and the attack is severe and in school. Nice, huh?

Well, then there is also the husband's meds. The ones that are supposed to alleviate one thing, and in exchange will produce all sorts of nasty side effects that will cause additional physical distress.

I find out from the doctor's office that the elderly people they provide services for are doing without their medication because they are being denied medications left and right. They are complaining that their reimbursements stink and often times they are not getting paid.

And yet, the medical community balks at the idea of a National Health Care system. Go figure!

Most of us are performing daily miracles and we have never asked for help or sympathy, but we sure as hell would appreciate not having to fight with an insurance company over covered benefits.


I just read an article about "toxic wives" and how quickly the rats abandon a sinking ship. It is funny and sad all at once. Funny because of the macabre nature of these relationships and the sad because maybe at some level, the poor sap was under the impression that he was loved as a human being, not an ATM. The article is titled: Recession; when the money goes, so does the toxic wife. It is very well written and it gives us a little perspective on what their lives are truly like. Ah! to have those money problems! poor saps!


Nope! not yet, we still have people living on the streets, cardboard boxes and tents. Clean up is not done, displaced residents are unable to come home (what home?) and the FEMA trailers are a toxic disaster that are not being maintained because the formaldehyde and other cancer causing agents are too dangerous for government employees, volunteers and vendors to reside in or to work on.

Of course, it is perfectly fine for Katrina victims to reside in and raise their little ones there for years on end too. The health problems and increase in cancers, such as leukemia and breathing disorders are all in their heads, just like our economic woes.

I am sure you heard Bill Graham telling you we were a Nation of whiners and it was all imaginary (maybe that is the real reason McCain lost this election, because this bozo was his financial guru.... and Lord! even the most staunch Republican found this to be insulting).

Which brings us to the next financial whack-over-the-head to the average American....


Apparently, credit cards are now going to decide what your credit limit really is, without telling you.

You see, they need to protect themselves against your luxury spending (probably the way you are feeding your family and paying the heating bill).

Please be aware that there is a clause in your contract with them (the only part that needs to be honored, you see?) and if you go above your credit limit, there will be hell to pay, by way of penalties, increased percentage rate will be automatic (their current 28% is not enough), and Gulp! they could denmand payment in full (Ha! if you had it, why would you be using a credit card?) and close your account... and send the collection agencies against you... and put liens on your assets... and... Well, you get the idea.

Please check your balance and current credit limit before they get you in a new technicality.


Katrina's disaster is not the only thing that has not been taken care of. If you live in Texas you know full well that you got 30 miles of debris with rotting corpses that has not been cleaned up as promised by your favorite son (the one that is moving back in with you come January). Maybe the fact that Bush is moving back to Texas, that alone will light a fire under him to clean up the mess that Ike left behind. One can only hope. Read about it here, straight from Texas.

Katrina is just going to have to wait, all those billions of dollars meant to help people have disappeared as quickly as the billions "missing" in Iraq and the Billions Paulson can't account for... WHAT? Paulson? Say it is not so....


Apparently, the Treasury does not know where the 700 billion went or are going, or how much is left and there is no oversight and no accountability (which is how we got into this in the first place).

If you wish to read the full report, you can find it here.

In the meantime, Paulson keeps fighting to get the remainder and continue to inflate the banks with money they are not lending to the consumers but the Congress is not happy with the above report and a monkey wrench is being thrown into Paulson's... Plan? ... does he have one? ... is he making it up as he goes along?... The Associate Press article fully describes the GAO report in more easy to understand terms, but the bottom line is that the lack of transparency and accountability are a sort of concern (ya think?), and there is a disturbing stubborness to continue to pay executives a king's ransom just for being their arrogant selves..... Oh, boy!


More than a lame duck, an inefficient, ineffectual and incompetent moron. On his latest interview with Charlie Gibson he stated that the most regretable thing in his administration had been the faulty intelligence that led to the war in Iraq.

Fair enough, now shut up and don't say another word.... but no, he continues to answer questions. Charlie Gibson flat out asked him, "... if he had knowledge that there were no weapons of mass destruction would we not gone to war with Iraq?" This is the point where someone in a dark suit should have come in and claimed "urgent matters" and end the interview, but no, he had to answer with: "I don't know, it is not a do-over".

Okay now, The Weapons of Mass Destruction was the ONLY reason to go into Iraq, so if the intelligence had stated that there would not be any, this guy thinks that we would have gone into Iraq anyway?... he is not certain that we would not have.

Can you say OIL baby? OIL, that is all this was about and we could not even manage this right. Oh, wait, we did. H.burton is swimming in it. Good job!


Thank God we are going to have grownups running the show. Great new team filled with not only intelligent people but people who have demonstrated their skills and abilities and have the same goal in mind: The American People. Who would have thunk it? civil servants at the beck and call of the people. Someone should write a Constitution about a government being by and for the people. Maybe it will happen.

The best part of this new Administration is that is not filled with incompetent fools that are kindergarten chums, or drinking buddies of yester- year... or a cousin of a good friend. We are actually getting grown ups!


Who is responsible?

I am going out on a limb on this one, but I am willing to say that it is the store because they lacked security, they build up a frenzy of a mob mentality and did not take their employees safety into consideration.

Others will disagree, but I think that when a mob mentality is fostered and people behave badly (like beating up people because they are of different religion, race, ethnic background, etc), then those who incite that mood and encourage that attitude are responsible, period.

Really, how desperate are times where a man gets trampled to death so some "lucky" shopper can purchase outdated technology for $20.00 less?

No crowd control, no training and lots of hours of people in line. Wally World is at fault in my opinion.

Okay folks! Have a good evening and as always...

PEACE to you all for support and information