8/13/2014

Dismissal a(rthur)t will

By Friday, if the protesting Market Basket employees do not return to work, they will, according to the new CEOs, be fired for abandoning their posts.

As Massachusetts is a hire-and-fire at-will state, the CEOs can (and often do) fire people for whatever reason they deem proper.  It could be for personality conflicts, improper hygiene, budget reasons, or that a contract has ended.  They can also terminate for no reason at all and not tell the employee why they've been dismissed.

I'm sorry, but I cannot stand any of the Demoulas family anymore.  They are overgrown, spoiled, rich children who need a good smack in the ass in the form of a hostile takeover, preferably for pennies on the dollar, and with the proviso that the Market Basket name they dragged through the mud and ruined never be used again in any form.

I really hope that the family gets precisely what they deserve: scorn and anger from loyal employees who they alone betrayed and screwed royally, and each and every second they stand in the unemployment lines, they remember that Arthur T played them like a fiddle, because in the end, it was always about the money.

P.S. Word has it that some of the MB protesting employees are taking to harassing people who speak out against the protest.  Tactics like that show desperation and a sign a disgustingly militant "Arthur T or no one" faction has taken hold.

Do these protestors want to be seen as the new Occupy group - rigid, ignorant and brainwashed - to the point when they're fired tomorrow and are seen as trespassers, they will fight the police?

8/10/2014

BRAIN before ENTERTAIN, please (hold the ice)

I was challenged to dump a bucket of ice over my head today, but instead declined and donated directly to ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease).

This article, however, articulates the exact reason why I think the Ice Bucket Challenge has become a tiresome, obnoxious fad.  It has no other purpose other than making people feel good about they did something they normally wouldn't do, and the bonus is that the ALS society gets tons of donations they normally wouldn't.

However, a more honest question would be, other than entertainment value, why are you doing this?

Ask a person who has been recently diagnosed with ALS, then ask a person who is in the late stages of ALS.  Put yourself in their shoes.  ALS robs people of their ability to write, then to speak, then to eat, and then to breathe.

One such person who has been fortunate to survive ALS is guitarist Jason Becker, who was diagnosed in 1989 at the age of 20.  As of today, he is still alive, still composing, and has been surviving 25 years after the initial diagnosis.  For many others, ALS unfortunately is still a fatal disease with no cure.

 It would help immensely and be far more honest to at least mention the address to make donations (www.alsa.org).  Even a quick visit to Wikipedia or WebMD and a short blurb about ALS before loading your bucket informs those you're challenging why you're doing it.  And if you don't wish to participate, simply donate.

That's the one thing missing: "we're dumping cold ice water on our heads but we haven't told you where to donate or why we're doing it."

8/08/2014

"For one who needs it..." and a personal story

Suldog recalls his own experiences with addiction in this story (links to the Herald).  Go forth, read it, and come back.

In my family, one of my relatives (not me, because my parents would have killed me if I did) fell into the trap of cocaine addiction.  He tried to clean up and failed three times.  Only when he was fired, totally broke, and totally broken and was threatened to be thrown into the streets did he finally submit to full rehabilitation.  He has since been sober for the past 21 years.

8/07/2014

When loyalty becomes a liability

There is a distinct difference between loyalty and cult-like behavior.  Loyalty does not mean slavishly defending the activities of your higher-ups, be they minor spats or major quarrels.  When you're done for the day, you go home and relax; you do not continuously work just to please the muck-a-mucks.

I have a theory that there's something or someone else behind the "Bring Back Arthur T. (Demoulas)" protests.   It is not loyalty, but someone willing to rush in and close the vacuum when this drama is over, and force those who really were loyal out of their jobs.

If you're a well-funded entity who sees monetary gold in the Market Basket drama, you would do everything in your power to whisper in the ears of these employees that if they get behind Arthur T, they will be rewarded with their jobs back plus even more money for their efforts.  However, if Arthur T. decides to sell to a new company, the new focus is to confuse and betray.

The second the new business takes over, there will likely be a restocking effort.  Market Basket employees will be told to come in, but the second they arrive, they will see new workers filling the shelves.  Then they will be escorted to a place where they will be told their job was filled by someone else, and their services will no longer be required.  Those new workers are likely union workers transferred from other stores, who will be permanently hired as employees.

If they were part time workers, the new company will bring over their workers to replace them.  In effect, the group that seduced Market Basket employees to rally behind Arthur T. will manage to pull off the biggest bait-and-switch in history, with the only winners being the unions (who earn more money and thus can implement by-the-letter rules and strike at any time), Arthur T (who laughs all the way to the bank), and the well-funded entity (who gets a cut from all of this to fund even more schemes).

Thus the almost-blind loyalty Market Basket employees have will be betrayed, and the loss of jobs will be unspeakable.  Arthur T. will have indeed sold every employee down the river so he can pocket a profit.

Of course, it is only a theory.  But it is a cautionary tale.

The Demoulases have feuded for decades.  It is truly a spectacle to watch this family use the MB workers as pawns.  Conversely, why would Market Basket employees support a family whose only focus is to battle over money?  The smart employees, while loyal, can easily see through this theatre and see that there's something not quite right.  The first employee that does, who breaks the ranks of loyalty and questions the protests and the designs of the Demoulas family, may be seen as a traitor.  Yet, they also recognize for once and for all this be-all, end-all loyalty has a single, more sinister word: cult.

7/23/2014

Camps for the noblesse oblige

In my humble opinion, if you wish to go to a camp catering to certain clientele, that's fine by me.  I would love to attend Rock and Roll fantasy camp IF i can afford the time and money.

Those who have that time and plenty of money already do so, by taking luxe shopping trips that would bust the pocketbooks of mere mortals.  In these days, however, special camps running in the tens of thousands of dollars also raise the jealousy factor from those who can't snap their fingers, get a copter to the Hamptons, ride purebred horses, and have their own bottle service at a swank restaurant - all at the age of 15.

A better camp would be sending these spoiled kids to poorer areas and make them appreciate what they have.  Give them a stipend of $200, force them to take low-wage jobs, and then attempt to stretch out a $220 after-tax paycheck for food, rent, and utilities.  Force them to see how the other half really lives - hand to mouth, paycheck to paycheck - and you will see a change from asking for Daddy's platinum card to deciding that the Harvard MBA isn't as good as urban planning to prevent such horrors as open prostitution, drug use, and mental illness.  Instead of being a junior partner at a hedge firm, there could be good doctors, psychologists, and others who, unlike politicians who pay lip service, actually perform the service rather than raise their noses against them.

Or go to an authentic camp in the woods, with no chances to bury your face in your cellphone, no scripted reality TV shows, no doormen to shield you from the rain, where bottle service is Coke and there are no Twitter feeds, selfish selfies, obnoxious hash tags, and no way of staying out past midnight unless you like chancing it with bears, coyotes, and snakes; and the only long vehicle available is a canoe.

7/19/2014

Freedom vs. Control

When people speak about modern liberals, they really talk about those who wish to control people's lives or are sympathetic to those who do.

Michael Barone's column in the New York Post discusses how modern liberals of have dispensed with the true definition of liberal (which comes from the Latin adverb liberalis, which comes from the adjective liber, meaning free, and also derives the verb liberare (to free) and the noun libertas (liberty and freedom)) and applied radical leftist methods - no dissent being the most glaringly obvious - to warp its meaning.

Classical liberals would never even harbor the idea of worshiping dictators, wishing that one day, another Erich Honecker or Che Guevara would come forward and "liberate" America from its vices - capitalism, obesity, consumerism, et. al.  In this sense, the modern liberal is actually a radical that wants to release the oppressed and impoverished from weighty chains and convince the same to overthrow those who put those chains on them, and when victorious, the oppressed and impoverished find newer, tighter chains affixed on them.

But not all modern liberals wish to emulate Mao, Lenin, Marx and Stalin.  To a point, they're satisfied with being a control freak, even if a benign, well-meaning one.  They will not, however, go so far as to physically or mentally harm someone because that would throw them into a tizzy of lifetime guilt.  Nagging someone as a means to an end is fine; bludgeoning them to death is not.

The classical liberal today, ironically, is an amalgam of the libertarian and the independent.  Not only do they recognize the benefits of being free, but recognize it is best to leave other people alone in their choices.  It is not in their interest to disrupt and bully people into their way of thinking, even if they strongly disagree with them.  Not so the bolder, more cocky modern liberals - if they haven't guilt-tripped or terrorized someone into thinking their way, they haven't done their job.

7/17/2014

They do want her elected, don't they?

You have to admire the chutzpah and irony of the left-leaning wealthy.

Given that they seriously wish to draft Elizabeth Warren for the 2016 election and her shrill preachings about "millionaires and billionaires" is a sign they want someone clueless enough to keep their wealth rolling in while taking it away from others.

To wit: the people Elizabeth Warren really excoriates aren't ones who are hide-bound ideologues like her, ones who don't spend their bountiful time writing screeds in the newspaper, and ones who work hard for that money, not through some kind of phony transubstansiation like trust funds, redistribution, or patronage.

It's everyone else that deserve her wrath - not her fellow travelers. 

The symbiosis is striking: these wealthy activists are her perfect audience, and she's their perfect preacher - and puppet.  They want to continue cronyism and power, and no better way than with Warren.

Every time she squawks about "millionaires and billionaires," it quickly becomes an ironic symbol of someone who is enamored of being a scold.  She hopes her schoolmarm populism will bring her to higher office, and an army of warp-minded activists, militant unions, and slick,  deep-pocketed lobbyists will bring her there.

She will be sadly disappointed to discover that a cant phrase, repeated endlessly, soon is tuned out by those who aren't fellow hypocrites.

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