There’s a lesson here…

Dracula Starring

…but I’m not sure what it is:

Two hundred fifty employees of the United Parcel Service (UPS) walked off the job for 90 minutes in February to protest the firing of one of their coworkers, Jairo Reyes. Reyes had driven for the company for over 20 years, and they felt his firing (which occurred after a complicated saga over the hours that senior UPS workers could hold) was unfair.

This week, all of those employees were given a pink slip, New York Daily News reports. “They just called me in … (and) said, ‘Effective immediately, you are no longer on the payroll,’” one UPS employee told the outlet.

The workers are represented by the Teamsters, so what happened?

UPS workers are unionized under the Teamsters, and UPS alleges that the protesters not only delayed package delivery for customers, but also violated their union contract. Gaught invited the Teamsters of Local 804, where the workers were fired, to appeal the termination under contract rules. But the union insists it already has.

“Since UPS fired Jairo Reyes and 250 drivers walked off the job in protest, Local 804 has repeatedly tried to bring UPS to the table to settle the issues,” the group’s local wrote on its page. “Local 804 will continue to work with political leaders and the public to bring UPS management to the table to reach a fair settlement. We will do whatever is necessary to achieve this goal.”

Oh, wait a moment! I know what the lesson is: USE THE GODDAMN US POSTAL SERVICE TO MAIL YOUR PACKAGES.

(Think Progress)

Boss of the year?

McDonald’s manager tells diabetic employee he’ll ‘put a bullet’ in her head if she’s sick again

Carmen Navarrette has worked at the River North McDonald’s for more than nine years. According to a statement released by Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago, she asked her manager whether she could go home after she suffered what was described as “a severe diabetic episode.”

Her manager allegedly told her that he would “put a bullet” in her head if she asked again.

Aside from the cruelty of the manager, and the sad thought of a diabetic person working for a diabetes vendor, doesn’t this scream that there needs to be Sick Days available for workers?

The Morning Quote

“We’ve got a country that the poverty level is wealth in 99 percent of the rest of the world. Money’s all over the place, and the guy that’s making, oh my God, he’s making $35,000 a year, why don’t we try that out in India or some countries we can’t even name. China, anyplace, the guy is wealthy.”

–Bud Konheim, Nicole Miller fashion brand CEO, suggesting that America’s poor would be rich elsewhere, so get over it.

So, Who’s Destroying America Today?

The Koch Brothers Left a Confidential Document at Their Last Donor Conference—Read It Here

In the annals of comic-book supervillians, no evil genius is so inept that they leave behind their secret membership roster when they flee their caves, but apparently that lesson was never learned by the super-rich Koch Brothers.

Mother Jones has the list and has done the legwork to itemize who these people are. I would say it is fascinating reading, but it also is stomach turning.

(Mother Jones)

Ann Frank weeps for Tom Perkins

…because being wealthy is exactly like the Kristallnacht:

Regarding your editorial “Censors on Campus” (Jan. 18): Writing from the epicenter of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its “one percent,” namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the “rich.”

From the Occupy movement to the demonization of the rich embedded in virtually every word of our local newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent. There is outraged public reaction to the Google buses carrying technology workers from the city to the peninsula high-tech companies which employ them. We have outrage over the rising real-estate prices which these “techno geeks” can pay. We have, for example, libelous and cruel attacks in the Chronicle on our number-one celebrity, the author Danielle Steel, alleging that she is a “snob” despite the millions she has spent on our city’s homeless and mentally ill over the past decades.

This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent “progressive” radicalism unthinkable now?

Tom Perkins

“First they came for Venture Capitalists…” just what the hell is he trying to accomplish? Sympathy? Lessons from history?

For those of you outside of Silicon Valley, the name might not be on the tip of your tongue, but Mr. Perkins is a founder of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which is pretty much the mother ship of Venture Capital, and yes, he is one of the richest men in the world.

Fun fact: Tom Perkins is also one of the few people to ever have been convicted of killing someone using a yacht as the deadly weapon.

His comment was so offensive that KPCB actually had to disclaim it:

As for me, I’m also offended that he considers his ex-wife and not-really talented dirty book writer Danielle Steel to be the #1 celebrity in SF. Poor old Tom doesn’t get out much anymore.


And the water is wet

Remember him?

Two news items, somewhat related, from West Virginia, where Ayn Rand’s hollow laugh echoes from her grave:

  • Water-relief tankers filled from Charleston water system — you read that right. The tanker trucks allegedly delivering fresh, safe water to the 300,000 parched residents of the chemical spell Libertarian Paradise of West Virginia, was filling the tanker trucks with the contaminated water.
  • Good work, boys.

  • Freedom Industries files for bankruptcy, owes $2.4 million to IRS — Surely it is a coincidence that Freedom Industries would enter bankruptcy protection just now, before all the class action and other law suits could be filed for poisoning the water of 300,000 people through negligence?

    “The filing also puts a hold on all of the lawsuits filed against Freedom Industries. Since the leak last week, about a mile and a half upriver from West Virginia Water American’s plant in Charleston, about 25 lawsuits have been filed against Freedom Industries in Kanawha Circuit Court. The company also faces a federal lawsuit.”

(West Virginia Gazette, West Virginia Gazette via Scissorhead Skinny-D)

Good one! Target takes this crime seriously.

Target says…

We take this crime seriously. It was a crime against Target, our team members, and most importantly, our guests. We’re in this together, and in that spirit, we are extending a 10% discount – the same amount our team members receive – to guests who shop in U.S. stores on Dec. 21 and 22. Again, we recognize this issue has been confusing and disruptive during an already busy holiday season. We want to emphasize that the issue has been addressed and let guests know they can shop with confidence at their local Target stores.”

Gee, you mean we guests are invited to spend more money at the security sieve?

[One of the banks interviewed] has issued a grand total of more than 120,000 debit and credit cards to its customers, but my source told me the tiny bank had not yet heard anything from the card associations about specific cards that might have been compromised as a result of the Target breach. My source was anxious to determine how many of the bank’s cards were most at risk of being used for fraud, and how many should be proactively canceled and re-issued to customers.

Let’s see: 40M cards – 120,000 =39,880,000 more cards to go. That’s still more than 10% of the country affected by the security breach and no one is doing anything about it.

The bank wasn’t exactly chomping at the bit to re-issue the cards; that process costs around $3 to $5 per card, but more importantly it didn’t want to unnecessarily re-issue cards at a time when many of its customers would be racing around to buy last-minute Christmas gifts and traveling for the holidays.

But more importantly, note that your date security is worth about $3-$5 and the banks don’t want to spend it.

Do you really think that anyone is going to do anything about data security on their own? Not likely. I’d say Congress ought to pass a law, but they did: it protects every corporate entity, but not you. You still have to change all your accounts, PIN numbers, bill paying, etc., at your own cost. Have fun with that, Guests.

(Krebs on Security)

Target regrets the inconvenience

“Target’s first priority is preserving the trust of our guests and we have moved swiftly to address this issue, so guests can shop with confidence. We regret any inconvenience this may cause,” said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Target. “We take this matter very seriously and are working with law enforcement to bring those responsible to justice.”

I’m not a guest, I’m a customer.

We’ve gotten so used to this happening that it is now just a given that Target is the victim of a crime, but the burden will be born by their customers and others. What can anyone do?

The Invisible Hand does nothing to correct the problem. It’s just the cost of doing business. “Poor Target,” everyone mutters while changing all of their automatic bill paying, subscriptions, and automatic donations, and eating up individuals’ free time. (40 million people will be doing this today, that’s more than 10% of the country, by the way. What’s the cost of that? Think Target cares?)

Now, if the institution that had lax security had to bear any costs (fines, law suits, increased insurance premiums, whatever), those lax security breaches would be addressed. Now all Target has to do is say, “Sorry” and move on. The cost of Gregg Steinhafel’s time to write this insincere apology is all that Target will be out. Bet it wasn’t even put on paper.


The Wheels of Justice…

…need a little more air:

Jeffrey Skilling, the convicted former Enron Corp. chief executive officer, may get out of prison in as little as four years if a judge approves a deal with prosecutors over objections by victims of one of the biggest corporate frauds in U.S. history.

Yes, former CEO of Enron and current Federal Prisoner Jeffrey Skilling decided to buy his freedom by giving “up all claims to $40 million in forfeited assets.” Which when you consider Enron’s initial bill for fraud was $40 BILLION makes it, oh… 1/10 of 1% of his ill-gotten gains.

That’ll learn him.

(Business Week)