Man Crosses Street To Avoid Human Billboard

Posted by Matt on Saturday, May 11th, 2013

SAGINAW, MI – As he approached a grown man dressed as the Statue of Liberty early Tuesday afternoon, local man David Briggs crossed to the other side of the street. “I’m not sure if he’s there for the pawn shop or the car wash, but I didn’t really want to find out,” said Briggs, who had planned on having lunch at the strip mall’s Subway.  Citing the awkwardness of making eye contact with a costumed man holding onto his last shred of dignity as well as a “1/2 OFF!” placard, Briggs added,  “I know times are tough, but man.  What’s that guy, like 35?  That’s harsh.”  Following the incident, Briggs proceeded to eat lunch at the Wendy’s across the street despite really craving a turkey sub.

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Commie Hussein Obama Can’t Keep Country From Hemorrahging Public Workers

Posted by Matt on Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Job trends don’t always reflect conventional narratives.

PrivateBushObama

The above graph relates to private sector job growth during Bush + Obama terms.  Obviously, Obama took office shortly after the ’08 economic collapse – the worst in 3 generations.  To be fair, Bush took office during a period of tepid growth following the burst of the stock market bubble.

At the end of Mr. Bush’s second term, private employment was collapsing, and there were net 665,000 jobs lost during Mr. Bush’s two terms.

The recovery has been sluggish under Mr. Obama’s presidency too, and there were only 1,933,000 more private sector jobs at the end of Mr. Obama’s first term.  A couple of months into Mr. Obama’s second term, there are now 2,282,000 more private sector jobs than when he took office.

Read more at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2013/04/public-and-private-sector-payroll-jobs.html#tUp1GYkfRccTBGyX.99

But what about Big Government Obama? Stimulus. Obamacare. Basketball.

PulbicBushObama

 

A big difference between Mr. Bush’s tenure in office and Mr. Obama’s presidency has been public sector employment. The public sector grew during Mr. Bush’s term (up 1,748,000 jobs), but the public sector has declined since Obama took office (down 718,000 jobs). These job losses have mostly been at the state and local level, but they are still a significant drag on overall employment.

Dozens of election cycles focused on Obama’s middling job numbers without drawing this distinction.  Obviously many of these jobs were at the state and local level – governments similarly hit by crippling financial crisis (for some) of ’08 and the subsequent loss in revenue.

Austerity measures are hurting job growth (and worse) in all corners of the globe.  As the economy strengthens, maybe a little reinvestment will help job numbers match other economic growth numbers and we can all capture a sliver more than the 7% the top-1% is leaving for us…

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Scott Walker – You’re not…You’re not Good.

Posted by Matt on Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

" '5' is the number of scandals I promise in 2013!"

” ’5′ is the number of scandals I promise in 2013!”

Despite courageous union-busting and fundraising efforts, Governor Scott Walker is having a rough time turning America’s Dairyland into Galt’s Gulch.  (Of course, Galt’s Gulch isn’t real, but not everyone knows this.)

[WI] has fallen from 11th to 44th in job creation since Walker took  office.

The good news is that Walker created a taxpayer-funded pseudo-private agency to address this specific issue.  The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is just the shot-in-the-arm the state needs to aid in job creation and create a ”business friendly” environment.  We’re looking forward to a new future starting in July, 2011. Whoops.

In effect for 2 years, the WEDC is running pretty smoothly except for the job creation part, right?

 the WEDC has not done a good job of that since it became operational in July 2011 under its former CEO, Paul Jadin. The former Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce president left the position after 16 months amid reports of a lack of oversight of $56 million in loans.

Ok, but other than the job creation and the initial growing pains and mismanagement, the WEDC is doing a great job, eh?

[2013] Auditors said employees of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., a  quasi-private entity, made a number of questionable and unexplained purchases,  including season tickets to UW-Madison football games and iTunes gift cards, [alcohol], and  contracted for services without conducting open and competitive selection processes.

But still – Badger games are irresistible and these suits need to learn words to recent urban hit “Jump Around,” which is played between the 3rd and 4th Quarters.  Hence the booze and iTunes gift cards.

So maybe there’s a little bit of waste in the agency, but other than the job creation, and the mismanagement, and the ethics considerations, and the monetary waste, Walker has maintained a pretty clean record through his first term.  Correct?

‘What about John Doe?

In all, Milwaukee County prosecutors brought charges against six individuals as a result of the probe, which was opened in May 2010. Of those, three were former Walker aides, one was an appointee and another a major campaign contributor.

Walker’s total legal tab due to the John Doe probe: $650,000. Prosecutors closed the case without bringing charges against the governor or anyone in his current administration.

What about John Doe? This happened before he took office – doesn’t count. (Just like when he got busted for dirty campaign tricks at that college he never graduated from.)

Walker’s deputy chief of staff, Tim Russell, was sentenced in January to two years in prison for stealing from a charity meant for military combat veterans and their families.

Pssh.

Walker’s Veterans Services Commissioner Kevin Kavanaugh was convicted in December of stealing $51,000 from a charity for military combat veterans. He was sentenced to two years in prison.

That’s essentially the same as the last one.  No double-dipping.

Computers and cellphones seized from the home shared by former Walker aide Timothy Russell and his domestic partner [& GOP Operative] Brian Pierick revealed a series of text messages that Pierick exchanged with a 17 year old boy from Waukesha, Wisc. in 2010.  As a result, Pierick was charged on Thursday with child enticement and causing a child to expose his genitals.

First of all, what about the liberal media?  Second, we can’t all surround ourselves with Albert Einstein’s and Bob Loblaw’s.

Folks. No one is better equipped to take Wisconsin from 11th to 44th and back to 39th better than Scott Walker.  That’s exactly why he’s the guy national Republicans want to lead them into the future via the past!

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In New Zealand, Big Government Saves Children

Posted by Matt on Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

4Real?

4Real?

From ridicule.

Some New Zealand parents were getting so creative devising unique names for their newborns that the country’s Department of Internal Affairs has stepped in to stop the shenanigans.

New Zealand released an official list of rejected names on Wednesday that includes “4Real,” “Mafia No Fear” and “Anal.” Other gems — like “.” and “*” — didn’t even bother with the alphabet. All of the names on the list were at some point proposed by parents, soon to be rejected by the government, which deemed the names too offensive.

Are these kiwi blokes just mad dags?

“um, it’s pronounced ‘uh-nal.’ ”

Sure it is buddy.

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Record EEOC Award For Abused Disabled Plant Workers Doesn’t Really Assuage The Horror

Posted by Matt on Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

"Henry testified about his own health problems, including five heart attacks."  6th one is on the house.

“Henry testified about his own health problems, including five heart attacks.” 6th one is on the house.

The EEOC is the primary government agency enforcing labor laws that deal with discrimination.  While still understaffed from the Bush years, in my experience the EEOC can investigate workplace issues with the best of them. I can’t imagine some of  the details they uncovered in this case.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A jury on Wednesday awarded $240 million to 32 mentally disabled men for what government lawyers say was years of abuse by a Texas company that arranged for them to work at an Iowa turkey processing plant and oversaw their care, work and lodging.

The award handed out by a federal jury in Davenport was the largest ever given in the 48-year history of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which filed the lawsuit against Henry’s Turkey Service.

The jury determined that the now-defunct Goldthwaite, Texas, company had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by creating a hostile environment and imposing discriminatory conditions of employment on the men. It found that Henry’s acted with “malice or reckless indifference” to their civil rights, and awarded each man $7.5 million in damages.

These men worked there since the 1970s and received $65/month (or .41 cents/hour).  No raise. Because capitalism.  During this time, no one from the company developed a conscience and alerted authorities.  Maybe because the perks were so awesome?

The abuse was uncovered in 2009 after one of the men’s sisters tipped off Iowa officials to the unsafe and unsanitary conditions at the rural bunkhouse where the men were housed. State inspectors found the building, which is a several miles from the West Liberty plant where the men worked, to be falling apart, infested with rodents and full of fire hazards, so they shut it down and placed the men with new caretakers. The EEOC later sued.

Social workers testified that the men described a life of constant abuse by their Henry’s handlers. They said they had been forced to work through illness and injuries, denied bathroom breaks, locked in their rooms, kicked in the groin and, in one case, handcuffed to a bed. [...]

Rain entered their bedrooms through failing windows and made their beds wet. Supervisors forced them to walk in circles carrying heavy weights as punishment. Supervisors picked on a man who had a brace on his leg, often pushing him down. Another man had been kicked in the groin and was found with “testicles that were quite swollen.” Others were often locked in their bedrooms at night, said [Sue Gant, a developmental psychologist who interviewed the men.]

So how does something like this happen?

Henry’s began employing mentally disabled men in the 1960s and 1970s who had been released from Texas mental institutions. Hundreds of them were sent to labor camps in Iowa and elsewhere in the coming decades, where they were supplied on contract as workers to local employers. Company officials argued the arrangement was a benefit to the men, and that they were once praised for giving them employment opportunities.

Huzzah Henry’s! So don’t worry guys, criminal charges won’t be filed.  Just ask company president Kenneth Henry (that’s the company’s name!). The defense’s only witness testified that he didn’t know anything for 40 years except for the terrible things he knew about.

Kenneth Henry, 72, of Proctor, Texas, also denied allegations that the workers — whom he repeatedly referred to as “the boys,” although most were in their 40s, 50s and 60s — were routinely abused or neglected.

But when asked whether he had exercised good judgment by allowing one of his supervisors to continue working with the men after others said they had witnessed the supervisor physically abusing workers, Henry replied, “Probably not.”

The company president also revealed that a worker who lived in the Iowa bunkhouse froze to death in the 1980s.

I see. You “didn’t know about it” just like Joe Paterno “didn’t know about it.”  Well maybe you can get cancer and die soon too!

“I never had any complaints from the boys,” he testified. “If something was going on, I feel they most definitely would have said something to me.”

It’s their fault for being mentally disabled and their fault for not speaking up in a timely manner and their fault for not knowing how to report abuse to authorities. Rot.

Well at least the silver lining is that this company will be soaked, the victims compensated and future corporate abuse and malfeasance will be deterred.

The defunct company isn’t expected to be able to pay anywhere near the full amount of damages. The EEOC will work with the U.S. Department of Justice to examine company assets that could be seized to pay toward the judgment, including more than 1,000 acres of land in Texas worth up to $4 million, [EEOC attorney Robert] Canino said.

and we wept.

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ICYMI: This Police Officer Was Found Not Guilty Of Assault. Still Guilty Of Douchebaggery.

Posted by Matt on Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Last year, Philadelphia cop Jonathan Josey was charged with simple assault following the incident below:

We’ve all experienced Puerto Rican Day parades – they’re a huge inconvenience for errand-runners and a traumatic day for the flag-phobic.  But this could be a little excessive.

On the witness stand earlier this month, Josey was near tears while telling the judge he swung at Guzman to knock a beer bottle out of her hand, and he wasn’t trying to hurt her. He said he and other officers were hit with beer from behind and, each time he turned to see who did it, he saw Guzman jumping up and down.

Josey conceded he never saw Guzman throw beer. Guzman was arrested that day but charges against her were later dropped.

“Woman-jumping-in threatening-manner-as-self-defense.” Well-asserted Officer Josey.  I’m sure the Judge will see right through that.

Judge Patrick Dugan (who is married to a philly cop) agreed that Josey was just protecting his delicate fist from the victim’s crazy woman’s dangerous spanish-speaking mouth.

Following the acquittal, Josey wiped away the tears and logged into facebook to celebrate his resiliency and muscles.

Josey even took to Facebook to celebrate. He posted a picture of himself striking a triumphant pose and changed his name on the page to “Jonathan ManofSteel Josey.”

And for that, a charge of Douchebaggery in the second degree is upheld.

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Yes, Being A Teacher Is The Congo Is As Thanklessly Awful As It Sounds

Posted by Matt on Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

problem is always greedy teachers obv...

problem is always greedy teachers obv…

Teachers in the Congo peacefully protested amidst ongoing contract negotiations and concerns about working conditions.  So of many of them have been arrested, detained and denied access to an attorney.

Hilaire Eyima, head of the French department at the school Lycée de la Révolution, was arrested by plainclothes police officers at his home on 18 April. He is still being held at the headquarters of the General Directorate for the Surveillance of the Territory (DGST).

Claude Nzingoula, a teacher at the medical school in the capital Brazzaville, was arrested on Friday 19 April at his school and was also taken to the DGST headquarters, where he has been detained since.

The strike began on February 25.

Other CPRE members have been harassed and intimidated and some have gone into hiding after their houses were searched without a warrant.

“Instead of punishing them for standing up for their rights, the Congolese authorities should ensure teachers are able to protest without fear of reprisals and engage in a constructive dialogue with them,” said Paule Rigaud.

There might not be a place on earth with more mineral wealth than the Congo.  So of course it’s a violently corrupt hellscape where government assists warlords and corporate raiders in exploiting everyone because there’s a ton of wealth to be extracted and it’s Sub-Saharan Africa.

good day. :(

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Noose Hung At Mayoral Candidate’s Office Inspires Mississippi-est Comment Of Year

Posted by Matt on Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

stuffed animals holding noose.

stuffed animals holding noose.

Meridian, Mississippi was the home of  James Chaney, one of the 3 Civil Rights workers killed in the notorious 1964 murders in neighboring Neshoba County.  50 years later…

Noose hung at Meridian mayoral candidate’s office

MERIDIAN:  Someone hung a noose with a stuffed animal outside the office a Meridian mayoral candidate.

Meridian police tell WTOK-TV they found a hooded baby blanket with a stuffed dog’s head hanging by a noose Thursday morning. It was outside the insurance office of Percy Bland, a Democratic candidate for mayor. Bland is black.

Bland says he refuses to be intimidated and will continue his campaign. He faces Rod Amos in the May 7 Democratic primary.

At the end of the Clarion Ledger’s article was a lone comment so of course I had to take a look because I don’t like myself.  Commenter Sam Harrell wonders the following: Why wasn’t the article headlined like “Someone hung a stuffed animal on the candidate’s office”?

Oh hey – great question. It’s almost like the paper is implying a noose has some sort of historical symbolism. Where do they pull this stuff from?  I don’t know. I’m just a Yankee with a Netflix subscription.

But what kind of stuffed dog was it and where did it come from?! (A: ?/China)

I guess when someone looks at the Clarion Ledger’s comment section, he gets what he deserves.  Don’t look at comment sections, kids.

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After Volumes Of Studies On Importance Of Pre-K Education, Spending On It Lowest In A Decade Because ‘Screw It’

Posted by Matt on Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

[AP]

WASHINGTON (AP) — State funding for pre-kindergarten programs had its largest drop ever last year and states are now spending less per child than they did a decade ago, according to a report released Monday.

The researchers also found that more than a half million of those preschool students are in programs that don’t even meet standards suggested by industry experts that would qualify for federal dollars. And 10 states don’t offer any dollars to pay for prekindergarten classrooms.

Brought to you by the letter "7"

whatever, oldz

Good early education has been linked to lower crime rates, better academic performance and billions in economic long-term economic benefits. Secretary Sebelious?

“This year’s report has some pretty grim news but I think it also highlights the urgency for the historic investment in early education that the president called for in his State of the Union,” said Sebelius, whose department runs the Head Start programs for the poorest young students.

The President called for funding public preschool for any 4-year-old whose family income was below twice the federal poverty rate and proposed a $1.95/pack federal cigarette tax to pay for the expansion.

But since it doesn’t deal with lessening flight delays before a congressional recess, it probably won’t go anywhere in Congress.

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Reporter Posts Instagram Actually Worth Viewing

Posted by Matt on Monday, April 29th, 2013

Tampa Bay Rays’ reporter Kelly Nash on assignment in Boston:  Easy on the the eyes. Lucky is her dome.

Sun Sports Rays reporter Kelly Nash was at Fenway Park in Boston watching batting practice.

Nash wanted to take a picture of her experience for her family, who is from Massachusetts.

reporter-ball-pic

According to FoxSports.com, Nash’s producer warned her several times to watch out for baseballs flying into their area.

However, Nash decided to turn her back to the field and snap a photo.

 

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Gratuitous World Blog

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