O/T: Michael Moore gets it right sometimes.

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Upscale wrote:

This is not a responsive answer - it is a baseless rant (with, of course, your usual limited and foul vocabulary). I object to the government using its power to take from some citizens and give to others. Why don't you try explaining just how this is OK ethically. If you or I did it, it would be called "stealing". But somehow, folks like you who defend such actions, magically manage to lift the prohibitions on theft when the government (the most powerful institution in human society) does it. Astonishing.

The State is charged with the defense of society as part of its larger role to defend liberty. There is certainly a fair debate to be had about whether or not the Iraq war specifically was a good call or not, but the general idea of defending the borders, preemptively repelling attacks, and so on, are all well within the charter of government. Under US Constitutional law, such actions are among the very *few* things explicitly given to the Federal government by charter.

Yawn.
Zzzzzzzzz
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Tim Daneliuk snipped-for-privacy@tundraware.com
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I just spent a very pleasant half hour or so perusing your web site and some of your links. I've got your site bookmarked and also your Python link. I'm afraid I dismissed Python in the past without really knowing anything about it.
Loved the "What The Market Will Bear" tale. Helps, I suppose, that I was once a fly fisherman, appreciate the wonders of bamboo and tend to my wife's coffee habit.
And I'm exploring the possibilities of 'The American Conservative' as a replacement for a magazine I no longer find interesting.
All told, more than I've had to chew on from a web site in quite a while.
Thank you, LD
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LD wrote:

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Tim Daneliuk snipped-for-privacy@tundraware.com
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I have always felt Michael Moore and Rosie O'Donnell would make a great couple. But I have heard two wrongs don't make a right!
cm

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WHOA, dude.... can you even imagine what their kids would be like?
*shudder*
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I wonder which one would be on top!
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Leon wrote:

You are a sick man.
/me applies brain scrub
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Froz...



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"Leon" suggests a horrendous picture!

<Trying hard to keep it down.>
My wife, who is usually pretty level headed, just hates Rosie. She gets very irate if she appears on the TV screen.
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With very few exceptions I don't want to hear or care what a celebrity has to say about anything that requires any thought. Most did good to get out of high school and probably less than 10% started college. I'd say maybe 2% that started college got a degree.
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cm wrote:

Please, there are some mental images that are too horrible to contemplate.

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If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough

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For the most part, the Big 3 have already fallen, they have not exactly been in the game for the last 4 or 5 years. They all talk like there will be a huge problem if they go down. Suppliers will simply have to find new customers as they probably already have or should have. The writing has been on the wall for several now.
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As a kid, I used to study and read about American businesses and how they were formed starting with the late 1890s.
Shakespeare couldn't write better stories of greed, deception, generosity, back stabbing, immense wealth, altruism, and outright immoral activities. Many things that were done in business 100+ years weren't illegal here simply because no one thought they needed a law for people to behave.
Set aside outright thievery (mostly by management!!), business has been running its course in a very steady way here in the USA. But due to its age, there are some old business practices that have hung around as traditions, probably because of the age of the company. Two of these traditions carried over with the Big Three today are arrogant management, and immutable labor demands.
As you say Leon, the writing has been on the wall for many years now, probably about 25 or so. I remember reading many serious dissertations concerning the demise of the Big Three as early as the 80s. Poor quality cars, silly labor costs, bad management, etc., etc., created a monster cancer that has slowly killed the industry.
Even protectionist taxes couldn't kill the foreign cars or their makers. They invested billions here in our own country to build better cars here with our own labor forces at a better price. They beat us at our own game with quality, design, pricing, reliability, and most importantly a long term business model.
Compare that the first meeting of the Big Three with the Senators to beg for money a month or so ago (when they flew up to meet in their private jets to be greeted by private limos) revealed they literally had no written, no verbal, or even an objective for a plan that would save them. They simply wanted the money to pay bills, base on "or else the public would all pay for this".
I remember sitting in my office reading The WSM in the late 80s when the housing market was crashing, as well as the commercial construction market. My friends were going out of business because the economy had slowed so much and they had built companies they couldn't sustain. Some lost everything. I kept this in mind while I was reading that the UAW wouldn't budge on the issue of "cross training".
GM wanted the bumper guy to be able to put on fenders, for which he would be trained. The fender guy would be cross trained as well. The cross training gave an automatic raise to each. At no time were the cross trained folks to be working cross platforms on the same day. If you started with bumpers, you stayed with bumpers for your shift.
The union said "no". If we need more workers, you must hire more workers. They would not budge. GM caved. It resulted in double digit growth of the unionized labor force.
The biggest sticking point in this last round of negotiations seems to be something that is incredulous to me. The union will not come off their wage plan, nor will they accept layoffs. The union rep said that if either of those happen, they will strike. No matter how much money we throw at the car makers, without reduction of costs, they won't make it. And if they strike.... game over.
How could you give any of them money that has management that has no hard, written plan to reverse their current woes, and a labor force that feels like they shouldn't put anything in the pot for the company to survive?
Remember, they are begging for money FROM US. Would anyone here let your city government bail out a construction company that used archaic equipment, had no cash reserves (just enough for management bonuses, though) an overpaid labor force for the market and no guaranteed projects on the books? Worse, no plan for recovery?
Together with management the unions are just as guilty in having bled the domestic care industry dry.
The recent conduct of all sides, management, union and the Congress show they have learned nothing.
In each case, they deserve nothing. Certainly none of my tax money. I would rather see the money spent on ALL the people, not just car industry people.
Let 'em all sink. They won't go away. Some of the business economists are settling on the number of 30%. That number represents the percentage of the cost to do business if they go through bankruptcy reorganization.
Sounds good to me!
Robert
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I still remember like it was yesterday working for the Oldsmobile dealer. I was the Service Sales Manager at the time when Oldsmobile was probably the most arrogant. Our dealership had won the Oldsmobile Service Supremacy award. This was based mostly on customer satisfaction with the service performed. Oldsmobile steered many customers our way because the other 4 dealers could not fix reoccurring warranty problems. Because we did more warranty work "proportionally" in service than the other dealerships we automatically had 10-15% of our warranty claims kick back to us. The reason, we had more warranty claims than was our share. Never mind the fact that the cars did have problems and we were the only ones that could do a repair that lasted.

And the foreigh auto makers are making more money with the added taxes. If the Big 3 workers are worth a damn they should not have a problem finding jobs elsewhere but they are probably going to be paid a wage more in line with what they are actually worth. Right now if they are layed off they get up to 95% continued salary for 2 years.

The fools showed their hand right off the bat. You know if the leader of a company is wasteful and ignorant the rest of the company is probably in the same shape.
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Well said.
And on another note, <<FINALLY>> someone put p3en to paper to figure out the real cost of the bailout of GM alone. The other two were left out.
Our "throw money at it" Congress didn't come up the numbers. GM didn't come up with the numbers. But one of GM's biggest creditor did, and it is twice the number asked for by all the BT combined. And most of it is simply for debt service.
<http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081215/bs_nm / us_generalmotors_loan_bankofamerica>
So if Congress gives them all just 14 B, how will that fix anything? BOA actually stepped in only as a means to protect their own interest or we would never really know the real cost for GM.
I am wondering what it will cost to bail out all of them... I don't believe there is a bottom to this this, especially if we wind up with all three on deck with their hands out.
And now that the additional (on top of the TARP 700 B) stimulus/ bailout money is approaching an additional TRILLION before stewardship of the country has even changed hands, I am wondering myself when all of this will stop.
Robert
Robert
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<http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081215/bs_nm / us_generalmotors_loan_bankofamerica>
So if Congress gives them all just 14 B, how will that fix anything? BOA actually stepped in only as a means to protect their own interest or we would never really know the real cost for GM.
I am wondering what it will cost to bail out all of them... I don't believe there is a bottom to this this, especially if we wind up with all three on deck with their hands out.
And now that the additional (on top of the TARP 700 B) stimulus/ bailout money is approaching an additional TRILLION before stewardship of the country has even changed hands, I am wondering myself when all of this will stop.
U
I'm afraid to say that a majority of the Big 3 workers are not totally unlike the majority of the people that bought houses that were way beyond their pay grade. It all catches up with you sooner or later. Later has arrived.
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wrote:

Munged. Goin' back to tinyurl.
If you are suspicious of the link, don't click it.
http://tinyurl.com/6q6rka
Robert
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

It wasn't news even then. In the early 70's the UAW managed a 30% across-the-board increase for its members and the auto-makers made the decision to just pass the cost increase on to purchasers.
[ Hmm - anyone else remember how GM tried to offset part of the increased costs by using cheaper steel? And how a few years later it was hard to find a Chevy pickup without rusted-out fenders?
And I can remember that earlier Ford had been proud of how the unibody construction of the Falcon allowed selling sedans for less than $2000, and I rember hearing how the UAW hadn't liked the unibody approach because it reduced labor content of the vehicle... ]
Briefly, the auto workers benefited - but by the time everyone else's income had adjusted to the inflated cost of living (and purchase of automobiles was a significant component of that inflation), the auto workers were right back where they'd started.
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DeSoto Solar
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Hell, Bubba ... just last Friday morning, probably the "most well known", "most respected", "most revered" member of the Wall Street financial community, a man held in the highest regard and esteem by hundreds of thousands of the smartest, savviest, richest folks in the world, a founder of NASDAQ and one its past Chairman ...
.... turned out to be nothing but, a THIEF!
Now, just what does that say about those not so "well respected", "revered", etc, eh? About the only thing good about it, on the surface, is that it is the elite who got taken.
Problem is, it will more than likely end up doing a superb job finally proving the "domino theory".
<Damn, damn! ... I can't believe I did that!! I replied to a thread with the words "Michael Moore" in the header ... now I'm going to go take a shit just to get the stink off ...>
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Monofilament, my friend.

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They need to bring him down here to Texas for the trial. After the Enron and other scandals, we might get the death penalty for his sorry ass.
He sure deserves it. How does one man even control 50 billion dollars by himself? I read a lot about this, and apparently he has had this under his hat as his own little project for almost 40 years.
I'll bet if the market had held, he would still be going strong.
Sounds to me like it's time to fire up old Sparky.
Robert
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