There are 80+ images from the 2000 Reunion on Facebook. -- Winston, 15:17:43 02/23/09 Mon(126.96.36.199)
I posted 50 images from the 2000 Franconia reunion on my "FaceBook" page. They are available for everyone to view and share. So go visit "FaceBook.com". sign in (or LOGIN) if you used computers before 1980 and search for Winston Watnik. I also posted 33 photographs of the Burman shave signs that were placed about the North Country for the August 2000 gathering.
reunion -- Joan Cambria (Krevsky), 17:04:13 02/08/09 Sun(188.8.131.52)
A few of us are now on the Franconia Facebook site and talking reunion this(2009) summer. Also maybe possible to send phots there and not have to be maintained by anyone?
How 'bout them Cowboys! -- Peter, 14:18:57 01/31/09 Sat(184.108.40.206)
30 million for 30 seconds a commercial.
"My" NY Giants have about 32 hours left as reigning Superbowl Champions.
Living in PA I gotta root for the Black & Gold but can't get too excited with the pompous religiosity of the 2 QBs. The whole concept that these guys think the Supreme (assuming one accepts that concept) would intercede to reward them with wealth, fame and fortune while letting a child die of starvation every 7 seconds...I'm missing something in this picture.
Change We Can Believe In? -- Peter, 18:45:06 01/17/09 Sat(220.127.116.11)
Is it surprising that Change We Can Believe In turns out to be no change at all?
President-Elect Obama's choice for Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, has acknowledged failing to pay some $38,000 in taxes over a 4 year period. Once again we see that if you are rich and well connected you are above the law...now there's audacity. Rewarding this behavior...now there's audacity. This is the least of the disappointments in an administration that has not even begun. Cabinet pick after cabinet pick are the same old tired choices. Audacity of Hope is subservient to "pragmatism". The president Obama is frequently likened to is John Kennedy...another president considered a "pragmatist". This pragmatism led to the Bay of Pigs Fiasco and our stepping squarely into the quagmire of Viet Nam. The great achievements of Kennedy's New Frontier, Voting Rights Act, Civil Rights Act, Medicare, Medicaid were Great Society achievements not New Frontier accomplishments.
Audacity? Selecting a tax evader to head the department that collects taxes is truly Audacious.
Audacity? Selecting Rick Warren to offer the "inaugural prayer"is truly Audacious.
Audaicty? The knee jerk, poll driven reaction of inviting Gene Robinson as an offset to Rick Warren is truly Audacious.
Audacity? "One President at a time" on touchy foreign policy matters but not when it comes to requesting Bail Out Bucks is truly Audacious.
I wish the President-Elect nothing but good fortune and success. I canvassed for his election while I had the Audacity of Hope...Now I'm looking for a Change We Can Believe In.
Beggin' for Books - 1970 -- NG, 21:18:17 01/26/09 Mon(18.104.22.168)
Stumbled across this letter from Leon on the net:
Volume 15, Number 5 · September 24, 1970
A Place to Send Books
By Leon Botstein
To the Editors:
Franconia College is a small innovative liberal arts school, non-profit, without much money. We have a small library and are desperately in need of books. We thought the readers and contributors of The New York Review would help us out by sending to Franconia College, Franconia, New Hampshire 03580, their surplus books and review copies which they no longer need. The worst part of being an intellectual of any kind is the number of books one collects over a short period of time. Franconia College would love it if your readers and contributors could use us as a place to send books no longer needed.
I get the autonomic nerve/muscles around my spine unkinked if this is the start of WWIII (as proscribed by A.Pike 1865) I can finally relax!
Going down the road w/o paying a toll? OFF yer HIGH HORSE!
"our leaders are not gods" Tienmen Sq. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtYcKEbAgJQ
HAPPY HOLIDAYS ........ FRANCONIA COLLEGE FOLKS -- Craig aka Dow Boy, 09:40:18 12/20/08 Sat(22.214.171.124)
Have not been active on the board for a while. I work in the financial industry and these are trying time at the work place. A lot of lay-offs going on and at my age would hate to be looking again.
But after saying that..I wanted to wish all you wild and crazy FCers a safe and happy holiday.
Leon gets bitten by "Mad Dog" Madoff -- Mark S., 17:59:39 01/05/09 Mon(126.96.36.199)
Bard College’s president disclosed today that the Annandale- on-Hudson, New York liberal-arts school had lost about $3 million in investments related to Madoff. Harley International Ltd., a hedge fund run by Cayman Islands-based Euro-Dutch Management Ltd., invested all of its assets with Madoff, a person familiar with the matter said. The fund managed $2.76 billion as of Oct. 31.
Name Pops -- Bob T., 15:09:58 12/12/08 Fri(188.8.131.52)
Lately, while performing my mundane repetoire of daily doings, peoples' names have been popping in my head. (I suspect it is merely a function of age, and not the result of "flashback" or delirium tremens.) If I can identify the names as "real people," as opposed to cartoon characters (Elmer Fudd, George Jetson, Pebbles Flintstone, etc.), I can usually determine if they are Franconians or otherwise. While the preponderance fit into the "otherwise" category, I often deduced that they are, in fact, Franconians. Or, by extension, they are of the Franconiassic Age. Mark LaBonte (Binghammton, NY), Barbara Rickles (NY/NJ?) Pauline Aiello (Syracuse, NY)....anyone know of the whereabouts of these fun loving folks?
Could smoking pot actually GROW brain cells? Whew!
Attacking Alzheimer's with Red Wine and Marijuana
By Tom Jacobs, Miller-McCune.com. Posted December 8, 2008.
Two new studies point to a wonderful way to ward off Alzheimer's disease and other forms of age-related memory loss.
This article first appeared on Miller-McCune.com.
Two new studies suggest that substances usually associated with dulling the mind -- marijuana and red wine -- may help ward off Alzheimer's disease and other forms of age-related memory loss. Their addition comes as another study dethrones folk remedy ginkgo biloba as proof against the disease.
At a November meeting of the Society of Neuroscience in Washington, D.C., researchers from Ohio State University reported that THC, the main psychoactive substance in the cannabis plant, may reduce inflammation in the brain and even stimulate the formation of new brain cells.
Meanwhile, in the Nov. 21 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, neurologist David Teplow of the University of California, Los Angeles reported that polyphenols -- naturally occurring components of red wine -- block the formation of proteins that build the toxic plaques thought to destroy brain cells. In addition, these substances can reduce the toxicity of existing plaques, thus reducing cognitive deterioration.
Together, the studies suggest scientists are gaining a clearer understanding of the mechanics of memory deterioration and discovering some promising approaches to prevention.
Previous research has suggested that polyphenols -- which are found in high concentrations in tea, nuts and berries, as well as cabernets and merlots -- may inhibit or prevent the buildup of toxic fibers in the brain. These fibers, which are primarily composed of two specific proteins, form the plaques that have long been associated with Alzheimer's disease.
UCLA's Teplow and his colleagues monitored how these proteins folded up and stuck to each other to produce aggregates that killed nerve cells in mice. They then treated the proteins with a polyphenol compound extracted from grape seeds. They discovered the polyphenols blocked the formation of the toxic aggregates.
"What we found is pretty straightforward," Teplow declared. "If the amyloid beta proteins can't assemble, toxic aggregates can't form, and, thus, there is no toxicity." If this also proves true in human brains, it means administration of the compound to Alzheimer's patients could "prevent disease development and also ameliorate existing disease," he said. Human clinical trials are upcoming.
At Ohio State, researchers led by psychologist Gary Wenk are studying the protective effects of tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly known as THC. They found that administering a THC-like synthetic drug to older rats performed better at a memory test than a control group of non-medicated elderly rodents.
In some of the rats, the drug apparently lowered inflammation in the hippocampus -- the region of the brain responsible for short-term memory. It also seems to have stimulated the generation of new brain cells.
"When we're young, we reproduce neurons and our memory works fine," said co-author Yannick Marchalant, another Ohio State psychologist. "When we age, the process slows down, so we have a decrease in new cell formation in normal aging. You need those cells to come back and help form new memories, and we found that this THC-like agent can influence creation of those cells."
Wenk added two cautionary notes to his report. First, to be effective, any such treatment along these lines would have to take place before memory loss is obvious. Second, the researchers still have much work to do.
"We need to find exactly which receptors are most crucial" to the generation of new brain cells, he said. This discovery would "ideally lead to the development of drugs that specifically activate those receptors."
In the meantime, should aging baby boomers who are worried about old-age mental impairment light up a joint? Wenk was cautious in his answer, no doubt because marijuana is suspected to be harmful to health in other ways.
"Could people smoke marijuana to prevent Alzheimer's disease if the disease is in the family? We're not saying that, but it might actually work," he said. "What we are saying is it appears that a safe, legal substance the mimics those important properties of marijuana can work on receptors in the brain to prevent memory impairments in aging. So that's really hopeful."
Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukkah -- Eileen Cowin's student (Grim/Happy), 23:06:54 12/19/08 Fri(184.108.40.206)
So listen, it's been so grim here lately - I just got home from work - Driving home I thought: "Shit! I have the next 2 weeks off with pay! How lucky am I dude?
This happens every year - the only kindness my lunatic boss affords us - (this is in addition to our paid vacation time) - SO! Man! Am I happy tonight. I can sleep in a little, get some very needed rest(or have too much time to think)Ex;If my body aches this much now, how am I gonna feel in the next 5? What did I leave behind at the office that's gonna bite my ass while I am away, etc. etc.... - Anybody have any clues on how to stop a brain from rockin' and reelin' and just get some rest?
MERRY, MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!!! I AM SO GLAD TO HAVE KNOWN/KNOW YOU ALL AND I WISH ALL OF YOU CREATIVE SURVIVAL IN 2009!
Just think: We are still alive and tickin' and that feels good even with the aches & pains!!....AND?!!!!
FUCK! - Santa's on his way!!!!!!!!!
How cool is that? And the coolest thing? I get to watch court shows for the next 2 weeks! OMG!
BLUE SANTA -- D Jam (non existant future), 13:14:33 12/17/08 Wed(220.127.116.11)
$9T in 8 weeks to forign banks! I sort of expect Hillary to be next pres. as, at least, she was bred for it. Or Arnold, a Nazi for modern times, http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/12/16/darpa_terminator_damage_tolerance
But, all over the USA at Malls faux public spaces are the USMC doing "Toys for Tots" a Santa in Dress Blues sure, but this year, Mit Romney's owned Toys R US stores, feature snuffies, at leats 5 , in full batle dress with two Hum Vees, mounting a .50 cal and M-60 machine guns!
This is the 1st step for Northcom to prime the public us for martial law. The next is military EMS.
Why not hold up a sign GIVE CHILDREN hte CONSTIUTION for CHRISTMAS and INALIENABLE RIGHTS and go to jail to bring good cheer behind the razor wire?
Franconia College student evaluations -- Rick, 11:05:14 12/11/08 Thu(18.104.22.168)
Hey folks... I have a question for you. I saw here a few years ago someone posted the address/contact for getting FC transcripts. I think I remember it was some state agency in New Hampshire. However, I am considering a career change to teaching so I need to get at least some of my evaluations from the college because the teacher certification here in NJ (and I believe elsewhere)requires a GPA of 2.5 or better for the courses related to the areas that one is applying to teach. In my case it is Theater, but also Social Studies. I can get my grades from the county college and American University, but FC is the main issue for me concerning Theater especially. Does anyone know how to obtain copies or summaries of the evaluations?
better vehicles -- D Jam (The NEW GM), 04:30:53 12/05/08 Fri(22.214.171.124) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Y1GEoJsbso
A VERY beautiful mind controlled nurse from DC and he daughter I knew fron Rainbow and de-proged yrs ago, a lot of people used to shout KILL THE PIGS!! but who actuually do?
She moved to a forest in Spain and eats almost exclusively acorn fed pork now, how nice to get her post cards and how I wish she were here in an almost empty French Cafe with music from favorite chantuse (vie music.com)fine wine and little greasy badly cooked lamb shank, good wine..why cant I enjoy it?
When it rains it..pours? no late fall it turns to snow, cyystal? still? NO I dont have my mopar snow rabbit but old reliable 350 R (motorcycle) for $149 day here you can rent a fine KTM snow blade...I muse..too old for war, but, get indigestion in a limited use population.
My pals 50 mpg deux cheveaux cant match the Fr. designed TATA MOTORS air car! coast to coast on one tank of gas!But soon oil will be down to maybe $20 a barrel, the planed implosion of the petro dollar dubble entende is not to PRINT more money...Whats good for GM is good for the world?
A universe of abundance! One nation under all!
Grebennikov! man, HIS vehicle got around! UFO photos all over the web from the 90s...man, I want one for MY body, but, do we really need bodies anyway?
Cd I teach anyone to (body by) FISHer?
who's out there and where -- Sam hepburn (curious sam), 23:38:39 11/25/08 Tue(126.96.36.199)
should I vote for saxby or martin. Lonely democrat on st. simons ga.
Everyone well? anyone up in franconia this summer.
Wouldn't this summer be a perfect time for a reunion?
I'll pack my bags and be on my way.
Reunion Y2K was great...and it's been nigh on a decade since...or do we need 18 moths of planning? (Remember when going away for the weekend meant grabbing a toothbrush and a change of undies? Now its grabbing the Poli-Grip & Depends!)
lunatic fringe sending emails -- morgan, 14:18:12 11/24/08 Mon(188.8.131.52)
this showed up in my emails. a friend of mine sent it.
the other day i listened to cornel west say stuff of the racists is coming to surface as a death rattle of the conservative racists. i hope he is right. i hope they don't grow. i hope they fade away. i don't think all conservatives are racists or racists are conservatives but i do think it is time for people to grow up.
> Look at my fellow conservatives! There they go, glumly shuffling along, > depressed by the election aftermath. Not me. I'm virtually euphoric. Don't > get me wrong. I'm not thrilled with America 's flirtation with neo > socialism. But there's a massive silver lining in those magical clouds > that lofted Barak Obama to the Presidency. For today, without a shred of > intellectually legitimate opposition, I can loudly proclaim to America : > The Era of White Guilt is over.
> This seemingly impossible event occurred because the vast majority of > white Americans didn't give a fluff about skin color, and enthusiastically > pulled the voting lever for a black man. Not just any black man. A very > liberal black man who spent his early career race-hustling banks, praying > in a racist church for 20 years, and actively worked with America-hating > domestic terrorists. Wow! Some resume! Yet they made Barak Obama their > leader. Therefore, as of Nov 4th, 2008, white guilt is dead.
> For over a century, the millstone of white guilt hung around our necks, > retribution for slave-owning predecessors. In the 60s, American liberals > began yanking that millstone while sticking a fork in the eye of black > Americans, exacerbating the racial divide to extort a socialist solution. > But if a black man can become President, exactly what significant barrier > is left? The election of Barak Obama absolutely destroys the entire > validation of liberal white guilt. The dragon is hereby slain.
> So today, I'm feeling a little "uppity," if you will. From this day > forward, my tolerance level for having my skin color hustled is now > exactly ZERO. And it's time to clean house. No more Reverend Wright's "God > Damn America ," Al Sharpton's Church of Perpetual Victimization , or Jesse > Jackson's rainbow racism. Cornell West? You're a fraud. Go home. All those > "black studies" programs that taught kids to hate whitey? You must now > thank Whitey. And I want that on the final.
> Congressional Black Caucus? Irrelevant. Maxine Waters? Shut up. ACORN? > Outlawed. Black Panthers? Go home and pet your kitty. Black separatists? > Find another nation that offers better dreams. Go ahead. I'm waiting.
> Gangsta rappers? Start praising America . Begin with the Pledge of > Allegiance. And please.no more ebonics. Speak English, and who knows where > you might end up? Oh, yeah.pull up your pants. Your underwear is showing. > You look stupid.
> To those Eurosnots who forged entire careers hating America ? I'm still > waiting for the first black French President.
> And let me offer an equal opportunity whupping. I've always despised lazy > white people. Now, I can talk smack about lazy black people. You're poor > because you quit school, did drugs, had three kids with three different > fathers, and refuse to work. So when you plop your Colt 45-swilling, Oprah > watchin' butt on the couch and complain "Da Man is keepin' me down," allow > me to inform you: Da Man is now black. You have no excuses.
> No more quotas. No more handouts. No more stealing my money because > someone's great-great-great-great grandparents suffered actual pain and > misery at the hands of people I have no relation to, and personally > revile.
> It's time to toss that massive, obsolete race-hustle machine upon the heap > of the other stupid 60s ideas. Drag it over there, by wife swapping, next > to dope-smoking. Plenty of room right between free love and cop-killing. > Careful.don't trip on streaking. There ya go, don't be gentle. Just dump > it. Wash your hands. It's filthy.
> In fact, Obama's ascension created a gargantuan irony. How can you sell > class envy and American unfairness when you and your black wife went to > Ivy League schools, got high-paying jobs, became millionaires, bought a > mansion, and got elected President? How unfair is that??? Now, Like a > delicious O'Henry tale, Obama's spread-the-wealth campaign rendered itself > moot by it's own victory! America is officially a meritocracy. Obama's > election has validated American conservatism!
> So, listen carefully.Wham!!!
> That's the sound of my foot kicking the door shut on the era of white > guilt. The rites have been muttered, the carcass lowered, dirt shoveled, > and tombstone erected. White guilt is dead and buried.
> However, despite my glee, there's apparently one small, rabid bastion of > American racism remaining. Black Americans voted 96% for Barak Obama. > Hmmm. In a color-blind world, shouldn't that be 50-50? Tonight, every > black person should ask forgiveness for their apparent racism and > prejudice towards white people. Maybe it's time to start spreading the > guilt around.
Hey Fred -- Jim, 17:00:31 11/16/08 Sun(184.108.40.206)
Whatever happened to the Photo CD project mentioned on the Franconia.to cover page? Is it finished and available? Are you still collecting photos?
They just don't get it.... -- Fred, 11:32:18 11/20/08 Thu(220.127.116.11)
Big Three CEOs Flew Private Jets to Plead for Public Funds
Auto Industry Close to Bankruptcy But They Get Pricey Perk
By BRIAN ROSS and JOSEPH RHEE
November 19, 2008—
The CEOs of the big three automakers flew to the nation's capital yesterday in private luxurious jets to make their case to Washington that the auto industry is running out of cash and needs $25 billion in taxpayer money to avoid bankruptcy.
The CEOs of GM, Ford and Chrysler may have told Congress that they will likely go out of business without a bailout yet that has not stopped them from traveling in style, not even First Class is good enough.
All three CEOs - Rick Wagoner of GM, Alan Mulally of Ford, and Robert Nardelli of Chrysler - exercised their perks Tuesday by flying in corporate jets to DC. Wagoner flew in GM's $36 million luxury aircraft to tell members of Congress that the company is burning through cash, asking for $10-12 billion for GM alone.
"We want to continue the vital role we've played for Americans for the past 100 years, but we can't do it alone," Wagoner told the Senate Banking Committee.
While Wagoner testified, his G4 private jet was parked at Dulles airport. It is just one of a fleet of luxury jets owned by GM that continues to ferry executives around the world despite the company's dire financial straits.
"This is a slap in the face of taxpayers," said Tom Schatz, President of Citizens Against Government Waste. "To come to Washington on a corporate jet, and asking for a hand out is outrageous."
Wagoner's private jet trip to Washington cost his ailing company an estimated $20,000 roundtrip. In comparison, seats on Northwest Airlines flight 2364 from Detroit to Washington were going online for $288 coach and $837 first class.
After the hearing, Wagoner declined to answer questions about his travel.
Ford CEO Mulally's corporate jet is a perk included for both he and his wife as part of his employment contract along with a $28 million salary last year. Mulally actually lives in Seattle, not Detroit. The company jet takes him home and back on weekends.
Plants Closed, Company Jets Stay
Mulally made his case Tuesday before the committee saying he's cut expenses, laid-off workers and closed 17 plants.
"We have also reduced our work force by 51,000 employees in the past three years," Mulally said.
Yet Ford continues to operate a fleet of eight private jets for its executives. Just Tuesday, one jet was taking Ford brass to Los Angeles, another on a trip to Nebraska, and of course Mulally needed to fly to Washington to testify. He did not address questions following the hearing.
"Now's not the time to do that sort of thing," said John McElroy of the television program "Autoline Detroit."
"Now's the time to be humble and show that you're sharing equally in the sacrifice," McElroy said.
GM and Ford say that it is a corporate decision to have their CEOs fly on private jets and that is non-negotiable, even as the companies say they are running out of cash.
Private jet travel is perhaps the greatest perk of all for CEOs, who say it allows them to travel more efficiently and safely, even in a recession.
AIG, despite the $150 billion bailout, still operates a fleet of corporate jets. The company says it has put two out of its seven jets up for sale and is reviewing the use of others. Though there are no such plans by GM or Ford.
"It appears that the senior management of the automakers simply don't get it," said Schatz.
The Imam who came forward to assist in the search of Barack Obama’s identity left Kenya secretly last night, and will arrive in the UK this morning. He will meet with a US contact person who will assist him in recording an asylum statement in the UK after handing over the documents that caused the blessing of Obama when he was born and to confirm the origin of the name Hussein.
The man will join relatives in the UK because his life will be in danger if he were to return to Kenya after removing the documents from the Mosque’s archives and taking them out of the country. The man has been informed about the on-going case filed in the US Supreme Court by attorney Philip Berg challenging Barack Obama’s citizenship.
When the man heard that Jerome Corsi was in Kenya a few months ago, he took a decision to try and meet him, but had to travel back to Mombasa from Nairobi on hearing that Corsi had been bundled and taken to the airport on deportation orders.
The Imam is the grandson of the late Imam who blessed Barack Obama when he was born in Mombasa on the 4th of august 1961.
While in the UK, the Imam and the American contact person will visit Amnesty International before handing himself over to the authorities where he will formally deliver his application for asylum. The contact man has arranged so that they get an official from Amnesty international to accompany them to the home office desk where he will inform them on he dangers that will face him if he were to return to Kenya after delivering the documents on Obama.
This may now bring to close the speculations on Obama’s citizenship and the secrecy on where he was born.
I can vouch for the crooked nature of the State of Hawaii!
GENERAL MOBILIZATION (OBAMANATION!) -- D Jam (Duck Soup), 12:42:28 11/19/08 Wed(18.104.22.168)
Dig the ACLU web for the "constition free zone" that piece of paper IS the country.
Here in Idaho we still have 87% of the state with AMERICAN rights.
In the era of "thought crime" letters of general mobilization for the armed serves go out before the event, this NEW the greatest since 1941! Retired Officers, this week, NCO's next. Oh what will Barry's war be?
Here is Mitt Romney's take on this issue...Interesting! -- Rick, 16:06:52 11/19/08 Wed(22.214.171.124)
Here is Mitt Romney's Op-Ed on the bail-out issue:
"By MITT ROMNEY
Published: November 18, 2008
IF General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed.
Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself. With it, the automakers will stay the course — the suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses. Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check.
I love cars, American cars. I was born in Detroit, the son of an auto chief executive. In 1954, my dad, George Romney, was tapped to run American Motors when its president suddenly died. The company itself was on life support — banks were threatening to deal it a death blow. The stock collapsed. I watched Dad work to turn the company around — and years later at business school, they were still talking about it. From the lessons of that turnaround, and from my own experiences, I have several prescriptions for Detroit’s automakers.
First, their huge disadvantage in costs relative to foreign brands must be eliminated. That means new labor agreements to align pay and benefits to match those of workers at competitors like BMW, Honda, Nissan and Toyota. Furthermore, retiree benefits must be reduced so that the total burden per auto for domestic makers is not higher than that of foreign producers.
That extra burden is estimated to be more than $2,000 per car. Think what that means: Ford, for example, needs to cut $2,000 worth of features and quality out of its Taurus to compete with Toyota’s Avalon. Of course the Avalon feels like a better product — it has $2,000 more put into it. Considering this disadvantage, Detroit has done a remarkable job of designing and engineering its cars. But if this cost penalty persists, any bailout will only delay the inevitable.
Second, management as is must go. New faces should be recruited from unrelated industries — from companies widely respected for excellence in marketing, innovation, creativity and labor relations.
The new management must work with labor leaders to see that the enmity between labor and management comes to an end. This division is a holdover from the early years of the last century, when unions brought workers job security and better wages and benefits. But as Walter Reuther, the former head of the United Automobile Workers, said to my father, “Getting more and more pay for less and less work is a dead-end street.”
You don’t have to look far for industries with unions that went down that road. Companies in the 21st century cannot perpetuate the destructive labor relations of the 20th. This will mean a new direction for the U.A.W., profit sharing or stock grants to all employees and a change in Big Three management culture.
The need for collaboration will mean accepting sanity in salaries and perks. At American Motors, my dad cut his pay and that of his executive team, he bought stock in the company, and he went out to factories to talk to workers directly. Get rid of the planes, the executive dining rooms — all the symbols that breed resentment among the hundreds of thousands who will also be sacrificing to keep the companies afloat.
Investments must be made for the future. No more focus on quarterly earnings or the kind of short-term stock appreciation that means quick riches for executives with options. Manage with an eye on cash flow, balance sheets and long-term appreciation. Invest in truly competitive products and innovative technologies — especially fuel-saving designs — that may not arrive for years. Starving research and development is like eating the seed corn.
Just as important to the future of American carmakers is the sales force. When sales are down, you don’t want to lose the only people who can get them to grow. So don’t fire the best dealers, and don’t crush them with new financial or performance demands they can’t meet.
It is not wrong to ask for government help, but the automakers should come up with a win-win proposition. I believe the federal government should invest substantially more in basic research — on new energy sources, fuel-economy technology, materials science and the like — that will ultimately benefit the automotive industry, along with many others. I believe Washington should raise energy research spending to $20 billion a year, from the $4 billion that is spent today. The research could be done at universities, at research labs and even through public-private collaboration. The federal government should also rectify the imbedded tax penalties that favor foreign carmakers.
But don’t ask Washington to give shareholders and bondholders a free pass — they bet on management and they lost.
The American auto industry is vital to our national interest as an employer and as a hub for manufacturing. A managed bankruptcy may be the only path to the fundamental restructuring the industry needs. It would permit the companies to shed excess labor, pension and real estate costs. The federal government should provide guarantees for post-bankruptcy financing and assure car buyers that their warranties are not at risk.
In a managed bankruptcy, the federal government would propel newly competitive and viable automakers, rather than seal their fate with a bailout check.
Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, was a candidate for this year’s Republican presidential nomination.
Re: What's Wrong With General Motors -- Rick, 22:59:06 11/16/08 Sun(126.96.36.199)
Yes, we have to do something. I agree with you, Dawg. I disagree with Mark because while I can also point a finger at management -no shit! I also then have to blame those that sat on the Board of Directors for their failed policies; especially in the 70's of continuing to build big throw-away cars with low gas mileage while the Arabs boycotted us. It was Japanese cars to the rescue. That began the decline in market share of American auto buyers. Great strategy, fellas! I think if we do a bail-out for GM that there should be some STRONG strings attached to this action. For one, GM needs to fast-track its electric car program and other related alternative fuels. This is in addition to your suggestion that they shed their legacy costs. But I also believe that the union was SLOW to respond to the market change and the obvious decline in GM auto sales (same with Ford and Chrysler). Everyone was at least a little greedy here, and both union and management were far too headstrong for their own good.
We need to encourage the auto industry to expand their hybrid and fuel efficient models. That way they are ready for the inevitable changes that are to come in energy resources and technology. More efficient solar panels are being made and used now. GM of late has been getting much "greener." Let's keep up the pace.
Keep'in an eye on the Ruskies for ya from my window.You betch'ya...... -- Sarah Palin, 11:36:06 11/15/08 Sat(188.8.131.52)
My concern has been the atrocities there in Darfur and the relevance to me with that issue as we spoke about Africa and some of the countries there that were kind of the people succumbing to the dictators and the corruption of some collapsed governments on the continent, the relevance was Alaska’s investment in Darfur with some of our permanent fund dollars.
Re: What's Wrong With General Motors -- Jim, 19:49:06 11/14/08 Fri(184.108.40.206)
I'm sorry I haven't time at the moment to give your thoughtful piece an equally thoughtful response. I'll offer a few comments.
First, I suspect there's at least a LITTLE bit of mismanagement at fault in the decline of US auto industry. They may or may not have been making "good" cars over the past decade or so, but it seems they've been making the wrong cars if consumers aren't buying them.
Legacy costs: pensions, retiree health coverage, etc aren't some gift the companies commit to. It's part of the workers' compensation package. The industry's accountants could project future costs when they agreed to these things in contracts with their workforce. Sure, the increase in those costs has accelerated, but the companies could see that as it happened - no surprises. If they failed to put aside adequate resources to cover these obligations it's no one's fault but their own.
Do foreign automakers have a competitive advantage? Maybe, maybe not. I'm not convinced the issue of legacy costs tells the whole story. US automakers clearly failed to effectively respond to a changing world, a changing business climate, a changing economy. In the abstract, I'm inclined to say "tough luck!". But I realize the consequences of these huge corporations failing are grave.
I don't pretend to have a clue as to what might best be done to salvage this mess. But having just seen a big chunk of tax dollars going to bail out a bunch of scumbag bankers and financial speculators who should instead be headed to jail, I don't relish bailing out the Auto Execs and their shareholders. Nobody's going to bail me out if my business fails.
Airline pilots.... -- Fred, 19:58:33 11/13/08 Thu(220.127.116.11)
A senior captain with 30 years in at United Airlines could
retire and expect a pension payout of $93K yearly. But UAL
declared bankruptcy in December 2002, the biggest airline bankruptcy in history. As a result of the bankruptcy, most
of UAL's pension obligations were offloaded to the
PBGC. Now the PBGC may guarantee pensions, but it is
rarely anywhere near the original amount in typical defined
benefit pension plans. So instead of $93K yearly, our
retired United captain ends up with $28K yearly. Well, forget
the condo in south Florida and opt for the double-wide out
in DuPage County.
Does a similar fate await soon-to-be-retired auto workers?
fire/help -- mia, 01:10:28 11/12/08 Wed(18.104.22.168)
Fire. sister's house burned, mom born there. house built 1830 something. disaster. house gone. pets dead everything lost. Anyone get Michael Brackney @ Red Cross, get someone there. BOO & RANDY NEED HELP!! DON'T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT ME, GET THEM HELP ASAP. LOST ALL GOT PUUPY OUT 7 PHONE. BOO HYSTERICAL. GET HELP. AT MOMN'S HOUSE PHONE IS 15-364-8292.
NOT ME, BOO & RANDY. GET THEM HELP
ORIGINAL CAPTION: Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson looks over toward, fro left Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, President and CO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Timothy Geithner, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency chief John Duggan and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox after announcing that the Treasury Dept, will take equity stakes in banks at the Treasury Dept.. Cash Room in Washington. (Hyungwon Kang / Reuters)
Lame ducking it.... -- Fred, 00:30:50 11/08/08 Sat(22.214.171.124)
"Yesterday, first lady Laura Bush called Michelle Obama and invited her and her young daughters to the White House. Laura Bush told Mrs. Obama, 'While I give you a tour, the girls can watch SpongeBob with the president.'"
They don't get it. They just don't get it. -- Prairie Dawg, 11:36:23 11/07/08 Fri(126.96.36.199)
CNN tells us this day that Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council told them that conservatives need to take back control of the GOP if the party wants to return to its winning ways. "Moderates never beat conservatives. We've seen that in past elections."
Pointing to measures in three states that erected bans against same sex marriage, Perkins said that there was no mandate to shift to the left on social issues.....(people wanted change) and that was a rejection of a moderate view."
This seems to be the emergent line from the right wing of the GOP. I've speculated about how they would account for getting what amounted to an old fashioned ass whuppin' with all the fancy trimmings and no cost extras, but this seems to be how the whacko wing of the GOP is going to account for it-it was a failure of Faith.
As in all millenarian faiths, when you Go Up To The Mountain to Await the End of the World and the Rapture does not arrive on schedule, it can only be a failure of faith-either because the Faithful were slackers in their beliefs, or sometimes the Prophet messed up his calculations when he figured out when the End of Days should arrive.
I mean, it would be too much for them to comprehend that they got their butts handed to them because they are busted, tapped out, no tengo, empty pocket losers without a message that speaks to what people need.
Every time the US invaded Canada, the Canadians kikcked their pansy butts -- M.Denil, 20:56:24 11/04/08 Tue(188.8.131.52)
Simply a fact. The US was chased out of Quebec, chased out of the Niagara peninsula, chased out of south west Ontario. Yes, the Americans took York, but then got their collective rag-tag asses thoroughly kicked.
In US schools, of course, you won't ever hear about that but its still a fact. In a US history class you will learn that everything was the Battle of New Orleans. Yes, there was an American raid on Bristol, in retaliation for the Washington raid, but it rather fizzled.
Yes, the fighting in 1812 see-sawed around on the northern border, but one has to also consider that Britain was fighting Napoleon just across the Channel in Europe: they were in a real fight with a real threat close to home, and the North American thing was a very minor side show. For the Americans, on the other hand, this local show was a major war.
Beyond that, depicting soldiers as toy soldiers is simply true and fair. NO ONE should EVER imply that soldiering is an honorable, noble, or admirable employment. Anyone who thinks that as a soldier he or she is anything OTHER than a pawn or a toy is deluded.
fyi: a mayor or deputy mayor in Canada is addressed as Your Worship, not as Your Honor.
Re: Fear of a Negro Planet? -- Bob T., 06:44:27 11/07/08 Fri(184.108.40.206)
I second that emotion. Too bad Barbara Jordan isn't around to be elected; the heads of these hillbillies would be exploding off their shoulders.
Detroit seeks Congress aid on retiree health care....We finally got socialized healthcare, but only if your company has been run by incompetents -- Mark S., 18:08:53 11/06/08 Thu(220.127.116.11)
Detroit seeks Congress aid on retiree health care
Thursday November 6, 4:59 pm ET
By Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writer
Detroit wants $25 billion loan from Congress to help cover retiree health care obligations
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The leaders of General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and the president of the United Auto Workers union came to Capitol Hill Thursday to discuss billions of dollars more in financial help for the companies, which have struggled under a weakened economy.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was meeting with the chief executives of Detroit's automakers to hear their expected plea for an additional $25 billion in federal loans for future health care payments for retirees.
Pelosi told reporters at the start of the meeting that they would discuss "how we can work together to go forward to ensure the viability of that important industry, looking out for the taxpayer and looking out for the worker."
The executives also plan to seek help in accessing money from the Treasury Department or the Federal Reserve.
Congress last month approved $25 billion in low-interest loans for domestic automakers and suppliers to retool plants to build fuel efficient vehicles. But congressional allies of the industry have said the money will not be available fast enough to help the companies.
U.S. auto sales declined to their lowest level in more than 17 years last month, prompting some auto executives to predict dire consequences if the economy doesn't improve. The companies are hoping Pelosi will include funding for the industry in an economic stimulus package if she decides to call the House back in for a lame-duck session.
Alan Reuther, the UAW's legislative director, said the executives and UAW president Ron Gettelfinger "will be making the case why additional assistance from the federal government is needed to help the companies through this severe economic credit crisis."
The Pelosi meeting with Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli, Ford CEO Alan Mulally and GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner comes at a precarious time for the industry. General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. are expected to post dismal third-quarter results Friday that will show losses in the billions of dollars. Additional job cuts by both automakers also are expected Friday.
A top GM executive said Wednesday that the next 100 days will be critical for GM and the industry.
"We must be adaptable and ready to make needed changes quickly, particularly over the next 100 days," said Troy Clarke, GM's president for North America.
GM has been talking to Cerberus Capital Management LP, the majority owner of Chrysler LLC, about acquiring Chrysler. GM is reportedly seeking Chrysler's $11 billion in cash and federal aid to make the deal happen.
Auto industry officials said the companies do not intend to ask Pelosi for Congress' help in financing a merger. Gettelfinger has expressed concern that a GM acquisition of Chrysler would lead to massive job losses.
The new $25 billion in loans that the automakers want from Congress would help them make required payments to health care trust funds that were created as part of the 2007 labor deal.
Reuther said the companies are required to provide $15 billion to the fund in January 2010 and an additional $15 billion by 2012. He said the $25 billion from Congress would give the companies a better chance of immediately lining up other financing because most of the health care trust fund payments would have been covered.
"It's very important that those monies be contributed so retirees continue to have health care," he said. "The financial community is looking at that liability, and it's a major factor in their willingness to provide loans to the companies."
The executives and Gettelfinger also want help from Congress in winning access to the $700 billion financial bailout being run by the Treasury Department and to low-rate emergency borrowing from the Federal Reserve's discount window, used in normal times by banks.
President-elect Obama expressed support for an additional $25 billion in loans on the condition that the money would go toward helping the industry build fuel efficient cars. Obama has said he would meet with industry leaders and the UAW quickly to talk about helping automakers, but a meeting has not yet been scheduled.
Joe's new found celebrity status....or did the McCain campaign intervene?? -- Fred, 18:17:18 11/04/08 Tue(18.104.22.168)
Joe the Plumber gets warning, not speeding ticket
22 hours ago
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Police stopped "Joe the Plumber" for speeding last week but didn't issue a ticket out of concern it would reflect negatively on the Toledo department, an officer's report said.
Officers tracked Samuel J. Wurzelbacher driving about 50 mph in a 35 mph zone in his Dodge Durango SUV on Wednesday, the police report said.
In the final presidential debate, Republican John McCain portrayed Wurzelbacher as emblematic of people with concerns about Democrat Barack Obama's tax plans. Wurzelbacher has since endorsed McCain. His instant fame set off a rush of interest in the plumber's background.
Toledo's police chief said on Tuesday — the day before the traffic stop — that a department clerk faces a disciplinary hearing for allegedly looking up Wurzelbacher's address on a state computer database.
Wurzelbacher was given a verbal warning because of that ongoing investigation and because a citation could have "negative repercussions to the department and city as a whole," according to the report, which lists "Patrolman Bailey" as its author.
Wurzelbacher would not comment on the traffic stop when reached by telephone Monday evening.
The Stab In The Back, or, Whatever Will Herr Limbaugh Talk About Wednesday? -- Prairie Dawg, 09:09:37 11/03/08 Mon(22.214.171.124)
One of the most enduring mythologies of post World War One Germany was the legend of the 'stab in the back'-that is, the idea that defeat in the war and the troubles that followed could be directly attributed to a conspiracy of commies, jews, war profiteers, homos, middle of the roaders, politicians, and various and sundry defeatist elements.
Generals Erich Ludendorff and Paul von Hindenburg appeared before a select committee of the Reichstag in 1919 investigating whether peace could have been achieved before the Armistice, and Ludendorff said there and then that the Wehrmacht, never having been defeated in battle, was secretly and methodically sabotaged by subversives.
Thus, it is said, that the Generals lent all the gravitas of their positions and honors to perpetuating a myth that Germany had not gotten an old fashioned, knock 'em down and drag 'em out ass whuppin' with all the trimmings.
It may be so in 2008 as well. There are signs of a split in the McCain campaign as Palin starts thinking of her own political future, and how she's going to stuff up the cracks in her own leaky rowboat.
It seems also that some in right wing circles and on the talk radio circuit these days are busy constructing their very own 'stab in the back' legend in anticipation of next Tuesday's election-getting a jump on things like.
Although it's not official, there are signs these days, as the once bright flame of the Reagan Revolution gutters and flickers, having nearly exhausted the supply of swamp gas, manure and racial animus that fueled it, that the myth is busily being constructed in an effort to explain to the Guns, God and Guts crowd how they lost, and lost badly to a Democrat and a black man at that.
Herr Limbaugh himself must be wondering what he's going to talk about next Wednesday morning. It may make for some interesting listening for once.
My guess is that the myth he constructs for the downfall of his party will consist of a recital that his party did not deserve to win, having deserted the Gingrich wing of the party to cozy up with moderate succubi such as Colin Powell and William Weld, who will, of course be branded as heretics and apostates to be expunged with extreme prejudice.
There will be the usual dark hints of an Illuminati style plot of negroes, jews, bankers, liberals, homos, commies and baby killers and fellow travelers of Planned Parenthood to thwart the will of the Right.
"We wuz robbed!" is how it will be recited around kitchen tables and in waterfront dives and hunting camps and in the places where Father Coughlin-oops, I meant Herr Limbaugh, sorry- and his kind poison the airwaves with their infernal palaver.
It's interesting to note that I had an interesting conversation with a former senator here who explained why she, as a Republican, could not hire me as an aide. She said candidly that she was afraid of her party.
That's how deep this runs and how much the Streichers of talk radio and Gingrich have done to drive moderates out of the GOP.
They are extinct. And with that go a lot of people who might otherwise vote for the GOP.
As Edwin Armstrong once pointedly observed, "It's not what people know that's dangerous. It's what they know that ain't so."
whom to vote for -- denis the red menace, 22:11:27 10/26/08 Sun(126.96.36.199)
Why I am Voting Democrat'
I'm voting democrat because Barbara Walters is my idol and so is P.Diddy.
I'm voting Democrat because English has no place being the official language in America.
I'm voting Democrat because I'd rather pay $4 for a gallon of gas than allow drilling for oil off the coasts of America.
I'm voting Democrat because I think the government will do a better job of spending my money than I could.
I'm voting Democrat because when we pull out of Afghanistan and Iraq, I know the Islamic terrorists will stop trying to kill us because they'll think we're a good and decent country.
I'm voting Democrat because I believe people who can't tell us if it will rain in two or three days, can now tell us the polar ice caps will disappear in ten years if I don't start riding a bicycle, build a windmill or inflate my tires to proper levels.
I'm voting Democrat because it's alright to kill millions of babies as long as we keep violent, convicted murderers on death row alive.
I'm voting Democrat because I believe businesses in America should not be
allowed to make profits. Businesses should just break even and give the rest to the government so politicians and bureaucrats can redistribute the money the way they think it should be redistributed.
I'm voting Democrat because I believe guns, and not the people misusing them, are the cause of crimes and killings.
I'm voting Democrat because when someone with a weapon threatens my family or me, I know the government can respond faster through a call to 911 than I can with a gun in my hand.
I'm voting Democrat because oil companies' 5% profit on a gallon of gas are obscene, but government taxes of 18% on the same gallon of gas are just fine.
I'm voting Democrat because I believe three or four elitist liberals should rewrite the Constitution every few months to suit some fringe element that could never get their agenda past voters.
I'm voting Democrat because illegal aliens are not criminals, are not sucking up resources through government aid, hospital services, education, or social services, but are just people trying to make a better life by coming to America illegally. We can't blame them for that, can we?
I'm voting Democrat because the same teacher that didn't teach my child to read can reasonably educate them about sex.
I'm voting Democrat because my trial lawyer's crippling multi-million dollar lawsuits against doctors, hospitals, drug companies, and HMO's will make health insurance and medicine much more affordable.
I'm voting Democrat because Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan, and Jesse Jackson will end racism once and for all.
I'm voting Democrat because Christians in the Republican Party are intolerant, theocratic warmongers and atheists like William Ayers have never hurt anybody.
I'm voting Democrat so that no family member of mine will die in a hospital bed. They will still be waiting in line for Obama's socialized medicine, so they will never actually make it into a hospital bed.
I'm voting Democrat because I like eminent domain and big business and government kicking me out of my home and taking my land.
I'm voting Democrat because everyone knows that raising taxes at the top won't hurt people at the bottom.
I'm voting Democrat because skin color and good oratory skills are more important than judgment and experience.
I'm voting Democrat because protecting barren wasteland is more important than energy independence.
I'm voting Democrat because my college professor told me that America is evil and should give up its place in the world.
I'm voting Democrat because I believe that Cuba, Russia, and China should be on the United Nations Human Rights Council.
I'm voting Democrat because I believe that everyone is essentially good -- even people like Ahmadinejad who call for the destruction of Israel. He just needs a little understanding.
I'm voting Democrat because we should all be forced to drive ugly cars with the horsepower of a riding lawnmower.
I am voting Democrat because I believe in change; although I don't know WHAT the change will be, or HOW it will happen, AND I am pretty sure that I won't WANT to actually change anything I do, but still....I believe in change.
I'm voting Democrat because the government knows how to raise children better than parents do.
I'm voting Democrat because I want the rich to work harder, give me their money, and pay for my services so I don't have to.