Truth Before Dishonor

I would rather be right than popular

Archive for January, 2009

Are You A Liberal?

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/01/31

You really need to see the video from Conservative Oasis. It is good for a laugh. Too bad it is so accurate.

Posted in politics, truth | Comments Off

The Vote Is In

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/01/29

59-0, the Illinois Senate has voted unanimously to convict Governor Rod Blagojevich of impeachable offenses. Blago is no longer Governor of Illinois. It was a bipartisan vote. Good riddance, Blago.

More here.

Update: In a separate unanimous vote, Blago has been barred from holding future elective office in Illinois.

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And Here We Have It

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/01/29

H/T Patterico

I wrote earlier someone in the media was wondering out loud whether someone would sue over the Hudson Plane event. Well it seems there actually is some jerk considering doing just that. If the airline doesn’t give him the money he’s looking for, he just may sue. Disgusting.

Posted in politically correct, society, TORT | Comments Off

Morr-Fitz v. Blagojevich, Circuit Court, Springfield, Illinois

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/01/29

From the American Center for Law and Justice comes this case:

The ACLJ represents two Illinois pharmacy owners who are challenging the validity of an Executive Order issued in 2005 by Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The Order requires all pharmacy owners to stock and dispense the so-called “morning after pill,” which many consider to be an abortion-inducing drug. After having been dismissed in 2005 by a lower court, just last month the Supreme Court of Illinois reversed that dismissal and sent the case back to Springfield for trial. You can read more about that decision here. We will be filing an amended complaint within the next few weeks and will be heading to court seeking an injunction against the Order. We were previously successful, in the case of Menges et al. v. Blagojevich, in challenging this Order on behalf of individual pharmacists. We are hopeful that we will now achieve a similar result on behalf of pro-life pharmacy owners.

Not only do liberal public officials want all forms of abortion legal, but they also want Christians to have to succumb to the demands of others, even at the cost of the Christians’ religious principles. So much for religious freedom, insofar as liberal politicians are concerned. But I am supporting the ACLJ in this, and many other cases. Perhaps we can get fair treatment in the courts since we cannot in liberal political circles.

Posted in abortion, politics, society | Comments Off

244-188, Stimulus Package Passes House

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/01/28

The US House of Representatives have just passed the $825B stimulus package 244-188. 10 Democrats voted against, counted among every Republican. That’s right, no Republicans voted for it and 10 Democrats voted against it.

Posted in politics, society | 1 Comment »

My Experience As A Piece-Rater

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/01/28

I spent nearly nine years working for a union company that had a combination of hourly workers and piece-raters (incentive workers). When I started out, I was obviously working for an hourly rate because I could not produce enough to be considered a piece-rater.

As time moved on, I got to the point where I was producing fast enough to be paid piece-rate instead of hourly in my piece-rate job. There were, and are, many hourly jobs at the plant, and those jobs are filled by people who believe they are working hard. They are producing enough to not have management all over them for lack of production. I remember one particular hourly employee saying, “If I go home exhausted, I worked too hard.”

Hourly employees and piece-rate employees get paid roughly the same base-rate, that is if a piece-rater does not make rate, he or she will be paid a base hourly rate that is roughly the same as an hourly worker. But it is slightly less. As of 2008, a “Class A” operator on hourly would be paid $12.40 an hour while a “Class A” operator on piece-rate would be guaranteed a minimum of $12.15 an hour. And the guarantee is based on the week’s average. So, a piece-rater could make $15.00 an hour for 4 days and $4.00 an hour for the 5th day and actually get paid that $4.00 an hour for that 5th day.

While I was working there, the company decided it was paying far too much money to certain segments of the piece-rate community. Pipe department, where people willingly pumped pain pills into their system on a daily basis to make their money, was re-time-studied to kill their $18.00/hour average. The new time-study was set at such a point nobody could reach base-rate, much less get beyond base-rate, without skipping breaks. All but 3 in Pipe department quit. 2 of the 3 remaining transferred out. The company, in desperate need for pipe, transferred 1 of the 2 back in.

One segment of Boot Department was making $19.00/hour, which was grossly overpaid, according to management. A time-study came in and resulted in cutting the pay of the two remaining employees in that segment down to $14.00/hour. The fact those two each had 25 years with the company or more, and the fact those two had found many shortcuts to increase their production and income was not a factor. The company had already decided anyone on the floor who made $17.00/hour was grossly overpaid.

Another segment of Boot Department has been overpaid, according to the company, for a very long time. It has been time-studied repeatedly. Each time-study resulted in lower pay per piece, as expected, yet the two people who are mainly responsible for output in this segment continue to make over $18.00/hour. And management is still unsatisfied. No doubt there will be more time-studies to cut their pay further.

Elbow Department has been time-studied and the results were obvious: their pay was drastically cut. Every time the company does a time-study, people lose money. And the company is amazed that overall productivity has fallen off. The company continuously states it is using the industry standard “3 miles per hour” to determine pay rates. When I asked what it meant, the company said “3 mph is 3 mph.” When I said it was a metaphor, the then-plant manager declared “It is not a metaphor, it is a fact.” Of course, 3 mph is 52 inches per second. There is no safe way to precisely band-saw steel at 52 inches per second without risk of cutting off fingers or worse. Of course, no machines shove steel through their parts at 52 inches per second. But 3mph is fact and not metaphor.

The fact every time-study reduces income for the piece-raters has nothing to do with … what does it have nothing to do with? The company only wants to kill wages for piece-raters to improve profitability. And I am not against improving profitability at all. Don’t get me wrong on this. Profitability is paramount in a business’s success. But is this company doing the right thing?

When I started working for the company, the company was producing above $90 per man-hour. There was a time I was there that the company was producing around $115 per man-hour. In 2008, the company was producing under $90 per man-hour with a stated necessity of $98 per man-hour. Of course, the company had absolutely no idea why productivity had fallen off so much, what with the increased cost of the finished goods. There was no way the company’s efforts to kill the pay of producers had any effect on productivity.

I said all that to say this: If you kill the income of the producers, the producers will kill the production. If you kill the incentive, there will be no incentive. If you overtax, you will lose your tax.

Posted in economics, politics, truth | Comments Off

Voter Turnout Predicts Vote Results

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/01/28

There are many predictors examined to project results from votes. One of those predictors is overall turnout. How many people actually went out to vote? A low turnout is a predictor that Republicans will have a strong showing while a high turnout is a predictor that Democrats will be more successful.

Why does the turnout serve as such a predictor? I have my own experience-based theory. In all my jobs I’ve had, I’ve met large numbers of people. As a former over-the-road truck driver, I met thousands of people. As a former factory worker, I got to know a few hundred people much more closely. In my time in various positions in the workforce, I spent a good deal of time talking politics. The vast majority of people I talked with had a commonality: “I don’t really get into politics.” These people with that commonality had another commonality. They generally parroted the mainstream news headlines and talking points.

I even had one person who didn’t trust any politician for anything — “they’re all the same; corrupt, all of them” — tell me he was Democrat because the only thing Republicans do is raise taxes and spend money willy-nilly. He thought Republicans were the tax-and-spenders! Can you imagine that? There was no debating with him. Facts and history were all dismissed with a wave of the hand.

“You haven’t told me why turnout is a predictor.” With so many people choosing not to “be into politics,” there are a great many people who have chosen to be uninformed or ill-informed. Those who choose to be well-informed, or those who choose to be very interest in politics will always vote. Those who choose to not “be into politics” will sometimes vote. And therein lies the difference. The highly informed will vote out of knowledge and understanding while the uninformed will vote out of propaganda and will depend on mainstream media’s headlines to give them accurate information. Of course, the informed know mainstream media is never accurate in regards to anything politic.

So with a low turnout, we have a higher saturation of truly informed individuals. But with a high turnout, we have a very diluted pool of truly informed individuals. And it is that diluted pool Democrats depend on. Because if truth were to win out, Democrats would fail every test.

Posted in politics, society | Comments Off

Barbara Boxer Has To Go

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/01/28

H/T Patterico’s Pontifications’ adj-free Dana, also known as Common Sense Political Thought’s other Dana.

I am officially supporting California Assemblyman Chuck Devore’s 2010 US Senate campaign to unseat the extreme liberal, anti-self-reliance US Senator from California, Barbara Boxer. I hope any who value conservatism and self-reliance will support Mr Devore’s efforts.

Posted in politics | Comments Off

Insult Becomes Compliment

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/01/27

A couple millenia ago, a certain group of people started calling a different group of people a bunch of “little christ childs.” The “little christ childs” took the derisive term as a badge of honor. The name has stuck with them for over 2000 years now. It is the name “Christian.”

The song Yankee Doodle Dandy came from the new Americans’ accepting as a badge of honor a term the British meant as derisive.

Those are two examples from old history of insult becoming compliment. I have had similar, but much less earth-shattering, experiences in my life.

When I was in high school, I could be counted on to interject a Christian perspective into the secular debate of the high school curriculum. I did it all the time. I remember one particular incident. As I was leaving Geology class, something caught my ear so I stood in the doorway of the classroom to listen. A girl had gone to the teacher to ask him a question of great interest to me. “What does he do? Read the Bible every day or something!?” The question, and its delivery was so full of attitude it was easy to understand. The girl was shocked and amazed and disgusted by the fact someone would actually read the Bible in the first place, let alone read it regularly.

Now I readily admit I did not read the Bible every day then and I read it even less now, but her derisive attitude still stood. And it was that very derisive attitude toward those who read the Bible regularly in general and me in specific that caused my week-long emotional reaction. I was on an emotional high for the rest of the week. To this day, any time I remember that event, I get a “chill” of pride running up my back. To be counted as one closely associated with my Savior, despite my own glaring short-comings, brings me great joy.

I have heard and read many words about insult and derision. I have heard and read many words from those insulted or derided who have taken them as badges of honor. I have also heard and read many words from the insulters and deriders mocking people. “How can you claim I tried to insult or deride you if you’re claiming it as praise at the same time? Aren’t you being hypocritical? You can’t have it both ways, you know.” As a whole, and in general, I feel sorry for these people. But when it comes down to specific instances, I suffer from the fact I am so much less than Jesus. I do not feel sorrow or pity; I feel anger and frustration toward those who claim my shifting their insult to praise is hypocritical.

It does not change the fact that many derisive comments, many insults, many dysphemisms have been taken as badges of honor by the intended victims. It does not change the intent of the comments.

Posted in history, truth | 1 Comment »

Agenda-free Mainstream Media of Old

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/01/27

I remember a great many things and a great many details from many, many years ago. (Is that enough “manys” in one sentence?) One memory etched in my brain is a news article from the local paper, circa 1983.

Nearly 100 pro-choice protesters gathered for a peaceful march while several dozen anti-abortion activists heckled them from the sidewalks.

What do you see in that sentence? I actually see a lot. The mainstream media, then and now, give the organization’s chosen name, “pro-choice,” when it suits their purpose but choose a term the mainstream media consider a dyspemism, “anti-abortion,” instead of the organization’s chosen name, “pro-life,” when the dysphemism suits their purpose. Then there’s the peaceful march met by hecklers. And what about protesters v activists? What sort of connotation does that provide?

And the piece de resistance, how about that convoluted counting system? What is bigger, nearly 100 or several dozen? It sounds like nearly 100 because “hundred” is much more massive than “dozen.” But how many is “nearly 100?” 90? 80? And how many dozen is “several dozen?” Three dozen can’t be “several.” Four dozen can’t be “several” either. Is nine dozen several dozen? So if 85 protested in favor of mainstream media’s view, that would be nearly 100 and if 108 counter-protested against mainstream media’s view, that would be several dozen.

It isn’t bias, folks. It’s agenda.

Posted in abortion, politically correct, stereotype, truth | Comments Off

Roe v. Wade is Not Abortion-on-Demand

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/01/26

Hat Tip to Patterico’s Pontifications for indirectly causing me to research this.

Justice Blackmun’s opinion held that states are permitted to have more restrictive legislation as the pregnancy advances. He also stated the state “may go so far as to proscribe abortion during that period” after viability.

Three particular quotes of interest from Justice Blackmun’s opinion follow:

On the basis of elements such as these, appellant and some amici argue that the woman’s right is absolute and that she is entitled to terminate her pregnancy at whatever time, in whatever way, and for whatever reason she alone chooses. With this we do not agree… The privacy right involved, therefore, cannot be said to be absolute. In fact, it is not clear to us that the claim asserted by some amici that one has an unlimited right to do with one’s body as one pleases bears a close relationship to the right of privacy previously articulated in the Court’s decisions. The Court has refused to recognize an unlimited right of this kind in the past.

Although the results are divided, most of these courts have agreed that the right of privacy, however based, is broad enough to cover the abortion decision; that the right, nonetheless, is not absolute, and is subject to some limitations; and that, at some point, the state interests as to protection of health, medical standards, and prenatal life, become dominant. We agree with this approach.

If the State is interested in protecting fetal life after viability, it may go so far as to proscribe abortion [p164] during that period, except when it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.

Justice Stewart’s concurring opinion also held that states are permitted to enact laws prohibiting abortions “in the late stages of pregnancy.”

The asserted state interests are protection of the health and safety of the pregnant woman, and protection of the potential future human life within her. These are legitimate objectives, amply sufficient to permit a State to regulate abortions as it does other surgical procedures, and perhaps sufficient to permit a State to regulate abortions more stringently, or even to prohibit them in the late stages of pregnancy. But such legislation is not before us…

According to Justice Rehnquist in his dissenting opinion, the Supreme Court over-stepped its bounds in making its decision. Justice Rehnquist admonished the Supreme Court for, among other things, legislating from the bench. Despite this, Justice Rehnquist acknowledges the Supreme Court’s decision that states can prohibit abortions after a certain point in the pregnancy.

The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment undoubtedly does place a limit, albeit a broad one, on legislative power to enact laws such as this. If the Texas statute were to prohibit an abortion even where the mother’s life is in jeopardy, I have little doubt that such a statute would lack a rational relation to a valid state objective under the test stated in Williamson, supra. But the Court’s sweeping invalidation of any restrictions on abortion during the first trimester is impossible to justify under that standard, and the conscious weighing of competing factors that the Court’s opinion apparently substitutes for the established test is far more appropriate to a legislative judgment than to a judicial one.

Even if one were to agree that the case that the Court decides were here, and that the enunciation of the substantive constitutional law in the Court’s opinion were proper, the actual disposition of the case by the Court is still difficult to justify. The Texas statute is struck down in toto, even though the Court apparently concedes that, at later periods of pregnancy Texas might impose these self-same statutory limitations on abortion. My understanding of past practice is that a statute found [p178] to be invalid as applied to a particular plaintiff, but not unconstitutional as a whole, is not simply “struck down” but is, instead, declared unconstitutional as applied to the fact situation before the Court.

I often hear that Roe v Wade allows abortions at all stages of pregnancy. As you can see, this is simply not the case. Roe v Wade allows states to prohibit abortions after a certain point.

Posted in abortion, politically correct, truth | 5 Comments »

Will Technology Ever Change This Dramatically?

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/01/21

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls was born in Wisconsin in the 1800s. As a child, she traveled with her parents by covered wagon to South Dakota by way of Kansas. She got married to Almonzo Wilder while she was a teen-ager (but that era, she was for all intents and purposes an adult). Laura Ingalls Wilder, along with her husband and young daughter Rose, travelled by covered wagon from South Dakota to Missouri, where they started an apple orchard/farm of some significance.

After Rose grew up and moved to San Fransisco, Laura then traveled by train to San Fransisco to visit her daughter. Later, Rose moved to Connecticut, and Laura traveled to Connecticut by jet to visit.

When Laura was a child and even when she was a young adult, covered wagon was the means of travel. The automobile, cross-country train and jet were developed for everyday travel for the masses during her lifetime. She even lived to see the beginnings of space exploration. Is it possible for anyone born after 1960 to see such a huge obvious technology explosion? One that real, everyday people can feel in their real lives? I’m not entirely sure that will ever happen again.

This is true testament to the creativity of unfettered people. And my daughter, Laura, can beem proudly every time she tells people her mother and father named her after Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Posted in history, society | 1 Comment »

Hamas is Unrepentant

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/01/20

According to INN, Hamas has declared their intention to re-arm with its “holy weapons” immediately after a ceasefire had begun. Since Hamas maintains its ultimate goal of obliterating Israel, and since Hamas claims its civilian-killing weapons to be holy, and since Hamas has declared it will re-arm, how can any sane person decry the plight of the people Hamas uses as its human shields? This whole “blame Israel for everything” approach of the mainstream media and so many nations and the UN is disingenuous, disgusting, unbelievable.

Posted in genocide, history, Islam, Israel, politically correct, terrorists | Comments Off

Frightful Arabs

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/01/20

From INN comes this news:

The arab/islamic world is deeply concerned that they are in danger of a collapse. The reasons why? There are two reasons they provide. One is the inter-Palestinian struggle for power, that is the power-struggle within the Palistinian power-mongers themselves. And the other reason is Isreal’s action in Gaza.

The story goes on to talk about how the Arabs are fighting amongst themselves. Of particular interest to me is their anger (or some of them anyway) that Egypt has been cooperative with Israel on any issue regarding Palestine. Another major point of interest to me is Kuwait’s (remember that kingdom? The kingdom we rescued from Sadam Hussein?) requirement that the West Bank’s Fatah representative not arrive while requesting Gaza’s Hamas representative to be present.

It sure is interesting to find Arabs fighting amongst themselves… until the history of the region is noted. But it’s definitely interesting to find the Arabs fighting amongst themselves where Israel is concerned. In most cases, Israel serves as a unifying catalyst for Arab kingdoms. But in this case, Israel is serving as a hammer against the anvil of the Arab world’s historic infighting.

Posted in history, Islam, Israel, politics, truth | Comments Off

Blitzburgh Goes for the Record

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/01/19

Currently, the Pittsburgh Steelers are tied for the most Super Bowl victories with five. The Steelers have earned a shot at number six. This marks the seventh time the Steelers go to the Super Bowl, one short of the eight the Cowboys have. And for the record, the Steelers went 2-1 against the Cowboys in the Super Bowl.

ESPN reported three of the last four teams with the top-ranked defense in the NFL to earn a trip to the Super Bowl has won the Super Bowl. The fourth team? The Steelers haven’t played that game yet.

Posted in sports | Comments Off

 
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