Monday, March 24, 2014

Rowe, Rowe, Rowe.... My Vote

I must admit, the more I read about Mike Rowe and his thoughts on trade schools for people who really want to get a job, earn money, better their life, and not mooch off of the gov'ment, the more I want to help spread his message. If you read the post prior to this one then you get the idea of Mike's message. I've posted Mike's answers to questions posed by a young lady who I believe represents the thoughts of a lot of people who love to find a reason to hate any idea that calls for people to think they have a chance of bettering themselves by simply working hard. And anything bad in this country HAS to be the fault of Republicans
Below are Mike's responses.
*******************************************************************Mike appeared on Piers Morgan’s show on October 30 and a viewer had some questions for Mike.   Read his response here.

Today’s question comes from Jennifer Bailey. Jennifer posted over at, but I’m answering here because … well, because I need more room.
JB: While Mike makes a valid point I have a few questions for him.
MR: Hi, Jennifer. I love questions. Fire away.
JB: How can the middle class send their kids to college for “four or more years” when the Republicans have made it far too expensive with raising interest rates on school loans and wanting to end federal grants?
MR: Your question implies that the middle class should be borrowing money to send their kids to an expensive four-year college. You also imply that college is far too expensive because interest rates on student loans are too high. Might I respectfully challenge both implications?
Since 1985, college tuition has increased at nearly 500 times the rate of inflation. (See: College tuition has jumped by 500% since 1985) Can you imagine the same jump in any other area? Food, housing, medicine, energy? If everything we need to live increased in price at the same rate as college tuition, there would be a national riot in about 10 minutes. So what really happened in the marketplace to allow college to get so expensive? Is it really all because Republicans want to raise the rates on student loans?
Think about it. Universities get to decide how much money to charge their students. Likewise, parents and students decide if they can afford to pay it. It’s a pretty simple proposition. But when the government suddenly makes hundreds of billions of dollars in student loans readily available — under the popular (and voter-friendly) theory that “everyone should go to college” — we see an unintended consequence. We see colleges suddenly motivated to charge more money. A lot more. And so they embark on their own PR campaigns to boost enrollment. They hire ad agencies and publicists and lobbyists and go about the business of persuading people to “invest in their future.” And most importantly, they provide an admissions department to help arrange for an affordable student loan. This is what’s been happening for the last 40 years.
If blame is your thing, there’s plenty to go around. Republicans and Democrats have both allowed a trillion dollars of public money to flow freely between students and colleges with no real accountability for the results. And millions of well-intended parents and guidance counselors are still pushing the idea that a four-year degree is the only viable path to happiness. This in spite of the fact that the vast majority of available jobs no longer require a diploma — they require the willingness to learn a useful skill. And that kind of training does not demand the type of massive borrowing that has put college graduates a trillion dollars in the hole.
To be clear, I’m not anti-college; I’m anti-debt. If you can afford it, by all means go for it. But I reject the idea that a four-year school is the best path for the most people. I went on Piers Morgan Live because I have a scholarship fund that trains people for jobs that actually exist, while rewarding the kind of work ethic I think we need to encourage. I want to spread the word.
JB: Vocational training has been taken out of most high schools. Would you not agree that they need to be brought back and kids be given the equivalent of a 2yr certification to apply to a trade school: Carpentry, welding, electrician….?
MR: Of course. The current skills gap has unfolded in part because vocational education vanished from high schools. I’m all for reinstating those programs, but I’m afraid that won’t be enough. There are hundreds of thousands of jobs available right now that people simply do not want. This is not because the jobs are “bad,” or the pay is lousy. It’s because we’ve raised an entire generation to view these opportunities as subordinate to a four-year degree. Good jobs are going begging because hard work and skilled labor are no longer valued in the same way as they were 50 years ago.
JB: Do you realize how many jobs would be available if the greedy corporations kept manufacturing and technical jobs here?
MR: Yes, I think I do. But what makes you think they would be filled?
Consider this: Right now, in the manufacturing sector alone, 600,000 jobs are currently available. That’s 600,000 open positions that American manufacturers can’t fill. You’re right — if all the American corporations moved all their manufacturing facilities and factories back to the United States we’d have a few million more openings. But then what? Do you really assume that millions of unemployed Americans would run to fill those positions? I’m afraid it’s not that simple. If it were, it would already be happening. We wouldn’t have a skills gap. But we do, and it’s getting wider every year. The fact is — according to the government’s own numbers — 3.7 million jobs are available right now. Doesn’t it make sense to fill those positions before we start demanding that companies create more opportunities that people don’t aspire to?
Like it or not, we’re in a global economy, and it’s not the politicians or the corporations calling the shots. It’s us. What we do as consumers matters far more than what we say as citizens. Right now, for instance, I’ll wager you’re reading this on a device made in China. It’s not a criticism – just an observation. Every single thing in our world, from Honey Boo Boo to your iPhone to your local Congressperson is a reflection of the things we value and the choices we make. At the cash register and at the polls.
JB: The list goes on, but I would say to you that the GOP won’t even pass the Jobs Bill and does nothing to help the middle class and our active military or veterans.
MR: Yes, Jennifer, your list does go on. And on the other side of the aisle there is another American with a different list. And their list goes on as well. This is the problem. Everyone is so focused on making their own list and keeping track of how screwed up the other side is, they can’t acknowledge a good idea unless somebody on their side tells them how to feel about it. Funny thing is, most of the Republicans I know want the same basic things as most of the Democrats I know. They all want more jobs. They all want a healthy planet. They all support our veterans. And they all want to help people who are in genuine need of help. But they disagree on the method, and on the role of government. And because they can’t get past their methodology, they just keep adding more things onto their list. And so it goes.
JB: They talked JOBS,JOBS, JOBS and all they’ve done is help their rich cronies, obstruct job making bills, make higher education unaffordable for everyone BUT their rich supporters!!
MR: I get it. The Republicans are bad. (I know this because you have use both CAPS and exclamation points!!) You have identified the GOP and their rich friends as the cause of a great many problems. You are certainly not alone. But frankly, I don’t find your analysis to be all that persuasive. For one thing, millions of conservatives are far from rich. And millions of liberals are far from poor. Does the government have a huge role to play? Sure. But ultimately, the way out of this is not through D.C. The buck no longer stops there. It stops with us. It has to.
JB: Why don’t you look at THOSE facts and ask the GOP to get off their collective derrières, help create jobs and quit jeopardizing the future of the American people!
MR: Because honestly, Jennifer, I don’t believe that the GOP or the Dems or the president can actually “create” jobs. The best they can do is encourage an environment where people who might be willing to assume the risk of hiring other people are more inclined to do so. That’s what I’d like them to do. And to the extent that either party would ever listen to a guy that used to have a show on cable TV — that’s about all I would ask of them.
JB: Btw, people WILL work their butt off, Mike, if paid a fair living wage and have affordable healthcare.
MR: From what I’ve seen of the world, most people (including me), would rather work eight hours instead of 10, six hours instead of eight, four hours instead of six. Most people prefer more vacation time than less. Most people want their gratification as soon as possible. Given a choice, most people would rather be comfortable than uncomfortable.
Again, this is not a criticism — it’s just the human condition. As a society, we can either encourage or discourage this basic tendency. In a very general way, I think we’ve encouraged it. I think we’ve encouraged people to withhold their very best efforts and their very hardest work until certain conditions and expectations are met. And I think those conditions are both relative and ever-changing. So when you suggest that people won’t work their butts off unless or until they feel that they are fairly paid and provided with affordable health care, I think you’re absolutely right. That’s exactly where our expectations have brought us.
On Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe, though, I got a chance to meet a different breed. I met hundreds of men and women who proved beyond all doubt that hard work didn’t necessarily have to be conditioned on anything other than a personal decision to bust your own ass. By and large, the workers I met on that show were happy and successful because they were willing to work harder than everyone else around them. And in doing so, they thrived. Not right away, perhaps, but over time, most of them prospered. They distinguished themselves on the job by outworking the competition. And they advanced. In fact, many of the Dirty Jobbers we featured were millionaires. You just wouldn’t know it because they were usually covered in grime or sludge or shit or something worse. During the show, I also spoke at length with employers in every state, and in every industry. And no matter where I went, the biggest challenge was always the same – finding people who were willing to learn a new skill and work hard. I hear the same thing today.
Last week, I spent a few hours with the head of labor relations for one of the largest engineering firms in the world. He has thousands of positions open right now. Literally, thousands. After Katrina, his firm poured many millions of dollars into workforce development down in the Gulf. They trained — for free — hundreds of workers in a variety of positions that offered all kinds of opportunities to advance. The pay was fair. The benefits were solid. But the program ultimately failed. Why? Because virtually every single trainee decided it was just too damn hot. I’m not even kidding. They just didn’t want to work in the heat. And so … they didn’t.
In the next few years, this company anticipates 15,000 new openings for welders and pipe-fitters in the southeast. And the head of recruitment has absolutely no idea where the workers will come from. That should scare us all.
JB: Getting their hands dirty isn’t the problem. Being paid minimum wage with no Health Care IS the problem!
MR: But, Jennifer, how then do you explain the skills gap? These are not “minimum wage jobs.” These are not “jobs with no health care.” Again, you seem to assume that any time that a job becomes available that meets your criteria, a qualified and willing candidate will swoop in to fill it. But why do you think that? All the evidence suggests the opposite is true. Three and half million jobs are available right now. As in … today. What’s up with that?
If you tell me the pay is not sufficient, I’ll respectfully disagree. I’ve personally seen thousands of jobs go begging that start around $55,000, and offer a straight path to a six-figure salary. If you tell me it’s due to a lack of training, I’ll respectfully disagree some more. I haven’t seen one training program or trade school in the country that’s maxed out. Not one. I started mikeroweWORKS because I’ve personally met with dozens of employers who have hundreds of opportunities they can’t fill. Not only do these positions offer healthcare and fair pay, many offer free training. The catch? The work requires real, actual skill, and the conditions are often … uncomfortable. Sometimes it’s hot. Sometimes it’s cold. But the opportunities are there, and include the criteria you want. And yet, companies can’t fill them.
Every month, the trade schools I work with tell me about companies that are desperate for more welders. They simply can’t train them fast enough. Tulsa Welding School, Midwest Technical, The Refrigeration School, UTI … Believe me, there is no shortage of training. No, the skills gap reflects more than a lack of ability or a lack of opportunity — it reflects a disconnect between what we want, what we study, what we can afford, and what’s actually available.
Last point: Two weeks ago, I talked with a heavy equipment technician up in Butler, N.D. Jack’s 26 years old. Started welding part-time in high school. Got a job at the local CAT dealer working on big machines. Had a knack for it. Took a training program. Started around $65,000, with a 25% “Impact Signing Bonus.” Went to work in earnest. 60-hour weeks, mostly outside. Tough work, but he was good at it, and willing. Doubled his pay in a year. Met a girl. Got married. Bought a house. Had a kid. Got a raise. Paid off his house. Had another kid. Just quit his job to freelance. Why? Because he has a trade that’s in demand and real-world experience. He can work when he wants at $150 an hour anywhere on the High Plains. Jack is debt-free, highly trained, good at what he does, and absolutely thriving. Why? Because he combined a useful skill with a solid work ethic, and welcomed a chance to be uncomfortable.
A few months ago I wrote something called The S.W.E.A.T. Pledge. It stands for “Skills and Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo.” (So sue me — I like acronyms.) All mikeroweWORKS scholarships require the recipient to sign this pledge — among other things — before we spend $15,000 to $20,000 training them. If I we’re a betting man, Jennifer, I’d wager that you will not approve of this 12-point promise. But maybe I’m wrong? Give it a read: “The S.W.E.A.T. Pledge” (Skill & Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo)
Tell me what you think. And thanks for the questions.
Happy Sunday,

Friday, March 21, 2014

Dirty Talk

 I haven't written a new post lately. Partly because there are simply too many examples of us losing our America that it really would be a full time job writing about it. And there doesn't seem to be anyone that is willing to pay me to sit down and write. But I have been following Mike Rowe's "Profoundly Disconnected" website and just had to share a few of his thoughts. You might know him from his cable-TV show "Dirty Jobs". He also does a lot of commercials and voice-overs for TV programs. 

Mike is a firm beliver that America needs the get as much American made products and jobs back in the U.S. Please take the time to check out his website and his  "mikeroweWorks Foundation". He has a Scholarship Fund for those looking to explore a career in the skilled trades. He believes that's where the money and jobs are for people to earn a great living and contribute to America turning its workforce around.

I could write a lengthy post on just that topic but this is about a commercial he recently did months ago for Walmart. He received so much attention, mostly bashing him, for doing the commercial that he wrote a posting to explain things. I completely agree with everything he says and I understand why he did the commercial and why he would do many more if he thought it would help Americans get back to work. 

Below is his message. A little lengthy but please take the time to read it all. Then check out his websites and let's all get on his band-wagon. I think he is playing the right tune....

Clean-up In Aisle Four!

This whole Walmart thing. Wow.
If you’re just tuning in, here’s a brief timeline.

- Last week, I did the voiceover for a commercial that announced Walmart’s commitment to purchase 250 billion dollars of American made goods and put them onto their shelves.
 - This Saturday, the commercial ran during The Olympics, and people started talking. Some of the talk wasn’t very pretty.
- Sunday evening, I opened a bottle of Whistle Pig, and responded to a few of my detractors. I attempted to clarify a few things. By midnight, the Whistle Pig was badly depleted and I was very sleepy. So I hit “post,” and went to bed.
- Several hours later, I woke up to use the bathroom. (Sad, that I had to. Glad, that I woke up first.) On the way back to bed, I saw that my laptop was still open. I glanced at this page, and saw that over a million people had read your questions and my answers. Holy Crap.

The next morning, I awakened to the kind of chaos that simply wasn’t possible before social media. No less than a dozen requests from various news outlets asking me to appear as soon as possible. Urgent messages to return calls from people I didn’t know. Angry messages from certain acquaintances. Lots of encouragement from unexpected sources.

I was tied up all day, and unable to respond to the media requests. But the press waits for no one. Articles about our little Q&A began to pop up everywhere. There was this.

And this.

And this.

CNN even did a story about me...without me.

That brings us to the present. 4,000 comments and counting. I’ve read them all. Thanks. And since you’re still reading, allow me to free-associate a bit further. Because if the press is still interested in this topic next week, I’ll fly to NY and make the rounds. Consider this a rehearsal of my talking points. As always, your suggestions are welcomed.

- I’m not a spokesman for Walmart. I narrated a very specific commercial because I’m a fan of what Walmart is trying to accomplish with this particular initiative. In the interest of full disclosure though, I really do shop there. In fact, for nearly ten years, Walmart was my first stop whenever Dirty Jobs came to town. (I typically don’t pack a bag, so Walmart was the best place for affordable clothing that would most likely be badly abused and left in behind in a smelly bathtub with a note of apology and $20 for the maid.) 

- The mikeroweWORKS Foundation is in the business of partnering with any company that want’s to see American manufacturing revitalized. If Walmart asks me to do more commercials like this, I will. Likewise Ford. Or Chevy. Or Lowe’s. Or Home Depot. Or George Soros. Or The Koch Brothers. Or The Sultan of Brunei. I really don’t really about where the investment is coming from, as long as it’s getting the US back to the business of making things. Because there is simply nothing more important to the future of the country.

- It’s a hell of a thing when someone you really don’t like suddenly does something that you actually agree with. At base, I think that’s what’s happening here. A lot of people who have fallen in love with hating Walmart are now wrestling with what the shrinks call “cognitive dissonance.” Regarding a 250 billion dollar investment in American manufacturing, the choices are simple - a) continue to condemn them for whatever you like to condemn them for, b) offer support and encouragement, or, c) shoot the messenger. 

- This whole dust-up is a small but instructive example of what’s happening in our country today. Those who dislike the President struggle to give him credit when he does something they personally agree with. And those who support him, hesitate to oppose him when they personally disagree. So it goes with Walmart. Watch the guy on CNN (Marc Lamont) in the above link. He simply can’t address the importance of revitalizing our manufacturing base without reframing the whole conversation into a polemic against the thing he's been trained to despise. It’s simply too hard for him to say, “Good for Walmart. I hope they succeed in this endeavor. Period.” While he gives me “the benefit of the doubt,” he still believes I’m fundamentally “wrong” for supporting their initiative. Why? Because Marc doesn’t see workers and employers as two sides of the same coin. He sees sees them as enemies.

- People are asking how the “champion of the working man,” (their words, not mine,) can support a big company like Walmart? This goes straight to the heart of the problem. Because it’s a question designed to insight a fight. We’ve become adept at putting people into boxes and assigning labels that reduce individuals to a single dimension. Thus, Democrats must behave like Democrats. Republicans like Republicans. It's expected. If you wander too far afield, you’re labelled a “sell-out.” A “Rino." A “Scab.” And so forth. Consequently, if the “champion of the working man” fails to burst into a chorus of “Look For the Union Label,” the country is suddenly confused. They shouldn’t be. Because the truth is, I’m a big fan of the American Worker. I’m just a bigger fan of America. 

- Today, our expectations inform the narrative, and the narrative confirms the stereotype. That’s gotta stop, because the world’s a hell of a lot more complicated than a sound bite from a sycophant with an axe to grind, or a question from a host who’s looking for a fight. Remember, people will usually find what they look for. On Dirty Jobs, it’s easy for a union member to see a program that celebrates skilled labor and hard work. But it was just as easy for a business owner to see a tribute to risk and entrepreneurship. In truth, Dirty Jobs was an equal measure of both. Unfortunately, such complexity is far too nuanced for the debate we’ve been trained to expect. 

- Am I a “sell-out?” You’d better believe it. That’s the whole point. Every time I buy something or eat something that's made or grown elsewhere, I’m rewarding behavior I’d prefer to discourage. But - like millions of other Americans - what can I do? This is the cost of the global economy. We brought it on ourselves by voting with our dollars. We narrowed our options, and now the choices are very, very skinny. But again, when big companies start reversing the trend by investing in American suppliers, we have a choice. We can congratulate them. Or we can crucify them. Personally, I'm going to support the behavior I want to encourage.
etc, etc.
More later -

Please consider helping his foundation by buying his book, "Profoundly Disconnected" at

Good luck Mike. Keep up the fight! 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Turnstile Prison Gates.... Let Them Rust Shut

Another example of our justice system making you want to scream and pull your hair out:

In mid-July of this year in Tampa, Florida, a Family Dollar store was robbed and the manager, Horsley Shorter Jr., was shot and killed by the robber. I'll keep this short. The robbery was caught on the store security camera. The robber was identified as Demetrius L Parks, a 23 year old convicted felon.

Parks fled the area and six days later was caught and arrested. He will have his day in court. Case over. Except I'd like to mention a few facts.

Parks was released from a Florida state prison last year and a county jail in June.

According to Tampa police Chief Castor, Parks has an "extensive criminal record". That might be an understatement.

Parks was first arrested in Florida when he was 14 on a felony battery charge. In all, Parks has been charged with 37 felonies and 25 misdemeanors. His arrest in this case was his FIFTH since March 2012 when he was released from state prison.

That's it. I wanted to make it short and sweet. Is there ANY reason that animal was allowed to be out on the streets? How many crimes does a person have to commit to be put in jail an never released? An inocent hard-working family man is dead because a career criminal was not behind bars. Or I should say, a career animal.

Oh, did I mention that Shorter Jr. was a 26-year military veteran? And that Parks was holding a gun on the clerk and Shorter Jr came out of the office to defend the clerk?


America, we are losing.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

It's A Dying Business.....

This might not be a true example of "losing our America" but it sure does show how greedy an American business can get.

On August 1st of this year my mother passed away at 84 years of age. She lived a long, good life and the years took a toll on her body and it was time for her pain to finally be over. Naturally, my family had many things to take care of and plans to make and like most families, we thought an obituary should be ran in our local newspaper, the Tampa Bay Times.

So I personally wrote the obituary, summarizing her life and how we would miss her. in this modern day and age you simply send in your written words and any photo and the paper would get back with you telling you the price to run the article.

I want to show you the actual article so you can see the length. Well, I must admit, it also let's me publish it for free! I was told the price was based on the number of lines required to run it. ( Not sure that is the fairest way since I've seen some obituaries that are only a couple inches wide and other that are six inches or more in width, meaning less lines.) Anyway, below is what I wrote:

STEPHENS, Wanda L. "Nanny"
84, of St Petersburg, passed away August 1, 2013. She was born in Florence, Ky on June 28, 1929. She was preceded in death by her parents Bonnie and Russell Luck, her brother Russell Irvin Luck and infant son Gayle Stephens. She spent most of her working career as a registered nurse. She moved to Florida in 1970. She is survived by her loving family: sons, Glenn and Ken Stephens (Kim); daughter Mary "Cindy" Watson (Bob); grandchildren, Kelly Watson Stack, Heather Watson Simmons, James Watson, Bonnie Watson Lloyd, all from St Petersburg, Fl and William Stephens and Melissa Stephens from northern Kentucky; twelve great-grandchildren. Wanda spent the past five years residing at Bons Secours Maria Manor in St Petersburg, Fl where she often said she loved living. She was a friend to many there and she was loved by many of the staff and residents. She left many good impressions on those lucky enough to know her and she will be truly missed by them all. She loved old black & white movies and those ridiculous reality shows on TV. She loved having people bring her an occasional "samrich" and her buttermilk as well as having an ice cold beer every so often. She will be forever missed by her family. A memorial service will be held at a later date at Bons Secour Maria Manor, 10300 4th St N., St Petersburg. Donations can be made to Suncoast Hospice.

The next day I get a call from a man at the 'Obituary Desk'. He told be they calculated the cost and it would be $575. Yes. Five-Hundred-Seventy-Five dollars! Needless to say, I never thought it would be anywhere near that amount. Be honest, would you have guessed that amount?

So I decided to delete about 3-5 sentences to lower the cost and I got a response back that the revised article was now lowered to only $487. Much better, huh?

I didn't respond and the next day the man at the desk called me on the phone and wanted to know if I wanted to run the obituary. I told him I thought it was too high and we decided to go a different route. Do you think they get people to go ahead and buy their ads if they speak to you on the phone? Probably. Do you think a lot of people are so sad and in shock with the passing of their loved one that they don't care what it costs? Probably. You want to honor your loved one and you know that publishing an obituary is the right way because you've seen them all your life in the newspapers. Right?

We decided to have the article I wrote printed up and laminated with a poem on the reverse side which would be a memorial bookmark/keepsake for family members. The cost for 54 of of those? $40. Yep, Forty-Dollars. At Office Depot. Do you think 54 people would have cut out the obituary from the Times and saved it? I doubt it.

So to me, I see it as local newspapers preying on the sadness and shock of people losing loved ones. They couldn't make money on running an ad the size of what I wrote and even charging $50 or even $100? I think they would have a lot more lengthy obituaries in their papers. I would have paid that with no problem.

And the papers wonder why they are losing subscribers and they know it's only a matter of time before there aren't any printed newspapers left. Everything will be online. Maybe an obituary the size of what I wrote would be $10. But I doubt it. Greedy people love looking for grieving families.

I can't wait to read an obituary about the Tampa Bay Times....

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

You Can't Beer The Truth....

I have an update on my last post about the Sam Adams beer commercial where they quoted the Declaration of Independence in an attempt to be patriotic. I see it as an attempt to sell more beer. Period. And when they quoted the passage they deliberately left out the words, "by our Creator". 
So, for those of you that know me, then you know when I get irked by something a company does or doesn't do, I don't have a problem writing to them and having my say. Which is what I did in this case. 
Here is what I wrote to their corporate office:
 I have been a loyal Sam Adams buyer for many years. After seeing your ad which appeared over the past Independence Day holiday I will no longer buy any of your products. With your omission of a few words about our Creator in your quote,  you have shown that you are more concerned with being politically correct than you are with  showing your true patriotism. I have principles that I live by and I am proud that I stand by them. I will spend a dollar to regain a penny if principal is involved. You will no longer receive any of my business and I will ask everyone I know to do the same.

A few days after I sent that email I received a reply from their "External Relations" director. I guess that means they also have a director of Internal Relations. (Make your own joke here).
Below is the entire email I received:
Dear Ken Stephens,
Thank you for your message about our recent TV ad and our use of some words from the Declaration of Independence, without the phrase “by our Creator.” We apologize that the omission offended you. That was never our intent. As you may already know, we adhere to an advertising code, established by the Beer Institute – a beer industry trade organization. The code states, "Beer advertising and marketing materials should not include religion or religious themes." We agree with that, and follow those guidelines in our advertising and responsibly marketing our products.

We understand your objection to the omission of the phrase "by our Creator" in other circumstances (after all, these words occur in the Declaration of Independence which our namesake, Samuel Adams, signed), and, in this case, we believe it would be outside our industry guidelines and inappropriate to invoke the deity in a beer commercial. We also want to let you know that this commercial was developed to run exclusively around Independence Day, and is no longer on the air. We appreciate your getting in touch with us to express your concerns and sensitizing us to your point of view. Thank you for giving us a chance to respond.

We really do rely on consumers to be the judges of our work and we appreciate your taking the time to reach out.

Michelle Sullivan
Senior Director of External Relations
Boston Beer Company

So it appears that they are blaming the omission of the word "Creator" on the Beer Institute and their rule of not allowing religion or religious themes. So they just decided to edit the Declaration of Independence and still use it to sell beer. Would it really be using a religious theme or "invoking the deity" by simply quoting the entire Declaration? I think not. As a matter of fact, I went to the Beer Institute's web-site and read their advertising rules. And they do have a long list of no-no's. Most seem to be about age requirements, and not appearing to be aimed at people under 21, as well as not using models in commercials that are not at least 25 years old. Oh, and you can't have any beer ad with Santa Claus in it.... I'm serious.

But Michelle at Sam Adams was telling the truth. Line 7 of the rules does say:

"Beer advertising and marketing materials should not employ religion or religious themes".

Yes, line 7 is just one sentence. I guess it is open to interpretation. I take it to mean that you can't have God or Budda or the Pope sitting on a bar stool while taking a long drink of a frothy-headed beer and making that "Ahhhhhhh" sound after they swallow. Or make up your own image.

If I haven't bored you by now and you want to read more, here is the link to the Beer Institute's rules about advertising. Beer Rules - (I guess that could have a double meaning huh?)

I'd also like to point out this quote from Benjamin Franklin in a letter addressed to André Morellet in 1779:
Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine, a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.
Over the years, Ben has been misquoted as saying:

Either way I know he's talking about an alcoholic beverage and bringing God into the conversation. And I take no offense. Do you?

So, thank you Michelle and thank you Samuel Adams beer. I still will not buy your products and your feeble attempt to shift the blame doesn't work on me.

Did I mention "Buy Yuengling!" ?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Red, White and Boo

If you've ever read any of my other posts you've probably noticed that I love to promote any merchandise that is made in America. For quite some time now I have been a huge promoter of Yuengling beer because it is one of the few large breweries that is still American owned.     (They are the oldest American brewing company). That is the beer that I try to always buy. 

But on occasion I will also buy Samuel Adams beer made by the Boston Brewing Co., also American owned.
But not patriotic enough???

But I must pass along to you something that I discovered over this Fourth of July holiday. Sam Adams recently ran a commercial for their beer by quoting a passage from the Declaration of Independence. I have copied an article by By Christopher Freeburn, a writer.

Boston Beer Company released a Fourth of July-themed commercial touting Sam Adams beer by quoting the Declaration of Independence, which was signed by none other than the brand’s namesake Sam Adams. But because of an omission, the ad has misfired with many viewers, MediaBistro notes.

During the ad, an actor quotes from the Declaration noting of men that “they are endowed with certain unalienable rights.” Alert viewers quickly noticed that the commercial had altered the passage, which actually reads “they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights.”
Irate viewers filled the comment section of the ad’s posting on Google‘s YouTube with complaints about the omitted reference to God, accusing Sam Adams of “historical revisionism” and deliberately misquoting the Declaration. Some threatened to boycott the beer.
Not all commenters were offended, with one calling the whole debate “childish.”

You can add me to the offended list. If you are going to use something that is such a huge part of our country's history to sell your product then don't edit out parts that you may personally not agree with or parts that you think will offend some of your consumers. Would any atheist that drinks Sam Adams beer really quit buying it if the company had used the entire quote? I bet they still use our currency that mentions God in its printing.

(I imagine that Jim Koch, owner of Sam Adams, doesn't mind getting his hands on the same currency). 
Jim Koch

James Thompson, writes on  

As created beings we have a Creator. This is included in our nation’s Declaration of Independence. Why is Sam Adams deliberately omitting this?”
It is fine (though somewhat inherently risky) to name a beer after an important American historical figure and build a brand around an image that espouses the all-American values of our founding fathers. But, honestly, beer should not be treated any more seriously than that. Sam Adams should remember it is a beer company, not a political entity.
So Sam Adams may want to revisit its decision to play loosely with the Declaration of Independence; Americans naturally have strong feelings regarding the document and take offense when they believe it is being exploited or molested.

Here is the link to see the actual commercial on Youtube.  Sam Adams Ad

So it looks like I will now add all of Boston Beer's brands to my No-Buy list. I'll stick with my all American beer Yuengling. Yes, some will say this is petty or people are taking it too serious and are blowing it way out of proportion. But I make most of my decisions in life based on one simple thing......principal.  And that's good enough for me. Cheers.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Same Old Song... "Cry Me A River" by Exxon/Mobil

I wanted to share this when I first saw it months ago. But of course I put the clipping away and just found it. From the Tampa Bay Times: (The bold highlights are from me).

Exxon Mobil said fourth-quarter profit rose to $9.95 billion, a five-year high, as growing supplies of cheap U.S. oil boosted margins from refining crude into fuels. (Are they saying that the oil they get from our land is cheaper than getting it from foreign  areas???)

Profit from processing crude into gasoline,diesel,heating oil,and other fuels quadrupled in the quarter compared with a year earlier. Exxon refineries earned $1.77 billion during the period, compared with $425 million a year earlier. 

So there you have it. They're still rolling in the dough. And we just watch gas prices go up and up. So why don't we continue to get more "cheap" oil from our own land? Drill baby drill.

Those of you that read my other blog, "Gasoline Costs Too Much!" know that I have been preaching for years that the ONE way that we as a people can control gas prices to a large extent is to STOP buying gas from ANY Exxon/Mobil station. Period. That's it. No gas from them. How long would it take all of their stations to reduce the gas prices in order to get it out of their storage tanks? Especially since gasoline can not sit for long extended periods of time without becoming weaker. 

Let their tanks get full and watch their prices drop. Stay away and they'll drop more. The station across the street will get their business. After a period of time when the Exxon price is lowered then go fill your tanks and stop going to Shell or BP. Their prices will fall to match Exxon. If Exxon starts rising too much stop going to their stations again. And so on and so on.

Either way, we let them know that we can prevent them from having these record high profits while we pay record high prices. I haven't went to an Exxon/Mobil station in over 15 years. 

It's your turn......

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

And We Have To Pay For Your Housing?

I wanted to write this post last week when the topic was current but, as usual, I put it off until now. There are so many crooked politicians in America that you could probably write about one each day and never run out of new people. I don't have time for that so I'll pick and choose from the large vat of prospects and write about the ones that really disappoint me. 

So Jesse Jackson Jr., it's your turn.
I would like to say that I'm surprised by the lack of media attention this has received. To be fair, I think that most of the major newspapers, TV news programs, and other media have reported on this story. But have they reported it as much if this had been, say, a republican Representative from Illinois? I'm just sayin'... 

Jesse Jackson Jr., the former Democratic representative from Illinois, pleaded guilty last Wednesday to one felony fraud count in connection with his use of $750,000 in campaign money to pay for living expenses and buy items like stuffed animals, elk heads and fur capes and a $43,000 Rolex watch. According to the official charges, Jackson spent campaign funds on Michael Jackson, Bruce Lee, Jimi Hendrix, and Martin Luther King, Jr. memorabilia, which prosecutors hope to confiscate.

I know this is getting to be a longer post than I had planned but I have to add a few examples of the out and out thievery that Jackson and his wife committed: Court papers released by federal prosecutors provided new details about how Mr. Jackson and his wife used the $750,000 in campaign money to finance their lavish lifestyle. 

From 2007 to 2011, Mr. Jackson bought $10,977.74 worth of televisions, DVD players and DVDs at Best Buy, according to the documents. In 2008, Mr. Jackson used the money for things like a $466.30 dinner at CityZen in the Mandarin Oriental in Washington and a $5,587.75 vacation at the Martha’s Vineyard Holistic Retreat, the document said.
On at least two instances, Mr. Jackson and his wife used campaign money at Build-A-Bear Workshop, a store where patrons can create stuffed animals. From December 2007 through December 2008, the Jacksons spent $313.89 on “stuffed animals and accessories for stuffed animals” from Build-A-Bear, according to the documents.
One of the more exotic items they bought was an elk head from a taxidermist in Montana. According to the documents, Mr. Jackson arranged in March 2011 to have $7,000 paid to the taxidermist, with much of the money coming from a campaign account, and it was shipped a month later to Mr. Jackson’s Congressional office.
A year later, Mr. Jackson’s wife, knowing that the elk head had been bought with campaign money, had it moved from Washington to Chicago, and she asked a Congressional staff member to sell it, the documents say.
In August 2012, the staff member sold the elk head for $5,300 to an interior designer and had the money wired to one of Mr. Jackson’s accounts. What the staff member did not know was that the interior designer was actually an undercover F.B.I. employee who was investigating the Jacksons, the documents say.
Documents released on Friday showed how Mr. Jackson used his campaign money to buy items like fur capes, celebrity memorabilia and expensive furniture.
Among those items were a $5,000 football signed by American presidents and two hats that once belonged to Michael Jackson, including a $4,600 fedora. 
"We're in the money now Sandi!" "Go get it Jesse!"

Of course Jackson waited until the trial was near to agree to a plea bargain. But really, how are you going to plead not guilty when they have you dead to rights?? 

As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors recommended that Mr. Jackson receive a sentence of 46 to 57 months in prison. The federal judge overseeing the case, Robert L. Wilkins, is scheduled to sentence Mr. Jackson on June 28.
“For years I lived off my campaign,” Mr. Jackson, 47, said in response to questions from the judge about the plea. “I used money I shouldn’t have used for personal purposes.” “Guilty, Your Honor — I misled the American people,” Mr. Jackson said when asked whether he would accept the plea deal. 

After the hearing, Mr. Jackson’s lawyer, Reid H. Weingarten, said his client had “come to terms with his misconduct.”Mr. Weingarten said that Mr. Jackson had serious health issues that “directly related” to his conduct.“That’s not an excuse, it’s just a fact,” Mr. Weingarten said. 
So remember that folks if you ever get caught stealing. It's probably caused by your medical conditions and not really your fault.

 Mr. Jackson’s wife, Sandi, also accompanied him, and later in the day she pleaded guilty to a charge that she filed false income tax statements during the time that Mr. Jackson was dipping into his campaign treasury. Prosecutors said they would seek to have her sentenced to 18 to 24 months. Nice to see they were close enough in their marriage to join together in their criminal activities.

Mr. Jackson’s plea was yet another chapter in the downward spiral of his career. Elected to Congress in 1995 at the age of 30 from a district that includes part of the South Side of Chicago, Mr. Jackson was once one of the most prominent young black politicians in the country, working on issues related to health care and education for the poor.But I guess that didn't pay enough. 

But as the federal authorities investigated Gov. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois over his efforts to sell the Senate seat that President Obama vacated in 2008, they uncovered evidence that one of Mr. Jackson’s friends had offered to make a contribution to Mr. Blagojevich’s campaign in exchange for the seat. Since then, Mr. Jackson, who has said he had no knowledge of the offer, has been dogged by questions about his ethics. 

Last summer, Mr. Jackson took a medical leave from Congress and was later treated for bipolar disorder. After winning re-election in November, he resigned, citing his health and the federal investigation into his use of campaign money. I'm sure we'll be hearing how his health problems likely led to this "misconduct" that normal people call theft. As long as you hang your head low enough and you can work up some tears in your eyes  (while secretly pinching you leg) you will get pity and support because you have "seen the light" or you "were forced to be misled by others around you". 

But to me they are no different than a shoplifter, a car thief, a burglar, a bank robber or any other common thief in this world. They just held a more trusting position and selected by voters to take care of the political business required by every state. To me they are even worse than a common thief who are usually strangers to us. The politicians that turn crooked are people that we trusted to work for us. Trusted to care about us. Trusted to be a voice for us. They should be ashamed. And we should be ashamed if we allow this to continue. 

You want to be in politics? Good. But be prepared to have your background checked to the smallest degree. Be prepared to answer questions about your past. And be prepared to be accountable while you hold that office. And be prepared to go to jail if you are a thief!

Good riddance Mr. and Mrs. Jackson. I can't wait until they slam the door on your cells.

Monday, January 14, 2013

545 x 300,000,000 =

I ran across an editorial comment and thought that it was right on the money.
Perfectly explained and straight to the point. I did research the validity of the article using and it appears to be completely true.

Charley Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper. He originally
wrote this article in the 1980's. He updated it and it ran again in the Orlando Sentinel under the title "Looking For Someone To Blame? Congress Is A Good Place To Start."

In 2008, Reese's editorial was updated and circulated via e-mail under the title "The 545 People Responsible For America's Woes", often with additional material not written by Reese himself tacked onto the beginning or end of the article. An idea suggested by Reese that holds true today just as it did when he first wrote it.

A very simple solution to our complex problems. Judge for yourself.

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.
Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?
Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?
You and I don't propose a federal budget. The President does.
You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.
You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.
You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.
You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.
I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No
matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party. What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits.. ( The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.)
The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes.

Who is the speaker of the House?( John Boehner. He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. ) If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to. [The House has passed a budget but the Senate has not approved a budget in over three years. The President's proposed budgets have gotten almost unanimous rejections in the
Senate in that time.]

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.
If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red.
If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it's because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan ..
If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.
There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power.

Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.
Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible. They, and they alone, have the power.
They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.

Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees... We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Say It Ain't So, Joe.....

Yes, I stole this from the internet. Not sure who to attribute it to but at least I'm honest about it. Short and sweet.



Flashback 2008: Biden Says “I Guarantee You Barack Obama Ain’t Taking My Shotgun – If He Tries To Fool With My Beretta, He’s Got A Problem”…

Fast forward to today and we have Obama appointing Biden to lead his crackdown on guns.

The New Gun Czar... 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Pray For Them, Pray For Us All

Your pain was like nothing you ever felt before. Worse than any physical pain you ever experienced. This pain was deep inside you, deep in your soul. You keep seeing the faces and hearing the sounds. You keep seeing that building.

You keep reliving being told to wait in a room with other parents and are told that children are being held in another room. You try to comfort each other but you only want your name called. You pray. You want to leave that room. One by one other parents are called and they leave to be reunited. You pray the next name will be yours. The numbers get smaller, the room quieter. There is a delay. You pray harder.

A few people enter the room. Their faces aren't the same as before. "Say my name", you think to yourself, "please say my name". Your heart is beating so hard as the room goes silent. Someone walks closer, their eyes scanning the room but never making eye contact. Their voice crackles as they finally say out out
loud, "We're sorry, there will be no more reunions. There are no more children coming out of the school". The wails are gut-wrenching, so drawn out, a sound you never heard before. Some collapse to the floor while others hold the person next to them. It is a blur from that point.

Somehow you managed to fall asleep last night. You saw your child playing. You heard your child laugh. You were together again. And then you woke and for a fraction of a second you thought it was just a nightmare. The worse one you ever had. But then you knew it had really happened and the pain returned. This is a pain that will continue to grow and deepen in you as the days continue.

People try to comfort you, they try to help you. But nothing really helps at this point. They say you'll get through this, that the pain will ease. That's impossible you think. You don't see how that will ever happen. You'll find out later that millions of people are hurting from this and are praying for your family. People from around the world can only imagine your pain and they grieve with you. Other parents are frightened just thinking it could have been their child and they ache. But your pain is far worse. Your nightmare is real.

For other parents reading this, hug your children tighter. Tell them they are loved.
Tell them there are bad people in the world but they are safe, you will protect them.
Don't scold them today. Spend time with them today. Love them today. Love them

Friday, December 14, 2012

Losing Our World...

What kind of crazy are you when you know that you are going to get up this morning and go kill a lot of people? And then you carry it out, knowing you are killing innocent children. For those of us that know there is a hell, we can be glad to know that you will at least be burning there for eternity. And for those of you that aren't sure if there is a hell, at least you'll be hoping there is. And for the parents and relatives of all those killed, they are going their own hell on earth. Pray for them all.....
I won't even print or ever utter the name of this heinous murderer. He deserves nothing but contempt and damnation from all of us. 
We are so very aware that we share this planet with a lot of crazy people. Fortunately, most of them go about their lives without harming anyone else. But, as we read every day, there are still plenty that could care less about human lives and go about their plan to destroy people's lives. 
 The method of their madness and the tools used to carry out their objective is not the cause of the outcomes. Their lack of concern for fellow humans and their brains  are solely responsible. Their hope of gaining worldwide recognition and some sort of warped hero status is just another example of their insanity.
May they all rot in hell.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Costas Cost Us!

I must first admit that I may not be the greatest writer when it comes to expressing my views. But when something gets me mad I will write about it. And when I come across someone that writes something about a topic I'm interested in, I'll give them all the credit. 

I have been quiet on the Bob Costas story where he went on live TV during a football game to lecture America on a tragedy, according to him, caused by a handgun. Sometimes people can be so stupid that I don't even want to comment on what they said. 

But I came across an article written by a man that explains my feelings perfectly. So I decided to copy his comments here and let him do the talking. 
The following was posted on Thanks Dan!


Politics: Excuse me, Bob Costas, but you're an idiot, so shut up

Published by: Dan Calabrese on Monday December 3rd, 2012

Dan Calabrese
By DAN CALABRESE - "Our current gun culture"? What does that even mean?
If you tuned in to watch the Eagles-Cowboys game last night on NBC, and ended up being irritated instead by Bob Costas's sanctimonious halftime rant about gun control, well . . . at least the second half of the game was exciting.
But welcome to the latest example of a sportscaster who just can't help himself from becoming a self-important scold on matters beyond his paygrade. Just about everything Costas said concerning the murder-suicide perpetrated by Kansas City Chiefs player Javon Belcher was cliche-ridden and ridiculous.

For starters, what Belcher did was horrible, but hardly "unfathomable" as Costas suggests. Does Costas pay attention to statistics concerning domestic violence in this country? The twisted, deranged male who offs his girlfriend and then himself is all too fathomable in a world as fallen as this one. The use of that word suggests a certain naivete that pretty well invalidates everything Costas says after that - not that it would have any validity otherwise.

And what's this crap about "perspective" and how we have to keep regaining it? Who says the rest of us fail to keep sports in perspective? Maybe Bob Costas and those in his profession think about sports 24/7. That doesn't mean they're justified in projecting that kind of obsession on the rest of us just because we tune in to watch the game. I really get sick of sportswriters and sportscasters berating their readers and viewers for lacking the proper perspective on the importance of sports in society. What the hell do you think you idiots talk about morning, noon and night?

The rest of us are dealing with matters of a bit more weight, it may shock you to know.
As for the gun control policy debate, there's little to say that hasn't been said a million times before. Make handguns illegal and the only people who have them will be those willing to go through illegal channels and possessing the means to do so. You don't think Jevon Belcher would have fallen into that category?
But I did think the user of the term "our current gun culture" deserved to be called out for special scorn. What does that even mean? Those who believe in the importance of Second Amendment rights are not, as Costas suggests here, advocating that people use guns to settle "convenience store confrontations about loud music coming from a car." Whatever culture produces that kind of behavior deserves attention, but guns do not cause it, and if Costas or Jason Whitlock want to address the problems associated with this culture, maybe they should look at all the root causes of it rather than using it as an excuse for sanctimonious gun-control screeds.

This about as idiotic a span of a minute and 32 seconds as you're ever going to hear. Bob Costas has a real gift when it comes to talking about sports, especially baseball. When it comes to talking about culture and public policy, he reveals himself to be an utter buffoon who just needs to shut his mouth and spare the rest of us the torment of listening to his ill-informed, intellectually vacuous dreck.
Shut up, Bob.

UPDATE: We're now hearing reports that Belcher was an alcoholic. When will Costas, NBC and the NFL renounce all their alcohol advertisers so as to end the culture of alcohol and prevent "unfathomable" tragedies such as this?

Thanks again Dan! Here is the link to the Costas video in case you haven't seen it:  Costas Is An Idiot!

Friday, November 16, 2012

No Ho-Ho's For Santa....

 Another American business icon is getting ready to bite the bullet and go out of business. Hostess Brands, which makes baked goods such  as Twinkies, Devil Dogs and Wonder Bread, announced this past Friday that it is asking a federal bankruptcy court for permission to close its operations. Hostess is blaming a strike by bakers protesting a new contract.

Nearly 18,500 workers will be losing their jobs as the company shuts 33 bakeries and 565 distribution centers nationwide, as well as 570 outlet stores. The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union represents around 5,000 Hostess employees. 

"We deeply regret the necessity of today's decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike," said CEO Gregory Rayburn.

 The company was trying to reorganize through a bankruptcy and was asking for an 8% cut to employees' wages, a reduction in health benefits, and a freeze in pension plan payments for more than two years. The company would also not pay $2 billion it owes to many of its creditors, including vendors.To help offset some of the reductions, the plan would also give its unionized employees a 25% equity stake in the company, and two seats on its board of directors, and an interest-bearing note worth $100 million.
Hey Ladies, are you smiling today?

So it may have been trying to reduce its costs and overhead in the current economy but those 18,500 workers would have still had jobs. I can understand both sides to a degree and I also admit that if it weren't for unions, this country's workers would have remained close to slave laborers making unlivable wages under horrible working conditions. Just look back at working conditions in the early part of the 1900's. But I also believe that unions can demand too much from companies that aren't in a position to agree to the requested contracts. At times, I think that unions don't care what happens to workers that go on strike, just as long as they can get the employees to stop work and use that as a bargaining tool. 
 It appears that this time an American company could not withstand a strike and couldn't increase its contract offer. 

It should be noted that the 7,500 members of the Teamsters union that work at Hostess narrowly approved the contract. They have been sharply critical of the smaller Bakers' union decision to strike, saying it was forcing the company to the cusp of liquidation.
If you're happy and you know it raise your hands....

 So the 18,000-plus workers will now be out of a job. They went from a proposed 8% decrease in pay to a 100% decrease! Yes, they'll be on the government dole for the allotted unemployment period. Yes, they can say they stood up for what they thought was right. They'll also find that they won't be bringing home as much money and that money will stop at some point. They will suddenly be without health insurance. And they'll be competing against each other to find other work. The suppliers and vendors for Hostess will also suffer and perhaps some of those will have to close their doors. The towns that the workers lived in will suffer from a lack of business. It just keeps trickling down until it affects thousands more people.

Hostess is the No. 2 bread baker in the country and had annual sales of about $2.5 billion. The company said it had been making 500 million Twinkies and 127 million loaves of Wonder Bread annually before Friday's shutdown. It was founded in 1930 in Kansas City by
Ralph Leroy Nafziger as a wholesaler selling bread loaves wrapped in gingham to grocery stores.

So say goodbye to Beefsteak, Butternut, Home Pride, Merita, and Nature's Pride breads. Say goodbye to Millbrook, Standish Farms and Sweetheart brands. And wave goodbye to little ole Dolly Madison. Say goodbye to another American business institution. 

Happy Thanksgiving to you turkeys.