Humanus Quisquiliarum

One of the fabulous advantages I enjoy by owning a satellite radio, is I don’t have to listen to local radio and wallow in nonsense with the witless. I generally listen to the BBC to get a quick dose of world news before I get to work. The downside is I have to get outside of ongoing international stories that often cause me to despair for the future of society on this earth. To wit: the Somali Pirate…..
Pirate Good
Last night this set of turds with legs managed to attack a French warship which was on it’s way to fuel the fleet. They had a go at La Somme, a French fleet supply ship. As you might imagine, things didn’t go so well. After a sharp, but brief exchage of gunfire the turds run for their lives…. and after a few hours the French manage to grab about half of them.

Name ONE thing that makes this country and it’s denizens worth any consideration. They spend their days battling one another to install some vague variation of the same government. They make a national obsession out of rape, murder and destruction. They are inveterate thieves, murderers and irredeemably corrupt. They claim to be devout muslims, yet they kill anything that moves. They bleat for help, then bite the hand that feeds. Why bother. Seriously, why bother. These people bring nothing, take everything and torment the crap out of all of us. Remind me again why we bother to feed them, try and stop their stupid fucking wars, and endlessly try to respect them, when they respect no one.

Seal it off and forget about it.

The Drum Beat Of Doom!

Imagine my surprise to read today the pathetic mewlings of the CAW. It seems that as GMs Board meeting goes into it’s second day, the knees are knocking in Oshawa. Seems that in these days of real crisis in the car industry, the CAW is just beginning to smell the aroma of the ass soup they are about to drown in as GM considers leaving the country all together.

Sad as it is, to see the thousands of jobs that will be lost, it fills me with significant glee to see the confrontational la la land attitude of the leadership of the CAW squirm. chris-buckley-080604What a clown. This guy is no different than a mid level civil servant managing the welfare department. During the Happy Time, they made shitty cars, got paid astronomical sums to tighten bolts and labour under the illusion they have some kind of control – while the stupid, gleefully soak up the crappy cars with rivers of cheap money flowing from the dead men walking banks.

Let’s go back in time to see what a collection of grade A dill wads these CAW people really are.
June, 2008 – GM President announces that 2,200 CAW workers will mercifully be sent home to try and relieve the cash gushing out of the business. Remember, this is the very beginning of the public awareness of the coming darkness for the economy in general and the car industry in particular. The CAW, knowing that truck sales are down 37% year over year, for example, blockade GMs head office and interfere with the ability of employees to gain entrance to the office building as a means of pressuring management to not layoff any workers. This crazy strategy, formulated by a desperate management team to stave off complete collapse of the balance sheet in Canada, is of no interest to the CAW. In fact one sterling example of this cutting edge employee noted……””Typical corporate greed and a a betrayal of Canadians who have spent their lives building the cars and trucks that made GM profitable in the first place.”

Profitable? Greed? Well let’s look at that… shall we? Lets just look at the state of this company today as a window of understanding of the problem. GM had total sales of $165 Billion in 2008. They built these cars and trucks on a gross margin of 2.3%. A GROSS MARGIN of 2.3%…. just in case you didn’t get that. That yielded a net margin – take home cash – (more or less) of -14%…. they LOST $22Billion on $165 Billion in sales with 252,000 employees. The stock has lost 90% of it’s value in 12 months. For those of you unfamiliar with running a business…. that is BAD. Spectacularly bad in fact. Stupifyingly bad.

Lets look at it another way. If the average sell price of a GM car is (for the sake of argument) $40K. That means GM made $920 before non manufacturing costs. $920 that has to pay for the entire administrative infrastructure of the company. By the time it was all said and done, they lost about $5,200 per car they sold.

Soooo… lets go on strike, blockade the headquarters and generally rage against the nightmare of a an employment machine you fucking morons made in the first place. And now, Buckley (the current CAW chief – after the Buzz Man fled the scene) worries that GM might pull out of Canada entirely. I can’t wait to see what clever strategy he cooks up to “force” them to stay. Now they scramble around trying to stick their fingers in the dyke of stupidity that was their collective agreement. Now they regret hanging around with careerist losers like Jack Layton who can do absolutely nothing for them now.

These dicks will probably be gathered around the burning barrel tying to stay warm, still striking two years after the last car company shut off the lights and went back to Detroit. They don’t even hear the drum beat of doom…. it’s like they have no ears.

The Demon Weed

I laughed out loud at the revelation that the Olympic swimming machine was smoking dope. He’s 23, goes to university and has accomplished more than anyone on earth in terms of sport, yet someone gets a snap of him bogarting a bong and makes a tidy sum selling it to one of those English rags that passes for a newspaper. michael-phelps-smoking-potNow he will have cover himself in ashes, and make a pilgrimage to the “I don’t do drugs anymore” shrine at a few local schools and he might just keep his lucrative sponsorship deals…. It will be interesting to see who stands by him and who drops him like the big disease with the little name…

The Keen Edge Of The Wedge

We have all seen the news. God like pilot lands a fully loaded A320 in the Hudson River and saves all 140+ souls. Think about that for a second. Think about how those last few minutes must have unfolded… how a lifetime spent in the cockpit saved 140 lives. I have watched the pictures. I have seen the cold and recently reprieved – shivering under the blankets, recently on their way to the hero1Carolinas. Try as I might, I can’t imagine what that was like. Think of the whole episode and the keen concentration, the sudden and final decisions, the commitment to a decision – good or bad – done none the less. The winter sun, glinting off the water of the Hudson, the urgent alarms, the chatter of the flight deck, the certain understanding that there is no time left, no do-over, no chance at last minute redemption. The silence of the glide, the uncertain confidence of your fellow crew….. their lives absolutely in your hands. You might think about how powerless they are back there, tightly strapped their seats, absolutely powerless, entirely in your hands. Entirely.

There is no way you glide slowly to the river, decision made, that you don’t consider that you have the weight of all those souls on your shoulders. You have made a thousand flights, bus driving really, until this one day in the clear morning light you see the grim face of your destiny – right there in front of you, and all the years of training and experience demand, absolutely demand from you to make the only decision that can save everyone. And you make it. You make that one clear decision, that one clear command, the commitment of your life and the lives of all the crew and the cabin load of the innocents…. and it is the plane-in-waterabsolute right decision. And… as you stride the deck after the tumult has subsided, the confusion abated, the passengers gone, and the water slowly fills the cabin, and you realize that all those flights, and all those heart stopping moments over 29 years in the sky served you for this moment only. This moment only. And you step out of the plane into that life raft, the biting wind, the -7 degree air – brings you suddenly to the reality of the day. And you take that last step knowing that you stayed cool, did your job and saved more lives than most.

And then it is over. The press hails you as the new messiah, the President calls, the world believes you have done that one thing that captures the imaginations of us all, that one crystal moment of clarity, the right call, that one decision we all face sooner or later, although sometimes with less effect. You sit in a hotel, and you wonder how your life, and the lives of those who shared your fate for those few short minutes, will ever be the same. The truth of it is that they never will. They never will. You have felt the keen edge of the wedge, felt it closer than most, and you had the opportunity to walk away. For the rest of your life, you will always gauge the experience of the moment against that rigid Hudson River yardstick. An unyielding experience, it will always define the balance of your life in one way or another. The keen edge of the wedge.