Mitt Romney and the Lying Trash Man

The afscme, a service employee public union, has released some short videos featuring people who have worked in Mitt Romney’s upscale San Diego neighborhood.

Richard Hayes is a garbage man whose route includes La Jolla, the ritzy suburb where Mitt and Ann have a home. In the video clip, Mr. Hayes says that many times citizens will come out to give them hugs and Gatorade, to thank them for the job that they’re doing. He also says that he picks up 15 to 16 tons of garbage by hand.

Red light! Red light!

I live in San Diego. I haven’t seen a garbage man get out of the truck for residential trash pickup in years; possibly decades. It’s one of those things I’ve thought about that my kids might never see, like phones with cords or cassette tapes.

San Diego issues every single-family residence an approved trash receptacle. The garbage goes in, and on trash day, someone has to pull it out to the curb. The trash men cometh on your assigned day, in their air-conditioned trucks, and they stop next to the can. Then a robotic arm shoots out, grabs the thing, and dumps it into the back of the truck.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmhverQzSYw&feature=relmfu

It’s not exactly the hard physical labor it once was, and certainly nothing is done by hand.

Mr. Hayes says that when he’s 55, 60 years old, his body is going to be broken down. Broken down from what? A sore finger from pushing the button to make the robot arm pick up the trash?

Just in case you didn’t know, San Diego has some of the most insane employment and retirement benefits. You can read about them here. So this guy is going to drive around in a truck until his mid-fifties, then basically retire on a full pension complete with healthcare, and thanks to the way the system is set up, he can even double dip by getting another job with the city. After all, who retires at 55?

This guy has a cushy job, and it’s on my dime. I’m paying taxes so this guy can retire at 55 while I have to continue to work, because in the private sector, no one is offering me an insane pension that will pay out even more than I made when I was actually working.

Mr. Hayes, I’m so sorry that Mitt Romney didn’t come out to give you a hug for pushing the trash button on your truck’s instrument panel. This is what we like to call a first world problem.

Endnote: When Mitt Romney was running for governor of Massachusetts, he spent a day a week doing odd jobs that everyday Americans do, in order to gain appreciation and understanding for what various people do in their day-to-day lives. This excerpt is from his book No Apology: The Case for American Greatness:

“One day I gathered trash as a garbage collector.  I stood on that little platform at the back of the truck, holding on as the driver navigated his way through the narrow streets of Boston.  As we pulled up to traffic lights, I noticed that the shoppers and businesspeople who were standing only a few feet from me didn’t even see me.  It was as if I was invisible.  Perhaps it was because a lot of us don’t think garbage men are worthy of notice; I disagree – anyone who works that hard deserves our respect. –  I wasn’t a particularly good garbage collector: at one point, after filling the trough at the back of the truck, I pulled the wrong hydraulic lever.  Instead of pushing the load into the truck, I dumped it onto the street. Maybe the suits didn’t notice me, but the guys at the construction site sure did…”

Top 7 for the Week of June 29th

This week, Ashley and I talked about:

  1. Obamacare ObamaTax
  2. Eric Holder: Attorney General Fail
  3. Another Government’Backed Solar Company Bites the Dust
  4. DC Schools Prove Money Doesn’t Fix What’s Broke
  5. NAACP: Poor People Are Too Dumb To Make Their Own Choices
  6. Google Cookies Diss Your Privacy
  7. Food Stamps Are Fun! (And Make You Pretty)

Plus we have a rant, a Dude of the Week, and a dirty joke guaranteed to make you laugh.

Happy listening!

Listen to internet radio with Top 7 on Blog Talk Radio

In Which I Detail My DMV Experience

I maintain that this would be an AWESOME license photo

I had to go to the DMV last week to renew my driver’s license. I know. Boo! Hiss!

So imagine my surprise when the whole thing actually went kind of well. First off, I had an appointment, so I didn’t have to wait very long to get assigned to a counter. I was totally nervous that I wouldn’t pass the eye test without corrective lenses, but I did. The lady that saw me at first was really nice, and was trying her best to get another woman with a fussy baby to be helped (because who likes listening to fussy babies?).

I got stamped and approved, paid my renewal fee, and got sent to stand in the line to get a new photo, which made me a little bit sad, because the one I have now was taken about two weeks after my honeymoon, and I always think of that when I get carded and have to pull it out.

Someone asked if there was anyone in line just taking a new photo, not taking the driver’s test. “Me!” I jumped, and got moved to the front of the line in another area of the office. The guy told me where to stand, and I asked if I had to keep a straight face. He said no, so I made a sassy kissy face, mostly just to see what he’d say. He laughed and said I couldn’t do that.

“Why not? This is the face I’ll make if I get pulled over,” I retorted. Thankfully, he thought it was hilarious, and then shot a picture of me with my regular smile. We got to chitchatting a bit (there was no one behind me), and I mentioned that I really liked his purple shirt. It was a sort of lilac-y plum color, and I thought it would look really good on Leif, so I asked where he got it.

He told me years ago, and that it wasn’t his favorite, but that they all had to wear purple on Wednesdays. Um … why? It’s a union thing, he told me.

“The DMV is SEIU?” I exclaimed.

“Yeah, how did you know that?” He seemed genuinely surprised that the kissy-face girl would know that the color purple plus the word ‘union’ equals SEIU. Go figure.

“Oh, I work in politics,” I mentioned off-handedly. “So not only do they take a chunk of your paycheck, but they make you wear purple once a week?”

“Yeah, and it’s a big chunk too. I don’t even know what they do with it. We get sandwiches once a month though. Most expensive sandwiches I’ve ever eaten.”

“So sorry, Dude,” I told him, then wished him well and headed out the door, totally surprised by the pleasant, easy experience. Maybe health care run like the DMV won’t be so bad, I let my brain wander.

Let’s break it down:

  • I had to make an appointment two weeks in advance for a simple, routine, in-and-out procedure.
  • The most invasive test I received was covering up one eye at a time with a 3×5 card and reading a line of 6-7 letters.
  • The union running the place garnishes the employees’ wages and only offers them a monthly sandwich in return. Maybe they’re spending the money on this?
  • Anyone awaiting more comprehensive procedures requiring a specialist (like the driving test) had to wait in ridiculously long lines.

So I guess running health care like the DMV won’t be a big deal at all, so long as you don’t mind making appointments for routine procedures far in advance, waiting a long time to see specialists, or unions running the show.

Maybe that’s why Michelle Obama is so into combating childhood obesity. If no one every gets heart disease or diabetes, no one will ever question the efficiency of government-run health care.

Elsewhere on the Internet

So. It’s been a little while since I’ve done one of these. Not sure if you could tell or not, but it’s been sort of a long summer three or so years. But good news! I’m getting my mojo back. Both kids are in school right now. I’m training for a half marathon. I get paychecks now (good for both the ego and the budget).

I’ve done dishes TWO nights this week.

Anyway. I wrote some stuff over the past week (or two … three?) that I’d love for you to click on. Maybe you could even read them! That would be awesome. Hopefully you’ll learn something, even if it’s just a different perspective.

A certain state is using taxpayer money to pay for babysitters for underprivileged kids. Except they’re not running background checks, so many of those sitters are rapists, child-molesters, drug dealers, etc. Which state it is? I’ll give you a clue: It starts with Ill and ends with nois.

In other skeezy news, ex-gangsta Cornell Jones took over $300,000 dollars of federal taxpayer dollars to build a strip club. How about we end some of this disgusting spending instead of raising revenue taxes?

Back in Illinois, it’s apparently illegal to record on-duty police officers. Where are we? Soviet Russia?

James Hoffa (not the one buried under a football field) of the Teamsters (not technically part of the mafia) opened up for President Obama at a pro-union rally on Labor Day. He told the president that the union workers were his army, and they were ready to take the Tea Party son of bitches out. The White House had no comment.

The lights went out in San Diego (and parts of Arizona and Mexico), which made me ponder what life would be like if we lost electricity suddenly and unexpectantly. As it turns out, EMPs are a real potential threat, and we’re going to need strong missile defense to combat them.

And finally, union thugs in Washington State went bananas on the port of Longview, destroying property and holding guards hostage. They were back at work the next day.

Happy reading!

PS- Thanks for putting up with me as I’ve been trying to navigate my new normal. Y’all are the best.

Elsewhere on the Internet

I wrote some schtuff recently. You should read it. Because I like you. And yer purdy. And my self-worth is tied to the number of clicks I get. Or something.

Anyway.

I wrote about the zombie protestors at the Special Olympics event that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was speaking at. No wonder public support for unions is plummeting. Imbeciles.

Did you hear about Sarah Palin’s emails being released?? OMG, they were going to be so deliciously scandalous! Except the weren’t. They were pretty ordinary, actually. What is the media’s obsession with taking down Palin? It’s annoying.

ATMs killed the radio star economy. So says Barack Obama. In other news, indoor plumbing killed the chamber pot industry.

I wrote this article on middle school kids and sextionnaires on a plane. Air travel has nothing to do with the article. It just makes me sound fancy, so I thought I’d point it out.

And I was on a podcast talking about internet privacy.

Happy reading!

Labor Unions Keep Boeing From Giving People Jobs

Boeing is trying to open a new factory in South Carolina that would employ people to build airplanes. Unemployment in the country is still high, and getting people back to working creating things that other people want to buy is a very good thing.

Here’s how an economy works: Cobbler Joe makes excellent shoes, but his wife really wants a purse for her birthday. So Cobbler Joe works extra hard in his shoe shop creating excellent shoes that he can sell for a decent price. When he has enough money saved, he goes down the street to Polly’s Purse Shop where he purchases a fabulous handbag for his lovely wife.

When Polly sees Cobbler Joe, she’s reminded of the pair of purple satin stilettos she wants, and asks Joe if he has any in stock. He does, and she stops by later and purchases them. Or she goes to Jim’s Shoe Shop because he’s selling them at a discount. Or maybe she goes back to Joe who will price-match them.

Read the rest at The Stir

Welcome to California, The Welfare State

California is one of the most generous states in the nation toward illegal immigrantsteachersthe unemployed, and single mothers. It’s also just about bankrupt. As the saying goes, it’s easy to be generous with other people’s money.

One of the biggest money pits that the oh-so-generousCalifornia taxpayers are funding is the state workers’ pension fund. California public employees have some of the cushiest retirement packages around. These so-called public employeesoften get fatter paychecks in retirement than they did when they were working.

The Golden State? The Welfare State seems more appropriate.

Something is horribly wrong with California’s pension system, and unless something is done to reform it (soon!) the pyramid scheme will collapse. Early retirement ages combined with longer life expectancies means that retirees often collect more checks during retirement than they did during employment. This is not a pension — this is welfare.

No one needs to retire at the ripe-old age of 55 and receive an average of 75% of their last annual salary for the rest of their life. California is unique in this, as all other states average salaries over the last 3-5 years on the job when determining pension payouts. Because of this ‘one year’ rule, California retirees are often able to artificially inflate their salary by switching to a high-earning job for one year, or cashing out years worth of accrued vacation time.

Read the rest at The Stir

The Vicious Cycle of Ineptitude in Education

Our education system is a mess, and there is no one thing to blame. Which makes things difficult, because fixing something with several broken parts is more difficult than fixing something with only one or two breaks.

Teachers in Wisconsin have abandoned their classrooms to protest paying a small portion of their medical and retirement benefits to fix the state budget. In New York, teachers guilty of “excessive lateness or absence, sexual misconduct with a student, physical abuse, incompetence, or use of drugs or alcohol” are kept away from the students in rubber rooms, but kept on the payroll. Los Angeles teachers fight to keep their ratings from being publicized. Half the schools in Detroit are shutting down, putting the high school student to teacher ratio at sixty-to-one.

Meanwhile, our kids aren’t getting any smarter. The majority of our kids don’t have a solid grasp onscience, have trouble with history and social studies, and don’t have the math skills to compete on an international level.

And parents? Parents all want to believe their little darlings are the brightest, bestest, and prettiest of all, and any teacher that fails to recognize that must be incompetent. It seems that self-esteem is more important these days than an actual education.

Read more at The Stir

Rules Should Matter … Even to Wisconsin Democrats and President Obama

People have been breaking rules since God said, “Enjoy the garden … just don’t eat that fruit off that tree.” The first rule in existence and the first humans couldn’t be bothered to follow it.

Let’s face it: Rules are rarely any fun or easy to follow. That’s why there are sayings like, “Rules were meant to be broken,” or my favorite from one of those pirate movies, “They’re more like guidelines anyway.”

Some of the bigger rules are relatively easy for most of us to follow. Thou shalt not murder is one of those that I’m fairly certain most Americans don’t struggle to keep on a daily basis. But what about speed limits? Anti-piracy laws? Tucking the price tags in on an expensive outfit, wearing it to a fancy party, and then returning it to the store for a full refund?

Rules can suck, but like it or not, they’re necessary for order and civility. Reckless driving is dangerous, and kills people every day. Illegally downloading software off the Internet is the same as walking into a store and stealing a boxed computer program. Returning worn clothes to a store as new is dishonest to both the store and the eventual end purchaser.

The wonderful thing about the way our government is set up is that it’s full of rules to protect us against tyranny. We have three branches of government (executive, legislative, and judicial … someone should remind Senator Schumer of that, by the way) that provide a unique system of checks and balances to keep any one person or group from getting too much power.

Read the rest at The Stir

Jenny Erikson Radio Show – Episode 0009

In which I talk about the crazy situations in Wisconsin and Indiana. Also, Rob Bluey from Heritage joins to talk about new media and other stuff. Take a listen!