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letstakeawalk's Comments

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New Biofuels Strategy and EPA Policy: Promote Clean Energy & Green Jobs

New Biofuels Strategy and EPA Policy: Promote Clean Energy & Green Jobs

Commented Feb 4, 2010 at 21:51:04 in Green

“I'm not a huge fan of using ethanol in an internal combustion engine. There are serious issues with cancer-causing emissions.

http://gas2.org/2009/12/14/study-finds-ethanol-use-increases-ozone-and-carcinogen-pollution/

However, if you put that ethanol into a fuel cell electric car - well, then you're talking clean, renewable transportation!

http://running_on_alcohol.tripod.com/id30.html”
huffingtonpost entry

Oprah's Jay-Z Moment

Commented Oct 25, 2009 at 12:57:41 in Entertainment

“So, it would be OK if I said that I admired Hitler because the German Autobahn influenced the building of the US Interstate Hwy system, which is the backbone of American society?

Or if I said I admired Hitler because he understood the need for a reliable auto that anyone could afford - the influence of the VW Beetle on automotive design is staggering.

Full disclosure, I do not admire or support Hitler in any respect.”

JustifiablyParanoid on Oct 26, 2009 at 14:59:41

“Well, YES, it would be OK. Are you saying that it's NOT OK to express an opinion anymore? For goodness' sake, now we're comparing a recording artist to Hitler?

Whatever one's opinion is, no matter how heinous I or anybody else may find it, it's your right to express that opinion.

Get a grip.”
Hummer's Now History -- Here's How It Started

Hummer's Now History -- Here's How It Started

Commented Oct 10, 2009 at 12:45:49 in Business

“"Robby Gordon pilots his race-prepped Hummer H1 in the Paris-Dakar event." (photo caption)

Robbie Gordon drove a modified H3, which is clearly labeled on its flank in the photo.

http://www.robbygordon.com/about-robby/
The Skinny on our Growing Girth

The Skinny on our Growing Girth

Commented Aug 26, 2009 at 11:31:43 in Green

“"A study published in The American Journal of Medicine found that people who eat a low-fat vegan diet (no meat, no eggs and no dairy foods) lose about a pound per week--even without exercising or counting calories."

That's not strictly accurate. The study found that:

"Adoption of a low-fat, vegan diet was associated with significant weight loss in overweight postmenopausal women, despite the absence of prescribed limits on portion size or energy intake."

Overweight, post-menopausal women. Not just "people". The control group also lost weight:

"Mean ± standard deviation intervention-group body weight decreased 5.8 ± 3.2 kg, compared with 3.8 ± 2.8 kg in the control group."

It's also misleading to say that the participants lost weight "without exercising". They were only asked not to change their exercise routine:

"In an outpatient setting, 64 overweight, postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to a low-fat, vegan diet or a control diet based on National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines, without energy intake limits, and were asked to maintain exercise unchanged."

Volume 118, Issue 9, Pages 991-997 (September 2005)
"The effects of a low-fat, plant-based dietary intervention on body weight, metabolism, and insulin sensitivity"”
huffingtonpost entry

Michael Jackson Collectibles on the Rise

Commented Jun 29, 2009 at 18:32:07 in Style

“Just remember, before plonking down any more than $10 for ANY MJ vinyl, he was one of the biggest selling recording artists of all times. You can find his records in any thrift store in America at an average price of 25 cents. A hand-signed white glove - maybe there's some value there. But the man released 100's of millions of records.

Seriously. Over in the vintage audio forums people are dying from laughter over the results of some recent auctions.”
huffingtonpost entry

Wilco (The Album)

Commented Jun 29, 2009 at 17:04:12 in Entertainment

“"Such consistent runs have been few-and-far-between over the past 35+ years."

Here's another influential band with a staggering run: Stereolab

1991 - 2009

Switched On
Peng!
Space Age Bachelor Pad Music
Transient Random Noise Bursts with Announcements
Mars Audiac Quintet
Music for the Amorphous Body Study Center
Refried Electroplasm
Emperor Tomato Ketchup
Dots and Loops
Aluminum Tunes
Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night
The First of the Microbe Hunters
Sound-Dust
ABC Music - the BBC Sessions
Margarine Eclipse
Oscillions from the Anti-Sun
Fab Four Suture
Serene Velocity
Chemical Chords

Never mind all of the band's many side projects (Monade, High Llamas, etc), Stereolab's endless creativity and amazing output are one of the reasons why they are considered one of the most influential bands of the 1990's and present.

http://www.stereolab.co.uk/discography/list/
huffingtonpost entry

Union Busting Ended My Love Affair with a Beer

Commented Jun 18, 2009 at 17:32:32 in Business

“I have personal experience working in textile mills in the non-union south. Lazy unproductive workers get passed over for promotions. Workers who have good attendance, and who exhibit the skills required, are able to negotiate for higher pay on their own. As I mentioned in another post, there have been situations where my own performance merited a 7% raise, during times when other workers received nothing. Unfair? No. I never called in sick, never came to work drunk (although breweries might not be so concerned about that, LOL), and I was always willing to work to the best of my ability. Eventually, I was being paid quite a bit more than other in my same description.”

Garioch on Jun 18, 2009 at 18:10:50

“As expected no stats to back it up.”
huffingtonpost entry

Union Busting Ended My Love Affair with a Beer

Commented Jun 18, 2009 at 17:22:04 in Business

“Can you provide a source? Not an anonymous "someone said", but a real honest complaint?”
huffingtonpost entry

Union Busting Ended My Love Affair with a Beer

Commented Jun 18, 2009 at 16:00:01 in Business

“Workers always have the right to collectively negotiate - a Union is not a requirement for workers to organize themselves. Most workers, however, do better when they represent themselves, by making a case based on their personal merits as to why they deserve a better pay rate or compensation package.

Unions were vital during an era when most unskilled labor (factory workers) were illiterate and had little access to information about better working conditions. Today, the factory floor is a much different environment, and workers have much greater flexibility in choosing where they work.”

Garioch on Jun 18, 2009 at 17:18:28

“That's laughable and I defy you to find any statistics to back that up. Having been a health and safety representative and a union representative at times over the past 24 years I can assure you that this is not the case and if you had any experience of the facts or occasion to attempt to negotiate with managements in an non unionised workplace you would know it.”
huffingtonpost entry

Union Busting Ended My Love Affair with a Beer

Commented Jun 18, 2009 at 14:21:16 in Business

“Names? Documentation? What about the dozens of members at the same meeting who didn't hear the alleged statements?

"When the union took its allegations to the Philadelphia office of the NLRB, Mr. Grace said no one would testify against Yuengling.

Instead, workers told labor board investigators that Mr. Yuengling had given them a "pep talk" about the company's future "and the need for employees to work harder," according to Dorothy Moore-Duncan, an NLRB regional director."

Brave men - they'll talk anonymously to the newspaper, but they won't appear before a formal inquiry? Don't be surprised if I doubt their veracity.”
huffingtonpost entry

Union Busting Ended My Love Affair with a Beer

Commented Jun 18, 2009 at 14:16:04 in Business

“If there was a legitimate complaint about worker treatment at the Yuengling Brewery, I would be happy to support the workers. However, there have been no allegations of non-compliance with OSHA or any other regulations. Even Mr. Elk cannot come up with one documented complaint.

Until then, you are only constructing straw men to rail against. Find a real complaint, and then we can have a discussion based on facts, not your imagination.”

Garioch on Jun 18, 2009 at 15:30:23

“So only workers who have made official complaints should have the right to collectively negotiate and up till that point they should accept the terms and conditions decided by their employers with all the power in the hands of the management?
Well that's equitable isn't it? Of course had that been the case earlier there would be no health and safety to speak of and we would all be working 7 day 12 hour days with no holidays.
Do any of you actually work for a living and deal with management on a regular basis?”
huffingtonpost entry

Union Busting Ended My Love Affair with a Beer

Commented Jun 18, 2009 at 13:44:06 in Business

“"THE RULING: The National Labor Relations Board sided with the brewery, saying it found no evidence that Dick Yuengling Jr. pressured employees to leave the Teamsters."

Great support you provide there!”

hp blogger Mike Elk on Jun 18, 2009 at 13:52:42

“Mr. Grace's account is supported by two people who said they were at the meeting and who spoke with The Associated Press at the request of the union.”
huffingtonpost entry

Union Busting Ended My Love Affair with a Beer

Commented Jun 18, 2009 at 13:40:54 in Business

“You obviously have no idea what you are talking about. The Yuengling Brewery can in no way be compared to a sweat shop. The workers make an average wage of $20 an hour, and have 100% of their health care paid for by the brewery.”

Garioch on Jun 18, 2009 at 14:05:45

“His argument that they should be glad he supported workers by buying their product would of course logically transfer to a sweat shop. I didn't say that the Yuengling brewery was one at present although of course now they have no negotiating power their conditions will deteriorate as almost all previous examples show.
What I was doing was showing that his assumption that workers should just be glad anyone is buying what they produce when they have no stake in the profits of that beyond what the owners choose to give them is unlikely to help them as shown by the example of a seat shop.
Sorry you found that logical jump too far too problematic.”
huffingtonpost entry

Union Busting Ended My Love Affair with a Beer

Commented Jun 18, 2009 at 13:10:36 in Business

“As I thought, the NLRB has no record of any such comment.

The Teamsters, who sent the e-mail claiming that the plant would be shut down, should be ashamed of themselves for lying and distorting the situation for personal profit.

Nonetheless. I will continue to support the non-Union workers by buying the fine products they produce. Free of suspicion that Union members have tainted that product through their gross negligence - of course.”

hp blogger Mike Elk on Jun 18, 2009 at 13:28:45

“look at the news articles surronding the Philly NLRB circuit. Two workers spoke anaimously for this article.

http://unionreview.com/ap-article-teamsters-foaming-over-ejection-yuengling
huffingtonpost entry

Union Busting Ended My Love Affair with a Beer

Commented Jun 17, 2009 at 22:30:41 in Business

“My specific objection is to this quote from your article:

"Dick Yuengling, the owner of Yuengling Brewery, gathered all the workers and told them that "the writing was on the wall". He said that if they didn't vote to kick the union out, he would close the plant, and ship the work to a non-union facility in the South. The workers, scared of losing their job in a region with high unemployment, voted to ditch their union and save their jobs."

Can you provide a source? "Writing on the wall" is an ambiguous comment - what you imply was said next, "He said that if they didn't vote to kick the union out, he would close the plant, and ship the work to a non-union facility in the South.", is not.

Are you speculating about the second part of the statement? Did he really say that, or are you just imagining that he did?”

hp blogger Mike Elk on Jun 18, 2009 at 00:03:11

“Look up the NLRB documents on the matter its all there.”
huffingtonpost entry

Union Busting Ended My Love Affair with a Beer

Commented Jun 17, 2009 at 22:24:48 in Business

“...but the workers DID still get a raise. Sometimes I've gotten 7%, sometimes I've gotten nothing. While I don't doubt that the Teamsters would have advocated for a higher percentage increase, there is no reason to believe they would have been effective in getting it. Actually, it's not hard to find situations where Union "negotiations" for increased benefits have been detrimental to the workers' interests.

As for other concerns, I respect the past efforts of the Unions to create safe working environments. Could you mention specific situations at the Yuengling Breweries which do not meet current OSHA regs? It doesn't appear to me that the Brewery mistreats its employees - on the contrary they seem genuinely lucky to have those jobs, and they appear to have a good relationship with management.

If you could cite specific conditions in which workers are being mistreated or taken advantage of, I'd be happy to listen.”

hp blogger Mike Elk on Jun 18, 2009 at 00:04:27

“I dont know if there were specific OSHA regs broken. The point is that the union would give workers a unified voice to force the boss if an unsafe situation arose.

Also, i was wondering if you can cite a situation in which a union got a worst raise than they would have without the contract.”
huffingtonpost entry

Union Busting Ended My Love Affair with a Beer

Commented Jun 17, 2009 at 22:03:34 in Business

“A little research shows that even though the Teamsters have gone, not much has changed. The workers still make an average of $20 an hour - it seems Union membership is superfluous.

"Little appears to have changed at Yuengling since the union got the boot.

The brewery continues to pay 100 percent of the cost of workers' health insurance, said Casinelli, the Yuengling executive. It also boosted wages by 3 percent last year.

The Teamsters "are hurting their own membership with this nonsense," he said. "Our brands are a significant source of income for wholesalers all over the state, many of whom are union houses, and I've not had one house throw our brand out."

Nor has there been much reaction in Pottsville. Yuengling has long helped anchor this gritty town, offering relatively high-paying jobs in an area where such jobs are scarce. Yuengling employs almost 200 people, most of them at the Pottsville brewery and at a second facility nearby."

http://beeradvocate.com/forum/read/1017784

The best way to support the workers is to buy their product!”

hp blogger Mike Elk on Jun 17, 2009 at 22:08:12

“it should be noted that a 3% wage increase is well below the cost of living increase (COLA) of nearly 6%. Any union worth their salt would have advocated for a 6% wage increase.

Also, your post draws on a false notion of unions that they only advocate for wage increase. Unions advocate for safe working conditions, against sexual harassment, and prevent management from over-working workers.”
huffingtonpost entry

Union Busting Ended My Love Affair with a Beer

Commented Jun 17, 2009 at 21:54:32 in Business

“Is the threat of Union employees tainting their product supposed to make me more sympathetic to their side? I'm glad those workers are more respectable than you give them credit for.

I would assume that by my supporting the company which pays their wages, I was doing the brewery workers a favor... I will continue to buy and imbibe Yeungling proudly.”

Garioch on Jun 18, 2009 at 09:39:45

“You have already shown that you have no sympathy for their side, you have already shown that you don't care about others welfare or conditions.
They probably will be more respectable which is just as well for you. Perhaps at some point you might learn from their example but I have my doubts.
Your last point makes no sense at all. Do you feel good about buying clothes made in a sweat shop?”
huffingtonpost entry

Union Busting Ended My Love Affair with a Beer

Commented Jun 17, 2009 at 19:17:29 in Business

“I remember when the Union vote was coming up, and customers were asked to boycott the beer... My friends and I (all Yuengling lovers!) made sure to buy as much as we possibly could, so that we could break the boycott. Thank FSM all of our hard drinking paid off - and even better, we can now get it on draft here!”

letstakeawalk on Jun 17, 2009 at 22:03:34

“A little research shows that even though the Teamsters have gone, not much has changed. The workers still make an average of $20 an hour - it seems Union membership is superfluous.

"Little appears to have changed at Yuengling since the union got the boot.

The brewery continues to pay 100 percent of the cost of workers' health insurance, said Casinelli, the Yuengling executive. It also boosted wages by 3 percent last year.

The Teamsters "are hurting their own membership with this nonsense," he said. "Our brands are a significant source of income for wholesalers all over the state, many of whom are union houses, and I've not had one house throw our brand out."

Nor has there been much reaction in Pottsville. Yuengling has long helped anchor this gritty town, offering relatively high-paying jobs in an area where such jobs are scarce. Yuengling employs almost 200 people, most of them at the Pottsville brewery and at a second facility nearby."

http://beeradvocate.com/forum/read/1017784

The best way to support the workers is to buy their product!”

Garioch on Jun 17, 2009 at 20:08:50

“Perhaps the disgruntled employees will later start adding bleach and the like to it so you can enjoy it even more.”
Whale Wars - Eco-Terrorism as Reality TV

Whale Wars - Eco-Terrorism as Reality TV

Commented Jun 6, 2009 at 02:43:48 in Green

“You mistake my motivations... I don't root for the destruction of any species. I support marine mammal research.

However, I do not condone Sea Shepherd's behavior. I think the analogy of pro-life advocates bombing clinics is an appropriate analogy - the end simply does not justify the means. There are innocent men on those Japanese ships.

Perhaps a thought experiment? Imagine I am a bicycle advocate. I see the modern American's use of the automobile as an offense against nature. So, I decide to throw a slippery substance onto a major Interstate interchange. The only cost is the time and manpower to clean it up - I don't hurt anybody. Is this a valid form of protest?

Obviously, not having any in-depth analytical skills or an ability to think clearly will make it harder to consider other peoples' perspectives...”
Whale Wars - Eco-Terrorism as Reality TV

Whale Wars - Eco-Terrorism as Reality TV

Commented Jun 5, 2009 at 18:45:46 in Green

“I watched this show last season, and my interest turn to disbelief as I witnessed the aggressive actions of the Sea Shepherd and their moronic, self-serving Captain - who I believed was tossed out of GreenPeace because of his violent lunacy. They deliberately provoke the Japanese, and place their own crew members into extremely hazardous situations - such as the illegal boarding of the Japanese ship. It's not surprising when the Japanese crews respond with aggressive tactics, after all, for all they know, the Sea Shepherd could be lobbing real bombs and have real intent to harm their ship.

I will continue to watch the show. It is enthralling TV. However, because of the Sea Shepherd's piratical actions, I am firmly rooting for the Japanese!”

RickSp on Jun 5, 2009 at 21:52:21

“It is odd. I have no sympathy for whalers and yet when the Sea Shepherd zealots show up with their reckless disregard for human life I end up cheering the Japanese on as well.”
huffingtonpost entry

Recent College Graduate for Hire

Commented May 27, 2009 at 14:23:56 in Healthy Living

“Hmm.. You have a history degree and you live in NYC? Why don't you get a job as a tour guide? People who are on vacation will pay very good money to have a local take them around and show them the history of a very important old city. People who want to see the real city, not the typical tourist traps...

I offer this advice as a professional walking guide, in the biz for over 10 years (but not in NYC, so sorry I couldn't put you to work). Good luck”
huffingtonpost entry

Clay Aiken: Criticism of Adam Lambert Taken The Wrong Way, Never Actually Said American Idol Runnerup Was "Too Gay"

Commented May 23, 2009 at 13:50:20 in Comedy

“Mr. Aiken went wrong by ignoring "professional courtesy". Anytime a performer or artist criticizes another's work, they open themselves up to the same criticism. It's better to say nothing, or to praise lightly if you can't avoid commenting (say if E News shows up and sticks a live camera in your face).

I enjoyed the original, as well as the many covers: Social Distortion and String Cheese Incident are two of my favorites. Mr. Lambert's interpretation was quite striking, and I enjoyed the more mellow vibe created with the bass line.

BTW, I am not an "American Idol" fan, and have never watched more than a clip's worth of it. However, I am a huge fan of musical performance and listen to a wide variety of genres.”
huffingtonpost entry

CTA Employees Park For Free?

Commented May 15, 2009 at 15:03:45 in Chicago

“Wait until the author finds out that Cops get free coffee in most restaurants...”

LeftRight on May 16, 2009 at 10:39:55

“So because some other city workers break the rules, all should be allowed to?”
A Day Without Tourists

A Day Without Tourists

Commented May 6, 2009 at 14:52:23 in World

“"The Silverado lurches into a dirt side street somewhere on the proletarian backside of Chapultepec Heights. ERRE pulls up along a fence, honks his horn, and the debris is quickly unloaded by elves in rags. He hands one of them 100 pesos, or $7. ...

The old city dump is closed, the new one too far away, so like most Tijuaneses, ERRE uses the services of the informal economy. Moreover, ...any act that circulates a few pesos amongst "el pueblo" seems conscientious."

I wonder if the Author could give a conscientious explanation of what happens to the construction debris once it has been unloaded. I'm just curious, because I too live in a very poor area (lots of Section 8 neighborhoods), and I'm pretty sure I could save quite a bit of money if I were to negotiate a similar deal with the residents of those projects. After all, they could use the income, so I'd be doing them a favor by dumping my trash in their neighborhood instead of taking it to a properly regulated dump - right?

Something tells me if the Author suggested this in any city in the US, he'd be brought up on all sorts of illegal dumping/hazardous waste violations. But since it's Mexico, I guess we Americans should just look at it as being "conscientious".”
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