February 25, 2009
To All My Valued Employees,
There have been some rumblings around the office about the future of this company, and more specifically, your job. As you know, the economy has changed for the worse and presents many challenges. However, the good news is this: The economy doesn't pose a threat to your job. What does threaten your job however, is the changing political landscape in this country.
However, let me tell you some little tidbits of fact which might help you decide what is in your best interests.
First, while it is easy to spew rhetoric that casts employers against employees, you have to understand that for every business owner there is a back story. This back story is often neglected and overshadowed by what you see and hear. Sure, you see me park my Mercedes outside. You've seen my big home at last years Christmas party. I'm sure; all these flashy icons of luxury conjure up some idealized thoughts about my life.
However, what you don't see is the back story.
I started this company 28 years ago. At that time, I lived in a 300 square foot studio apartment for 3 years. My entire living apartment was converted into an office so I could put forth 100% effort into building a company, which by the way, would eventually employ you.
My diet consisted of Ramen Pride noodles because every dollar I spent went back into this company. I drove a rusty Toyota Corolla with a defective transmission. I didn't have time to date. Often times, I stayed home on weekends, while my friends went out drinking and partying. In fact, I was married to my business -- hard work, discipline, and sacrifice.
Meanwhile, my friends got jobs. They worked 40 hours a week and made a modest $50K a year and spent every dime they earned. They drove flashy cars and lived in expensive homes and wore fancy designer clothes. Instead of hitting the Nordstrom's for the latest hot fashion item, I was trolling through the Goodwill store extracting any clothing item that didn't look like it was birthed in the 70's. My friends refinanced their mortgages and lived a life of luxury. I, however, did not. I put my time, my money, and my life into a business with a vision that eventually, some day, I too, will be able to afford these luxuries my friends supposedly had.
So, while you physically arrive at the office at 9am, mentally check in at about noon, and then leave at 5pm, I don't. There is no "off" button for me. When you leave the office, you are done and you have a weekend all to yourself. I unfortunately do not have the freedom. I eat, and breathe this company every minute of the day. There is no rest. There is no weekend. There is no happy hour. Every day this business is attached to my hip like a 1 year old special-needs child. You, of course, only see the fruits of that garden -- the nice house, the Mercedes, the vacations... You never realize the back story and the sacrifices I've made.
Now, the economy is falling apart and I, the guy that made all the right decisions and saved his money, have to bail-out all the people who didn't. The people that overspent their paychecks suddenly feel entitled to the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed a decade of my life for.
Yes, business ownership has is benefits but the price I've paid is steep and not without wounds.
Unfortunately, the cost of running this business, and employing you, is starting to eclipse the threshold of marginal benefit and let me tell you why:
I am being taxed to death and the government thinks I don't pay enough. I have state taxes. Federal taxes. Property taxes. Sales and use taxes. Payroll taxes. Workers compensation taxes. Unemployment taxes. Taxes on taxes. I have to hire a tax man to manage all these taxes and then guess what? I have to pay taxes for employing him. Government mandates and regulations and all the accounting that goes with it, now occupy most of my time. On Oct 15th, I wrote a check to the US Treasury for $288,000 for quarterly taxes. You know what my "stimulus" check was? Zero. Nada. Zilch.
The question I have is this: Who is stimulating the economy? Me, the guy who has provided 14 people good paying jobs and serves over 2,200,000 people per year with a flourishing business? Or, the single mother sitting at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for her next welfare check? Obviously, government feels the latter is the economic stimulus of this country.
The fact is, if I deducted (Read: Stole) 50% of your paycheck you'd quit and you wouldn't work here. I mean, why should you? That's nuts. Who wants to get rewarded only 50% of their hard work? Well, I agree which is why your job is in jeopardy.
Here is what many of you don't understand ... to stimulate the economy you need to stimulate what runs the economy. Had suddenly government mandated to me that I didn't need to pay taxes, guess what? Instead of depositing that $288,000 into the Washington black-hole, I would have spent it, hired more employees, and generated substantial economic growth. My employees would have enjoyed the wealth of that tax cut in the form of promotions and better salaries. But you can forget it now.
When you have a comatose man on the verge of death, you don't defibrillate and shock his thumb thinking that will bring him back to life, do you? Or, do you defibrillate his heart? Business is at the heart of America and always has been. To restart it, you must stimulate it, not kill it. Suddenly, the power brokers in Washington believe the poor of America are the essential drivers of the American economic engine. Nothing could be further from the truth and this is the type of change you can keep.
So where am I going with all this?
It's quite simple.
If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, my reaction will be swift and simple. I fire you. I fire your co-workers. You can then plead with the government to pay for your mortgage, your SUV, and your child's future. Frankly, it isn't my problem any more.
Then, I will close this company down, move to another country, and retire. You see, I'm done. I'm done with a country that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, will be my citizenship.
If you lose your job, it won't be at the hands of the economy; it will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this country, steamrolled the constitution, and will have changed its landscape forever. If that happens, you can find me sitting on a beach, retired, and with no employees to worry about....
Those of you who believe that I exist solely as a source of tax revenue for the government can quickly disabuse yourself of that notion. Keep on sucking me dry and I will eventually quit producing. At the current rate of monetary extraction, I'd say that that time isn't too far off.
February 24, 2009
Must be bullshit.
Yeah. Good thing we not step in it.
Yeah. Good thing.
If only. I had to convince my mother-in-law that things were much worse in the late 1970s and early 1980s than they are now. She should check out the graph found here.
Hmm. Bill Clinton said that the economy was the worst in 50 years. The Won says that it's the worst in 60 years (now it's 60 or so). I lived and worked through the late 1970s and early 1980s. Things were a buttload worse then than they are now. However, keep repeating that big fucking lie often enough and loud enough and soon, this nation of drooling halfwits spending fifty cents a call to vote for American Idol contestants will start to believe it.
Not all of the people are halfwits, of course. For many, that intellectual mark will remain forever out of reach.
Thanks to Jerry Pournelle for the link.
Update: I should have read faster and thought more before posting. My chemistry professor would have turned over in his grave, if he weren't still alive.
So the trailer to Quentin Tarantino's latest flick is out, and get this: dismemberment plays a starring role.
No surprise here. Body parts are to Tarantino what clothes are to Kate Winslet - an irritating barrier to plot development that must be removed immediately.
February 23, 2009
1) Alexander does NOT make a 5.25 lb. can of liquid malt extract. Instead, I added a 4-lb. can of LME plus 1 pound of light dried malt extract dissolved in 1 quart of cold water at the 45-minute mark. The reason I didn't add the dry malt extract directly into the boiling wort is due to the fact that the dried malt extract would instantly develop a melted, hardened shell and not conclude melting for about hour or so. Not that this has ever happened to me, of course. It's just something that I've heard about. ::cough-cough::
2) American Ale yeast II doesn't act like most other ale yeasts I've used. Most of the rest quickly ramp up from zero activity to Old Faithful style fermentation locks within 24-48 hours of pitching the yeast. After that peak activity, things quickly subside to a more normal level of ferementation. Contrast this with what I've observed of the American Ale yeast II, which started slowly and then gradually increased it's activity over 6 days, popping my fermentation lock off of the carboy twice in one day; no, it did not rest on the seventh day. The third fermentation lock didn't blow it's top, but the lock did fill with dirty-colored water bubbling up from inside the carboy, which kind of negates the sanitary effect of using such a device.
3) I have to check my last batch of beer to see if any of the bottles are salvageable. If so, great: more to drink. If not, well, not so bad: I'll now have empty bottles to use. However, there's something inherently wrong about pouring bottles of lovingly crafted beer down the drain just because it's trying to win an Oscar for it's performance in the role of horse urine.
In any event, I'll probably rack (transfer via siphon) the beer to a secondary carboy, which will buy me some time before bottling. Since the arrival of child #3 is more or less imminent, I'm in favor of anything which pushes back due dates on activities.
February 19, 2009
It happens every year: I read every post Ive written over the past 365 days about the Los Angeles Times . . . and I think to myself: this is just unbelievable. Theres something appalling and eye-opening about seeing an entire years worth of the papers bias, omissions, and distortions gathered in one post.
This year, L.A. Times editors slammed Sarah Palin, John McCain, and McCains ally Joe the Plumber while they protected Barack Obama and his allies, including unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers and radical Palestinian Rashid Khalidi. The paper described a 19-point margin in opposition to gay marriage as a narrow margin, and displayed the usual politically correct attitudes on race, abortion, and crime. We watched the paper overreach on the story about Judge Alex Kozinskis porn collection that wasnt. And the paper retracted a story by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Chuck Philips, in one of the most embarrassing incidents in the papers history. This year saw a campaign of relentless distortions on DNA evidence; the bankruptcy of Tribune Company; and a collection of errors like none weve ever seen before.
Yup, it was a fun year for liberal bias and incompetence at the local rag.
Read the whole thing.
February 17, 2009
...The question that hotly follows is why. Why does the Opposition Party refuse to offer a genuine opposition? At this juncture the Statists leap to their most favorite answer to the query. They tell us that the anarchistic, uncivilized, uncharitable rugged individualism associated with the pre-Roosevelt era is forever discredited by the American people. The social revolution of the New Deal is a fait accompli and no political party could rally any enthusiasm in 1952 for a genuinely anti-Statist program.
My own diagnosis does not totally contradict this one. To begin with, I see the issue primarily as one of freedom or non-freedom. To the extent that a fraction of the individual's time, which we will for convenience equate with his earnings, is a priori mortgaged to the government and against this will, then he is to that same extent not free. Since there is no money except the individual's money, and since his money represents his labor or his savings or the produce of his tools, the assessment of that money by the State represents a direct levy on that individual's freedom. Now, if it is true, as the Liberals would have it, that the Repubitican Party could not evoke any support for a program that calls for extracting from the individual only that money necessary to carry on the minimum functions of government (loosely, defense, courts, and conservation), then it must follow that the American people no longer value maximum individual freedom.
Now this may well be the case. Most human beings respond to education, and freedom has been depreciated in the nation 's schools for some years now. The responsibility of the State to regulate and nourish individual lives is not only acknowledged, but eloquently and insistently affirmed by an increasing number of the most efficacious of influence-molders: the teachers.
And yet, there has been no dramatic showdown. There is no tangible proof that the Republican Party would indeed fail to win over the people to a platform of freedom. And even if it should fail, it would have succeeded in alerting the people to the fact that there still exists, in theory at least, an alternative to State Paternalism. And this would seem to be a noble enough and a traditional service for a political party whose birth and early success grew out of its refusal to condone human slavery.
One thing we know: in the past we have temporized with collectivism, and we have lost. And after 'the campaigns were over, we were left not with the exhilaration and pride of having done our best to restore freedom, but with the sickening humiliation of having failed to seduce the American people because we were pitted against a more glib, a more extravagant, a more experienced gigolo.
Thanks to Bill for the link.
Psst! The government is the servant and the people are the masters. Pass it on.
February 11, 2009
Link via that Satan worshiping, hobo murdering, puppy blending fellow.
Much has been said about the aging of the President of the United States during their terms in office. Below are just a few examples (pictures on the left were taken their first year in office, pictures on the right were taken during their last year in office):
George W. Bush
And now with state of the art computer imaging software, we can look into the future and see what our next potential president will look like after his term in office:
and even his wife.....Michelle
Atlas shrugged, bent over, and goatse'd.
A few of points:
1) This is not Monopoly. Real debt is being incurred.
2) Pay as you go, a promise of the Obama campaign, has been staked, had it's head lopped off, burned, buried, and then had the ground salted around it before dropping a 50-megaton nuke onto it. To be fair, I knew that the promise was bullshit, but I didn't expect a steaming pile of this size.
3) Welcome to the AU (American Union), a nice collection of socialist states whose sole purpose in life is to suck-suck-suck at the taxpayer teat.
4) America is the richest, most productive country in the world, but that wealth and productivity are not limitless.
Nice republic we had here. I guess we don't get to keep it.
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