Wednesday, February 16, 2011

One Big BUT...

I have a hard confession to make.

I don't know that I'm much of a union gal.

Feel free to change my mind, because the truth is, I just don't know that much about it. Do unions have too much power? Do they increase the cost of doing business?

I don't know. I don't own a business.

However, workers should have the right to organize and collectively bargain for living wages and better benefits if corporations begin to abuse their power. We've seen this happen before, America. I think we'd be naive to think it won't happen again.

Fun Fact: Did you know total compensation - which includes those "awesome" benes - for the public sector is still less than that for private sector?

Regardless, what I do know is that unions represent people.

And I'm 100% sure that those people (and thereby the unions) are more than willing to negotiate benefit and retirement contributions.

The problem is they were never asked to negotiate.

They know it's a tough economic time. They know there's a budget deficit to be accounted for, and everyone must do their part. They have been doing their part.

Or did you think furlough days were the same as paid vacations?

Now, I do criticize those folks who think paying 12% toward their healthcare premium is too much. Especially when that healthcare is a Cadillac compared to my, well, Vespa.

I won't go into detail, but lemme just say I'm paying almost $200 per month as a single, healthy person for a high deductible healthcare plan. No dental. No vision. I would kill to have, for example, $20 co-pays and less money taken out of my paycheck per month.

All of this being said, I will say this...

It's wrong to strip workers of their rights. It may even be unconstitutional...I'm sure we'll find out if this bill passes.

Walker is effectively trying to all but disband unions. Read this if you think that won't have consequences for you. Or this.

You don't have to be a public employee to feel the effects of this legislation.

You want educated, trained teachers for your children? Want educated, trained, and caring individuals to take care of your baby while you return to work after maternity leave?

Sorry. Those educated, trained workers had to leave their jobs for ones that will pay them a living wage.

For folks who think this issue is simply about paying more toward healthcare and pensions, you're, well, put it bluntly and lightly.

It's about our governor, without first trying to negotiate and bring all players to the table, enacting a piece of legislation that strips people of their rights.

That this legislation excludes unionized public safety employees - whose unions contributed heavily to our governor's campaign coffers - is entirely another matter for another post.

Fun Fact: By including public safety employee unions (i.e. police, firefighters) in his bill, Walker would save the state another $19 million - from the city of Milwaukee alone - to the already estimated $30 million in savings. That's almost double what the current bill saves in union "concessions" through the end of June.

Feel free to educate me on your position. I welcome comments. As I said in the beginning of my post; I simply am not the expert and don't know all of the facts from every facet of this issue. Though I've tried to read as much about it as I can, I think knowing everything would be impossible. What I do know is despotism when I see it (though if you compare Walker, or any American politician for that matter, to Stalin or Hitler, I will seriously question your intellect).

Thank you for listening.

PS - I'm sorry if Blogger is eating your comments. It ate my response to Gregg and I've been getting some messages on Facebook. So, first off, thank you for your comments, and second, I'm sorry Blogger eats them here.

PPS - This article, though opinion-based, has the numbers breakdown on WI's budget. On 1/31/11 the Legislative Fiscal Bureau - a nonpartisan group - sent a memo to newly elected Governor Walker outlining the state of WI's budget. He, in fact, did NOT inherit a budget that required a repair bill. In other words, yes, WI's long-term budget needs some work and difficult decisions, however, there is time to try negotiations first. There's no reason to rush this through in less than a week.

PPPS - This is my personal sticking point, but I just want to say...Walker ok'd $140 million in special interest spending in January and now claims $137 million shortfall in February. What's up with that? Anyone know?

Friday, February 11, 2011

VD "Dislike"

Here I thought I was doing so well.

What with the Packers winning the Super Bowl last week.

And the Iron Cupcake Challenge this weekend.

I just didn't have time to hate VD (Valentine's Day) as much as I used to...or, really, as early as I used to.

Until I saw this.

And this.

You should be ashamed of yourselves, MSN Glo. First, for copy-catting Yahoo Shine. Second, for giving the okay to use the word "boo" in reference to a significant other in that article's intro.


And you, Today're not off the hook. While you have nothing to be ashamed of, per se, adding "-licious" to the end of a word is, oh, so 2002. Also, I certainly don't appreciate you bringing it to my attention that some people on Facebook make profiles for their coupledom.

I think we can all agree that the shame, in this instance, goes to those couples.

Seriously? You want to make a fan page for your relationship? Sure, you "have" to go the fan page route because FB doesn't let you create an actual profile for two people, but you then have the audacity to join an actual Facebook group to encourage the Powers that Be to allow this?


I do give the MSN article credit for at least, in some small way, discouraging folks from doing this, but c'mon.

Fan pages for relationships. Asking your friends to 'Like' your relationship. Posting on your relationship's wall. Creating events for your relationship.

You've gone too far.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Eat My Cupcakes!! #nomnomnom

So...I don't really consider myself a baker.

Yes, I love to cook. But that's more experimentation of flavors that, if disastrous, can usually be fixed mid-recipe.

Baking, on the other hand, is like a chemistry experiment.

Use softened butter for your pie crust and say "Goodbye" to flakes.

Use hardened butter for your cookies and say "Hello" to a crumbled, unmixed mess.

Why you gotta be so tempermental, butter?

But it's not really butter's fault.

No, that's just incredibly detailed orchestration of tempurature, measurement, and time.

And I don't do it all that often.

But I am this weekend. To the tune of approximately 750 cupcakes.

Part launch of my future food business, part Duff Goldman allure, the Iron Cupcake: Milwaukee Pro/Am Cupcake Clash seemed like a good idea at the time.

Like that sophomore prom we tried carpooling to Green Bay for dinner and ended up stranded on the highway for 2 hours with a broken-down car. Hindsight.

Now I'm staring down the face of hundreds of cupcakes, 10 pounds of powdered sugar, and 750 of the most damnable little toothpick flags you will ever see.

I do this for you.

So you can taste my delightful cupcakes.

Hope to see you there on Sunday, February 13th (10:00 AM - 2:00 PM, MSOE Kern Center). Tickets are selling out fast and today's the last day to buy 'em online.