The Ramblings of the Semi-Sane

Category: Rants

just letting off steam

More socially retarded by the day…

With each passing day it seems our world grows smaller, yet more socially retarded.

This past week I was witness to a repeat of something that had happened to me personally a couple of years ago.

My youngest daughter, Grace, standing in the dining room with a shocked look on her face.. (I should mention, for sake of clarity as I tell the story, she is not my bio-daughter) as she reads, on Facebook, that her grandmother, her biological sperm-donor’s mother, is in the hospital.
No one called her to tell her, she only found out hours later when she happened to check Facebook on her phone. Her aunt had posted it. 
Grace was upset, immediately worried about her grandmother. I, on the other hand, was pissed. When did it become acceptable to blurt something like that out on social media without at least telling the family first? If the grandmother had died in the fall that sent her to the hospital would it still have hit Facebook that way rather than a phone call? I somehow get the feeling that the answer to that question is yes.

Some people crave attention above all else. They must immediately, when opportunity presents itself, scream “Look at me! Look at me!”. Anything that will draw that attention is fair game, good, bad, indifferent. They must announce it to the world and smile profusely as the number of ‘Likes’ and comments roll in… The more the better. 

A couple of years ago my own grandmother was rushed to the hospital, and my own aunt had it out on Facebook before word got around to the rest of us.. the only time I have spoken to her since then was at my grandmother’s funeral. I have little use for shit like that.

No consideration of the feelings of others. No thought to how they might feel reading such personal news on such a public platform, while strangers, ‘friends’ of the person making the post, comment on it. How many of those ‘friends’ are even friends? Look at your friends list on Facebook. How many of those people do you honestly know? I see people with hundreds and thousands of Facebook friends, yet outside of Facebook they barely interact with anyone., barely know anyone. They barely interact with their own families, yet spill their most personal things out for attention from these cyber-friends to comment on.

I am so frustrated by this that I totally lost the train of thought I was working on and seem to have resorted to rambling and babbling…

I guess, what I want to say is, Think Before You Post. 
Is what you are about to spill publically something others might need to know in private first?
Do you really need the attention? 
Is your life that shallow that you require the commiseration, or approval, of people you only know as an icon next to a name at the expense of the feelings of your Family, and Real Friends?

If you answered yes to that last question, and I’m on your friends list, expect I won’t be for long. Expect also that your own family probably has little use for it as well.

Raise the minimum wage in Illinois?

Illinois must not impose any minimum wage increase. Businesses in Illinois are still struggling to recover from the deepest recession since the great depression. Illinois’ unemployment rate is stubbornly high at 9.2%, nearly 2 points higher than the U.S. average. Since 1.4% of Illinois workers earn minimum wage, increasing the mandatory minimum would have an adverse effect on the unemployment rate. I am opposed any measure that will increase unemployment or harm our businesses.

The economics of increasing in the minimum wage during a down economy are simple: when something costs more, people purchase less of it – including low-skilled labor. I believe the current minimum wage benefits those that it is intended to benefit and increasing it may be detrimental to their continued employment.

Our elected officials continually see legislation to increase the minimum wage. They must remain vigilant in their efforts to oppose those bills – and make it clear that such increases will drive more jobs out of Illinois and threaten our small businesses.

One of my own daughters is one of those minimum wage employees. This is not some arbitrary decision on my part, it is well thought out. It would be nice if she made more money, and she will, eventually, but not at the risk of further damaging our economy for the sake of garnering a few votes. Shame on Quinn, because that’s all this is, a tactic to scrounge up votes.

Half of Illinoisians are ready to move out of state

According to a recent Gallup Poll, HERE fully half of the people living in Illinois would rather live someplace else.

Why is that you ask? I’m sure one of the reasons is that the state is so poorly managed, and is currently 6.7 Billion dollars in debt.

How did we get that for in the hole? I’d suggest asking our current Governor, but he obviously has no clue, see my post from early this week… we’re so far behind he seems to think we’re ahead.

I’d say ask our previous governors, but you’ll need a pass to visit half of them in prison… that’s right, they were so corrupt that 4 of them are, or have been, serving prison sentences.

Now, look forward to this fall… we have a choice, the apparent imbecile we know, Governor Quinn who thinks he’s doing a good job (or is an incredible liar) or his Republican opponent, Mr. Bruce Rauner, a man who won’t answer a lot of direct questions, in true politician style, or who has already flip-flopped on more than one subject, telling everyone what they want to hear, even if it contradicts something he already said.

Rauner appears to have plenty of skeletons in the closet, Quinn can’t seem to tell a loss from a profit, and wants to raise our taxes permanently.

That, for me, leaves two options. One? Flee the state, move to Missouri or Texas. Two? Support and vote for Chad Grimm, and watch him do for Illinois what Gary Johnson did for New Mexico as a Libertarian Governor.

I love my little home here, my family is mostly here, I’d rather stay than go, so Grimm is my last hope. If he doesn’t win, I’m packing up the house, hanging a for sale sign and headed across the river.

It’s an election year, and the robo-calls are starting

Even if you are on the National Do Not Call List, run by the US Government’s FTC, charities and political organizations are still allowed to call you on your landline (house phone)

I think that’s wrong. You should be able to opt-out of being bothered by those folks too. In fact, it should be Opt-In only. If you do not specifically give them permission, they should not be bothering you.

Before the Illinois Primaries this year I was constantly bombarded by Bruce Rauner’s organization. The thing was, they were calling my cell phone, since we do not have a landline. That was the catch, because apparently it’s illegal to place robocalls to cellphones except in limited circumstances: when the calls are made for emergency purposes, or when they’re made with the prior consent of the recipient.

FCC enforcement chief Travis LeBlanc said the commission is "committed to protecting consumers from harassing, intrusive, and unwanted robocalls to cellphones, smart phones, and other mobile devices."

So, if you start receiving those unwanted calls, or text messages, on your cell phone, please do not hesitate to file a complaint by Clicking HERE

Be sure to note in the comments that it’s a cell phone that is being called.

Contact the party responsible, if possible, and demand that they stop calling you. I had to contact Rauner’s group more than once, and eventually send them a Facebook message threatening action if they did not stop harassing me with their unwanted calls.

With what may be a tight gubernatorial race in Illinois this year, he (Rauner) will be using that tactic again, you can count on it.

Illinois’ Governor doesn’t seem to get how math works

Governor Pat Quinn recently stated that we need to keep this ‘temporary’ income tax increase, and make it permanent. While making that statement he also said that Illinois had PAID DOWN it’s debt by 5 Billion dollars over the past few years.

“This is a turning point in Illinois fiscal history. We’ve been able to pay down our bills by $5 billion in the last few years. Our economy is doing better. It’s so important that we have a budget that moves our state forward,” he said.”

That little tidbit of information might be nice to hear, except that in June of 2012 the Illinois Auditor, Gerald Holland, released a report saying that Illinois’ budget deficit had reached 43.8 billion dollars, double what it had been 5 years previous.

In March of this year (2014) Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka released a report that put the Illinois deficit at 45 Billion An increase of 1.2  billion over the past 2 years.

Governor Quinn may be technically correct, we may have paid 5 billon worth of debt off in the past few years, but it appears we have still managed to dig ourselves deeper in the red despite that fact.

I’m giving the man a D for math, and a B+ for political spin.

Obviously his tactics are not working, and it’s time to replace him with someone with new ideas. Ideas that will work.

Illinoisans, you have a choice, and the right to choose. Take a look this year at Chad Grimm, you can find his Facebook page HERE

While you’re at it, take a look at the rest of the Libertarian Candidates for Illinois in 2014 HERE

People go over the top sometimes when it comes to politics

I just accidently engaged in idiocy. I mistakenly argued, pointlessly, with a Republican fanboi. I understand supporters, yea, but people who just blindly leap in and defend their political idols without paying attention scare me.

I complain about multiple robo calls, which I had requested be stopped. My requests were ignored, so I went to the candidates Facebook page and complained, vehemently. The response from the fanboi? ‘Everyone else does it’.  That is not an acceptable excuse. We’re talking about a guy wanting t run for Governor of Illinois. If he does what ‘everyone else does’ in that regard, then we can expect him to run the state further into the ground, and end up in prison. That seems to be what most of our recent previous governors have done.

I suppose though, that since ‘everyone else does it’ that the fanboi will consider that to be okay.

I wouldn’t have paid much attention to him if he hadn’t claimed he could ‘see right through me’ and implied I was some sort of liberal democrat… at that point I realized I was dealing with some sort of mentally unbalanced individual. He did indicate he was from Chicago though, and any Republican living in Chicago and having to deal with the crazy bullshit that is the Democrats up there is entitled to being a little unhinged.

Minimum Wage increase?

There is an article (click here) that you should read, that covers quite a bit of reality about the minimum wage. The article contains facts you should know.

So I make well above the minimum wage, and the whole thing shouldn’t affect me. Or should it?

I keep reading posts, and articles from people pushing for this increase. I don’t get it. I just don’t.

Do these people not understand the impact of what they are suggesting? Suppose a small business that currently employees 7 people at the $7.25 minimum has a budget for payroll of $100,000. Those 7 people at minimum wage, if they work full time, with no benefits, just their hourly wage, cost the employer $105,560. They are already over budget.

Now, raise the minimum wage to the demanded $15 an hour. That same scenario would cost $218,400. However, without raising the price of their product, the company still ahs the same $100,000 budget. So, what do they do? They keep the 3 best workers, at a cost of $93,600 and hope they can still keep things running. The other 4? They end up in the unemployment line, until unemployment runs out, then they go on welfare.

Why do they go on welfare instead of finding another job? Not because they are lazy, or untrained, but because they are not the only 4 people looking for work, the unemployment rate is going to sky-rocket because this same scenario is playing out all over the country.

The other option for employers is to raise the cost of goods and services to cover the new required wages. Payroll has more than doubled, so the cost of these goods or services is going to increase by a dramatic margin, maybe as much as 75 to 100%.

Now that $10 item you wanted? It costs $17 to $20. Your minimum wage check is not going any farther than it did before because even though you’re making twice as much, you’re now spending twice as much. Oh, but wait, all those folks on welfare? Guess what? The Feds need to raise your taxes to come up with the money to provide that welfare, so now, you’re tax rate just went from 10% to 15% (or more) meaning you have even less left over.

Sense of Entitlement?

I take the train to work most days. My wife and I drive together to the Fairview Heights station (in Fairview Heights, IL of course) and catch the Metrolink. She hops off downtown to get to her office, I ride on out to Clayton to get to mine.

We know the train schedule, and what time we need to be at the station to catch certain trains. We see the same people most days, but what amuses me is the people that can hear the driver announce “Train leaving in one minute”, who then continue to mosey along, not increasing their pace, just assuming that they are so Important, that the driver will wait for them. Then they look pissed off when the train leaves without them. I’ve seen people yelling and waving their arms, usually with the one finger salute extended, because a driver did not wait.

These people seem to think they are somehow special, Entitled, and that the rest of us, who were on time, should be made to wait, because they are too damned lazy to run, and too special to wait 6 minutes for the next train.

 

To all of them, I just want to say, Fuck You, you’re not that damned special. if you’re not somehow handicapped, and incapable of running, then you get what you deserve if you don’t move your lazy ass a little, show some hustle, and catch that train. Better yet, try leaving the house 5 minutes earlier.You know the train leaves at 6:54, you know there’s construction going on, you KNOW it takes you 15 minutes to get to the station, and 2 to walk across the lot. You know Crap happens, and you need a buffer. So leave your house at 6:30, not 6:40 and maybe you’ll catch the 6:54. If you don’t, too bad, wait for the 7:00!

Lack of planning on your part does NOT constitute an emergency on the part of the rest of us. We should not be penalized because you had to have that second cup of coffee, Get a Damned Go-Cup and drink it on the way!

Recruiters suck

I am not actively seeking other employment, but, like a lot of other people, I keep my resume up to date on Monster.com and Careerbuilder.com. Just in case, ya know?

Sadly, some headhunting agencies take advantage of this. They troll the sites, harvesting email addresses and then spam you with useless crap.

 

  Nothing, I repeat NOTHING in my resume in any way indicates that I have an interest in selling insurance, or being a financial advisor, or any thing of the sort. Yet I get emails constantly for these things.

   The really good ones start out “I recently saw your resume online…” then they start this pitch for something that has nothing to do with my resume.. I have been working in IT for 20ish years. Mostly in a support role, helpdesk, desktop, etc. The last 6 years have all been in management, and some time prior to that in Lead capacities. The other day I got an offer to look at t application developer position. I have no professional experience in programming of any sort, but she said she saw my resume. I replied, letting her know she may have seen it, but she sure as hell hadn’t bothered to read it!

   I get it from the insurance and financial advisor folks, they’re dirtbags, trying to suck you in with promises of big payouts, but first you have to pay them a  fee for training, and licensing, etc… don’t get me wrong here, not all insurance agents, or financial advisors are bad people, just the scum-buckets who run these recruiting schemes. From them, I expect spam, and zero attention to my resume, they don’t care, they just want to rope me in, take my money and move on. Real IT recruiters though? You’d think they would pay attention, yet obviously not… and it happens far to often to be a mistake.

 

  So, my new rule, I delete them all unread. There’s a slim, minute, chance that I might delete THE email, the one with the perfect job, the one of my dreams, in it… but 1/1000000 of 1% of the emails I receive are the ones that will happen on.

   I’ve taken to blacklisting these people at the server level every time I get a new email in from one of them. This way no more of their messages even get to my inbox, saving me from deleting them.

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