Ain’t coming back

Chrysler reports that it’s shutting down minivan production. “Foreman said, ‘These jobs are goin’, boys, and they ain’t comin’ back … to your hometown.” Bruce was right then, and he’d be right to say it now, too, but not for the reasons he thinks.

It’s not because of free trade, or even because folks in other countries are willing to be exploited. It’s not because of gasoline prices or awful automotive design and engineering. It’s not because of a general economic decline.

Those jobs are going, boys, because the structure of American automobile labor arrangements is hopeless — even for the private equity boys who bought Chrysler. Or, maybe, precisely for the private equity boys, who watch dollars and understand what they do better than millions of public shareholders.

They’re watching dollars go into hopelessly out of date union seniority rules, health plans, pensions — the kind of benefits that few credentialed professionals can hope for, much less semi-skilled auto plant labor. And them dollars, boys, they ain’t coming back.

Gas prices will fall, and a lot, in the next year. American cars will continue to get better and better. American factories will continue to put out very good products in the industries in which they’re competitive.

But unless and until the United Auto Workers fundamentally changes itself into something that is culturally, historically and politically it never has been, is not, and probably never can be, they ain’t comin’ back.

Cross-posted on Right Wing News.

The last time, as parody

I don’t go to the movies. Long story; I don’t. And we don’t have a TV. So I don’t usually know what’s going on Hollywood wise until I travel on business. Then I put on the (free) TV while eating my peanut butter sandwiches in my hotel room and maybe catch up with a few pieces of some movies.

Long story short, I’m in Phoenix again in a nicely chilled room at the Hyatt, and there on HBO is a Elliott Gould, the subject of one of the first posts on this blog, doing the worst Borscht Belt version of a Mayer Lansky I have ever seen. “Reuben Tishkoff.” (In the pic at left he’s doing a Swifty Lazar turn. Groan.)

I am sure he was thinking it would be fun to go over the top with this, but need we be reminded that Elliott — as I was in that post — already pushed this with his appearances on “Friends”? Really, if Hollywood weren’t run by the Jews you could get Abe Foxman to put out a press release over group libel like this.

Just saying. This was painful, and Reuben’s vaudevillian heart attack right at the beginning turn left me pretty ambivalent. Didn’t exactly inspire me to stay up and watch the movie. It was late and I was three hours behind the game anyway. And don’t even mention Continental Airlines.

It wasn’t what I needed at 11 PM in Phoenix, you know, feeling like the only… “Easterner”… on the street.

The family secret

Maniakes writes, on Dean’s World:

You keep using that word [– atheism]. I do not think it means what you think it means.

As he demonstrates, according to a report a meaningful percentage of self-described atheists admit they really believe in God.

That’s the ones who admit it.

It’s just socially cooler in a lot of places to claim to be an atheist than to say either, “I don’t know” or “God, yeah, but religion I can’t buy into.”  Yes, even the latter; once you admit there’s a God , there’s no end to the thing.

No end to it at all!

Past Present Future

Past Present Future

Originally uploaded by Ron Coleman

Who are you to say?

Search on for homely, unkempt receptionists who don’t eat

“Asking for Coffee Not Grounds for Sex Harassment Suit”:

[Judge Berle M. ] Schiller found that plaintiff Tamara Klopfenstein failed to allege even a prima facie case of sex discrimination because she cannot show that she was treated differently from any “similarly situated” male employees since there was only one receptionist in the office and the job had always been held by a woman. . . .

Plaintiffs attorneys . . . said in an interview that they intend to appeal the ruling, and that Schiller erred by failing to recognize that some tasks are “inherently more Immaculate receptionoffensive to women.”

Not that there’s anything circular about that. If the plaintiff were to win such an appeal, it would amount to a ruling that by virtue of a job usually being done by women, it is inherently offensive to ask women to do it.

Such a ruling would surely do wonders for women’s employment prospects. Did President Clinton have any idea a person who would pass up the opportunity to craft such a doctrine was his nominee for this federal judgeship back in 2000? When are we going to break free of these sexist chains? Man, just wait till the next time someone asks me to move a refrigerator.

And it wasn’t just the coffee that stained Klopfenstein’s experience at this shop:

According to court papers, Klopfenstein worked for six weeks as a part-time receptionist and data entry clerk. In her suit, she claims that the office environment was tinged with sexism from the very beginning when a vice president of the company made a note after her initial interview that she “looks nice, dresses well.”

Well, who would want that in a receptionist?

After just a few weeks on the job, Klopfenstein claims that a male co-worker invited her to lunch in an e-mail that said “I feel bad you have been working here for a couple of weeks and we haven’t gotten to know each other yet.”

In her deposition, Klopfenstein testified that she found the invitation “very offensive” because “there is no reason why a man and a woman should go out to lunch together without any other party around. To me that’s a date.”

Being asked to lunch — “very offensive” indeed! And the guy actually was going to make everyone else leave the restaurant! Please, do we have to connect the dots?! Yet the law would not take notice.

Okay, I know what you’re wondering, but you’re afraid to ask. Given all this offensiveness and tingeing, I can hardly blame you, but I’m here to bring it all on home. What you want to know is: Judge Berle M. Schiller… uh, what kind of name is that? “Berle”?

It’s a boy’s name. (Hat tip to Overlawyered.)

UPDATE:  Similar thinking from Classical Values (via Glenn).

Get some sleep. For my sake!

No surprise here:  “Sleep deprivation disconnects the emotional brain”:

Disturbed sleep patterns feature in a range of psychiatric disorders, many of which fall under the DSM’s mood disorder category. A recent paper by Yoo et al (2007) suggests that sleep deprivation itself can produce abnormal affective processing. In other words, sleep disturbances may be a cause as well as a symptom in conditions such as depression.

Thank Yoo very much, but anyone who’s lived in the world much knows this, right?

Good night.

Attorney Ronald D. Coleman