Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Small Business In HV Buys Into Rhetoric Of Corporate Shills

This is our editor's response to a recent article which appeared on HVNN, with a link to and excerpts from their original piece:

Business Council Opposes $15 Minimum Wage

The respondents employ from 10 to more than 100 employees representing 30 different industries and organizations.

Among the key conclusions of those who expressed opposition to the $15 wage:

    97% said it would decrease their hiring from youth workforce development programs.

First, it's sad but true that there are adults who need those jobs much more in many instances. Yet somehow society has come to this false notion that certain jobs are simply "meant for kids" to go out and buy video games or something, rather than saving for college even. Secondly, if a youth really does need that job in order to support themselves or to help support their families, they deserve a living wage as much as any other worker. You might be surprised how many youths are out there today, on their own, trying to get by at 16 or 17 years old. So let's not base this decision on age discrimination.

    91% would likely or definitely hire fewer employees.

This is always one of the big threats whenever there is talk of wage increases, but it is actually a hallmark of bad business leadership, and empty rhetoric. If it takes, let's say five people, to operate a shift at your store, that's how many people you have to have per shift. No more, no less. No one hires workers they don't need. Business isn't charity. You aren't going to go out and hire a bunch of people to stand around.

    47% said it would somewhat or significantly drive up wages for other employees.

I don't see this as a problem at a time in our nation's history where wages have never been lower for the majority of blue collar workers. Driving up wages is the entire point here.

    46% would likely or definitely curtail expansion plans.

Expansion plans are not based on what you pay an hourly worker, but rather demand for your product in the market place. Less money in the pockets of working class means less demand for goods and services. If you want to expand your business, that can only be done by creating market liquidity. In other words, paying the working class better wages, in order to create demand and to support expanded business.

    42% would likely or definitely reduce employee benefits to make up for the increase.

Benefits? Who has benefits anymore? Even the very few places that do offer them, offer them at some ridiculous amount like a quarter of your salary with a $5k deductible.
   37% said it would likely or definitely cause layoffs.

You can't lay off workers you that you need to make your business operate. We have already established that business is not a charity, and no reasonable business owner hires workers they don't need. Again, if it takes five people to operate a shift in your store, it takes five people, simple as that. Sure, you could try to make the other four people work harder, and create a disgruntled staff in the process to the point that they go out of their way to actually sabotage your business. It's a "cut off your nose to spite your face" approach. It will only degrade the quality of the goods you are producing and the service you provide to your customers, sending buyers elsewhere, to businesses where workers are happier, and business owners are wiser.

    15% said they would need to close their businesses.

Don't blame the working class for your failed business model. It doesn't matter what someone does for a living, or who they are, no one should ever be paid any less than what is needed for basic survival without need for public assistance. Don't expect taxpayers to subsidize the labor costs for your failed business model.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Police Supporter Troll Attack Gets Admin Banned From Facebook

One of our favorite admins has been banned from Facebook after being attacked by a troll in the review section of our own page.

The review apparently stemmed from that admin's comments on a story published over at PoliceOne. Some state, I can't remember which, just passed a law allowing retired police officers to carry a gun into a bar, while still banning anyone else from carrying their legally licensed and owned gun into a bar. Presumably, even the bar owner himself is still barred from carrying a firearm into their own bar, unless they were a police officer at some point. So our admin commented that he disagreed with the law, and any law which gives police special privileges, elevating them to a separate class above the citizenry of this nation. This latest exemption for police is yet another open assault against the Second Amendment rights of the citizens.

Someone who was not even involved in that discussion hit our page with a bad review, after reading that comment. We are not typically very concerned about bad reviews. We aren't here to win a popularity contest. What is popular is usually ignorant crap that is not at all in the best interest of the people, or in accordance with the founding principles of this nation. But this particular person was not simply content to leave a bad review.

They went on to continue attacking the page, in true troll form, posting insulting memes, blaring out that we were all "cop-haters" so on and so forth, even to the point of threatening legal action against the page. Although we have only banned, literally, about 3 or 4 people in the lifetime of our page, our admin tried to ban this troll after incessant attack, but found that the function no longer worked, even when operating the page in administrator mode. So the admin went on to defend the page, in a tit-for-tat shootout of sorts, in the review section. The troll then reported a complaint to Facebook. This resulted in Facebook actually banning our own page administrator, who was simply defending our page against an extremely aggressive attack, stemming from a relatively minor debate.

Now, as the senior page administrator, I have a few observations to make in light of losing one of my best commentators for the time-being.

First, I don't believe a page should even be required to have a review section. We aren't a restaurant or a cab service here. Our admins wade into the thick of contentious issues and current events with their opinions in an effort to inform, and inspire fruitful debate. So really, it's no wonder that our review section has simply become a sounding-board for people to attack the page, after they have lost a debate or want to simply derail a legitimate discussion happening elsewhere. Essentially, our review section is a troll's best friend. An open forum for ad hominem attack to discredit the source, while ignoring the actual issue at hand. This is a classic tactic of disinformation.

Second, the overwhelming majority of bad reviews and outright attacks have come from police officers and friends of police officers. Despite the fact that one of our admins actually worked in law enforcement for many years, despite the fact that several of our admins have worked as first-responders in general, despite the fact that we often support the police and routinely share "good cop" stories, we are branded a "cop hater" page because of the few occasions where an admin has had the audacity to disagree with the status quo.

Keep in mind that we cover all sorts of news material, current events, politics, and social issues. We get into debates all over Facebook, here on our own page, and on pages from which stories we have shared originated. Many of these debates get pretty heated. People can be vicious when debating things like the minimum wage, poverty, marriage and family issues, left vs. right politics, and so on. Yet none of those discussions stir the wrath of a troll attack so much as questioning the police. Now keep in mind, that there are many law-enforcement officers out there who are "oath keepers" and "three-percenters" and Constitutionalists who take their oath seriously. Many of those officers themselves disagree with the direction our country has taken, toward a totalitarian police state, and instead strive to uphold the values of the Constitution. Yet any challenge whatsoever to police in general, and the status quo, are met with the most aggressive and underhanded attacks.

This latest troll to attack our page wasn't even a police officer, but a bulldozer operator. Though often we have been openly attacked by police officers themselves too. Rather than discussing the issue at hand, the page itself is attacked. This hits on a whole bunch of tactics of disinformation.

Seeing now that proportion of bad reviews regarding police issues, the action taken by Facebook against our page, along with so many current headlines and stories, leaves me truly frightened as to our current state of affairs in this country. The police, more and more each day, demand blind obedience. Police "supporters" are fanatical in defending the police, even when the police themselves openly admit they have crossed the line. We are not talking here about obedience to our country, nor obedience to the Constitution, not obedience to the values of liberty and freedom, nor obedience to achievements of wisdom and truth, but obedience to the police themselves. This is an extremely dangerous precedent. Are we now expected to pledge allegiance to the police? Having one look at our review page, the answer appears to be "yes."


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Town of Poughkeepsie PD Gets Letter From Citizen

We do quite a bit of chatting behind the scenes, both online and in the real world. Some of our admins are or have been first-responders, another works closely with the poor, and so on, so we hear and talk about a lot more than just the news headlines we share daily with you folks. From time to time these private discussions are quite interesting, to say the least. On this particular occasion, we were given permission to share this letter which was written to a local police department:

Dear Town of Poughkeepsie Police,

I wish to extend to you a letter of thanks, and apology.

A few weeks ago I was found in a drunken stupor, and acting belligerently. Though I remember nothing of the incident myself, being "blackout" drunk, I am told by those who witnessed the incident that I was, quite simply put, out of control. I recently suffered yet another family tragedy, which led up to my foolish behavior and bad choices. That is not meant to be  an excuse, just a point of explanation of how the situation evolved. It is also true that I suffer from both mental and physical disabilities. Again though, my own poor choices are ultimately what led to my embarrassing state that day.

I am told that during a melee with several officers, I actually kicked one officer. I want to apologize whole-heartedly to that officer in particular for my offense. Now too then, my apologies go to all of the officers involved, for being called out to manage my foolish behavior in the first place. I also want to thank those officers for the manner in which they handled the situation. I am well aware that things could have absolutely gone a lot worse for me, but the officers at the scene managed to de-escalate the situation successfully with distinct professionalism and discretion.

Although this was ultimately just a blip on the radar in the day in the life of a police officer, I intend to make this letter public, in order to show how police handle situations. In America today we often see headlines and news stories showing police in a negative light, but I feel it is important to show another side. Police officers respond to thousands upon thousands of "routine" calls just like this one, that the public never sees nor care to think much about. So as a token of my appreciation for you officers being there to help, how you handled my situation, and for the work that you do in general, I will be posting this letter to social media as well.

Once again officers, my most sincere apologies and warmest thanks. Stay safe out there.


A Local Citizen

Police were assisted at the scene by local EMS services.