Monthly Archives: February 2015

ON NET NEUTRALITY

The Federal Communications Commission past a set of Internet regulations known as “Net Neutrality” by a vote of 3-2 yesterday, February 26, 2015. What is Net Neutrality and what’s it going to mean to me are the questions most asked by private citizens such as myself.

According to USA Today, Net Neutrality is the principle that Internet Service Providers should give consumers access to all legal content and applications on an equal basis, without favoring some sources and blocking others. It prohibits ISPs from charging content providers for speedier delivery of their content on “fast lanes” and deliberately slowing the content from content providers that may compete with ISPs.

ISP stands for Internet Service Provider and is a company that provides you access to the Internet. Examples include ComCast, AT&T, Verizon, etc. Content providers include companies such as Amazon and NetFlix. In other words, content providers are companies that create and distribute content. I guess Wing Nut Gal is a content provider. Sometimes ISPs can also be content providers.

The regulations are 317 pages long, but it appears that only the commissioners have seen the regulations. According to TomsGuide.com, Net Neutrality is about treating all content on the Internet equally. Websites like NetFlix and Amazon won’t be given preferential treatment in relation to any other website, no matter how small. So, ISPs can’t give content providers preferential treatment/access to more bandwidth to the Amazons and the NetFlixes of the Internet.
This is like everything else the government throws out at us. It sounds good, but what are the unintended consequences or the intended consequences, for that matter. Since I started Wing Nut Gal, I’ve said this until I’m blue in the face. Our country was founded on the principle of limited government. Government would stay out of people’s lives and give the individuals room to take care of themselves and create wealth. So, anytime the government sticks its nose into something, we have to beware. Now, I’m not a libertarian. I’m a mainstream Republican. So, I realize that government has a role to play in a lot of aspects of our lives, but we’re headed down the road to becoming a socialist country where the government provides for its citizens womb to tomb everything. You don’t have to take responsibility for any aspect of your life, government will provide.

Do you think the government is going to stop with these 317 pages of regulations? If your answer is yes, I have some swamp land in Louisiana that you might be interested in. Eventually, it’s going to be costlier to access the Internet and it won’t be as user-friendly. Will certain types of speech be prohibited? I’m sure that somewhere within the government, some little bureaucrat monitors Wing Nut Gal. Could someone be watching me, monitoring my comings and goings? Am I on some kind of list? Will I be audited by the IRS while we have a Democrat administration?

I remember back during the later years of the Clinton administration, a government website was being developed. It was touted as the only website any of us would need to visit. It was a minor news story and didn’t get much traction. Once President Bush moved into the oval office, you never heard anything else.

I don’t want the government sticking its nose into the Internet. And even if these regulations sound good to you, please activate that second brain cell and think this thing through.

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TAKING THE HEAT

Those of us who keep up with the news are familiar with Marie Harf and Jen Psaki, spokespersons for the State Department. We also know that both of these young women have come under a lot of fire lately, finding themselves having to answer difficult questions coming from the State Department press corps regarding the current administration’s struggles to define its approach to the activities of the Islamic terrorist group, ISIS. Or maybe I should just say, this administration’s lackadaisical attitude toward this group of savages.

According to Ms. Harf, in an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, we cannot win this war by killing them (members of ISIS). We cannot kill our way out of this war. We need in the longer term, medium and longer term, to go after the root causes that lead people to join these groups, whether it is the lack of opportunity for jobs.

This statement by Ms. Harf is one of the most asinine things that I have ever heard in my life. Yea, let’s create economic opportunity for them so they will quit committing their savage acts against humanity.

Ms. Psaki has been criticized at times for attempting to convey whether or not the administration wants to degrade or destroy ISIS. She also made the statement that the President does not give himself enough credit for what he has done around the world. Yea, no one fears us, no one respects us, and everyone laughs at us.

As one might expect, there has been a substantial amount of person insults directed toward both of these women. According to Phil Rosen, a Fox News reporter who sometimes covers the State Department, the two women are not only routinely vilified, but also derided and mocked in intimately personal ways that he thinks bespeak a certain amount of sexism.
When you’re public figures and these two women are, you have to be prepared to “take it” at times. I’m sure both are paid well. Now there’s no excuse for hurling insults at anyone from the gutter, but it’s going to happen. One respected conservative publication compared Harf and Psaki to Lucy and Ethel. Psaki has red hair while Harf’s hair is blonde. This is tame and is a good example of what public figures do have to withstand. If you don’t know who Lucy and Ethel are, I feel sorry for you.
The feminists are going to rise up and say that if these two ladies were men, they wouldn’t be mocked to the extent that they are being mocked. And that’s probably true. Many years ago, in a company newsletter, the following was said: “A woman has to do something twice as well as a man to be thought of half as good, luckily, this is not difficult.” It was apropos then and I think it still is. I’ve had to deal with all sorts of issues as a professional woman and it’s probably not going to stop anytime soon. We all have crosses to bear and God never promised us a life without struggles. And I’m not saying, for one minute, that we should take overt abuse and accept poor treatment. I’m a woman and I have to be good at what I do.

Women are strong and we can take it on the chin and bounce back. We’re not just emotionally strong, we’re physically strong too. We generally handle pain much better than men do. God gave us strength and resiliency because would need it. Sometimes I think the radical feminists are trying to weaken us, though.

I often think about last football season. During the infamous Alabama vs. Auburn game, Alabama’s first string quarterback struggled during the first half and into the beginning of the third quarter. Even though he was ranked the number two college quarterback in the nation, he threw three interceptions. Coach Nick Saban, the number one college football coach in the nation and the highest paid college football coach in the nation had a decision to make. Should he bench Blake and bring in Jay, the second string quarterback, who was not as good? What a tough decision to make? He stayed with Blake, Blake turned it around, and Alabama won the game. Had coach Saban’s decision been a wrong decision, the criticism would have been monumental and very public. Coach Saban is a public figure and is paid well to make those kinds of decisions, right or wrong.

For those who have criticized Ms. Harf and Ms. Psaki, including myself, we need to watch what comes out of our mouths and what gets out there for others to see. But again, these two ladies are public figures and paid well. Criticism and mockery goes with the territory. If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

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ON EQUAL PAY FOR WOMEN

First of all, one of my traditions in life is to never watch the Oscar’s. It is one of the most boring shows on TV. Of course, Hollywood is not one of my favorite environments. I do know that actress, Patricia Arquette, when she was on the podium, started shouting about equal rights and equal pay for women. And from what I also understand, actress Meryl Streep, sitting on the front row was up and down like a jack-in-the-box cheering everything Ms. Arquette was saying.
I’ve said many, many times that there are laws against discrimination, including in setting pay rates. Also, there are so many factors in setting pay rates that it’s just not right to make sweeping assumptions with a few examples.

According to Rush Limbaugh, there is a reason for women making less than men in Hollywood. It’s not sexism, racism, bigotry, etc. Women in Hollywood don’t make as much as men because they are not as big a box office draw as men. This is according to a report that Rush was able to obtain. So, there you have it, it’s the free market. It’s about money, maximizing profits, and capitalism. These are things that liberals hate and Hollywood is supposed to be almost solidly liberal, except for a few heretics. And that means Hollywood is tolerant and strives for equality everywhere, doesn’t it? Free market and profit maximization in Hollywood? How can that be? It’s only us selfish, racist, bigots that believe in the free market and are continually striving to create wealth.

Guess this unenlightened oaf just doesn’t understand.

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UNINTENDED CONSEQUENSES OR NOT?

A little over a week ago, it was reported by several news outlets that Staples, the Office Supply Giant had slashed workers’ hours in order to curb expenses related to Obamacare. The current President of the United States, of course, slammed Staples for its actions. It was later determined that Staples had not done what the current President had accused them of doing. In his message to Staples, the President seemed to be warning all businesses that they had better not start making cuts and blaming it on ACA.

In addressing the above, I’m going to start from the beginning. This country was founded on the principles that government should be limited and close to home. In other words, things should be handled in the private sector or the lowest level of government possible. The plan for the United States of America was for minimal government intrusion into their lives so its citizens would have the freedom to provide for themselves and others, if they so choose.

The United States of American is now 139 years old and boy have we changed. When you accept employment with a company, there are certain forms that you have to sign. It is understood that you are there for the company and the company has the right to terminate you or pretty much do anything else to you it wants to do. It can move you to a different job, it can cut your hours, it can give you raises, it can cut your pay, it can promote you, and it can demote you. That’s what you agreed to when you signed on to work for them. Also, you have the right to terminate your employment for any reason. You were not born with a sign on your forehead that said what you would be doing and who you would be doing it for.

Having worked for corporations, I can tell you this: Whenever the government increases corporate taxes or imposes some regulation on businesses, the business is going to compensate for the extra expense that it incurs to pay the extra taxes or implement the regulation. I couldn’t begin to tell you how many memos I have received during my corporate America years where the cost of a benefit was going up or the percentage increase for raises was decreased. Depending on your individual situation, you may have or may not have been affected. One company I worked for in the past seemed to always be increasing the employee cost for dependent health care coverage. At any rate, when businesses incur more expense, they’re going to do something about it and that’s their right.

Whenever tax increases and new regulations are implemented, I’m always concerned about job losses and other cuts. I’m also concerned about price increases for a companies’ goods and services. Enter Obamacare, and the things that we unenlightened conservative oafs warned everyone about are coming true.

It’s not just large companies that are trying to compensate for the extra money they have to pay out because of Obamacare, small companies, and even individuals have to compensate also. Being self-employed, I have to purchase health insurance on my own. I was able to go on COBRA for eighteen months and it wasn’t cheap. I had to pay the full price, but was able to keep the plan I had with my former company. When my COBRA ran out, I had to get insurance through the market place. It took about a half day to sign up and fill in all of the blanks. My premiums increased 50% from what I was paying out for COBRA. My deductible is more and my co-pays are more. It’s going to hit me hard financially. I have someone that takes care of my yard, I get my nails done once a week, and I get my hair done every five weeks. Right now I’m doing my dead level best not to have to cut out any of these services plus keep the intervals the same. All three of these folks are great friends. What if I decided to do the yard work myself and only have my nails done every two weeks? Less money would be going to these small businesses. It’s a ripple effect that hurts the economy and individuals as well. That 50 percent is going to the government instead of into our economy.

Were the current President and the Democrats surprised by this? They shouldn’t have been. Was the current President alone surprised by this? Again, he shouldn’t have been, but considering this President has never worked in the private sector, he may not have been aware of these consequences. Somebody should have told him, though. Well actually, he may have been told, but just didn’t listen. Remember, he was a community organizer until he was elected to the Illinois State Senate. Then he was elected to the United States Senate, and was subsequently elected President.

ACA is or will be affecting every man, woman, and child in the United States of America; most in a negative way. It still frustrates me that the leaders of this country, instead of concentrating on those 15 million people that didn’t have health insurance and trying to do something for them and leaving the rest of us alone; have hurt the vast majority of the American people. And as I said above, Obamacare is having a negative impact on the economy.

A couple of nights ago, I was sitting in front of my computer screen thinking about what was going on in this still great country of ours. We’ve lost so many of our freedoms and Islamic terrorism is spreading west. The current President of the United States is downplaying the threat and trying to get us to believe that climate change is our greatest threat. If we don’t take the Islamic terrorist threat seriously, we won’t have to worry about climate change.

While I’m a news and political junkie, so many good folks may glance at the headlines in a newspaper or their state’s news website. Furthermore, what news they may get is from the mainstream media which is largely left leaning. They wouldn’t dare watch Fox News or listen to Rush Limbaugh because liberals have told everyone that Fox News, Rush, Hannity, etc. lie. These folks aren’t as astute as me. And I really can’t expect everyone to be like me. And if they were, we wouldn’t need network TV.
As a result of all my thoughts, I will soon begin research for a non-fiction book that will explain the differences between Democrats and Republicans. It’s always been my theory that most Americans are really Republicans. They call themselves Democrats or moderates because they don’t know the actual difference and they disagree with the Republicans on a few issues. I wrote a couple of posts outlining the differences last spring, but feel that a book with a catchy title might educate some folks. The catchy title I’ve come up with now is, Read at Your own Risk, You just might be a Republican. This is all preliminary and depends on the results of my research. I’ll keep you posted.

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UNION MEMBERSHIP IS DOWN

As some of us will remember, almost a year ago, the United Auto Workers was dealt a stinging blow when a majority of the employees at a Volkswagen plant near Chattanooga, Tennessee voted against establishing a union. The loss came after plant management welcomed the union into the plant for the purpose of promoting membership in the United Auto Workers Union. Needless to say, the pro-union far left was devastated and blamed the Republican politicians who didn’t support the unionization of the plant.

According to an article in dailysignal.com on January 23, union membership rate falls to a 100 year low. The Daily Signal goes on to indicate that union membership has been on a steady decline over the past three decades, although it grew slightly in 2008.
The liberals/Democrats were beside themselves when the workers voted down unionization. Of course, they blamed the Republicans and George W. Bush. They also trashed the southern state of Tennessee, calling the good people of Tennessee lots of unflattering names.

Now why wouldn’t anyone want to join a union? Usually union-scale wages are higher, you get better benefits, and when the union contract is up, you might get a couple of days off should the members go on strike. You get to “cut up” a bit and say bad things about your superiors without fear of losing you job.

At one time, unions were a good thing. People were working sixteen hours a day, seven days a week, and making a dollar a day. There were no child labor laws and worker safety wasn’t a factor. If a worker got hurt on the job and was unable to work again, he was let go and lost any earning capacity. If a worker was killed on the job, no benefits were paid to his family and the family lost a wage earner.

Unions came in and changed all of that making mobility between classes possible. When unions were first established, a large majority of workers were illiterate and not capable of communicating with management. Besides, management had no obligations workers and would just fire a worker if he or she complained.

I really believe that a major factor in the decline of union membership is the rise in public education. Up until I’d guess, the mid-seventies, there were workers who were not able to read, write, and do simple math. In other words, they never went to school and were illiterate. These folks were pretty much destined to be manual laborers. Any kind of upward mobility was very, very limited for these individuals. As a result, these individuals did really need someone to represent them and make sure they were being paid adequately for the work they were doing, and were receiving other benefits that would allow them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. With the forty hour work week, the folks had free time on their hands to enjoy. The money they were making and the benefits they were receive compliments of the union, allowed them to purchase automobiles, telephones, televisions, radios, etc. They were also able to take vacations.

Now, children must enroll in school or be home-schooled until the age of sixteen. As folks are required to have more education, upward mobility between social classes and the workplace is more common. If a person gets an education and works hard, chances are that person will succeed in life.

I’ve never been employed in a place where there was union presence, but I do know that the presence of a union in the modern day workplace, more often than not, drives a wedge between management and non-management employees. Plus, there are so many tacky rules to follow.

My mother spent almost all of her career working for the Cullman Electric Co-operative. The Co-op purchased electricity from the TVA and sold it to its members. For the Cullman Electric Co-operative, its members were those who resided in rural Cullman County, Alabama. The Co-op was a small to medium company in a smaller town.

Whenever there was inclement weather in the area and power outages were occurring, the manager, the late Claude E. Wood, always worked the radio because he wanted to do it and be a part of getting the power back on to the members. With Mr. Wood, working the radio, this would free up a few extra linemen to facilitate the efforts.

Shortly before Mama retired, the union came in and made their pitch to the employees who voted to go union. Mama, being management, was against the union coming in and felt that it would ruin a really good place to work. After the union took over, Mr. Wood was not allowed to work the radio anymore. Others who didn’t regularly work as linemen, but would do so when the weather was bad, were also prohibited from working on the lines. Only linemen could work on the lines to restore power.

The higher educated worker coming into the workplace and having aspirations of climbing the corporate ladder, wants to work and work hard. Also, he or she wants to be friendly with managers and let the managers know they’re willing to do what it takes to get ahead. They don’t want to deal with that wedge and they don’t want to be squelched by a bunch of union rules. Also, with folks more educated now than they were in the middle of the twentieth century, they are better able to communicate with their superiors and if they have a problem, would prefer to talk to their manager directly than have to go through a grievance committee. Also, it is likely that most, if not all of the managers, once worked on the plant floor and could better identify with the employee.

In the case of the Chattanooga Volkswagen plant, the workers were aware of the differences in the non-union plants and the union plants. The non-union plants were always clean as a whistle and there was a family-like atmosphere. Employees cared for one another. Union plants were almost always filthy and there was friction between workers and management. Two good examples were the Honda plant in Lincoln, Alabama and the Mercedes plant in Vance, Alabama.

It’s ironic to me that the teachers’ unions push getting an education, but lean very left. They think that solutions to their problems would be resolved by just pouring money on the problem and getting that money from the rich. They resent the rich and even resent middle class folks who are working hard and becoming successful. So, let’s see…you should get an education in the public schools, but when you do and you work hard and become successful and start voting Republican, we’re going to turn on you and come after your money.

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