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Monday, September 01, 2008

Labor Day

It is Labor Day. The day that labor is honored.

So, if you think unions suck you know what you should do today? WORK! Without pay. And if you get a paid day off, demand for your boss to never do this to you again. Forfeit all your sick and paid vacation time too. You should probably also demand a pay cut.

Because you see, thanks to unions we have a middle class. We also have weekends, days off, sick leave, vacation leave, overtime pay, and all that other good stuff.

Unless of course you are so delusional that you really think all this was the idea of business. Which it was not Because you see, it represented a transfer of wealth from the factory owners to the factory workers. And why would they want to do that?

Because labor organized, and demanded these things or else there would be no workers. No workers means factories sit idle, which means nobody makes money.

This terrified management back then, and still does today. This is why some companies are so quick to bust up any signs of a union today. Wal-Mart has been known to close entire stores (and fire everyone working there) because a few employees dared to utter the U word. Never mind the fact the stores were new. It was better to close them down than let labor organize.

Some things never change huh?

In other news - I chipped a tooth. I do not know how this happened. I was just sitting here doing nothing and it happened. I noticed this little piece of hard stuff in my mouth, spit it out, and then discovered that one of my front teeth felt different.

So now the little chip missing is really bugging me. It does not hurt, it is just annoying. Ill have to do something about it. I hope it is a cheap fix.

In other OTHER news, on this day in 1935 a major hurricane hit South Florida. The storm has no name, it is just known as "the Labor Day hurricane". At least 423 people were killed, many WWI veterans who were employed building the railroad (which was also destroyed never to be rebuilt).

The federal government had offered a train to the railroad company to evacuate people, but the railroad executives relied on a primitive forecast that had the hurricane staying offshore. There was also some sort of "communication error" leading the company to think that a train could be sent from Miami quicker than what was actually possible. There was no train in Miami.

Earnest Hemmingway would write about the hurricane in a magazine article titled "Who killed the vets".

"You're dead now brother, but who left you there in the hurricane months on the Keys where a thousand men died before you when they were building the road that's washed out now? Who left you there? And what's the punishment for manslaughter now?"

The railroad was found not liable for anything in a later investigation.

Right now as I type this the effects of a major category 3 storm are starting to be felt along the US Gulf Coast. The 2 AM update comes out in about 10 minutes, at which time the path it will take for landfall is pretty much a certainty. There will also be another wind speed update.

Unlike 1935, this is a cat 3 storm and not a cat 5. The 1935 storm was the most intense storm known to have hit the US - however Wilma and Gilbert had lower pressures. Intensity is tied to pressure - the lower the worse it is. Gilbert did not make landfall in the USA, and by the time Wilma hit South Florida it was only a category 2.

Also, unlike 1935 and more recently three years ago - there were massive evacuations. People took this storm seriously and acted accordingly. As a result, we should not see the massive loss of life. There will be property damage, but property with nobody in it means nobody gets hurt.

I just hope everyone left in time to get somewhere. You do not want to be in the car when these things hit.

And just now, the 2 AM update came in. The thing slowed down - which is bad. It does not look like it will be a category 4, which is GOOD. It is not getting stronger.

I do not know about the path. The satellite images suggest a wobble, but it is really hard to tell the path of these things just by a short satellite loop.

It is also wrong to only look at one city. The TV is obsessed with New Orleans, but that is not the only town in the area. It may be the largest, but it is not the only fish in the pond. People ARE going to have property damage out of this. I do not know who, I just know there will be damage.

And if the levees in New Orleans hold - here is another danger. Next time fewer people will leave. Leaving is really a pain in the ass. You have to pack up everything, then find a place to go. If you are lucky you have friends or family living somewhere else you can visit. Otherwise you have to find a public shelter or a hotel.

Public shelters suck. They are better than nothing, but they are not really a place you want to be unless you have to.

It happened here. After Andrew when there was a storm alert everyone took it very seriously. shutters were up, supplies were grabbed, and people did go to shelters.

But it was a fake hurricane. Many people left the shelters only a few hours after arriving.

So now, if an evacuation is called for Miami - I wonder how many will stay?

Relief groups will need money after this. Consider a donation to the American Red Cross, and/or one of the church based groups that will undoubtedly respond to this disaster. Just do a little bit of homework first, and make sure it is a real charity and not some scam that collects money and then delivers nothing.

Hanna is no longer a concern for me. It will not be a South Florida event. All eyes are on Gus right now.

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Blogger actonbell said...

Rabbit, rabbit, and Happy Labor Day!


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