Black Shards Press – Electronic Gumbo is Our Specialty

Fat Russian Ballerina Must Be Re-hired

30.09.2003 (7:25 pm) – Filed under: Humor,World ::

Now here’s proof that there’s democracy in Russia! Still, 110 pounds is a better than average military press.

Annan: Expand Security Council

24.09.2003 (3:47 pm) – Filed under: Politics,World ::

In a rare moment of lucidity, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Inane appealed to world leaders Tuesday to expand the Security Council.

This is a good idea, I think, and perhaps one could begin by cleansing the SC of France, a never-was on the international stage. The problem, however, lies in the veto power enjoyed by the current permanent members. This would have to be done away with if the future body is to function.

Federal Court Rules Against Do-Not-Call List

24.09.2003 (3:36 pm) – Filed under: Law,Stupidity ::

What a bunch of freaking morons. This should demonstrate the difference between law and justice, sense and nonsense. Even a child would recognize the legitimacy of this long overdue privacy measure. All the doofuses had to do was exactly nothing and yet they’ve managed to screw it up.

Less Foreign Workers = Better Job Outlook?

23.09.2003 (4:38 pm) – Filed under: Business ::

One would like to think that the Feds cutting back on the number of visas issued to high-tech workers would improve the prospects for U.S. residents in this job segment.

However, I suspect that companies that have gotten a taste of getting something for nothing, albeit a far cry from what they need, will continue to ship these jobs overseas. Witness Hewlett-Packard and others in the Houston area are aggressively moving to shed American workers from their payrolls.

The advertisements on radio and TV for technical trade schools and junior colleges are so painfully inaccurate as to be laughable. Once hyped as the career path of the future, technology job opportunities are currently far and few between even for those who, having already invested heavily in the field, are highly qualified.

It’s not only technology workers who are affected. Recall the wholesale dismantling of the steel industry, massive layoffs in the textile and automotive industries, and the nationwide job cuts in the 1980s. Corporate America has shown little loyalty to workers here at home; they frequently claim that no qualified job candidates exist while laying off current employees who could easily be trained to fill the positions in question.

It is no stretch of the imagination to envision a future in which corporate leaders preside over a dominion made up nearly exclusively of foreign workers while home-grown labor is forced into low-paying, service-oriented jobs. Have they considered the question of who will buy their products then?

All of this is not to say that Congress returning the visa quota back to its pre-2000 level is a bad thing. In fact, it is long overdue as demonstrated by the plummeting earning potential of IT professionals.

Modern War Leaders

19.09.2003 (12:34 am) – Filed under: Humor,Iraq ::

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Ha ha.

Anniversary

11.09.2003 (6:46 pm) – Filed under: Society ::

Who in my generation will forget 9/11/2001??? I was talking to some of the managers at work who compared it to the JFK assassination in their youth.

One difference is that the JFK murder has never been publicly brought to justice. Bin Laden has not, as yet, but at least we know who we’re after.

Politics in California

11.09.2003 (5:07 pm) – Filed under: Politics ::

Under the heading of ‘we’ll try anything to keep a Democrat in office‘, ACLU claims ballots used for years unsuitable for Governor’s recall election. Right…

Meanwhile, it’s OK for Gray Davis to be “insensitive” to Arnie’s speech challenge.

An idea from India that actually makes sense.

07.09.2003 (5:59 pm) – Filed under: Technology,World ::

An idea from India that actually makes sense.

State-run Indian Railways is planning to introduce systems to prevent collisions and to keep drivers alert.

And you thought you’d never see the day!

Drivel…

07.09.2003 (5:00 pm) – Filed under: Child Care,Family Values,Society ::

Ana Veciana-Suarez’s column on child-care research is just that.

There’s so little that is sensible about this article that it’s hard to identify a point to pick on, but I’ll try.

“Yet, as a society we’ve failed miserably in keeping up with the times and providing better options for families, particularly those who can’t afford top care.”


Are we as families obligated to pay for someone else’s kids to have “top care”? No! If you have a child, you have assumed a virtual plethora of responsibliites. If you want your child to have top care, quit your job and provide it for him or her. Or prepare yourself for your responsibilities ahead of time by going to college and creating a successful career so you can afford to delegate your parental responsibilities to someone with the right stuff.

“…many working families with children younger than 13 put nearly 10 percent of monthly earnings toward the expense of child care.”


If the average day care runs about $500-600 per month, then we’re talking about people making $66,000 per year. If one is going to make a case for a handout, these are not the people who need it.

“And what do parents get for their money? Not always what they deserve.”


As Clint Eastwood once said, “Deserve’s got nothing to do with it. If you’re not happy with your child care situation, try taking care of your own children. For many people, the marginal income earned as a result of dumping one’s issue into the system is barely worth having.

If one is concerned about one’s ability to provide for a suitable lifestyle of one’s children, the time prior to conception is the opportune moment to consider one’s options, responsibilities, and capabilities.

“Instead of concentrating on the same old debate about whether to have your kid in child care, let’s face the fact that it’s a need, and turn our research and money to making it better…That’s the real child-care debate. “


Genius, sheer genius. Except for the little problem of reality, I could almost agree. Improving the situation as Maria suggests by dedicating ourselves “To lowering child-staff ratio. To providing a clean, stimulating environment. To training new teachers and keeping experienced ones.” will do one thing: raise the cost of child care. All of these worthy goals cost money. Lots of money.

The fact is that child care is considered a second or third tier problem by the consumers of these services – parents. A better approach to the child care problem would be for people to manage their finances in such a way that they can raise their own children. This may mean driving an older car, watching a smaller television, or using an older PC, but that’s life.

Of course, if we do the things that Maria suggests and day care costs sky-rocket, people at the low end of the income spectrum will naturally turn to quitting work and raising their own children. Maybe Maria’s smarter than I gave her credit for. But I’m guessing this is not what she meant.

Exploring Mars

04.09.2003 (11:04 am) – Filed under: Space,Technology ::

Wow! Read Bruce Murray’s editorial on what NASA’s mission should be.

I wish I could have said it as well. The one thing Dr. Murray left out was the utter failure of the government to allocate an appropriate amount of funds to the space agency.

Judging from the priorities of Congress, it’s apparently a better investment to dole out welfare checks than it is to undertake scientific research and space exploration. This is, of course, completely wrong. There are few more important objectives for America than establishing a leading position in space technology.