Tag Archives: Pushing Buttons

Sharing the Boss

Some things are just too good to keep to myself:

 

 

I found this at Dailykos.com, and it made my morning– enjoy!

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Filed under Campaigning, Conspicuous consumption, Criminal Activity, Daily Kos, Disgustology, Driving, Elections, GOP, Huh?, Humor, Hypocrisy, Law, Politics, Stupidity, Traffic

Freedom Industries! and why I ♥ Regulations

It’s the mantra that makes me want to grab the TV remote, smack the person who held it, and change the channel ASAP away from FOX News.

THERE’S TOO MUCH REGULATION!

Me?  I  Regulations.  I dote on them.  I support them.

I understand them and why they are there.  I even lecture about them (and not just here on Word Press – people actually pay me money to do so).*  Regulations, I always tell folks, are the IKEA instructions that accompany the bookcase.  They are the “how-tos.”

Laws are enacted in response to our understanding that a problem exists, and we need to change what we do as a country to prevent it from happening again.  At the same time, we hopefully have enough vision to see some of the related problems that might occur and try to prevent them from occurring.  A few examples:

Our current Food and Drug laws, the Food and Drug Act of 1936 and the Food and Drug Act Amendments (commonly known as the Kefauver-Harris Amendments).  The FDCA was first enacted after a manufacturer added antifreeze (without testing its effects on people, animals or using their brains very much at all) to a cough remedy to make it more palatable to the kiddies.  The then-current law didn’t actually say that they couldn’t add antifreeze.  Guess what happened!  105 people died.

Another disaster involving a drug that was tested and tried, thalidomide, was found to cause serious birth defects in the babies born to pregnant women.  It wasn’t ever approved in the US thanks to Dr. Frances Kelsey

Dr. Frances Kelsey.   (Photo from Wikipedia article you should have already linked to and read.)

Dr. Frances Kelsey.
(Photo from Wikipedia article you should have already linked to and read.  What are you waiting for?)

Laws designed to safeguard our waters and land came about mostly in the 1970s after two hundred years of treating our country’s land and water like a sewer.  Diseases were springing up in neighborhoods where chemical companies had dumped chemicals.

Love Canal, where Hooker Chemical buried 21,000 tons of toxic waste! (Google Image)

Love Canal, where Hooker Chemical buried 21,000 tons of toxic waste!
(Google Image)

Our rivers were polluted.  If you fell into the Potomac River when I first moved here in 1979, you had to get a typhoid shot.  The Cuyahoga River in Cleveland burned.

Cuyahoga River Burns (June 22, 1969) (Google Image)

Cuyahoga River Burns (June 22, 1969)
(Google Image)

And so our then-FUNCTIONAL Congress (made up of folks who understood why they were elected and who believed in compromise and who believed in the need for government) passed laws to protect us and our land and our water and our air.  Now, our hazardous materials and hazardous waste are to be carefully monitored under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act.  Under the Clean Water Act.  The Clean Air Act.  And a bunch of others designed to keep you and me safe and keep industry behaving itself.

But laws only say:

 We’re Gonna Fix This Problem

Regulations give us step by step instructions on

How to Fix This Problem

Regulations are very specific.  In order to comply, you must do A,B and C, according to specific instructions.  When regulations are promulgated the agency asks the regulated industry to comment on them, how to make them more manageable, workable, less expensive to follow.  But the regulations cover testing, manufacturing techniques, storage, monitoring, record-keeping, transportation, the works.  Regulations have the force of law.  If a company doesn’t follow them, they are liable for penalties and/or imprisonment.

Regulations

Regulations protect me.  They protect you.  They protect the United States of America from bad manufacturers.  They penalize the bad ones so that they don’t get away with messing up our planet.  They must be strong enough so that manufacturers fear them and therefore follow them.  Slaps on the wrist are ignored when there is money to be made by ignoring regulations. They must be strong.  (Because remember, there are idiots who would add antifreeze to cough syrup for a buck.)

Regulations are the rules that society agrees to adhere to often in spite of the fact that they are a serious pain in the ass.

Regulations, I say to those still awake in my lectures, are like the IKEA instructions.  The furniture is no good without them.  But they need to be followed.

Take this week’s Freedom Industries leak of 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol, or Crude MCHM, a heavy-duty chemical used in processing coal.  Current estimates are that this leak — from a facility brilliantly located upriver from a water purification plant — contaminated the drinking water of more than 100,000 residents of West Virginia.

Thirsty? (Photo from CNN)

Thirsty?
(Photo from CNN)

Freedom Industries has said don’t know when the spill started.  They don’t know how much spilled.  They don’t know whether the stuff that has made the entire area smell like licorice is, in fact, terribly toxic to people or if so, how toxic it is to human health.

They are supposed to know or they didn’t comply with the regulations.

They are supposed to measure the amount in the tanks.  Frequently.

They are supposed to record the amount they add or remove from the tanks.  Every single time they do this.

They are supposed to test.  Frequently.

They are supposed to monitor for leaks.  Frequently.

They are supposed to comply with the regulations.  It seems as if they did not.

They are supposed to make sure that they don’t fucking contaminate the fucking water for a hundred thousand people and possibly, probably more.

And if they didn’t they should go to jail.

I’m betting that they didn’t — that they didn’t follow the regulations.  Time will tell.

Freedom Industries  (Washington Post Image)

Freedom Industries
(Washington Post Image)

Just imagine what the rest of our country, our land, our rivers, our air, would be like if there were no regulations.  And you know, don’t you, that the Republican party is oh-so-determined to cut regulations.  To protect industry.  Not you.  Not me.  Industry.  Like Freedom Industries.

Do me a favor.  Think of Freedom Industries whenever you hear someone bitch about the loss of freedom from regulations.

Think of what we’d lose without regulation.

*   *   *

* From 1980-1989, I analyzed environmental regulations and drafted memos to folks on the steps they needed to comply with the regulations that are designed to keep our land, water and air cleaner.

For the past 10 years, I’ve examined a zillion company documents that show how they comply with their IKEA instructions.

*     *     *

Yeah, I know I said I wouldn’t be around much.  But sometimes I just can’t shut up.

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Filed under Climate Change, Conspicuous consumption, Criminal Activity, Disgustology, Elections, GOP, Health and Medicine, History, Huh?, Humor, Hypocrisy, Law, Science, Stupidity, Technology, Voting

Stones Bookends

Next time this happens, I’ll know what to do.

I pulled out of the garage around 8:30 this morning, expecting a stressful day at the office.  I was right — it was a rough day. 

But I should have known just how stressful it would be based on the first song to come on the radio:

I should have gone back to bed.  But I didn’t.  I proceeded with my stressful day.  And while I’m not sure I had 19 of them, I certainly came close to a bakers’ dozen nervous breakdowns.  You know the sort of day I mean.  Everybody wants/needs/must have something from me.  Oy.

At about 7:15, I left the office, bringing a briefcase full of documents that I still need to read to prepare for tomorrow’s meetings, where I am anticipating Nervous Breakdowns 14-19.  I just hope the Stones aren’t planning a sequel.

As I approached home and my garage, the Rolling Stones greeted me on the radio again:

Yeah, it was a bitch of a day. 

Next time, I’m staying in the garage.

 

*     *     *

I may be AWOL in the next several weeks.  Work is Cre-a-zayzy.

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Filed under Criminal Activity, Disgustology, Driving, Health and Medicine, Humor, Mental Health, Music

Hertz — Donut

It’s been about 50 years since I said “yes” when somebody (probably my brother, Fred) asked me if I wanted a “knuckle sammich.”

It had been nearly as long since I said “yes” when somebody (probably my brother, Fred) asked me if I wanted a “Hertz Donut.”

It’s important to note that Fred was nowhere to be found when this happened.  So I can’t blame him.

In fact, I don’t recall actually being asked “Do you want a Hertz Donut.”  Nope.  I didn’t hear it coming.  But I got hit anyway.  Me and John did, actually.

Hertz Donut

You see, we flew up here to Maine to check on the repair work to our little cottage up here that was damaged in a fire.

We used our United Airlines frequent flier miles to pay for most of the ticket.  John noticed that they also offered a special deal on rental cars with prepayment.  Hertz!  Located right there in the Portland airport, not a zillion miles and a schleppy shuttlebus ride away.  Plus, the cost was the same as the other car rental companies.

Great!  Yes, I’d love a Hertz, ummmm, rental car.

But neither of us signed on for a Hertz Donut.

Still, that’s exactly what we got.  And it Hertz right in the wallet.

We got to the extremely convenient counter, gave our names and began our transaction.  John pulled out his drivers’ license, and I pulled out mine.

“That’ll be $13.99 per day for a second driver,” said the clerk, a bit sheepishly.

“Excuse me?” John and I said, both our mouths hanging open in shock.   “There’s never a charge for an extra charge for a spouse to drive a rental car.”

“There is with Hertz’ promotion with United,” responded the clerk,  apologetically.  (It wasn’t her fault, we knew that.  She was just doing her job.  So we groused politely, and not at her.)

We had pre-paid for our car, non-refundable, natch.  And we needed two drivers because we were doing all kinds of household chores.

We were not happy.  We had never had to pay extra for a second driver, let alone a spouse.  Have you?

An extra $100.  Hertz, Donut.

I don’t know about you, but I am really fed up with Corporations sticking their hand in my pocket.  Especially when they claim to be offering me a bloomin’ bargain.

Yup, and I'll make sure to go elsewhere from now on.

Yup, and I’ll make sure to go elsewhere from now on.

It makes me wanna give everybody at Hertz a knuckle sammich.

 

[All images are from Google, Natch.]

 

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Filed under Conspicuous consumption, Criminal Activity, Disgustology, Driving, Huh?, Humor, Maine, Stupidity

Sore Loser

There is a time honored tradition in our democracy that has the losing side contacting the winning side to offer congratulations.  It is part of how we as a society put the disagreements between candidates behind and go forth and govern.

Obviously, as a Democrat, I am happy with the results in the Governor’s race (and the Lt. Governor’s race).  I am hopeful about the close election here for Attorney General, which is still being counted.

But as someone who believes in governing as much as I believe in democracy, well, I am disgusted with the tone of Ken Cuccinelli’s post-defeat actions.  He has no plans to contact Governor-elect McAuliffe.  He has no plans to get together to see what can be done to help the people of the Commonwealth.

Ken Cuccinelli’s Concession speech, if you have the stomach for it, wasn’t a concession speech.  It was a “We have to be even bigger assholes and THEN we’ll win” speech.  It is scary to think that these fanatics still claim a loss as a victory, and have no plan to work within the confines of what — and whom — the voters chose.

What an ass.  What a dangerous ass.

I wonder if when Ken Cuccinelli goes and fucks himself, if it is considered sodomy.

As I say all the time, Elections Matter.  Good for Virginia.

"Thus, Always, to Tyrants." Virginia Got that Right (Google image)

“Thus, Always, to Tyrants.”
Virginia Got that Right
(Google image)

*     *     *

For those of you who don’t peruse the comments, I had to put this hilarious one from El Guapo into the post:

Not sure about the sodomy, but if Cuccinelli tried to mind-fuck himself, it would probably be necrophilia.

 

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Filed under Campaigning, Disgustology, GOP Government Shutdown, History, Huh?, Hypocrisy, Law, Politics, Stupidity, Taking Care of Each Other, Virginia, Voting