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slow down trying to save a buck at WalMart!

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slow down trying to save a buck at WalMart!

Oz_Media
The expected mass hysteria of WalMart having a sale, a young guy was killed; that's right, trampled to DEATH by losers trying to save a dollar on low quality chinese import **** at Wally World.

Okay, they tore the doors off the store, trampled an overnight stock clerk to death, trmapled another who managed to free himself and even knocked a pregnant women to teh ground causing her to miscarry her unborn child.

SICK f'in freakshow!! What's with people today? and worst of all NOBODY stopped to help!

WHat a great day Thanksgiving will be for the dead young man and pregnant women will be from now on. It is absolutely disgustign taht ANYOEN could act that way in public, showing absolutely NO consideration, manners, or a care in the world for human lives all for a SALE!

It's not like they were giving away freedom, its not like they wer handing out free cars or homes, this is plastic, knock-off **** at WalMart for Christ's sake!

I don't know how anyone can stand sharig a country with such losers, that must be the absolute epitomy of the bottom of society, people bumming change on the street have far mroe class and human decency than that.

Just absolutely amazed at how ignorant and useless society can be and, in this case, from what is supposed to be the mightiest nation on Earth?

O.M.G!

http://www.troyrecord.com/articles/2008/11/28/news/doc493037c59f5bd868505197.txt

The part that really blows my mind is this comment:
"The industry?s largest retail group said the incident was rare.

"We are not aware of any other circumstances where a retail employee has died working on the day after Thanksgiving," said Ellen Davis, a spokeswoman at National Retail Federation.


Okay it's rare, but the best she can do is say its teh first time someone has died this way THE DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING?? How about EVER?

Does she mean to say that its quite expected on Boxinig Day, on Halloween they usually lose 10 but the day after Thanksgiving, now THAT is rare!

What a horrible death, trampled.

I would like ot see them start NAILING people for it, use teh instore camera, FIRST guy to knock him down is charged with life with no parole; sure he was pushed, somebody has to pay. Perhaps they would finally start to get some class and act like human beings, superior to the rest of the animals on Earth.

Sorry, but this makes me sick to death of people in general to think that ANYONE would be so low on the food chain as to participate in something like that is simply an embarassment to mankind as a whole .

In Canada, not to suggest we are better but it is a better solution, Boxing day is now Boxing week (as I know it is in much of the USA too), this stops the mad rush and one day easy theft spree for all shoplifters.

When they do have door crasher sales, they are nowhere NEAR as unruly as that though, people do push and squirm to the front right before the doors open but most just push them back and give them that 'go get some class' look.
It is nowhere near this kind of a circus.

People neeed to learn better manners, have some class and respect for others etc. But if they are simply taught its all for one and one for all then it will never work as society gets denser and denser. Crime, drugs etc. its all a result of people feeling a fight or flight urgency in life.

To make a real stretch, and I know most of you will hate me for it but most of you hate me ayway for not thinking like you; this is probably, if not directly, related to that whole US mindset that makes people not want to help others (welfare etc.) as you are taught to not let someone else have what you earned, to not let others get more than you and to always come out on top; survival of the fittest.

Its great motivational BS but it also instills a mindset of not giving a damn about anyone but yourself.

i still can't get my head around how the US is deemed teh mightiest nation on Earth. Weak economy, reliant on the rest of the world for even the most rudimentary daily functions (yet claiming to be independent), always at war with someone over something, low educational levels, reliant on teh reat of the world to invent everything, etc., etc., etc. the list goes on and on. Its like watching zulu's in Africa....with money and weapons otehr than spears.

the part that really gets me, sorry rant almost through now, is that I doubt ANYONE will learn or change ANYTHYING over this, "Very rare incident.....for the day after Thanksgiving" anyway.

Will WalMart change the way they open stores for such sales? How about like a concert, allow the first 100 people to line up inside a barricade, with third party, professional security containing it. give them wrist bands and only THEY get in for teh first 20 minutes, then more allowed in and so on.

You don't have that wrist band, you can't enter the store, go through the checkout etc.

If you are someone who pushed in front of that first 100 people, you are SOL.

It also opens up opportunity for teh first 100, as we've seen here for Boxing Day sales. The first few get in and buy the door crashers (hey, they WERE there first) they then go to the line poutside and resell what they don't want. People in line get a decent deal, no more lineup and the ones at the front end up keeping the one or two items they really wanted, for free.

man, this is just sick though, how animals behave when uncaged.
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    boxfiddler Moderator

    is why I hide in the basement on Black Friday.

    To quote someone I know: "People are my least favorite species." At least once a year.

    edit: The death of Christmas spirit in the public marketplace is mourned by me.

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    Oz_Media

    I expected a bit of the 'Oz is US bashing again' type of anti-Oz reply as usual.

    This type of mass hysteria happens anywhere, however we usually see it from less developed countires when they hand out bread and water to the weak and needy.

    I showed the article to a few other folks that came in the office today and I have to say the sentiment was the same. "What's with 'those' people?"

    Its always one step forward and two steps back with such a dense society I suppose.

    Best to just stay home, cuddle under the blankets and watch some cheezy daytime crap you don't have to sit through on a normal day of work, kinda like that 34 year old kid and pregnant woman should have done.

    Fk WalMart and door crasher sales, it isn't worth it on the best of days.

    Cheers,
    OM

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    Tig2

    Okay- you used a few generalities. I'm over that. I think
    that you were more commenting about the inhumanity of the
    situation. I can't say that you were wrong on that score. The
    whole thing is tragic.

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    maxwell edison

    Oz never misses an opportunity.

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    Oz_Media

    form time to time one gets through teh cracks, but hey I haven't been on Bushs butt much lately; then again, I think that playing his Nintendo GameBoy while Obama goes through the files and tries to see how he can sort out the country's problems is okay for him nowdays anyway.

    BUUUUUUSH BAAAAAAASH!!!

    I'm gonna miss him though, somehow I think that Obama wont be nearly as easy a mark as having a really incompetent idiot at the helm. Like him or not, Obama at least appears to be clever, even if its just a game; he's a lot better at it than Bush was.

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    Keighlar

    Oz, while I agree whole-heartedly with your lamentation over the despicable behavior of those people, and while I share in your frustration at the inability of people to comprehend basic human responsibility, I have to take huge issue with you in regard to your assessment of both America and Americans. Truth be told, I am not so happy with my country. I am frustrated with it and its people. I cannot understand the inability other?s have to see truths which appear to be so clear.
    <br><p>
    I have ?lurked? here long enough to know that you and I are going to fall on the opposite side of every political and social coin. What I take most ire at is your assertion that America and Americans are selfish ? that opposing welfare is selfishness. It proves that (1) you do not understand selfishness, and (2) that you know nothing about the welfare system in this country.
    <br><p>
    (1) How is it selfish to want to make your own decision on how your money is spent and to whom it is given? Welfare is the government telling me that I am not smart enough, capable enough or compassionate enough to decide how the money I work for is spent. The all-powerful, all-knowing government knows who needs my assistance and is more capable of distributing those ?funds? than I. That belittles and insults me.
    <br><p>
    Is there no possibility in your thinking that compassion exists by the 1000-folds here in America, but that it is stomped out by the greedy, grasping redistributing hands of the government? By the time they are done, we barely have enough to sustain our own families, let alone sustain others.
    <br><p>
    And yet, given this environment of ridiculous taxation, America still gives generously of itself.
    <br><p>
    See one source: http://oldfraser.lexi.net/publications/forum/1999/06/04_charitable_donations.html
    <br><p>
    <i>Excerpt: (I understand these figures are from 1996, but the pattern remains.)
    <br><p>
    Charitable contributions: A US-Canada comparison
    <br><p>
    Canada, in general, maintains higher marginal tax rates than the United States. For instance, in 1996, the top federal marginal tax rate in Canada was 29 percent (plus a 3 and 5 percent surtax)3 and was effective at $59,181.4 The top combined marginal tax rate - provincial income taxes are levied on top of the federal rate - in 1996, for individuals earning $75,000 or more in British Columbia, for example, was 51 percent.5
    The United States, on the other hand, maintained a top marginal tax rate of 40 percent in 1996, but at a threshold income of US$271,000. If we assume that the traditional theory of charitable giving holds, we would expect to observe higher levels of charitable giving in Canada than in the US.
    <br><p>
    Americans contribute in excess of $125 billion annually to charity,6 or roughly US$1,017 on average.7 Canadians, meanwhile, donate roughly $4 billion, or Cdn $738 on average, significantly less than their southern neighbours. This basic comparison casts doubt on the applicability of the traditional theory of charitable giving.
    </i>
    <br><p>
    (2) Do you have any idea how inept and riddled with fraud the American welfare system is? Do I believe in welfare? No. Do I believe that there are much more viable alternatives that must be considered? Yes. The second the government (ours and any other country?s) gets involved, money is spent unwisely, committees are formed needlessly, and the entire project is in general botched up!
    <br><p>
    There are so many other ?points? that you make here that I could take to task one-by-one, but I don?t have the time or desire to engage you in an endless, pointless debate. Besides, Maxwell keeps you on your toes enough for me. It is amazing to me that you are obviously an intelligent and thoughtful person, and yet you so often come to incorrect conclusions. Americans as a whole are generous, compassionate people who do not wish to be subjugated, but to live fully in the hard-fought freedom given our generation.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    fix it 'til it is."
    A bumper sticker I'm particularly fond of. Government attitude in a nutshell.

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    Oz_Media

    I know and fully agree that wlefare is an abused and misused system, but they all are.

    There's one thing about scammers, they will beat ANY system, ANYWHERE. Always have and always will, that's just what they do.

    By taking support form them, you are in turn takign support from others who deserve, have earned and need the help of their fellowman.

    DEsERVE, EARN? Yes some people need support, they woked hard and have fallen on hard times, they have both earned and deserve a hand from 'the people' seeing as i have been told many times that THE PEOPLE IS the US government, then the government should have teh ability to act on your behalf in such cases.

    If th government didn't dole it out on welfare, you wouldn' tsee a penny more in your pocket anyway, they just alocate it to something else THEY deem worthy.

    When you live in a ocuntry, especially one with such great opportunities for citizens, you pay taxes, unaviodable. Where those taxes go, also unavoidable.

    So we WILL pay taxes and no matter how much or how little they give to welfare support, which for the MAJORITY of recipients is needed, you will see no additional benefit to yourself. If you think fo rone second that doing away with wlefare puts more money in yoru pocket, less taxes, you are sadly mistaken, governments DON'T give back yoru money, they just spend it somewhere else that most will contest and complain about.

    The stats as ot donations are entirely irrelevant, at no tie did I say that Canadians were more generous.
    Where you will find we are more generous though would be seeing and understanding the need for medical for every Canadian and welfare for those in need.

    We don't make as many personal donations for the benefit of tax write offs? So what?

    As for incorrect conclusions, that is relative to who you are speakign to, I could do the same with yoru post too, yet as you noted it's just not worth it nor am I interested in going down that path for a week or two.

    "Americans as a whole are generous, compassionate people who do not wish to be subjugated, but to live fully in the hard-fought freedom given our generation."

    perhaps you should keep an eye on your freedoms which are removed as soon as teh government decides it needs to remove them. They are merely assumed privileges, not freedoms. ANY American citizen had the same freedoms in 1942 that you have today, yet as it was deemed fit for eth government, they rounded up Chinese AMERICANS many born and raised there, and stuck them in camps. They took their houses, they split up their families and treated them as the enemy.

    We did it too in Canada, and I don' tcontest that nbut I at least recognize it. Where were the FREEDOMS then?

    Is there a time, in yoru mind, where your freedoms can be simply stripped from you because the government thinks it should remove them?

    there are countless such cases in all FREE countries, yeah America's not the only one, sorry bout that.

    "Americans as a whole are generous, compassionate people who do not wish to be subjugated, but to live fully in the hard-fought freedom given our generation."

    Hard fought freedom taht can be taken away form a hard working American in a whim.

    Compassionate people, who don't believe in welfare to support people (no, you don't know everyone and many would go unhelped if it was a personal system) and trample fellow Americans on their way to a store. Compassionate people who think that their allies are either on their side or against them. Compassionate people who rely on teh world for each and every breath they take, and yet spit on other nations that provide them with their lovely lives.

    sure, you got me fooled alright. Anyway, time to **** this popsickle stand, talk to you some other time and I do appreciate your approach and honesty with your reply.

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    TheChas

    Of course from the raw numbers, it looks like the US gives a lot of money to charity when you look at raw dollars given. The US has the highest total personal income of any country.

    However, if you look at percentage of wealth versus charitable contributions, or percentage of GNP versus contributions, the US becomes a low end giver.

    Even when the people in the US give generously, their gifts have strings attached.

    All you need to do is look at how we respond to events like hurricanes to see how stingy we are. While the Red Cross and Salvation Army ask for money to fund the relief efforts, the US people go to their closets and clear out the clothes they don't want anymore. Or, they go down to the local store and buy the supplies they think the charities should hand out to those in need.

    Another factor to take into account is that most of the large charitable donations in the US total are from corporate and individual foundations. Foundations set up to distribute money to avoid or reduce taxation.

    As to replacing public assistance with local or individual charity, there are many problems with that concept. Not the least of which is that the person who can tell the best story of woe is more apt to get assistance than the one in the most need.

    I am sorry, but from where this American sets, the US people are very stingy givers.

    Chas

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    TonytheTiger

    As to replacing public assistance with local or individual charity, there are many problems with that concept. Not the least of which is that the person who can tell the best story of woe is more apt to get assistance than the one in the most need.

    Locals are more likely to know if one of theirs is honestly in need or spinning a yarn. They are also more likely to know what kind of, and how much, help someone really needs. One of the dumbest things our government does is to send SSI checks to alcoholics and drug addicts. What do you think they're going to do with the money?

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    Oz_Media

    Mroe affluent neighbourhoods, will quickly pick up a fallen neighbour, knowing them and probablhy knowing before the person actually hits rock bottom.

    Those is poor neighbourhoods, who supports THEM?

    It perpetuates the differences in class and allows those in the most dire situations to go unnoticed an unhelped.

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    TonytheTiger

    never having lived in an "affluent neighborhood".

    It perpetuates the differences in class and allows those in the most dire situations to go unnoticed an unhelped.

    So what? There are different classes for a REASON. If you have what it takes to survive, you will. If you have what it takes to thrive, you will. If you have someone willing to let you tag along, you will. Otherwise, tough noogies! I did not cause you to exist, and your existence creates no obligation on me.

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    puppybreath

    How would you resolve the differences in class?

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    TonytheTiger

    It would require forcing to the lowest common denominator. But even then you'll have those being forced, and those doing the forcing.

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    puppybreath

    that OZ would be critical of the US for a problem with no solution?

    I think we can safely assume that he has already come up with the solution, which explains why he is so upset. If he can figure it out, why can't our government?

    I want to get his input on the proper way to proceed so that I can forward it on to the proper authorities.

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    Oz_Media

    In other words, if my fellow Americans fall on gard times, fk em, that's their problem.

    Ever thought about Nazi Germany Perhaps a mroe suitable mentality for you that America.

    You see strength in self preservation and personal accomplishment but not in unity and helping your fellowman, and yet you are said to live in the UNITED states, now there's some hypocrisy for you!

    Its not just you though, I can't tell you how obvious that selfish mentality is to others.

    Having just got back from Washington this morning, I am still adjusting to humans again and a bit slack jawed at the spectacle you call a powerful nation. Man, what a fast, downhill slide you've taken.

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    Oz_Media

    Firstly, dont be such a self centered twOt. It is not only about America, other nations that accept welfare as a necessary evil also demonstrate greater awareness and empathy for their fellowman, foreigners and immigrants. This makes ANY nation stromger and more socially developed.

    I have no issue understanding classes, I'm from Europe, you haven't even seen real class separation in America yet, just the rich vs the poor.

    I understand classes and the adjacent pecking order much better than anyone that's never have left in North America would.

    But to leave the fallen to fester is simply a selfish, VERY ignorant and unproductive way of moving society forward as a whole.

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    puppybreath

    Talk about someone who's a self centered twOt. You sure like to brag about all of your worldly experience, don't you? I hate to be the one to break it to you, but a filled passport doesn't make you an expert on world affairs. But if you believe it does, let's compare passports and see who's traveled more.

    The issue isn't about giving help to the poor. It's about giving to those who are capable but using the system to live on handouts rather than getting work and improving their lot.

    I'll give the shirt off of my back for someone who is truely in need, but I refuse to give a penny to some lazy bum who would rather get by on handouts than have to work for a living. I understand the difference; you apparently don't or won't.

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    TonytheTiger

    In other words, if my fellow Americans fall on gard times, fk em, that's their problem.

    I am there for my fellow American far more than the taxes I pay would seem to indicate... not because THEY have the right... but because I do! If you're not, it says volumes more about YOU than it does about me.

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    TonytheTiger

    There's little worse than seeing someone claiming they are cold and hungry getting money and that night a plasma TV is installed in their apartment, except maybe the utter stupidity of giving cash to a drug addict or alcoholic.

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    Oz_Media

    "I have no issue understanding classes, I'm from Europe, you haven't even seen real class separation in America yet, just the rich vs the poor."

    This is what you suggest is me liking to brag about having been all over the world?

    Are you America? What an ego THAT must take?

    I have pretty much travelled around the world a couple of times but that's has nothing to do with anything I said in my post to you, neither does your passport.

    And with you proudly boasting to have been to more places than I, which is irrelevant (like your last comment), you should have a greater awareness that the rest of the world functions just as well while still incorporating what you would deem socialism that steals money from those who earn it and gives it to unworthy citizens all the time. the citizens in general are happy with thei rgovernments and they live in prosperous nations that afford them with their happy lives, which is apparently impossible in the US as they keep giving your money away WITHOUT EVEN ASKING YOU!!
    The NERVE of them! They should ONLY provide YOU with what YOU need to be safe, to protect YOUR rights and care about YOU, not the other 'kin Americans that live down the street, what kind of democracy is THAT!?!?
    You don't even get so much as a tax certificate for all those donations! What kind of country are you living in????

    You have never said anything here of any interest to me, your inherent personal prejdudice removes your ability to offer andy comments other than defensive emotion anyway.

    Have fun with that, perhaps have a little argument between your dolls or something, you can even dress one as the devil wearing Fidel Castro's uniform and call him Oz as you stick him with pins, whatever floats your boat.

    To think you have extensively travelled to all corners of the world and still don't see that people in Australia, Austria, France, Germany, England etc. are happier and more content with their lives than most Americans, would be like saying you went to the bathroom but didn't notice the toilet.

    You eithre make up other stories so that you can accept the fact that others are generally happier than Americans or you fail to recognize or acknowledge that their systems, while flawed as all are, are accepted as s way of helping up their neighbours and people accept the need to help those less fortunate, even if it means some people are screwing the system as a result.

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    Oz_Media

    "If you're not, it says volumes more about YOU than it does about me. "

    Tony, you cant make stuff up AND accuse people of it too.
    At what time, no...in what thread, no...on what WEBSITE have I EVER said that I don't help out others or support my neighours?

    I haven't, so take that little tirade and cram it arseward.

    Yeah, the government steals from me every chance they get, and its not just welfate, and that is something I accept and ignore as I still get the benefits and joy of living in Canada; the world's most desired, and full-on recreational playground is right in my backyard. People plan and save for years to come and spend a week or two here, should have seen hwo many Washington plates were returngin to eth US Sunday morning after opening weekend for most of the mountains.

    But they (the government and my tax money) offer me protection, security and emergency service. One catch with that though is that the government likes to help out those who have fallen on hard times, as do I, so I accept the fact that taxes go to others, without my permisison, and that's life and part of the cost of living in a free and desireable nation.

    It doesn't HURT me in any way, it doesn't leave me poor, I don't lose out in any way. I still live the life I choose to live, where I choose to live it, that's pretty nice when you look at the many countires that don't share such happiness and freedoms, like Iraq, America and Africa, where the people constantly complain of an unjus government and lack of freedoms.

    I assume that you know very well that if you DIDN'T have a portion of your tax money going got welfare that you would nto see a single dime mroe on yoru paychek, and that the government would simply allocate your tax money to something/someone else for another reason.

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    Oz_Media

    YOu are right, there are many epople screwing teh system and no matter WHAT system is created they will screw it, if not they will steal from you and your neighbours instead. In order to see those that NEED help GET help though, I accept the system we have in place because nobody has ever created a foolproof or better system for helping other citizens in need.

    And no, while you may have idea that keeps more money in your pocket, you certainly don't have a better solution that covers all aspects of such needed support.

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    puppybreath

    Naturally, you have sources that can back up the claim:

    "To think you have extensively travelled to all corners of the world and still don't see that people in Australia, Austria, France, Germany, England etc. are happier and more content with their lives than most Americans"

    Or is that just your opinion from personal experience and not necesarily a fact?

    Why are you so opposed to someone asking for some oversight regarding how tax dollars are spent for helping the poor?

    Throwing money at a problem isn't always the best solution; just look at the educational system in the US. We spend a fortune and turn out less educated people each year. Yet you seem to think we aren't giving enough. Sounds like you're pretty free and easy with money; as long as it belongs to someone else.

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    Dumphrey

    There is a big difference between Social Welfare and Corporate welfare, hidden welfare and visible welfare. Lumping it all together is much like calling an iceberg an ice cube.
    Visable Social welfare is what most of you are refering too. SSI, SS, Foodstamps, Disability, Mdicaide, Medicare, WIC... these are the bulk of social welfare. Hidden costs being smaller programs aimed and minority (read small population, not non-white)target groups, social workers salaries, focus groups, development costs, etc represent the rest of the social side.
    On the corporate side we have bailouts, tax breaks, paying large commercial farmers to NOT GROW crops, ermm agricultural subsidies... Not really the same ball of wax.
    Arguing over how your tax dollars are spent on Social Welfare is silly. Its such a tiny amount of the total budget as to be the same as an individual buying a candy bar. Really... Perspective...

    [EDIT]
    In my experience, welfare fraud (including medicare/medicaid) etc is much more prevalent on a provider basis then on an individual basis. So, Joe A lies a bit and gets an extra $500 a month. The local Dispersal agency lie sa bit, double bills a bit, and gets an extra $2000000 a month...
    3 counties here had 100% executive replacement and criminal charges pressed, along with a total payback of around 12Million in their Medicaid providers. This was about 9 years ago. I'm still looking for a link to a paper article on the incident.
    Not what I was looking for but along the same lines..
    http://www.islandgazette.net/content/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3150&Itemid=75

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    Oz_Media

    You are completely lost, mate!

    First of all you say "Naturally, you have sources that can back up the claim:"

    then you even reiterate EXACTLY what I said, which says very clearly that if you had travelled to these places you should have noticed... How is that so easily confused to mean I was stating facts as compared to personal opinion, based on first hand experience?

    How did you EVER get out of grade school with such **** poor reading compreshension skills?
    You read something, reiterate it and STILL don't understand it!?!?!? That simply boggles the mind as it is so blind.

    In fact, I don't know HOW someone could be confused by such simple verbage and get such an incorrect understanding of what's been said, and yet still be able to put a spoon to your mouth to feed yourself.

    I said 'IF YOU HAD TRAVELLED'....this inidcates a personal knowledge due to exposure, that is fact enough if you've been there without blinders on, you'd have seen it yourself.

    So apparently, as your passport reads like an atlas, you have been there and would have noticed that people aren't all standing around, complaining about wlefare reform and the government stealing their money to give it to others. They are some of the kindest and most content people I have met, much more so than in North America as a whole.

    Or are you now saying you haven't travelled there or HAVE seen that most people in those countries were begging for your to take them home to America with you because their socialist system has failed them and the government steals from them.

    It's your vast personal knowledge of world affairs that I am seeking, not some website where the 'facts' are made up by a disgruntled shut-in.

    "Or is that just your opinion from personal experience and not necesarily a fact?"

    Yeah, and I didn't say it was fact, well it IS fact but fact I have derived my opinion from personal experience, unless you can prove otherwise; unless you can prove, with facts or even personal experience that people in those countries ARE complaining about the government redistributing their money.

    What a waste of keystrokes, simply because you can sorta read but have chosen to demonstrate that you cannot comprehend what you have just read.


    "Why are you so opposed to someone asking for some oversight regarding how tax dollars are spent for helping the poor?"

    I am not, once again the comprehension issue has failed you. This is not a case of someone asking for some oversight and I have not said as much either.

    This is a case of someone constantly complaining that a system has failed and should be disposed of, that the government is stealing money and giving to to someone else without permission.

    Do you sit in a room and have personal arguments with your various personas beore posting here about things that were never said, simply assumed as a result of your private arguments with your 'self'?

    "Throwing money at a problem isn't always the best solution;"

    Once again, show me a statement where I have said otherwise.

    I HAVE said that the current system is in place because we have yet to find somethign better. That if we tighten the requirements more, people HWO do need help will often be wrongly turned away, and those who abuse teh system will STILL do so and get their money, in other words the exact oppostie of what works now.

    Get a clue, learn to comprehend what you read and then post a reply; as for this; you are just typing for the sake of typing, you have no logical basis of argument at all. You have simply created arguments based on false allegations that you created yourself.

    You don't need anyone to debate a subject with, you can simply argue with yourself without my help. It doesn't matter WHAT I say, you don't understand what you are reading anyway and have your own conclusions already made up before you get started.

    Why not just post an entire dialogue between us by yourself and save me the time? You make it up as you go anyway.

    Get some help!

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    I suspect that the statistics are missing a goodly number of people who give generously of their time and income 'off the books'. I know quite a few of us.

    etu

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    Oz_Media

    to the US or do you feel that would be seen throughout the world?

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    I like to think that would be seen throughout the world.

    etu

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    santeewelding

    That single most salient example of charity should convince you.

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    TonytheTiger

    The problem is with the government forcing charity, A) we have less left to give, when B) because of the government's "giving", it takes more on our part to make a real difference.

    The government is making the problems worse than what they would otherwise be.

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    maxwell edison

    And where do you sit? What's your view?

    Percentage of income, how much do you, personally, give?

    Percentage of time (or hours), how much time do you give?

    As a country, can you provide the numbers (in both dollars and percentages), and the source of your information?

    As a country, how much time do people give?

    What are the reported numbers? How about the unreported numbers?

    Moreover, how does all this reconcile with other comments you've made about the average working guy making barely enough to get by? On one hand, you sympathize because he's struggling; on the other hand, you criticize him for not giving enough. What gives?

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    TheChas

    Max,

    We have covered this before. I have neither the time or the need to look up and post the sources for my statements. The information all come from articles I have read from a variety of sources.

    Unlike you, I do not need to have supporting data from a multitude of sources in order to have an opinion or take a stance.

    While I have not seen any data on how much of America's charity giving goes to the local churches, I do wonder what the numbers would look like if you factored out the contributions that solely go to operate and build the churches in this country.

    For that matter, how much would charitable contributions drop in the US if they were not tax deductible?

    Chas

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    jdclyde

    Obamas Donated Less Than 1% of Their 2000-2004 Income
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=apR1J1py2Ouc&refer=home

    The Obamas increased the amount they gave to charity when their income rose in 2005 and 2006 after the Illinois senator published a bestselling book. The $137,622 they gave over those two years amounted to more than 5 percent of their $2.6 million income.

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    older ****

    I couldn't agree with you more. However, I think the "so many other ?points? that you make here that I could take to task one-by-one" that OZ makes are simply reflective on the state that many [myself for one], find ourselves in today. I am a 61yr old vet, raised on solid middle class, [aannndd God-Fearing], standards, and yet we have come to a point of total frustration with corporate greed, financial irresponsibility of government [where is Keynsian economics?], record high/still-rising crime, judiciary out of control, lower to mid level non-existant meaningful education----the list goes on & on as said....in the final analysis it literally leaves a person babbling..... I am belittled down to one statement: SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE!!!!

    In the meantime, as long as "we" continue to "voice" our "thoughts", perhaps we make one more person salient, and somewhere down the line those people coalesce into a active, functioning unit to get those grievances addressed. And God help us--it will be peaceful. A redress of grievances [hopefully]. Till then, you, OZ, ---and many others keep talking---outward--to many others.

    Sam

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    Oz_Media

    Why God fearing? If you are one of those who still believe in God, which is becoming less and less popular over the last 100 years or so, why would you FEAR him?

    Isn't God supposed to be kind and helping, forgiving and understanding? I certainly don't fear anyone with such standards, especially if there was actually a 'God' that offered me such a hand in life.

    Then again, the one good thing about believing in the unbelievable must be that anything that can't be explained or reasoned with logic and science would automatically just be 'one of God's odd ways, which we will never understand in this lifetime'. How soothing and easy!


    But I didn't know you would fear God if you believed in him, that must suck BIG time!

    Then again, if you don't want to be scared, you can just stop going to church and saying you believe in him, problem solved!! See, that is way more effective than saying it's God's way!

    Now you don't really have to be scared anymore, I think there is enough fact to make any dreams of a higher being to seem completely illogical nowadays.

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    Dumphrey

    I was raised Presbyterian, so I can say I don't "fear" god, he was to vague and loving to be feared. (God so loved the world he gave his only son...yaddie yaddie yaddie)
    Fear of God seems to be a fundamentalist thing, and while I "understand" (mentally) it, I don't get it. I think the fear comes from the Old testament **** Fire and Brimstone preaching from the early parts of the last Century. It was used as a social control mechanism to promote a particular religious meme (ie tithing to the church). (Flame away on that comment, its the tip of my iceburg on religion.)

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    Oz_Media

    Wasn't the old testamant the one that said it was okay to **** and impregnate 13 year old women?

    It's nice, convennient, how God decided that the old testament was too harsh and decided to revise it to meld in with what society deemed more important these days.

    Conveniently edited to disclude what was not socially acceptable by religious fanatics, and revised to still ward of some evil doers but appease the evil doers who believed in God. YEah religoin makes SO much sense these days. Maybe 100+ years ago there was some partially believable theory but not in 2008.

    In my mind, religion simply stops mankind from progression as a species.

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    LateNightLar

    I absolutely REFUSE to go shopping on Black Friday... I don't care how good the bargains are. There's nothing I need or want bad enough to get into that mortal combat situation.

    I think the store should also be held accountable for this young man's death, just as much as any of the shoppers. Mass market retailers have created the Black Friday hysteria with their extreme sale prices for the first ten customers or whatever, and by opening earlier and earlier every year.

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    XnavyDK

    If it was at a mom and pop or BestBuy you would'nt be saying that. The man was trampled by HUMANS, in a situation that was designed by humans. Hold HUMANS accountable.. heh, i hold myself accountable, by not participating in the mechanism that is the holiday season. BAH HUMBUG

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    sing4you

    It's very sad that the Christmas spirit has been completely drowned out by rabid consumerism.

    I rarely shop in stores because of this. I know it's good to support your local retailer but the internet offers no traffic, no parking hassles, no crowds, and a better variety of products. I may buy a couple of things in small local shops but, for the most part, I'm going on-line!!

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    Tig2

    The SO and I went shopping on the day after Thanksgiving
    ONE TIME. We were so completely disgusted by the
    experience we have vowed to never do it again. I made
    our Christmas gifts this year and I feel no need
    whatsoever to make any further purchases.

    Fortunately, according to the article, the pregnant lady
    and her baby are okay. My heart goes out to that man's
    family. The horror of such a thing happening is just
    beyond belief.

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    The Scummy One

    but I wanted to see. I went past a Wal-Mart on the way to Sears, and the lot was full, traffic was backed up into the street.
    Across the street was a Target store, about half the parking lot was full.
    Sears was pretty busy as well, but bearable.

    As for Wal-Mart, 2 years ago there were a few incidents as well. Last year, those stores had local Police keeping people in line. I wonder what happened today.

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    NotSoChiGuy

    My sister came by to watch the kids, and we (wife and I)were out the door at 4:30. We went to a few stores (we split to go to stores opening at 5, and then met up to hit Target at 6) and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised.

    There were fairly large crowds at all of the stores, but for the most part, people were well mannered.

    At Target, there was a potential for incident, when a large (20+) group of 'line jumpers' tried to get into the store when the doors opened. Management stepped up, though. They cordoned off that group, and made them wait until everyone that had been in line went into the store. People were walking by, shouting kudos to the store management and giving them pats on the back (literally).

    I'm not sure if I would do it again, but for my first time, I can't honestly complain.

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    TonytheTiger

    A mall not far from here (no Walmart around) had a man knocked down and trampled, ending up with a broken elbow... here's the interesting part... fortunately, there were EMTs standing by at the scene, so he was immediately rushed to the hospital.

    I don't know if that was good planning, or low expectations :)

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    Dumphrey

    you could freeze crap to a stick and sell it to people as Crap On A Stick (tm) at $6.99 a pop...
    It lowers your opinion of American social intelligence, manners, and general level of evolution
    While I never saw anyone trampled, I did see numerous fist fights, hair pulling, shoving, theft, several stabbings, and a general low level of manners. And this was in a Mall in a city voted to be in the Top 10 cities to live in by Forbes..

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    Oz_Media

    And I've done it too.

    I've taken over 6000 unsolicited demo CD's from the European market, branded them and sold them at $16.99 a pop in California.

    Bands do it all the time there, because nobody expects quality from music, just something everyone else is buying, its hilarous. US is an easy market, if you can't sell it elsewhere, any old, poorly produced crap will fly off he shelves there with s bit of marketing behind it.

    For bands to sell home-made garage demos that even a label wouldn't bother listening too, is great though, way to clear out the back catalogue!

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    Jaqui

    welcome to my world view.

    people need to be killed off just to improve the gene pool.

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    make sure the aberrant elements of the gene pool are the only ones being killed off.

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    Jaqui

    if they were fit to survive they wouldn't have been killed off

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    road-dog

    I just had to read a ways down to get to it.

    All that aside, we Americans do need to knock this stuff off. This season has become a monstrosity. I for one am happy I decided years ago to get the **** off the treadmill.

    This season is where this "me first" attitude that is all too common in this country comes to a head. And for all the wrong reasons.

    I'm sure that TR folks were not in that cattle call. Maybe we need to pass along to loved ones that we'd rather enjoy their stress free company this holiday than see them brave a mosh pit of consumerism... to give us something we could buy on sale after the holiday for a better price than what is available on black Friday.

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    maxwell edison

    ROSKILDE, Denmark (CNN) -- Grieving fans left candles and flowers at a Danish outdoor music stage Saturday, hours after at least eight people were trampled to death in a surge of concert-goers in a muddy field. Despite the deaths Friday night, organizers elected to go ahead with the massive four-day concert at Roskilde, Denmark, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of the capital of Copenhagen.

    At least 12 people, including youths and police officers, were trampled to death after police raided a Mexico City nightclub on Friday, according to police. Three officers and nine youths, three of them minors, were killed, Police Chief Joel Ortega said. At least 13 people were injured.

    Sometimes the surging crowds, trekking from one station of the pilgrimage to the next, cause a stampede. Panic spreads, pilgrims jostle to avoid being trampled, and hundreds of deaths can result. The Stoning of the Devil ceremony is particularly crowded and dangerous.
    ? On July 2, 1990, a stampede inside a pedestrian tunnel (Al-Ma'aisim tunnel) leading out from Mecca towards Mina and the Plains of Arafat led to the deaths of 1,426 pilgrims.
    ? On May 23, 1994, a stampede killed at least 270 pilgrims at the stoning of the Devil ritual.
    ? On April 9, 1998, at least 118 pilgrims were trampled to death and 180 injured in an incident on Jamarat Bridge.
    ? On March 5, 2001, 35 pilgrims were trampled to death in a stampede during the stoning of the Devil ritual.
    ? On February 11, 2003, the stoning of the Devil ritual claimed 14 pilgrims' lives.
    ? On February 1, 2004, 251 pilgrims were killed and another 244 injured in a stampede during the stoning ritual in Mina.
    ? On January 12, 2006, a stampede during the ritual ramy al-jamarāt on the last day of the Hajj in Mina killed at least 346 pilgrims and injured at least 289 more.
    TUNIS, May 1 (Reuters) - Six people died and a dozen were injured in a stampede during an open air concert in Tunisia, state news agency Tunis Afrique Presse and witnesses reported on Tuesday.

    The December 3, 1979 Who concert tragedy in Cincinnati, Ohio, ranks as the most horrific rock concert incident in the United States. Eleven rock fans were crushed to death and scores injured because of gross crowd management failings.

    Screaming fans charged the gate of a soccer stadium where the adolescent pop group Menudo was to perform on Sunday, and trampled two women to death, the police said. The women, one 48 years old and another in her 20's, were killed in the stampede toward the Vasco da Gama Stadium gate, which was opened three hours before the teen-age Puerto Rican group's performance, according to Jorge Silveira, a police detective.

    Jakarta - At least 10 people were trampled to death in a stampede during a music concert accident in Indonesia's West Java capital of Bandung, local media reports said Sunday. The melee occurred as the crowd jostled its way out the exit doors after an underground concert, state-run Antara news agency reported.

    Beijing, Nov. 12 - Chinese cities have ordered checks on supermarkets in the wake of a chaotic cooking oil promotion in a Carrefour store in which three people were trampled to death. The dead were among hundreds of customers who crushed into one of the French retail giant stores in Chongqing, a sprawling southwestern city where giddy growth jostles with grinding hardship. Managers lost control of the hundreds scrambling for discount cooking oil, a powerful lure for Chinese consumers juggling tight budgets and ballooning food prices, including those for the oil essential for home cooking.

    Sometimes, the frenzy of a new Ikea store can lead to tragedy. In September 2004, two men were trampled to death and 16 shoppers were injured in a rush by 20,000 people to claim vouchers at the first Ikea in Saudi Arabia.

    Meanwhile in February 2005, a riot at the opening of a new Ikea in North London, as shoppers fought over bargains, caused the store to close just 30 minutes after opening.

    A sold-out heavy-metal concert in Montreal starring Guns 'n' Roses and Metallica turned into a riot on Saturday after W. Axl Rose, the lead singer of Guns 'n' Roses, called his band off the stage 55 minutes into the show, complaining of voice problems?.. The Montreal police said rioters among the 53,000 audience members smashed stadium windows with an uprooted street lamp, looted a souvenir boutique, burned a sports car and Guns 'n' Roses T-shirts and set dozens of small fires. About 300 club-wielding police officers chased rioters through the streets and fired tear gas to regain control. The police sealed off the area and shut down four nearby subway stations to prevent the riot from spreading to the transit system.

    Riots mar Canada Day in Edmonton: The riot began after the bars and clubs closed around midnight, when between 800 and 1500 people spilled out onto Whyte Avenue on the south side of the city. Police say they initially responded to reports of fights. By two a.m., the crowd could not be controlled, and wouldn't disperse. Then people started throwing concrete chunks, rocks and bottles. They also smashed store windows, phone booths, and park benches along a five block stretch of Whyte Avenue.

    http://www.mytholog.com/trampling.html

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    Jaqui

    ya gotta remember one thing though about that Canada Day riot.. Edmonton, it's in Alberta, the flatlanders, and I suspect they are all "Flat Earthers" as well.
    logical thought doesn't seem to exist in Alberta.

    you know, kind of like Canada's version of the hill-billies.

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    Dr Dij

    it is supposed to be the best off province due to budget surpluses from mining. Shale oil I guess, and they export 1/3 of the worlds chickpeas and alot of lentils.

    In my job hunt desparation I was even thinking of moving there to avoid the steaming t*rdpile of crooked brokers that is the US economy. I don't think I qualify as a flatlander tho.

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    santeewelding

    The changes to your moniker.

    The situation compels sea change.

    Been there.

    Godspeed.

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    Dr Dij

    longer than they said I would be needed when they hired me so no regrets.

    Just wish I had been CONSTANTLY TRAINING during that time. I was only constantly training instead.

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    Gate keeper

    Hey ! in our defense .. we are not as flat-landed as those sasks

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    LOL

    Oz_Media

    I just typed that myself before I read your post.

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    Shellbot

    "those sasks".... that me buddy!!!!!

    :)

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    Oz_Media

    I do a lot of work in Alberta, have done so in all corners of Alberta for years now.

    They are some of the nicest and most accomodating people on the west side of the country (nothing like the maritimers, though, that are the best anywhere).

    Albertan's are also facing a pretty stuck up younger generation now though, the labourers are the typical yokels jaqi refers to, yup, flatlander but not like Saskatchewan...ers, ese? The TRUE flat landers.

    Albertans are like Texans, not always the brightest of the bunch but everything is BIG and RICH, y'all, yeeehaw!! The towns closer to the Rockies are nice, but Edmonton and Calgary are pretty crappy and not much different than other cities, except drenched in crappy music.

    Excellent income, you can earn more than $16/hr at A&W drive through, but also a high cost of living, though no provincial tax on purchases (nice). We finally copied their private liquor store idea, thanks for the cheaper booze Alberta!

    It is my second favorite spot in Canada, due to the wildlife and mountains, but for 'people' the Maritimes (Nova Scotia/Sydney, PEI, Mew Brunswick, Newfoundland) beat other provinces hands down.

    You have NEVER met people like them, but you'd learn real fast when your first interaction with a maritimer(and as a complete stranger)results in an invitation to dinner and to stay at his home so you can save on the hotel.

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    Dr Dij

    went there as kids. We'd vacation in Maine up from NY or Pennsylvania in summers and sometimes we'd make it further north.

    Even once my dad snuck a lobster up to the summer cottage from the bay, directly into a pot of boiling water. Shudder to think what could have happened if we were discovered poaching.

    Learned to swim there, in icy 56o waters. Gives you character, as my parents would say. And then, straight out of a Simpsons episode, we kids were arguing in the back seat, so parents made us get out and run behind the station wagon! (they'd told us frequently before that it would happend but it never had before :)

    I'm sure that built character!

    Then there was my buddy Jeff who we explored the slippery seaweed covered rocks with, and had an older sister who wanted to play this game.. Well, better not get into that..

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    Jaqui

    Surplus was from the now retired Kline.(sp?)

    The socialist Premier of the Province for years actually did a good job, no small thanks to the oil sands.

    There are some bleeding edge R&D companies there, in environmentally friendly power generation.

    Unfortunately, when things drop in our economy, Alberta will be hit really hard. Since the market drop they have had an increase in unemployment rate already.

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    Max

    puppybreath

    If you had researched further, you would have discovered that all of these incidents were either caused by Americans directly or because of their evil influence on other countries. All of the countries mentioned in the article are loving, peaceful countries when left to themselves. It's only when America starts bullying people and pushing the world around that these things happen.

    I'm sure there's also a direct link between these incidents and Bush but I haven't be able to pin it down yet. I'll keep looking but maybe Oz will be able to find it for us.

    ;-)

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    Oz_Media

    There are a couple of similar incidents there, fair enough. The majority are from concerts where large, boistrous crowds fighting it out, is an expected and common thing to occur. When you get general admission to an outdoor festival, especially with underground or industrial metal bands playing, it is par for the course that people get trampled, usually not to death though but many serious injuries.
    Stoning rituals? that doesn't fall into the same category as a mother and child seeking bargains at a local discount store.

    If your intent is to prove that people have been trampled before, I have to agree.

    People being trampled for a sale is a bit extreme though.

    I don't even spend much time at the front anymore, mosh pits are out of hand these days, just drunk guys that have no interest in the show and use it for a reason to just start punching and knocking out people randomly. They usually get tossed, but not until after the damage is done.

    I'd like to think that shopping in a family department store would not bring about the same brital mentality for most sane people, unless we should expect people to get drunk and slam around, punching each other to get the best deals, not quite the same expectations for the consumer as going to a hard rock show.

    One you listed was pretty much started because the Hellls Angels were originally hired as security and then told they weren't allowed to right before the show, good way to upset a few of the wrong people. The same happened when the Stones hired them too.

    But that isn't WalMart, or at least one would hope not.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    a couple thousand years, my bets are that Earth has not cornered the idiot market. Betting on lots of extra-terrestrial idiots, myself.

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    TonytheTiger

    The two most common elements in the Universe are hydrogen and stupidity.

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    maxwell edison

    4,120 Wal-Mart stores in the United States opened their doors to shoppers on this Friday after Thanksgiving without incident. So far there have been no comments from local authorities or media outlets as to the reason behind this behavior.

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    Oz_Media

    That makes it all okay then, no big deal, sorry about that.

    That'll make the young guy's mom sleep better at night, perhaps you could mail her your list of liks too so she understands just how normal such an event is all over the world; especially with it happening at concerts and stonings, she should have been prepared for it to happen at WalMart.

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    TheChas

    No incident? Or, no reported incident?

    I am sure that at many stores in many towns people going through the doors were pushed, shoved, bruised and battered. Generally, if the injured do not require medical attention, the incident goes unreported.

    Over the past few years, the crush of the crowds at the Black Friday sales has been seeing more and more people injured. There has typically been someone injured as they fell in front of the mob. Or, in the fights over who picked up the last of the special sale item.

    The American public needs to grow up past the "as long as I get mine, who cares about the rest" mentality.

    This mob mentality that has developed over the past decade or so needs to end.

    I know it's not everyone, or even a majority of the people who follow the mob mentality. However, everyone is responsible if they don't speak up to their friends and relatives who do participate in the mob mentality.

    Chas

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    TonytheTiger

    don't want to miss their chance at the victimhood trophy.

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    Oz_Media

    If there were six other similar incidents, where nobody died, the press would simply report the juicy story of a detah and miscarriage.

    Max's noted concert violence jst touches on a few reported key events. GNR riot in Vancouver made headlines but I have seen countless numbers of people sent to hospital and losing eyesight after taking a boot in the face while down, broken limbs, head injuries, massive cuts from random stabbings at concerts just to touch the surface, but it isn't news most of the time if there's something more edgy to report.

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    TonytheTiger

    the more widely something is reported. People close to it though still want a piece of the victimhood. There was a tug of war over the last XBOX360 locally. One guy let go, the other fell back and hit a third person. The third person is suing the store???? how stupid!

    We wouldn't have ANY of these problems if we'd start holding people personally responsible for their individual actions! All of this "What have 'we' become"?" is a load! "We" didn't do anything. I wasn't there, and neither were you. I don't behave that way, and I don't want to be lumped in with people who do.

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    maxwell edison

    In your message bashing the general goodwill of Americans, you relied on a per capita assessment. (Although it was no more than a guess).

    I was merely looking at this in what might be seen as a per capita assessment. Why don?t you look at it in the same way?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that Americans aren't self-centered and greedy. (Just like most people of the world are self-centered and greedy ? especially Canadians). I just question which ones are self-centered and greedy. After all, how many of them actually feel entitled to be given the fruits of another's labor? How many of them want to shirk what should be their personal responsibility onto others? Is it more self-centered and greedy to want to keep what you earn or to covet what another person earns? What?s more self-centered and greedy? Giving the shirt of your own back, or casting a vote that gives the shirt off another?s?

    In this case, one, or two, or three incidents compared to the thousands of non-incidents. It?s the rotten apples that spoils the bunch.

    I don?t care what you say. I don?t care what Oz says. Most Americans are decent people. (Although many of those otherwise decent people have been brainwashed to support the political notion that they are not responsible for their own lives, and/or are entitled to have something they did not earn.)

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    TheChas

    I think a quote from the Tommy Lee Jones character in the first Men In Black movie sums it up.

    A person is smart, people are dumb.

    I don't disagree that the average person on his or her own has good judgment and can do what is right.

    It is when you get a group of people together that things go bad.

    Actually, it is pretty amassing that we only had one major trampling happen this year. Based on what I have seen of the crowds the last few times I ventured out on Black Friday, running with the bulls in Pompalo is a much safer and saner thing to do.

    Chas

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    maxwell edison

    Oz, a Canadian, always pointing out what?s wrong with America. Chas, an American, always pointing out what?s wrong with America.

    Listening to the two of you, one might think there?s nothing right with America.

    Too many people focus on what's wrong instead of focusing on - and encouraging - what's right.

    It's said that bad news sells, and you two have bought into it lock, stock, and barrel.

    (P.S. Now is the time both of you will criticize me instead of addressing my message. Same ol? same ol?)

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    Oz_Media

    everyone can stick their heads in the sand and pretend its all rainbows and lolipops, I'm sure we'd all love ot do it, but it isn't reality.

    And I haven't said such incidents don't happen here, in fact with 10% of your population, I am sure that we have probably at least a little less than 10% of the similar incidents that you do. I would think that, logically, the Toys R Us incident would be rarer here too.

    But you go get sick and mad, then think of all the positives and block out any evil realities, its easier that way.

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    maxwell edison

    Give me a break. You know I don't think that, and you know I didn't say that? Therefore, what's the point of conversation.

    Okay, as you were - back to your favorite sport - bashing America.

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    TheChas

    Max,

    I am sure that part of your problem with Oz and myself is that as hard as you try you have been unable to convince us that your line of thought and way of looking at the world is better than ours.

    If anything, you have driven both of us further away from your conclusions and view of what the world could be.

    Are there good things that happen every day in the US, of course.

    Are there many instances where the very fabric of civil society is at risk and we just happen to make it through the day? That is also true.

    To maintain a civil society, EVERYONE has to be willing to put aside what is in their personal best interest in order that society as a whole can function.

    Where that line between personal interest and what is needed to keep our civil society functioning smoothly is the real question.

    In the case of the WalMart stampede, all it would have taken were a few people to form a blockade around the downed worker to prevent the tragedy. The trampled worker does not bother me as much as the shoppers who got upset when the store was closed to take care of the now dead man.

    Society is breaking down all around us. We MUST speak out strongly to reverse the trend.

    Chas

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    maxwell edison

    Unions

    And as an extension, everything unions have done. Unions have ruined your state. Unions have bankrupt a once great American industry.

    Well done, Michigan. And you espouse more of the same? That's insanity.

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    j-mart

    And others have had a bigger impact on auto industry world wide. These companies with superior engineering, build quality and value for money, would have more effect on automibile manufacturers abilty to survive in an incressingly compeditive globalised market.

    This leaves your local industry with two options, become better so you can beat the competition, or have the government put up trade bariers to give them a trading advantage.

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    maxwell edison

    And why didn't that happen?

    (Right, this is where greedy corporate officers gets the blame.)

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    j-mart

    It will be down to better workers, beter managers better organisation, better technology, benifits gained from investment in tooling and modern factories. Taking the narrow view that its down to unions and /or greedy corporate managers isn't going to fix problems. The industry if it has that atitude had better hope they are next in line behind the bankers with their hands out to the government.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    they are.

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    maxwell edison

    Unions HAVE ruined America's auto industry

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    TonytheTiger

    but paying workers more for no more output/no better quality sure isn't a recipe for profitability.

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    TheChas

    While I will not argue that the compensation demands of the UAW may be beyond what is reasonable, unions alone are not at the cause of Michigan's or the Auto Industries problems.

    In the case of Michigan itself:

    Crumbling infrastructure.

    Health care and the general health of the population.

    Climate. (If you had the option, would you choose a warm state or a cold state?)

    Environmental concerns. With the Great Lakes in nearly every communities watershed, there is no low cost option for dealing with waste water or chemical waste.

    I could go on. The point is, changing just one factor such as wages would not be enough to correct the overall problem.

    Chas

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    JamesRL

    Ontario.

    Ontario has both unionized (CAW equivalent of UAW) sites for GM Ford and Chrysler, and non unionized sites for Honda and Toyota. I don't honestly know if CAMI (GM/Suziki) is union or not. Volvo trucks and Sterling Trucks also manufacture here.

    We have the same climate, the same environmental concerns. We have serious pollution, both from our own industry and because we are downwind of the Ohio coal fired power plants.

    Our health care costs are one thing that has made us a favoured place to build a car plant.

    Its no secret that the big three plants in Canada are struggling while Honda and Toyota thrive(without a unionized workforce). Unions may be a big part of it - also the type of vehicle has an impact. I leave you to draw your own conclusions.

    James

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    TheChas

    CAFE standards play a big role in what vehicles all of the automakers build in Canada or Mexico.

    Many of GMs larger cars are built in Canada so that they can be counted as imports to offset their low mileage and avoid the CAFE tax.

    Chas

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    JamesRL

    Canadian made cars didn't used to count as imports under the Auto Pact. The Auto Pact, signed in the sixties provided that vehicles built in the US and Canada could freely travel between countries without tarriffs, provided that Canada exported as many vehicles as imported.

    The Auto Pact was made extinct by free trade.

    If that was the case, why did they shut down the full size pickup truck plants in Oakville (Ford) and Oshawa(GM)?

    James

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    TheChas

    Last, I knew, pickup trucks were not part of the auto CAFE standards. Trucks have their own standard and are not counted as part of the auto production as far as the CAFE standards go.

    SUVs depend on if they are classified as cars or trucks.

    Chas

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    TheChas

    No, I don't mean to imply that GM actually started and grew the UAW. But, the way GM treated the workforce led to the development of the 20th century labor movement and the present situation that the US automakers face.

    If GM could have taken any number of steps to improve work conditions at it's plants that would have taken the wind out of the union organizers. Instead, GM in it's typical arrogance treated the workforce with disdain at best.

    GM management at the time could have made any of a number of changes that would have negated the need for the union to form and strike. Treated their workers with dignity, addressed safety issues, slowed the line down to a humane speed, revised supervision practices to reward effort rather than cronyism, provided for workers who became disabled or died from safety problems.

    Instead, GM believed that they could replace the workforce at will and ended up being the impetus for the creation of the UAW.

    At GM in particular, there are still remnants of arrogance in management. When was the last time that GM actually brought a new concept to market? Be it the muscle cars of the 60's, the small cars of the 80's, the mini-van, or the popular SUV, GM always follows rather than leads the market. Even the Volt is little more than a response to the Toyota Prius.

    I won't argue that the union compensation package is not a factor in the US automakers problems. However, without better management, I doubt that GM would be in much better shape even if they had the same labor costs as the import brands.

    How is it that the import plants keep from becoming unionized? Sure, they are all located in right to work states. But, that is not enough. The big thing that they do is treat their workers as part of the team. And, treat them fairly.

    Until the US automakers and the UAW realize that they need to work together as a team, the US automakers will be at the brink of failure.

    Also, on the bigger issue of why union membership is down overall, just look at all the formally union jobs that have been shipped overseas. The US public does not care where or under what conditions an item is made so long as the price is cheap.

    Even without union rules and wages, those textile and small manufactured item jobs would still have gone overseas. No way could any US based manufacturing plant compete with $1 per week wages.

    Chas

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    maxwell edison

    Sorry, but that's about as relevant as the color of dust on the moon. How and why the UAW (formerly the AFL) was formed is a matter for history classes, not discussing current-day problems.

    The old saying, give them an inch, and they take a mile, certainly applies - except in this case, the UAW took so many miles that they drove their own industry off a cliff. When $2,500 is added onto the price of each and every automobile just to pay for retirement and health benefits for people who longer work making those automobiles, it's both very telling and very troubling.

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    TonytheTiger

    Ted Bundy is a good person because he helped an injured bird when he was a little boy.

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    TheChas

    By generally forcing the workers to take action back in the 1930's, General Motors showed both the union members and leadership that they had the power to control their future.

    Once the union found out what power they had, and as often as the automakers have capitulated to their demands, the end result is the wage structure the US auto industry has.

    The point is that had GM been a bit less arrogant back in the 30's and treated their workers better, the union would never have formed and the wage structure would not be what it is today.

    The further point is that GM management has not changed much at all in the years since. GM is still not willing to listen to what the customer wants. GM, Chrysler, and to a lesser extent, Ford have still not opened their eyes and ears to understand why so many Americans by Japanese and Korean cars.

    The US auto industry has always preferred to make cars bigger rather than better.

    Aside from the how and why of the problems that the US automakers have, why shouldn't workers be able to work a closed market to their advantage?

    When a company corners a market and raises the price it charges, you call that free enterprise.

    Why shouldn't the same rules apply to the work force?

    While an individual worker can do very little to improve their deal with the company, working together, the workers at a single plant do have enough clout to demand improvements to their compensation.

    As far as retiree benefits, reducing retiree benefits is about as likely to happen as Congress would be to reduce Social Security benefits in an election year. Retirees are still part of the union and still vote in at least leadership elections.

    The bottom line on the UAW is that GM and the US auto industry have no grounds to complain that the monster they helped to create is chomping on their rears.

    Chas

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    maxwell edison

    By the way, the sector that's actually picking up Union membership? That would be the government sector - growing in both numbers of people, and in numbers of union members - not to mention an ever increasing union influence.

    The average salary of a government employee is around $57,000. The average salary of Americans in general is around $34,000. Most Americans, in general, don't work for a company that will provide a life-long pension and health care. Most government workers do.

    People better start wondering about two things: First of all, who's serving whom? And secondly, what will happen when the government is forced to increase its unit price to pay for all this?

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    maxwell edison

    http://www.detnews.com/2005/autosinsider/0510/17/A01-351179.htm

    This is from 2005, and job banks have been drastically cut in more recent years, buy my oh my, what harm have they done over the years?

    More:

    http://www.unionfacts.com/unions/unionProfile.cfm?id=149

    Yes, I squarely blame unions for our failing auto industry - AND, of course, strangling government regulation.

    Did you know that the Toyota, Honda, and Nissan plants in the USA pay their workers an average of $96K per year - a hefty sum to say the least. However, the Detroit Big Three pay an average of 150K?

    And we wonder why they're failing. (Well, I don't wonder; I know why.)

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    TheChas

    So, you are saying that workers should not have the right to join together and work for better working conditions and compensation?

    Does that also mean that a CEO should not have an agent and a lawyer to negotiate 7 and 8 figure incomes for them?

    I don't take exception to the fact that US autoworkers have ended up placing a high labor cost on the US auto companies.

    I do take exception to anyone claiming that the labor cost is the ONLY or even the major reason that the US auto companies are in deep trouble.

    Yes, labor costs are a contributing factor to the problems that the big 3 are facing. But, the biggest problem is the lack of planning for the future and foresight to bring forth new products and technology.

    Initial cost is not the big thing killing Detroit in the new car market. It is perceived value and cost of ownership that is at issue.

    What percentage of GM cars will make it to 200,000 miles without major repairs?
    What percentage of Toyota cars will exceed that mark?

    Detroit may have caught up with initial build quality. They still lag way behind in cost of ownership and long term reliability.

    Look at any reliability and repair index you wish, you won't find a US car that matches let alone exceeds a Japanese car of the same class.

    The US auto industry still thinks that the Vega is the proper response to the Corolla.

    That is what is really sad.

    Chas

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    TonytheTiger

    companies shouldn't be forced to pay workers who aren't working. This started happening when technology allowed machines to do what men used to do.

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    maxwell edison

    I'm saying just what I said, no more, no less. I suppose you can extrapolate from that, twist and turn it any way you want, and suggest I'm saying something I'm not - which is what you just did.

    So, you are saying that workers should not have the right to join together and work for better working conditions and compensation?

    Of course they do. They (the workers) can do whatever they want - as long as it's legal. I also believe the company has a right to can the whole bunch of them and become a non-union shop. I also believe the company has a right to do what it has to do in order to survive and compete in the market place. I also believe that the workers, should they decide to join together and work for better working conditions and compensation, should also be willing to accept and be responsible for the outcome they helped create.

    What you probably don't realize is that we're on the verge of having taxpayers subsidize (or entirely pay for) the 50k - 100k per year retirement benefits for former employees of a failed company, not to mention set the same stage for current ones. How can that possibly be justified as being fair to some poor bloke in South Dakota?

    I do take exception to anyone claiming that the labor cost is the ONLY or even the major reason that the US auto companies are in deep trouble.

    You can take exception to that all you want. But other than demonizing corporate management, playing the class-envy game, you offer absolutely nothing. What I suggest is more than simply labor cost. Sure, several factors would point to the failure of the industry, but the unions have been just as major a driving force behind the direction of the auto industry as have the corporate big-shots. They BOTH made major decisions together, and they BOTH should fail together, and they BOTH should shoulder ALL the blame - WITH those who forced too much over regulation on the industry.

    The auto industry has always been one of balance between offering a product the consumer wants, and trying to define great new stuff that they hope the consumer will buy. It's easy to say that nobody needs an SUV or a 600 hp Corvette, but people don't really need a 60" plasma HD color television set either. Why demonize one and not the other?

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/new_cars/4292379.html

    I suppose in a way, Chas, we're both right. Poor business decisions plus unreasonable union demands, then throw-in legislators in Congress who think they know how to run an automobile company combined with a down-turn in the economy, and it all equals a failed company and/or industry.

    My solution? Let it fail, let it correct its own mistakes, let it design a new business model, etc. That might not be a pretty option, but it's better than having the already over-burdened taxpayers prop up what was a failed model in the first place.

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    maxwell edison

    .....what kills the goose that lays the golden eggs.

    Collectivism, to me, is evil. (Please don't extrapolate anything from that which was not intended - "So what you're saying is....")

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    TheChas

    The only reason to even consider propping up the US auto industry is the same reason that was used to justify the financial industry bail-out. If (and I think it's a big IF) the economists that speculate that if any one of the big 3 go under that will send the US economy into a full depression, then, there is a "value" in propping up the industry.

    However, if the case can be made that the overall economy is strong enough to withstand the impact of the any industry or institution going under, then the US auto industry (or any other company) should be allowed to fail and die.

    Propping up the big 3 makes no more sense to me than the war in Iraq does. In neither instance is US government interaction doing anything more than delaying the inevitable.

    Even if we prop up the auto industry through the current financial crisis, they will still continue to shrink and loose market share. I would not be surprised that in another 20 years if Toyota faces the same crisis from the Chinese and Indian car companies.

    Though, Max does point out another reason to prop up the auto companies. When the auto companies go under, so will the pension funds. This leaves the government run pension guarantee fund attempting to fill in for at least all of the retirees (both union and salaried) that are too old or too sick to work. That plus the sudden increase of people who will be relying on Medicare will break the system.

    That said, the best way to prop up the US auto industry would not be with direct loans or subsidies. Give each tax-payer a stimulus check that could only be used toward the purchase of a new car with a minimum of say 75% US material and labor content. Even if it was only $1,000 each, if you allowed people to sell and trade the certificates, you would end up with some decent economic stimulus.

    Chas

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    maxwell edison

    I've seen it so many times. A person can't concede a point, or bring himself to agree on a point ..... he wants to disagree, but he can't without losing credibility; so he says, "So you're saying", misrepresenting what was really said, and disagrees with that.

    What's that called? A straw-man argument?

    Sorry, Chas - no straw-men allowed. (You can do better than that.)

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    maxwell edison

    The Chevrolet Vega (sold from 1971 through 1977) was a piece of crap.

    The Toyota Corolla (as sold from 1971 through 1977) was a piece of crap.

    One would be hard-pressed to see either on the road in 1987.

    What's your point?

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    maxwell edison

    Chas said, "The only reason to even consider propping up the US auto industry is the same reason that was used to justify the financial industry bail-out."

    This difference is this:

    The financial industry affects 100 percent of the economy. - it IS the economy.

    The automobile industry is but a small percentage of that - a subset, if you will.

    How big does a subset need to be to warrant a bail-out?

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    The Scummy One

    that you mention the check for an auto. I thought similarly for the economic stimulus checks. They should have sent out something like a gift check, something that has to be spent, not deposited.
    just my opinion on that though.

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    TonytheTiger

    The only reason to even consider propping up the US auto industry is the same reason that was used to justify the financial industry bail-out.

    Which shouldn't have been done either...

    It's like:

    "Hey, Taxpayer, loan me some money...."

    "How are you going to pay it back, Business?"

    "By raising the price you pay for my goods or services, of course."

    They should ALL be let to fail! If there's a demand, others will spring up to meet that demand.

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    TonytheTiger

    How big does a subset need to be to warrant a bail-out?

    ..they borrow money from the banks that got bailed out? :)

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    TheChas

    What you both left out of your critique on my post on propping up the auto industry was the detail that followed:

    "If (and I think it's a big IF) the economists that speculate that if any one of the big 3 go under that will send the US economy into a full depression, then, there is a "value" in propping up the industry.

    However, if the case can be made that the overall economy is strong enough to withstand the impact of any industry or institution going under, then the US auto industry (or any other company) should be allowed to fail and die.

    Propping up the big 3 makes no more sense to me than the war in Iraq does. In neither instance is US government interaction doing anything more than delaying the inevitable."

    Yes, I begrudgingly accepted that the financial institution bailout was necessary.

    And, I have posted that in my opinion the big 3 should be allowed to fail. Even though I know that the end result of any part of the US auto industry failing would mean a significant tax increase in Michigan just to maintain basic government services. Not to mention the increase cost of welfare and medicaid for those who refuse to move elsewhere to seek employment.

    FYI, rural Michigan (especially North of Lansing) is dotted with communities that are very impoverished. They were once factory towns. When the factory closed, far too many people choose to stay where they were rather than seek new jobs elsewhere. So the precedence is set for Detroit, Flint and Lansing to follow the same path.

    Chas

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    TheChas

    Sorry Max, I call them as I see them.

    Be it overcompensated CEO's or windfall profits for any company and you are Johnny on the spot to defend them.

    Let the working man do something to get a fair and decent cut of the pie, and they are the most vile evil group on the planet.

    Do I like the fact that the average autoworker makes more than I do and has better benefits? No.

    Do I want their job, or feel that they should be required to take a drastic cut in their wages. Again, NO.

    In every financial related thread we have had you are always on the side of helping out the poor billionaires that make up the top 5% of the economy, and shifting all of the burden onto the working men and women who make this country run.

    If we have learned anything these last 8 years it is that tax cuts for the rich do not promote the long term growth required to keep the economy growing. It is only when we provide paths for those on the bottom to move up that sustained growth can happen.

    Chas

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    XnavyDK

    Unions were a great idea that got distorted by personal/group greed.

    edited for spelling. Try it OZ.

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    TonytheTiger

    why every taxpayer in the country isn't literally up in arms at the prospect of using tax money to bail out these clowns (or any of the other clowns for that matter). Where are they going to get the money to pay "us" back?

    From us!!!!!

    Maybe every employee of every bailed out company should be taxed 100% of all of their income above poverty level until it is paid back!

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    maxwell edison

    Unions have lost influence and/or membership in all but one industry. Which industry would that be? Which industry will be the next one destroyed by unions - leaving the taxpayers holding the empty bag?

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    Oz_Media

    "You go girl!" (DOUBLE FINGER SNAP!!)

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    TheChas

    Who brought up unions in this thread?

    As far as the US auto industry is concerned, sure the wage and benefit package the unions won in contract negotiations are a contributing factor to the impending demise of the industry. However, the US auto industry lost the battle back in the early 70's. They just did not know it.

    The US auto industry response to inexpensive well built cars from Japan were the Chevy Vega, the Ford Pinto, the Dodge Omni, and the AMC Gremlin. Detroit got it very wrong. They presumed that people wanted cheap cars. What people wanted was cars that were inexpensive to own and comfortable to ride in. Now, we are getting to the third generation of car buyers who have owned nothing but foreign brand cars.

    Farmers in Michigan are buying Toyota pickups not because they cost less, but because they are designed to last.

    I have yet to speak with any engineer or designer who works for the big 3 or their suppliers who believes the industry is even trying to get it right.

    And, what does the big 3 do when they do have a profits? Do they invest in research or product development? Heck no, they buy other car companies when the price is high and then sell them off when the price is low. Witness the recent sale of Jaguar to TATA motors.

    By the way, I don't think the taxpayers should bail out the big 3. They are well on their way to following Leyland into the dust. The US big 3 are going to collapse from there own weight. With or without union wages.

    Chas

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    maecuff

    I really don't like to shop this time of year. And I REALLy avoid Walmart. However, there is one close by and they had something I wanted to get for my 10 year old. Against my better judgement, I ventured out very early Friday morning. (not early enough as they were sold out of the item in question). Anyway, I was knocked into by a bleach blonde pyschopath as she was trying to get to a TV. I wasn't interested in the TV. I was merely walking in the direction of the TV. She saw this as a threat and actually shoved me out the way. People bug this **** out of me.

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    The Scummy One

    worn a sign -- Not Interested in TV's

    wait, you probably would have been shoved by a transvestite then :0

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    Or

    TonytheTiger

    an illiterate :)

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    :^0

    The Scummy One

    Yes, I forgot about dem

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    Oz_Media

    It is very common for people to explain why they had to goto WalMart as a prerequisite for shopping.

    I get your point and agree that those low brow stores cater to the worst of the country's consumers and nobody want to be associated with them. You could host a series of "Americans gone bad" episodes at a single WalMart location.

    I get your comment, I think I'd be mroe inclined to say something though, like "Hey what the f-k's YOUR problem, skank!?" before explaining that the TV she is looking at is third rate Chinese junk that is available for less at SuperStore. Or else I'd jump on it and take it to a checkout, and then decide not to buy it and leave it at the checkout.
    Just to pi$$ her off and get her anxiety, insults and rants going strong. Love watching people freakout over nothing!

    I have had to shop at WalMart a couple of times myself. Last minute stocking stuffers, you know that holiday candy crap and the other checkout impulse items.

    But that's it for me, never bought clothes, electronics or anything else there, yet (but never say never, WalMart just may run Canada one day).

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    The Scummy One

    Yes, I went out early this year and few lines until after 10:.
    Then I went to Costco -- because I figured everyone was at different stores shopping.
    Good call in my opinion, I had fewer lines at Costco than normal

    then I went home and looked online a little for a few items. Lo and Behold -- All of the items I looked at were cheaper from the manufacturer than from the stores sales :0

    I looked at my receipts from these super sales and am thinking about taking them back now...

    There are some good deals in the stores, but is it worth the hassle? Looking at a store here, I am finding items that I did not see in the physical store, and at a good price.

    I think I am shopping online for the rest of the day

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    since I went back to school and work. Get it done in about an hour and a half, no headbutts from lunatics trying to beat me to the last whatever the **** it is.

    Sweet.

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    TonytheTiger

    One or more of those people committed a crime and it is being investigated.

    By the way, Oz, the woman didn't miscarry.

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    Oz_Media

    a later article said she was ok but didn't mention the baby.

    But there are plenty that do.
    http://lawfuel.com/show-release.asp?ID=20080

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aMI0subA8R70&refer=home

    Another witness told the paper she saw the pregnant woman knocked over nearby the dying man. When paramedics came, she told them she was pregnant but the ambulance crew said she had lost the baby after an examination.
    http://www.newsroomamerica.com/usa/story.php?id=439053

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    TonytheTiger

    It's the nature of some humans to amplify a tragedy. No doubt some of those who trampled the poor guy will claim they were injured trying to help him... both to get them out of trouble... and to try to snag a share of the victimhood status they covet.

    Hopefully they can get license plate numbers from video of the parking lot and match the owners to the video from inside the store, and proper justice will be done.

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    santeewelding

    If in the next few days there are scattered reports of goings into rooms, closing the door, and doing the right thing.

    Somehow, I doubt it.

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    Oz_Media

    The parents can sue teh store for unsuitable security provisions, WalMart's insurance should pay out a tidy sum.

    They think have already identified several people (6, I think it said) and are looking at ways to press charges so that the victims can open civil cases for double liability.

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    AV .

    Personally, I don't go anywhere near the stores on Black Friday. Its just absolutely frenzied and sick. I don't see how that gets you into the holiday spirit. Shopping on Black Friday is like vying for red meat in the lion's cage.

    I usually do my shopping online or go off-hours to the local outlets and quaint mom and pop type stores that offer a more pleasant holiday shopping experience than a mall or a Walmart.

    Whats very sad about the Walmart incident is that Walmart, at least the ones near my home, usually hire people with disabilities to greet shoppers when they enter the store. I don't know if that is true in this case, but its certainly possible.

    This time of year people forget the spirit of the season. They are rude, have no manners and will fight you for a parking space or that special item they want if you should happen to pick up the last one. Its just a sad commentary.

    Heres what happened to me a couple of years ago at a Michael's craft store in NJ. It wasn't on Black Friday, but maybe a week later. I found a silk Poinsettia plant that I liked. There were plenty left, maybe 20 or 25. As I put one in my cart, a man came up to me and grabbed it out of my cart. He said, "I'm already buying that. I'm buying them all." (what he left out is the BWAHAHAHA). Then he walked away and started putting them all in his cart.

    I was speechless that anyone would do that. He was just obsessed or probably buying them to sell on ebay. I just let people like that go. They are sad people and honestly, as a woman, that mentality scares me. Don't even want to go there.

    Thankfully, most people behave themselves, but if you have large crowds of people waiting for hours to get into a Walmart, mob mentality starts to take over. It can really happen anywhere.

    Alright, you had your rant about us Americans. For some of us, it is rightfully earned. Not all of us are civilized or have manners, unfortunately. I think that happens everywhere though, not just here.

    Walmart and other stores that offer doorbuster sales, need to have better security if they have something like that. You can't leave it up to the crowd.

    AV

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    santeewelding

    Snapping an arm at the elbow is easy. Then you walk away with another plant amid the screaming and clamor.

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    Tig2

    That man would have found himself with a cart in the
    crotch had it been me. I don't tolerate obscene behavior
    well. Something very fundamental in me knows that my
    inner b*tch would have had something to say.

    And I wouldn't have bothered with the plant either.

    The guy would have definitively learned that he was out of
    line. Period. We, ourselves, are the best tools for
    teaching our "fellow Americans" when they cross the line.

    I will concede that your approach is taking a higher road.

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    santeewelding

    And all together too, too petite.

    I do like your point that it comes down to each one of us.

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    AV .

    There are some real sickos in our society. Years ago I probably would have confronted that guy, but today, I think twice. You never know when an idiot like that has a gun.

    Someone like that is just ****-bent, so now I just get out of the way and let them continue on to that destination.

    AV

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    Oz_Media

    But is this really what we have come to?

    "You can't leave it up to the crowd."

    Why not? I have seen people push and shove and, without prejudice, it is common on public transit and in stores for Oriental people to push and shove their way through (getting a lot of wierd looks). However it is simply a result of their overpopulated cities and is usually not too bad and I can understand how they become that way in public crowds.

    I have been at Vancouver's largest, most sought out boxing day sales; the crowd is just a long but tidy line of people tucked against the wall outside. The doors open and they let 'X; number of people in at a time and manage it that way, people wait patiently in line for their turn.

    That's even at the BIGGEST electronic blowout center in the heart of downtown Vancouver that is famous for its boxing day sales.


    I'm not saying we don't get out of hand, but
    the Stanley Cup riots and GNR concert riot in Vancouver are not exactly the same thing as holiday shopping at a family oriented discount store, thats just a display of unfathomable ignorance in society.

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    Dr Dij

    home of the 1,500 acre Living Desert zoo and gardens
    http://www.livingdesert.org

    some d*rka** shot someone else in a Toys'R'Us store friday sale.

    Since someone carried their gun into the store, I'm guessing this was not about toys but about gang members or something like that. Not much detail on the news yet.

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    Oz_Media

    didn't notice your post when I posted below.

    I think police said that it ws a rivalry between two men, but not specifically gang or drug related.

    pretty sure the link in my post (below) noted something like that.

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    Dr Dij

    was that they both KILLED EACH OTHER!!

    Two less stupid people in the world, thinning the herd, etc.

    Now if all the bad drivers in the world would just run into each other and not me, and take each other out two at a time...

    With my luck there would be an odd number of bad drivers so there'd still be one left.

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    Oz_Media

    Once all teh bad drivers are killed off, do you then start eleminiating the worst of the remaining bunch? Let me guess that YOU would be teh only one left, of course.

    ( I know I would, NOBODY drives as well as me....)

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    is why I hide in the basement on Black Friday.

    To quote someone I know: "People are my least favorite species." At least once a year.

    edit: The death of Christmas spirit in the public marketplace is mourned by me.

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    Oz_Media

    I expected a bit of the 'Oz is US bashing again' type of anti-Oz reply as usual.

    This type of mass hysteria happens anywhere, however we usually see it from less developed countires when they hand out bread and water to the weak and needy.

    I showed the article to a few other folks that came in the office today and I have to say the sentiment was the same. "What's with 'those' people?"

    Its always one step forward and two steps back with such a dense society I suppose.

    Best to just stay home, cuddle under the blankets and watch some cheezy daytime crap you don't have to sit through on a normal day of work, kinda like that 34 year old kid and pregnant woman should have done.

    Fk WalMart and door crasher sales, it isn't worth it on the best of days.

    Cheers,
    OM

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    Tig2

    Okay- you used a few generalities. I'm over that. I think
    that you were more commenting about the inhumanity of the
    situation. I can't say that you were wrong on that score. The
    whole thing is tragic.

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    maxwell edison

    Oz never misses an opportunity.

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    Oz_Media

    form time to time one gets through teh cracks, but hey I haven't been on Bushs butt much lately; then again, I think that playing his Nintendo GameBoy while Obama goes through the files and tries to see how he can sort out the country's problems is okay for him nowdays anyway.

    BUUUUUUSH BAAAAAAASH!!!

    I'm gonna miss him though, somehow I think that Obama wont be nearly as easy a mark as having a really incompetent idiot at the helm. Like him or not, Obama at least appears to be clever, even if its just a game; he's a lot better at it than Bush was.

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    Keighlar

    Oz, while I agree whole-heartedly with your lamentation over the despicable behavior of those people, and while I share in your frustration at the inability of people to comprehend basic human responsibility, I have to take huge issue with you in regard to your assessment of both America and Americans. Truth be told, I am not so happy with my country. I am frustrated with it and its people. I cannot understand the inability other?s have to see truths which appear to be so clear.
    <br><p>
    I have ?lurked? here long enough to know that you and I are going to fall on the opposite side of every political and social coin. What I take most ire at is your assertion that America and Americans are selfish ? that opposing welfare is selfishness. It proves that (1) you do not understand selfishness, and (2) that you know nothing about the welfare system in this country.
    <br><p>
    (1) How is it selfish to want to make your own decision on how your money is spent and to whom it is given? Welfare is the government telling me that I am not smart enough, capable enough or compassionate enough to decide how the money I work for is spent. The all-powerful, all-knowing government knows who needs my assistance and is more capable of distributing those ?funds? than I. That belittles and insults me.
    <br><p>
    Is there no possibility in your thinking that compassion exists by the 1000-folds here in America, but that it is stomped out by the greedy, grasping redistributing hands of the government? By the time they are done, we barely have enough to sustain our own families, let alone sustain others.
    <br><p>
    And yet, given this environment of ridiculous taxation, America still gives generously of itself.
    <br><p>
    See one source: http://oldfraser.lexi.net/publications/forum/1999/06/04_charitable_donations.html
    <br><p>
    <i>Excerpt: (I understand these figures are from 1996, but the pattern remains.)
    <br><p>
    Charitable contributions: A US-Canada comparison
    <br><p>
    Canada, in general, maintains higher marginal tax rates than the United States. For instance, in 1996, the top federal marginal tax rate in Canada was 29 percent (plus a 3 and 5 percent surtax)3 and was effective at $59,181.4 The top combined marginal tax rate - provincial income taxes are levied on top of the federal rate - in 1996, for individuals earning $75,000 or more in British Columbia, for example, was 51 percent.5
    The United States, on the other hand, maintained a top marginal tax rate of 40 percent in 1996, but at a threshold income of US$271,000. If we assume that the traditional theory of charitable giving holds, we would expect to observe higher levels of charitable giving in Canada than in the US.
    <br><p>
    Americans contribute in excess of $125 billion annually to charity,6 or roughly US$1,017 on average.7 Canadians, meanwhile, donate roughly $4 billion, or Cdn $738 on average, significantly less than their southern neighbours. This basic comparison casts doubt on the applicability of the traditional theory of charitable giving.
    </i>
    <br><p>
    (2) Do you have any idea how inept and riddled with fraud the American welfare system is? Do I believe in welfare? No. Do I believe that there are much more viable alternatives that must be considered? Yes. The second the government (ours and any other country?s) gets involved, money is spent unwisely, committees are formed needlessly, and the entire project is in general botched up!
    <br><p>
    There are so many other ?points? that you make here that I could take to task one-by-one, but I don?t have the time or desire to engage you in an endless, pointless debate. Besides, Maxwell keeps you on your toes enough for me. It is amazing to me that you are obviously an intelligent and thoughtful person, and yet you so often come to incorrect conclusions. Americans as a whole are generous, compassionate people who do not wish to be subjugated, but to live fully in the hard-fought freedom given our generation.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    fix it 'til it is."
    A bumper sticker I'm particularly fond of. Government attitude in a nutshell.

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    Oz_Media

    I know and fully agree that wlefare is an abused and misused system, but they all are.

    There's one thing about scammers, they will beat ANY system, ANYWHERE. Always have and always will, that's just what they do.

    By taking support form them, you are in turn takign support from others who deserve, have earned and need the help of their fellowman.

    DEsERVE, EARN? Yes some people need support, they woked hard and have fallen on hard times, they have both earned and deserve a hand from 'the people' seeing as i have been told many times that THE PEOPLE IS the US government, then the government should have teh ability to act on your behalf in such cases.

    If th government didn't dole it out on welfare, you wouldn' tsee a penny more in your pocket anyway, they just alocate it to something else THEY deem worthy.

    When you live in a ocuntry, especially one with such great opportunities for citizens, you pay taxes, unaviodable. Where those taxes go, also unavoidable.

    So we WILL pay taxes and no matter how much or how little they give to welfare support, which for the MAJORITY of recipients is needed, you will see no additional benefit to yourself. If you think fo rone second that doing away with wlefare puts more money in yoru pocket, less taxes, you are sadly mistaken, governments DON'T give back yoru money, they just spend it somewhere else that most will contest and complain about.

    The stats as ot donations are entirely irrelevant, at no tie did I say that Canadians were more generous.
    Where you will find we are more generous though would be seeing and understanding the need for medical for every Canadian and welfare for those in need.

    We don't make as many personal donations for the benefit of tax write offs? So what?

    As for incorrect conclusions, that is relative to who you are speakign to, I could do the same with yoru post too, yet as you noted it's just not worth it nor am I interested in going down that path for a week or two.

    "Americans as a whole are generous, compassionate people who do not wish to be subjugated, but to live fully in the hard-fought freedom given our generation."

    perhaps you should keep an eye on your freedoms which are removed as soon as teh government decides it needs to remove them. They are merely assumed privileges, not freedoms. ANY American citizen had the same freedoms in 1942 that you have today, yet as it was deemed fit for eth government, they rounded up Chinese AMERICANS many born and raised there, and stuck them in camps. They took their houses, they split up their families and treated them as the enemy.

    We did it too in Canada, and I don' tcontest that nbut I at least recognize it. Where were the FREEDOMS then?

    Is there a time, in yoru mind, where your freedoms can be simply stripped from you because the government thinks it should remove them?

    there are countless such cases in all FREE countries, yeah America's not the only one, sorry bout that.

    "Americans as a whole are generous, compassionate people who do not wish to be subjugated, but to live fully in the hard-fought freedom given our generation."

    Hard fought freedom taht can be taken away form a hard working American in a whim.

    Compassionate people, who don't believe in welfare to support people (no, you don't know everyone and many would go unhelped if it was a personal system) and trample fellow Americans on their way to a store. Compassionate people who think that their allies are either on their side or against them. Compassionate people who rely on teh world for each and every breath they take, and yet spit on other nations that provide them with their lovely lives.

    sure, you got me fooled alright. Anyway, time to **** this popsickle stand, talk to you some other time and I do appreciate your approach and honesty with your reply.

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    TheChas

    Of course from the raw numbers, it looks like the US gives a lot of money to charity when you look at raw dollars given. The US has the highest total personal income of any country.

    However, if you look at percentage of wealth versus charitable contributions, or percentage of GNP versus contributions, the US becomes a low end giver.

    Even when the people in the US give generously, their gifts have strings attached.

    All you need to do is look at how we respond to events like hurricanes to see how stingy we are. While the Red Cross and Salvation Army ask for money to fund the relief efforts, the US people go to their closets and clear out the clothes they don't want anymore. Or, they go down to the local store and buy the supplies they think the charities should hand out to those in need.

    Another factor to take into account is that most of the large charitable donations in the US total are from corporate and individual foundations. Foundations set up to distribute money to avoid or reduce taxation.

    As to replacing public assistance with local or individual charity, there are many problems with that concept. Not the least of which is that the person who can tell the best story of woe is more apt to get assistance than the one in the most need.

    I am sorry, but from where this American sets, the US people are very stingy givers.

    Chas

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    TonytheTiger

    As to replacing public assistance with local or individual charity, there are many problems with that concept. Not the least of which is that the person who can tell the best story of woe is more apt to get assistance than the one in the most need.

    Locals are more likely to know if one of theirs is honestly in need or spinning a yarn. They are also more likely to know what kind of, and how much, help someone really needs. One of the dumbest things our government does is to send SSI checks to alcoholics and drug addicts. What do you think they're going to do with the money?

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    Oz_Media

    Mroe affluent neighbourhoods, will quickly pick up a fallen neighbour, knowing them and probablhy knowing before the person actually hits rock bottom.

    Those is poor neighbourhoods, who supports THEM?

    It perpetuates the differences in class and allows those in the most dire situations to go unnoticed an unhelped.

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    TonytheTiger

    never having lived in an "affluent neighborhood".

    It perpetuates the differences in class and allows those in the most dire situations to go unnoticed an unhelped.

    So what? There are different classes for a REASON. If you have what it takes to survive, you will. If you have what it takes to thrive, you will. If you have someone willing to let you tag along, you will. Otherwise, tough noogies! I did not cause you to exist, and your existence creates no obligation on me.

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    puppybreath

    How would you resolve the differences in class?

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    TonytheTiger

    It would require forcing to the lowest common denominator. But even then you'll have those being forced, and those doing the forcing.

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    puppybreath

    that OZ would be critical of the US for a problem with no solution?

    I think we can safely assume that he has already come up with the solution, which explains why he is so upset. If he can figure it out, why can't our government?

    I want to get his input on the proper way to proceed so that I can forward it on to the proper authorities.

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    Oz_Media

    In other words, if my fellow Americans fall on gard times, fk em, that's their problem.

    Ever thought about Nazi Germany Perhaps a mroe suitable mentality for you that America.

    You see strength in self preservation and personal accomplishment but not in unity and helping your fellowman, and yet you are said to live in the UNITED states, now there's some hypocrisy for you!

    Its not just you though, I can't tell you how obvious that selfish mentality is to others.

    Having just got back from Washington this morning, I am still adjusting to humans again and a bit slack jawed at the spectacle you call a powerful nation. Man, what a fast, downhill slide you've taken.

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    Oz_Media

    Firstly, dont be such a self centered twOt. It is not only about America, other nations that accept welfare as a necessary evil also demonstrate greater awareness and empathy for their fellowman, foreigners and immigrants. This makes ANY nation stromger and more socially developed.

    I have no issue understanding classes, I'm from Europe, you haven't even seen real class separation in America yet, just the rich vs the poor.

    I understand classes and the adjacent pecking order much better than anyone that's never have left in North America would.

    But to leave the fallen to fester is simply a selfish, VERY ignorant and unproductive way of moving society forward as a whole.

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    puppybreath

    Talk about someone who's a self centered twOt. You sure like to brag about all of your worldly experience, don't you? I hate to be the one to break it to you, but a filled passport doesn't make you an expert on world affairs. But if you believe it does, let's compare passports and see who's traveled more.

    The issue isn't about giving help to the poor. It's about giving to those who are capable but using the system to live on handouts rather than getting work and improving their lot.

    I'll give the shirt off of my back for someone who is truely in need, but I refuse to give a penny to some lazy bum who would rather get by on handouts than have to work for a living. I understand the difference; you apparently don't or won't.

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    TonytheTiger

    In other words, if my fellow Americans fall on gard times, fk em, that's their problem.

    I am there for my fellow American far more than the taxes I pay would seem to indicate... not because THEY have the right... but because I do! If you're not, it says volumes more about YOU than it does about me.

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    TonytheTiger

    There's little worse than seeing someone claiming they are cold and hungry getting money and that night a plasma TV is installed in their apartment, except maybe the utter stupidity of giving cash to a drug addict or alcoholic.

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    Oz_Media

    "I have no issue understanding classes, I'm from Europe, you haven't even seen real class separation in America yet, just the rich vs the poor."

    This is what you suggest is me liking to brag about having been all over the world?

    Are you America? What an ego THAT must take?

    I have pretty much travelled around the world a couple of times but that's has nothing to do with anything I said in my post to you, neither does your passport.

    And with you proudly boasting to have been to more places than I, which is irrelevant (like your last comment), you should have a greater awareness that the rest of the world functions just as well while still incorporating what you would deem socialism that steals money from those who earn it and gives it to unworthy citizens all the time. the citizens in general are happy with thei rgovernments and they live in prosperous nations that afford them with their happy lives, which is apparently impossible in the US as they keep giving your money away WITHOUT EVEN ASKING YOU!!
    The NERVE of them! They should ONLY provide YOU with what YOU need to be safe, to protect YOUR rights and care about YOU, not the other 'kin Americans that live down the street, what kind of democracy is THAT!?!?
    You don't even get so much as a tax certificate for all those donations! What kind of country are you living in????

    You have never said anything here of any interest to me, your inherent personal prejdudice removes your ability to offer andy comments other than defensive emotion anyway.

    Have fun with that, perhaps have a little argument between your dolls or something, you can even dress one as the devil wearing Fidel Castro's uniform and call him Oz as you stick him with pins, whatever floats your boat.

    To think you have extensively travelled to all corners of the world and still don't see that people in Australia, Austria, France, Germany, England etc. are happier and more content with their lives than most Americans, would be like saying you went to the bathroom but didn't notice the toilet.

    You eithre make up other stories so that you can accept the fact that others are generally happier than Americans or you fail to recognize or acknowledge that their systems, while flawed as all are, are accepted as s way of helping up their neighbours and people accept the need to help those less fortunate, even if it means some people are screwing the system as a result.

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    Oz_Media

    "If you're not, it says volumes more about YOU than it does about me. "

    Tony, you cant make stuff up AND accuse people of it too.
    At what time, no...in what thread, no...on what WEBSITE have I EVER said that I don't help out others or support my neighours?

    I haven't, so take that little tirade and cram it arseward.

    Yeah, the government steals from me every chance they get, and its not just welfate, and that is something I accept and ignore as I still get the benefits and joy of living in Canada; the world's most desired, and full-on recreational playground is right in my backyard. People plan and save for years to come and spend a week or two here, should have seen hwo many Washington plates were returngin to eth US Sunday morning after opening weekend for most of the mountains.

    But they (the government and my tax money) offer me protection, security and emergency service. One catch with that though is that the government likes to help out those who have fallen on hard times, as do I, so I accept the fact that taxes go to others, without my permisison, and that's life and part of the cost of living in a free and desireable nation.

    It doesn't HURT me in any way, it doesn't leave me poor, I don't lose out in any way. I still live the life I choose to live, where I choose to live it, that's pretty nice when you look at the many countires that don't share such happiness and freedoms, like Iraq, America and Africa, where the people constantly complain of an unjus government and lack of freedoms.

    I assume that you know very well that if you DIDN'T have a portion of your tax money going got welfare that you would nto see a single dime mroe on yoru paychek, and that the government would simply allocate your tax money to something/someone else for another reason.

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    Oz_Media

    YOu are right, there are many epople screwing teh system and no matter WHAT system is created they will screw it, if not they will steal from you and your neighbours instead. In order to see those that NEED help GET help though, I accept the system we have in place because nobody has ever created a foolproof or better system for helping other citizens in need.

    And no, while you may have idea that keeps more money in your pocket, you certainly don't have a better solution that covers all aspects of such needed support.

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    puppybreath

    Naturally, you have sources that can back up the claim:

    "To think you have extensively travelled to all corners of the world and still don't see that people in Australia, Austria, France, Germany, England etc. are happier and more content with their lives than most Americans"

    Or is that just your opinion from personal experience and not necesarily a fact?

    Why are you so opposed to someone asking for some oversight regarding how tax dollars are spent for helping the poor?

    Throwing money at a problem isn't always the best solution; just look at the educational system in the US. We spend a fortune and turn out less educated people each year. Yet you seem to think we aren't giving enough. Sounds like you're pretty free and easy with money; as long as it belongs to someone else.

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    Dumphrey

    There is a big difference between Social Welfare and Corporate welfare, hidden welfare and visible welfare. Lumping it all together is much like calling an iceberg an ice cube.
    Visable Social welfare is what most of you are refering too. SSI, SS, Foodstamps, Disability, Mdicaide, Medicare, WIC... these are the bulk of social welfare. Hidden costs being smaller programs aimed and minority (read small population, not non-white)target groups, social workers salaries, focus groups, development costs, etc represent the rest of the social side.
    On the corporate side we have bailouts, tax breaks, paying large commercial farmers to NOT GROW crops, ermm agricultural subsidies... Not really the same ball of wax.
    Arguing over how your tax dollars are spent on Social Welfare is silly. Its such a tiny amount of the total budget as to be the same as an individual buying a candy bar. Really... Perspective...

    [EDIT]
    In my experience, welfare fraud (including medicare/medicaid) etc is much more prevalent on a provider basis then on an individual basis. So, Joe A lies a bit and gets an extra $500 a month. The local Dispersal agency lie sa bit, double bills a bit, and gets an extra $2000000 a month...
    3 counties here had 100% executive replacement and criminal charges pressed, along with a total payback of around 12Million in their Medicaid providers. This was about 9 years ago. I'm still looking for a link to a paper article on the incident.
    Not what I was looking for but along the same lines..
    http://www.islandgazette.net/content/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3150&Itemid=75

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    Oz_Media

    You are completely lost, mate!

    First of all you say "Naturally, you have sources that can back up the claim:"

    then you even reiterate EXACTLY what I said, which says very clearly that if you had travelled to these places you should have noticed... How is that so easily confused to mean I was stating facts as compared to personal opinion, based on first hand experience?

    How did you EVER get out of grade school with such **** poor reading compreshension skills?
    You read something, reiterate it and STILL don't understand it!?!?!? That simply boggles the mind as it is so blind.

    In fact, I don't know HOW someone could be confused by such simple verbage and get such an incorrect understanding of what's been said, and yet still be able to put a spoon to your mouth to feed yourself.

    I said 'IF YOU HAD TRAVELLED'....this inidcates a personal knowledge due to exposure, that is fact enough if you've been there without blinders on, you'd have seen it yourself.

    So apparently, as your passport reads like an atlas, you have been there and would have noticed that people aren't all standing around, complaining about wlefare reform and the government stealing their money to give it to others. They are some of the kindest and most content people I have met, much more so than in North America as a whole.

    Or are you now saying you haven't travelled there or HAVE seen that most people in those countries were begging for your to take them home to America with you because their socialist system has failed them and the government steals from them.

    It's your vast personal knowledge of world affairs that I am seeking, not some website where the 'facts' are made up by a disgruntled shut-in.

    "Or is that just your opinion from personal experience and not necesarily a fact?"

    Yeah, and I didn't say it was fact, well it IS fact but fact I have derived my opinion from personal experience, unless you can prove otherwise; unless you can prove, with facts or even personal experience that people in those countries ARE complaining about the government redistributing their money.

    What a waste of keystrokes, simply because you can sorta read but have chosen to demonstrate that you cannot comprehend what you have just read.


    "Why are you so opposed to someone asking for some oversight regarding how tax dollars are spent for helping the poor?"

    I am not, once again the comprehension issue has failed you. This is not a case of someone asking for some oversight and I have not said as much either.

    This is a case of someone constantly complaining that a system has failed and should be disposed of, that the government is stealing money and giving to to someone else without permission.

    Do you sit in a room and have personal arguments with your various personas beore posting here about things that were never said, simply assumed as a result of your private arguments with your 'self'?

    "Throwing money at a problem isn't always the best solution;"

    Once again, show me a statement where I have said otherwise.

    I HAVE said that the current system is in place because we have yet to find somethign better. That if we tighten the requirements more, people HWO do need help will often be wrongly turned away, and those who abuse teh system will STILL do so and get their money, in other words the exact oppostie of what works now.

    Get a clue, learn to comprehend what you read and then post a reply; as for this; you are just typing for the sake of typing, you have no logical basis of argument at all. You have simply created arguments based on false allegations that you created yourself.

    You don't need anyone to debate a subject with, you can simply argue with yourself without my help. It doesn't matter WHAT I say, you don't understand what you are reading anyway and have your own conclusions already made up before you get started.

    Why not just post an entire dialogue between us by yourself and save me the time? You make it up as you go anyway.

    Get some help!

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    I suspect that the statistics are missing a goodly number of people who give generously of their time and income 'off the books'. I know quite a few of us.

    etu

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    Oz_Media

    to the US or do you feel that would be seen throughout the world?

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    I like to think that would be seen throughout the world.

    etu

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    santeewelding

    That single most salient example of charity should convince you.

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    TonytheTiger

    The problem is with the government forcing charity, A) we have less left to give, when B) because of the government's "giving", it takes more on our part to make a real difference.

    The government is making the problems worse than what they would otherwise be.

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    maxwell edison

    And where do you sit? What's your view?

    Percentage of income, how much do you, personally, give?

    Percentage of time (or hours), how much time do you give?

    As a country, can you provide the numbers (in both dollars and percentages), and the source of your information?

    As a country, how much time do people give?

    What are the reported numbers? How about the unreported numbers?

    Moreover, how does all this reconcile with other comments you've made about the average working guy making barely enough to get by? On one hand, you sympathize because he's struggling; on the other hand, you criticize him for not giving enough. What gives?

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    TheChas

    Max,

    We have covered this before. I have neither the time or the need to look up and post the sources for my statements. The information all come from articles I have read from a variety of sources.

    Unlike you, I do not need to have supporting data from a multitude of sources in order to have an opinion or take a stance.

    While I have not seen any data on how much of America's charity giving goes to the local churches, I do wonder what the numbers would look like if you factored out the contributions that solely go to operate and build the churches in this country.

    For that matter, how much would charitable contributions drop in the US if they were not tax deductible?

    Chas

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    jdclyde

    Obamas Donated Less Than 1% of Their 2000-2004 Income
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=apR1J1py2Ouc&refer=home

    The Obamas increased the amount they gave to charity when their income rose in 2005 and 2006 after the Illinois senator published a bestselling book. The $137,622 they gave over those two years amounted to more than 5 percent of their $2.6 million income.

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    older ****

    I couldn't agree with you more. However, I think the "so many other ?points? that you make here that I could take to task one-by-one" that OZ makes are simply reflective on the state that many [myself for one], find ourselves in today. I am a 61yr old vet, raised on solid middle class, [aannndd God-Fearing], standards, and yet we have come to a point of total frustration with corporate greed, financial irresponsibility of government [where is Keynsian economics?], record high/still-rising crime, judiciary out of control, lower to mid level non-existant meaningful education----the list goes on & on as said....in the final analysis it literally leaves a person babbling..... I am belittled down to one statement: SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE!!!!

    In the meantime, as long as "we" continue to "voice" our "thoughts", perhaps we make one more person salient, and somewhere down the line those people coalesce into a active, functioning unit to get those grievances addressed. And God help us--it will be peaceful. A redress of grievances [hopefully]. Till then, you, OZ, ---and many others keep talking---outward--to many others.

    Sam

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    Oz_Media

    Why God fearing? If you are one of those who still believe in God, which is becoming less and less popular over the last 100 years or so, why would you FEAR him?

    Isn't God supposed to be kind and helping, forgiving and understanding? I certainly don't fear anyone with such standards, especially if there was actually a 'God' that offered me such a hand in life.

    Then again, the one good thing about believing in the unbelievable must be that anything that can't be explained or reasoned with logic and science would automatically just be 'one of God's odd ways, which we will never understand in this lifetime'. How soothing and easy!


    But I didn't know you would fear God if you believed in him, that must suck BIG time!

    Then again, if you don't want to be scared, you can just stop going to church and saying you believe in him, problem solved!! See, that is way more effective than saying it's God's way!

    Now you don't really have to be scared anymore, I think there is enough fact to make any dreams of a higher being to seem completely illogical nowadays.

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    Dumphrey

    I was raised Presbyterian, so I can say I don't "fear" god, he was to vague and loving to be feared. (God so loved the world he gave his only son...yaddie yaddie yaddie)
    Fear of God seems to be a fundamentalist thing, and while I "understand" (mentally) it, I don't get it. I think the fear comes from the Old testament **** Fire and Brimstone preaching from the early parts of the last Century. It was used as a social control mechanism to promote a particular religious meme (ie tithing to the church). (Flame away on that comment, its the tip of my iceburg on religion.)

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    Oz_Media

    Wasn't the old testamant the one that said it was okay to **** and impregnate 13 year old women?

    It's nice, convennient, how God decided that the old testament was too harsh and decided to revise it to meld in with what society deemed more important these days.

    Conveniently edited to disclude what was not socially acceptable by religious fanatics, and revised to still ward of some evil doers but appease the evil doers who believed in God. YEah religoin makes SO much sense these days. Maybe 100+ years ago there was some partially believable theory but not in 2008.

    In my mind, religion simply stops mankind from progression as a species.

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    LateNightLar

    I absolutely REFUSE to go shopping on Black Friday... I don't care how good the bargains are. There's nothing I need or want bad enough to get into that mortal combat situation.

    I think the store should also be held accountable for this young man's death, just as much as any of the shoppers. Mass market retailers have created the Black Friday hysteria with their extreme sale prices for the first ten customers or whatever, and by opening earlier and earlier every year.

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    XnavyDK

    If it was at a mom and pop or BestBuy you would'nt be saying that. The man was trampled by HUMANS, in a situation that was designed by humans. Hold HUMANS accountable.. heh, i hold myself accountable, by not participating in the mechanism that is the holiday season. BAH HUMBUG

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    sing4you

    It's very sad that the Christmas spirit has been completely drowned out by rabid consumerism.

    I rarely shop in stores because of this. I know it's good to support your local retailer but the internet offers no traffic, no parking hassles, no crowds, and a better variety of products. I may buy a couple of things in small local shops but, for the most part, I'm going on-line!!

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    Tig2

    The SO and I went shopping on the day after Thanksgiving
    ONE TIME. We were so completely disgusted by the
    experience we have vowed to never do it again. I made
    our Christmas gifts this year and I feel no need
    whatsoever to make any further purchases.

    Fortunately, according to the article, the pregnant lady
    and her baby are okay. My heart goes out to that man's
    family. The horror of such a thing happening is just
    beyond belief.

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    The Scummy One

    but I wanted to see. I went past a Wal-Mart on the way to Sears, and the lot was full, traffic was backed up into the street.
    Across the street was a Target store, about half the parking lot was full.
    Sears was pretty busy as well, but bearable.

    As for Wal-Mart, 2 years ago there were a few incidents as well. Last year, those stores had local Police keeping people in line. I wonder what happened today.

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    NotSoChiGuy

    My sister came by to watch the kids, and we (wife and I)were out the door at 4:30. We went to a few stores (we split to go to stores opening at 5, and then met up to hit Target at 6) and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised.

    There were fairly large crowds at all of the stores, but for the most part, people were well mannered.

    At Target, there was a potential for incident, when a large (20+) group of 'line jumpers' tried to get into the store when the doors opened. Management stepped up, though. They cordoned off that group, and made them wait until everyone that had been in line went into the store. People were walking by, shouting kudos to the store management and giving them pats on the back (literally).

    I'm not sure if I would do it again, but for my first time, I can't honestly complain.

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    TonytheTiger

    A mall not far from here (no Walmart around) had a man knocked down and trampled, ending up with a broken elbow... here's the interesting part... fortunately, there were EMTs standing by at the scene, so he was immediately rushed to the hospital.

    I don't know if that was good planning, or low expectations :)

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    Dumphrey

    you could freeze crap to a stick and sell it to people as Crap On A Stick (tm) at $6.99 a pop...
    It lowers your opinion of American social intelligence, manners, and general level of evolution
    While I never saw anyone trampled, I did see numerous fist fights, hair pulling, shoving, theft, several stabbings, and a general low level of manners. And this was in a Mall in a city voted to be in the Top 10 cities to live in by Forbes..

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    Oz_Media

    And I've done it too.

    I've taken over 6000 unsolicited demo CD's from the European market, branded them and sold them at $16.99 a pop in California.

    Bands do it all the time there, because nobody expects quality from music, just something everyone else is buying, its hilarous. US is an easy market, if you can't sell it elsewhere, any old, poorly produced crap will fly off he shelves there with s bit of marketing behind it.

    For bands to sell home-made garage demos that even a label wouldn't bother listening too, is great though, way to clear out the back catalogue!

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    Jaqui

    welcome to my world view.

    people need to be killed off just to improve the gene pool.

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    make sure the aberrant elements of the gene pool are the only ones being killed off.

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    Jaqui

    if they were fit to survive they wouldn't have been killed off

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    road-dog

    I just had to read a ways down to get to it.

    All that aside, we Americans do need to knock this stuff off. This season has become a monstrosity. I for one am happy I decided years ago to get the **** off the treadmill.

    This season is where this "me first" attitude that is all too common in this country comes to a head. And for all the wrong reasons.

    I'm sure that TR folks were not in that cattle call. Maybe we need to pass along to loved ones that we'd rather enjoy their stress free company this holiday than see them brave a mosh pit of consumerism... to give us something we could buy on sale after the holiday for a better price than what is available on black Friday.

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    maxwell edison

    ROSKILDE, Denmark (CNN) -- Grieving fans left candles and flowers at a Danish outdoor music stage Saturday, hours after at least eight people were trampled to death in a surge of concert-goers in a muddy field. Despite the deaths Friday night, organizers elected to go ahead with the massive four-day concert at Roskilde, Denmark, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of the capital of Copenhagen.

    At least 12 people, including youths and police officers, were trampled to death after police raided a Mexico City nightclub on Friday, according to police. Three officers and nine youths, three of them minors, were killed, Police Chief Joel Ortega said. At least 13 people were injured.

    Sometimes the surging crowds, trekking from one station of the pilgrimage to the next, cause a stampede. Panic spreads, pilgrims jostle to avoid being trampled, and hundreds of deaths can result. The Stoning of the Devil ceremony is particularly crowded and dangerous.
    ? On July 2, 1990, a stampede inside a pedestrian tunnel (Al-Ma'aisim tunnel) leading out from Mecca towards Mina and the Plains of Arafat led to the deaths of 1,426 pilgrims.
    ? On May 23, 1994, a stampede killed at least 270 pilgrims at the stoning of the Devil ritual.
    ? On April 9, 1998, at least 118 pilgrims were trampled to death and 180 injured in an incident on Jamarat Bridge.
    ? On March 5, 2001, 35 pilgrims were trampled to death in a stampede during the stoning of the Devil ritual.
    ? On February 11, 2003, the stoning of the Devil ritual claimed 14 pilgrims' lives.
    ? On February 1, 2004, 251 pilgrims were killed and another 244 injured in a stampede during the stoning ritual in Mina.
    ? On January 12, 2006, a stampede during the ritual ramy al-jamarāt on the last day of the Hajj in Mina killed at least 346 pilgrims and injured at least 289 more.
    TUNIS, May 1 (Reuters) - Six people died and a dozen were injured in a stampede during an open air concert in Tunisia, state news agency Tunis Afrique Presse and witnesses reported on Tuesday.

    The December 3, 1979 Who concert tragedy in Cincinnati, Ohio, ranks as the most horrific rock concert incident in the United States. Eleven rock fans were crushed to death and scores injured because of gross crowd management failings.

    Screaming fans charged the gate of a soccer stadium where the adolescent pop group Menudo was to perform on Sunday, and trampled two women to death, the police said. The women, one 48 years old and another in her 20's, were killed in the stampede toward the Vasco da Gama Stadium gate, which was opened three hours before the teen-age Puerto Rican group's performance, according to Jorge Silveira, a police detective.

    Jakarta - At least 10 people were trampled to death in a stampede during a music concert accident in Indonesia's West Java capital of Bandung, local media reports said Sunday. The melee occurred as the crowd jostled its way out the exit doors after an underground concert, state-run Antara news agency reported.

    Beijing, Nov. 12 - Chinese cities have ordered checks on supermarkets in the wake of a chaotic cooking oil promotion in a Carrefour store in which three people were trampled to death. The dead were among hundreds of customers who crushed into one of the French retail giant stores in Chongqing, a sprawling southwestern city where giddy growth jostles with grinding hardship. Managers lost control of the hundreds scrambling for discount cooking oil, a powerful lure for Chinese consumers juggling tight budgets and ballooning food prices, including those for the oil essential for home cooking.

    Sometimes, the frenzy of a new Ikea store can lead to tragedy. In September 2004, two men were trampled to death and 16 shoppers were injured in a rush by 20,000 people to claim vouchers at the first Ikea in Saudi Arabia.

    Meanwhile in February 2005, a riot at the opening of a new Ikea in North London, as shoppers fought over bargains, caused the store to close just 30 minutes after opening.

    A sold-out heavy-metal concert in Montreal starring Guns 'n' Roses and Metallica turned into a riot on Saturday after W. Axl Rose, the lead singer of Guns 'n' Roses, called his band off the stage 55 minutes into the show, complaining of voice problems?.. The Montreal police said rioters among the 53,000 audience members smashed stadium windows with an uprooted street lamp, looted a souvenir boutique, burned a sports car and Guns 'n' Roses T-shirts and set dozens of small fires. About 300 club-wielding police officers chased rioters through the streets and fired tear gas to regain control. The police sealed off the area and shut down four nearby subway stations to prevent the riot from spreading to the transit system.

    Riots mar Canada Day in Edmonton: The riot began after the bars and clubs closed around midnight, when between 800 and 1500 people spilled out onto Whyte Avenue on the south side of the city. Police say they initially responded to reports of fights. By two a.m., the crowd could not be controlled, and wouldn't disperse. Then people started throwing concrete chunks, rocks and bottles. They also smashed store windows, phone booths, and park benches along a five block stretch of Whyte Avenue.

    http://www.mytholog.com/trampling.html

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    Jaqui

    ya gotta remember one thing though about that Canada Day riot.. Edmonton, it's in Alberta, the flatlanders, and I suspect they are all "Flat Earthers" as well.
    logical thought doesn't seem to exist in Alberta.

    you know, kind of like Canada's version of the hill-billies.

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    Dr Dij

    it is supposed to be the best off province due to budget surpluses from mining. Shale oil I guess, and they export 1/3 of the worlds chickpeas and alot of lentils.

    In my job hunt desparation I was even thinking of moving there to avoid the steaming t*rdpile of crooked brokers that is the US economy. I don't think I qualify as a flatlander tho.

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    santeewelding

    The changes to your moniker.

    The situation compels sea change.

    Been there.

    Godspeed.

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    Dr Dij

    longer than they said I would be needed when they hired me so no regrets.

    Just wish I had been CONSTANTLY TRAINING during that time. I was only constantly training instead.

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    Gate keeper

    Hey ! in our defense .. we are not as flat-landed as those sasks

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    LOL

    Oz_Media

    I just typed that myself before I read your post.

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    Shellbot

    "those sasks".... that me buddy!!!!!

    :)

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    Oz_Media

    I do a lot of work in Alberta, have done so in all corners of Alberta for years now.

    They are some of the nicest and most accomodating people on the west side of the country (nothing like the maritimers, though, that are the best anywhere).

    Albertan's are also facing a pretty stuck up younger generation now though, the labourers are the typical yokels jaqi refers to, yup, flatlander but not like Saskatchewan...ers, ese? The TRUE flat landers.

    Albertans are like Texans, not always the brightest of the bunch but everything is BIG and RICH, y'all, yeeehaw!! The towns closer to the Rockies are nice, but Edmonton and Calgary are pretty crappy and not much different than other cities, except drenched in crappy music.

    Excellent income, you can earn more than $16/hr at A&W drive through, but also a high cost of living, though no provincial tax on purchases (nice). We finally copied their private liquor store idea, thanks for the cheaper booze Alberta!

    It is my second favorite spot in Canada, due to the wildlife and mountains, but for 'people' the Maritimes (Nova Scotia/Sydney, PEI, Mew Brunswick, Newfoundland) beat other provinces hands down.

    You have NEVER met people like them, but you'd learn real fast when your first interaction with a maritimer(and as a complete stranger)results in an invitation to dinner and to stay at his home so you can save on the hotel.

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    Dr Dij

    went there as kids. We'd vacation in Maine up from NY or Pennsylvania in summers and sometimes we'd make it further north.

    Even once my dad snuck a lobster up to the summer cottage from the bay, directly into a pot of boiling water. Shudder to think what could have happened if we were discovered poaching.

    Learned to swim there, in icy 56o waters. Gives you character, as my parents would say. And then, straight out of a Simpsons episode, we kids were arguing in the back seat, so parents made us get out and run behind the station wagon! (they'd told us frequently before that it would happend but it never had before :)

    I'm sure that built character!

    Then there was my buddy Jeff who we explored the slippery seaweed covered rocks with, and had an older sister who wanted to play this game.. Well, better not get into that..

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    Jaqui

    Surplus was from the now retired Kline.(sp?)

    The socialist Premier of the Province for years actually did a good job, no small thanks to the oil sands.

    There are some bleeding edge R&D companies there, in environmentally friendly power generation.

    Unfortunately, when things drop in our economy, Alberta will be hit really hard. Since the market drop they have had an increase in unemployment rate already.

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    Max

    puppybreath

    If you had researched further, you would have discovered that all of these incidents were either caused by Americans directly or because of their evil influence on other countries. All of the countries mentioned in the article are loving, peaceful countries when left to themselves. It's only when America starts bullying people and pushing the world around that these things happen.

    I'm sure there's also a direct link between these incidents and Bush but I haven't be able to pin it down yet. I'll keep looking but maybe Oz will be able to find it for us.

    ;-)

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    Oz_Media

    There are a couple of similar incidents there, fair enough. The majority are from concerts where large, boistrous crowds fighting it out, is an expected and common thing to occur. When you get general admission to an outdoor festival, especially with underground or industrial metal bands playing, it is par for the course that people get trampled, usually not to death though but many serious injuries.
    Stoning rituals? that doesn't fall into the same category as a mother and child seeking bargains at a local discount store.

    If your intent is to prove that people have been trampled before, I have to agree.

    People being trampled for a sale is a bit extreme though.

    I don't even spend much time at the front anymore, mosh pits are out of hand these days, just drunk guys that have no interest in the show and use it for a reason to just start punching and knocking out people randomly. They usually get tossed, but not until after the damage is done.

    I'd like to think that shopping in a family department store would not bring about the same brital mentality for most sane people, unless we should expect people to get drunk and slam around, punching each other to get the best deals, not quite the same expectations for the consumer as going to a hard rock show.

    One you listed was pretty much started because the Hellls Angels were originally hired as security and then told they weren't allowed to right before the show, good way to upset a few of the wrong people. The same happened when the Stones hired them too.

    But that isn't WalMart, or at least one would hope not.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    a couple thousand years, my bets are that Earth has not cornered the idiot market. Betting on lots of extra-terrestrial idiots, myself.

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    TonytheTiger

    The two most common elements in the Universe are hydrogen and stupidity.

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    maxwell edison

    4,120 Wal-Mart stores in the United States opened their doors to shoppers on this Friday after Thanksgiving without incident. So far there have been no comments from local authorities or media outlets as to the reason behind this behavior.

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    Oz_Media

    That makes it all okay then, no big deal, sorry about that.

    That'll make the young guy's mom sleep better at night, perhaps you could mail her your list of liks too so she understands just how normal such an event is all over the world; especially with it happening at concerts and stonings, she should have been prepared for it to happen at WalMart.

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    TheChas

    No incident? Or, no reported incident?

    I am sure that at many stores in many towns people going through the doors were pushed, shoved, bruised and battered. Generally, if the injured do not require medical attention, the incident goes unreported.

    Over the past few years, the crush of the crowds at the Black Friday sales has been seeing more and more people injured. There has typically been someone injured as they fell in front of the mob. Or, in the fights over who picked up the last of the special sale item.

    The American public needs to grow up past the "as long as I get mine, who cares about the rest" mentality.

    This mob mentality that has developed over the past decade or so needs to end.

    I know it's not everyone, or even a majority of the people who follow the mob mentality. However, everyone is responsible if they don't speak up to their friends and relatives who do participate in the mob mentality.

    Chas

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    TonytheTiger

    don't want to miss their chance at the victimhood trophy.

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    Oz_Media

    If there were six other similar incidents, where nobody died, the press would simply report the juicy story of a detah and miscarriage.

    Max's noted concert violence jst touches on a few reported key events. GNR riot in Vancouver made headlines but I have seen countless numbers of people sent to hospital and losing eyesight after taking a boot in the face while down, broken limbs, head injuries, massive cuts from random stabbings at concerts just to touch the surface, but it isn't news most of the time if there's something more edgy to report.

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    TonytheTiger

    the more widely something is reported. People close to it though still want a piece of the victimhood. There was a tug of war over the last XBOX360 locally. One guy let go, the other fell back and hit a third person. The third person is suing the store???? how stupid!

    We wouldn't have ANY of these problems if we'd start holding people personally responsible for their individual actions! All of this "What have 'we' become"?" is a load! "We" didn't do anything. I wasn't there, and neither were you. I don't behave that way, and I don't want to be lumped in with people who do.

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    maxwell edison

    In your message bashing the general goodwill of Americans, you relied on a per capita assessment. (Although it was no more than a guess).

    I was merely looking at this in what might be seen as a per capita assessment. Why don?t you look at it in the same way?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that Americans aren't self-centered and greedy. (Just like most people of the world are self-centered and greedy ? especially Canadians). I just question which ones are self-centered and greedy. After all, how many of them actually feel entitled to be given the fruits of another's labor? How many of them want to shirk what should be their personal responsibility onto others? Is it more self-centered and greedy to want to keep what you earn or to covet what another person earns? What?s more self-centered and greedy? Giving the shirt of your own back, or casting a vote that gives the shirt off another?s?

    In this case, one, or two, or three incidents compared to the thousands of non-incidents. It?s the rotten apples that spoils the bunch.

    I don?t care what you say. I don?t care what Oz says. Most Americans are decent people. (Although many of those otherwise decent people have been brainwashed to support the political notion that they are not responsible for their own lives, and/or are entitled to have something they did not earn.)

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    TheChas

    I think a quote from the Tommy Lee Jones character in the first Men In Black movie sums it up.

    A person is smart, people are dumb.

    I don't disagree that the average person on his or her own has good judgment and can do what is right.

    It is when you get a group of people together that things go bad.

    Actually, it is pretty amassing that we only had one major trampling happen this year. Based on what I have seen of the crowds the last few times I ventured out on Black Friday, running with the bulls in Pompalo is a much safer and saner thing to do.

    Chas

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    maxwell edison

    Oz, a Canadian, always pointing out what?s wrong with America. Chas, an American, always pointing out what?s wrong with America.

    Listening to the two of you, one might think there?s nothing right with America.

    Too many people focus on what's wrong instead of focusing on - and encouraging - what's right.

    It's said that bad news sells, and you two have bought into it lock, stock, and barrel.

    (P.S. Now is the time both of you will criticize me instead of addressing my message. Same ol? same ol?)

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    Oz_Media

    everyone can stick their heads in the sand and pretend its all rainbows and lolipops, I'm sure we'd all love ot do it, but it isn't reality.

    And I haven't said such incidents don't happen here, in fact with 10% of your population, I am sure that we have probably at least a little less than 10% of the similar incidents that you do. I would think that, logically, the Toys R Us incident would be rarer here too.

    But you go get sick and mad, then think of all the positives and block out any evil realities, its easier that way.

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    maxwell edison

    Give me a break. You know I don't think that, and you know I didn't say that? Therefore, what's the point of conversation.

    Okay, as you were - back to your favorite sport - bashing America.

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    TheChas

    Max,

    I am sure that part of your problem with Oz and myself is that as hard as you try you have been unable to convince us that your line of thought and way of looking at the world is better than ours.

    If anything, you have driven both of us further away from your conclusions and view of what the world could be.

    Are there good things that happen every day in the US, of course.

    Are there many instances where the very fabric of civil society is at risk and we just happen to make it through the day? That is also true.

    To maintain a civil society, EVERYONE has to be willing to put aside what is in their personal best interest in order that society as a whole can function.

    Where that line between personal interest and what is needed to keep our civil society functioning smoothly is the real question.

    In the case of the WalMart stampede, all it would have taken were a few people to form a blockade around the downed worker to prevent the tragedy. The trampled worker does not bother me as much as the shoppers who got upset when the store was closed to take care of the now dead man.

    Society is breaking down all around us. We MUST speak out strongly to reverse the trend.

    Chas

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    maxwell edison

    Unions

    And as an extension, everything unions have done. Unions have ruined your state. Unions have bankrupt a once great American industry.

    Well done, Michigan. And you espouse more of the same? That's insanity.

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    j-mart

    And others have had a bigger impact on auto industry world wide. These companies with superior engineering, build quality and value for money, would have more effect on automibile manufacturers abilty to survive in an incressingly compeditive globalised market.

    This leaves your local industry with two options, become better so you can beat the competition, or have the government put up trade bariers to give them a trading advantage.

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    maxwell edison

    And why didn't that happen?

    (Right, this is where greedy corporate officers gets the blame.)

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    j-mart

    It will be down to better workers, beter managers better organisation, better technology, benifits gained from investment in tooling and modern factories. Taking the narrow view that its down to unions and /or greedy corporate managers isn't going to fix problems. The industry if it has that atitude had better hope they are next in line behind the bankers with their hands out to the government.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    they are.

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    maxwell edison

    Unions HAVE ruined America's auto industry

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    TonytheTiger

    but paying workers more for no more output/no better quality sure isn't a recipe for profitability.

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    TheChas

    While I will not argue that the compensation demands of the UAW may be beyond what is reasonable, unions alone are not at the cause of Michigan's or the Auto Industries problems.

    In the case of Michigan itself:

    Crumbling infrastructure.

    Health care and the general health of the population.

    Climate. (If you had the option, would you choose a warm state or a cold state?)

    Environmental concerns. With the Great Lakes in nearly every communities watershed, there is no low cost option for dealing with waste water or chemical waste.

    I could go on. The point is, changing just one factor such as wages would not be enough to correct the overall problem.

    Chas

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    JamesRL

    Ontario.

    Ontario has both unionized (CAW equivalent of UAW) sites for GM Ford and Chrysler, and non unionized sites for Honda and Toyota. I don't honestly know if CAMI (GM/Suziki) is union or not. Volvo trucks and Sterling Trucks also manufacture here.

    We have the same climate, the same environmental concerns. We have serious pollution, both from our own industry and because we are downwind of the Ohio coal fired power plants.

    Our health care costs are one thing that has made us a favoured place to build a car plant.

    Its no secret that the big three plants in Canada are struggling while Honda and Toyota thrive(without a unionized workforce). Unions may be a big part of it - also the type of vehicle has an impact. I leave you to draw your own conclusions.

    James

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    TheChas

    CAFE standards play a big role in what vehicles all of the automakers build in Canada or Mexico.

    Many of GMs larger cars are built in Canada so that they can be counted as imports to offset their low mileage and avoid the CAFE tax.

    Chas

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    JamesRL

    Canadian made cars didn't used to count as imports under the Auto Pact. The Auto Pact, signed in the sixties provided that vehicles built in the US and Canada could freely travel between countries without tarriffs, provided that Canada exported as many vehicles as imported.

    The Auto Pact was made extinct by free trade.

    If that was the case, why did they shut down the full size pickup truck plants in Oakville (Ford) and Oshawa(GM)?

    James

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    TheChas

    Last, I knew, pickup trucks were not part of the auto CAFE standards. Trucks have their own standard and are not counted as part of the auto production as far as the CAFE standards go.

    SUVs depend on if they are classified as cars or trucks.

    Chas

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    TheChas

    No, I don't mean to imply that GM actually started and grew the UAW. But, the way GM treated the workforce led to the development of the 20th century labor movement and the present situation that the US automakers face.

    If GM could have taken any number of steps to improve work conditions at it's plants that would have taken the wind out of the union organizers. Instead, GM in it's typical arrogance treated the workforce with disdain at best.

    GM management at the time could have made any of a number of changes that would have negated the need for the union to form and strike. Treated their workers with dignity, addressed safety issues, slowed the line down to a humane speed, revised supervision practices to reward effort rather than cronyism, provided for workers who became disabled or died from safety problems.

    Instead, GM believed that they could replace the workforce at will and ended up being the impetus for the creation of the UAW.

    At GM in particular, there are still remnants of arrogance in management. When was the last time that GM actually brought a new concept to market? Be it the muscle cars of the 60's, the small cars of the 80's, the mini-van, or the popular SUV, GM always follows rather than leads the market. Even the Volt is little more than a response to the Toyota Prius.

    I won't argue that the union compensation package is not a factor in the US automakers problems. However, without better management, I doubt that GM would be in much better shape even if they had the same labor costs as the import brands.

    How is it that the import plants keep from becoming unionized? Sure, they are all located in right to work states. But, that is not enough. The big thing that they do is treat their workers as part of the team. And, treat them fairly.

    Until the US automakers and the UAW realize that they need to work together as a team, the US automakers will be at the brink of failure.

    Also, on the bigger issue of why union membership is down overall, just look at all the formally union jobs that have been shipped overseas. The US public does not care where or under what conditions an item is made so long as the price is cheap.

    Even without union rules and wages, those textile and small manufactured item jobs would still have gone overseas. No way could any US based manufacturing plant compete with $1 per week wages.

    Chas

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    maxwell edison

    Sorry, but that's about as relevant as the color of dust on the moon. How and why the UAW (formerly the AFL) was formed is a matter for history classes, not discussing current-day problems.

    The old saying, give them an inch, and they take a mile, certainly applies - except in this case, the UAW took so many miles that they drove their own industry off a cliff. When $2,500 is added onto the price of each and every automobile just to pay for retirement and health benefits for people who longer work making those automobiles, it's both very telling and very troubling.

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    TonytheTiger

    Ted Bundy is a good person because he helped an injured bird when he was a little boy.

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    TheChas

    By generally forcing the workers to take action back in the 1930's, General Motors showed both the union members and leadership that they had the power to control their future.

    Once the union found out what power they had, and as often as the automakers have capitulated to their demands, the end result is the wage structure the US auto industry has.

    The point is that had GM been a bit less arrogant back in the 30's and treated their workers better, the union would never have formed and the wage structure would not be what it is today.

    The further point is that GM management has not changed much at all in the years since. GM is still not willing to listen to what the customer wants. GM, Chrysler, and to a lesser extent, Ford have still not opened their eyes and ears to understand why so many Americans by Japanese and Korean cars.

    The US auto industry has always preferred to make cars bigger rather than better.

    Aside from the how and why of the problems that the US automakers have, why shouldn't workers be able to work a closed market to their advantage?

    When a company corners a market and raises the price it charges, you call that free enterprise.

    Why shouldn't the same rules apply to the work force?

    While an individual worker can do very little to improve their deal with the company, working together, the workers at a single plant do have enough clout to demand improvements to their compensation.

    As far as retiree benefits, reducing retiree benefits is about as likely to happen as Congress would be to reduce Social Security benefits in an election year. Retirees are still part of the union and still vote in at least leadership elections.

    The bottom line on the UAW is that GM and the US auto industry have no grounds to complain that the monster they helped to create is chomping on their rears.

    Chas

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    maxwell edison

    By the way, the sector that's actually picking up Union membership? That would be the government sector - growing in both numbers of people, and in numbers of union members - not to mention an ever increasing union influence.

    The average salary of a government employee is around $57,000. The average salary of Americans in general is around $34,000. Most Americans, in general, don't work for a company that will provide a life-long pension and health care. Most government workers do.

    People better start wondering about two things: First of all, who's serving whom? And secondly, what will happen when the government is forced to increase its unit price to pay for all this?

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    maxwell edison

    http://www.detnews.com/2005/autosinsider/0510/17/A01-351179.htm

    This is from 2005, and job banks have been drastically cut in more recent years, buy my oh my, what harm have they done over the years?

    More:

    http://www.unionfacts.com/unions/unionProfile.cfm?id=149

    Yes, I squarely blame unions for our failing auto industry - AND, of course, strangling government regulation.

    Did you know that the Toyota, Honda, and Nissan plants in the USA pay their workers an average of $96K per year - a hefty sum to say the least. However, the Detroit Big Three pay an average of 150K?

    And we wonder why they're failing. (Well, I don't wonder; I know why.)

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    TheChas

    So, you are saying that workers should not have the right to join together and work for better working conditions and compensation?

    Does that also mean that a CEO should not have an agent and a lawyer to negotiate 7 and 8 figure incomes for them?

    I don't take exception to the fact that US autoworkers have ended up placing a high labor cost on the US auto companies.

    I do take exception to anyone claiming that the labor cost is the ONLY or even the major reason that the US auto companies are in deep trouble.

    Yes, labor costs are a contributing factor to the problems that the big 3 are facing. But, the biggest problem is the lack of planning for the future and foresight to bring forth new products and technology.

    Initial cost is not the big thing killing Detroit in the new car market. It is perceived value and cost of ownership that is at issue.

    What percentage of GM cars will make it to 200,000 miles without major repairs?
    What percentage of Toyota cars will exceed that mark?

    Detroit may have caught up with initial build quality. They still lag way behind in cost of ownership and long term reliability.

    Look at any reliability and repair index you wish, you won't find a US car that matches let alone exceeds a Japanese car of the same class.

    The US auto industry still thinks that the Vega is the proper response to the Corolla.

    That is what is really sad.

    Chas

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    TonytheTiger

    companies shouldn't be forced to pay workers who aren't working. This started happening when technology allowed machines to do what men used to do.

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    maxwell edison

    I'm saying just what I said, no more, no less. I suppose you can extrapolate from that, twist and turn it any way you want, and suggest I'm saying something I'm not - which is what you just did.

    So, you are saying that workers should not have the right to join together and work for better working conditions and compensation?

    Of course they do. They (the workers) can do whatever they want - as long as it's legal. I also believe the company has a right to can the whole bunch of them and become a non-union shop. I also believe the company has a right to do what it has to do in order to survive and compete in the market place. I also believe that the workers, should they decide to join together and work for better working conditions and compensation, should also be willing to accept and be responsible for the outcome they helped create.

    What you probably don't realize is that we're on the verge of having taxpayers subsidize (or entirely pay for) the 50k - 100k per year retirement benefits for former employees of a failed company, not to mention set the same stage for current ones. How can that possibly be justified as being fair to some poor bloke in South Dakota?

    I do take exception to anyone claiming that the labor cost is the ONLY or even the major reason that the US auto companies are in deep trouble.

    You can take exception to that all you want. But other than demonizing corporate management, playing the class-envy game, you offer absolutely nothing. What I suggest is more than simply labor cost. Sure, several factors would point to the failure of the industry, but the unions have been just as major a driving force behind the direction of the auto industry as have the corporate big-shots. They BOTH made major decisions together, and they BOTH should fail together, and they BOTH should shoulder ALL the blame - WITH those who forced too much over regulation on the industry.

    The auto industry has always been one of balance between offering a product the consumer wants, and trying to define great new stuff that they hope the consumer will buy. It's easy to say that nobody needs an SUV or a 600 hp Corvette, but people don't really need a 60" plasma HD color television set either. Why demonize one and not the other?

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/new_cars/4292379.html

    I suppose in a way, Chas, we're both right. Poor business decisions plus unreasonable union demands, then throw-in legislators in Congress who think they know how to run an automobile company combined with a down-turn in the economy, and it all equals a failed company and/or industry.

    My solution? Let it fail, let it correct its own mistakes, let it design a new business model, etc. That might not be a pretty option, but it's better than having the already over-burdened taxpayers prop up what was a failed model in the first place.

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    maxwell edison

    .....what kills the goose that lays the golden eggs.

    Collectivism, to me, is evil. (Please don't extrapolate anything from that which was not intended - "So what you're saying is....")

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    TheChas

    The only reason to even consider propping up the US auto industry is the same reason that was used to justify the financial industry bail-out. If (and I think it's a big IF) the economists that speculate that if any one of the big 3 go under that will send the US economy into a full depression, then, there is a "value" in propping up the industry.

    However, if the case can be made that the overall economy is strong enough to withstand the impact of the any industry or institution going under, then the US auto industry (or any other company) should be allowed to fail and die.

    Propping up the big 3 makes no more sense to me than the war in Iraq does. In neither instance is US government interaction doing anything more than delaying the inevitable.

    Even if we prop up the auto industry through the current financial crisis, they will still continue to shrink and loose market share. I would not be surprised that in another 20 years if Toyota faces the same crisis from the Chinese and Indian car companies.

    Though, Max does point out another reason to prop up the auto companies. When the auto companies go under, so will the pension funds. This leaves the government run pension guarantee fund attempting to fill in for at least all of the retirees (both union and salaried) that are too old or too sick to work. That plus the sudden increase of people who will be relying on Medicare will break the system.

    That said, the best way to prop up the US auto industry would not be with direct loans or subsidies. Give each tax-payer a stimulus check that could only be used toward the purchase of a new car with a minimum of say 75% US material and labor content. Even if it was only $1,000 each, if you allowed people to sell and trade the certificates, you would end up with some decent economic stimulus.

    Chas

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    maxwell edison

    I've seen it so many times. A person can't concede a point, or bring himself to agree on a point ..... he wants to disagree, but he can't without losing credibility; so he says, "So you're saying", misrepresenting what was really said, and disagrees with that.

    What's that called? A straw-man argument?

    Sorry, Chas - no straw-men allowed. (You can do better than that.)

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    maxwell edison

    The Chevrolet Vega (sold from 1971 through 1977) was a piece of crap.

    The Toyota Corolla (as sold from 1971 through 1977) was a piece of crap.

    One would be hard-pressed to see either on the road in 1987.

    What's your point?

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    maxwell edison

    Chas said, "The only reason to even consider propping up the US auto industry is the same reason that was used to justify the financial industry bail-out."

    This difference is this:

    The financial industry affects 100 percent of the economy. - it IS the economy.

    The automobile industry is but a small percentage of that - a subset, if you will.

    How big does a subset need to be to warrant a bail-out?

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    The Scummy One

    that you mention the check for an auto. I thought similarly for the economic stimulus checks. They should have sent out something like a gift check, something that has to be spent, not deposited.
    just my opinion on that though.