Monday, July 25, 2011


She was one of my employees at Cordis, a small, delicate, black lady who did average work with good quality and good quantity. I had hired her when the department expanded, she always had a sitting job. The employees in manufacturing are required to wear safety glasses and most wore them. An OSHA officer had inspected one of our plants and we were fined because some employees were not wearing safety glasses. The directive went out to the other plants, all employees in manufacturing must wear their safety glasses at all times. Daisy never wore safety glasses. I assembled those that had the habit of eye wear neglect and told them the era of self policing was over, they must wear the safety glasses to enable this Company to abide by OSHA rules. The next day all were wearing safety glasses except Daisy.

When in my office, she told me glasses gave her a headache. The glasses are Plano, I told her, and there is no obscuring of normal vision and I expected her to wear the glasses. Next day, she did not wear glasses. Two of my leaders took it upon themselves to try to talk Daisy into wearing glasses, they were unsuccessful. As I observed her (she was becoming a thorn) I saw she had a very stubborn streak. She never smiled and seldom interacted with other folks. Everyone in the department was aware of her refusal to wear the glasses.  In my office once more, I told her that she would be fired if she did not wear the glasses. This company was not going to endure another fine. She said nothing, just looked straight ahead. Still she would not wear the glasses. I called her in again to fire her. Told her to turn her tools over to her leader and clock out. She did not say anything, just walked out put a pair of glasses on her head and went back to work.

The next day I saw Daisy wearing the glasses, but they were worn at the extreme end of her nose. In this position the eyes are still exposed to damage, the glasses should be covering the eyes. Looking out at all the employees everybody seemed to be wearing glasses. I said nothing. Shortly thereafter we had the OSHA inspection and we did pass. I was concerned that others would follow Daisy's example but none ever did.

Daisy proved to be one of the most stubborn people I have ever met. She never wore those glasses as intended. I left the company for another job but was able to return about seven years later to visit. Daisy was there still wearing the glasses on the end of her nose after almost ten years.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

"Don't Call My Bluff"

The President used some amazing words in yesterday's meeting with congressional leaders. Referring to his statement "I am not sure I can guarantee Social Security payments if we cannot agree to an increase in the debt limit." he looked at Erik Cantor and said: "Erik don't call my bluff, I am willing to risk my presidency on this."

Does this mean the President will not allow Social Security checks to go out? Did he just play the Social Security card? Did he dare Cantor to stick to his position and he would then show him not to ever anger a president? This is all very perplexing.

Many Tea Party people (not all) feel that the debt limit should not be increased at this time. They are tired of seeing this senario played out from time-to-time and the debt limit increased each time. The whole reson for the Tea Party existance is to halt taxes on the American taxpayer. Many in congress are there because of Tea Party votes. We still have some days to go before August 2 and the exceeding of the debt limit. This is getting to be like the movie "High Noon" with the comming shoot out. Stay tuned.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Thankful for .......

Every day I find that there are things about which I am thankful. For the most part they recently have been invented. All have made my life simpler and better.

1. Zip-lock sandwich bags. I do not like to throw food away and I stop eating before I am full. Putting a small amount of food in a bag and refrigerating it is perfect for me.

2. Cross-Trainer Tennis Shoes. These shoes are very comfortable and it is a rare time when I will wear a regular oxford shoe.

3. A Credit Card. I no longer carry bills or change in my pocket. The card is accepted everywhere I go. At McDonald's I find it so much easier to merely swipe my card. I will admit to a slight irritation when a person in front of me takes some time to count out the correct change for the cashier and the cashier must also take time to count. When the server puts the lid on the top of my coffee I try not to think what when I sip the coffee it is like licking that servers fingers. Lets all use a card.

4. Small radio with ear-buds. It is my desire not to disturb others, especially Pat. My radio is very quiet and she is able to carry on her life without hearing a radio station in which she is not interested.

5. Magnifier glasses. These glasses cost only one dollar and I usually buy them three at a time. I have worked my way from 1.5 diopmeres all the way to 3.5 diopmeres.

6. Remote TV control. This is perfect in bed or when there are more desirable shows on other channels.

7. Charmin Ultra Soft toilet paper, 2-ply. This is perfect for me, four individual sheets nearly always does it. It is an improvement over the method of some of my grandchildren who use either the wrap around the fingers technique, or the wadded ball.

8. Shirts with a left pocket. These are excellent for carrying my glasses. Fortunately, Pat was able to buy me about eight of these shirts.

9. Remote car lock. The added feature of being able to have the car beep when looking for it is a great help. An even greater help, when living in the North, was the automatic starter so that the car would be warm when getting into it.

10. Floss picks. Using floss was devastating to my fingers as I had to painfully wind that thin thread around my fingers.

11. Fingernail clippers. I have found an excellent clipper after using other makes that were not satisfactory. I use them for hand and foot. What did they ever use in the Middle Ages?

12. Bic razors. These very inexpensive razors do a good job, one will last me for about three weeks.

13. Traffic light auto sensors. When there is no traffic from either direction, I get a feeling that everything is under control in the universe when the light immediately changes for me.

14. Foam soap dispenser. Never having to deal with a bar of soap that has hair on it, or the soap is extremely soft from soaking in a puddle is a benefit. Besides, exactly the right amount can be dispensed.

15. A morning pastoral scene. Living on the golf course yields a very nice view when I get up in the morning. I do not close the blinds so I can look out on that scene. The English Pastoralist School of painting went out of their way to create beautiful scenery in their paintings and I have it every morning.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

A Capitalist

Karl Marx hated capitalists and believed their money should be taken from them and redistributed to the masses. What is a capitalist? Where do they come from? Why are they so hated?

When I got my first paper route Pappa took me to the National Bank of Detroit on the corner of Vernor and Springwells. He helped me open a bank account. He said I should save some money every time I got some. I followed his advice. When I got to Henry Ford Trade School they had the same philosophy as Pappa, save some of your pay every week. I already had the habit so nothing changed. I had a savings account and it continued to grow. Savings are only postponed consumption, sometime in the future it is spent on something. I did spend some of it when I bought my first used car.

After a few years the savings grew, I was able to buy a new car and get married. Savings declined but the saving habit continued, consumption postponed for another day. The savings came in handy when the kids started to arrive. Eventually, they grew up and left to manage their own lives. The savings began to grow as I worked long hours, six days a week and sometimes on Sunday.

Now comes the interesting part, investing the savings. What to do with this money in the bank? Interest in a savings account is very low. Buying bonds that yield a higher interest rate is a good alternative. However, their is greater risk that the money might not be returned. Buying stock that pays a dividend gives a greater yield but the risk is greater. Buying growth stocks has even higher risk but the potential for a higher return is greater. I went through them all and got comfortable with various risks and returns. My savings are otherwise known as capital. Sometimes I totally lost the capital I had put into an investment. Sometimes the payoff was large, sometimes even doubled. Eventually, I learned what to avoid and what to support. Some capitalist are small in in the size of their accounts, some are very large, some are very, very large.

It is possible to say that I am a capitalist, just as it is possible to say that to everyone that has savings that wants his money to earn a return is a capitalist. Some capitalists are small in the size of their accounts, some are very large, some are very, very large. Capitalism is an economic system that uses the capital of individuals to the benefit of the individuals. The capitalist develops large companies, which in turn hire many people to accomplish a benefit to society. As the companies get larger they hire more people who themselves, if they postpone consumption and save, may also become capitalists.

Karl Marx wrote about his desire to take away capital from the capitalists and redistribute it. Hilary Clinton and Obama want to actually take capital away from capitalists and redistribute it. It is amazing to me that there are people who do not understand that this is simply stealing. Instead, they actively promote that distribution and call it fairness. How is it fair? What gives them the right to do this deed?