Gerald (Jerry) Zezas

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Monthly Archives: December 2013

Santa Claus and Dumb Children

The Santa Claus myth is the first lie we tell our children. And then we spend the next 5-7 or so years trying to keep the lie alive, for fear that they might find out that we have been purposely deceiving them for their entire lives.

This obsession with forcing a fantasy on our children is misplaced. We like to think that we are doing them some sort of favor, filling their heads with visions of sugar plums and old bearded men with sacks filled with toys, coming down a mythical chimney and eating milk and cookies. The proof of the foolishness of this deception is that most of them start to question it around 5 years old, especially if they don’t have chimneys and fireplaces in their homes! When you create a story that a five-year-old is starting to doubt, just how effective is this deception?

Would it be so bad to tell our children that it is we who will buy their presents if they are good? Is it so bad to tell them that it is their loving parents who do these things for them, rather than some stranger from the north pole?

Kids can be mean sometimes, especially when they’re young and unaware of the consequences of being so. I’ve seen with my own eyes when a kid is the last one of a group who still believes in Santa Claus. They often feel foolish when their peers inform them what they’ve known for a long time. I’ve seen the look of embarrassment on the face of a child who feels like a baby for not having heard the news until well after all of his little friends have. Often times the child will be taunted for having continued believing in this fantasy.

Lets face it folks. We don’t spread this lie to children for their benefit, but for ours. We think it’s adorable to see our little darlings act so innocent (or is it ignorant?) because it makes them that much more dependent on us. It makes us feel better than it does them.

When they do find out the truth it makes them feel foolish and immature, which is the last thing a child of 5-7 years old wants to feel, especially in front of his little friends.

Let’s just stop.

Adam and Eve, Astronomy and Burning Homosexuals

At one time many people believed that knowledge was dangerous, hence the bible story about Adam and Eve being punished for eating from a tree by the same name. We’re much smarter than that now, right?

At one time most people believed that the earth was flat, but we’ve evolved to the point where anyone who thinks that way is called an idiot, correct?

At one time most people believed that the sun revolved around the earth, but we’re much smarter than that now. We know better, don’t we?

At one time, many believed that black people simply weren’t as smart as white people and that subjugating them was, in fact, doing them a favor, since they probably couldn’t take very good care of themselves. Some of us also believed that when they were singing in the cotton fields, it was a sign of happiness, contentedness and simplemindedness. Christ, who would ever believe that anymore, do ya feel me?

At one time, homosexuals were called Faggots. Know why? Because the word faggot originally meant a pile of sticks, that pile having been accumulated for no other reason than to start a fire. And since homosexuals, when discovered, were typically burned alive as heretics, the name for one became equated with the other. But no one in his right mind looks at people differently because of their sexual predilections any more, right? Right? Hello, right?

I sometimes wonder if the best way to judge a society is by which ideas it deems acceptable and which it relegates to the domain of imbeciles. And camo-clad duck hunters.

The Phil Robertson Guide to Stupidity.

Many will accept vacuous thoughts and abject idiocy when they are draped in the dime-store tinsel known as belief.

Throw-away synaptical impulses become hardened truths when we suggest that they come from some profound corner of the universe, hidden from those who don’t believe in God…knows what. But we believe them, so that makes it OK.

.

If you desire to live inside a big fish, make a woman out of a man’s rib, build a boat to transport all the animals of the world or turn water to wine, remember to say that your imbecilic convictions are based on belief, rather than thought. That way no one will expect them to be rational.

Belief is like a Get Out of Jail Free card for irrationality and ignorance.

And recently appears to have become the secret decoder ring of duck hunters and their apologists.

Duck Murderers and GQ

Recently, I have noticed an occurrence that I should have expected, but alas, did not. I have apparently not been on my game, that being commentator of all things which are, or at least should be, important to most thinking (and thoughtful) people. Yeah, I’ve missed out on Duck Dynasty.

This aberration within the continuum of space-time is apparently the most successful reality show in the history of television! Yet I, erstwhile arbiter of all that is current, tasteful and worthy of our collective attention somehow missed it. Dang…

Yes, this show appears to revolve around a heavily bearded duck hunting family, the paterfamilias of which, Phil Robertson, that man-about-pond and slave to all forms of high fashion camo, has been interviewed by GQ (yes, that GQ, Gentleman’s Quarterly) also known as that magazine for irrelevant men who seek relevance by reading about men who are too relevant to ever read, err, a rag like GQ.

Let’s linger on that fact for a minute here. I hold no contempt for those who think that there is anything entertaining or interesting about men who walk through mud to kill little ducks. I will assume that the importance of killing ducks is lost on a city boy like me. I will assume that there is an abundance of ducks in our country’s swamps and that the herd (flock?) must be thinned on occasion so that the little ducks don’t overwhelm the population of…err…whatever it is that ducks are big enough to overwhelm the population of.

What is turning my brain into the slimy innards of an uncooked Hot Pocket is the premise that those of this particular ilk are of any interest to anyone else. I mean, I deign not any honest form of making a living, be it garbage collection, window washing, janitorial services or, for that matter, killing little ducks. And I can almost understand that their reality show might be of interest to, oh, I don’t know, hunters and those who really, really hate ducks. But why in the world would anyone want to hear what these people have to say as well as publish it to a national audience?

It isn’t so much that this evolutionarily challenged gentleman disparages homosexuality, races other than his and other inherent human characteristics as sinful and disgusting; he also seems to think that his claim to have worked in the cotton fields with “the blacks” somehow makes his opinion equal in veracity to one who was actually paying attention to the plight of these “blacks”. He thinks that by simple virtue of the fact that he was there, he is an expert in all that occurred.

This imbecile actually said, (and this is a direct quote):
“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field. … They’re singing and happy. Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

Ok, so Phil Robertson equates himself with “the blacks” by acknowledging that he’s white trash. Interesting that he thinks that lowering himself in stature to that of “white trash” is somehow showing solidarity with black people. I’m sure he can’t imagine that black people might consider themselves somewhat above the “white trash” that he claims to be. He apparently thinks that black people should be grateful for his willingness to engage in self-deprecation for their benefit.

Then, he goes on the say that they were happy, “pre-entitlement, pre-welfare”. So, apparently in Mr. Robertson’s eyes, what he calls entitlements and welfare only apply to black people, and these things have apparently made those black people unhappy since their introduction. The fact that there are, by far, more white people on welfare and entitlements than black seems not to have been important to the conversation. If I were to call Mr Robertson a Neanderthal, it is Neanderthals whom I’d be insulting.

And finally, the ultimate act of self-immolation was his comment that they weren’t, “singing the blues”. Could there be anyone so unaware of his personal surroundings, culture, current events and history that he wouldn’t know that it was exactly those people who he claims to have picked cotton with, who invented, sang and popularized, quite specifically, THE BLUES?

But, apparently, in the particular field in which Mr. Robertson was a pickin’ that there old cotton, the darkies were happeh’, and a-singin’ and a-dancin’ all ‘round de plantation, not a-one of dem a-wishin’ theys could get their own reality shows. They were happy because they didn’t yet have welfare or entitlements, at least according to Mr. Robertson.
It is not Phil Robertson’s existence that disturbs me. It is not his uninformed, moronic opinions of any subjects not covered in the bible that bother me. It’s not even the fact that there are some like him (or wishing to be) who watch his banal and inane reality show.

It’s the fact that an otherwise tame and unimportant glossy rag like GQ would chose, out of all the interesting people who exist in the world today like heads of state, the Pope, and others of genuine courage and accomplishment, some malodorous nincompoop who’s only claim to fame is that he invented a really good way to make dumb animals fly in front of his shotgun. The fact that they would ask for and publish his ill-conceived opinions of anything other than which camo is best, (I’m leaning toward the beige) says more about GQ, and those who read it, than of this unfortunate, although apparently quite wealthy, man.

Sarah Palin and Obamacare

So here’s the story…

My ACA coverage will commence on Jan 1, 2014. It was a pain in the ass to sign up, but the net result is amazing.

The pain in the ass includes having to delete the original account I set up. That was because I made a mistake in the information I entered about my wife. When I tried to correct it, the Obamacare gremlins that were already built into the system took over and, two months later, it was still not corrected. So, rather than continue to wait, I just deleted my original account and started over. That entire process, (deleting the old account and re-submitting a completely new application from scratch) took all of about 45 minutes. Really.

Then, immediately after hitting the submit button, I was approved and was presented with a list of the programs I qualified for. That took another few hours for me to decide which program I liked. Then, after clicking the “enroll” button, I was covered.

Now, what you may not have noticed was that, conspicuous by its absence was any kind of qualifying. I didn’t have to get a medical exam. I didn’t have to answer any medical questions (other than about smoking). I didn’t have to wonder and hope if I’d be able to receive coverage at all, like I’ve always done whenever I’ve had to buy insurance.

Yes folks, I hit “enroll” and I was covered.

My deductible went from $6,000 to $1,200. My premium is now less than ONE-HALF of what it was before.

All of us who believe that government can help us do those things that we can’t do for ourselves are grateful that Barack Obama used up so much political capital (and risked his re-election) for something that so directly and dramatically has an effect on us and our personal welfare.

I defy anyone reading this to tell me the last time they can remember any President (much less a Repub) ever doing anything that took so much personal courage and had such a direct and profound effect on the people he was hired to govern. The only thing Cowboy Bush ever did that effected us as directly was to send 4000 of the Americans who hired him to die to avenge his daddy, and oversee the loss of trillions of dollars in wealth when the economy collapsed.

What an amazing contrast between those two guys. One was patted on the back for starting wars and ignoring hurricanes. The other is vilified for helping to make his own people healthier and less likely to file bankruptcy over health issues.

Most Presidents make big decisions that have little immediate effect on those of us who voted for them. This guy, Barack Obama, really did make some very costly (for him) decisions that will benefit us for generations.

The not fully mentally developed ex-half-term governor/quitter of Alaska, Sarah Palin, once mockingly asked, referring to Barack Obama in the 2012 re-election campaign, “How’s that hopey changey thing workin’ out for ya”?

Sarah sweetie, I’ll write this slowly because I know you can’t read fast…

Damned well, thank you very much. Damned well.

Like I’ve Been Saying From the Beginning…

I rarely post for the simple expedient of linking to someone elses work, but I just can’t help this one.

Like I’ve said in the past, Repubs just love to be against anything that Barack Obama does, says, or thinks, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t know a good deal when they see it…

And it also doesn’t mean that they’re not stunningly, blindingly hypocritical and do the exact things that they tell their constituency not to do…

Repubs are screaming about how the ACA is bankrupting this country, and they only quiet down long enough to actually sign up for it.

Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan and Rand Paul must like Obamacare now

Oh, and don’t let them tell you that the ACA is the law. The only law is that you must have insurance. You can get it anywhere you like, but they used the ACA because it really, truly, does save money. Just ask these three Repub Senators!

Hamburgers and Minimum Wages

The premise that raising the minimum wage will force employers to cut jobs is as imbecilic, shop worn and oft disproven as the one that claimed employers will stop hiring if we raise their taxes-remember that bit of tripe?

Employers don’t base their hiring on dollar cost-they base their hiring on the amount of personnel required to do a specific job. In an efficiently run company, the amount of employees doing a particular job is exactly the amount needed to get it done well and on-time-no more and no less. The larger the company, the more efficient they presumably are, since they have the resources to measure these things quite accurately. The cost of those employees is reflected in the price they charge for their product-not in the quantity of employees, for the above reasons. If an industry needs lots of people, it hires accordingly and the cost of labor is reflected in its pricing.

An example is McDonalds. Statistically, the typical McDonalds counter worker can handle a certain amount of customers per hour. For the sake of this argument, let’s say it takes 3 minutes to help the average customer, which would mean that counter worker helps 20 customers per hour, on average. If there are 5 counter workers standing side-by-side all day, that’s 100 customers per hour and 800 customers per eight-hour shift (5 workers x 20 customers x 8 hours). Now let’s say that the average check per customer is $9.00 (this includes when people buy food for others at their table or to take back to the office). At 800 customers per shift and $9.00 per customer, that shift in that McDonalds should earn $7200.00 in revenue ($9.00 per customer x 800 customers). If every one of those workers should get, let’s say, an increase of $1.00 per hour in wages, that’s $1.00 x 5 workers x 8 hours = $40.00. If they get a $2.00 per hour increase it means that means an increase in wages for that 8-hour shift of $80.00. Now, if we simply divide that $80.00 increase in the cost of that shift by the amount of customers served during the shift ($80.00 / 800 customers = it works out to $.10 (ten cents) per customer per meal. Not $.10 per bag of fries or $.10 per Big Mac-$.10 for the entire meal! McDonalds can give their counter workers a $2.00 per hour increase and only raise the price of the average meal by ten-cents!

Now, before you go ape-shit on me, I realize that there are anywhere from 10-20 people or more in the kitchen who have to cook that food as well, and their incomes are just as important as the counter workers, so let’s include them, shall we? Using the numbers above:

To put this to the most stringent test, we’ll exaggerate how many people are needed. We’ll use 30 workers for this McDonalds. 30 workers x 8 hours x $2.00 per hour raise = $480.00 per 8 hour shift for the entire McDonalds store to get a $2.00 per hour raise. Once again, divide that by the 800 customers served during that shift and you get $.60 (sixty cents). So, friends and neighbors, McDonalds can give everyone in that store a $2.00 per hour raise and only have to increase the cost of an ENTIRE MEAL by sixty cents!

The argument made by these companies is that customers won’t spend more for their food (bullshit, especially if it’s only an average of $.60 on the entire meal) and so they’d have to lay off workers. Well, if they have so many excess workers that they can lay them off and say, have only 4 employees at the counter handling those 800 customers per shift, it means that they have been operating inefficiently to begin with. My suspicion is that they can’t.

But, let’s say that our friendly neighborhood Mickey D does, in fact, lay off just one worker to cover their additional expense of a $2.00 an hour increase for the counter workers. Now they have only 4 people working the 8 hour shift at the counter. The numbers go south quickly:

4 counter workers x 20 customers per hour = 80 customers per hour. 80 customers x $9.00 for the average check times 8 hours in the shift equals $5760.00 in revenue for that shift, A NET LOSS OF $1440.00 IN REVENUE from the $7200.00 per shift they were making with 5 counter workers. But, that should be covered by their savings from having fired the counter worker, right? Well, no.

That counter worker is getting paid, as you’ll remember, minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, so by firing him or her, you’ve saved A TOTAL OF FIFTY-EIGHT SEMOLIANS! (8 hours x $7.25 per hour = $58.00). So, all those MBAs at the Golden Arches are threatening that, rather than raise the price of a $9.00 meal by $.60 and potentially lose one or two customers because of it (since everyone would be doing it, where would those customers go?), they would rather fire employees, which saves them $58.00 in wages per day, yet costs them $1440.00 in lost revenue!

C’mon folks. Labor, although not exactly cheap, is not the largest expense in food service. This is grade school arithmetic, yet these fast food megaliths are hoping that you and I (and their workers) forgot where we put our calculators.

These are the same tactics used in the last election. Those of a certain “protect business at all cost” political persuasion (OK, Repubs) have persuaded workers that it is in their best interest to let the bosses keep the money, because then those extremely wealthy bosses will allow it to trickle down and rain upon us.

They hope that their expertise in getting us to vote against our own interest will continue unabated. Will it?

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