Monday, March 9, 2015

Various Topics

Topic I -- Oil Companies on Strike

I retired from Shell Chemical Company in Deer Park, Texas in 2003, so I remain interested in events at Shell. Most of the people I worked closely with are also retired, but I do have some friends still working. Most Shell hourly employees are represented by the United Steelworkers Union. A strike was called about a month ago at the Chemical Plant and Refinery locations in Deer Park. There are also other oil products companies and locations across the country involved in the strike.

The Steelworkers say they are striking over safety issues and the companies feel the strike is about increasing the number of represented employees. I am glad to be uninvolved and will not express an opinion about who I think has the high ground on their issues. I do know the strike is stressful for people running the plants and for people walking the picket lines. The longer a strike goes on the more chance of hard feelings on both sides after a settlement is reached. I hope they get their differences bargained out soon, so all people involved can get back to their normal jobs.

Topic II – Republican Negotiators

It is nearing time when the federal government passes the current debt limit again. Normally this causes a lot of consternation between Republicans in Congress and the President, because the Republicans say they want to get spending under control. Mitch McConnell has already announced that the Republicans will raise the debt limit. He and John Boehner have to be the two worst negotiators in the world. They routinely capitulate before bargaining begins. This is really frustrating to the Republican voters who gave the Republicans the biggest majority they have had in both houses in over 100 years. The Conservative Republicans are shut out in almost every vote. The Republican leadership in both houses partner with Democrats to pass all the legislation that gets signed into law by President Obama.

I will express an opinion on this one. The Republican leadership in Congress needs to be replaced. The country deserves a better choice than Democrat and Democrat-light. I hope tea party folks keep targeting RINO Republicans.

Topic III – Media and the Internet

Most newspapers and broadcast networks have a liberal bias. The main way this is seen is not by what they say, but by looking at what they do not say. Negative stories about Democrats, they refuse to publish or broadcast, while at the same time going overboard on negative stories about Republicans. Fox News Channel has a conservative bias, but they do tell both sides of the story. Every year Fox News is rated the fairest in reporting the news on TV.

Recently, some of my friends have referenced articles on the internet that are blatantly false. I urge you to be cautious about believing what you read on the internet, including what I write in my blogs. If you are skeptical, do some research and learn the truth. Snopes.com is a good source to dispel some urban legends. Many internet articles look factual, but are actually fiction out of the author’s mind, displaying their personal bias. These smut-mongers do no research. Bad news.

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