Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Franken Wins Minnesota Senate Seat, Coleman Concedes

Deadheads Rule in Minnesota

Breaking News

St. Paul, MN – He's good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, the MN Supreme Court likes him!

Al Franken won Minnesota's Senate seat as Norm Coleman conceded after an eight month battle.

As yours truly has previously emphasized, Pat Leahy shouldn't have to be the only Deadhead in the Senate, and today justice was delivered to the voters of the Land of 10,000 Lakes:

"We affirm the decision of the trial court that Al Franken received the highest number of votes legally cast and is entitled under (Minnesota law) to receive the certificate of election as United States senator from the state of Minnesota," the court wrote in its 5-0 ruling.”

Today, Republican Norm Coleman has conceded to Democrat Al Franken in Minnesota's hotly contested Senate race:

“ending a nearly eight-month recount and court fight. Coleman conceded at a news conference in St. Paul, a few hours after a unanimous Minnesota Supreme Court ruled Tuesday the former "Saturday Night Live" comedian and liberal commentator should be certified the winner.”

The ruling in favor of Al Franken would give the Democrats control of 60 seats, enough to overcome any Republican filibuster if they stay united. Hopefully, the Democrats will unite to deliver healthcare for all, stop the offshoring/inshoring of U.S. Jobs to India, Inc., clean up Wall Street, bring our troops home, and represent American citizens for a change?

Are elected Democrats the “victim or the crime”? Read Ralph Nader's “Obama Betrayal Syndrome” here.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Quincy Mourns Michael Jackson


(Eternal thanks to my dearly departed entertainment hero, Michael Jackson)

Un-Happy Friday Hour Weekly Update with QUINCY

Hello Everybody, It's me.


Oh boy. The Grim Reaper really blew through Hollywood over the past couple of weeks and picked off a busload of our very favorite entertainers of all time like Ed McMahon, David Carradine, Farrah Fawcett, and now, Michael.

That's why Mr. Crisp, who said he “wouldn't go near that death trap anytime soon” offered instead to fire up the fractional lease jet and fly me out to Gary, IN for a special hometown tribute to Michael Jackson. It's so exciting. I only have a few minutes to pack before the Crisps arrive. I'm going to wear my special “Michael” look-alike purple sequened, rhinestone military jacket that the guy who looked just like Mayor Gavin Newsom gave me at last year's San Francisco Gay Pride Parade in exchange for my silence about his backstage behavior with the beefy rent-a-cop at the Charo concert.

Anyway, everybody is asking “Quincy, what's YOUR favorite MJ song?” Well, it's a toss up between Bad, Billy Jean and Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' but I decided on Billy Jean since the video really does a sensational job at showing off his singing and unbelievable moonwalking moves. I especially like the triple twirl and how he balances on his toes...go ahead, just try to do that, I dare you...and I'll bet nobody else in Hollywood (or anywhere) ever had flexible ankles like Michael's, either.

So in honor of the one and only King of Pop, please join me now in a celebratory song and moonwalking moves tribute to Michael. Oh, and don't forget to turn up the volume, practice your triple twirl and sing along (out loud).

R.I.P. Michael.

Happy Un-Happy Friday, Everybody!


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Farrah Fawcett Dies

Farrah, Farrah, no time is a good time for goodbye”

(Special thanks to Jefferson Starship)

Farrah Fawcett Dies

Los Angeles -- Charlie's Angels. End of an era. Farrah Fawcett has died today, at the age of 62 after a long and courageous battle with anal cancer. Bummer. I mean that.

Not only was the beautiful and spirited actress a genuinely nice person, but Farrah was hands down the prettiest angel.

Farrah defined the Angel's triad, and the other two (who honestly, weren't exactly chopped liver) paled in comparison to her like step-sisters folding laundry in the basement.

While the Angel's set featured Jaclyn Smith, who had an efficient demeanor of a prudish school marm on the prowl for a hot date and the other one, Kate Jackson, more like a high-rolling Blackjack dealer dressed up like the neighborhood cat burgler, the always radiant Farrah moved and spoke with grace and an eternally youthful, confident charm. She was the rare actress who didn't have a bad side. And that hair...

As an actress, she was always reaching for the next level to defy stereotype as she proved her dramatic chops in such highly acclaimed, demanding roles in The Burning Bed and Extremites. Her kind and gentle nature was no match for her toughness. This Huffington Post commenter "Oregondaisy" sums up below how Farrah was an extraordinarily considerate star and had balls of steel:

She was a tremendous actress and had a heart of gold. Being a life long Oregonian I remember in the mid 80's when Diane Downs shot her 3 kids in Eugene and the trial that ensued. When Farah Fawcett was approached to play Diane Downs in the movie "Small Sacrifices" she made it very clear that unless it was written into her contract that Diane Downs got NO MONEY from the proceeds of the movie, she would not do the movie. Bravo!!!

Sadly, she was in so much pain from the cancer, that her death was almost a blessing.

RIP Farrah, you will be sorely missed."

It was a love story up to the bittersweet end. Prayers and our best to Ryan O'Neal, who announced he would marry the love of his life shortly before her passing (see this DLISTED report) and to her son, Redmond and her family over the loss of Farrah, who was taken from them and this world much too soon.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

D.C. Metro Crash Computer Failure Likely, Outsourcing Probed

"We cannot afford to lose any more of our own, or any more of our customers."

-D.C. Metro General Manager John Catoe

Fatal DC Metro Crash: Computer Failure Likely, Outsourcing Probed

WASHINGTON – Who's running the computers and providing the software engineering infrastructure solutions that operate the nation's mass rail trains?

LWOH has learned that one multinational corporation Bentley Systems, headquartered in Exton, PA with over 50 offices worldwide, lists on its website that it provides an impressive enterprise solution called the Optram Enterprise Suite for rail infrastructure management to the Washington Metro Area’s WMATA. (Full disclosure: no link to Bentley Systems and the incident is implied.) In addition to the D.C. Metro, Bentley Systems also lists that it provides the same comprehensive “corridor asset management solution of choice” for leading freight and transit providers, including:


  • CSX

  • Atlanta’s MARTA

  • Network Rail

  • San Francisco’s BART

This rediff.com report includes a 2003 press release announcing that Bentley Systems moved its “select testing and quality assurance operations” to India as a part of its development initiatives:

The US-based $230 million Bentley Systems, a leading provider of infrastructure engineering software solutions, is moving its testing and quality assurance operations to India as a part of its development initiatives.

The company has already set up a centre for this purpose in Mumbai, and has employed around 15 engineers.

"Currently, the entire core software development work happens out of the US. We also have a development centre in Finland. We are now looking at how we can expand our operations in India," Sandeep Srivastava, managing director, Bentley Systems India Pvt Ltd, said.”

According to the press release, BS also has strategic relationships with multinational project engineering companies such as Forster Wheeler, Bechtel, Fluor Daniel and Montgomery Watson who successfully use Bentley technology to run single virtual teams across countries including India.

Computer failure may have caused Tuesday's fatal DC Metro train crash, according to a preliminary report by the NTSB as they search for clues to explain why the computerized system designed to prevents such disasters failed. Outsourcing/insourcing American jobs to cheap, dubiously “skilled” third world workers is not only hazardous to the financial health of American citizens and the economy but to the U.S. population's health and safety.

As LWOH has reported, the Obama administration's eyebrow raising appointment of Vivek Kundra for Chief Information Officer and Aneesh Chopra for Chief Technology Officer on the heels of a Federal bribery sting raised more questions into the wholesale selling out of American jobs including D.C. Virginia state jobs to inshored and offshored foreign nationals, all in the name of fun and profit for a few corporate and beltway insiders who game the U.S. Government's contract/bids system. Recall Kundra's ties to D.C.'s Optimal Solutions and Technologies (OST), an outsourcing company with transportation contract awards where Kundra once served as a board member. (h/t/ Rob Sanchez.)

IT outsourcing company, GRPA (G.R. Patel & Associates, Inc.) with offices in India lists among its customers the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), the World Bank, among others. (Full disclosure: no link to GRPA and the incident implied.)

Today Federal Investigators plan to test the computerized controls for “Metro trains”, although the report did not clarify if they will limit the tests the D.C. Metro rail system or the entire nation's metro transit systems as well in search for answers to the cause/prevention of yesterday's deadly crash responsible for two area Metro transit trains colliding that killed at least nine people.

In particular, officials are focusing on why a computerized system failed to halt an oncoming train, despite evidence that the train operator tried to slow it down. In the meantime, this is hardly cold comfort for the families who lost their loved ones in this tragic, avoidable collision.

Will the people of this country finally unite together and rally to throw the bums out of political office who enable the wholesale sell out of our jobs for profit as they lust for cheap, foreign labor?

Perhaps D.C. Metro General Manager John Catoe summed it up best when he said:

"We cannot afford to lose any more of our own, or any more of our customers."


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Obama Smokes, Bums Cigarettes! "BUMbama" Lights Up Press Conference

Hypocritical President Obama Smokes!

Analysis: Fear of being used by Big Tobacco is reflected in president's hands-off (mostly) personal policy on smoking, ash-trays.

Washington – It's official: President Obama smokes. A little. Maybe more, but not everyday (mostly). He even bums cigarettes off of staffers, too! How do we know? He said so.

So much for applied neutrality or second hand smoke... Even as President BUMbama said he wasn't doing it, the leader of the (mostly) smokeless, free world held a press conference Tuesday to boldly and loudly distance himself from his deplorable smoking habit which he hopes to completely overcome someday (maybe). Despite the president's support for a highly criticized, reprehensible bill sponsored by very well-funded anti-smoking groups (which indirectly receive money from Big Tobacco through a $246 billion Master Settlement Agreement), the bill’s “most important ally” is “the largest cigarette maker in the world” and then after that, the President.

During Tuesday's rare, mid-day press conference, Obama tried to inoculate himself against fierce criticism from foes of Big Tobacco over his cautious approach to confining an occasional, health-hazardous smoke to the basement bowling alley once the kids have had their frozen custard and Michelle has nipped her last glass of sauvignon blanc and hit the sack. He also accused naysayers of neglecting to see the big picture, ominously telling reporters:

I know everybody in here is on a 24 hour news cycle. I am not.”

Whatever that means...but the media and internet-savvy president also knows this: He has become a symbol of the anti-E-Cigarette movement by admitting to smoking once in a while, despite his mistaken insistence upon linking the E-cigarette with his Microsoft hotmail account. (For all of you second hand smoke anti-enthusiasts, the “smokeless” E-cigarette, btw, is supposed to be a much safer alternative to the traditional cigarette.)

Other critics accuse the president of hypocrisy, citing that his occasional smoking habit which he keeps from his family combined with his support of the FDA Big Tobacco bill reveals a lack of personal restraint, not to mention an ambitious play to make a few friend$ in the lucrative cigarette industry. Obama also scolded a reporter for thinking the question about his smoking was "neat ... as opposed to it being relevant to my new law."

He said the legislation, which faced a veto threat under former President George W. Bush, was aimed at preventing young people from taking up the habit. Obama began smoking as a teenager and has been an on-again, off-again smoker ever since. Obama said:

"First of all, the new law that was put in place is not about me. It's about the next generation of kids coming up. I don't do it in front of my kids, I don't do it in front of my family."

Kids like his daughters, 10-year-old Malia and 8-year-old Sasha. Fair enough. Like all kids everywhere, the Obama girls deserve to keep their loving dad around a long time, and a smoking dad is a dad that risks his health. But if it's really all about the kids, then why light up in the first place? Shouldn't the leader of the free world set an example for all kids, everywhere, including his own by NOT smoking at all and not pandering to Big Smoke?

This alone ought to be a strong enough reason for the president to quit. Completely. Never mind all this “former” smoker and “off the wagon” once in a while this and that. Why, for a brief period back in the day, yours truly developed a similar, occasional cigarette smoking habit but completely quit cold turkey. True, not everyone has such an inherent, commendable and unarguably remarkable will of steel but I know I am not alone in thinking it might be a very good idea if the President of the United States did. Just saying.

If I had one inspirational thought to sincerely convey to President Obama, it would be this:

Is that why your lips are purple? Stimulant junkies CAN get over themselves! Yes they can! Learn to substitute POSITIVE habits in place of that ratty nicotine. Grab a latte. If you must smoke something, I'll introduce you to my medicinal marijuana friends – even the nastiest ditchweed is one helluva lot better than a dreadful Lucky Strike, or so I have heard...Move around more. Get into the gym with Michelle FREQUENTLY and start doing a few extra laps on the treadmill, leg-lifts or whatever. Order the Suzanne Somers BUTTMASTER – not that you need it. Take up ball room dancing or, better yet, call up WOZ and get a slot on Dancing With the Stars (don't worry, Rahm will be happy to run everything in your absence.) Walk the damn dog nine times a day. Do it for your family who loves and needs you. Do it for your country, man. Do it for the South Side kids who worship (literally, as you know) and adore you. Do it for the mother fuc^%ng world! Be the poster boy of Change We Can't Afford to Blow on Smoke. Speaking of blow – you might try abstaining from that, also. Tough habits are only as tough as their masters, so don't be the Wimp in Chief. Be the Anti-stimulant. Sure, at first you'll say “Damn, this is all so horribly boring I'd rather waterboard my own self 24/7 or and take an ice-pick to my head than live like this” but over time, that all goes away as a new-found peace inhabits your smoke-free, inner world. And even though you will initially be convinced you've died and gone straight to Hell, that too, will pass. Trust me. Now go tweet Kal and have him personally remove all the ashtrays stashed under the Oval Office desk and on AF One. Do it...Less is the new More. Stop sacrificing your lungs for bleeping Big Tobacco!”


Monday, June 22, 2009

Ensign's Approval Rating, Pants Drop

-GOP Senator Widestancing Larry "Latrine Lothario" Craig-

-GOP Senator John Ensign-

Ensign's Approval Ratings Drop After Dropping Pants


The GOP continues to embarrass itself with its pathetic attempts to trump the all-time King of Hypocrisy, Larry “Latrine Lothario” I am not gay, oh no, no way Craig.

Notorious Nevada Senator “Promise Keeper” John Ensign of “The Gambling & Whorehouse State” and his approval ratings took a staggering blow as shocking news of his nine-month affair with a campaign staffer - a WOMAN -- surfaced according to a new Las Vegas Review-Journal poll:

The poll, conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc., shows that Ensign's 53 percent May approval rating fell to 39 percent and the percentage of people who now hold an unfavorable view of the senator is up 19 percent from a month ago.”

Another local poll conducted by esteemed Las Vegas pole dancer “Fawny Bunny” of the Sunset Strip revealed what most of the public already knows in their hearts: the lying, scheming sanctimonious GOP is going down, as their Senators hopelessly and unsuccessfully scramble to topple the unrivalled King of Hypocrisy, Larry the “Bathroom Goblin” Craig by emulating the adulterous sex-scandal habits of boring heathen Democrats like the un-churchy Kennedy, Hart, Clinton and Edwards etc. who all prefer to confine their lust to the opposite sex and outside of bathroom stalls.

Ms. Bunny also affirmed the Las Vegas Review-Journal report on Ensign's lurid affair with a member of the opposite sex by adding:

"When his pants dropped for a woman, his numbers obviously dropped, too. He's clearly suffered untold damage because of this," Bunny said. "But it could be a lot worse for Ensign. He could have been gay. Then he would have had to compete with Larry “The Bathroom Goblin” Craig and all hell would have broken out in the GOP. The really significant question is that only 29 percent think he should resign right away for having sex with a married woman while an overwhelming majority believe he should forever hang his head in shame for not cruising airport men's rooms. He does still have the ability to stay on and turn this around."

Splendid! As for the fate of the beleaguered Gay Old Party (GOP) of Family Values this report quotes Larry Sabato, head of the Institute for Politics at the University of Virginia as he offers his assessment of the Las Vegas Review-Journal on how all hope is not lost for Ensign:

"That sure says something, that the guy involved in the adultery scandal is the most popular senior elected official in the state. I don't know what it says, but it says something."

Hold onto your trousers, GOP. It's going to be a bumpy fight...


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Joe Biden: “Meet the Press” Middle Class Czar Exclusive Interview

Joe Biden: “Meet the Press” Middle Class Czar Exclusive Interview

Sshhh...It's a secret...but do you know what your middle class czar is doing?

Washington, DC – LWOH DC operative Tracy confirms that Middle Class Czar Joe Biden is scheduled to appear tomorrow, June 14, on NBC's Meet the Press to boost its sagging ratings since Tim Russert left this world (most notably during this time last year) and “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos has been kicking interviewee ass.

We don't know who MTP will have interview the Middle Class Czar, but the trillion dollar bailout question on everyone's mind is: What does a middle class czar do? We checked, and apparently, the answer is nada. That is, nothing that would make life better for American middle class citizens, that is, like saving E-Verify, which would be a good first place to start and like stopping the wholesale sell out of American jobs to India, Inc. As the Chicago Tribune's John Kass sums up in this excellent article, this issue is not about immigration but about American jobs. Back to the middle class czar...

Remember back in December, 2008 when Obama appointed the newly minted czar who said that he would

make sure working men and women are no longer being left behind.”

Hahaha! No one can accuse Joe Biden of not speaking in riddles!

He said he'd make sure “working” people wouldn't “get left behind” - like his insider pals in Congress and the India tech lobby because he knew that within less than a year, most Americans wouldn't be working anyway, hehe, since he and Hillary and a band of corporate thugs/lobbyists who hate educated white collar Americans are hellbent on selling out your jobs to cheap imported workers from India, Joe Plebe reader. Can a middle class czar actually make a difference?

Another great question for the MTP interviewer to ask Joe Biden, Middle Class Czar, is what will he do to protest the Indian offshoring/insourcing cabal at the Synergies Summit in Washington, DC this week (June 16-17)?


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

India Worships Frog that Changes Colors

FROG that Constantly Changes Color is Worshiped as a god in India

Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala -- What does a president who changes positions and a deity taking the form of a frog who changes colors have in common? They’re BOTH colorful deities who hop around from place to place, changing their stories and colors wherever they go!

It’s true! A FROG that constantly changes colors is being worshiped as a god in India. According to the report, “hundreds of curious followers” flock to an Indian home every day to pray and ask for miracles from a frog that is kept in a glass bottle,

but hundreds of idiots are praying to this unusual frog and asking it for miracles” anyway.

What do the locals call their leaping deity in a glass jar?

Krishna Croak?


Bill “I Like You Bufu Me” Gates?

Transparent Change in a Jar?


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Schwarzenegger's Marijuana Bid

"Fire it Up!"
-California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger-

California Governator Loves/Hates da Weed!

Smoking News

Los Angeles, CA He’s baak!...Recently California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger told CBS News “I Don’t Believe in Legalizing Pot” but the State’s current and would-be stoners are as excited about the “call” for a dialogue over the controversial subject as are the lit up fear mongers over whether to turn on the whole state by legalizing pot to boost tax revenues:

“State legislator Tom Ammiano, a San Francisco Democrat, introduced a bill in February to legalize recreational marijuana. Bill AB 390 would license "commercial cultivators of marijuana" and establish a complicated web of regulations and tax rules they and retailers must follow.

It could raise over $1.2 billion a year in new tax revenues, assuming a $50-an-ounce tax, according to an analysis by California NORML.”

But today’s puff piece entitled Schwarzenegger’s Call to Consider Marijuana Legalization to Boost Taxes Is “Irresponsible,” Says Chairman of DARE Board is loaded – I mean LOADED -- with all kinds of horribly scary, fear mongering smears against the Governator’s most excellent proposal/call for dialogue to roll off his desk since his sober budget tax propositions that the state’s morons (oops voters) killed a couple of weeks ago.

So what does the opposition group’s acronym even stand for? We think D.A.R.E. stands for Drugs Are Really Exhilarating but we’ll have to check. (One anonymous junior legislator close to the action reminded LWOH So. Cal operative “Warren” that discussions about drugs, particularly “even over the phone” almost “always occur in code, anyway.” )

Despite Schwarzenegger’s bold idea to lift the veil of secrecy shrouded in illicit weed dealing, The D.A.R.E. people are armed with arguably horribly fearful, irresponsible propaganda and they really, really blew a stick:

“Dr. Sheila Kar, clinical chief of cardiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, a member of the D.A.R.E board of directors and the liaison with D.A.R.E.’s scientific advisory board. “It has been shown to cause an immediate rise in the heart beat by 20-30 beats per minute along with an increase in blood pressure, thus increasing the workload of the heart. Marijuana is an irritant to the lungs and contains proportionally more carcinogens than tobacco smoke. It is associated with increased incidence of cancer of the head and neck area and lungs. It works on the brain, causing short- and long-term memory loss and impairing judgment, and it affects the sensations of taste and smell. One of its more pernicious effects is that it reduces inhibitions and can lead a person under the influence of marijuana to try even more harmful substances.”

OK. Now carefully, try re-reading the above mind-boggling paragraph and substitute your boss and your job for the words “marijuana” and “it” and THEN tell me that your professional life doesn’t proportionately elicit similar stressful, pernicious, harmful and irritating effects on your life, your body, and could even lead to more harmful substances, like the new office full of toxic Chinese drywall emitting poisonous gas?

So let’s clear the air take a practical look at what marijuana legalization really means to California’s economy and its people, which, among many of its other benefits, would certainly boost tourism in a very major way … It’s not like the Governor is proposing a No Child Left Behind Without Ditchweed in their Lunch Boxes here. It’s time to ask a few questions, like: Why is work legal but pot is not? Why not just declare life as “hazardous to your health” and criminalize everything, like riding around on the bus in Harlem on Saturday night or shutting down all the sushi "we give good mercury" bars? Sheesh.

For those of us who don’t inhale, no matter. The question over the legalization of marijuana in the State of California has the potential to ignite the discussion and get everyone to hit the hay to research this potentially smart proposal.


Remembering Koko Taylor, the Queen of Blues

-Koko Taylor singing “Wang Dang Doodle” 1967-

"Even when I'm doing down-in-the-basement blues, slow-like, those songs are not depressing. I do it all uplifting. I want people to feel like clapping, laughing and just having a good time -- enjoying themselves. I don't want people to say that (they're down) or put their heads down. My blues are feel good songs."

-Legendary Queen of the Blues, Miss Koko Taylor-

Chicago, IL – Ladies and gentleman, I am so sad to inform you that our beloved Sweet Home Chicago blueswoman, Koko Taylor, has died today.

My friends and I used to go see her perform at Biddy Mulligan’s and in other small bars around Evanston during the late 70’s and 80’s and dance all night long, into the morning hours.

Koko Taylor’s voice was, like her personality, strong and powerful and generous. And her smile, well, like a million bucks. She was so nice and really cared about her audience and always, always made her blues singing lively and fun.

Most of the time a warm up band would play first and then we would hear the exciting announcement: “Ladies and gentleman, I present Miss Koko Taylor” and the energy would turn electric. When intermission would come around, if we were near the stage (as I often found myself as a student of dance then) she’d ask us how we were doing, her brow sweating as she looked liked she needed to rest her vocal chords, have a drink and take a break - but she would talk to us anyway, about stuff like what we were studying in school. Koko was the real deal.

But it was one late evening, when we were right up in front of the packed stage dancing our asses off, when the band stopped playing between songs Koko threw back her head and with a big laugh, she looked right at me and said “Not bad moves for a white girl!” What an incredible woman, I remember her like it was yesterday and will never forget her big love of the music, the people, and the Chicago blues scene.

Special thanks to Jessi Virtusio of the SouthtownStar, who has written a wonderful memorial Remembering Koko Taylor, The Queen of Blues R.I.P. here.

God bless you, Koko Taylor, you bring down the house up there like you always did here and my prayers are with your family.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Joe Biden Gives Thumbs-up on Obama’s Supreme Court Pick, Sonia Sotomayor

-JO & BO-

“She’s clean, she’s articulate and hey, she speaks English, too.”

For Immediate Release

Joe Biden, D-Amtrak – Outspoken and debonair Vice President Joe Biden gave a big two thumbs up today for the nice, outspoken Puerto Rican lady from the Bronx, Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

Sotomayor met with 10 senators during her first day on Capitol Hill, retreating to Vice President Joe Biden's office between sessions to huddle with White House handlers, a team heavy with confirmation battle veterans who are guiding her nomination.

The dashing Middle Class Czar also told Sotomayor that he rides the train "all the time" and even offered her his monthly pass and a tumbler of Courvoisier should she win the nod, whether or not she probably chooses to choose a woman’s right to choose.

Now that’s diplomacy!


Too Big to Poach: Anti-trust Probe or Trojan Horse?

-The Gallic "Race to the Bottom" Wars-
(Photo credits Wikipedia)

Silicon Valley, CA -- Veni, Vidi, Vici! Once upon a time, the Roman empire was hellbent upon buying off the Gauls with the cheap promise of Roman citizenship (or so they thought) -- not unlike the modern day practice of neo-frat boy, feudal lords in hot pursuit of cheap, foreign replacements via dirty H-1B visa and monopolistic hiring practices that begot an entertaining anti-trust probe.

Cecelia Kang of The Washington Post explores in this San Jose Mercury News article a few highlights into the Big Brother State’s monopolistic hiring policies, however carefully maneuvering around the wartime propaganda on American tech professionals known as “The Great Labor Shortage Myth”… One courageous commenter, “Justula” sums up the direct effects of how a few uncivil rulers are bringing down the empire:

“It confirms for me the whole job hunting system in the Valley is rigged to keep the club open only for a select few. I never bought into the Web 2.0 everybody's welcome philosophy when so many elitists run them.

I remember when Silicon Valley was a place anybody could make it. That's what it was like when I started here in the mid 80's. If a company asked for 5 things and you only knew 3, that was okay because they'd be more delighted to let you learn on the job. And they did that because their competitor across was doing it too.

Then came the MBA's in the dotcom era's and ruined it. Google accentuates the negative even more lately when in its Web site it proclaims to hire "only the best and brightest." Now we see this garbage beyond round manhole covers.

I used to feel tremendous depression when interviewing at Silicon Valley tech firms and having Simon Cowell's evil twin telling me I was technically incompetent despite programming since I was 8 years old just because I couldn't solve puzzles that weren't even about software. Then I started speaking to other people who also were being treated poorly by some of the very companies you name here in the South Bay.” --Justula

Competition for the tech industry’s legendary “best and brightest” has always been fierce and not always civilized. As high technology warriors and their families would profit from a constant patrolling of their noble talents by hungry competitors seeking to enrich their armies via recruiting them, there’s a long, predatory tradition in the tech industry of raiding each others philandering troops perceived to possess advanced war machines of cerebral supremacy.

But over time, growing tired, old and fat whilst sucking on the imperial tit of Joe Taxpayer to subsidize their own expanding military and political investment strongholds, several leaders of the Silicon Valley of Rome forged an ingenious pact called “Don’t Poach, Don’t Tell” to squelch the rampant swiping. Consequences of the clan’s pact, however, hastened the empire’s downfall, as the imperial plotsters never questioned terms like “anti-trust” or “unfair competition” or, Hail Caesar help them, “DOJ.”

Kang explains how these pacts or agreements amongst giants is said to be “industry-wide,” with a few names that have already surfaced, including Google, Yahoo, Apple and Genentech. The pact would underscore the empire’s survival by failing to conquer their competitive lust for top business and engineering talent at bargain basement prices:

“Google has long been known for its exhaustive recruiting process to find people who fit into its culture and create innovative Web technologies. In 2005, Microsoft sued Google for hiring away Kai-Fu Lee, Microsoft's vice president for Web Interactive services, to head Google's operations in China.”

As the Seventh Circle of Silicon Valley’s neo-frat boy, ruling tech factions could somehow be assured their competitors wouldn’t constantly be sniffing at each other’s armor, a mutual non-poaching pact made perfect sense -- as long as they could repel small groups of rebels who persisted in hurling insults and rocks at the periphery of their mighty columns.

In addition, The Deal Pipeline reports that the Department of Justice is investigating a possible pact between top U.S. tech companies not to poach each other's top executives. If true, it would be a violation of the 1890 Sherman Anti-Trust Act.

But cutting out competitors, hurting consumers and rendering the “best and brightest” gladiators to vassal bargaining status inspired Obama's antitrust chief at the Justice Department, Christine Varney, to step in to ostensibly clean the clock or the “effects” of this otherwise fast-ticking feudal lord system that has the potential of dooming the tech nobility’s collusive pact to suppress the wages of the empire’s entire cavalry:

“Of course, such collusion would get a corporate officer into big trouble with the antitrust authorities — restraint of trade and all that — so that option is out. Or is it?”

But Emperor Obama’s cohorts know how to entertain the U.S. rabble. Victory for American professionals or the H-1B imported cheap labor lobby? What will the outcome of this anti-trust probe actually bring for native born troops seeking to advance their corporate rank? Will they continue to be sacked for cheap imported labor or would the ruling slow down the unnecessary recruitment for cheap workers from abroad? Will American workers benefit from a full bore anti-trust probe or is this the silver lining for the cheap import labor lobby?

In addition to Varney’s probe, would Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor be waiting in the trenches to potentially make veritable toast out of native born soldiers whose leaders have profited after years of sacking them to buy cheap labor with rewards of American citizenship? As the New York Times reports:

“Antitrust suits against companies for restraining the movement of skilled employees are by no means unprecedented. In 2001, for example, in a federal appeals court decision written by Judge Sonia Sotomayor, the Supreme Court nominee, the court upheld a complaint by a group of oil geologists and petroleum engineers who sued Exxon and other oil companies for colluding in hiring decisions and thus suppressed wages.”

Moral of the story? In the end, the cheap labor lobby wars never ended and the once noble empire of Silicon Valley, established by law abiding, scholarly rulers and loyal, hubris-free armies with actual engineering degrees from top U.S. schools and not the insufferable and scheming, post-empire MBA asshats – was left to mark the site of its odious and historic Race to the Bottom Massacre, leaving behind its trademark piles of splintered, cyber skulls and bones.

R.I.P., Empire.