This Day In History #3: July 13, 1558


The Battle Of Gravelines

The Battle Of Graveline

456 years ago today, July 13, 1558, close to Calais, France, the Battle of Gravelines was fought between Spain and France. 

The Spanish were commanded by Lamoral, Count of Egmont and the French were commanded by Marshal Paul de Thermes. The Spanish army was joined by another army, which was led by the Duke of Savoy. 

The French army was forced to fight after getting cornered up against a river and the sea. The battle turned into a rout for the Spanish as the English navy joined the action, firing on the French from behind. The French army of 14,000 suffered casualties of 12,500. The Spanish army of 18,000 suffered only 300 casualties. Many French soldiers attempted to escape into the sea and drowned. 

This Day In History #2 – July 12, 1984


geraldineferraro.html-3_orig30 years ago today, on July 12, 1984 Geraldine Ferraro was named the Vice-Presidential candidate of the Democratic party. Ferraro was the first woman to run for Vice-President for a major party. After the July 12 announcement by Walter Mondale, Ferraro was officially chosen at the Democratic National Convention on July 19.

Ferraro’s nomination for Vice-President initially had a positive affect for the Mondale/Ferraro ticket. They had a quick surge in popularity. Eventually, though, the nomination seemed to backfire. Within a couple weeks, questions were being asked by the national media about the finances of Ferraro and her husband, John Zaccaro. The Democratic ticket took a hit when it was learned that Ferraro had illegally received campaign loans from her husband when she ran, and won, the 1978 election for the House of Representatives seat from the 9th Congressional District in New York. Ferraro was also found to have previously paid $53,000 in back federal taxes. While there was no evidence of intent for either situation, the finding certainly had a negative impact on public opinion.

The general election was held on November 6 and the Mondale/Ferraro ticket suffered a landslide defeat. They only gained 41% of the popular vote, while the Reagan/Bush ticket received 59%. To make matters worse, the only state in which the Democratic ticket won the electoral college vote was Minnesota, Mondale’s home state. Even New York’s 9th Congressional District, for which Ferraro served in Congress for 6 years, voted in favor of Reagan/Bush.

Geraldine Ferraro would never again win an election for public office. She died on March 26, 2011. She will forever be remembered as the first woman to win a major party nomination on Presidential ticket.

The Job Market


Looking for a job?

Looking for a job?

This post is in regards to something we hear a lot of these days. I’ve been thinking about it after a response to my post on Hobby Lobby. I made the argument that if you want to work for an employer that offers contraceptives as part of your health insurance (or any other benefit for that matter), then you should find a job with a company that offers it. In the private marketplace, some companies will offer that benefit and some won’t. You have the choice of not working for a company that doesn’t offer it. 

In the comments to that post, Doobster418 said, “That might be true if we were a full-employment economy. But we’re far from it. People don’t always have the ability to “shop around” for a job in order to get better benefits or, specifically, contraceptive benefits. Most people these days who have a job are just thankful to have a job.”

We hear this all the time. People are “just glad to have a job.” Is this really true, though? I don’t think it is. 

In the grand scheme of things, the company I work for is small. We have less than 2000 employees. However, the company is constantly hiring new people. Our overtime pay is through the roof, because we don’t have enough employees to get everything done without it. We simply can’t find enough employees. It’s not like it’s a bad job either. Employee satisfaction is extremely high. The workforce loves the company. It’s a great place to be.

I just looked at our company website and there are currently 103 job postings up. If you go to the website for almost every company, there are a lot of jobs posted. How can this be? Don’t we have millions of people starving for employment in this country? Why are there all these open jobs? 

The fact is that there isn’t a lack of jobs. The assertion that people are just happy to have a job doesn’t hold water. Even though my company is a great place to work, we still have a relatively high turnover rate. Over 15% of the people hired by my company are not “just happy to have a job.” They find out they don’t really want to do the job that is asked of them, so they leave. Some people just flat-out make themselves unemployable. 

In my previous job I was a manager for a company in a service industry. The location I managed had almost 150 employees. A large number of the employees we had were people that were barely employable. Many of them only had jobs because it was almost impossible to fire them, thanks to the union. Almost none of the employees were actually willing to do the work that was asked of them. They felt they were entitled to be paid for doing less.

That’s the real problem in the job market. People think they are entitled to have a good paying job without having to put forth any effort. Even worse, there is a growing number of the population that thinks they are entitled to things like healthcare without having to work for it. 

I will say it again. If you are unwilling to put forth the effort to make yourself a valuable employee, then you really don’t deserve the benefits that come with employment. On top of that, I shouldn’t pay for your insurance in addition to mine. 

This Day In History: #1 – July 11, 2014


** I enjoy history. So, mostly for the entertainment of myself, I have decided to start a new series on my blog. I will attempt to write a “This Day In History” post each day. I will choose one event from that date to write about. We’ll see how long I can keep it up. Being the massive sports fan that I am, the first post of this series was a no-brainer.

He started as a pitcher, though!

He started as a pitcher, though!

100 years ago today, the greatest baseball player who ever lived made his major league debut. On July 11, 1914, Babe Ruth was a 19-year old pitcher. Playing for the Boston Red Sox, he started on the mound against the Cleveland Indians at Boston’s Fenway Park.

“The Babe” pitched 7 innings, giving up 8 hits and 3 runs (2 earned). He struck out 1 and walked nobody. Ironically enough, Ruth went 0-2 at the plate with a strikeout.

The Cleveland lineup that day included Hall of Famer Nap Lajoie. Also of note in the Indians lineup that day: Shoeless Joe Jackson.

The Boston lineup included Hall of Famers Tris Speaker and, of course, Babe Ruth.

Red Sox third baseman, Larry Gardner, went 3-4 with an RBI and Boston won 4-3.

Babe Ruth was the winning pitcher. He would go on to become the greatest hitter the game has ever seen.

Hobby Lobby, Religion and Birth Control


** Today’s post is a response to this post on Mindful Disgressions. I follow this blog and I recommend checking it out. I don’t agree with a lot of his opinions, but they are well presented, thought provoking and a good read.

Are they open on Sundays?

Are they open on Sundays?

There is a good chance that this post will piss off the people on both sides of this argument, because I don’t agree with either of them. This will not be a lengthy post. My opinions on this issue are pretty cut and dried.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHY HOBBY LOBBY AND THE SUPREME COURT ARE WRONG

It should come as no surprise that I’m at odds with the religious right. I’m almost always at odds with the religious right. I do not think that you should be allowed to exempt yourself from a law because of your religious beliefs. What if I decide that taxes are against my religion? Does that mean I can stop paying them? What if I say that my religion has no problem with rape? Does that mean I can go around raping women with no consequences? I think we all know the answer to those questions. You may not agree with the law, but it’s still a law. You shouldn’t be able to use religion to receive an exemption. It’s a bunch of crap and it’s one hell of a slippery slope. You shouldn’t be able to get around the law by invoking your invisible man. That’s all I’ve got to say about that.

 WHY THE OPPOSITION IS WRONG

No business should be required to include birth control as a part of it’s healthcare package, period. Religion shouldn’t even be a factor. Why is this a mandatory thing? It makes no sense. As a matter of fact, the government should not be involved in health insurance at all. The government should not be involved in healthcare at all. If I’m an employer, why should the government be allowed to tell me what I can and cannot offer my employees for their services? I don’t want to turn this into an Obamacare debate, that’s a different post, but this is just another example of government overstepping it’s bounds. Health insurance was first offered as part of a compensation package as an incentive for employees to work for certain companies. Smart employers saw it as a way to lure the best and brightest individuals to their company. Health insurance through the employer started in the private marketplace. Just the way it should be. In the private marketplace, some businesses would offer birth control as part of the benefits package and some wouldn’t. As an employee, you would have the choice of not working for a place that doesn’t offer it. Some employers would offer it for a competitive advantage. Some wouldn’t. It’s really that simple. Of course, our politicians just can’t keep their grubby, corrupt hands off of anything. The government gets involved and it turns into a complete disaster. Imagine that.