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Rob Elshire

Rob Elshire

Trump is the loser.

1 min read

For the last 4 mornings, I have woken up wondering if the US presidential election had been called. This was the morning. Joe Biden won. Donald Trump Lost.

In an end fitting such a surreal election, Rudy Giuliani was holding a press conference making shit up about election theft at the time the announcement came through. The press conference was held at Four Seasons Total Landscaping. Perhaps the venue was chosen because the only place there was going to be a happy ending possible for Rudy is at the Fantasy Island adult book store next door.

Rob Elshire

Fields of courgettes go to waste because grower can't get workers - NZ Herald

We've seen a series of news articles filled with woe-is-me "employers" in the primary industries (fishing, strawberries, asparagus, etc.) of late. The story is always the same. They cannot get their harvests in because the evil government is keeping them from importing workers and they cannot get the skilled and cheap labor they need locally because kiwis are lazy and unqualified.

With their focus on the short work period, the RSE staff worked the two-to-three month picking season with seven-day working weeks and working days that begin at dawn and finish on dark.

Hiring local staff meant juggling domestic and lifestyle responsibilities, and often social issues stemming from areas where regular work hadn't existed for decades. The working days were shorter which meant fewer courgettes got picked.

Heap said the productivity differences between RSE workers and local workers was enormous. He needed at least two New Zealanders to do the work of one RSE worker, and the churn of local workers was huge.

"My labour costs are through the roof. I believe if I'm in business I have the right to do the best that I can. I'm not allowed to do that at the moment."

Turns out that you can't make as much money when you are not allowed to exploit your workers. Clearly, this is not unique to Aotearoa New Zealand. We see this in these kinds of industries all over the world. As the saying goes, just because it is common does not make it right. Having the arrogance to dog whistle about social issues is downright disgusting.

Somehow, he seems to think that we should trust a cheapskate to properly quarantine his employees. Yeah, nah.

In the article linked below, Mr. Heap claims that:

The thing that's hard to handle for me is the dishonesty from Government and the lack of effort.

In actual fact, the government was very clear with Mr. Heap back in May. Just how much effort did Mr. Heap put in to finding an alternate solution during a time of pandemic? We're all making sacrifices. Is there some reason that he's special? Maybe he is. He was one who made good use of the RSE scheme in the early days -- transforming the industry from using illegal workers to legal workers. Unfortunately, the article does not describe how he improved working conditions for those workers.

Maybe Mr. Heap (and others like him) will do us all a favour and go out of business. That would open up opportunities for other people that could perhaps employ their neighbors and help uplift the communty they live in.

See further this and this.

Oh, and this just in.

Just a coincidental resemblance.

 

Rob Elshire

Rob Elshire

When You Use Dr. Bronners Peppermint Soap (review) - YouTube

I have used Dr. Bronner's for years. It costs NZD 11 per bar. This year I started making my own. Gotta give this guy some credit for a heart felt review of the peppermint version. He is not wrong.

Rob Elshire

A Distasteful Encounter with William F. Buckley Jr. by Gore Vidal

This article was published in Esquire Magazine in 1969. This is the year after the (in)famous 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. When the police rioted during the convention, the press called it what it was. Much different than we've seen from the press in recent years.

Both Buckley and Vidal were active commentators in those days -- coming from very different perspectives. There is a lot of Trump in Buckley as recorded by Vidal in this article. The last bit really sums it up.

Since I began this operation with a story from The Lakeville Journal, a sense of symmetry impels me to end with another newspaper quotation. During Buckley's campaign for Mayor of New York, The New York Times took exception to his "slurs on Negroes," and accused him of pandering to "brutish instincts." Buckley wanted to know to what brutish instincts he was appealing and The Times made answer, "Those instincts are fear, ignorance, racial superiority, religious antagonism, contempt for the weak and afflicted, and hatred for those different from oneself."

The roots of Trumpism go back at least this far, but really much farther.

Rob Elshire

Donald Trump vs. Democracy

2 min read

My old friend Trent Shepard from Urbana Illinois / Stephen's Bay NZ spent a few days with us this week. We watched much of the PBS coverage of the election yesterday. Too much really. We took a pause to bbq and have a really nice dinner sitting outside on our deck. When we finished, Trent, Robyn, and I went back out to the shed where the TV is a few minutes before Trump took the stage to speak. It was 2:30 AM Eastern time, but 8:30 PM here.

It was the most surreal thing I have ever seen. The president of the United (sic) States claimed that his voters were being disenfranchised by counting other peoples' votes. He declared that as far as he was concerned he already won the election and the voting must stop. He said he would take it to the supreme court.

We were in shock. The PBS commentators where in shock. Even though we had been warned about this scenario by Bernie Sanders a few weeks ago. Now the count goes on as does the dumpster fire that is 2020.

For me, the biggest take home lesson from this election, is that there are millions of selfish, bigotted Americans who agree enough with Donald J Trump to vote for him. Like nearly half of the people who voted. At the same time, the Democrats put forth an old, centrist, neo-liberal as the alternative. This makes me so, so sad.

The COVID-19 pandemic will rage on in America due to these selfish, bigotted people. Regardless of the outcome of the presidential election, Ya'll Queda, under the leadership of Donald Trump, are racing headlong to Pyrrhic victory -- "Give me liberty and give me death". This is not fun to watch.

Rob Elshire

Boris Johnson accused of 'giving in to scientific advisers' as England heads for lockdown - CNN

Wow, Boris Johnson gave in to evidence, logic, and science? Who woulda thunk!

Rob Elshire

Is the Pope Catholic?

Is the Pope Catholic?

Guess some people think that it wasn't a rhetorical question...

Rob Elshire