Thursday, April 30, 2015


On the job accidents
Damage bottom line


The headline on The State newspaper of Columbia SC reads:

Tuna company, 2 managers charged in death of worker in oven

The following text explains that

    Bumble Bee Foods and two managers were charged by Los Angeles prosecutors Monday with violating safety regulations in the death of a worker who was cooked in an industrial oven with tons of tuna.

    Jose Melena was performing maintenance in a 35-foot-long oven at the company's Santa Fe Springs plant before dawn Oct. 11, 2012, when a co-worker, who mistakenly believed Melena was in the bathroom, filled the pressure cooker with 12,000 pounds of canned tuna and it was turned on.. Not exactly what a person wants to read as they eat their lunchtime tuna fish sandwich or salad.

According to the report,

    The company, its plant Operations Director Angel Rodriguez and former safety manager Saul Florez were each charged with three counts of violating Occupational Safety & Health Administration rules that caused a death.

    The charges specify that the company and the two men willfully violated rules that require implementing a safety plan, rules for workers entering confined spaces, and a procedure to keep machinery or equipment turned off if someone's working on it.

    Rodriguez, 63, of Riverside, and Florez, 42, of Whittier, could face up to three years in prison and fines up to $250,000 if convicted of all charges, prosecutors said. Bumble Bee Foods faces a maximum fine of $1.5 million. California's occupational safety agency previously cited the San Diego-based company for failing to properly assess the danger to employees working in large ovens and fined it $74,000. (Emphasis mine.)

BOTTOM LINE Just looking at the fines against the company, which Bumble Bee is appealing, gives a quick total of a few thousand dollars more than $1.5 million.

The "bottom line" for the company is that it could have implemented an enterprise risk management plan AND established safety policies and procedures AND trained personnel AND exercised the plan for a great deal less than the penalties being assessed against it by California.

    I have to ask: is a human life worth only $74,000 in California?

The monetary penalties may be the least of Bumble Bee's problems. According to a Reuter's article , Bumble Bee has annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of around $130 million and is expected to attract interest from other food companies in the United States and Asia with company owner, Lion Capital LLP, hoping to sell the company for around $1.5 billion. Neither Bumble Bee nor Lion Capital will suffer much from a "paltry" $1.5 million fine. Lion Capital bought Bumble Bee from Centre Partners Management LLC, in 2010 for $980 million

The bigger "hit" may come from consumers who find the thought of cooked cleaner repulsive and fish for their tuna in other waters such as StarKist and Tuna of the Sea, two other major U.S. tuna packers.

Apparently workplace "accidents" are fairly commonplace. In many, perhaps most, cases, the "accident" could have been avoided if

  1. An experienced risk management practitioners had been consulted and presented a risk management program to the organization
  2. Corporate management actively supported and implemented the risk management practitioner's recommendations
  3. Recommended health and safety measures were implemented
  4. Personnel had on-going training
  5. Reminder signage - Check Before Activating - was adequate and obvious

Risk management practitioners often are asked "What's the ROI (Return On Investment) for risk management?" It always is hard to quantify, but for Bumble Bee, the ROI - had if invested in and promoted risk management throughout the enterprise could easily have saved the company more than $1 million AND helped protect its reputation.

Monday, April 20, 2015


Any reasonable person would read the two headlines above and say This can't be for real.

The president of the U.S. wants to reward a government (Iran) that calls for "the death of America." Never mind that Iran also wants the destruction of the "Little Satan" (Israel) - under the current administration Israel is of no value and, worse, is a thorn in the president's political hide.

You can read the articles by clicking on the links below.

Obama Says US Will Consider Immediate Lifting of Iran Sanctions


Obama Says US Will Consider Immediate Lifting of Iran Sanctions

Caveat United With Israel, which published the two articles - and more - is an Israeli-based operation with strong pro-Israel prejudices.

Caveat not withstanding, any half-way intelligent reader would be given pause by the proximity of the headlines and the content of the articles beneath them (or in the this case, linked from them).

Here is a "leader" who, with his State Department - notoriously pro-Arab and anti-Jewish … not just anti-Israel but anti-Jewish, there was no Israel when Jews were slaughtered by nazis and Muslims between 1930 and 1946 - kowtows to the Chaplinesque petty tyrants of Iran See note at bottom.

Shades of Neville Chamberlain and his "peace in our time" promise to the English after he gave away part of Czechoslovakia - without bothering to check with the Czechs. The surrender only whetted the nazi madman's appetite for more land - as Poland soon discovered.

The Appeaser In Charge apparently thinks that lifting sanctions on Iran and allowing - encouraging - Iran to develop nuclear weapons will cause the ayatollahs to reconsider their animosity - hatred - for the U.S.

The ayatollahs' mentality is different from the normative Euro-American mentality where a man's word is honored. There obviously are exceptions to that mentality as the chief nazi proved.

Given Iran's past post-saber rattling actions - the Iran-Iraq war, the attack on the USS Cole, and support of multiple terrorist organizations - a reasonable person must conclude that the ayatollahs mean what they say; they will sacrifice as many Iranians as needed to eliminate the Great Satan and the Little Satan from the face of the earth as they strive to restore Muslim hegemony around the globe.

A correspondent challenged that "What have the sanctions accomplished? Look at Cuba."

Good question.

The sanctions admittedly don't hurt either the ayatollahs or the Castros; they, unfortunately, cause the average person at least inconvenience. That over time can have one of two results: either the average citizen will see his government as the source of the country's woes or the citizen will ignore his own leadership's folly and blame whomever the leadership blames.

Are there alternatives to sanctions?

Certainly. But are they good alternatives?

The U.S. could, and Israel threatens, to bomb Iran back to the 5th Century; to level Iranian cities as the U.S. did to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There is hesitation to do this because

  * Unlike Japan, the U.S. is not engaged in a global war with Iran (primarily because Iran uses proxies to attack U.S. interests)

  * The feeling is that most of Iran's people are tools of the ayatollahs and not anti-anyone.

On the other had, the liberal world frowns upon selective assassinations, preferring - apparently - to allow a few men, women, and children to be murdered by the people who would be targeted for an early and "permanent" retirement.

All of the above applies also to North Korea.

Since taking office, the incumbent at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has destroyed all respect other nations and peoples once had for the United States.

His arrogance and abuse of executive power has made him a laughing stock to all but the most liberal loyalist, and his actions are bringing the nation closer to yet another war, one that may well result in nuclear attacks on U.S. soil and certainly on the soil of America's ONLY dependable ally in the Middle east.

The president has proven, again and again, that America's best interests are NOT the same as his personal interests.

Note: Chaplin was neither the only, or first, film maker to parody the nazi. Before Chaplin's film, the Three Stooges took a swipe at the fuhrer and and even German Fritz Lang pilloried the nazi psychopath prior to Chaplin's The Great Dictator.

Sunday, April 19, 2015


Letter carriers
Who can't READ!


APPARENTLY SCHOOLS no longer teach Readin', 'Ritin', and 'Rithmetic - the 3Rs.

Now I am convinced Civil Service exams for letter carriers no longer require the ability to read.

Thursday evening I found a letter in my mailbox addressed to someone who does not live at this address. I don't know that the person EVER lived at this address.

Being a good citizen, I marked, in large red letters


stuck the letter back into the mail box and raised the flag.

Friday evening - our letter carrier apparently likes to sleep in and deliveries before 5 p.m. tells us the alternate delivered that day - I went out to collect the mail and - surprise - the letter bearing the words in large red letters


was still in my mailbox.

I carried the letter, with the usual junk mail, into the house where I took a pen and, in large red letters added


all the while thinking of an Elvis Presley song.

When we lived in Clearwater (FL) we had an EXCELLENT letter carrier named Vic. He was a personable fellow who delivered the mail 5 days-a-week (the 6th day, which rotated, was delivered by a substitute).

Now, with a Fort Lauderdale address, the regular mail carrier is a surly woman who delivers the mail in the early evening - after 5 p.m. most days - and who apparently is unable to comprehend the significance of the words




I recently requested a hold on my mail while I was away from town. The hold was to end on the day after I return.

On the day after my return I did indeed receive some mail, AND a bright yellow "Hold" placard that I put back into my mailbox after raising the flag.

Since I had to go to the not exactly next door post office to collect my held mail the last time I used this service, I was pleasantly surprised to have my held mail.

The REAL surprise came the next day when I received the rest of my held mail, about foour times as many items as the previous day.

But at least the letter carrier du jour had the good sense to take the bright yellow "Hold" placard with her. (Over the several years I have lived at this address I have never seen a male letter carrier on this route.)

It does no good to complain. I tried that and all I got was push back from the post office; not only do the letter carriers have a strong union but they are backed by the U.S. government- a double whammy assuring the customer ALWAYS loses.

As the price of stamps goes up, the level of service goes down.

Just like the level of respect this nation once enjoyed in other countries. Maybe something can be done about the respect issue, but I doubt there's any hope for the USPS.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


Obama's deal
Is no deal with Iran


Congress prepared to act against POTUS fiat


From the The Israel Project for Wednesday, April 01, 2015

    Negotiations to achieve a framework agreement on Iran’s nuclear program will be extended until tomorrow, following several days of negotiations in which the P5+1 made several key concessions to Iran, while Iran backtracked from previous compromises and hardened its positions. The U.S. had set March 31st as the deadline for the release of a framework understanding, with June 30th as the final deadline for a detailed comprehensive agreement.

    Although the P5+1 had demanded that the enrichment facility at Fordow be shut down, according to reports, they will now permit Iran to maintain almost 500 centrifuges there, which could be transformed to enrich uranium. This new development means that Iran can retain nuclear infrastructure at a highly fortified underground facility that is largely immune to attack. Furthermore, rather than insist that Iran reveal the potential military dimensions (PMDs) of its nuclear program as mandated by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the P5+1 will reportedly allow Iran to continue to put off full disclosure of its PMDs until later, after considerable sanctions pressure has been lifted, a concession the Washington Post editorial board has labeled “a reward for Iran’s noncompliance.” Failing to address the potential military dimensions would undermine the IAEA’s ability to verify Iran’s nuclear program and calculate its breakout time.

    Iran, on the other hand, is now refusing to ship out its enriched uranium, although it had previously successfully convinced the P5+1 to allow it to maintain a higher number of centrifuges on the assumption that it would be shipping out its enriched uranium. Last week, an Iranian official insisted that Iran would not allow snap inspections, although Iran had indicated in the past that they would consider such an arrangement. Additionally, today an Iranian general called Israel’s destruction “non-negotiable.”

    Former Director General of the IAEA Olli Heinonen has challenged the Obama administration’s goal of extending Iran’s breakout time to one year. Heinonen has argued that not only would one year not be enough time to detect and respond to an Iranian attempt to break out, but given the amount of centrifuges the P5+1 have reportedly allowed Iran to keep, Iran’s breakout time would actually be closer to 7-8 months.

    Bipartisan leaders in the Senate have indicated that if no framework understanding is agreed upon by the time they return from recess, they will introduce the Kirk-Menendez bill, which would increase economic pressure on Iran if there is no deal by July 6. If a framework understanding is produced, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will introduce the Corker-Menendez bill, which calls for congressional review of any nuclear agreement with Iran. Congress has been increasingly critical of the concessions the P5+1 has made to Iran. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) wrote that he fears that “we are no longer guided by the principle that ‘no deal is better than a bad deal,’ but instead we are negotiating ‘any deal for a deal’s sake.’”

IF THE U.S. has no prestige. why is Obama seemingly leading the P5+1 as it caves to the ayatollahs? If not Obama, who?

    There will be "Peace for Our Time" (British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in his speech concerning the Munich Agreement and the Anglo-German Declaration)

    "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" (Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás)

Some people (read Obama) either (a) don't know history, (b) ignore history, or (c) simply want the ayatollahs of Iran to prevail, disregarding his oath of office.

Each time Obama and friends cave to Iran, the ayatollahs redraw the "line in the sand," moving it always to their advantage, knowing Obama will acquiesce.

Like Abu Mazen, they take what they are offered and refuse to honor their promises. THIS it their idea of "negotiations," and Obama accepts their strategy.

Obama behaves as if he is an emperor rather than a lame duck politician, (Granted when congress was controlled by his Democrats, no challenge to his high handedness was successful; now the congress is in Republican hands and the political pendulum has swung to the other extreme - Obama's true legacy: extremism in Washington politics.)

If the world is fortunate, Obama will go down as one of America's most inept presidents. If the world is NOT fortunate, Obama will go down in an abbreviated history as the fool who let crazies have a bomb that destroyed much of the world.

They laughed, derided, and dismissed Sarah Palin for her lack of foreign experience, preferring instead a political novice with only city ward experience. Maybe the American liberals have learned their (political) lesson - but probably not.