Tuesday, August 15, 2006

V For Vendetta

On 8/12/06, G@P wrote: Russ... Have you seen this movie yet? Excellent study in terrorism versus freedom fighting? Who makes the rules? Who controls? Who fights? Based on a comic, of all things. Excellent stuff...GaP ___________________________________________________________________ Russ wrote: Hi Gary! I did see "V for Vendetta." I agree that its a timely study and raises question about freedom fighting versus terrorism. In a piece on radio recently (it had to be NPR) a writer was talking about the biblical myth of Samson and Delilah. By killing himself along with the, who was is, evil Pharasis ... hell, I can't even spell it, the writer said that Samson was the world's first "suicide terrorist." History is written by the victors. Today we have serious criminal activities we deal with by bombing cities. We call it a War on Terror. In this latest scare are we to bomb London to take care of the criminals who grew up there? I've said for a long time that the best thing we can do is try to rid the world's social soil of the poison that allows the monsters to grow. We will not do that by engaging in a traditional war against a verb. War on poverty. War on drugs. War on illiteracy. They don't work. Today I'm in Detroit and feeling very low about the state of affairs. No hair gel, no toothpaste, no shampoo ... a smelly situation indeed. Where does it all end. When the bad guys raise the bar again, as they will, do we raise our defences yet higher? Does it end with each of us carrying nuclear counter measures in our car trunks? I spent all day yesterday onboard the most powerful warship in the world, the USS Theodore Roosevelt. It is a marvelous example of man's ingenuity and relative might. As will steamed along, powered by twin nuclear reactors, I thought how stupid it really is that we felt the need to build such a monster just to kill other people. The Teddy Roosevelt's nickname is "America's Big Stick." Today we are forgetting the part about "walking softly." Take good care, brother. And keep the faith. There must be a reason for all this. Russ ______________________________________________________________________________ Russ... Writing this from the lobby in AMS...Must make it quick. I don't think humanity will ever be ready for the rational, mature solutions until we hop up a rung on the evolutionary ladder or SOMETHING. Because history's lessons are NOT being heeded. So fuck it. Nuke the place...LEt some other species have a go at it. (Nihilism is VERY tempting...) Keep your faith, buddy...and I'll keep mine...GaP

What I Don't NEED To Do...

Just some meandering notes...We live in a world of soundbites, buzzphrases, and mass-produced quips. One of the ones that have emerged that drives me RIGHT up the F--KING wall is when someone tells me that I "NEED" to do something. The phrase has become so pervasive that even I find myself using it without intending to. Another variant of this is when someone says or writes..."You NEED/HAVE to understand..." No. I don't NEED/HAVE to understand shit. What I NEED is for people to stop saying what I or anybody else NEEDS to do/say/think. The only things I NEED to do is...breathe, eat, drink, and get rid of the waste-products thereof. Everything else is subject to personal choice and circumstance. So everyone NEEDS to keep their advice to themselves when it's prefaced by that tired introduction. Not a big fan of air-quotes either. Dumbed-down, poor-man's irony. All for now...Must continue getting the study in order...GaP

Saturday, August 12, 2006

A Letter A Friend Wrote...

I have a fellow flight-attendant who sent a beautiful message to his Theory X CEO...Very adroit... _____________________________________________________________________ Our Collective Strength Share the TRUTH! & Tell the TRUTH! Dear Doug and Suzanne, I am in receipt of your emails regarding TA2 being voted down. Most notably Suzanne Boda's email regarding our new work rules. A very sad day indeed that your further demonstrate your lack of regard for the FA group at a time you state you wish to bridge the gap between NWA and the employees. True you need relief from the FA group but not at the expense of our health and the time away from our families under these horrible work conditions. I knew in voting NO that this is what would be coming and prepared myself for just that. Thankfully I know how to save and have an education. Thankfully the employees are an educated group that too know how to save. You are not dealing with gadfly individuals here jumping up and down for a larger piece of the pie. You have a united workforce who is fighting and will fight for what we deserve and for what WE have worked for. You have a workforce that will not be beat down and watch you and all the "EXECUTIVE TALENT" take the spoils once this company is "righted". As I have stated in past emails to you, Doug, we are viewed as a liability here just like the mechanics, the pilots, the baggage handlers and every other employee here that does not have a managerial position. At times I feel my 20 years account for nil. You state you want to strengthen relations with the employee group. Your words have no meaning as they are not backed by what you say. All you have managed to do is take with nothing in return. Suzanne, in the long list of what you are taking (Centry Email 8/01/06) please tell me one thing you have given? Passes are no longer a perk, no job security, no time between flights to get food, long days and minimum rest, 35/7, no 8/24, 75-100 hour lines, reserve having to fly up to 87:30 before a release - NOTHING. The fa's in Hawaii, how do you expect them to survive with the high cost of living and no base allowance? A Sick pay rate of 75%? You will have many sick FA's coming to work. The means to buy food will far outweigh the desire to stay home for rest so one can heal. In my last email to you Doug I asked why one should stay employed here at NWA? You stated (paraphrasing) "many good things are in the works". NAME ONE?? With these work rules? You have again further driven a divide between the employees and management. I ask myself why am I still here? Tell me, please, what is good about my job making $32,000 a year supporting a family (wife and two children) and working under these conditions? 41 years old ............ 'why am I still here'? NOTE: The front line employee group is an angry one. Whether intentional or not it shows on our faces in the cabin. You do not care as demonstrated by your actions. I ask why should I care (rhetorical)? WE FA's are NWA. WE deliver your product. WE keep this airline running by showing up on time and doing our jobs with pride and dignity. WE are your front line people. WE keep the people coming back. WE, the employees, are the grease that keeps the wheel spinning. DO YOU NOT GET IT? You are not in touch with the employees. You never have been and by your actions you never intend to be. YOU WROTE: "To truly succeed in the air transportation business Northwest must be a "winner" with all employees. As we proceed in our restructuring, and restore the airline to profitability, we believe that we have an opportunity to renew our relationship with coworkers." This is how you "RENEW" the relationship with coworkers? You shove this down our throats? Repeating an earlier question, what is one thing of positive value you have given to the work force who built this airline? "'OPPORTUNITY" passed you up starting with the mechanics. You are losing many good people who can no longer afford to stay here. You will attract the Wal-Mart greeter mentality worker who was just fired from Taco Bell because he cannot make a chalupa. It is time for a new leader with a vision for its customer and employees to take the helm. Your workforce is going broke, literally. Your workforce is leaving. Too bad as you had many chances to make a difference. Jeff W.... - LAX

Friday, August 11, 2006


I’m sure you’ve heard the news of the foiled terrorist plot that originated out of Heathrow Airport yesterday morning. My roommate tried to warn me not to pay attention to the news but the concept and the big picture has finally sunk in. When I was at the gym this morning, most people discreetly avoided me, knowing my profession as a flight attendant…or glorified waiter, as the flying public seems to perceive me…or overpaid vending machines as our beloved CEO D.S. has allegedly dubbed us, even though he claims he didn’t. The point is moot considering the draconian paycuts I’m being asked to take while upper management rakes in the millions for the bang-up job of mismanaging the airline into bankruptcy. But I digress… So let’s see…I have an employer who wants to clusterfuck me with pay reductions and stringent work-conditions. And now I have to keep an eye out for terrorists with liquids and some kind of iniator…like cellphones, MP3 players, or what the hell…a camera with a flash-function…And I love when travelers are freshly interviewed after an event like this…The quotes usually go something like…”I know the delays are a hassle but it’s worth it to be safe.” Suuuure, it is. Let’s talk to these people in a month when they’re bitching at the security check-points about not being able to bring their hair-gel nor their bottles of water. It’s worth it to be safe, kids. Thing is, I’m glad the Brits seem to be more on top of this. We’re not safe. We never HAVE been. I’m very grateful for the inspectors, police detectives, and whoever else worked to prevent this tragedy from happening. Yet, in a way, the terrorists have already won, regardless. They’ve spread FEAR. They’ve slowed us down; they’ve given us the hassle-factor. It bloodies the nose of the true God that our culture truly worships and reveres: the wallet. You slow the money-flow and you do some REAL damage. You mess with the creature-conveniences of the Western world…you show the infidels with their bloated sense of entitlement some fear and frustration…and you’re in business. Nope. I don’t think I like this new century very much. GaP