Category Archives: Social Networking

That “X” on the Floor? It’s a TRAP ! ! !


Standing on the “X” is a trap ! ! !

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Filed under Humor, R. Doug Wicker, Social Networking

Let’s Implement “Willful Ignorance and Stupidity Hours” at the Grocery Store


Social distancing markers at Safeway in Arlington, VA — WAMU / Tyrone Turner

We have in this country a sizable population who choose willful ignorance over science and medical expertise. You know the ones. They’re your Uncle Jack, who gets his “news” from the likes of Sean Hannity, Fox “News”, OANN, Breitbart, and the like. Uncle Jack thinks he knows more than people with medical degrees and experts in epidemiology. Uncle Jack is that guy who posted to your Facebook timeline a link to Plandemic, a thoroughly discredited anti-vaxxer conspiracy “documentary” starring an equally thoroughly discredited Judy Mikovits. Because of all these “news” sources, Uncle Jack believes his rights are being violated by social distancing and mask requirements.

Alas, Uncle Jack is so historically illiterate that he doesn’t know that he’s on the losing end of this argument. Uncle Jack has never heard of Mary Mallon, who in an earlier time refused to quit infecting people with deadly typhoid fever because her “right” to work in kitchens was being violated. “Typhoid Mary” wound up dying in quarantine as a result. That quarantine was her second, and she spent the last 23 years of her life locked away on a small island in New York City’s East River.

So, no, Uncle Jack, you do not have a Constitutional right to endanger people with your willful ignorance and stupidity. That was established back around the turn of the last century.

But what are we to do with the Uncle Jacks among us today? Those who feel their right to cough directly onto you in the bread aisle far outweighs your right to live, or not be permanently disabled with complications such as decreased lung capacity, kidney failure, liver damage, and heart disease as a result of barely surviving COVID-19?

Well, there is a simple solution to that. We already have “Senior Hours” at the local grocery store, and national chains such as Costco now require masks, even though some employees are being executed for enforcing that restriction. Still others are being gunned down because the Uncle Jacks of the world must use carry-out via the drive-through window rather than have a sit-down Big Mac and fries in the dining area at the local McDonald’s. But I digress. We’re here for solutions, not headlines. And here it is:

Welcome to “Willful Ignorance and Stupidity Hours” at the local Walmart. Just as seniors can have the grocery store to themselves in the early morning hours, let us consider turning over these same stores to these future Darwin Awards nominees in late evenings. Let these self-absorbed “Constitutional rights experts” who never heard of Mary Mallon use the same stores, say between 11:00 p.m. and midnight on Wednesdays. Let them run willy-nilly around the store coughing and sneezing upon one another without a multilayer cotton nose-and-mouth barrier, while standing eighteen inches apart and yucking it up among themselves about how they’re, “Owning the libtards,” or whatever.

Right about now you’re thinking, “But what about the employees though?”

We can fix that as well. Since employees would now be risking life and limb (or functioning internal organs, as it were), they would be volunteers. They would also receive hazardous duty incentive pay, which would be paid for by those who now have the “freedom” to run around the store contaminating one another during “Willful Ignorance and Stupidity Hours”. I’m thinking a 50%-to-100% upcharge added onto their individual bills. This upcharge would be distributed at the end of the shift among cashiers, stockers, and the cleaning crew now tasked with decontaminating the store before Senior Hours begin in the morning. Increase that upcharge to 200% and the store might even be able to cover the medical costs of any employees going into ICU.

I like to think of this as a win-win. The smart ones among us get to survive, and without long-term disabilities. The willfully ignorant Plandemic fans among us get to drain the shallow end of the gene pool, thus making the world a much better place for the rest of us.

© R. Doug Wicker — Author
May, 2020
All rights reserved
Redistribution permitted with proper and complete attribution

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Filed under Opinion Piece, R. Doug Wicker, Social Networking, Writing

Indentured Servitude is STILL alive and well in the U.S.


Back in October of 2013 I posted my most read blog article . . . by far. It garnered an astounding 7,368 views. And now, unfortunately, that article becomes timely once again. Only, this time, substitute President Donald J. Trump for any references that were previously made about Senator Ted Cruz (another absolutely despicable human being). And this time the hissy fit isn’t Obamacare. This time it is over a wall that nearly everyone acknowledges will neither add anything to national security, nor mitigate crossings along our border with Mexico, all at a cost that would eventually exceed $40 billion if completed along our entire southern flank. Besides, the president has had two years now to make Mexico pay for that wall, right?

And here is that reprinted article:

An Airport Traffic Control (ATC) Tower

An Airport Traffic Control Tower (ATCT)

Take it from a former controller who has in his 34 years in the business worked at some pretty busy facilities under less than ideal conditions with obsolete or failing equipment and uncooperative weather:  There are few if any jobs more stressful than air traffic control.  Period.  It’s certainly more stressful than being, say, a congressman or a senator.

Imagine working New York TRACON (Terminal Radar Approach Control) during a busy inbound rush of air carriers, failing equipment, and a line of thunderstorms pushing into the area from the west.  Throw into that mix an inflight emergency or two and perhaps an aircraft with minimum fuel that needs to get on the ground right now.

Then let’s add to all that stress.

Let’s tell those controllers that they have to go to work, but a group of about thirty congressmen and a senator or two who didn’t agree with the results of the last election are going to refuse to allow the United States Congress to pay them.

These already overworked, stressed controllers have mortgages to make, utilities to pay, car payments, grocery bills, kids in college . . . but none of that makes any difference.  They are required by federal law to work.  For free.  Indefinitely.

Think that’s fair?  That’s what’s happening right now, this very second.  In New York.  In Dallas.  In Atlanta.  In Chicago.  In Los Angeles.  In myriad other busy facilities across this great nation.  All because of thirty-some-odd Congressmen and at least one delusional, grand-standing Senator from Texas who has ambitions beyond the senate seat he’s held for less than ten months.

Tomorrow, these controllers will be paid for only 48 of the 80 or more hours they worked — the 48 hours they worked before the shutdown that occurred just thirteen days ago.  Those controllers received that bad news when they got their “pay” statements last Thursday.  Two weeks from tomorrow the amount in their paychecks drops to Z-E-R-O despite working another 80 or more hours during the next pay period.

How long do you think you could financially hold on under such conditions?  How long do you think it’ll be before some of these controllers have to resign to find jobs that pay the bills?  How long do you think it’ll be before retirement-eligible controllers with 20 or 25+ years of badly needed experience and who are currently mentoring an already far-too-young and inexperienced group of new controllers decide that they should go into retirement just to pay the bills?  (Controllers, by the way, are only allowed to work to the last day of the month in which they turn 56 because of the stresses inherent to their jobs, and because before that reduction in the retirement age, very few controllers could make it to mandatory retirement because of failing health and deteriorating abilities and reaction times.  These are the professionals who your congressman is stiffing on pay for work they’ve already done.)

How long before that radar control room guiding your airliner is staffed like this?:

The Control Room of a Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON)

The Control Room of a Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON)

And while these people are working for free, I’d like for you to consider this:  Those congressmen?  The ones who before the last election proclaimed the 2012 elections a “referendum on Obamacare?”  The congressmen who are now having a temper tantrum because, at their core, they apparently only believe in democracy when it suits them?

Those congressmen work on average just two days out of every five-day workweek, earn at a minimum $174,000 a year (Speaker Boehner gets a whopping $223,500 for not doing his job), are vested for retirement benefits after only five years on what I laughingly call “the job,” get federally subsidized healthcare (which those thirty want to deny people who make one tenth as much as they), and they continue to receive those pay and all those benefits while your air traffic controllers are forced to do without.  Those congressmen certainly aren’t hurting financially during this self-induced “crisis,” but your air traffic controllers certainly are.

How dare any elected representative do this to employees who work for them?  How dare any elected representative put employees’ families through this kind of stress and uncertainty?  How dare anyone whose job is given to them by a democratic process repudiate the outcome of a democratic election because they do not agree with the results?

It is way past time to start reducing the stress levels of your already overstressed air traffic controllers, and to start raising the stress levels of your elected representative.  And if you live in the state of Texas, as do I, it’s way past time to tell the wealthy Senator Ted Cruz (55th wealthiest member of the U.S. Senate) that if he doesn’t agree with democracy, then it’s well beyond time to democratically terminate his employment come next election.

These people, quite frankly, disgust this former Republican who, effective October 1 of this year, no longer affiliates himself with what once was truly the Grand Old Party . . . but is no more.

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Filed under Author, Aviation Safety, Opinion Piece, R. Doug Wicker, Social Networking, Writing