February 18, 2005

Not Exactly the Road to Serfdom

From Brother's Judd read the linked article in the San Frnscisco Chronicle about employees being fired because they smoked at home:

HOW DOES freedom slip away? It doesn't happen one day, all of a sudden, without warning. It erodes in stages. One day you read that an employer has fired four employees because they refused to follow the company's no smoking policy -- including not smoking in their own homes on their own time -- and that's OK, because you don't smoke. A year or two later, employers go after your pet vice -- eating, tippling, maybe snowboarding -- and then such a policy is an outrage.

So Americans should be wary of the news last month that a Michigan health- benefits administrator, Weyco Inc., sacked four employees because they wouldn't follow a company policy that required all employees to "maintain a smoke-free and tobacco-free status at all times."

That's right. They can't smoke at home. They can't smoke on their own time. To work for Weyco Inc. is to be owned by Weyco Inc. And the Weyco way may well be legal

Here's Bro Judds takeaway comment
The notion that your employer need not just stand by while you kill yourself but also pick up the tab bastardizes the concept of freedom beyond recognition. You're free to smoke or to work for Weyco. It's your choice

February 14, 2005

Do as we say, not as ...

Oops (courtesy Brother's Judd)
THE Kyoto Protocol takes effect this week but Japan, where the landmark environment treaty was sealed, is not fully prepared, its industry scared that a push to cut pollution will set back economic recovery.

The treaty aimed at curbing global warming - signed in 1997 in Japan's former capital, Kyoto - obliges the world's second-largest economy to cut 1990 levels of greenhouse gas emissions by 6 per cent within a timeframe of 2008 to 2012.

But 11 of Japan's 30 industry sectors, including steel and power, risk failing to meet their self-imposed targets in cutting carbon dioxide emissions, a Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) study revealed this month.

It found that Japan's emissions were going up as the economy expanded from a 10-year slump.

The survey has led the powerful trade ministry to reopen talk of imposing government, rather than voluntary, targets on emissions with taxes to coax violators - an idea opposed by big business.
Can't you tell how excited they are?