Archive for accidents

GM's Mary Barra Fires Employees But Spares Herself

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

GMGeneralMotorsTowerw276h222

Doesn't it seem to always be the case when there's a corporate problem, the first thing the bosses do is point fingers? The toppers never want to take responsibility themselves. It was some low-ranking employees and the CEO was left out in the dark. Somewhere along the line, after they've fired those who were directly hands on, the light starts to reflect back at them. Then there's very few places they can hide.

Well today, the lights at General Motors were shined on 20 key employees, 15 of whom were fired and 5 who were reprimanded over the company’s failure to disclose a defect with ignition switches that is now linked to at least 13 deaths.

This all stems back to 2001 and has continued up until recently -- both in General Motors lethal inactivity in responding to an issue they were totally aware of as well as their attempts to sweep this deadly flaw under the carpet.

Washington Post today reports:

Mary Barra jpeg

“I hate sharing this with you just as much as you hate hearing it,” [General Motor's CEO] Barra told employees in a town hall meeting at GM’s suburban Detroit technical center. “But I want you to hear it. I want you to remember it. I want you to never forget it.” Barra promised to “fix the failures in our system.”

Does Barra really mean what she's saying? Consider this, she's not among the 20 people singled out for firing or discipline.

Why should she be? Because a quick look at her employment at GM. She started working for General Motors at the age of 18 in 1980 and subsequently held a variety of engineering and administrative positions, including being manager of the Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly. Is she trying to say she had no idea what was going on? I suppose it's possible, but...

From General Motors website:

Prior to her current position, Barra served as Executive Vice President, Global Product Development, Purchasing Supply Chain since August 2013, and as Senior Vice President, Global Product Development since February 2011. In these roles, she was responsible for the design, engineering, program management and quality of GM vehicles around the world.

Previously, Barra served as GM Vice President, Global Human Resources; Vice President, Global Manufacturing Engineering; Plant Manager, Detroit Hamtramck Assembly; Executive Director of Competitive Operations Engineering; and in several engineering and staff positions.

Hello. The ignition catastrophe was an engineering design problem. That falls right under Barra's purview which brings us all back to the beginning. Finger pointing and assigning blame when it's really the guilty who should be taking the fall. I don't think Barra directly was responsible for the design flaw. But was she aware of it if these other 20 people were? Apply some simple logic here and decide for yourself-- in this case, did a guilty co-conspirator get promoted in order to put out the fire?

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

What's Your EDR Telling The Government About You?

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

spy vs spy

My EDR. What's that? And how does the government even know I  have one?

Well, for starters, an EDR is an event data recorder. It's a device that goes into your car. For it's intended purpose, it records key functions of your vehicle and in case of an accident, it can be accessed and details of what was going on just before, during and immediately after the event can be studied. Think of it as your car's Black Box -- like airlines use.

On the surface that sounds pretty cool. Maybe it can even be used to prove that a cop who wrote you a ticket for speeding was wrong. Of if accused of not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign, you might be able to show you actually had. There's all kinds of good uses this EDR could be for all of us.

All of us? Yep. It seems they're now standard equipment on personal vehicles, cars and light trucks. The HILL

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) mandated that all light-duty vehicles be installed with EDRs and more than 96 percent of 2013 car models have the technology already.

This appears to be benign on the surface. But, hold on a minute. It will monitor things beyond just brake usage, speed, seatbelt engagement -- it'll also monitor location, outgoing or incoming phone calls, and our routines.

Who's going to have access to that information?

Right now, it's generally open season. A few states have initiated privacy laws about when and how that data can be retrieved and disseminated. But generally speaking, many hackers and the US government have access. This means they can be tracking you, monitoring you and even selling your information like what markets you shop at, where you drop by to grab a brewski on the way home from work, even if you're having an affair at some hotel or motel.

The senators said they were concerned because currently there are no limitations on what information can be recorded and who can use it.

But fear not:

Several states have passed EDR privacy laws, but (Senators) Klobuchar and Hoeven said all American drivers deserve the same protections. Their bill would allow the data to be used if it is requested by a court of law or an owner consents.

“While technologies like EDRs have shown tremendous promise in improving safety on our roadways, we need to make sure that technological advancements don’t outpace privacy protections,” Klobuchar said. “This bipartisan bill makes clear that the vehicle owner is also the rightful owner of any data collected by an EDR, while still ensuring law enforcement has the tools they need to protect citizens.”

With the NSA snooping into everything we do, they don't need more unauthorized spying and recording of our habits. Here's a h/t to the bi-partisan efforts of Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) who just announced that they’d introduce a bill aimed at protecting the privacy of drivers.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Video Overnight Thread- Supercut Of Idiotic Pedestrians

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Um, okay, wow. Via.

Just a wee bit of housekeeping. If you haven’t already (stern look) please like us on teh Facebook, and we are all available to follow on Twitter. Gotta is great, David is fabulous and Lucian is smart and funny. Me, I’m still trying to get the font big enough to read, but I will get there eventually. Or just follow the whole damn lot of us here. Thank you.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Stop. You're Killing Me.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

research

I'm constantly being amazed by things I come across while doing research for my blogs. Yes, everything written here requires research, verification and always a dash of snark. The motto here at The Political Carnival is you Gotta keep the material honest.

So while getting some background on CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF's Tennessee Williams, I was surprised to learn that he died from something other than alcohol. He died by chocking on an eye-dropper cap. He was holding it in his mouth while tilting his head back to give himself some eye drops, then swallowed it by accident, causing his demise.

Who'd have thought, right? That, for some strange reason reminded me of famed actress and siren, Isadora Duncan. She went out driving in her convertible, a long flowing scarf flapping in the wind until it got caught in the spokes of her vehicle and snapped her neck.

That's when I did some research about famed deaths. I was dumbfounded to find out that a number of famous people had some pretty unusual causes of death. Certainly not what you'd think, or even what history might have indicated. Now I warn you, some of these might strike you as funny -- but certainly not to the recipient. Yet, if you can't take death lightly, how can you handle life?

Oh, and if you're planning on cheating death, I wouldn't suggest you hide in your bathroom. Here's some of the famous people who have died on the privy: Elvis Presley, producer Don Simpson, British King Edmund II, Catherine the Great, comedian Lenny Bruce (who many people thought was Catherine the Great), author of Brideshead Revisited Evelyn Waugh, and Christopher Shale a close associate of Prime Minister of Britain, David Cameron.

So, to catch you up on the Death Styles of the Rich and Famous, here's a compilation from Mental Floss:

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Dangers of Your Love Affair

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Auto love affair

With Detroit going bankrupt, I'm reminded of what was once referred to as Motor City. It was a thriving business and a soulful sound in music. Now the banging, clanging mixed in with the Motown downbeat have grinded to an ignominious silence.

How can we turn away from the  backbone of one of our great cities?

I'm hoping that a little walk down memory lane with the major products of Detroit is appropriate at this time. So while I mourn a once great city, and pray for a speedy resolve (listen to Ed Schultz for the solution) it might be interesting to examine a few thoughts on America's love affair with the automobile. It's probably not going to end in our lifetime -- but ironically it could end our lifetime. So take a gander at these couple of questions and see what you know about our driving habits as you "See the USA in Your Chevrolet," as Dinah Shore used to sing.

1. What state are you most likely to die in a car crash?

2. What state are you least likely to know the rules of the road? (warning, trick answer)

3. What state has the worst teen drivers?

4. What state has the worst senior drivers?

5. What state has the most distracted drivers?

Get Answers1. Montana, 2. District of Columbia, 3. South Dakota, 4. Florida, 5. Tennessee

Now put that knowledge to good use.  Stay healthy, stay alive.  And help Detroit do the same.  Contact your congressperson and senator and let them know you want to see a bailout -- if we can put the cash in Wall Street, we can add some bop shoo bop and some much needed bucks for Motown. Don't let these memories die.

Motown

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Cartoons of the Day- Children and Guns

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

childguns

Randall Enos

childguns1

Marian Kamensky

childguns3

Mike Luckovich

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Cartoon of the Day- "Pry From My Hands..."

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

horsey

David Horsey.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare