The Top Five: Free market, near-free books, bullies and socks

Britten Fay

Unions face the chopping block
For the second day in a row, thousands of students and public employees gathered in Wisconsin’s capital on Wednesday to protest Gov. Scott Walker’s bill that would strip unions of collective bargaining rights.

The bill would eliminate the protected negotiations between employers and unions that concern working conditions, including health and safety, hours and wages.

In the down economy, states are getting less and less money from the feds so raising taxes and privatizing services are ways they try to manage.  Saving money, in this case, means laying some people off and making the remaining public workers pay a percentage of their health care coverage.

The unions stand in the way of this and that places them firmly in the cross hairs.

Interesting that for the last month, our news has been completely taken over by popular protests in the Middle East, but thousands of Americans are protesting in Wisconsin and there is nary a peep.

Borders files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
After 40 years of swooping in and stamping out competition, Wal-mart style, Borders is perhaps getting its just desserts for over-extending.

The Associated Press reported the book giant filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and will close 200 of its nearly 650 stores.  Each of those scheduled for Bording-up are superstores and have been losing nearly $2 million a day.

I’m for progress and I understand the convenience of storing hundreds or even thousands of books on one Kindel or whatever other new-fangled electronic word displaying apparatus, but it’s a damn shame.

I like bookstores and I like curling up with a real book.  If anyone else does, now is the time to go kick Borders while they’re down and jack their books for pennies on the dollar.

Gray-haired harriers harass hoary housemates
It turns out those bullies you knew in grade school or high school or even college don’t eventually undergo a positive life change, like dying under a truck. They grow old and gray and keep it real by bullying people in retirement homes.

According to an MSNBC story, gangs of geriatric Jets and Sharks are prowling the halls of institutions we send our old people to when we realize they shouldn’t be driving anymore.

The abuse ranges from snarky, childish comments about someone’s hair to straight-up physical attacks.

How the whole thing doesn’t end in a pile of broken hips is anyone’s guess, but just keep watch for stiletto-twirling pensioners when you’re shopping for granny’s new home.

Hears to your good health, sir
A homeless man in Ireland was chased down and beaten by a gang of masked thugs early Monday.

The 21-year-old was dragged down a road while his assailants allegedly applied hammers and iron bars to his face, head, jaw and arms.

But evidently, minding your own business while homeless carries more dire consequences in the town of Newbridge.  Or maybe it’s just the local custom to accompany a needy man from the pub.

Whatever it was, they cut or bit off part of his left ear and made him eat it.

They could have just said sláinte.

Mosquito-eating spider loves your dirty socks
Really, could this be more clear? I can’t spell everything out for you people.