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(Almost Nothing To Do With) Mass Effect by EthereaS (Almost Nothing To Do With) Mass Effect by EthereaS
Alliance operatives Donna "Double D" Domenitzo and Etherea "Space Cadet" Serendipity make a disturbing discovery while securing the abandoned Hostess bakery on Kal Auri 7's second moon. The reconstruction of the event presented below is based on their after-action reviews, Alliance mission reports, audio recorded on their comm units during the event, and representations made to an Alliance Civil Liberties Union attorney by the surviving family members of an unemployed former member of the Confectionery, Tobacco Workers & Grain Millers International Union.

============================================================================

DONNA: *suddenly pulls her weapon and fires* *BLAM*

ETHEREA: *removes her glowing orange visor and cleans it with a tissue* "DD, what in the hell are you shooting at?"

DONNA: "Look, over there in the corner, there's some kind of hideous, blob-like....alien.....thing!" *BLAM* *BLAM*

ETHEREA: "STOP SHOOTING! I think it may be human....oid! Look, it's wearing a Confectionery, Tobacco Workers & Grain Millers International Union jacket!" *sniffs the air and crinkles her nose* "And you can smell the laziness from here."

DONNA: "Ewww! I hope that big stain on the front is icing."

ETHEREA: "I think that's blood from where you shot it, DD."

DONNA: "No, the other one."

ETHEREA: "Oh my glaccckk!" *gagging sound* "I just threw up in my mouth a little bit."

DONNA: "So that shiftless....thing....is the reason we can't get Twinkies anymore? Or Wonder Bread?"

ETHEREA: "Well, I really liked the cupcakes and the Ding Dongs, myself, but yeah."

DONNA: *looking at Etherea's ass*: "I can see you've stored a few away."

ETHEREA: *glaring at Donna* "Uh huh. Just you wait. Keep that up, and POW! to the moon!" *Etherea gestures* "The other moon, I mean, not the one we're on right now."

DONNA: *rolls her eyes* "So am I in trouble for shooting it...or him...or whatever?"

ETHEREA: *shrugs* "Nah, we'll just say you thought you were being charged by a Volus high on red sand. But I'm putting you in for remedial marksmanship training, I think you only hit it in the leg-like blobular mass area. Now it's screaming something about the ACLU suing us to death or something."

DONNA: "What a whiner. I only shot it like three times. Anyone who has ever played Mass Effect knows you have to shoot something a hundred times with these stupid guns to actually kill it. Well, I guess we should finish the thing off, then."

ETHEREA: *nods* "Yeah, it only has about a 97% chance of survival with the slugs you've put in it so far, and we wouldn't want it to suffer. And...um...you were just joking about my butt being big, weren't you?"

DONNA: "No, it's huge-normous, but you're freakishly tall so it kind of evens it out a little bit."

ETHEREA: "You are such a short little bi....."

DONNA: *BLAM* *BLAM* *BLAM* *BLAM* *BLAM* *BLAM* *BLAM* *BLAM* *BLAM* *BLAM*

ETHEREA: *BLAM* *BLAM* *BLAM* *BLAM* *BLAM* *BLAM* *BLAM* *BLAM* *BLAM* *BLAM*

DONNA: "That's for the Sno Ball I didn't get to eat while watching NAPD* Blue last night, you lazy union slob."

ETHEREA: "Yeah!" *BLAM* *BLAM* "I was really craving some of those little mini powdered doughnuts." *BLAM*

DONNA: *sighs* "Let's check the rest of the place out, maybe there are some Twinkies around here somewhere. They say those things stay good for a hundred years."

ETHEREA: "Yeah, in a hundred years all those wrinkles you have will look natural."

DONNA: "Why....you....I oughta........."

*END TRANSMISSION*

*Nos Astra Police Department

=========================================================================

I'm not much of a gamer, but I am planning on getting Mass Effect 3 one of these days. So, I recently replayed Mass Effect, and I'm currently playing through Mass Effect 2 again. I also just happened to coincidentally get these nice Mass Effect costumes in a Halloween hunt in Second Life, and I thought they looked great so I wanted to get some pics of them.

All of that is apropos of nothing, as the caption has virtually nothing to do with Mass Effect (although people who have played ME or ME2 will probably get some of the references) and everything to do with my pique at Hostess closing down. I'm still not sure why I conflated the two for this caption, but I hope it's at least entertaining.

Oh, and if you're one of the people responsible for me never having another Hostess cupcake, I hope you die and go to a special hell where there is nothing to eat but Hostess baked goods and not a drop of milk anywhere. But, mainly, just die. :)

:iconethereas: Etherea "Space Cadet" Serendipity

:icondonnadomenitzo: Donna "Double D" Domenitzo
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:iconunionpacific844:
unionpacific844 Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
Hostess execs give themselves hugh pay raises (chief exec pay tripled from $750,000 to $2.5 million; 9 other execs recieve raises btween $90,000 and $400,000), declare bankruptcy a few months later, ask bankruptcy judge for $1.75 million bonus, blame unions.

Consider this anaology: a Teabagger, a union member, and a CEO are all sitting at a table with a dozen twinkies
The CEO immediately takes 11 Twinkies for himself.
The CEO turns to the Teabagger and says, "Watch out for that union guy - he wants part of your twinkie."
The Teabagger then cusses out the union member over the CEO's accusation.
While the Teabagger is distracted, the CEO takes the last twinkie, and quietly leaves the room.
The Teabagger still blames the union member.

Hostess isn't alone here failed finacial firm MF Global did the same, as did Citigroup which saw an 88% profit loss. Construction giant Caterpiller gave it's CEO a 60% pay raise (paying him $17 million) while forcing pay and pension freezes on it's union workforce.

And just to point something out, unions don't make American labor too expensive; CEO send jobs overseas to make more money for themselves. They can easily afford labor over here and will be rich either way; it's just that one way will make them richer. The less money they pay their workers, the more there is for them.

Higher pay for workers is good for the economy; workers who are paid more and treated better by their bosses are more productive, and thus benefits the company. For example, Walmart pays it's workers poverty wages with foodstamps and other welfare making up the difference; Costco, on the other hand, pays it's workers livable wages and benefits. Guess which one's more profitable.

To blame unions for poor economic proformance is rediculous. Unions helped to build this country, and, while sometimes going a little too far (cough*tenure*cough), are generally good for the working and middle class. Better pay, benefits and working conditions = more productive workers. Higher salaries mean more money for the average citizen, and thus a stronger middle class that will stimulate the economy by spending their money on goods and services (like twinkies), thus forcing the producers of those products to reinvest their money. Unions make it so that we can have these increased wage, benefits, and better working conditions. And the Hostess exec COULD foot the bill, but WOULDN'T.

I apologize if this annoyed or insulted you in any way. Rant over. (also in
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:iconethereas:
EthereaS Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
That's alright, it doesn't bother me in the slightest. Having lived, worked, and managed in the real world, I've seen union and non-union labor doing the same jobs, in both the steamship industry (I was an import agent) and education. I've never seen union workers who were generally competent, productive, and motivated. Ever. I've never seen union labor that could hold a candle to comparable non-union workers. Ever.

I have no problem with workers organizing, but I'd never set up a business of my own in anything but a right to work state. Not all union workers are bad, but virtually all unions are. There was a time when unions were necessary to force labor reforms and end harmful workplace practices, but those times are long past. This is not a defense of CEOs or of white collar incompetence, because there is plenty of that and it should be rooted out, too. But at least the corporate management is beholden to the shareholders, and if they're willing to pay ridiculously inflated salaries it's their money to burn.

Unions are a law unto themselves. The reality is that unions drive up labor costs, and more importantly, make themselves unsustainable long-term with the costs of their pensions and medical benefits. This has happened again and again and again, Hostess being a perfect example, as was GM.

The state employees in Wisconsin are another good example, and in a way are much worse. It's one thing for workers in private industry to organize, but there should be no such thing as a "public employee union." Either you're a civil servant or you're self-serving, you can't be both. These are people working menial jobs requiring chimpanzee-level IQs demanding that the taxpayers raise their benefits 16% a year when their wage and benefit packages are already vastly better than those of the private sector. Watching the school teachers in Chicago protest when they're already among the highest paid in the country was also amusing, particularly considering that most of them couldn't form a sentence, and their incompetence is evident in the quality of Chicago-area schools.

But, I believe in free enterprise and I believe in individual initiative and self-advancement, and I generally want to see people be successful. If they're not fit or competent enough to do it on their own and need a union to tell them what to do, fine. But when the union breaks the business and the union workers are out of a job, I'm not going to do a lot of weeping over it. And in an economy like this, with so many Americans struggling, watching iconic companies destroyed by the labor and pension costs forced on them because their management was stupid enough to employ union labor is a tragedy. There are a lot of Americans who would have loved to have had a Hostess job, and would have been happy to take the associated pay and benefits without worrying about whether this CEO or that CFO got a raise. But I guess there are some people who can't get by without feeling envious and engaging in class warfare. Hopefully, there will be about 18,500 fewer of them if all of the union former Hostess employees starve to death over Christmas. :)
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:iconunionpacific844:
unionpacific844 Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
Your comments seem to be based more in ideology than in reality. What you are saying is not what is actually going on. You are still asuming that unions are lazy and bad for the economy. While I do feel that unions have gotten out of hand, we shouldn't be demonizing them over it. It wasn't the unions who caused Hostess to go bankrupt.
Also, that last part about union former Hostess employees starving to death over Christmas, WTF!! Seriously, think about your words before you say them (or in this case type them). People before pastries!
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:iconethereas:
EthereaS Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
If it makes things easier for you to pretend that all opinions that are divergent from yours are based on "ideology," I have no problem with that, but I stated quite plainly at the outset of my response exactly how I came to form the opinion of unions that I hold. I've seen them in action, and I've seen how they perform against non-union competition, and there's no comparison. I'm sure there are exceptions that prove the rule, but they're exceptions nonetheless. And public employee unions are bankrupting municipalities all across the country, and their pension funds are bankrupting entire states. GM was done in by unions and then saved by stealing from the investors and taxpayers so that they could retain their gold-plated benefits and kick the can down the road for a few years. Now, are management and elected officials to blame? Certainly. They create the problem by giving in to non-productive labor.

And I'm not demonizing unions any more than the left is demonizing the "rich" or "teabaggers." It was James Hoffa who declared war on me, not the other way around, although my two cents of advice to that fatbody and his slovenly followers is that they should probably get in a little bit better shape if they want a real war. Working three day weeks and sprinting back and forth to the buffet table isn't much of a PT test.

And, FYI, 99% of people who don't write for Mother Jones or The Nation agree that it's unions that drove Hostess into the financial crisis that ended the company, and it was most certainly unions, and their refusal to follow a court-ordered plan that would have trimmed their wages and benefits, that put the final nail in the coffin.
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:iconunionpacific844:
unionpacific844 Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
By the way, really great pictures you've been posting on here.
Again, sorry for insulting you, been very stressed out lately, wasn't thinking clearly.
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:iconethereas:
EthereaS Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
I can't lie, I do find the term "teabagger" insulting. I don't think it's fair that I should be referred to by the name of some perverse sexual act because I believe the government spends too much money and doesn't manage the economy responsibly. But, as for the rest of it, we just have a difference of opinion. That's the great thing about America, we can hate each other's politics but still share other interests. We sort the political stuff out every two years at the polls. I wasn't happy this time or in '08, and I'm sure you felt the same way in 2000 and 2004.

I'm no fan of most high-level corporate management, but choosing CEOs is a high-risk, high-reward occupation and it can make or break companies. People handling, in some cases, billions of dollars of other people's money should be rewarded for it, but their rewards should be based on performance. But the same goes for workers at every level. I don't have anything against private sector unions in theory, but in practice they almost universally tend to lead to one result, and that's unsustainable pension and healthcare costs. When you couple that with much lower levels of performance, it's not a winner for anyone, including the workers, when Hostess time comes around.

I want everyone to be successful, even people I don't like. I believe the "rising tide lifts all boats" theory espoused by JFK is correct. I've never understood class warfare or the vitriol that some people have for "the rich" or, flipping things around, "the poor." I've never really coveted anyone else's possessions. If the "soak the rich" game worked, I'd support it, but if you took every penny of money and every asset from the Forbes 400 (the 400 wealthiest people in the US) you'd barely have enough revenue to run the US government for a year, and maybe less if things keep going at this rate. The bottom 20% of taxpayers pay 3/10ths of 1% of all income tax in this country. The top 20% make 50% of the nation's income and pay 70% of the nation's taxes. That's according to the CBO. You can't spend a trillion dollars a year more than you bring in and then propose taxing "the rich" for $85 billion extra dollars a year and pretend that's a solution, especially when you've already got a $16 trillion dollar national debt. Just do a google search for the national debt clock, and look at your family's share of it. It's unjust. It's immoral. The last president started this, but his spendthrift ways were a joke compared to the current one's. But you don't have to take it from me. Read Forbes or Kiplinger's or the Wall Street Journal, or even from time to times the NYT or the WSJ. Watch CNBC or FBN or Bloomberg. If you or I ran our household economies like the government has been running this country we'd be in jail. So if that makes me a "teabagger," c'est la vie.

But as for the rest, it's ok, don't worry about it. I rarely get political on this page, and I honestly don't know what possessed me to write that caption. I think it was seeing all the Wonder and Hostess products being fire-saled at the grocery store the other day. :)
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:iconunionpacific844:
unionpacific844 Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
Yeah, sorry about the "teabagger" part. Sometimes when I get political, I also get "irritable" so to speak. So, all that aside, Peace?
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:iconethereas:
EthereaS Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012
Yes, absolutely. :)
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:iconunionpacific844:
unionpacific844 Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
I'm sorry. I didn't me to insult you. I was very frustrated earlier and wasn't thinking clearly. I'm sure you've seen enough to form your own opinions. It just that from what I've seen it's appears to be more on the execuives than the unions.
Also, I don't write for or read Mother Jones or The Nation. I do read the Huffington Post, though.
By the way, I hope you don't mind me asking, but where do you get this info from?
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:iconunionpacific844:
unionpacific844 Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
Grammer mistake at the end. clicked add comment before finished. my bad
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