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Old 04-24-2019, 03:14 PM   #91
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Default Re: What the trade is saying---Auto news (2nd Try)

Re Q from prior P
The evidence is quickly making clear that USMCA will offer a bright future for the U.S. economy once Congress enacts it. The question now: How much longer will Washington make our workers wait?

Headlines: USMCA will boost economic growth and create jobs
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Old 04-24-2019, 04:31 PM   #92
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An Interview With Santaís Lawyer

Please state your name and occupation.

* My name is Marta Pittman, and Iím a partner at Xavier, Masham, Abbott and Stevens.

And youíre Santa Clausí lawyer.

* That is correct. More accurately, Iím the partner in charge of our firmís Seasonal Litigation and Clearances practice, which has as a client NicolasNorth LLC, Santaís corporate entity.

I wasnít aware that Santa needed to have his own corporation.

* Of course he does. One, Santa heads a massive global enterprise, whose activities are spread over a wide range of areas. Having a corporate structure allows him a measure of organization and systematization. Two, Santa has a large number of employees, mostly elves, who have their own idiosyncratic employment issues and practices. The corporate structure simplifies hiring, benefits, and negotiation of labor disputes. Three, due to the nature of Santaís work, he has immense exposure to liability. The corporate structure acts as a shield for Santaís personal wealth and property.

Santa has liability issues?

* Tons.

Can you give an example?

* Obviously I canít speak about current cases under litigation, but let me give a general example. As you know, a common way for Santa to enter single-unit dwellings is through a chimney.

I always thought that was artistic license.

* No, itís correct. Santa is usually entering from above and the chimney is the most direct route. ďQuick in, quick outĒ is the keyword here. The important thing is, this point of Santa egress is well-known. And every year, immediately after Christmas, dozens of suits are filed against Santa, claiming property damage caused by Santa entering and leaving through the chimney. The usual allegation is that Santaís body shape was a predicate cause.

Because he has a round belly that shakes like a bowl full of jelly.

* Which is not true, by the way. Iíve seen Santa out of uniform. That dude is ripped.

He is?

* Absolutely. Delivering packages to millions of children in a single night is a heck of workout. The thing is, people donít know that, and so they file these fraudulent suits predicated on what they assume about Santaís weight, based on his marketing.

I assume most of these suits get dismissed.

* Usually with prejudice. And also the plaintiffs go onto Santaís ďnaughtyĒ list for the next year. Santa takes a dim view of fat shaming, especially for fraudulent purposes. But the point is, since Santa is operating as NicolasNorth LLC, even if one of these suits was successful, Santa wouldnít lose his house.

At the North Pole.

* Itís actually in Sarasota, Florida.

ThatísÖ disillusioning.

* It was on our advice. Anchoring a home on rapidly-dwindling polar ice is risky from an insurance standpoint.

And Santaís Workshop?

* Also not on the polar ice. Technically in Nunavut. We recently negotiated a 99-year lease near Cape Columbia. Which brings us to another aspect of our firmís services for Santa: International law.

Right, because Santa delivers presents all around the world.

* Yes, he does. And up until 2013 he had to negotiate clearances and flight paths with every single country on the globe. People think Santa works one day a year and then sits on the beach the rest of the time. In fact until recently he spent most of his non-Christmas time in meetings with mid-level bureaucrats, trying to make sure the toys he was delivering werenít subject to import restrictions.

That doesnít sound especially jolly.

* Itís good if youíre racking up frequent flyer miles. But Santa flies his own aircraft, so he wasnít even getting that.

What happened in 2013?

* My firm negotiated a rider to the Bali Package at the Ninth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization. As of December 7, 2013, Santa has automatic clearances in every WTO signatory state. Cut his annual paperwork 95%.

So now Santa gets to spend time on the beach.

* Thereís a reason he lives in Sarasota.

You mentioned elves before.

* What about them?

What special employment issues do they have?

* Well, before I get to that, I should state unequivocally that Santa is an equal opportunity employer, and seeks to create a diverse and welcoming work place for everyone at NicolasNorth LLC and all its subsidiaries and affiliates. He obeys all Canadian employment laws and requires all his sub-contractors and suppliers to adhere to the highest ethical business standards and practices.

Thatís a very specific disclaimer.

* There have been unfounded rumors of unfair employment and labor practices at NicolasNorth LLC by some of Santaís business rivals.

Business rivals?

* Letís just say that someone whose name rhymes with ďLeff GezosĒ is going to be getting coal in his stocking until the end of time. And not, like, the good kind of coal. Weíre talking the crappiest sort of lignite thatís out there.

All right, noted.

* With everything above taken as read, the thing about elves is that theyíre not actually human, so most labor and employment laws donít apply to them.

If elves donít qualify as human under the law, what are they?

* Under Canadian law, theyíre technically animals.


* Yes. Just like reindeer. And technically, under Canadian law, Santaís Workshop qualifies as a federally inspected farm, the oversight of which is handled by Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

So, technically, Santaís elves have as many rights as veal.

* Iím offended at this comparison, and also, yes.

Okay, so, that feels icky in a whole lot of ways. Maybe Leff Gezos was on to something.

* Itís obviously not optimal from the public relations point of view.

Now Iím imagining tiny elves in jaunty caps, making toys in crates.

* Itís not like that.

Convince me.

* Well, among other things, Santaís Workshop is a union shop.


* Yes. Affiliated with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

Postal workers?

* The CUPW is a serious union. You cross them, theyíll mess you up.

And the CUPW doesnít mind the elves technically arenít human.

* The elves pay their dues like anyone else. Theyíre good.

Santaís okay with a union shop?

* Santa believes in the dignity of labor, and wishes to avoid any potential elf uprisings.

ThatísÖ good to know.

* Seriously, elves are vicious. They look adorable, but get on their bad side just once and they. Will. Cut. You.

Iíll remember.

* You better.

What other legal issues do you help Santa with?

* Well, one major issue Ė probably the biggest issue, really Ė is policing Santaís intellectual property.

Santa has IP?

* Or course Santa has IP. In a larger, existential sense, it could be said that at his root, Santa is nothing but IP.

I always assumed Santa was in the public domain.

* Itís a common misconception. In fact NicolasNorth LLC is the repository of numerous trade and service marks which we are obliged by law to vigorously defend.

So, Santaís red suit Ė

* The red suit device is trademarked.

And the red cap Ė

* Covered as part of the red suit device and also legally its own trademark. Soís the beard, before you ask.

And the sleigh Ė

* The sleigh and eight of the reindeer and also all of their names, trademarked.

Not Rudolph?

* The issue of Rudolph is a matter of ongoing litigation and I canít comment on it at this time.

Youíre suing over Rudolph?

* Iím sorry, I really canít comment.

But Ė

* Look, do you want coal this year? Because youíre heading that direction.


* Letís move on.

You say you have to defend Santaís intellectual property, but I see red suits and beards everywhere.

* Clearly itís in Santaís interest to have his trademarks be ubiquitous.

But if people are using your trademarks for free, arenít you at risk for losing them?

* Who said theyíre using them for free?

Theyíre not?

* Absolutely not. NicolasNorth LLC gets a licensing fee for every red suit you see.

How much?

* Itís a sliding scale, based on several factors, including business income, charitable status, intended use of the trademark, and whether the person who is wearing the suit intends to be naughty or nice in it.

People are naughty in a Santa suit?

* Some people are. Santa doesnít judge people for their kinks, but he does expect them to pay for them.

And people pay without complaint.

* Most do. Some donít. Which is why Santa retains us.

And if theyíre still balky after they talk to you?

* We send in the elves.

One more question, if you donít mind.

* Not at all.

Santa is well known for making a list, and checking it twice.

* For the purposes of appropriate gift distribution, yes.

It does raise questions of how Santa gathers that information in the first place.

* Iím not sure what you mean.

I mean the idea of Santa as an all-knowing arbiter of right and wrong, knowing when someone is sleeping or awake and so on. Some might say thatís both judge-y and creepy.

* Only the people who want coal in their stocking.

Well, see, that sounds like a threat right there.

* I donít see how, but all right. Letís say that there were legitimate concerns about Santaís methods. First, I would remind people that Santaís services are opt in; you choose whether to have Santa part of your seasonal holiday experience.

I donít remember opting in.

* Well, you probably didnít. But your parents did, on your behalf. And when they did, part of the user agreement was that Santa Ė which currently legally means NicolasNorth LLC Ė is allowed to collect data from various sources in order to make a determination of your gift worthiness, using what we in the industry call the ďN/N MatrixĒ, a multi-dimensional tool using constantly updated algorithms for a precise and accurate placing of each person on the gifting spectrum.

That sounds complicated and not great, from a privacy standpoint.

* I can assure you that NicolasNorth LLC does not share your information with third parties.

How does Santa collect this information in the first place?

* In the old days, kids would write letters to Santa, and we also had strategically placed employees to personally evaluate children.


* Mall Santas.

But malls are failing left and right these days.

* They are, and kids donít send letters to Santa as often anymore. Those information avenues are closing. Fortunately Santa foresaw this problem, and made some key moves to assure a vast new data source.

The CIA.

* Jeez, no. Talk about liability issues! And remember, this is supposed to be opt in. Fortunately thereís a place people go these days to voluntarily expose every aspect of their lives in a wildly promiscuous manner the CIA could previously only dream of.

Oh, God, youíre talking about Facebook.

* Six percent owned by NicolasNorth LLC, by the way.

Youíre saying Santa Claus is a tech billionaire.

* Like I said, Santa made some key moves. And it wasnít like he wasnít a billionaire before.

What do you mean?

* Where do you think Santa gets all that coal?

Santa is a coal baron?

* Heís divested. Mostly. Our advice. Again, liability issues.

Iím still unsettled at the idea Santa is data mining my social media posts.

* Heís legally allowed to. Itís right there in the user agreement.

I didnít read the user agreement.

* No one reads the user agreement. Doesnít mean itís not there.

Any final advice for people wanting to stay on Santaís good side, legally speaking?

* Pay your Santa suit license fees, drop hints about what your kids want for Christmas in your Facebook posts, and donít blame Santa if you have a pokey chimney, thatís just basic home maintenance. And be good, for goodnessí sake.

And what about you? Have you been bad or good this year?

* I mean, Iím a lawyer.

Point taken.

* Itís fine. I could use the coal.
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Old 04-24-2019, 09:52 PM   #93
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Default Re: What the trade is saying---Auto news (2nd Try)

If you ever want to see a look of sheer terror ...
(a) be of a particular hirsute appearance
(b) carry a small notepad in your pocket (flip-tops seem better)
(c) upon encountering a mis-behaving child (extra impact if in company with their parents)
(d) whip out the notepad and a pen, flip pad to random page
(e) tilt head at slight angle towards child so you're looking over your glasses (if you have them)
(f) raise that eyebrow
(g) wait for about a beat of two seconds
(h) if child hasn't *frozen* in place and continues to "act up", scribble a note
(i) flip pad closed, give parents a nod, and continue on your way.

Effect works most of the year, but mid-November and onward seem to garner the greater reactions.

--dick (ho, ho (tm))
2005 T1N 118" Freightliner 2500 Passenger Wagon (2.7L, 15" tires, standard (short) roof)
Get YOUR Sprinter's full configuration datacard by entering your VIN to https://www.datamb.com/
http://diysprinter.co.uk/reference <-- lots of service documentation, Thanks to Jens Moller and Arnie_Oli
((as always: this post may go through a couple of post-posting edits... so maybe give it ten minutes before commenting))
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Old 04-25-2019, 03:21 AM   #94
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Default Re: What the trade is saying---Auto news (2nd Try)

Well in spite of the Santa Clause or Father Christmas smoke screen post this came by my way today.

The sender stated are you a follower of Rand Paul he is stating more or less what you posted today?
So its official by Pompeo, The Trump Gov Lies cheats, and steals
An open bare faced admission at my eldest son's university .(Grad in International Business )

If this isn't warning to the American worker, I don't know what is, and its an ominous sign for businesses as well!

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Old 04-25-2019, 03:35 AM   #95
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