THE ART OF ILLUSION
Congratulations to Cooper Tire CEO Roy Armes and CFO Bradley Hughes for mastering the art of illusion.
On March 14, they presented fourth-quarter results and 2013 full-year earnings profit of $241 million. They refer to it as the second-best annual profit in Cooper’s 100-year history. How impressive!
As usual, Armes and Hughes made the presentation via conference call and webcast to financial analysts and a question-and-answer session followed.
Sadly, only three analysts participated. After reading the transcripts, I was amazed how both executives danced around the questions and didn’t provide direct answers.
And, as usual, they had plenty of blame to pass around for falling behind 2012 net operating profit because of “unusual items”: 2012 lockout, failure to discount tires, a failed merger, a failed ERP/SAP deployment, production curtailment, merger legal fees and the list goes on.
These so called “unusual items” are executive-made failures, and as they continue to reward themselves for their failures, they are yet to take responsibility and yet to be held accountable.
It was recently reported that Mr. Armes donated $1 million to the University Of Toledo’s College Of Engineering. It is a pattern we are accustomed to, that after negative events at Cooper, a personal or company donation to a public project usually follows in an attempt to attract and sway public opinion.
While it is a noble cause and a very generous donation, it would’ve been appropriate for Mr. Armes to attach a fine print disclaimer: “The $1 million donation was made possible in part by cutting employees’ wages and reducing benefits, and executives’ overcompensation.”
On another note, due to multiple vacant positions in production and skilled trades, it was recently announced to employees in a newsletter that a $100 referral bonus will be paid to any employee that refers someone that completes the hiring process and an extra $100 will be awarded if the referral completes six months of service.
It is shameful when Cooper can no longer attract potential employees.
Should the board of directors come out of hibernation and do the right thing, the illusionists need not worry. David Copperfield is hiring!
Jihad (Joe) Shaheen
ONE OR NONE IS OK, TOO
In Monday’s Courier, there were two articles to support efforts to curtail human population immediately.
The climate change editorial from The Washington Post (Page A4) states that “the experts leave little doubt about the right response: Cut pollution to head off the worst possible consequences.”
The cancer that is the human species is the source of that pollution, and a drastic and immediate reduction in human population would reduce pollution at the source.
The economic report (Page A8) states “Employers hired 2.4 million in 2012 … But it’s less impressive when you consider this: The working-age population swelled by 3.8 million that year … A similar gap existed in 2013.”
Reducing population immediately will improve the well-being of reproductive-age individuals, and reduce the numbers on our welfare rolls.
Instead of harping about giving them multiple grandchildren, parents should be congratulating their children on making the wiser choice of having only one child, or choosing to have no children. We need a sea change in the social attitude that having more children and grandchildren is better than one or none.
CONSERVATIVES OF A DIFFERENT SORT
I found two notable passages in Saturday’s article (Page A1) about GOP candidates clashing.
Regarding the first, Pastor Shankleton notes that he feels that the Republican Party has been hijacked and moved to the left. I do agree on the hijacked part, but I see Shankleton and others of his ilk as the hijackers.
I remember when voting for a Republican was a vote for conservative values in terms of fiscal responsibility, defense and, yes, even social values.
The Corey Shankletons of the GOP that claim to be conservatives are nothing of the sort. Instead, they are extremists that go further to the right than most liberals would dare move to the left.
While professing a desire to guard constitutional rights, their goal is a renunciation of individual rights and of our representative democracy in favor of a theocratic state.
Visualize, if you will, red, white and blue mullahs and ayatollahs banning anything that offends their sensibilities.
The other notable comment concerned Pastor Shankleton’s rebuff to Sen. Hite’s use of the Ninth Commandment. Is it telling that, at least in what was available in the article, he did not deny lying, opting instead to scoff at the incorrect reference.