I Can’t Imagine

I just read the most horrifying and sad story that I’ve seen in a long time. A little 4 year-old boy, Angelo Mendoza, JR., was attacked by his father, who proceeded to eat the boy’s eyes. It’s a horrific tale and I was especially affected when I read little Angelo told the police “My daddy ate my eyes out.” I can’t get over that. It’s just rolling around in my head like some kind of sick earworm.  The father isn’t going to prison because, apparently, he’s not fit to stand trial and little Angelo is regaining sight in his remaining (!!) eye, but still. Good lord, that poor child…

This could, of course, turn into a rant against child abuse. I could explain why I’m so thin-skinned and emotional when it comes to stories about child abuse. I don’t like to hear babies cry, I cry when children fall down, and all kinds of other stuff that generally doesn’t make sense. Instead I’m going to use this spot to give thanks to the social workers and other professionals who had to see Angelo and take care of him and help him. They signed up for their jobs and these people face these horrific situations all the time. I think that anyone who voluntarily signs up for that kind of job is a hero of sorts. They have the heart of angels for taking care of these poor children without running home and hiding from the horror.

Angelo needed someone to take care of him before his father destroyed his life, that’s true. But laws favor keeping the family together, blah blah blah and it didn’t happen. So, Angelo suffered and someone had to go in and pick up his pieces. Those folks volunteered for their jobs to take care of children (and adults) with whom they have no personal relationship, but who desperately need someone to care for them. Witnessing this kind of child abuse could send anyone over the edge and I know I couldn’t deal with it. I can’t deal with it right now as I’m just thinking of Angelo and what he endured at the hands of that monster. I can’t even imagine being the paramedic or cop first on the scene. I can’t imagine being the person to actually hear the little voice say his daddy at his eyes out. I can’t imagine being strong enough to hold myself together to be able to help that little guy. And these folks do it every day. Bravo to them.1

One piece of this health care “debate”2 is the opposition saying that there won’t be doctors to take care of folks, because doctors will somehow stop caring about people when the government pays their bills. The opposition says that doctors will retire and run for the hills. Or that’s it’s unfair to the doctor’s “liberty” to force him/her into working on people who use the public option (I’ve heard this argument when I say I believe health care is a human right). “It’s unfair to the doctors”, they say. “Who will do their job?” they ask. Each time I see this I think of:

  • Fire fighters
  • Police officers
  • Health inspectors
  • Social Workers
  • Teachers
  • Road crews3

There are more, I know, but that’s my list. All the professions on that list are occupied by people that have volunteered to do the jobs. Every one of them. The people that arrived after a 9-1-1 call, to take care of Angelo, were paid by the state to come. They were paid by the state to wrap him up and take him to the hospital and to make sure he found a good, decent home to be released to. The people that took care of Angelo after his father tortured him were working off the public dole. They work in socialist programs. And they should be applauded for volunteering to do those jobs. No one forced them to suffer the trauma they must have suffered when they took care of this little guy. No one forced them to take up these careers and yet they did. Why? Because they care about people.

Why do people expect that doctors will suddenly stop caring about people because those people aren’t paying $1000 a month for the premiums? Why do people think that the doctor’s will suddenly become enslaved, lose their liberty and run for some other profession? Maybe we’d lose the doctors that are only in it for the money and to them I say “Good riddance”. Those that are left will perhaps feel a little restricted by government oversight, but not any more than they are with the insurance companies. Imagine being forced to deny a girl a liver transplant because your hands are tied by the insurance company4. Imagine watching a cancer patient die because the insurance (and hospital) bureaucrats won’t allow treatments due to lack of insurance. These doctors—most of them—care about the people they treat and they want them to be well. Just like the teacher wants to teach and the police officer wants to protect. Sure, there are idiots in all of these professions, but the majority are good people trying to do good in their communities.

They volunteer for their jobs and so will doctors and nurses and all of their staff—even when the government cuts the pay checks. That’s the gist of my argument here, by the way. Giving us public health care won’t cause the doctors to run for the hills, just like having public schools didn’t cause teachers to go on permanent vacation. I actually can’t find any valid arguments against public health insurance, but these that cry that it’s unfair to doctors, especially, are asinine. I can’t imagine a world where I can’t get help via 9-1-1 and I’d like to feel the same way about being able to afford to go to the doctor.

Someone had this analogy recently:

If you get into an accident on the highway, the police will rope off the area to prevent further accidents—at no cost to you—and the fire department will use the jaws of life to remove you from your car—at no cost to you—but the minute you’re strapped to a gurney you’re charged $1,500. What’s wrong with that picture?

I’m grateful that tax-payer dollars were used to pay the people who helped Angelo and who work every day to help other people. And I thank all that’s good and holy that those people and the millions like them, step up and voluntarily work in those positions. Now I think it’s time for my tax-dollars to pay the people who voluntarily work in the medical field to take care of more than just a tiny portion of the population. Medicare for all and all that jazz.

  1. Angelo will be fine, considering the circumstance and that’s wonderful []
  2. Or Shout Down, if you will. []
  3. Doesn’t fit with the helpful civil servant theme generally, but someone’s working on my street right now and it’s in my head. []
  4. She was later approved after a public uproar, but too late to save her. She died. []

I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

A Couple of things that Irritate a Blogging Dinosaur

Issue #1: Giving Credit

Yesterday I followed a link on Twitter to an article that highlighted something I’d already read on another site. So, I looked for attribution, a hat tip or something that showed the author of the entry acknowledged the original article. Nope. Nada. Zilch. Considering the link I followed was from a well-known news personality, it was obvious that this person was gaining popularity by aggregating someone else’s work (or a bunch of someone elses1) without acknowledging them.

I’m a blogging dinosaur pretty much2 and remember the good old days when bloggers linked out to each other and gave credit where credit was due. I remember reading the now big political sites before they were big or even taken seriously by the big, bad mainstream media (in all forms including, but not limited to, newspapers, magazines and television) and they would see a story on another blog and link back to that blog thusly:

Today I was blog surfing3 and learned that as a 36 year-old woman I am a Cougar as my husband is younger than me AND that I am an “older” woman. (h/t The Redhead)

See what I did there? I read an article in the newspaper but linked back to the site where I originally found the article. Why would I do that? I could have framed it without the “h/t” (Hat tip) and you would never know that I followed a link from someone else’s blog thereby failing to admit I read other people’s blogs and making you think I scour the intertoobs looking for older-than-dirt news on which to comment. There’s no need to send a you somewhere else, where you might find content more interesting than mine and potentially causing you to abandon me. By linking to the site that lead me to the content on which I commented I could potentially lose my credibility as a newshound or something. Who would source me when they could source her? I should be working to make everyone think that I find this stuff myself and that others are aping me. I should be working to make people think that I’m the authority on this shit. I want people that don’t better to think these other people are stealing from me.

Now, back in the day people weren’t so selfish with their linkage. They promoted other bloggers along with themselves and happily admitted that they didn’t stumble upon interesting news/stories all by themselves. They believed wholeheartedly in giving credit whether the credit went to some obscure person no one had ever read before or a major blog such as Crooks & Liars. We happily admitted that we weren’t always original and laughed at those blog whores4 who expected linkbacks, but refused to give proper credit and acknowledge that they’re not that original.

Those people aren’t called blog whores anymore, which is sad because they really are exactly that. They find a good piece of news/blog post/whatthefuckever and rush to put it on their own blog. Then they Stumble themselves, send a tweet (and gag beg for retweets), Digg themselves and basically whore the shit they didn’t think of themselves. And they don’t see any reason to send a link to the person who gave them the seed for the fucking post to begin with. The particular blog that sent me over the edge yesterday was top-to-bottom filled with stories the author(s) found somewhere else, but which didn’t offer any kind of credit.

Oooh, you’re so original! Look at you, offering a one line commentary on something you saw on another site and assuming that no one reads those other sites so doesn’t know that you spend your days whoring your stolen shit5. Woo-hoo! Aren’t you spayshul?

Of course, I’m completely in denial about the fact that all the blogging and SEO “experts” advise against linking out because teh Google won’t look favorably upon your blogging endeavors and, apparently, it’s all about getting to the top of teh Google and making the money. Unless it’s all about trying to get popular like the big guys6 so that the MEDIA will notice you and, ohmygod!, ask you to sit on a panel during David Schuster’s show which will cause your followers to fawn on you and declare you the GOD OF THE INTERNETS. With this particular case, I’m going with the desperate need to be popular and getting a talking-head gig.

Hey, maybe if I quit with the foul language and original thinking (ha!) I can manage to whore scratch my way to the top of the heap of Ye Ole Blogosphere and get myself some money and/or interviews? Just copy and past some shit, throw in a comment and voila! What do you think about that idea? I mean, it’s all the rage right now and I am a follower.

Issue #2: Link Shorteners

Another thing that has become popular lately, and which completely irritate me, is the use of URL shorteners in blog posts. Instead of something like “Fab Jinxed” (hover over the link and see the URL) we get “Fab Jinxed“.

What the fuck is the point? Really? You want to see the stats to who clicking your links in your fucking blog posts? Here’s a thought: Use one of those 35 stats programs you’ve got your blog connected to and look at who’s clicking out. Unless, of course, you’re trying to hide something, in which case you’re an ass and I hope you get burning gonorrhea7. But there is no valid reason you’re using a link shortener in your own blog post. It’s annoying. I want to be able to hover over a link to see where it goes before I decide to click it. For instance, if you’re linking to World Net Daily as a source for some “facts” I won’t bother checking because I know WND sucks monkey turds and I’ve also discerned that you’re a cretin.

URL shorteners are for Twitter or Twitter-like services, where the number of characters is, ahem, rationed. That’s it. On a blog post there is absolutely no need for them. I don’t care what your reasoning is, if you can’t figure out how to set up a stats program to check outgoing click then you need teh Google or some other kind of help. If you don’t know how to shorten a link via HTML and use the URL shorteners to do that for you (though you know how to code the link so it’s clickable which is unbelievably strange), I’ll give you a lesson8:

Step 1: Add your tags and opening code

EX:   <a href=”

Step 2: Add your URL after the opening quote. Just copy and then paste:

EX: <a href=”http://www.fabulouslyjinxed.com

Step 3: Add the closing quote and then use the closing bracket

EX: <a href=”http://www.fabulouslyjinxed.com”>

Step 4: Add a short phrase or some other character to SHORTEN THE LINK

EX: <a href=”http://www.fabulouslyjinxed.com”>???

Step 5: Close the tag

EX: <a href=”http://www.fabulouslyjinxed.com”>???</a> (The forward slash closes your link…dur)

Then you have this: ???

See? Hover over the three question marks, look in the bottom left hand corner of your browser and you’ll see where the link goes. Stop abusing the URL shorteners.

And so ends my rant against blogging abuses for today. And, no, I won’t join my comrades who have given up their blogs for the greener pastures of Facebook. The blogosphere is still stuck with me and my appreciation of the days of yore even as I consider whoring myself out for a talking head gig. And if I start stealing your stuff and not crediting you, don’t worry as I’m just following the advice of the “gurus”. Just sayin’.

Popularity: 2% [?]

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  1. Misspelled because usually “someone else” isn’t plural, but since when did I care about that shit? []
  2. I’ve recently discovered that because I’ve been blogging since before 2008 I am a blogging Maven. Can you believe that shit? Heh. []
  3. We did that back in the day, dontcha know. []
  4. Bloggers who shameless promoted their own shit, didn’t promote anyone else’s shit, refused to participate in the discussion and BEGGED for page views and/or comments on their own shit. []
  5. Ok, maybe not stolen. But lazily obtained without acknowledgement, which irritates the shit out of me []
  6. Too late in the political blogosphere, by the way. They win and you lose. []
  7. Long-standing, inside joke. If you don’t get it I don’t care. []
  8. This also works if you use software that allows you insert the link, also known as a Hyperlink, such as rich text editing or visual editing stuff and/or MOST BLOGGING PLATFORMS. []

I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

Yes, I am Selfish

I have a health insurance story too. Don’t we all? Mine isn’t as dramatic as some who have been denied needed supplies, such as testing strips for diabetes, or important tests, such as those for a suspected heart problem, but it’s my story and that makes it important—at least to me.

My regular readers know that I suffer from Fibromyalgia Syndrome and they also know that TheMan was recently laid off from his job. My condition is chronic and regardless of what some people have said, it has been progressing (though not necessarily causing permanent harm) and I need to be able to access my doctor. When TheMan got laid off we lost his insurance and my access to my doctor. People will say “What about COBRA?”1, which we were offered. However, COBRA coverage would have cost us $900 a month. For the people who are screaming that we don’t need anymore government mandates or that we don’t need government involved in medical care, this probably doesn’t seem like a lot of money. But when one person in your household is on unemployment2 and the other is working two part-time jobs that don’t pay a lot or offer employer-provided health insurance, there isn’t $900 lying around to pay for the COBRA. We have to pay a mortgage3 and the electricity and the other bills—including, but not limited to food and household supplies. I wanted COBRA, of course, but it really wasn’t a realistic option.

Of course, the first thing I worried about was my “pre-existing condition”. Not how am I going to continue care or let me find a cheap doctor, but how I would manage to get insurance to cover my chronic condition were TheMan able to get back to work. Once you’ve lost the insurance and it’s been lapsed for so long, well, the new insurance won’t pay for what the old insurance paid for. The Certificate of Coverage would mean squat after about 60 days from the point the insurance lapsed. Luckily for me I was eligible for a personal “gap coverage” type of insurance that will, I hope, allow me to get treatment when we’re able to get our insurance back. The premium is only $120 a month. I can’t actually seek treatment for my condition(s) though, because my insurance specifically states that “This policy will not cover treatment for chronic conditions. We recommend another policy for those needs.”4 This gap insurance only pays $1500 a year, 2 days in the hospital and no more than $50 a month for prescriptions—after the $700 deductible for medical treatment and $20 copay for all prescription whether they be generic or not. I can find a new doctor to treat my symptoms, though, but only the ones on their list and only if they’re taking new patients. On this type of policy, there really aren’t that many doctors. I’d like to find one where the office visits cost less than $100, but that’s not likely to happen so I’ve got to figure out a way to get the money for my initial visit (remember the deductible?).

I’m scared, though, because I’ve developed two new symptoms, which actually might not be directly related to my FMS, but which scare the fuck out of me. I mean, sent me into a panic attack and nearly had me to the emergency room. The issue of money has prevented me from going to the doctor for any reason but I especially fear the cost of tests. Did you know that a lot of doctor’s will refuse to see you for a second time if you refuse to follow their treatment guidelines5? Interesting, huh? “Sorry, Doc, I can’t afford that procedure. Can we do something else?” leads to “You obviously don’t want to follow my advice, so you’ll have to find a new doctor. Thanks for coming.” This almost happened to me when I had insurance, actually. I had more confidence to tell my doctor where to stick it at that time—but that’s a whole other story. Anyway, I digress. My symptoms are pretty damned scary and are a big reason I stayed mostly offline for two months. Who needs the stress of seeing other people’s problems when yours are taking over your life? Not me. I didn’t care about what other people were going through because I was so goddamned scared.

I’m going to have to bite the bullet and go see someone and to hell with the costs. Really I am. I know that. I’m a mother and have a responsibility to my children to be alive when they need me. I also know that finding out what’s wrong with me and then getting treatment will send us over the edge. I will have to have an MRI and blood work up. There is no doubt about that. Do you know how much that costs? I know what it costs with insurance and they paid 80% of my last one. This one will be out-of-pocket. And doctors tend to charge more when there is no insurance contract to hold them back. That’s not fair, but it’s a fact. Another fact is that I will no doubt be denied some kind of test or treatment based on my ability to pay. If I was a rich woman I would get gold standard treatment, as it is they will do only what is necessary to cover their own asses.

I keep reading about the UK and Canadian health care systems and how they get pissed at them, but they don’t have to worry about the cost. They don’t have to worry about losing their homes and possibly their lives because of the cost of health care. I see these fucking nutters screaming “we don’t need government health care! Buy your own!” and blah blah blah. They’ve got it, no doubt, and many of them are on government programs. They say we don’t need anything like what the British, Canadians and French enjoy, but we do. When people work their asses off and still can’t afford to go the fucking doctor, something is fucking wrong. I don’t give a damned if someone thinks government is too big—and then enjoys such things as driving on safe roads, knowing 9-1-1 will bring the firemen when the house is burning and knowing they can go to the store and someone has made sure the food there is safe (relatively speaking). I don’t care about the hypocrites. I have no use for them with their spouting off about the evils of government coming between them and their doctor and rations and other such bullshit.

Have you tried to get “experimental treatment” for a condition through your insurance? Have you read the exclusions of your medical insurance? Have you read how much they’ll pay during your lifetime? THE LIMITS OF PAYMENT? Did you know that some schmuck who’s never even met you looks over your files and then determines what treatment they will pay for based on the file? Unlike the “death panels” bullshit or the “government intrusion” bullshit, these are not talking points. These are truths. When you have insurance, there is ALREADY someone coming between you and your doctor. There is already someone looking at the numbers and deciding whether a certain treatment is beneficial to their bottom line. This is how things are now. Except millions of people can’t even get those few benefits offered by the insurance companies because they can’t afford them. Insurance companies run this fucking country and it needs to stop. There should be no reason why someone has to go to the emergency room for basic treatment—except that’s the only doctor they have because no one else will see them without medical insurance. Why cut off health care for millions of people instead of getting these damned companies in line? You know, it was nice being able to go to my doctor and get those tests run and find stuff out—though it took 2 goddamned years. Through no fault of our own, though, that was taken away from us and our health care is rationed.

Gods, but I’ve pissed myself off now. I feel so helpless because of this fucked up condition I have and the fact that these motherfuckers are going to torpedo health care reform so that the insurance companies can continue to suck the life out of Americans. And I don’t really expect anyone to give a rat’s ass about what’s happening to other people. My situation doesn’t hurt anyone but my family and me. The situation of millions of other people doesn’t hurt anyone but their families and them. People with insurance and good jobs and pseudo-options6 can easily look the other way while other people suffer. They don’t realize that they’re one layoff or job loss or heart attack away from losing that security and that ability to say “FUCK YOU, people with no insurance”. And in my evil mind, with the way I feel right now, I wish that the loudest motherfuckers telling me to suck it up would fall flat on their faces. I wish this suffering on Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and those spineless motherfucking Blue Dogs (I’m looking at you, Zack Space)— on every single person that works so hard to deny me the security of affordable health care. I wish they’d lose their insurance and then come down with a chronic, life-threatening condition. And I don’t feel the least bit guilty about it. I’m sure that whenever someone in their community has a fundraiser to pay for an organ transplant or cancer treatment they are right there offering up their hard earned dollars. Right? Don’t hold your breath. Why should any American have to hold a fundraiser for a fucking organ transplant?

By the way, Medicaid pays for those. Did you know that? So, there ya go. As long as you qualify for Medicaid you don’t have to worry about actually paying for that liver or having your insurance company deny payment for it (please take a moment to look at your insurance’s policy on organ transplants).

The rest of the family, though, is covered. Lil’lady is getting Healthy Start, which offers the Medicaid card, and TheMan is covered through the Veteran’s Administration—both government programs. Lil’lady’s regular pediatrician agreed to take the Medicaid for her7 and TheMan has no problem getting an appointment at the VA clinic. At least those two are well cared for (except for Lil’lady’s dentist, but that’s a whole other story). TheMan went back to work, but because he was laid off for so long he’s not eligible for the insurance until November’s open enrollment. Who knows if it’ll still be available to him then?

The fact is there is no reason something can’t be done about this right now. There is no reason our country can’t take care of our people—just like France, Britain, Canada, Germany, et al. These countries aren’t flushing themselves down the toilet of despair by taking the burden of health care off the shoulders of their citizens. These countries aren’t stifling new business/ small business by offering health care to their citizens. These countries aren’t falling back into the dark ages because government pays for the health care of their citizens. I don’t give two fucks what some rightwing noise machine claims. Look for yourself, talk to the people living with real options. Then talk to people here who don’t have the same sort of options—or even any options. Compare notes. You know, one guy might have to wait 2 weeks to get that corn removed from his foot, but he doesn’t have to pay for it. Yes, there are wait times in those countries. Guess what? There are those here too. Sometimes longer. But we have to pay a hefty price for it. They spend less on their health care—even through taxes– than we do on ours. Make sense? Not to me. Not to this person who is dreading getting treatment because she doesn’t want to lose her house. To the townhall mobs and Glenn Beck wannabes, I give a not-so-healthy fuck off. I want what those other countries have and I too am willing to fight for it. I’ve got a better reason to fight against the anti-reformers than they have to fight the reform, though. My life may depend on it.


I’m looking for neither sympathy nor money and that’s why I haven’t included in this particular diatribe my new symptoms. I’m fully aware that other people have bigger problems than mine and I’m fully aware that some fuckhead will think I’m trying to get money. I’m not. The point of this post is to point out that I do, in fact, have an excellent reason to support healthcare reform and that there is a good reason why I can’t even engage in a “civilized” debate with the other side.  

Popularity: 2% [?]

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  1. Which, by the way, was mandated by the government. []
  2. Another government program, by the way. []
  3. On a house we bought with A-1 credit and a $10K down payment, I might add. No foreclosure for us. []
  4. At an outrageous cost, of course. No way could I afford that. []
  5. Things they “suggest” you do for your particular visit. []
  6. You’re really not in charge of your health care, but you’re allowed to think that while you’re paying the premiums and deductibles. []
  7. Contrary to popular belief, doctors in Ohio aren’t required to accept it and, in fact, most don’t. []

I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

Wherein I Hate on Wal-Mart Again

I was going to write about a post I saw recently that started an uproar in the “mommyblogger” community. I was going to write how I can’t stand the term “mommyblogger” and why—including the evolution of the term as I’ve seen it happen online. And I was going to explain that I’m against telling anyone what to write on their own blog and will just not read it if it doesn’t interest me. Then I was going to mention that I’m a mother and I blog which should make me a “mommyblogger” but this inclusive term refers to an exclusive club.

Then I caught site of a Twitter conversation that involved the hashtag #letsfixdinner. I have nothing against that specific hashtag, mind you. I was just paying attention to one blogger who happened to be using it.1

In response to things Deb on the Rocks was saying I retweeted:

RT @debontherocks Throw in a little child slave labor 4 ur chocolate, &Stouffers/Nestle adds up 2 #letsfixdinner on the backs of Africa kids

I think I picked up a follower with that because of the use of that hashtag. Well, I don’t ever blindly follow someone on Twitter2. If I did that I’d be following a bunch of SEO folks and some serious teabagging wingers. So, I checked this new follower and went to her website. She’s proudly blogging for Wal-Mart.

Now, anyone that has followed my blog knows that I hate Wal-Mart. With a passion. I worked there a number of years ago and learned enough about them to initially dislike them. Then I researched them more and that’s when the hate started. I have nothing good to say about the company or it’s practices. And I can in no way support what they’re doing, not even by following one of their “eleven moms” on Twitter. No way am getting suckered into clicking a link that might lead to a post in support of Satan’s favorite mega mart.

By the way, I don’t give a shit if any of those bloggers are paid by Wal-Mart or not. I don’t care if they’re doing it for free stuff or out of the goodness of their hearts. I am morally and ethically opposed to Wal-Mart’s business practices and the way they treat their own people.

Wal Mart doesn’t care about women and specifically doesn’t care about mothers. So why do women bloggers—especially “mommybloggers” support them this way? The reason they’re reaching out to bloggers is so that they can try to change their image, without actually changing their practices. You say “Well, they’ve got good bargains/prices/blah” I say “What’s the real cost of those bargains?”

What do you mean you don’t know? Or do you mean that you don’t care?

(This one’s a little long, folks.)

My Experience

I worked at Wal-Mart from September 2003 to June 2004. When I was in “orientation” I was told several things that alarmed me and made me want to run for the door3. First up was that unions were unwelcome and that unions would take my job, my money and the very store in which I was to be working. Unions, apparently, were not out to protect us, but to strip us of our employment. We were shown videos on how to behave if a union rep approached us. The videos always represented the union reps as evil and conniving and we were to be wary of them. Wal-Mart, we were told, was taking care of us and providing for us. We couldn’t do any better than we were doing with them. Wal-Mart was always portrayed as the “grandfatherly” company, looking out for their vendors and Associates.

The next thing that bothered me was their education policy. They would provide help for the Associates to send their children to college, but Associates themselves weren’t eligible for the benefit4. They went on and on about how we didn’t need to be college educated to advance within the company. That college was seemingly unimportant in a great company like them. Afterall, we were told, Sam Walton never went to college! Later I learned that they would refuse to work around a college schedule and if someone requested a specific schedule because of school their schedule would be changed to intentionally conflict with their schooling. At the time of my orientation, though, my only thought was “Wow, they want us to stay stupid”.

During the time I was there I noticed many things about the way management interacted with Associates—and that management was changed regularly so that they couldn’t get too comfortable and familiar with their employees. Home Office5 was always watching us in one way or the other. We were given limited breaks and told to help customers off the clock. I was pregnant at the time I worked there, but management had no problems trying to over work me and give me a hard time about my doctor’s appointments. But I did ok. It was those that were hurt on the job that were given a hard time. If an Associate was going to receive worker’s comp they had to continue to work either in the dressing room area or as a greeter—for lesser pay. And still Wal-Mart would fight them.

And insurance? Ha! Try paying the huge premiums on a Wal-Mart salary and then paying the outrageous deductible. That’s if you qualified. On average I worked about 34 hours a week. That was one hour short of what was needed to qualify for insurance. Most associates fell just below that threshold. Those that didn’t most likely didn’t have insurance because they couldn’t afford the premiums.

Then they changed the way they were giving raises. Used to be they would give a percentage-base merit raise, which was up to 5%. If an Associate made $10 an hour6 then they could potentially make $1 an hour more. Usually it was more like 5%, but that was still not too bad. They changed it from that to a scale from 5-25¢. The way they made it sound you’d have thought they were giving $1k bonuses and some people fell for it. They actually thought they were getting a good deal. Except they weren’t. When I explained the difference to some of the poor saps that were already spending their extra 50¢ an hour it was like I was stealing Christmas. The management actually counted on the fact that the majority of their Associates couldn’t do simple math. That’s when I decided I wouldn’t come back after I had Lil’lady.

It wasn’t that I couldn’t handle the work7 and it wasn’t that I don’t like working with the public. Wal-Mart sucked my soul. They tried to dumb me down and, in fact, wanted their employees dumbed down. Anyone who could figure out they were being conned wasn’t welcome at Wal-Mart—unless they had no other choice but to work there.

When I went to pick up my last check from there I was given a second check along with it. “What’s this?” I asked. My manager didn’t say anything (literally just walked away from me) so I asked a co-worker. She whispered that she’d heard women in our department were getting paid 60¢ an hour less than men so they got sued. We were getting paid our back wages, though it was only for the month prior to the settlement date. My check was all of $70.

We did get discounts, though. All of 10% and that didn’t include groceries or sale items. We were getting killer deals anyway, right? Most of us were making less than $6 an hour and had families to support. Some of us came to work there after our good paying factory jobs went overseas (See Rubbermaid, for instance). Not many people that worked for that store could actually shop at that store. That’s no lie. Not propaganda. It’s true even today. Wal-Mart keeps their employees poor and hopeless.

Since I left

Then Wal-Mart started changing more policies. They decided that they wanted to get rid of more than 70% of their full-time workforce8. This was to eliminate the number of Associates who were eligible for health benefits, even if they didn’t get it because they couldn’t afford it.9

Then they decided they were going to cap wages. Depending on where an Associate works in the store, they can only make as much as $14 an hour no matter how long they’ve been with the company. Associates get their merit raises every year until they’ve reached that cap and then no more raises after that. Been working as a Wal-Mart Associate for 20 years? Tough titties. Your loyalty is not adding to the company’s bottom line so is useless to them.

Then they began terminating the employment of long-time Associates. They would find reasons to fire them and then would offer them the opportunity to come back at base wage. They would lose all of their seniority10 and raises. They would come back as a new hires. New hires cost Wal-Mart less, because their wages are less—even including the costs normally associated with employee turnover. Wal-Mart wants that turnover. Turnover gets rid of the raises and the eligibility for insurance.

And then they changed their scheduling and call-off policies. No more would scheduling take place in individual stores. Now Home Office would take care of that.11 Home Office in Bentonville, Arkansas—a far cry away from Bumfuck, Ohio. Need a little flexibility because of family obligations, doctor’s appointments or other personal reasons? Too bad, so sad. You go to work when someone in Arkansas decides you go to work. Need to call off to take your child to the doctor? You’re required to call Home Office and good luck with that.12 More than likely your request will be denied and you will face disciplinary action or termination. You won’t be able to plead your case with anyone that actually knows you and your situation because all of those decisions are left to someone who has never even met you.

Are you seeing how Wal-Mart is able to pass on such huge savings? Are you seeing the real-life costs of their low prices? Can you honestly, with good conscience, support a company that values their own employees and the employees of their vendors so little? A company that will fire a worried mother because she had the audacity to take her sick child to the doctor? They don’t need her, afterall. They’ve got thousands of people to replace her.

I try to support women who blog whether they are mothers or not. I usually don’t care if what they’re writing about13 as long as they’re being heard. I don’t think there are enough influential women in the blogosphere and am a sentimental about the way the mommybloggers have come together to conquer this outlet in the way they have. Where men dominate politics and tech related blogging, women soar in mommyblogging. That is something of which women should collectively be proud.

But I cannot in good conscience support a marketing campaign by this company that targets mothers as a specific demographic. Wal-Mart is trying to look pretty with this new face, trying to charm you. But the meat under their skin is still rancid. They are still dealing with the devil and stepping on the backs of families all over the world. Lee Scott would piss on his employees as soon as look at them. He would throw them and their children out in the cold and take the food off their table if he could make a couple of extra bucks doing it. Wal-Mart is anti-family regardless of what their slick adverts say. Sure, if you don’t actually work for Wal-Mart or it’s vendors14 or know anyone personally effected by Wal-Mart’s policies, you can save money by shopping there. But if you work there and are supporting your family with that salary you can’t afford to shop there. And by shilling for that company and proudly hyping their disgusting brand, you validate what they’ve done to become such a “profitable” company.

It’s one thing to shop there—especially since there may be no alternatives where you live. They’ve destroyed so much of their locally available competition that for some things it’s damned near impossible to go somewhere else. That’s where I would normally shrug and say “Meh. You know they’re evil right?” and then move on. But this whole thing with “mommybloggers” picking up their baton and running with it just makes my blood run cold. I abhor Wal-Mart because they are ultimately bad for the causes I believe in – women and their families and job creation and stability. Wal-Mart is antithetical to all of those, as it is to many other issues and causes15. The thought that there are women with talent and voices and platforms willfully and happily distributing Wal-Mart propaganda just really makes me sad. And somewhat angry. Here is a demographic that has the ear of Wal-Mart execs and can help convince that company to care about it’s employees. Instead of taking the company to task they join with them to help improve their image without improving their employee relations policies. I want no part of it. I don’t want to read it on a blog and I certainly don’t want to catch a whiff of it in my Twitter stream. I will gladly support another woman unless she is working against my interests.

There is no doubt in my mind that I will eventually write another post about this dreaded box-store chain. Probably more. None of them will be glowing endorsements. This company sets trends that other companies follow in hopes of mimicking their success. Wal-Mart is showing other corporations that it’s ok to shit on the heads of the lower-level employees because people will still flock to the store for those “low prices” regardless of the negative impact they have on the communities in which their stores spring up. That’s not good for anyone. Especially women who are demographically more likely to be lower-income, single parents struggling to pay the rent on wages from places that are emulating Wally World. They drive down competitive wages, encourage companies to cut or eliminate benefits and force other companies (their vendors) to cut costs by moving their operations out of the country. As large and profitable as that company is there is no good reason such a large number of their employees are forced to take food stamps to feed their kids while also getting the medical card to be able to take those children to the doctor. They set standards—and those standards are hurting American families.

Unfortunately, considering this new “social media”/blogging campaign that this damned company has engaged in, it looks like another post like this will pop up sooner rather than later. I certainly hope I’m not the only one to see this trend and be disgusted by it enough to speak out.

Full Disclosure:

I really hate Wal-Mart.

And now I’m off to see why it is I should hate Nestle too.

Popularity: 12% [?]

Sphere: Related Content

  1. I do have an issue with following a link to a website, looking for a list of sponsors, partners and contributors and finding blank pages. []
  2. Meaning follow back just because they follow me []
  3. I couldn’t, of course. Like many people I needed the job and the money. []
  4. I’ve yet to meet an Associate who was able to take advantage of the “benefit” even for their children. []
  5. Or Big Brother, as I came to think of them []
  6. Some that had been there for more than a decade actually did make that much. []
  7. Though while pregnant I was regularly asked to lift boxes more than 50 lbs. []
  8. In reaction to Maryland requiring them to have insurance on all of their employees. []
  9. InternalMemos Leaked []
  10. Which was really a myth. []
  11. Corporate does the shift scheduling []
  12. Read this comment from a disgruntled employee. []
  13. Though I am a little snobby as far as politics and range of language is concerned []
  14. They force companies out of business []
  15. Environmentally disruptive much, Wal-Mart? []

                <p>Technorati Tags: <a href="https://web.archive.org/web/20090503090209/http://www.technorati.com/tag/shills" rel="tag">shills</a>, <a href="https://web.archive.org/web/20090503090209/http://www.technorati.com/tag/wal+mart+sucks" rel="tag">wal-mart sucks</a><br>

Related Posts

  • The Price of Low Prices (washingtonpost.com)
  • More stuff on Wal-Mart
  • I hate Wal-Mart
  • I’m Boycotting Wal-Mart
  • Clinton: Cover employees — Newsday.com
  • I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

    With Friends Like This…

    I was going to write about a post I saw recently that started an uproar in the “mommyblogger” community. I was going to write how I can’t stand the term “mommyblogger” and why—including the evolution of the term as I’ve seen it happen online. And I was going to explain that I’m against telling anyone what to write on their own blog and will just not read it if it doesn’t interest me. Then I was going to mention that I’m a mother and I blog which should make me a “mommyblogger” but this inclusive term refers to an exclusive club.

    Then I caught site of a Twitter conversation that involved the hashtag #letsfixdinner. I have nothing against that specific hashtag, mind you. I was just paying attention to one blogger who happened to be using it.1

    In response to things Deb on the Rocks was saying I retweeted:

    RT @debontherocks Throw in a little child slave labor 4 ur chocolate, &Stouffers/Nestle adds up 2 #letsfixdinner on the backs of Africa kids

    I think I picked up a follower with that because of the use of that hashtag. Well, I don’t ever blindly follow someone on Twitter2. If I did that I’d be following a bunch of SEO folks and some serious teabagging wingers. So, I checked this new follower and went to her website. She’s proudly blogging for Wal-Mart.

    Now, anyone that has followed my blog knows that I hate Wal-Mart. With a passion. I worked there a number of years ago and learned enough about them to initially dislike them. Then I researched them more and that’s when the hate started. I have nothing good to say about the company or it’s practices. And I can in no way support what they’re doing, not even by following one of their “eleven moms” on Twitter. No way am getting suckered into clicking a link that might lead to a post in support of Satan’s favorite mega mart.

    By the way, I don’t give a shit if any of those bloggers are paid by Wal-Mart or not. I don’t care if they’re doing it for free stuff or out of the goodness of their hearts. I am morally and ethically opposed to Wal-Mart’s business practices and the way they treat their own people.

    Wal Mart doesn’t care about women and specifically doesn’t care about mothers. So why do women bloggers—especially “mommybloggers” support them this way? The reason they’re reaching out to bloggers is so that they can try to change their image, without actually changing their practices. You say “Well, they’ve got good bargains/prices/blah” I say “What’s the real cost of those bargains?”

    What do you mean you don’t know? Or do you mean that you don’t care?

    (This one’s a little long, folks.) Read More »

    Popularity: 13% [?]

    Sphere: Related Content

    1. I do have an issue with following a link to a website, looking for a list of sponsors, partners and contributors and finding blank pages. []
    2. Meaning follow back just because they follow me []

    I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

    Why Do You Hate Ohio?

    Ohio is set to receive some of the $8 billion set aside for a high speed transit system. Our portion of the rail line would run through/to Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton and Toledo. Building that line would created thousands of jobs for Ohioans, boosting our tax income and taking the state away from the brink of economic disaster. We are 49th in the nation in economic outlook and jobs. According to the linked article Ohioans are migrating from the state in droves:

    The council’s study, “Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index,” is a guide for economic recovery based on state policies that have a proven impact on growth.

    The study found that net migration from 2000 to 2007 hurt Ohio, where it ranked 5th worst, losing 397,900 people.

    But the vocal minority that lost the last election are screaming mad about a rail line. They want no part of it, no part of the stimulus money. Even though work has stopped on some infrastructure projects because of lack of funds– putting more people out of work — these imbeciles are screeching to stop the money. It’s infuriating.

    We have already lost money here because we were mollycoddling the losers. I spoke to a friend a couple of weeks ago and she told me that her job load (intake worker for the Department of Jobs and Family Services) has increased by about 8% in the last year, but that the state has a hiring freeze and that they are going to be laying off workers at the JFS. So, there are more people applying for (and qualifying for) food stamps, but there are going to be less people to take care of the needs of neglected children, neglected elderly folks and the poor in our county. Because the state is hurting.

    But these fucking teabagging idiots would love to see the state lose more citizens and likely become the laughing stock of the nation1 . Why? Because their guy flushed this country down the toilet and their party lost the election because of it. Now, because Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh say so, they will screech like pissed monkeys at any kind of progress out state makes.

    I have lived in Ohio my entire life2 and have a little bit of state pride. We have some excellent destinations in our state, beautiful landscape, and a rich history. We invented football, for gods’ sakes. But every day there are more foreclosures in the paper, more jobs lost– 834 people applied for a school janitorial position recently. Still, the vocal minority screams and wails and gnashes their teeth that money for jobs is coming to Ohio.

    Instead of all the good workers and intelligent minds leaving this state, I wish these flippin’ hick-ass people would high-tail it down to Texas and help them secede. Then we could build our own state back to what it used to be. Before the idiots realized Fox News was the be-all and end-all and started polluting the newspaper’s comments with their bloviating. Here is an example of someone with their head screwed on straight. And what about the comments? Well, of course, they cry “Who’s going to pay? US! The taxpayers!”

    Fuck off. Those still left working aren’t going to have their taxes raised. But there are plenty of people that have had their taxes cut: those that have lost their jobs. Most would gladly pay a little more in taxes to be able to support themselves and their families again. Most would gladly take the stimulus money and go straight to the bank– to pay past due fucking mortgage. I am deeply ashamed of the people in my state who have nothing better to do than to take away from those that need it most.

    Food pantries are running bare. Charitable donations are down. People are struggling to pay their electric bills (which just went up for most of Ohio). Low-income/free clinics are seeing their patient numbers rise. More people are applying for food stamps. Hospitals are cutting staff. Our schools are losing dollars left and right. And the fucking teabagging brigade just keeps pounding that we don’t need no damned money. Who needs money from the goddamned liberals? Certainly not our state.

    Fuck them all. I hope that the loudest among them fall victim to this economy. I hope that one day they sit at their kitchen table and have to make a choice about whether to buy food for their children or pay the electric bill. Their leaders, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, won’t have to worry about where money for food will be coming from, that’s for sure. But I certainly hope those that screech the loudest that Ohio should reject stimulus money sure find out what it feels like.

    That’s bad, I know. But I’m sick of hearing the talk at work, reading it in my newspaper, listening to my goddamned inlaws spout it. You ask them “What about jobs?” and they just keep repeating the mantra “Who’s going to pay for it?” Who’s paying for anything when they don’t have a job to make the money?3

    We’re all paying for it right the fuck now. When our neighbors can’t make ends meet and our communities are struggling to fill fucking potholes and our churches have nothing else to give to the poor we are all paying the price. I am done listening to this bullshit being spewed wherever I go.

    From now on my stock response will be “Why do you hate Ohio?”

    Popularity: 8% [?]

    Sphere: Related Content

    1. Thank the gods we have Texas and Alaska to take the spotlight off of us for a while. []
    2. Save for about a year when I ran away to Florida, but that’s a whole other topic. []
    3. Full Disclosure: My personal income has dropped significantly since the first of the month because of more layoffs in my area. []

    I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

    Meta Twitter

    You know, I love Twitter. I’m officially addicted. Not so much in the following of people, but in reading the streams (and tweeting, of course). So when the big name Progressive blogosphere finally discovered it, I was thrilled. I mean, the #tcot1 were getting pretty numerous and I was thinking “Damn it, the Wingers are getting ahead of us on this one.” But then finally progressive voices started filtering in2.

    So, I started following a couple. I probably shouldn’t have as I should know better by now3 but I did. Then I started looking at their stats. Once again the “leaders” of the Progressive blogosphere are forming a circle jerk. They’re happily penning posts about the wonder that is Twitter (though they’ve just signed on, still they’re “experts”) and giving all kinds of useful information about the service4 and telling people how to go about using it.

    Except for their circle jerk and their unbelievable refusal to recognize anyone outside of that circle. They’re not following anyone not already on the a-list and they’re certainly not acknowledging replies from the “lessers”. Same old shit, different service.

    The a-list #tcot, of course, are different. They don’t mind giving the occasional shout out to the lessers. They recognize their audience and seem to appreciate it (screeching monkeys though they may be). And that’s how Twitter should be. A community wherein the leaders in the niche recognize those that have made them the leaders. Progressive a-listers still suck ass in that respect.

    So, I’ve decided to not follow them. Fuck ‘em. Yeah, I’ve only got 200 followers, so I’m not too important in the scheme of things. But I’d rather follow people who tweet interesting things, funny things and interact with their twitter stream. Honestly, people who have real influence5 like Shaquille O’Neal, Demi Moore and Jimmy Fallon take time out of their busy day to interact, but Progressives can’t? Fine with me. I like the “lessers” better anyway. Way more interesting. And helpful. I don’t need to follow another link to the same story someone else already posted (and the second one from the a-lister is probably given without attribution unless it’s from a member of their circle). Pfft.

    Ok, off my soapbox now. I’ve once again learned my lesson. Politics is fun– but only with people who don’t look on the “lessers” as inconvenient necessities. Pfft.

    Popularity: 5% [?]

    Sphere: Related Content

    1. Top Conservatives on Twitter []
    2. A lot during the primary/election season, but… []
    3. Blogroll Amnesty Day, anyone? []
    4. Except one, who was so enthralled that she said Kevin Rose was the founder…pfft. []
    5. And money []

    I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.


    I’ve been actively trying to avoid politics. I’ve overdosed on it and it’s really starting to depress me. I figure I’ve got enough on my plate and seeing the same regurgitated outrage over and over again just doesn’t help any of that. So I’ve found other things to keep me entertained.

    But two days ago the Obama administration announced that they would help the Big Three automakers with a “bailout” only after more concessions were made. One of those concessions was that GM CEO Rick Wagoner step down. I don’t give a flying fuck about Wagoner, because he sucks and he’s going to be taken care of no matter what happens. What I care about is that one of the other concessions was that all of the autoworkers were going to be expected to make sacrifices. Specifically I’m talking about this:

    It will require unions and workers who have already made painful concessions to make even more. […]

    And so I’d like to speak directly to all those men and women who work in the auto industry or live in the countless communities that depend on it. Many of you have been going through tough times for longer than you’d care to remember. And I will not pretend the tough times are over. I cannot promise you there isn’t more pain to come.[…]

    There are jobs that cannot be saved. There are plants that will not reopen. And there is little I can say that can subdue the anger or ease the frustration of all whose livelihoods hang in the balance because of failures that weren’t theirs.[…]

    That is why today, I am designating a new Director of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers to cut through red tape and ensure that the full resources of our federal government are leveraged to assist the workers, communities, and regions that rely on our auto industry.

    But don’t worry:

    if you buy a car from Chrysler or General Motors, you will be able to get your car serviced and repaired, just like always. Your warrantee will be safe. In fact, it will be safer than it’s ever been. Because starting today, the United States government will stand behind your warrantee [sic].[..]

    Third, the IRS is today launching a campaign to alert consumers of a new tax benefit for auto purchases made between February 16th and the end of this year – if you buy a car anytime this year, you may be able to deduct the cost of any sales and excise taxes. This provision could save families hundreds of dollars and lead to as many as 100,000 new car sales.

    You warranty is safe, but the people that built that car are fucked two ways from Sunday. And the people that earned their retirement money, pensions and health care in their old age? Fuck them, too. You see, the contracts are only legally binding if it’s the AIG execs who are getting the millions of dollars in bonuses from their bailout money. They’re the “smart ones” and the brains and blah blah blah. Their contracts matter. The union guys and gals who signed contracts and were due their retirement benefits? They don’t matter.

    I was sick over this the other day. Disen-fucking-chanted, even. My blood boiled. There are more concessions due from the workers on the plant floor and too bad-so sad if they have contracts. They’re blue collar working class folk. They don’t have high flautin’ degrees and high-priced tiny assed condos. They work hard doing physical labor and therefore their homes, families and health don’t matter. At least that’s the message I’ve been seeing.

    Don’t worry, though. They’ll finally qualify for food stamps and they can get Medicare for their kids. Thank the gods SCHIP passed, huh?

    The hypocrisy here is unbelievable. Yes, I know the auto industry needed to revamp a long time ago. Blah fucking blah. I’m talking about the fact that officially nothing can be done about AIG bonus pay outs, but the retired autoworker in Florida– who lives off his pension– is going to find himself without that fucking pension, because everyone has to make concessions. Lazy bastards should have gone to school and insisted that they’re employers go green so long ago. And why the hell didn’t the dumb motherfuckers vote Democratic all these years?

    These are some of the messages I’ve been seeing from the “Progressive” community. Instead of wondering why the low-man on the totem pole is getting the shaft1 and why those people have to make more concessions2 they are blaming these people for staying in these jobs, for not being smart enough to get a higher education and, OMG! getting paid a decent wage when other people– who are way smarter — aren’t making that kind of money.

    This is just one example of “Progressive” empathy for the screwing the blue collar workers have to endure:

    Not going along with this (1+ / 1-)

    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:
    happy camper

    I’m all for Unions, but 30-40 per hour in the midwest with just a high school diploma is a joke.

    The average teacher in NY with 6 years of college education starts at a 50K/year salary and wont dream of owning a home until 10+ years into their career if they’re lucky (or if they have supplemental income).

    The average UAW worker is making about 40 dollars an hour with no further education and pulling down around 70-80k a year.

    It’s no wonder our education system is a joke, meanwhile we have to listen to the boohooing about the unions conceding oh so much. Spare me.

    by PooNani on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 11:27:28 AM EDT

    Now, I’ll go on to say that most of the other comments in that thread are telling this particular person to shut the fuck up. But there are plenty of other comments that say something similar (though probably not so heavy handed and no, I’m not going to copy them all). What pissed me off is that so many “Progressives” are blaming the workers for this shit. They’re telling them to “buck up” and deal. To “retrain”. How the fuck does a 45 year-old person, who’s worked in the same plant for 20 years, retrain? And what happens to their homes and families in the meantime?

    SACRIFICE!! But not if you’re working on Wall Street. Get used to a lower quality of life! But not if you’re uber-smart with numbers and can make yourself a millionaire at someone else’s expense.

    These folks– and, indeed, the people that are in their sphere of influence who will also “feel the pain”– have probably lost their life savings3 and have given up many of their benefits that people who aren’t in unions seem so jealous of. They’ve taken voluntary pay cuts. They haven’t stopped working just as hard as they were working before.

    And let me tell you something: Working in a fucking factory is hard goddamned work. It’s not standing around with a fucking broom waiting for someone to give you specific instructions on how to sweep it. That’s rightwing propaganda and I’m not hearing that shit. 10-12 hour days of back breaking fucking work is worth what these folks were getting. They were the lucky ones. They got decent pay for the crap they put up with, because they were union. And they deserve their benefits, their retirement and the homes they bought with their hard-earned savings. They don’t deserve to lose it while their execs– and AIG execs — get to walk away with their nice houses and pretty savings portfolios. Hypocrisy.

    In Ohio we value the hard work the guys on the floor do. Maybe we should push harder for a fancy-schmancy college education4 but many people in this area (and in Michigan) are content to work with their hands and in these positions. There is nothing wrong with that. But “progressive” wisdom is that they brought this on themselves because they chose that work5 and because they just aren’t that smart. Fuck them and their contracts.

    I’m not even sure if I would have been as god-awful pissed as I was (and am again) if I hadn’t seen Progressives standing behind Obama to such an extent as to tell their fellow Progressives6 to buck up and shut up. Quit whining when you’re watching your world fall out from under you? Fuck that noise.

    When these folks lose their livelihood, it’s not going to just be the plants that are affected. It’s going to be the neighborhood stores and restaurants, the tax base, the entire. That unemployment and poverty is going to stretch further than just 42,000 people (or so). The few remaining local businesses are going to see a drastic decline in revenue, the cities are going to lose tax money, homes are going to go into foreclosure and that many more people are going to become dependent on government assistance. There will be no other jobs to find when this happens.

    But, hey! Those of us living here in the Rust Belt will just buck up and become innovative. After we lose our incomes, our homes and our healthcare. No, we have no reason to be whining and gnashing our teeth. We have no reason to be angry. We were prosperous while stupid, dontcha know. Our potholes aren’t getting filled, our food pantries aren’t getting filled and our cost of living is going through the roof. But hey! We brought it on ourselves. Right?78

    FUCK that noise.

    Popularity: 5% [?]

    Sphere: Related Content

    1. Wagoner is leaving with a lovely severance package– part of his contract []
    2. Why didn’t Wagoner have to leave without his goddamned bonus? []
    3. If they did the “smart” thing and invested []
    4. Full disclosure: I’m a computer programmer in training at the local university. []
    5. As if there was ever a lot of choices inside of our states. []
    6. Those of us who live in the Rust Belt and who will be directly affected by these “concessions” []
    7. My family is lucky for now. I have no idea what our situation will be in a few months. We’re not union. But we empathize with those that are immediately affected. []
    8. Who cares about the working class as long as we can still get cheap shit from China, anyway? []

    I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

    Dancing Naked or Something

    Guess what? I just read something on the intertubes that pissed me off. Surprised, aren’t you? Here’s the money quote:

    There are a ton of family-oriented, religious and conservative people in the network[…] I try really hard to be open minded about things such as gay marriage and sexual freedoms but draw the line at exploiting women and children[…]1

    Based on the context of the quote (about ads running on blogs and whether bloggers can reject or accept them) I’m inclined to believe that the author here is saying that the family-oriented, religious and conservative bloggers are one in the same and that special consideration should be taken for them because they are somehow good. I take that to mean non-conservative and/or religious2 bloggers aren’t really “family-oriented”? Ok, maybe the author didn’t mean that and, with that in mind, this post is in no way directed at the person saying that nonsense. However, I see this kind of wording a lot. The “good” people are the “religious” and “conservative” ones and the ne’er-do-wells are the other side of the coin– you know, people like atheists, pagans3 and liberals. None of us can possibly be “family-oriented” apparently, according to those who are ideologically opposed to us.

    And how does one equate gay marriage with exploiting women and children? Does my belief that gay adults who love each other be allowed to legally marry somehow bode ill for my fellow women and their offspring? What the fuck am I missing there?

    I’ll tell you what I’m missing. I’m missing the fact that I am a good mother and that I do care about women and children. Not only those in my own family, but those in the house next door to me and across the street. I care if they have enough food in their cupboards or means to get decent health care. I care enough about the people in my hood that I will fight for them to get their basic fucking needs met while I’m busy taking care of my own family.

    I care that people who have been together for 50 years and were finally allowed to marry found their union annulled because a bunch of bigots spent a lot of money to make people think somehow gay people were going to contaminate the drinking water with all their gay love. I care that grown people who’s private lives don’t affect mine negatively were once again denied the right to the same fucking legal protections my own marriage affords me. Why? Because OMG marriage is sacred.

    Tell that to the two idiot fucking heterosexuals who almost destroyed my marriage and my family. They weren’t negatively influenced by the homosexual love. No, they were just letting their heterosexual hormones ruin all our lives. Where were all these “religious” and “conservative, family-oriented” people then? Oh, that’s right. It’s only sacred when people are trying it and those people give us the heebie-jeebies. The icky people are destroying the fabric of America, and if your heterosexual marriage is struggling… well, you suck as a wife and probably should learn to give better blow jobs4.

    I’m a flaming liberal and am damned proud of it. I’m also proud of the fact that I’m a damned good mother who has instilled a strong sense of community and compassion into my children. My girls are smart and gifted and care about the world around them. They know– because their heathen mother taught them — that they don’t live in a vacuum and their success is directly related to the success of their neighbors. Why? Because we can’t do it alone and when one of us fails we all fail. Give one person (corporation) too much power and that person (corporation) will destroy us with greed.

    How is it that liberals, gblt, and a/non-religious folk can’t be good and “family-oriented”? I look at my children and see love, compassion, goodness and am proud that they are that way. When my daughter gets pissed because some idiot kids are harassing an immigrant and stands up for that child, I feel pride. When my youngest daughter sees another child sitting away from the group and makes an effort to include that child, I feel pride. My children give to charity and worry about recycling. They are good citizens of this earth.

    I get up in the morning with my children and make breakfast. I talk to them, worry about them, wash their clothes, but mostly just spend time with them. I am (mostly) patient and instructive and free with the hugs and kisses. Occasionally I utter a profanity, usually because I’m overdoing something or feeling a bit passionate about something. Sometimes I find some time for myself and write in my anonymous, personal blog about something that gets my goat. But then I’m back in the fold of my family5 and doing “family-oriented” stuff.

    I find it personally offensive that there are so many people that proclaim that liberals and glbt folk can’t possibly be family-oriented, especially when there are so many who proclaim they are but then would deny healthcare and parents6 to children less fortunate than theirs. I find it contemptible that the only kind of “good” people are the “religious” kind when I know so many people who have no religion but who do whatever they can to help the world around them7.

    But wait! It’s the liberals and glbts that have the porn sites and who run ads full of frontal nudity and things that children shouldn’t be allowed to look on, is it? Good “family-oriented, religious, conservative” people don’t engage in that kind of thing and are mindful always to keep the obscenity off their sites and away from the world. Bullshit. Bullshit. The biggest censors are the biggest fucking hypocrites and if you looked into their backgrounds, they are only “family-oriented” when in public. When in private they are deviants of the worst sort. They molest children, steal millions of dollars from retirees and exploit the poorest of the poor. Don’t worry, though, they tithe plenty to their mega-church.

    Speaking of exploitation: point to me where the glbt community– and their supporters– are exploiting women and children. Where do you see children and their mothers in chains, working for pennies, shaking their asses suggestively in support of equal marriage rights? I want to see real examples of real exploitation, because I’ve never seen it from the gay marriage movement. But the two issues are co-mingled here? Why?

    My child was recently “exploited” by a damned candy manufacturer and her preschool8. They sent my beautiful, blue-eyed 4 year-old home with an order form so that she could sell some over-priced, horrible-tasting candy for a “fund raiser”. Of course, the candy company and the school know that my daughter will work hard to sell that awful stuff and that her family will buy it from her. Why? Because she’s our angel and she’s damned cute. Exploitation. Of course, it’s not the kind we’re fighting on a global scale– like in India where young girls routinely go missing because they’re abducted into the sex industry and sold to rich old men from the States9 — but it’s still exploitative. Did we buy that 8 oz of disgusting, chocolate-covered nuts for $15? Of course we did– from a “religious” organization. Who was doing the exploiting there?

    Ok, ignore my example above. But answer me how the glbt community is exploiting women and children. Please. Because, really, the tying together of those two issues is idiotic.

    I’m losing my train of thought here, but only because I’m trying to imagine how it’s possible for someone not to care about their own family when they care so much about everyone else’s. My proud liberal heart just wants to see equal rights protection regardless of sexual orientation, children who don’t go without health care/food/housing, and women who don’t have to see their children suffer because of economic uncertainty. Shit, if that doesn’t make me “family-oriented” then fuck it. I don’t want to be.

    Oh, and a disclaimer:
    I have never claimed that Fabulously Jinxed was family friendly. In fact, any amount of reading will lead you to see that children who are of reading age should not be reading my blog. This entire blog is, in fact, Not Safe for Kids. And, no, my own children don’t read it because mama gets to have her own safe place too.

    Also, I’ll add linkage later (to a couple of things)– if I get around to it. Seems I’m a little busy these days forgetting I have a family. Feel free to add some linkage of your own in the comments if it’s pertinent to the post and adds value to your argument (or mine, if that’s the case).

    Popularity: 18% [?]

    Sphere: Related Content

    1. The gist of the conversation isn’t important here. []
    2. Which religion? []
    3. Non-Christian?? []
    4. Said by family-oriented, religious, conservative women []
    5. In which I’d been full time, as a stay-at-home liberal mother until very recently. []
    6. In the way of gay adoption. []
    7. Charity– a Christian value, yes? []
    8. She goes to a Christian preschool, by the way, because it’s the best in the area where I live. []
    9. No doubt good “conservative” men []

    I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

    Let Them Go, Please

    It looks like Chuck Norris (yes, that Chuck Norris) and Glenn Beck1 are attempting to lead a new American Revolution. Apparently, Chuck even wants to be President of Texas. Looks like the crazy secessionists and militia-types have their national leaders now and they can finally start shooting people.

    And by the looks of those comments in the first linked article those people are probably brown, Jewish, women with strong political voices and/or college educated LIE-BER-ALS2.

    At any rate, I stopped reading my hometown paper because the crazy was infecting the comments section. I did not realize that our brand of crazy is so tame compared to the real crazy drifting to the top of this economic mudpit. But from reading what these people are saying, it’s not about the economy– unless they are so angry because they’ve lost their jobs and homes. It’s that they don’t accept that Obama is the duly elected president and there is no other way of getting him out of office3. Chuck Norris and Glenn Beck (gods curse their souls) are feeding on that irrational hatred and fear. Norris is probably is true believer– Beck is a media whore who’s trying to be the new Limbaugh.

    From the Examiner:

    The call by some right wing leaders for rebellion and for the military to refuse the commander in chief’s orders is joined by Chuck Norris who claims that thousands of right wing cell groups have organized and are ready for a second American Revolution. During an appearance on the Glen Beck radio show he promised that if things get any worse from his point of view he may “run for president of Texas.” The martial artist/actor/activist claims that Texas was never formally a part of the United States in the first place and that if rebellion is to come through secession Texas would lead the way.

    Holy shitballs! He wants to take Texas and cut it the fuck out of the Union. I say “Go for it”, Chuckie! More power to you. Our country’s overall stats for killing people on death row will go down, our national I.Q. will probably go up4, and we’ll be done with you and Dubya for all of eternity. Well, until your new “countrymen” realize you suck ass as a President and they decide they want to be back in the good ol’ U.S.A. Good riddance to you, I say.

    People like to claim that they’re pissed off about the stimulus and giving money to big corporations, but where were these same complaints when these same corporations were getting huge tax breaks (”welfare”)? Where were the complaints when companies were shutting their doors here and moving over there? Where were these complaints when companies like Halliburton were getting paid billions for jobs they weren’t even doing? These same people who are threatening rebellion didn’t have much to say about all of that. The “leaders” were getting fat off the pork from the government and they liked it. Now there’s a new administration and regular people are going to benefit from government “waste” and suddenly they care? Right.

    The funniest thing about this stimulus brouhaha is that the country’s top economists are saying that there isn’t enough money being spent and they can’t be heard because the idiots with the microphones are doing all they can to shout loud enough to get the lessers stirred up. They use words like “welfare” to describe money being given to the states and laugh at words like “infrastructure”. The least intelligent among us hear their dog whistles and start screaming with them while the sensible people are drowned out5.

    In the comments of my hometown paper there are a group of Birthers/naysayers that have nothing but scorn for Obama and the stimulus. Even as the headlines proclaim Ohio is getting millions and my hometown is up for a piece of that pie, they yell about waste. A few of us have piped up to try to make them understand that without jobs people can’t make money which means they can’t spend money and they have to go elsewhere to try to survive– taking their potential with them. They don’t hear it. Money is being given to the states by the feds which means that money is bad and is welfare and to hell with the people that can benefit from those jobs6.

    My hometown is going to take that money and do some work on their infrastructure. They’re going to improve the street drainage system (which is a big point of contention considering they flood every time it rains– and the complainers complain)), widen some roads and work on the electrical grid (which causes a lot of grief during the rain, too). These projects require people to do them. That means employing local men and women– people who have probably lost good paying jobs elsewhere and who desperately need the money these new jobs will provide. These folks will then have money to keep their houses (real estate taxes will be paid), buy local goods and services (sales taxes will be paid) and will stay in the area with their hard-earned money. That will help the local economy which is exactly what the stimulus is supposed to do7.

    So, I say let these idiots secede. That’s more money and jobs for the rest of us. Let them fend for themselves in their own little utopia and let the rest of enjoy a country free of their incessant bleating. They can have Texas (and Oklahoma, if they want) and we can get back to healing this country of the wounds left by Dubya et al. Let the crybabies cry and let the rest of us move on with our lives.

    Popularity: 10% [?]

    Sphere: Related Content

    1. I spit on the man. []
    2. Not necessarily all combined, or in that order, of course. []
    3. Lefties always hoped for impeachment. []
    4. No offense, Monique Renae, but you know… []
    5. And this doesn’t even count the fuckheads who are still yelling that Obama isn’t a U.S. citizen. Good fucking grief… []
    6. Not likely to be the loudest complainers because those people are likely retired or haven’t held a job for years because they’re quite obviously mentally unbalanced. []
    7. I DO NOT agree with the whole stimulus, but I’m not an economist and don’t know the whole BIG picture with regards to the whole package. []

    I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.