Walmart

From Strom Thurmond To Paul Thurmond: Is The Civil War Finally Over In The South?

South Carolina, which started the Civil War at Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, MAY have finally conceded defeat on June 23, 2015, with the courageous speech by State Senator Paul Thurmond, son of the notorious segregationist and racist Governor and Senator Strom Thurmond, who made his career on racial division.

A burden to the Democratic Party, when Lyndon B. Johnson was able to overcome Southern Democrats and conservative Republicans, and courageously get through Congress the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Senator Strom Thurmond quickly switched to the Republican Party, and over the next generation, the Confederate South transferred its loyalties to the Republican Party, despite their hatred of the party because of Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, and Reconstruction.

The Republicans welcomed and embraced the segregationists, and did whatever they could to appeal to the prejudices of many Southern whites, rather than elevate them to a level of tolerance and open mindedness.

And when the Supreme Court damaged the Voting Rights Act in a 2013 decision, it was Republican state legislatures and Governors who rushed to pass voter restriction laws, designed to harm African Americans and other minorities, as well as the poor, reminding us of what had happened after Reconstruction ended in the late 19th century. They were not afraid to show their purpose, to deny people the vote on flimsy grounds, and showed no conscience.

This sudden transformation after the Charleston Massacre is what finally brought out the truth, that the Republicans have been promoting racism, and even after the disaster, many Republican office holders and Presidential candidates were slow to react.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley was hesitant to call for removal of the Confederate Flag, but finally did so under duress, but it was state Senator Paul Thurmond, son of Strom Thurmond, who showed true courage and guts in denouncing what his father had stood for, and saying the flag must be removed.

There are still plenty of bigoted Southerners in South Carolina and elsewhere, who rushed to buy Confederate flags, shirts, and other paraphernalia, but thank goodness that Walmart, Ebay, Amazon and other retailers announced the end of such sales yesterday.

It is time for the Republican Party nationally to stop voting restriction laws, and truly compete for the African American vote and the Hispanic-Latino vote too, and also to stop the attack on women and on gays and lesbians, as they are now the party of so much hate. The white racist vote is rapidly declining, and the GOP is living in the past, reveling in its promotion of narrow mindedness and intolerance!

We are all in this together as a nation, and the Republican Party must change dramatically, and must repudiate the Tea Party Movement whackos, or it will expire in the near future!

The Democrats’ Secret Weapon: Young And Single Women, And Excellent Women Candidates!

The Democratic Party has a secret weapon: Young and Single Women, and Excellent Senate candidates and Gubernatorial candidates!

Polls show that young and single women in many states are clearly angered by Republicans working to take away their rights, and will come out in large numbers to back Democrats in the midterm elections.

The margin of support for Democrats in many state polls is as high as thirty percent in some, and polls clearly indicate widespread support among young and single women in such states as North Carolina, Georgia, Iowa, Colorado, and Kentucky, among others!

Why not? Republicans want to take away the right of abortion; the right to use contraceptives; the right of a woman to equal pay; the right of women to have more unemployment compensation; the right of women to have an increase in the minimum wage; the right of women to know that politicians do not blame them for campus rapes and military rapes; the right of women to have more available and quality child care; the right of women to expect decent health care from government, or their corporations, such as Walmart; the right of women not be insulted about their weight and figure; and the right of women to reject women Republican candidates who do not care about anyone but their own futures, and sell out to male chauvinists in the Republican Party.

So therefore, Michele Nunn of Georgia; Allison Lundergan Grimes of Kentucky; Mary Landrieu of Louisiana; Kay Hagan of North Carolina; Shanna Bellows of Maine; Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire; and Natalie Tennant of West Virginia (all Senators or running for the Senate); and Wendy Davis of Texas and Mary Burke of Wisconsin (running for Governor) stand out, as does Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire; and many are likely to win their races, and make 2014, the Year of the Democratic Woman, a lot due to young and single women voting in droves!

Meanwhile, Republican women running are sounding like they are from outer space, including Senate candidates Joni Ernst of Iowa; Terri Lynn Land of Michigan; Monica Wehby of Oregon; and Shelly Moore Capito of West Virginia; and women Governors Mary Fallin of Oklahoma; Susana Martinez of New Mexico; and Nikki Haley of South Carolina.

What Has Happened To The Image Of The Police We Used To Have As Children And Young Adults?

This author and blogger grew up totally respectful of police officers, admiring them for their courage and willingness to serve the citizenry.  It was never thought that we needed to be fearful of police officers.

But that has changed dramatically in recent years, and particularly in the past few months, as we have seen numerous cases of police officers all over the nation abusing their power and position, and too quick to shoot to kill many unarmed people, many of them African American or Hispanic, but also those who are disabled, and some victims who are also whites.

These abusive police have been quick to use their tasers and their firearms in an aggressive manner, when in so many of these cases, it has been totally unnecessary to do so.  They have lost the concern for life of their victims, and instead of, if needed, shooting to wound, they have gone for the chest and the head, in so many situations all over the country!

In Ferguson, Missouri, the perpetrator of the death of Michael Brown, a police officer named Darren Wilson has not faced any charges, or detention, while a grand jury takes forever to move forward, and one cannot be sure that they will even indict  Wilson at all. A grand jury in Ohio refused to indict a police officer who killed a young black man in Walmart, who had picked up a toy gun and was shot for holding it, while Ohio allows unlimited display of firearms in any public place, but obviously really only for white citizens!

A police officer in South Carolina opened up fire on a driver who went into his car to get his drivers license, and wounded him over an issue of not wearing seat belts!  All cases lately have been white officers against black men, many of them young black men!

This situation is out of control, and makes one feel as if our police officers are, in too many cases, abusing their positions, and acting as if they are Nazi Gestapo or a Secret Police force, while Omar J. Gonzalez, when he scaled the White House fence and ran to the North Portico and was able to gain entrance to the building without being stopped before that occurred, and carrying a pocket knife, was not even shot at by the Secret Service, when such an action deserved a shoot to kill order in that circumstance!

Of course, the multitude of police officers do their job well, but the renegades are undermining the whole concept of law enforcement, and there needs, desperately, for better training of police, and the drumming out of those who are ill qualified by temperament and their performance record to keep their positions as police officers!

Ronald Reagan Myth Of “Welfare Queen” Being Revived By Republicans And Conservatives: Still A Massive Lie!

Before he became President, Ronald Reagan kept perpetuating a massive lie, far more than Barack Obama and ObamaCare, despite claims that Obama is the most massive liar of any President!

NO, it is a tie between Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, with Reagan simply more charming and charismatic, so Nixon tends to be regarded as the greater liar because of Watergate!

But Reagan lied about Iran-Contra in 1986, claiming he had “no recollection”, and able to get away with it due to his charm, and the thought that, as an aging President, he would be given a pass, although some thought he should be impeached for that scandal, as well as others, making his administration one of the most scandal ridden Presidencies, right behind Nixon, Warren G. Harding, and Ulysses S. Grant.

But even before the scandals of his Presidency, Reagan developed in his mind, and came to believe, that there was a “Welfare Queen”, of course an African American in Chicago, who was collecting dozens of checks monthly, and scamming the “welfare” system.

This was a lie from day one, but it resonated, and was used by conservatives to condemn the poor, implying that they were all too lazy to work, and were just drinking and taking drugs and living off hard working whites.

The fact that most people on “welfare”, meaning food stamps and Medicaid and unemployment compensation are white, are single mothers with children, and many work, but make inadequate income working for minimum wage (such as at Walmart and McDonalds and such places like them), is ignored, and it has become an attack on the poor, as if they wish to be poor, and also provoke working class whites against minorities.

Meanwhile, as the move is on to cut food stamps and unemployment compensation, and in red states deny expansion of Medicaid, and also deny an increase in the minimum wage, the vast majority who are being harmed are white working class people who continue to vote Republican, not understanding that it is them who are being condemned by the term “Welfare Queen”.

The term “Welfare Queen” is a massive lie, and was a massive lie when Ronald Reagan used it to attain the Presidency! Reagan either knew it was a lie, or was too incompetent mentally to know that he was telling a lie that he had convinced himself was the truth. And this is a President to admire and emulate, as a great President, when he set out to harm those who were down and out for his own advancement? Give me a break!

Lowest Unemployment Rate In Five Years: A Big Plus For The Democrats In 2014 Midterm Elections!

There has been steady growth of employment over the past four and a half years, and the new employment report shows that the unemployment rate, now 7 percent, is at its lowest in five years! Over 203,000 jobs were created, more than was expected. This is bound to help the Democrats in the 2014 midterm elections coming up next November.

This is great news, although there is much to do for those still unemployed, and for those with minimum wages in an economy where the remnants of the Great Recession still lurk.

It is essential that public works jobs be created to rebuild the infrastructure of this nation, and that the minimum wage be raised, so that it is worth at least what it was thirty years ago, now down by more than 30 percent in purchasing power.

But since almost one third of all minimum wage workers are parents, and there are so many single mothers with children who work at such places, and including Walmart and McDonalds and other such establishments, it is unconscionable to have these workers have to depend on food stamps and Medicaid, when their companies should be responsible for a living wage. Taxpayers are paying the price, when it would be better that consumers possibly pay more at these companies, but the workers know their employers care about them and their ability to survive!

And the argument that raising the minimum wage will cut jobs is pure bull, as that has not happened in the past!

And if consumers must pay a dollar more for fast food, or items at Walmart or McDonalds, so be it, as everyone, no matter what his or her station in life, is entitled to a living wage, and human dignity and respect!

Time For Boycott Of Walmart By All Decent Consumers!

Walmart is the largest corporation in the world, and the most arrogant of all corporations, as it mistreats its workers in the most horrible manner possible.

It pays its unfortunate workers a wage inadequate for anyone to survive on, and allows taxpayers to subsidize health insurance and food stamps for its workers, because it is too cheap to have concern about the welfare of its own staff.

Why should taxpayers have to take care of $9,000 costs for each worker, when Walmart makes billions of dollars annually in profit, and its four heirs have the assets in total of the bottom 60 percent of the entire American population?

And Walmart has the gall and nerve to have its own workers arrested around the nation, due to their protests about their mistreatment, and the requirement that they work on Thanksgiving or lose their jobs.

Walmart needs to be held to account, as no corporation should be permitted to act in a fascist manner against its own employees, reminiscent of the auto industry in the 1930s before unionization took hold, and changed the lives of workers by the growing power of labor unions, which despite their faults and shortcomings, made for the growth of the middle class.

Now labor unions are in disarray, since the administration of Ronald Reagan, and too many Americans are only obsessed with purchase of “bargains”, so much so that they ignore the plight of Walmart and other workers, and are even willing to assault and kill each other over material goods that are mostly not necessary, but only desired.

The American culture is in deep trouble when materialism is in charge, and workers are being abused in the holy name of capitalism at all costs.

So all decent Americans who are left in this nation need to boycott Walmart until they change their policies toward their workers, and stop making these workers depend on taxpayers for basic benefits, rather then the company which employs them,.

And that includes not only Walmart, but also Target, and McDonalds, and the multitude of other corporations that are smaller versions of the monopolistic Walmart! Pay a living wage and benefits or suffer the consequences of a national boycott by all decent consumers who are left in America!

Minimum Wage Must Be A Living Wage, And Corporations Must Treat Low Wage Workers With Dignity And Respect!

The fight is on for a rise in the minimum wage, so that it is a living wage, and corporations that have low wage work forces must show evidence that they treat their workers with dignity and respect!

Applebee’s, Papa John’s, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Longhorn Steak House and other restaurants have all seen profits fall, and fewer patrons, after they threatened to cut workers down to part time, fewer than 30 hours, so they would not have to provide employer health care for their workers under ObamaCare!

At the same time, Walmart has continued to pay low wages, mistreat its women workers as compared to men, and force their workers onto Medicaid and Food Stamps, because they will not provide benefits to their workers, despite the fact that they are the largest retail corporation in the world, and their four owners of the Walmart dynasty have as much in assets as the bottom 40 percent of the nation’s population combined!

This is the new GILDED AGE all over again, with low wage workers, half of whom are over 25, and majorities being women and minorities, with many having families to support, not just young people who are single and hang out on the streets without responsibilities!

The minimum wage, set up in 1938 under Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, at 25 cents per hour, would be today over $22.00 an hour if kept up to the cost of living! Instead it is $7.25 per hour, and the proposal being promoted is to raise it to about $10.00 an hour, which is far from adequate, but essential as a beginning of promoting the ability of workers to support themselves and other family members, and have a sense of dignity and respect from their employers!

And if prices need to go up, so be it, as no one should be exploiting others for the sake of another dollar or less for items, and if enough consumer protests occur, the management, already overpaid and over pricing, will be forced to accept somewhat less than the obscene profits they now earn, making them an elite Gilded Age aristocracy in a country that is supposed to be promoting equality and justice!

The True Heroes Of Natural And Man Made Disasters: Teachers, Nurses, Paramedics, Police Officers, Firefighters!

Again, with the Oklahoma and Boston Marathon tragedies, as so many others, it is PUBLIC servants–teachers, nurses, paramedics, police officers, firefighters–who are the true heroes, doing beyond the call of duty to rescue and save lives!

But yet, these public servants are constantly pilloried and condemned, if they demand a living wage and decent benefits, as appreciation for their services, while people in the world of business make outrageous salaries and perks on Wall Street, and think that they deserve what they get, despite having messed up the economy, causing the Great Recession of 2008, as they have in every recession since the Great Depression!

We are told to worship Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan Chase, and other bank CEO’s who, by all justification, should be in prison for their actions!

We allow the Koch Brothers and the Walmart heirs to run rampant without any consideration of how they exploit their work force, and these are just examples, not the only ones.

We have Apple and Walmart and Target and numerous other companies which exploit foreign workers, and do not give a damn about safety or a decent living wage for these poor women and men who died in the disaster recently in Bangladesh!

It is time to hold these corporate leaders and companies accountable, and stop complaining about public servants who deserve respect and dignity and better pay for their sacrifices and dedication to the people they serve!

126th Anniversary Of Founding Of American Federation Of Labor: The Struggle For Labor Rights Never Ends!

On this day in 1886, the American Federation of Labor, the first long term successful national labor union, was founded by Samuel Gompers and others, with Gompers being its leader for nearly four decades.

The battle for labor rights was a tormenting, and often bloody, struggle, and despite many victories and contributions to the lives of working people in and out of labor unions, the struggle of workers for justice and human rights in America is a never ending battle, with major losses since the administration of Ronald Reagan, and facing new challenges from the “Bully” Republican Governors, many elected in 2010, who have declared war on workers and their basic rights to collective bargaining, and decent pay, benefits, and working conditions.

And we have seen the rise of new monopolies, best personified by Walmart as a symbol, who have reneged their responsibilities to their work force, and used their power and influence to leave it to taxpayers to support underpaid workers on food stamps and Medicaid.

And the Tea Party radicals, and their corporate backers, best personified by the Koch Brothers and other billionaires, have tried to gain control over Congress and the White House through their spending and lobbying, with success in Congress, but thankfully, failing to defeat President Barack Obama!

This is a day to celebrate about organized labor, but also a day to recommit ourselves to revive the labor movement which has made so many lives much better than they might have been, by leaving all power to corporate influences and the Republican Party, which has been anti labor for many decades!

The Ugly, Obscene Cultural Phenomenon Of “Black Friday”

That fairly recent cultural phenomenon known as “Black Friday” has come and gone again.

Developed in the past decade to the point of obscenity, it is the worst part of the capitalistic system, as wealthy corporations entice and encourage mostly people who don’t have much money or who, in any case, should not be going into hock for merchandise they do not need or often don’t even truly want, to act like animals with the most rude behavior and social dysfunction possible!

In recent years, an employee was trampled to death at a Walmart ;yesterday, a woman at a Walmart used pepper spray on fellow shoppers to gain a so called “competitive advantage”; a Target employee, being overly tired from having Thanksgiving dinner and then going to work without sleep before midnight on Thanksgiving Day nearly drowned in a canal in Palm Beach Country, Florida; and some people were robbed and shot at a shopping mall!

All this for a so called “bargain”, while the wealthy stayed at home, either not needing the “deals”, or preferring to do it online rather than in a mob gathering for hours before the opening bell late on Thanksgiving or early on the day after!

It demonstrated again that the wealthy don’t have to go through what average people seem to think they need to go through. and also how corporations, particularly in a time of high unemployment, can exploit their low paid workers to have no right to even Thanksgiving and the early hours of the next day to be free from work. Sure, they get paid overtime, but is that worth the reality of them facing mobs and being overworked and overstressed for the few extra dollars they manage to be paid for their sacrifices?

Walmart, Target, Toys R Us, Best Buy, Kohls, Macy’s and J C Penney’s, and all the other retailers who have made this “Black Friday” idea the obscenity it is, should be condemned for their greediness and lack of concern for both labor and the public safety. But, after all, what matters is the ALMIGHTY DOLLAR, the PROFIT over humanity!

Sad and tragic, VERY SAD AND TRAGIC!