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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Coretta Scott King Passes Away At 78

I woke up to find that America is a much lesser place than it was when I last lay down my head to sleep. Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King Jr's wife, passed away last night in her sleep. Against the deepening shadow of political extremism and hatred in this nation, King was an icon for peace and love whose voice will no longer sing for goodness over evil, love over hate. However, her memory and her message, like those of her husband, will live on and hopefully pass their torch on to a new generation that is as set on making America a better place as hers was all those years ago. Heaven is made more beautiful today as this world gives up yet another angel to the keeping of Almighty God. May the Lord bless you Mrs King! We will never forget you!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

On Samuel Alito...And Other Things

Since school started, I've been forced to do little more than sit and watch events unfold for classes take up my time in a big way. However, some things of importance have come up and I feel the need to mention and address them. We'll start with the plans of Flint, Michigan's mayor to build and operate an automotive plant with city funds.
Flint, Michigan To Go Corporate?
As Ford and GM continue to layoff employees and close plants as a means to pay for bad decisions on management's part, Mayor Donald Williamson of Flint, Michigan has an idea to save jobs by using city funds to build an automotive parts plant. Going a step further, he wants the city manage the operation independently of the companies it does business with.
When, recently, Williamson said, "We are going to do something different in this city that nobody else has done", he really meant what he said. To date, no such factory has existed in this country. The Mayor, however, believes automakers have proven they are either unwilling or unable to run automotive plants. Inevitably and despite the obvious beatings Flint has endured from automakers, there are opponents to this new plan.
"It seems like the private sector ought to be the one developing plants and not the municipality," Paul Keep, editor of The Flint Journal said. Keep and other critics claim Williamson's plan isn't legal. So far, however, nobody has stepped forward with anything resembling proof that the plan is anything but legal so long as the city's council and voters support it.
I leave it you, my readers. Do you believe Williamson is on a role? Is he cracking faster than the arctic ice sheets? Let me know!
Democrats: Socialist Champions Indeed!
Republicans and other Conservatives like to criticize the Democratic Party for its Socialist tendencies and for, God forbid, defending the working man from the greed of Corporate America. That's why I didn't know whether to sob or chuckle when I read how a key Democratic leader recently admitted that he's given in and accepted job outsourcing by American companies from America to cheaper labor pools abroad. I hope this gets the attention of every patriotic-minded Liberal. Read on!
The so-called "Democrat" in question was none other than Senator Max Baucus of extremely red Montana. He said and I quote, "Offshoring is a fact of globalization. Opportunities for U.S. companies come from everywhere." As he was in India giving an interview to reporters there, it's easy to see how this question came up. Anyhow, I found myself wondering whether Baucus is a Democrat, a Republicrat or a wolf in sheep's clothing. So on I read.
Padding his statement, Baucus added that, "Our {America's} challenge is to learn why these jobs are moving overseas and work to keep them at home by boosting America's competitiveness..." Ok, so I agreed with him here to a degree. Shortly afterwards, however, Baucus was off on the wrong foot again when he said "Investing in India to bring products for one-fifth of the world's population will be terrific for the U.S." How will the U.S. benefit, Max, from selling products to other countries when the products we sell are our jobs and the American worker gets nothing in return? I was a bit upset by this time as you can guess.
Overall, I was very angry at Baucus by the time I finished reading this article. I found myself being extremely dissapointed that so many members of our government believe in, accept and even promote job outsourcing. Don't they realize that America grows weaker with every good job we send overseas and weaker yet with each minimum wage job we create in place of them? Just how big a bribe does it take to buy a government official? Are both major political parties are on the payroll of Corporate America? How do Americans benefit from outsourcing? Is Capitalism proving that Karl Marx's vision of Capitalism destroying civilization was true? God, I hope not!
Samuel Alito- A Big Step For Rightist Extremism?
When Bush originally nominated Samuel Alito to replace United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, I gave them both the benefit of the doubt. After all, this was immediately following Chief Justice Roberts' ascent to the SCOTUS throne and Bush didn't seem to go wrong with him. I thought maybe Bush would get it right twice. How terribly misled I was!
Alito has proven by his record that he is on the rightist fringe of American ideology. His record shows that he doesn't excuse himself from cases when personal bias and interests are in play. His record documents how willing he is to bend and even ignore the true intent of the Constitution when it disagrees with his personal views. Because of this, I can only assume that Senate Republicans are supporting his nomination because, as usual, the GOP is a rank and file party that pits ideology before America's best interests. Today's party-line vote proves my point. Therefore, I applaud Senate Democrats for standing against Alito's nomination. Their efforts cannot legally stop the GOP from committing a jurisprudential atrocity but at least members of the public who haven't bought into rightist extremism can see who is doing the right thing and who isn't.
Given the nature of this situation, there's little left to be done. Alito will be on the SCOTUS but I want you, my readers, to tell me what you think he will do. Will he use his power for Good or Evil? Will he legislate from the bench on an ideological basis or will he strictly interpret the Constitution? I leave it to you.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Wal-Mart Defeated By Maryland

After considerable debate, an overwhelming majority of Maryland legislators voted Thursday to require Wal-Mart to spend at least 8 percent of its payroll budget on employee healthcare expenses. This vote came after a veto by Governor Robert Ehrlich, a Republican.
As a patriotic American, I can't begin to describe the excitement that moves through me after reading about the defeat Wal-Mart suffered the other day in Maryland. As anyone who pays attention can see, Wal-Mart depends in large part on local governments to pay for the healthcare of its employees. An increasing number of Americans these days find themselves asking why it is that Wal-Mart competitors such as Albertsons and Target can offer affordable insurance options while Wal-Mart, which is much larger, does not. The reason for this is because Wal-Mart receives unfair healthcare subsidies from local governments while its competitors do not. In effect, the taxpayers are paying Wal-Mart twice for everything they buy at Wal-Mart: First in the store and Second with their tax dollars. That clearly goes against everything America claims to stand for.
Wal-Mart's favorite tools are bullying, deceit, illegal underselling of competitors and propaganda. Naturally then, Wal-Mart's response to Maryland's new law is to try and bully the state into not executing it. After the bill passed, company spokeswoman Sarah Clark said Wal-Mart will have to "pause to sit back and look at the situation" before continuing with plans to build a new distribution center in Maryland. Isn't it funny how when the government tells Wal-Mart that it will no longer receive unfair subsidies, the company threatens to pull jobs?
Making matters more slippery with corporate slime, Wal-Mart is trying to rhetorically wiggle out of the wrongdoing limelight. Mia Masten, Wal-Mart's Director of Corporate Affairs, says Wal-Mart believes "everyone should have access to affordable health insurance" but adds "this legislation does nothing to accomplish that." Well, Mia, how does Wal-Mart's refusal to offer affordable insurance to most of its 1.3 million employees help "accomplish" that?
In addition to trying to wiggle Wal-Mart out of all responsibility, Masten blames Maryland's new law on "partisan politics" and says it is an attempt to fix Medicaid in one state by penalizing one company. Like most of what Wal-Mart says, that simply isn't true. What Maryland is trying to do is end Wal-Mart's unfair healthcare subsidy and hold the company at least partially responsible for its employees. Is that wrong? Evidently many Republicans think so. After all, many if not most Republicans in Maryland's House and Senate voted against holding Wal-Mart responsible and in favor of continuing to give it unfair healthcare subsidies. Maryland's Governor, a Republican, vetoed the bill the first time it was passed. It's easy to see whose side the GOP is on in Maryland, that's for sure.
Maryland is the only state so far to force Wal-Mart to compete fairly without healthcare subsidies but it's not the only state fighting Wal-Mart's corrupt system of profiteering. Colorado, Connecticut and Washington are all working on legislation similar to that which passed in Maryland. Twenty-five other states are also considering legislation to limit unfair healthcare subsidies given to Wal-Mart. In California, a jury recently awarded Wal-Mart employees $172 million for being illegally denied their lunch breaks. In a similar case in Colorado, Wal-Mart recently settled for $50 million. In Oklahoma, former Wal-Mart employees have filed a lawsuit against the company for deliberately refusing to rehire them on the basis that they left work after filing Worker's Compensation claims against the company. In Pennsylvania, a judge approved a lawsuit against Wal-Mart by employees who said the company tried to force them into working off the clock.
As you can see, Wal-Mart isn't a retailer but a government subsidy program. I'm including a link to Wal-Mart Watch.com and will add other pertinent links in future as I come across them. Fighting the corruption of Corporate America is an important step in protecting the American way of life. Wal-Mart is only one battle in this war but it is a very important one that the American people must win. I urge everyone who reads this to join the fight and boycott Wal-Mart. Remember that this war is just as important as the War On Terror. Good Day and God Bless!

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Last Modified On January 31, 2006