Friday, April 01, 2005

Thank you for shopping at Wal-Mart

From comes this article about Wal-Mart, American's favorite retailer. I don't care what reason you give for stepping inside the walls of your local mega-center, when you do, you are doing your part to kill what remains of any local-based, sustainable model of retailing.

From the article, "Less than two weeks ago, the Beast paid $11 million to settle charges that it used hundreds of illegal immigrants to clean its stores. In February, those nice family-values people from Bentonville agreed to pay a pathetic $135,000 and change to settle charges of child labor violations. Think about it: a corporate culture that tolerates endangering children. As an aside, when the child labor deal was announced, I wrote that the level of the fine was scandalous; the whole sweetheart deal is now under investigation by the Department of Labor’s inspector general.

Wal-Mart is facing the largest gender discrimination lawsuit in history—involving 1.5 million women. I hear the company is deeply engaged in talks to settle the case for obvious reasons: it’s guilty as hell. The depositions in the lawsuit, detailed in Liza Featherstone’s new book, Selling Women Short, make it crystal clear that the company, as a matter of policy, consistently broke the most basic laws of workplace equality.

Not enough? Workers have been illegally fired for trying to form a union, and Wal-Mart spends millions to thwart workers basic rights, giving its union-breaking staff priority on resources (like corporate jets) over even higher-placed managers. In 2000, meat cutters at a Wal-Mart in Texas voted for the union—and Wal-Mart promptly violated the law by shutting down the meat-cutting department in the store and, for good measure, closing every other meat-cutting department in 180 other stores, just to make sure they had stamped out any smell of unionism. Even the National Labor Relations Board—no friend of labor—saw through the company’s actions and charged the Beast with illegal behavior."

[So why is it that you shop at Wal-Mart? Don't you dare tell me that it's to save money or I'll smack you up side 'yo head with a bat! An employer who endangers children, devalues women, and exploits low-skill and low-wage workers is not worthy of anyone's business. Why don't you put away your weak-ass excuses, acquire a bit of back-bone and take a freakin' stand for once in your pathetic lives--now that I've got that off my chest, I feel much better.]

Read the entire article.

On an entirely different note, after being jerked around by the media in their shoddy coverage of the Terri Schiavo circus, now we are getting the first whiffs of the circle-jerk that will be coming down the pike regarding the soon-to-occur death of Pope John Paul II. We'll hear report after report about the historical significance of the Pope, the Church, how life as we know it was brought to us courtesy of the Holy See, etc., ad nauseum. (In the past 15 minutes, I've heard the beginning of the mantra about the Pope's legacy and already have heard him linked with Ronald Reagan, Gorbachev and Margaret Thatcher. I'm sure that will begin circulating over the weekend, like a fart in an airtight room.)

I just heard some blow-dried talking head just refer to their particular networks coverage as being a "vigil". This before leaving for a commercial on Wendy's chicken fingers. Oh Neil Postman where are you now?

What drives the insipid, shallow and sensationalistic coverage generated by the likes of CNN, Fox, MSNBC and the other cable wankers is beyond me. Even AirAmerica, which I originally had high hopes for, recently hired Jerry Springer to host a daily program that can only be labeled as a ploy for ratings.

I better stop before I say something that really ticks off the Pope lovers and other religious sorts out there. I know I need to turn off the idiot box and end the drivel spewing forth.

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