Friday, August 30, 2013

Would You Like Fries With This Rant?

Sometimes perception is everything. At first, I was supportive of the fast food strike. What seems like a lifetime ago, my first “real” job was working at a McDonald’s in high school. I learned how to work a cash register that computed everything for me. I learned how to count inventory and what FIFO means. I learned how to cook a mean Quarter Pounder with Cheese, but I also had timers that told me when I had to do everything.

I also learned it was no way to make a living long term, especially since minimum wage at the time was only $3.35 an hour. I also hated it, and I did whatever it took to get out of there. I worked hard in school to get good grades. I stayed out of trouble. I worked on skills that would make me marketable in other career fields, and found solace in a pizza restaurant that wasn’t nearly as anal as Mickey D’s.

Once I determined managing a pizza restaurant was not my cup of tea upon college graduation, I got the fuck out of there. I started a new career, and I busted my ass to rise to the top of my profession because I did not want to go back to fast food. Ever.


Fast forward to 2013… today’s fast food workers want to unionize. I’m okay with that. Today’s fast food workers want to work for higher wages. I’m cool with that too.

Today’s fast food workers want to work for $15 an hour? When nearly everything is automated? When a good portion of them don’t have the decency to wash their hands after using the restroom? (I learned about that fact in management training) When these workers don’t have special skills?

What kind of delusional fucks are they?

I’m sorry, but I’m not on board with this. Want to work for $15 an hour? Learn to do something other than flip a burger, deep frying French fries or count change.

Fast food was never meant to be a career. It is and always has been a way for high school and college kids to dip their toes into the job market and nothing more. End of story.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

My Discussion Over EBT

This is what my life has come to. I am in a discussion on Facebook over Electronic Benefits Transfer for the State of South Dakota. EBT is the way that you receive Supplemental Nutritional Assistance (SNAP) in the Mount Rushmore state. The more I think about the stupidity of this debate, the angrier I get. Why? Because those people that live in what would be called a metropolitan area in the state are snobbish over what the program should entail.

Huron is a town of about 13,000 people. It has a Wal-Mart that stays open 24 hours and 1 grocery store that does the same. One of my friends posted online that she waited in line at a convenience store and the person in front of them purchased approximately $20 in candy with her EBT card and was sarcastic in saying that it was nice seeing her tax dollars at work that way. So she gets a couple other people to comment on the post saying that EBT is abused everyday with things like that and that EBT shouldn't be allowed at convenience stores. So being the putz that I am, I post that sometimes the convenience store is all that is open in the early evenings and nights for some places and that EBT should be allowed.

You know when you post something and see it right in front of you and you just know that you are going to somehow regret it? Well, I had that feeling. And boy was I right. I was told that Huron has a Walmart and Coburn's Grocery Store that are open 24 hours a day and that people should go there. I said that if you lived in a smaller community like a Miller, SD or a Redfield, SD that the closest Walmart is 40 miles away and you need something late at night, wouldn't it be better for people if they could run down to the local convenience store, pay a little bit more for what they need and get back home rather than doing the round trip? That was mistake #2 on my part. I got responses about how EBT should only be used for good food like meats, fruits, and vegetables. And the always popular they should plan better. Really? There has never, ever been a time when your plan has fallen apart? So if the county grocery store is 23 miles away and closes at 6 and your work holds you there until 5:45, so you cannot make it to the grocery store, apparently it is too bad for you. Your plan sucked even though you were supposed to be of at 5PM. We all know that every plan works every time. And the best argument was that convenience stores were overpriced and understocked for a family to do good choices about their nutritional needs. Well, duh! We all know that, but they are allowed to use convenience stores when they want to. I do agree with the argument that it sets a bad example for the children of the family.

And never mind the rules and regulations you have to follow to use your EBT card.

  • Items that carry a supplement facts label,
  • beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco,
  • any nonfood items, such as:
    • pet foods,
    • soaps and paper products,
    • household supplies,
  • vitamins and medicines,
  • grooming items, toothpaste and cosmetics,
  • food that will be eaten in the store, or
  • hot foods prepared to eat immediately.
You also get stigmatized as an EBT card carrier. Hell, I was stigmatized as a WIC user for the first 3 years of my son's life. I got the dirty looks, the snarls, the jokes, the pity of people. These people also get the exact same treatment. And that is why I am angry. Instead of looking at the person using WIC or EBT as a person who has the same wants, needs, and emotions as you, most people look down upon them as less than what they are. People who need public assistance to help them out in their time of need. Instead, they go through what I did. Some even get worse treatment. I have seen people be treated with outright contempt because others thought that they were gaming the system.

I am ashamed for my friend who started this post. She is a God fearing lady who has overcame heart problems to find true love and is a great mom to her, I hope to be soon, stepdaughter. However, she has failed what we are told to believe by those who preach the word of the Christian God. That we are all God's children. That we are all in the likeness of the creator. That we should help the poor and meek. That we should give to the less fortunate. That we are all equal in the eyes of the Lord. I cherish her friendship and hope that over time, she becomes less judgmental. After all, that is the way of Christianity, or so I am told. But in the bigger scheme of things, to become more tolerant of those that do not have the same morals as she does. Because in doing so, she will become a better person and that in turn will make this a better world. Even if it is just in a very small way.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

There Are Good Things Going On Out There

In most of my blog posts, I am usually railing against things that I dislike. The current GOP, racism, stupidity, hypocrisy, and the Minnesota Vikings immediately pop into my mind. And it is easy to blog about those things that you have a distaste for. Take the government for example. The viper's nest that is congress can be described as the place that is a big sucking black hole that rips Americans of their hopes and dreams. And that is a mild description of that place. Pair that with the sports teams in D.C. and you have one big cluster.

But from that place, there are some things that have actually happened that helps Americans. The Affordable Health Care Act or Obamacare, if you prefer. There are reports of Healthcare companies actually giving rebates to their customers because of the over inflated prices that they have been charging. Healthcare companies have to pay 80% of their premiums that they get from people on actual healthcare for their clients. (I know, what a concept!) So people are actually paying less for their healthcare. The insurance companies that have been raising rates at double digit rates for the past years are now actually having to hold their rates to lower increases or in some instances at the same level or even lower them. This is causing calls of Socialism by the GOP. It is socialism to give subsidies to companies like Exxon-Mobil and BP, so until you want those to end, shut the hell up about any sort of socialism.

The American economy continues to limp along. It is expanding, unlike what it did under our last Republican President. The past 3 years, each and every month we have had private sector jobs increasing. That should show an economy that is real strong and growing by leaps and bounds. So why doesn't it? The public sector cutting jobs right and left. If the public sector (government) would have just kept the jobs that it had in 2010 and not eliminated them, the Unemployment rate would be down to around 5 to 5.5%. The economy would be plugging along at a good clip and we would be hearing that the American economy is looking strong and will get stronger. But the sequester and the cutting of public jobs has kept the economy sputtering along. I list this as a good thing because I still have in my mind the economy losing tens of thousands of jobs each and every month. That was a disaster. Right now, the GOP is choking the economy. That cannot last forever.

The evolution of what is acceptable for a "typical" American family. Gay people can now marry in 13 states and Washington D.C.  As we learn more about human physiology and biology, we are understanding that being gay isn't a choice, it is the way that we are born, whether we are hetero or homosexual. That allows more people to be eliminated from second-class status here and gets us closer in America to becoming a true society without prejudices concerning sexual orientation and the display of our affection to one another.

The discussion of how our government operates in regard to surveillance and the privacy of Americans is also a good thing. Since 9/11, we have went overboard about security. We traded some of our rights in order to feel secure. The government has went way over the line where they should have been stopped. Some of that has been from congress. Some of that has been from the Executive Branch of our government. And the people that we expect to stop those excesses the Judicial Branch, have went right along with the other two. Now since people are finding out what the government has been doing, there is push back on what the government has said is constitutional and they are scrambling to ensure that their programs will hold up to constitutional scrutiny. That is good for those of us who want government to operate out in the open as much as it possibly can.

Let's talk American energy independence. Right now, America is the leading country in Solar power. Of course, that means that the GOP is fighting to cut off any investment in it from our government. Electric car technology is advancing each and every year. More people are conserving more and looking at ways to become less dependent on their local energy companies. They are growing more of their own foods and looking at local ways to solve problems. That is a good thing.

There are other things out there. Look at how California has bounced back utilizing some of the principles that Democrats have spouted over the past decade. We finally have a few Republicans that are standing up to the Tea Party who are hypoctrites, through and through. We are pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan. There is a major upheaval and exchange of ideas going on internationally. And while that does come with bloodshed and a couple of false starts for democracy being spread, remember, America didn't start out as a Democracy and there was around 90 years of simmering resentment before our Civil War.

Not everything out there is great in America. Racism and profiling is on the rise. You have simmering resentment from each and every racial group. We have screwed up majorly on our foreign policies. What we say are values are in regards to democracy and the capitalist system is not extended to anywhere past our borders. We also will not support people who we say are our friends if we believe that we can get further ahead by backing others. There is way too much stalling and obstruction in Washington. The government doesn't respond to the citizens. It causes problems for individuals and businesses all the time. But until someone can come up with a better way to govern, we need to work within the system and take the positives that we see and try to extend the principles from them into the problems that we have.