The Watering Hole: Wednesday, November 27, 2013: Is it time to repeal the 13th Amendment?

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. (Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified 1865)

Now, over a hundred years later, perhaps it is time to ask, “is it time to repeal the 13th Amendment?”

From a purely corporate, profit-driven motive, the answer must be a resounding “NO”!

Here’s why:

The Average Cost of Living in the U.S. is $20,194 per person per year according to Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour; a person working 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year, makes $15,080.00.

Minimum wage is less than the cost of living.

Now, perhaps, one can understand why Republicans are seeking to eliminate the minumum wage: it’s cheaper than owning slaves.

Open
Thread

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, 3/13/13: Daylight Savings Time, Inc.

Buried in the fine print in Paul Ryan’s proposed budget is a heretofore unnoticed provision to privatize Daylight Savings Time. When asked about it, a spokesperson for the Senator, who asked to remain anonymous, said,

“Daylight Savings Time is another wasteful government program and an unconstitutional infringement of our freedoms. The government has no business regulating our clocks. People have the right to get up early or sleep in.”

“Job creators shouldn’t be hampered with unnecessary regulations governing what time people show up for work, and what time they leave. This governmental intrusion into the workplace makes international commerce all the less competitive for American Businesses.”

“Besides, this program is inherently wasteful. I can’t imagine a more useless government function than trying to save daylight, only to pay it back in full the next fall. The government doesn’t even get interest on all the daylight it saves. And don’t even get me started about solar energy.”

The budget provision would defund all government expenditures aimed at implementing or enforcing Daylight Savings Time. It would then set up a bidding process whereby private industry can bid for Daylight Savings Time, with naming rights going to the highest bidder.

Daylight Savings Time is just the government’s way of letting the common man experience
jet-lag twice a year.

OPEN THREAD TIME
SPRING FORWARD!

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, August 10, 2011: Hump Day: Wisconsin Votes to Reaffirm its Committment to Destroying Unions

Not too long ago, Wisconsin’s Republican Governor Scott Walker, together with a Republican Controlled legislature, took unprecedented steps to destroy public unions in the State. The Unions reacted with massive demonstrations and a recall effort.

Tonight, the good people of Wisconsin voted overwhelmingly to support 4 out of the 6 Republicans targeted for recall, essentially giving a resounding affirmation to the GOP’S efforts to destroy unions across this country.

As of this writing, with all but a couple of precincts reporting, 183,215 Cheeseheads (and I use that term affectionately) voted for the Republican incumbant and 164,542 voted for the Democratic challenger.

So, Wisconsin, enjoy your victory. Kiss unionism good-bye and welcome in a brand new era of Corporate dominance.

This is our open thread. When’s the last time you looked for the Union Label?

Sunday Roast: On people who vote against their own interests…

via Al Stefanelli

One of my facebook friends posted a link to this internet posting, and I think it speaks quite poignantly about why some people may be voting against their own interests, especially those of an older generation.

…I listen to my own father, who has been the victim of layoffs from corporate merger after merger, who’s had his retirement fucked, who’s lost money on wall street – he’s done everything he was ‘supposed’ to do. He joined the military, went to college, had 2 kids, bought the house, invested & saved his money, worked his fucking ass off all his life & he still has squat to show for it. Now as a man well into his 60s he’s feeling the wrath of age discrimination, he’s finding his skills becoming outdated & his pay & benefits today (for the last 10 years) are lower than what they’ve been in the last 30 for him. Living the american life he finds his health failing as he’s a lifetime smoker with a growing waistline.

He’s the prototypical uncultured, red-blooded american male. He slathers his [steak] in ketchup, votes conservatives down the line, and wants the good old days before the women, blacks and fags took over. He’s a flag waver, supports his troops, and fends for himself. He’s always bitching about how much money corporations have to spend [because] of regulation & about how the upper class need a tax cut. Nothing in the world makes him angrier than “socialism” & the so-called welfare state. Working people getting needed services bothers him tremendously because a few extreme token examples get painted as degenerate leeches by the likes of AM Radio & Fox News. ANd then he’ll turn right around & support corporate subsidy for just about anything from corn to oil – b/c it “stimulates jobs” and it “trickles down”.

He refuses to recognize that we as a nation spend more money at the beckoning of corporate America than we even begin to touch what we spend on our own citizenry through what he claims is “welfare” or infrastructure. He’s a working class guy who’s been fucked by the system all his life. He still puts his suit on with a kind of sad pride, every day, & goes to work downtown to phone-monkey job nowadays. He’s doing a job any body could do but he likes to pretend all his education & experience has gotten him somewhere. He’s deluded about what America’s exceptional way of life has brought him personally as he is deluded about what the world is like at large. So he denies global warming, blames the unions, blames teachers & other government workers, blames regulation, blames the EPA & the FDA, blames those struggling to make it in this world, blames the blacks, blames the immigrants, blames everyone & anyone but those at the top.

Sound familiar?  Maybe it’s your Dad or another relative, or the neighbor two doors down, but I think we all know a version of this man.   Continue reading