Category Archives: oh my god

Cunningham seeks changes to child labor laws and Burns wants to create a ‘training wage’.

I caught a snippet of a debate on television last night while getting ready for bed (because CNN is the default channel in my house – kill me) about changing the child labor laws. Of course, I had to search the internet to find out what they were yapping about. Missouri State Senator Jane Cunningham has proposed a bill that would “modify” child labor laws. The proposal would eliminate the prohibition of employment of children under age fourteen and repeals the requirement that a child ages fourteen or fifteen has to obtain a work permit in order to be employed. It would remove restrictions on when and how many hours a child may work. It also would remove the authority of the director of the Division of Labor Standards to inspect employers who employ children and to require them to keep certain records for children they employ.

I know the big thing in Washington right now is to bang your drum and chant “shrink the government” but there is a big difference between getting rid of regulations and expenditures that are useless or outdated and getting rid of regulations that keep your fellow Americans from doing something amoral and stupid. Because, let’s face it, humans are greedy, morally bankrupt, horrible, stupid people and the only thing keeping them from doing something disgusting is the fear of being punished. Child labor laws were created to keep young children (single digit ages) out of dangerous factory/manufacturing jobs but there is a big difference between wanting to work at the 7-Eleven and working in a textile factory where your task is to run under the huge cloth looms to untangle a snag in the threads and where failing to run back out quickly enough would result in your death. I agree that laws should reflect our time but doing away with the law completely is just as detrimental.

Jane Cunningham says that “parents should be in charge, deciding on the work ethic of their children,” which is so ignorant that it makes me cringe. Removing the regulations on how long and when a child can work is just asking for trouble. Parents, and I use that term loosely in some cases, are so wrapped up in their own lives that they don’t notice what their child is doing while other parents simply will not care. A similar bill in Maine proposed by David Burns takes the idiocy a step further, by establishing a “training wage” for new workers 20 years old or younger. It would reduce the minimum wage from $7.50 an hour to $5.62 an hour for the first 90 days of employment. What this will result in, is young workers being fired after the 90 day period is over and a new teen worker being brought in at the reduced wage continually. You are working under the premise that Americans are ethical, decent people that will treat their fellow humans with respect, even a teen, but reality is that they are not. You are deluding yourself if you think otherwise.

The loss of fingers, limbs, and even death was the result of little children working in factories. They were employed because their small fingers and arms could fit into the gaps of machinery where tools and adults couldn’t. Children were often maimed or crushed doing this.

Missouri Lawmaker Seeks to “Modify” Child Labor Laws – Huffington Post

Cunningham defends proposal to eliminate many child labor law restrictions -STL Beacon

Teen “training wage” bill draws opposition – Maine Bangor Daily News

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The dangers of ice and snow even after the storm has passed. (OR: Clean your cars off properly, you idiots.)

The United States has been seeing a lot of snow this winter. The east coast will probably have snow on the ground in June and I probably won’t be seeing my front yard until March. The piles of snow around my neighborhood from the snowplows reach to my shoulders. Needless to say, it’s a lot of snow. The last snow fall was four days ago, early Saturday, and we got a few inches out of it. I’m a little sick of having to shovel my driveway but at least I park my car in a garage.

I know others aren’t so lucky and park outside. I’m not looking forward to having to clean off my car next winter after I’ve moved out. But people’s efforts to clean off their cars this winter have horrified me. Or should I say their lack of effort. On Wednesday of last week, just after the big ice and snow storm, I saw a van driving along that hadn’t cleaned off the back window. It was still covered in white stuff. Who in their right mind would think it was okay to drive a vehicle like that? I saw other cars that had merely cleared a circle in the window and left it like that.

But the most dangerous idiots I see are the people who don’t bother to clean off the tops of their vehicles. Even today I was driving back across the Missouri River from going out to lunch and a sheet of ice and snow from a car several lanes over suddenly lost its battle against gravity and flew up into the air. Luckily, nobody was near that car and the sheet of ice broke apart harmlessly on the road. Days after the last snow fall and it was just waiting to come flying off. After a storm in January I was driving behind an SUV and could see it had a cap of snow still on its roof. I left a lot of space between us but it was rush hour and someone pulled into the space between us. The snow finally gave away a few miles later but we weren’t going very fast at the time and it fell almost straight down. It landed between the SUV and the car instead of right on top of the car’s hood if they had been any closer.

During winter I won’t get anywhere near a truck because I don’t know where that truck might have come from where it was snowing. More than once some person has pulled into the space I’m leaving between me and a truck and gotten a face full of snow and ice that flew off the top, even when it hadn’t been snowing in our area. I regularly see chunks of ice and snow lying all over the highways and know it probably came from the roof of some truck. There was a news story last night about some ice and snow flying off of a bus and going through the windshield of the car behind it. I know better than to get near a truck or other vehicles I can see still have snow on its roof. It’s just asking for trouble.

The moral of this little winter nightmare? Don’t be an idiot and assume everyone else around you is, in fact, an idiot.

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Outrage over Sarah Palin’s Facebook video. (Why is she allowed a computer? It’s like giving matches to a three-year-old.)

Every time Sarah Palin opens her mouth she says something stupid. Earlier today she posted an almost 8 minute video on her Facebook page accusing the media of spreading hate and anger after the deadly Arizona shooting this weekend. Of course, she said something stupid while she was at it. Critics blasted Palin for the use of the term “blood libel” during the video.

Quote: “But, especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.”

The term “blood libel” is the false allegation that Jews kill non-Jews, especially Christian children, to acquire blood for the Passover or other Jewish rituals. It’s been used in other contexts and Palin’s own meaning is not completely clear. (What’s not clear? She means that the media shouldn’t spread the falsehood that Republicans wish to destroy the Democrats so that they can rule the government. That the government is not out to kill each other. True, it’s a rather offensive and archaic term but I understand the meaning.)

The fact of the matter is that Palin has fallen into a position of ridicule and nothing that comes out of her mouth will ever be taken seriously. (You know she lost McCain the election.) Because of this, critics will focus on the stupid things she says and not on the part of her video I agree with. Quoting former President Ronald Reagan as saying that “we must reject the idea that every time a law is broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker.” It drives me bonkers when someone commits a crime and we feel the need to lessen the blow by stating that the person was a product of their society or was mentally ill. Of course they were mentally ill, completely balanced people would be able to recognize the consequences of their actions and not commit the crime.

We’ve doped ourselves into thinking it really isn’t the criminal’s fault that they committed a crime, its society’s fault. As Reagan said, “It’s time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.” You choose to commit the crime; nobody took away your freewill. Saying that the vicious debates and slander in government is responsible for Jared Loughner’s shooting spree is placing the blame outside of the person. It’s like saying violent video games cause teens to commit crimes. It’s still the teen’s choice to commit the crime, they are not unaware of the consequences of their actions. Outside influences does not change the fact that a person must make the choice to commit the crime.

Sarah Palin may be an idiot but she’s right that we shouldn’t redirect the blame away from the criminal.

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Thank you!

You are all making me blush! Thank you for the comments and the emails about my blog and I’m overjoyed that you like it. Thank you so much!

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The end of the world is coming! On May 21, 2011?

The world is going to end in about five months. According to a movement of Christians loosely connected by radio broadcasts and the internet (All praise of World Wide Web, damn it!), they say the world shall end on May 21, 2011. Roughly about five months from now. People who believe this interpretation of the Bible have been getting their message out with billboards and bus stop benches. Marie Exley, a 32-year-old Army veteran, has organized traveling columns of RVs carrying the message from city to city. Harold Camping, the leader of an independent Christian ministry in Oakland, California, is the man who calculated the May 21 date based on his reading of the Bible.

End of Days in May? Believers enter final stretch. – MSN

Wait, I thought the end of the world was supposed to be 2012? I thought the Mayan calendar ended in 2012 and the world would just stop revolving like somebody flicked a switch? (This isn’t true. The Maya calendar doesn’t end on December 21, 2012 like some say. But the date was significant to the Maya. “It’s the time when the largest grand cycle in the Mayan calendar – 1,872,000 days or 5,125.37 years – overturns and a new cycle begins,” said Anthony Aveni, a Maya expert and archaeoastronomer at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. The Maya kept time on a scale few other cultures have considered.)

There has been many dates selected for the end of the world and, as you can see by the fact you are reading this now, the world has yet to end. Despite our best efforts to kill ourselves. Recently there was a TV program put out by National Geographic called Aftermath: Population Zero where we are shown what would happen to Earth if we just disappeared. All of our towering skyscrapers and concrete roads would slowly erode and be taken over by nature. New York would be a forest and Las Vegas would return to the desert. After 500 years of humans being gone, only our most hardy and lasting structures would still survive. After a 1,000 years of our absence even those, the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower, would crumble into ruin.

So, if a whole bunch of people end up disappearing on May 21, 2011, taken up in the Rapture, then we can worry. But since Harold Camping’s first prediction of Jesus Christ’s return in 1994 didn’t come true, I wouldn’t be holding my breath that he’s right this time.

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That giggling you hear is a sign of insanity, not amusement.

Christmas has come and gone and it was just another day for me. My brother accepted an invitation from a friend in Florida to visit and has been down there ever since last Wednesday. When he returns in the middle of this week, we’ll go out to dinner on New Year’s Day. Because the 2010 Yule dinner was on the Saturday before Christmas, I didn’t have time to go out to dinner then. So, it all got postponed until we could all get together again. I got my Christmas present, my new laptop, at the end of October, so there were no presents under the tree. A tree I only put up so that Dan could have a backdrop to shoot his pictures against when he suckered me into sitting on a stool for two hours so he could fuck with his lights and ‘practice’. I wouldn’t have bothered otherwise. We had pork cutlets and baked potatoes for Christmas dinner.

I have been ill since last Tuesday. Sore throat and congestion. And with both parents in the house over Christmas, I’ve been living in a cloud of cigarette smoke for the past four days. Mom smokes like a chimney when she’s alone and if you add Dad to the mix that’s just another person contributing to the haze and Mom always smokes more when Dad is around. (Why did you marry each other?) Come this morning, I was glad to go back to work just to be able to fucking breathe! I can’t wait for May. No matter what happens with my jaw and TMD / TMJ in the next few months, I have to get out of there. It’s getting unbearable. I can’t stand being in that damn house.

On top of that, my Dad got a home atomizer so he could do his own breath treatments instead of waiting until he was so sick he couldn’t function and going to the doctor to have them done. This basically breaks apart the crap in his lungs and makes him cough it up. However, he somehow thinks it is appropriate to ask his daughter for ‘a small favor’ and hand me the coffee cup he’s been spitting into with instruction to flush it down the toilet. Oh, and “don’t look at it, it’s not pretty”. What part of your crazy brain is telling you that that is okay? That’s disgusting and you’re an asshole.

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You work with 12 year olds cleverly disguised as responsible adults and don’t you forget it.

This is why you don’t go on long vacations from work during the holidays. But it’s okay, this is Ryan’s cubicle. Ryan is a power mad asshole, so he deserves it.

I especially like the shredded paper “snow”.

They even wrapped the waste basket.

Ho ho bloody ho, you fucker.

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I’m giving you the bullshit to your sanctimonious. How I hate the holidays.

By now, you’ve gotten the impression that I am neither a very nice or very understanding person. Most of the world is just there to irritate me and if I had a big red button to push I wouldn’t even hesitate. It would be pushed like whoa and don’t you forget it. As such, it should be no surprise that I hate the holidays. Why? Besides the fact that both Thanksgiving and Christmas are nothing more than society sanctioned reasons to push one’s self deeper into debt, it is also when most people suddenly get the urge to pretend. Usually with pie.

Let me explain. For Thanksgiving you pretend that you don’t mind spending $20-$30 on a turkey. You pretend you like to spend all day in the kitchen or camped out on the sofa being forced to watch endless football because, really, it’s the only thing on. You pretend that having your uncle spill soda on your couch is fine and that your cousin’s young son pulling on your cat’s tail doesn’t make you want to toss the little brat off the deck. You pretend you like your aunt’s green bean casserole and you pretend that it doesn’t bother you when some other family member tracks muddy footprints across the rug. Again.

Then, during Christmas, you pretend to suddenly like a whole bunch of people that really drive you nuts and you pretend that spending even more money to buy those idiots gifts doesn’t make your stomach flip. At the mall you pretend that you are enjoying yourself in the crowds and that the fourth time Jingle Bells plays over the speakers doesn’t make your eye twitch. You pretend that the Santa mug your sibling gave you is really useless and cute and then you pretend that hearing the children demand a certain toy for the whatever time (you’ve lost count) isn’t wearing your patience down to a sliver. Then it’s another $20-$30 for the ham and more people in your house. Somebody breaks a dish this time and you pretend you don’t want to beat the fucker black and blue.

The holidays are just one long, endless exercise in pretending. Of the likes you haven’t practiced since you were six years old. And you’ve gotten good at it too. You didn’t yell, you didn’t curse, and you think no blood was spilt. Although it was a near thing at some moments. But the fact of the matter is that come New Year’s Eve, all you want to do is get drunk and have it be over with. In the new year you can go back to not talking to your extended relatives and ignoring your parents. There is no more shopping and no more Rudolph the Red Noses Reindeer playing in endless loops. All is right in your world and you can stop pretending. Ho ho bloody ho.

I feel the same way, kid.

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Atheist billboard in NYC and the Catholic billboard response. The reason for the season and the religious aspect of Christmas.

Ah, December. We just came down from the turkey high and now it’s time to start shopping and start thinking about Christmas. Right? Yeah, I hate it too. You’re not a humbug and a lot of other people think just like you about the holiday season. As both a holiday hater and a non-Christian person, this story just tickles me pink.

Atheist ad campaigns stir the pot during holiday season –Yahoo! News

We’ve all seen religious ads on billboards while driving down the road. Some are humors, others are more serious. Well, in New York City just outside the Lincoln Tunnel are two ads dueling it out for drivers’ attention. One ad, put up by the American Atheists, announces that the story of Christmas is a myth. You know, the whole Three Wise Men and Star of Bethlehem guiding the way to the manger where little baby Jesus lay? You were probably a camel or sheep in third grade because of it. The other ad was posted by the Catholic League and proclaims the story of Jesus to be real. “You know it’s real,” reads the Catholic billboard, “This season, celebrate Jesus.”

As a Pagan, I can tell you that the reason for the season is in fact the rebirth of the God and the return of the sun. On the winter solstice the days begin to get longer, signifying the return of the male deity and the solar aspect of the divine. Scholars now argue that Joseph and Mary would probably never have traveled in the winter months and that Jesus was most likely born in the spring. “Christmas” and the celebration of the birth of Jesus were likely moved to December to supersede the Pagan celebration of the winter solstice. Really, the celebration of Christmas as we would recognize it didn’t gain in popularity until the Victorian times in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The Christmas tree, the giving of gifts and even Santa Claus/Father Christmas are relatively new concepts. (In the Middle Ages, you couldn’t throw a rock without hitting some sort of religious holiday. During that time, Epiphany overshadowed Christmas. Epiphany is celebrated in January and focuses more on the visit of the magi and Jesus’s baptism in the Jordan River.)

Epiphany (holiday)
Christmas (holiday)

The amount of people in America who say they are atheists has grown to 15 percent over the past 20 years. Atheist organizations have taken to the same means of marketing as other religions, including billboards and TV commercials. This is not always met with grace and vandalism of the billboards and announcements is common. In June a billboard displayed by a local atheist organization in North Carolina proclaiming “One Nation Indivisible”, as the Pledge of Allegiance read before the 1954 insertion of the words “under God”, was defaced when a vandal spray painted the two words over the sign. There are many more reports of such billboards and signs also being vandalized.

I find the comments on this post very interesting. Some of them support the right of any group to advertise and speak their message, as supported by our First Amendment. Yeah, that little thing we like to call the Bill of Rights. Others are appalled that the billboards are up during the holiday season and even that they were allowed to be erected at all. Nothing irritates me more than someone telling someone else what to do or how to think. The signs have a right to be displayed with any message they wish. If you are insulted that there are Atheist billboards up during the Christmas season than I get to be insulted by the millions of Merry Christmas signs and religious TV commercials I get bombarded by during the end of the year. But I also know that thinking like that is stupid, absurd, and immature. What should it matter what I am thinking or what I believe if it has nothing to do with you? Why are you so threatened by a billboard?

But the best, the absolute best, comments on this article are those who state they are not the type of Christian to press their beliefs on others nor do they hate Atheists (or Gays or Muslims or Hindus or whatever the poster choose to write to make their point) and say they pray for everyone. People, as a Pagan, I can tell you that most of us just want to be left alone and that’s good enough. But I also can tell you that we want you to stop thinking we need to be saved by the Christian faith. The word ‘hypocrite’ comes to mind.

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Thanksgiving at a drug store and how I hope you all burn your houses down. Second holiday post.

Thanksgiving doesn’t have a lot of stuff attached to it. It’s mostly just food based. We had a few paper turkeys and things in the store but otherwise that was it. Walgreens does not close for holidays; any holiday. So, we were open on Thanksgiving Day and I was working because I have no family and said I would. Because I’m an idiot.

We ran out of eggs by 11am and 2% milk by noon. Things just went downhill from there. Everybody that came in needed some sort of dairy product or flour or sugar. We were the only store with food stuffs open, not counting some of the gas stations. And everybody needed just a little extra of something. By 2pm we were out of butter. The manager commented that this was as busy as she’d ever seen it on a Thanksgiving while both of the front registers were going non-stop. People began to get pissy as we ran out of stuff or didn’t have exactly what they wanted. We still had the off brand of sugar but not the name brand. My reassurances that it was the same thing did not seem to help.

Things trickled to a stop about 3:30pm. We figured that people had mostly eaten by then and were in the process of watching football. Nikki and I stared at each other from the opposite cash register. “I need to pee so badly,” I said. Nikki giggled. “I haven’t eaten anything yet today,” she admitted. I think lunch that day were a few Nutcracker Snickers from the seasonal aisle and soda from the cold boxes.

The Monday after Thanksgiving, the rest of the Christmas stuff was hauled from the back room. The Christmas aisle was not a bad as the Halloween stuff. Instead, the children’s attention turned to the toy aisle. It’s only November and already I heard cries of “Mommy! Mommy! I want that for Christmas!” Seriously, kid, Walgreens is not the best place to be demanding toys. At least go to Walmart or something. Everything Walgreens sells is cheap and made in some place I’ve never heard of. (No, not China. Or Taiwan. I know those places. Of course I’ve heard of Japan! You know what? Shut up.)

The real joy of the Christmas season is when a customer managed to tip something over on their heads. You see, the tubes of wrapping paper and the bags of bows were in large boxes with the fronts cut out. Inevitably, someone would not get the concept that the wrapping paper tubes had to be lifted out and would just yank the tubes forward. This would send the whole box crashing over their heads. This was amusing the first half dozen times someone did it. After that the wails and threats of being sued just got annoying. Then we’d get the customers who’d riffle through everything to find the one package they wanted. They would take the entire stack of gifts tags off their hook and then select the package they wanted out of that stack. Then they’d just leave the stack on a nearby shelf or place them on the bottom riser. No attempt was made to try and hang them back up. That was fun.

Once again, I must ask that if you are going to steal candy by opening it in the store to please just eat the whole thing. I can’t tell you how gross it is to find chocolate Santa and reindeer with their heads bitten off shoved behind the Christmas lights. I have fewer problems finding the empty wrapper than I do finding the half eaten candy. Just eat it.

But that was just the weeks leading up to Christmas. The infamous one day Christmas sale and Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are much, much worse.

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