Fast-food companies can afford to pay a living wage - politics It's a mystery to me why some people have no sympathy for the plight of the fast food workers. Yes, it's a good entry level job for the young, but not so good for adults needing to support a family. Unfortunately the good-paying manufacturing jobs have been shipped overseas and replaced by low-paying service jobs with little to no benefits. Many of these workers hold two or three jobs to make ends meet. Some are at retirement age but cannot afford to retire. In order to improve their lot in life they have organized to press for a living wage. The fast food moguls claim their profit margins are too thin to afford this extravagance. If this is true, how did McDonald's CEO rake in $13.8 million last year? In contrast, how is it In-N-Out starts its employees at $10.50 an hour and provides them medical benefits, paid vacations and a 401(k) plan. In Australia McDonald's pays the equivalent of $14.50 an hour. This raised menu items by a mere 70 cents, not double as had been claimed. So it is feasible to raise salaries. Why are some people so deadset against workers getting a living wage, but do not mind a CEO getting $13.8 million a year? The workers are only asking for a fair share of the pie. I don't think this is too much to ask.
when a government spies on it's citizens the citizens need to revolt! - politics The U.S. government does not deny Edward Snowden's assertions that the National Security Agency is spying on us. Rather, it attempts to sanitize and justify the spying. Big Brother is definitely watching and makes no bones about it. The Snowden leak raises the issue of betrayal ("Is Edward Snowden a Traitor?", Slate Magazine, June 11, 2013), but the question is, who is betraying whom? Governments spy on those whom they fear and distrust. Our government unabashedly spies on us, "we the people." It apparently fears and distrusts us -- millions and millions of us. So security-state agencies and their minions trample our Fourth Amendment protections against unwarranted government intrusion with impunity. How can they do this? Members of Congress, in a hysterical spasm of fear 12 years ago, authorized this violation. Presidents cooperate and collude. Agency heads dissemble and dodge. Yes, betrayal is the issue. The American people have indeed been betrayed, but not by Edward Snowden.
Profiling of another color. Martin was victim of racial profiling - politics In response to the July 2 letter to the Belleville News-Democrat by Frank Austin regarding the shooting of Trayvon Martin, a few points of clarification. First, he asserts Trayvon "brought it upon himself" by "acting suspiciously." What was this alleged suspicious activity? By all accounts Trayvon was only walking home (yes, he lived there with his father) talking to his girlfriend on his cell. This is typical teenage behavior seen every day, everywhere. Why did George Zimmerman deem it suspicious? My conclusion: Trayvon was walking while black. No other suspicious activity has been offered. Second, Austin infers Zimmerman is a "law enforcement officer in performance of his duty." Blatant obfuscation. He is not a law enforcement officer. He is a civilian volunteer on Neighborhood Watch. Keyword is watch. His duty is to observe and report, not trail and confront. He was given a direct order to stay in his vehicle and cease following. He disobeyed a lawful order, thus putting him in violation of the law. Now we have an armed criminal menacing an unarmed 17-year-old. Why shouldn't Trayvon defend himself? Who wouldn't? Third, Zimmerman's intent. According to his own statements he was tired of these (expletive) punks always getting away. Trayvon became a scapegoat for his paranoid-driven rage against hooliganism. To him Trayvon was the stereotypical criminal -- a young, black male wearing a hoodie. He wasn't going to let him get away with any imaginary crime. Trayvon died because of Zimmerman's paranoid racist fantasies.
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