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Rabbit Proof Fence

  • Posted on December 29, 2010 at 2:47 pm

My son gave me “Roku” for Christmas.  It allows me to get Netflix, Amazon and other movie/TV services on my television.  I love it because I can watch movies I might not otherwise get to see.  Last night I watched “Rabbit Proof” Fence which is an Australian movie.  I must confess I don’t know a lot about Australian history, so this was a very interesting movie for me to see.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0252444/

It was both horrific and inspirational and it was based on a true story.  Young ‘caste” children were taken from their families and put in orphanages.  Caste meant they were of mixed race between Whites and the Aborigines.  The policy was extremely racist.  If a child was “white enough”, they would send the child on to be educated.  If they were not white enough their life would be one of domestic service.  The story centers around three little girls and their struggle to get back home.  It’s an amazing journey and well worth watching.  This piece on cultural survival is a really interesting read.

http://www.culturalsurvival.org/australia?gclid=CO3GgLONkqYCFQPsKgodJTA5nA

The movie just reinforced for me the struggle that people of color have always had with white people that have taken over their lands and forced them into a submissive state.  It should not shock me that Australia, which was also settled by white Europeans much like our country, created this racist agenda.  However, it is shocking to think that this treatment lasted right up until the nineteen seventies.

I find this quote from Wikipedia very interesting:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Australia

At the same time, some settlers were quite aware they were usurping the Aborigines place in Australia. In 1845, settler Charles Griffiths sought to justify this, writing; “The question comes to this; which has the better right – the savage, born in a country, which he runs over but can scarcely be said to occupy…or the civilized man, who comes to introduce into this…unproductive country, the industry which supports life.”[23] In expressing this view, Griffiths was probably merely echoing opinions widely held by other colonists in Australia, South Africa, parts of South America and the United States.

This quote could be used by any corporate country today that is trying to impose its “rights” upon an endangered people.  Ultimately money talks and those that have it will win.  Isn’t this what we as Americans do?  We go to other countries pretty much to colonize them to do our will.  I’m just putting this in words that are easy to understand, so don’t be shocked by what I say.  I heard a Coca Cola executive talking the other day.  He said they have business in over 200 countries.  I was shocked because I didn’t know there were that many countries.  Looking it up, there might not be that many recognized countries and maybe he misspoke.  http://www.worldatlas.com/nations.htm

However, the Coca-Cola Company has a history of violence against unions.  It is interesting to see where they have been accused of their misdeeds.  Many of these countries are where people of color are the dominant race.  I just find all of this interesting especially after watching this Australian movie.  http://killercoke.org/index.php

It makes me wonder about many of our corporations that have moved their business interests out of the country in search of higher profits.  This global effort seems to be creating a world of the super rich and the super poor.  When I saw this clip of Prince Charles and his wife caught in the middle of a riot, it got me thinking.  If you listen carefully you will hear someone scream, “Off with their heads.” It’s at the very end of the video and other videos I watched have been bleeped out.  The ruling classes of wealth better wise up or they may end up much like the Marie Antoinette!

People of color and the poor and middle classes are getting fed up with a system that allows such a juxtaposition of extreme wealth and extreme poverty to exist.  When is enough, enough?  It never seems like the wealthy can ever have enough.  They always seem to want more.

The Jon Stewart and Monty Woolley Connection, Just Being Funny Here

  • Posted on December 26, 2010 at 12:50 pm

The other day I had a big laugh when I caught part of a movie called, The Man Who Came to Dinner.  I kept looking at the main character because he reminded me of Jon Stewart when he had his beard.  I know most people didn’t care for Jon’s beard and I was thinking maybe Jon needed to grow the funny moustache that Monty had to go with it.

Monty Woolley played the main character, Sheridan Whiteside, in the movie.  He’s a man that falls down on the ice and ends up taking residence in the home owners place for the next six months.  He’s insufferable and does everything he can to control everything in everyone’s life.  As I was watching the movie, I kept thinking how much he reminded me of Stewart from some of his strange intonations right down to his looks.

Monty Woolly lived from 1888 until 1963 and he was gay so I hardly think he has any connection to Jon Stewart.  The connection is only in my mind.  I read that Monty was affectionately nicknamed “the Beard” which is hilarious because nobody liked Jon Stewart’s beard.  I would love to know if anyone else sees what I see or if I am alone on this one.

Of course they are no relation and I’m probably the only one that sees a connection, but that’s the way my crazy brain works.  You can check this out for yourself and maybe have a laugh or maybe you will think my brain just works in mysterious ways.  Either way, I have had my fun comparing these two.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fMcWKXVkQU

The trailer can be seen here:

My All Time Favorite Movies

  • Posted on December 24, 2010 at 11:12 pm

Here it is almost Christmas and this week has been great for catching those old Christmas movies on TV.  It has me thinking about my favorite all time movies.  I think it is interesting that my all time favorite movies are so old.  I was born in 1955 but it seems like my most memorable movies are those that I watched in my youth.  As my son was growing up we watched a lot of movies together and we tended to go for the action flicks.  I loved them all, but they never stuck with me.  I could watch one and then watch it two years later and not remember that I had already seen it until half way into the movie. 

The movies that have really stuck with me are the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the Bad Seed, It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, The Birds, Psycho and Gone with the Wind.  I also love catching Shirley Temple movies even if she grew up to become a staunch Republican!  My favorite Shirley Temple movie was the Little Princess.  There is only one modern movie that really shines for me and that is the Shawshank Redemption.  My favorite kid movie is most definitely the Wizard of Oz..  One of my all time favorite funny movies is Some Like it Hot.  I seem to have come out with my top ten all time favorite movies.  I know I skipped a lot of good movies like the Godfather but these are the movies that I always seem to remember which seems to be a rather big feat for my old brain!  Don’t get me wrong, I loved the Godfather but these other movies really stayed with me.

I’ll never forget the suspense of Psycho or those scary birds in the Birds.  Alfred Hitchcock was a master at creating that spine tingling suspense that keeps you on the edge of your seat.  I didn’t need blood and gore to be scared.  When I watched the Invasion of the body snatchers I remember feeling the mounting terror.  There is nothing like that original movie.  Miracle on 34th Street always made me believe in miracles and of course what kind of person wouldn’t believe that Kris Kringle was Santa Claus?  It’s a Wonderful Life always brings me back to the real meaning of Christmas, so what could be better than that?

When I was growing up I loved watching movies with Marilyn Monroe because I thought she was so beautiful.  However, the movie that stuck with me was Some Like it Hot.  Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Marilyn were just so funny together.

In the Bad Seed I saw a child that frankly scared me.  I remember that movie so well because of how evil she was.  I had never known evil, but if it had a face I didn’t think it could possibly be a blonde haired little girl.  It was an odd thing to see that juxtaposition of something most people see as good being so bad!

The Shawshank Redemption is one of those movies that you just want to cheer after because of the build up throughout the movie and the final outcome.

There is one movie that deserves a mention by me because I remember it as being a real standout movie and it’s the best I’ve ever seen Tom Cruise act.  I loved Born on the Fourth of July.  I thought he deserved an Oscar for that one.

If you are too young to have seen some of these movies, check them out.  I mean the original movies, not some crazy remake.  While I’ve been writing this, I have been watching It’s a Wonderful Life in black and white.  I think it’s great that NBC put up the black and white version.  There is nothing like seeing cold, insensitive, greedy Mr. Potter in black and white because in this movie you can really see the symbolism of the black and white.  It is ever clear how inhumane some people can be but good triumphs over evil and that is a lasting message.  At Christmas time we need to all remember George’s guardian angel, Clarence, and his final message, “Remember, no man is a failure who has friends.”  Merry Christmas to all.

Meet John Doe

  • Posted on December 23, 2010 at 11:10 pm

I caught an old movie tonight that is well worth sharing my thoughts on.  The movie is “Meet John Doe” made in 1941 and directed by Frank Capra.  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0033891/

This is a classic movie showcasing the talents of Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck.  Barbara plays Ann Mitchell a reporter that just lost her job.  She cooks up a letter to the editor that causes quite a calamity.  She creates a figure called John Doe that is down on his luck, out of work and ready to jump off city hall.  All the politicians are up in arms as they are being bombarded with calls from people worrying about John Doe.  She works a deal with her old boss and he hires her back.  They decide to find some dope to play the part of John Doe so they can milk this story for all it’s worth.

In walks Gary Cooper who is Long John Willoughby a used up pitcher for some ball team.  Ann thinks he’s the perfect man to play John Doe because he has his all American good looks and he’s a ball player to boot!  Ann coaches him and he protests the lack of decency in the way people are treating each other.  As all this goes on the circulation for the newspapers grows and grows.  Ann approaches D.B. Norton, the rich new owner of the paper and an oil tycoon to push this John Doe idea even more and get him on the radio.  D.B. Norton and Ann cook up a plan together.  She wants money and he wants something much bigger which he doesn’t exactly let Ann know about.

On the radio Ann has John say some things laced with hope and based on the advice of her mother, not gloom and doom.  She reaches into the diary of her dead father which is full of wisdom and things her mother says people need to hear today.  This is a quote from the speech, “The character of a country is the sum total of the character of its little punks!”  John asks people to step up and help each other.  He wants them to create a tidal wave of good will.  He tells every John Doe, you know all the little guys, to wake up because they are the hope of the world!

After being on the radio, John is getting a bit antsy and wants to get back to playing ball.  He’s all set to go when a group of people approach him and they tell him how wonderful he is because they have all reached out to their neighbors.  Times are tough and people are out of work but these people have pulled together to help each other and they have formed a club of sorts called the John Doe Club!  John Doe is a man created to give up his life for a principle.  The John Doe Clubs don’t allow politicians to belong to them because as they say “You know how politicians are.”

John Doe turns into a full fledged movement that spans the whole country.  Finally it culminates into a big convention where John is going to give a big speech.  He never reads them ahead of time and he has really come to believe the things he’s been saying.  Just before the convention he discovers the real purpose for all of this.  It was to create a movement such as a third party and use John to nominate D. B. Norton for the presidency of the United States.  I’m not going to tell you quite everything that happens in this story but boy did I love the politics of the people mixed up with the politics of the wealthy.

Throughout this movie you get that feeling that everyone is being used by the wealthy D.B. Norton.  He runs the show and he even runs the police.  He controls the press as well and isn’t it interesting when we have other rich people controlling the press today.  So much of this John Doe movement reminded me of Fox News and the strange connection with the Tea Party movement.  It also reminded me of the John Edwards movement and even Barack Obama’s “change” movement.

When I was part of the John Edwards movement the people that posted online were all about the little people and poverty and doing something constructive to help.  Even after John quit the race a group still stayed formed called the “John Edwards Movement Continues”.  We didn’t want to stop the principles of the movement.  Of course the messenger was flawed and the movement died but there are still people out there that believe in the principles of what Edward’s was saying.  These movements do tend to start with the little guy that is looking for something good to happen in the world.  What I learned is politicians are flawed and little guys do get used.

Right now many are feeling let down by the Obama presidency.  I wrote a post awhile ago called, “Throw Them a Bone Once in Awhile.” In that piece I referred to the “talk” about Hillary trading places with Biden.  To me it is obvious that President Obama has just thrown out that proverbial bone.  With the current legislation we are all supposed to be dancing in the streets.  He gave the wealthy the lion’s share but he threw the rest of us a bone.  That’s supposed to keep us quiet for awhile.  The press is busy telling us how great Obama is right now, working hard to build his numbers.  Chief among them is Chris Matthews who still has some kind of strange fetish for all things Obama!  I’ll hold out on the dancing until after March 4th when we see what they are going to do with the budget.  I think something has to give and since it isn’t going to come from the wealthy, then it’s going to have to come from everyone else, you know the “John Doe” people.  Once again the wealthy control the little guys just like D. B. Norton had his finger in every pie to control John Doe and that movement.

I personally wouldn’t mind if we all started a John Doe movement but of course we’d have to not let any politicians get their hands on the movement.  I see many people would like a third party that could really go somewhere, so we wouldn’t feel like we are throwing a vote away voting for someone other than a Democrat or a Republican.  I’d love to see that happen and I’d love some kind of real movement by the people and I don’t mean the Tea Party crowd that seems to be funded by some rich, conservative benefactors.  If anything real is going to get done in this country, I personally think it has to develop form the people and we cannot put our hopes on any one person because people are flawed.

If you have the time, watch this movie.  I loved it!  You can watch the black and white version here.  I caught a colorized version on TV but watched it again here.

http://www.archive.org/details/meet_john_doe

Tear Down This Wall between Patriotism and Party

  • Posted on December 21, 2010 at 11:58 pm

Where are our leaders on this issue?  I have seen the two senators, Gillibrand and Schumer from New York pushing for the first responders and other New York politicians like Mayor Bloomberg and Rep. Nadler.  However, I haven’t heard President Obama pushing for this issue.  Today I read that Robert Gibbs is trying to get John Stewart to help out.  Are you kidding me?  Why can’t President Obama come out and make a speech that drives this issue?  This to me is a simple issue.  If you can pass tax cuts for the millionaire’s club, then you should be able to get the money needed to take care of the first responders from 9/11.

It is surprising who is actually taking the lead on this issue.  In the press it looks like Shep Smith from believe it or not, Fox News!

Here is Shep calling out the Republicans earlier on this issue:

“We called a lot of Republicans today who are in office at the moment,” he said on Monday. “These are the ones who told us ‘no’: Senators Alexander, Barrasso, Cornyn, Crapo, DeMint, Enzi, Grassley, Kyl, McConnell, Sessions, Baucus, Gregg, and Inhofe. No response from Bunning, Coburn, Ensign, Graham, Hatch, and McCain.”

“Why does no one want to talk about this?” he continued.

Speaking of Coburn why doesn’t he care about sick people?

Senator Coburn has vowed to tie this up. You have to wonder why?

Senator Coburn:

He tells Politico that he “wouldn’t allow the bill to move quickly” due to “problems with parts of the bill and the process Democrats are employing” to pass it.
This was taped in September before the election.  I’m sure they thought this would easily pass.  It’s well worth watching this video.  It should give everyone a good idea of what is going on with the first responders.  It shows what they were facing and showcases individuals so you can see what they are going through.  No one wants to foot this bill.  No one wants to take responsibility for the illnesses.  In the nine years that have followed 9/11 900 people have died from diseases that are obviously related to 9/11 unless you are the police department, fire department or an insurance company.

Nine Years After 9/11, 900 Responders Dead

If you need more convincing about this issue, watch this and think about what we should be doing for these people.

What can we do?  How about contacting the senators that are skipping out on this one.  Maybe Senator Coburn’s office.  Do what you can but do something.

Contact your senator here.

This is the reason for the season.  Come on Republicans; ask yourself what would Jesus do?  After every speech politicians proclaim, “God bless America!”  Maybe this time they ought to mean it and step up and do the right thing.  I’m tired of flag pin wearing hypocrites that continue to parade themselves out as caring individuals when all they really seem to care about is their next election and getting more money for their cronies.  It’s time to step up and do the right thing!

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20026317-503544.html


National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day

  • Posted on December 21, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Don't forget the homeless this holiday season.

So today I’m finally getting up my Christmas tree and watching my crazy cat get excited about it.  Of course being the kind of person I am, I started thinking about those homeless people that don’t have a tree or even a home to feel warm and safe in.  I was wondering about the statistics and decided to Google it.  Low and behold I find out that this is National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day.  It seems that this day was set aside to honor the homeless because it is the beginning of winter and the longest night of the year.

http://www.nationalhomeless.org/

http://www.bloggersunite.org/event/national-homeless-persons-memorial-day

Wow, 770,000 homeless kids are enrolled in public education.  As a teacher I find that figure is stunning.  I know in my own classroom I see more and more of a divide between those that have what they need and those that just don’t.   It seems there is a resolution to combat homelessness.  It passed the House on December 2nd, but to my knowledge, not the Senate.  That’s not really surprising is it?  http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=hc111-325

Here are the sponsor s and more.   http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=hc111-325

I’m just posting this here to hopefully make people more aware of the need in our country to address the issue of poverty, the homeless, jobs, hope and hopelessness.  We all go shopping for Christmas presents and feel like we’ve done something when we put a couple bucks in the Salvation Army pail, but something more needs to be done to address the issue of the homeless.  The answer isn’t “out of sight, out of mind” either.  We must step up and help in any way we can the least among us.  If Congress can step up and help the millionaire’s club, they should be able to do more to help those that are suffering this holiday season and wondering where they will lay their head tonight and sleep.

If you can help out this season, do so.  If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask!  If  you are a blogger, spread the word!

The Obama Legacy

  • Posted on December 20, 2010 at 11:50 pm

With the recent passing of the extension of the “Bush” tax cuts, I’ve been thinking a lot about the Obama presidency and how it will be remembered in history.  I was thinking that the first “black” president is mostly going to be remembered for being the president that lived in the shadow of President George Walker Bush and the continuation of the Bush presidency.  As much as President Obama used to talk about “change you can believe in” the truth is not much has really changed.  We have heard about these tax cuts for years.  The Democrats knew years ago that the deadline for these cuts was looming.  However, they have failed to grasp that fierce “urgency of now”.  President Obama in seeking to be more like his predecessor has ended up diminishing his own presidency.

Many people may be thinking that the American people wanted these tax cuts because we have been indoctrinated with this information for the past couple of weeks.  We have all heard about the polls and how people are for the tax cuts.  I am doubtful that most people even understand what is in the tax cut deal.  They probably don’t know that much about it.  They just may be happy that they got “their cut”.  I don’t know, nor do I presume to understand the masses.  I just know that there is a breaking point and kicking that can down the road means something else is going to have to go soon.  The budget is good until March but rest assured something will have to give soon and I suspect it won’t be good for the little guy.

In my mind, President Obama has become that “token” black president that ends up being just another “Yes” man to the whims of the wealthy and the corporations.  Was he chosen just because he was black?  Was that to appease those of us that clamor for social justice?  Is this what one of my brother’s meant when he said Obama was “black enough”?  I never really understood what that meant.  I am so disappointed in the direction that our country continues to be going that I am dumbfounded as to how this “historic” presidency has become nothing more than another tribute to the wealthy and corporate America, much like the last presidency.

Here is what Obama said about change during the election:

“We can’t be fooled because John McCain – I’ve been talking about change since we started this campaign- some of you were involved. I talked about change when we were up, I talked about change when were down,” Obama told the crowd of 1,700, “But now suddenly John McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin, they’re out there saying ‘we’re for change.’ ‘We’re for change too.’  Well I’m glad that they now agree with me but we’ve got to change America.” But let’s be absolutely clear about what change means – change isn’t just a word.”

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/09/obamas-change-s.html

Change isn’t just a word.  Frankly, I don’t see any real change.  During the campaign his motto was “Change we can believe in.”  In September of 2008 he changed that motto to “Change we need.”

He talked about more of the same versus change.  It’s our turn he said.  Barack said “Change is coming to America.”  He talks to these Iowans with such platitudes about what change is and how it is coming to America but I feel like most people probably now think all they got from his election was some crappy t-shirt.

Here is Obama on passing the tax cut bill:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NiBh7tr9bU

When Bush was president he squandered the good will of the people after September 11th.  We all were one and the whole world was with us.  Much could have been done at that time to bring our country together and do some good but instead that good will was squandered.  We went to war in Afghanistan and ultimately Iraq on borrowed money.  We didn’t sacrifice a thing.  We went on a proverbial drunken spree while the corporations ran amuck through our money and pilfered goods left and right.  No bid contracts were given to corporations like Halliburton, Dick Cheney’s love interest.  Money was flowing from each of our pockets into the deep pockets of corrupt corporations that didn’t care so much about the care of the soldiers as they did about their bottom line, the money that they could make off the war and recently Congress cannot even see to it that the first responders from 911 who have given so much are taken care of.  They would rather pass tax cuts for millionaires than pass anything for the people that really sweat to save and build this country!

Now in walks Obama ready to continue all of the insane policies of the Bush presidency.  From the two unfunded wars to Guantanamo, torture and even now for the tax cuts.  We have all been told that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.  These tax cuts haven’t created jobs.  We have lost jobs under those Bush years.  Some may think about their own tax cut and think it can be justified, just for that reason.  I have this feeling that we will all suffer greatly for the lack of will that we have today.  The day of reckoning is coming closer and I’m not talking about 2012 and the end of the world.  I’m talking about the end of the dream our country has had for so many years.  As we continue down this path of self destruction we are creating a debtor nation.  I, for one, am sick of the Chinese junk that keeps being sent to our country.  Nothing lasts any more.  When my dad died he had a washing machine that he owned for over 30 years.  We’d be hard pressed to get 10 years out of the current washers.  We are consuming junk and that has become the new norm.  Nothing lasts and neither can our democracy if we continue to let the corporations have control over congress and our country.

President Obama should be ashamed of the direction he is taking our country.  Like his predecessor he had a moment of clarity when he had the whole country and even the world ready to follow him.  He has proven to lack the leadership necessary to talk truth to the people.  He has chosen to align himself with the corporations and big business and has forgotten the plight of the poor.  He continues politics as usual with the same lethargic ideas of the past.  He has forgotten the little guy and has dined with the wealthy and now, like Bush, those are his base, his people.  He is more interested in his next vacation than in the plight of the American poor, homeless, jobless and working poor that think they’re middle class.  He shows no compassion for the needy.  We hear Michelle on TV asking us all to step up and send money to Haiti when we have Haiti on the streets of every city in America.  President Obama cannot seem to recognize this and has removed himself from the plight of the American people.  Maybe he thinks that the poor will always be there, so why bother.  Whatever it is, he is not a president of the people or for the people.  He is a president for the wealthy and the corporations.  It always comes back to business, the business of the wealthy, not the business of the people.  Even his talk about education is all about business.  Everything is about business and creating the future little worker bees to step up and do the work for business.  It isn’t about the life of our country and our freedom, because we have given up some of that freedom to be safe in this crazy insane place, which has a pyramid scheme where the wealthy and business are at the top and the poor are at the bottom.  However, just like a real pyramid those at the top need those at the bottom to help them stand tall.  This has been forgotten under the Obama presidency.  We are back to more “trickle” down theories that never seem to have enough trickles at the bottom to really affect the lives of the poor.  Change we can believe in has been forgotten.  Hope has been replaced with the hopeless.

ADP Total Pay Card…..Something Important for All of Us to Know

  • Posted on December 18, 2010 at 6:42 pm

This payroll solution may be coming to a business near you some day soon!  The other day my son told me about a friend of his.  She is a few credits shy of her degree.  I guess she’s had trouble getting the foreign language credit completed.  She still has to pay her bills and found a job at Wendy’s near Tinley Park in Illinois.  When she received her first pay check, well it wasn’t a check.  She had to sign a paper in order to be hired that would allow them to pay her with an ADP total pay card.  Now you’re probably wondering what in the hell that could be, as I was.  It’s a credit card.  The company pays her by loading up a credit card.  You know a card that costs money to get cash from.   It goes directly onto a Visa or MasterCard.  Of course this indoctrination video programs people to see the beauty of payroll cards without the pitfalls:

It shows how you can get cash at almost any ATM machine but it fails to tell about the fees involved with such a transaction.  It’s amazing how ignorant they make these people appear.  It also fails to let them know all of the real life rules that come with the card.

http://www.walletpop.com/2010/12/17/the-risks-and-rewards-of-payroll-cards/

Now, after the initial confusion you might be thinking what is wrong with that?  It appears that every time you want cash, it costs money.  Every time you want to check and see how much you have, it costs fifty cents.  The people getting these cards are obviously at the low end of the food chain.  They don’t have a voice.  They are the voiceless, the little guys, that most people don’t give much thought to when they’re being waited on by them.  While Congress is busy protecting the rights of the “super rich” these little guys are out trying to figure out how to get their money.

Josh’s friend can’t get her money that is supposedly loaded on the card.  When she contacts ADP they tell her that her employer hasn’t activated her card yet.  Essentially they haven’t “enrolled” her yet.  If she had been on the card, she would be charged by the minute to talk to them.  Keep in mind that she has been working for them for a few weeks now.  She started on November 14th and hasn’t received any money yet from her employer.  Would any of us want to work for nothing for weeks on end without getting our pay?  Probably not!  Wendy’s corporate says it saves them money.  I suppose it would with no paper trail and no one to come to the rescue of the little guy and make sure these people are paid on time and get what is their just due.  Now you might think, well she signed the paper.  Most of us will sign whatever the employer wants when we are trying to get a job.  That is something I am sure the corporations rely on.  Times are tough for jobs.  If you want to work, just be aware this may be coming to a company where you are looking for a job.

This is from the ADP website:

http://www.adp.com/solutions/employer-services/payroll/large-business/payroll-payment-solutions.aspx#totalpay

ADP TotalPay Card is a convenient paperless payroll solution that allows employees, with a bank account or without, to have their funds electronically loaded onto their own Visa®-branded debit card.

  • Increase security and reduce exposure to check loss and fraud – By eliminating paper checks and the associated distribution process, security risks are significantly reduced and concerns over traditional paper checks, that can be lost, stolen or altered are diminished.
  • Save time and cost, and enjoy more convenience – There is no escheatment required by the employer. As your single-source vendor, ADP acts as a one-stop service for reversals, deletions and returns, eliminating the need for multiple-source coordination and reducing administrative tasks.
  • Increase employee satisfaction and improve productivity – Employees are not required to have a checking account or obtain a credit approval to receive an ADP TotalPay Card. This convenient paperless option gives your employees immediate access to their wages on payday.

Your employees also have the choice of having full or partial pay loaded on their card, offering more choices and flexibility. With ADP TotalPay Card, your employees can shop at retailers worldwide or online anywhere Visa debit is accepted. They also have surcharge-free access to their money at 32,000 AllpointTM ATMs nationwide.

It’s hard to understand how this got started.  On the website there are links showing how the companies can get federal and state tax credits for hiring new employees.  This is some kind of new game that some corporations are playing and it is not leaving the countless number of their employees happy at all.  You will notice it mentions employee satisfaction which is really a myth.  All you have to do is type in “ADP total pay card ripoff” in Google and you will come across pages and pages of unhappy employees.  Something needs to be done to help these people collect their money and not be robbed by the corporations by being nickel and dimed to death with fees for withdrawing their own cash.  Go to this link and just read some of these real life stories from people.

http://www.google.com/search?q=Adp+total+pay+card+ripoff++&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

I downloaded the brochure targeted for businesses from ADP.  I want you to notice one very important detail that the employee might not know.

http://totalpay.adpsolutions.net/docs/TotalPayBrochure.pdf

It appears that the company will receive automatic refunds for “uncashed” items older than 180 days.  That to me is unbelievable.  No wonder these corporations like this method of payment!  The money goes back to the employer?  The employee doesn’t just get a check sent to them in the mail?  Are you kidding me?  So if you lose the card or you die or something happens that you some how forget to get all of your cash out, then the money goes back to your employer.  I’m sure that’s where the people would want their money to go.

I am outraged that something isn’t being done about this.  To me it seems like another way to rip off the little guy.  I’m going to contact my representative and senators.  I called Senator Levin but his box is full.  Since it is so close to the holidays, the politicians are all getting ready to go home, so it may not be useful to contact them until after the holidays.  However, I think all of us should do everything we can to help make this new method of payment more equitable for the employee.  I am putting links here for anyone so inclined to contact their representative or senators.  You may also inquire into your own state legislatures to see if this is happening in your state.  It appears to be global.  In my research I see this has been going on in Europe for quite some time.

You can contact your federal political representatives here to let them know that some people are having trouble accessing their money through this payment method:

http://senate.gov/

http://house.gov/

Happy holidays everyone but don’t forget about the little guys that might be serving you at Wendy’s or Applebee’s or some place else that have no real representation.

ADP is Automatic Data Processing, Inc.  If you watch this video you will think they are the best place to work.

Maybe they are, but what ADP is doing for other corporations though these payroll credit cards troubles me to say the least.

Buyer’s Remorse and Other Such Nonsense

  • Posted on December 13, 2010 at 9:04 pm

This may seem more like a ramble today but hey, it’s what I’m thinking about. First of all, I don’t see what all the fuss is about with Obama and the tax cuts. I expected it. This is the same guy that was pushing “merit pay” for teachers at the NEA convention in the summer of 2007. They later endorsed him. I say they got what they should have expected. Every time I hear some Republican like Glen Beck say Obama is a socialist I feel like screaming, “He is a corporatist just like the Republicans and a good chunk of the Democrats.” As for that “taken hostage” by the Republicans bit well here he is this weekend whooping it up for the camera with some little tykes celebrating Christmas. He doesn’t look much like a hostage victim here.

Obama, held hostage by the Republicans? Of course not! These little kids, maybe!

The part of me that is all about social justice just wishes Obama could be a bit more like a socialist.  Here is a real socialist.  If you haven’t heard about Bernie Sanders working hard on Friday to try and show the American people what’s up with the tax cut issue, watch this now!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5OtB298fHY

So the Obots have been fooled.  Obama isn’t what they thought he was.  Who is?  That cool guy you married is really a slob underneath it all.  Peel off the layers and most people aren’t necessarily what they appear to be.  However, from my stand point Obama has always been Obama, nothing more and nothing less.  He was a coddled child who has always had a pretty entitled life.  He traveled all over the world, went to exclusive schools and hob knobbed with the rich and famous.  For God’s sakes he’s pals with Oprah!  Obama never had to do a hard day of labor in his life.  That line he drew in the sand and drew again with the Republicans wasn’t for a fight.  He was just getting ready to play hop scotch or some other sissy gave with them.  The only thing he’s ever had to sweat about is when he’s playing “B” ball with his boys.  Sweating would mess up his image anyway as the suave cool guy, you know the “popular” kid.

Today Obama is more like a pariah but he figures he’ll be cool again to all his buddies just as soon as he chastises them for daring to think.  He looked pretty pathetic when he was whining about all of the promises he had kept since the campaign.  He even talked about health care.  He said the Democrats have tried for a hundred years to get something done and he, only little old he, could get anything done.  He’s kept his promises all right.  That’s why his presidency looks a lot like the GW one.  We all know that anyone that voted for Obama really wanted one more term of Bush!  Yeah, that’s what they voted for, another Bush term.

So, it seems Obama’s temper tantrum isn’t quite working so he had to call out Daddy “Bill” to get us all in line.  I love Bill Clinton but truthfully he should have stayed out of this.  All I could think about is that old picture of him signing the NAFTA bill.  Bill isn’t always right and this time he is wrong.  We as a nation are spending too much.  Rest assured there will be cuts to come in the future if this isn’t addressed now.  Tax cuts for the wealthy?  It’s just unconscionable.  I can listen until I’m blue in the face to Bill and Barack shining that turd and trying to convince us a turd isn’t a turd, but I know a turd when I see one.  I say, “Shame on Bill” for hopping on the Obama express.  Soon he’ll be under that bus like all the others.  It also really bothers me that Hillary is a part of this administration.  How she can believe that continuing the Bush policies is the right thing to do is beyond me.  I thought she was better than that but the longer she stays glued to Obama’s hip the more slime from him comes off on her.

Remember when Obama couldn’t pick Hillary for the VP because he didn’t want to deal with the baggage called Bill?  He didn’t know how to deal with Bill.  I find all of this so interesting.  Bill was basically called a racist by Obama, but he brushes that aside and jumps in as Obama’s “pitch” man?  So what does Obama have on Bill?  Politics is one slimy creature where people use and abuse each other in ways others can only imagine.

The Image of a Weak President Walking Away!

An image from my memory bank that I'd like to forget.

I am harkened back to the John Edwards case.  I will always believe that the Democratic Party knew all about John’s affair and used it on him when they didn’t want his politics to be THE politics.  It was so convenient how everything was finally exposed just before the 2008 convention.  If they wanted to kick John to the curb they could have still allowed Elizabeth to speak about the issue of health care for all.  However, she was kicked out by being guilty by association.  I have seen too many of these guys like John run around on their wives that it just seems to be common place.   Some are forgiven for their behavior and some are vilified.  John Edwards, whether you like him or not, spoke about poverty and health care for all.  He talked about the little guy and not giving a seat at the table to the insurance companies because they’d eat all the food.  Every time John has briefly surfaced he has been immediately vilified in the press.  This has essentially kept him quiet and the ideas he talked about now have no voice.  He said he’d be a voice for the voiceless.  That voice has been effectively silenced.

This weekend with Elizabeth Edward’s memorial service, Obama was once again given cover.  The press didn’t say much about how weak and ineffective Obama looked standing next to Bill Clinton.  Instead Elizabeth gave him cover as most people were showing their respect to her and that remarkable spirit she possessed.  Well the weekend is over and Obama has no place to hide.  However, the press is ever ready to continually carry water for him.  According to the latest “polls” something like 67% of Republicans and 67% of Democrats think this tax deal is a good compromise.  I saw this repeated time after time today as I was home from school with a snow day.  I think everyone got the memo.  It is clear.  The American people know a good deal when they see one.  The congress won’t go against the American people so it’s as good as done.  Aren’t you tired of being told how to think?  I don’t know how the questions were framed in the poll and where the poll was taken but Charlie Cook says it’s a done deal.  The rest of us just need to shut the hell up and join the new “no label” party because that sure looks like a good idea.  It was probably put together to disrupt the rumblings on the net for a real party of the people.  I’m not interested in some center of the road, know nothing party!

Elizabeth Edwards, Rest in Peace Dear Lady

  • Posted on December 7, 2010 at 5:43 pm

This is my favorite picture of Elizabeth!

Elizabeth Edwards passed away today.  I feel so sad for her family and friends.  Elizabeth was an exceptional person.  I read her first book, “Saving Graces”, and felt like she was like an old friend.  During the 2008 primary I was for John Edwards.  Of course I didn’t know about the tragedy of a life he was living at that time.  I just knew that his “Two Americas” was a powerful message.  He was the only candidate that early on talked about poverty in America.  Some people think this was largely because of Elizabeth.  I do know that she had much to say on the health care debate.  She knew how important it was to have good health care.  She continually met people during the campaign that didn’t have health insurance and were suffering.  My own sister died an early death because of the lack of health insurance, so Elizabeth’s illness and her bravery and the way she always soldiered on lived large for me.  As far as the 2008 primary goes, we will probably never know everything about that election and what he or she knew at what time.  Now it just doesn’t matter.

I didn’t read “Game Change” because I knew the authors trashed Elizabeth in that book and I didn’t care to read anything that treated her with such disrespect.  I personally thought she had been through enough.  I cannot imagine living your personal pain and suffering in public like she did.  Some could say it was her choice but I just don’t believe it.  Nobody is perfect and Elizabeth wasn’t even allowed a private time to really reflect on what was happening with her life.  She was bombarded with constant tabloid press about her husband and truthfully I wish she would have been left alone.

Elizabeth still had the last laugh because she was able to die with dignity on her terms.  Thankfully, we didn’t have to hear the blow by blow final days of her life.  One day we were told she is gravely ill, the next she’s passed away.  Shocking really, but so satisfying to know that she didn’t have to deal with the constant attention from the grueling, obnoxious press.

I am thankful that Elizabeth was spared the shadow of the press prying into her most private last days.  It is a tribute to her family and friends that they could keep this so private for her.  I wish you well Elizabeth.  You made an impact on this world and you will not be soon forgotten.  Many of us watched you battle cancer and the survival of your marriage.  I feel a profound sense of sadness at the loss of such a wonderful lady.  I know her family will miss her but all of us that loved hearing her voice when she was campaigning for a just cause will also miss her common sense wisdom.

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