Tag Archives: America

Black Friday at Walmart Brings More than Deals

Many of you have probably noticed that stores are opening earlier than ever for the craziest display of consumerism in America. Many praise this change as a solution to the aggression and injuries that plagues many stores’ workers and customers during the scramble for holiday deals. There is, however, a significant backlash against this decision made by many of the stores. With Walmart’s deals beginning at 6pm on Thanksgiving, many labor activists state that the “Black Friday” craze has gone too far.

While to many Walmart is known for its unbeatable deals, it is known to others for its poor working conditions and pay of employees. The superstore has maintained its low wages across the board by arguing that it is necessary to keep wages down if the consumers want the same lower prices. And while this seems like a reasonable argument, it is not the case.

Business Insider crunched the numbers for its article “Here’s How Much A Wal-Mart Pay Increase Would Cost Shoppers Per Trip” and found that the increase from federal minimum wage to a living wage of $12.50 per hour, would only raise total consumers costs about $12 per year or $0.46 per trip. This small change shows that the increase of wages is wholly possible, but until Walmart feels the push from within, they can and will continue to deny that the increase is necessary.

Walmart has been staunchly anti-union from its conception and continually busts any unions and organizing interests in their company. This year with the start of Black Friday deals on Thursday evening, many unions and workers have had enough. They say that pulling more workers away from they families on Thanksgiving highlights the disregard that Walmart management has for its employees. Calling for a change, the UAW has called on support from many other unions and labor oriented groups for support. While some workers have already organized strikes at their stores, a superpower like Walmart will need to see a nation push for unionizing and change in order to feel the pressure necessary to cause a change.

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Protesters in Vista, CA

By organizing picket lines and protests all across the country, the main goal was to educate shoppers about the struggles of the workers who serve them and to reach out to workers about the possibilities that unionizing could bring to them. Because Black Friday brings out many more consumers and workers, the message has the chance to really make an impact. If Walmart begins to feel the pressure from these protests, change may be closer than expected. For now, we can only hope that this Black Friday shoppers left with more than carts full of low-priced goods and workers left with new feelings of determination to change their workplace.

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4 ways to support the black lives matter movement in the wake of the Ferguson ruling

On November 25th, a grand jury decided not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown, an 18-year-old who was caught jaywalking with a friend in Ferguson, Missouri this August. Since the ruling, many americans have voiced their frustration with the racism still deeply ingrained in today’s law enforcement. As a result, non-violent protests have cropped up in almost every major US city in support of Michael Brown and his family as well as the black community. Here are a few things we can do to support the Ferguson community and collectively end racism because, even though it should go without saying, black lives matter.

1. Comment and Unfriend

Social media is a breeding ground for heated conversation and debate, but racism is never socially acceptable. If you find a comment offensive, say so. If you are uncomfortable with this and would rather take a more non-confrontational approach, simply unfriend or unfollow. Chances are, they will privately message you wanting to know why you unfriended them, so be prepared and don’t shy away from telling them exactly why you wanted to remove their ignorant comments from your feed.

2. Donate to Ferguson Public Library

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The Ferguson Public Library has already received almost $200,000 in funding over the past 2 days. Despite the Ferguson public school system closing, the library remained open the day before Thanksgiving. Through their Facebook Page, they’ve been a reassuring voice in the midst of anguish, posting contact information for counseling services and information on learning how to file insurance claims for businesses damaged in the riots.

You can still donate…

Online through Paypal.

Directly via post:

Ferguson Municipal Public Library
35 North Florissant Road
Ferguson, Missouri 63135

Or by selecting a book from the library’s wishlist at  Powell’s.

3. Follow Black Lives Matter on Facebook and donate to the BlackLivesMatter Bay Area Legal Fund.

donate black lives matter

4. Send Your Support to the Brown Family through the NAACP

Unfortunately, the Brown family will be going through this holiday season without their son. The NAACP has a form where you can express your condolences and support for them during this difficult time. Even though the death of Michael Brown has become a national concern, he had family behind him and a life ahead of him that was tragically cut short.

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Bold Poetry

Richard Blanco has been announced as a speaker at the 2013 inauguration of president Obama. While he is the fifth poet to speak at an inauguration, he racks up quite a few of “firsts.”
Blanco is the first ever Hispanic-American and openly gay poet to ever present at a presidential inauguration. He is also the youngest. When told the news that he had been selected to present, Blanco said he was ecstatic and could hardly believe that this opportunity had been given to him.
Blanco likes to say that he is a product of three countries, “made in Cuba, assembled in Spain, and imported to the United States.” His poetry reflects his diverse upbringing in the sense that in many works he is searching for an identity with one of the cultures that he is a part of.
One of his most known works, “AMÉRICA”, discusses his dilemma as a seven year old child when it came to the clashes of his Cuban and American influences. In one section, he was taught about a typical American Thanksgiving at school and he longed to experience this like his other classmates. His mother, who always made traditional Cuban cuisine, was persuaded to mix the cultures on this day and serve both turkey and pork.

A week before Thanksgiving
I explained to my abuelita
about the Indians and the Mayflower,
how Lincoln set the slaves free;
I explained to my parents about
the purple mountain’s majesty,
“one if by land, two if by sea”
the cherry tree, the tea party,
the amber waves of grain,
the “masses yearning to be free”
liberty and justice for all, until
finally they agreed:
this Thanksgiving we would have turkey,
as well as pork.

Richard Blanco (Photo by Nick Tucci)

Richard Blanco (Photo by Nick Tucci)


Full Poem Here: http://www.richard-blanco.com/city-of-a-hundred-fires/america.php

His poems exemplify the beauty of diversity in America. Blanco deserves this opportunity to speak at the inauguration as much as anyone, but I think the fact that he was chosen makes a significant point. America is evolving into an all-inclusive culture. Four years ago we elected our first black president. Now we will hear from our first Hispanic and openly gay poet. Opportunities are no longer being taken away from deserving citizens due to their race, background, and sexual preference. This is an America that I can be proud of.

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Does Democracy Still Work in America?

Alan Wolfe asks, “Does American democracy still work?” The consensus of his book is that it does, but not in respect to the ideal liberalism that the country was founded upon.  This is the question that Wolfe, a political science professor at Boston College, set out to answer on the front cover. Wolfe asserts, with Fareed Zakaria as reference, that a democratic nation is not necessarily a liberal one. Liberalism, by definition, is fundamentally the idea that the government should be as non-intrusive as possible, holding a respect for pluralism, individualism and law. But, a democratic nation can vote for intrusion and disrespect. Yes, democracy is absolutely prevalent in America, yet it is not fulfilling liberalistic qualities, because American sentiment to government and politics has changed.

While Americans are consistently less politically active, politicians are decidedly more ideologically driven, creating a state of conflict in government based primarily on emotional sentiment to private lifestyles. Because of this, Americans are less informed, and find themselves turned off by politics all together. What is most compelling about Wolfe’s analysis is that politicians want this so that they can pass their agendas under the noses of a public that doesn’t give two shits about what happens to our country because they have been led to believe they have no affect on it.

Wolfe’s purpose of writing his book was to mobilize Americans to become interested in and educated on current affairs in order to shape the country they want by choosing representatives that signify their philosophies. He urges Americans to become active in their government and be a part of Democracy to create the country that they are proud to represent and live in. 

At Not Your Coffee Bitch, we aim to answer to this battle cry.

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Being against universal health care is being against humanity

Those with jobs are paying off college loans and the rent or mortgage, but with salaries that have not changed with inflation; 41% of working americans are paying off medical debt or have medical bill issues. Many businesses in America do not provide sufficient health care for their workers. In 2009, the five major for profit health care insurance providers made a “combined profit of 12.2 billion”. A recent study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services describes little difference between the cost of health care and it’s quality. Government regulation on health care can aid this. Universal health care in America is not just for the unemployed, but for the workers as well: it is not welfare but a necessity. It is expensive to pay the electric bill and for groceries when having a modest secretarial wage, but they say to be happy to have a job in the first place, even if it doesn’t provide health care. The last thing we should worry about is being able to pay the $200 fee to visit urgent care about a cold when we are expected to put food on the table.

The problem here lies in money. These monetarily based situations can barely be controlled by working a steady job or even earning a degree. Who is to deny anyone the right to lead a healthy life the best way they can? Ultimately, people get sick. When businesses are not providing health care to those who desperately need it, the government must step in. If they can afford more military spending in the Afghan wars, they can at least provide a basis of tax money towards health care. If businesses wish the Health Care and Affordability Act be abolished, they will have to implement changes to their health care packages and provide for their employees or there will be riots, and there are.

Some will pledge allegiance to countries, to party values, to women’s groups, church organizations, you name it. They will find security within these societies based upon the hope for better, but hope all you might, there will be no change without action. That action is standing up for universal values, primarily the right to a health life. To be able to get a cancer screening, to get a cast for a broken bone, or to bring a child to ER when he has a 110 degree fever. It is vital that at least our bodies are in our control.

There are issues that cannot be disagreed upon. Everyone wants to be safe, healthy, fed and loved. Everyone wants the freedom to live at least a basic life. It is up to the human race to try as they may to ensure that those at least in an arms span have the resources they need to survive. If you had the money to live a luxurious  lifestyle, if you did not want to donate money to charity, the least you could do would be to pay your relatively small share of taxes.

Bibliography:

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-08/cf-7mu081908.php

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/HealthCare/health-insurers-post-record-profits/story?id=9818699#.UJBmGLT3DL8

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/50-u-s-health-care-statistics-that-will-absolutely-astonish-you

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-belson/how-to-reduce-hospital-he_b_565896.html

http://www.ahrq.gov/research/oct12/1012RA6.htm

 

 

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It’s all about likability; Obama and Romney taken for face value

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney at the final presidential debate of 2012 faced the greatest rhetorical situation of the year: How can I persuade America that I am fit for running the country the next four years? With many citizens watching the debate, it is impossible to know the general reaction during the debate, both candidates with fairly vocal supporters. The past couple debates have been fact checked and reviewed by various sources and news reports. All of these opinions have widely differed. Personally, I have viewed the debates objectively, giving each politician a fair say during the debate. I don’t feel persuaded one way by this debate, but the issues presented involving foreign policy are stimulating. To watch a couple men grovel to reach broad conclusions to major issues is ironically entertaining for many. In my opinion, the depths of societal issues have hardly been presented during this debate. Regardless, both candidates provide fluent ideological standpoints to appeal to voting constituents.

At the beginning of the debate, the candidates appear on stage waving at their audiences in contrastingly colored ties. Obama sports blue, a cool color representing likability. Romney is seen wearing a warm color, a red tie with silver stripes, colors psychologically triggering excitement and wisdom respectively. Already, at the opening of the debate, the non-verbal standpoint of the candidates is represented. Obama wishes to be viewed as the likable incumbent and Romney as an invigorating opponent.

Despite being distinguished politicians, Romney and Obama are victims of stuttering, “ums” and “uhs”. These candidates could strengthen their credibility by being more conscious of these speech clutterers  while creating more effective pauses to add emphasis to their points. But, to make up for these verbal slips, both candidates use imagery and personal accounts to create relatable images for the audience. Both express their sympathies through their experiences, establishing their likability and credibility despite their stuttering.

The speech content during debates are always at least slightly skewed to one side over the other because separate party platforms. Romney uses many statistics as well as examples, stories and personal testimony involving his position as Governor of Massachusetts. Obama refutes many of Romney’s statistics, but offers little of his own. Most of his points include personal testimony, based off of his experience in his first term. No visual aids were used on either side, but both used descriptive gestures to give the audience a visual representation of oversea jobs and exports. Both speakers create sound reasoning by establishing credibility and citing their sources. Fallacies of reasoning can easily be fact checked the next day on unbiased sites such as factcheck.org.

The speaking tactics of both candidates is often circular. The speaker takes a stance on an issue, explains the position, provides a story and an actualization statement to connect with listeners, then restates their stance on the issue. Often times, as seen in the nuclear war question, the debate digresses, in this case to the condition of education. Debates, unlike most forms of public speaking, involve the element of surprise because it involves opponents refuting points. The nature of a debate in this sense is unpredictable.

Despite the unpredictable nature of debates, the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates’ presentation have been evident in past public speeches. Obama’s biggest strength was his use of effective pauses and referencing his track record as president. But, because of his pauses, he ran up his speaking time with air instead of support. Romney’s strength lied in his constant references of statistics and hard numbers to support his points, especially involving the state of the economy, while constantly appealing to a dissatisfied public. His weakness was his switching of views involving involvement in Iraq, but this could also be seen as a strength in the eyes of supporters because he was able to appeal to the public.

Both speakers maintained more of a professional stance than the last few debates, remaining seated and keeping bickering to a medium. Being on such a publicized event, the focus of the opponents was to increase their likability in one last debate, in the final cry for the undecided voters. In the above aforementioned points, both candidates appealed to their respective parties effectively. Before watching news coverage of the debate, I assert that independents will be split between the two candidates. Although the outcome of the debate is mixed tonight, its winner will be determined through election results by the end of the year.

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Unbiased Bitch Coverage: Presidential Debate no. 2

Photo Credit: http://www.policymic.com

Debate on higher education:
Both want to make sure that jobs are created for America’s young. Neither pose a straight answer to the question.

Unemployment

Romney: can create jobs

Obama: Romney “has the rich playing by another set of rules”

(again not a straight answer)

Gas Prices

Obama: Alternative energy resources are increasing. Fuel efficiency on the rise. Has allowed us to lower our oil imports and will keep them lower. Romney wants the oil companies to just lower the gas prices, but not with energy efficiency. “We are using oil more efficiently” but we are “drilling more on our lands”. Romney shut down a coal plant but wants to bring one back. Cleaner energy, cheaper energy. Romney wants to use an old plan, need to use alternative energy (wind power in Oregon/Iowa)

Romney: Oil production down because drilling is not coming from federal lands. Coal country, want people to save their jobs. But EPA keeps limits. “Abundant energy” by more drilling. More jobs for middle class. Obama hasn’t
Tax Code

Romney: 1. Want to bring Middle Class taxes down, give them tax break. 2. Bring rates down for everyone, but want high income still paying. 3. Balance budget, reduce middle class taxes. 5 point plan. Poverty increase in the past four years. Credibility: balanced the budget in Massachusetts. The President has doubled the national debt, and he will continue it.
Obama: Middle Class relief. Cut taxes for families “3600 dollars” on average the past few years. Income tax reform for first 25,000 dollars. Romney holding back the bill. Wants the rich to pay more. Brings up Romney’s 60 minutes interview about rich not getting tax breaks fueling out economy. Who is going to pay for the 7-8 trillion dollars of the five points plan?

Women in the work place

Obama: Talks about his mom. Women are becoming the bread winners of the family. Young people need to have an accessible education: poll grants/student loan program so many have been able to afford college, allowing women to compete in the market place. We can not tolerate discrimination, we haven’t. Contraceptive coverage counts economically – includes mammograms and cancer screenings too, which are expensive. Not just women’s issues, family issues. Women need same opportunities as men. Brings in daughters.
Romney: All the men have qualification. Went out to look for women in his cabinet, had more women and seniors in cabinet than any other state. Flexible schedules for women. Women have lost 580,000 jobs in the past four years. Women need a stronger economy. All women should have access of contraception.

Romney being a republican, what is the difference between you and Bush

Romney: 5 point plan much different. Energy security. Trade in China and latin america, adding more free trade. Balance the budget. Championing small business, contrary to party beliefs. Obama care keeps small businesses from hiring more people.

Obama: “digging ourselves out” – 5.2 million jobs created. Romney a pioneer of outsourcing. Signed trade deals already. Leveled playing fields and unfair trade practices by American workers in Bush term. Immigration reform and Planned Parenthood show that Romney more extreme than Bush.

What has Obama done?

Obama: Jobs, End war, Osama Bin Ladin dead, Wall street reforms, 5 million jobs created, saved auto industry, education, reducing deficit, putting people back to work, energy reform. Kept my commitments, not a lack of trying. Romney will keep his too – cut of obama care, education, planned parenthood. Whose promises will help your kids go to college, get you a good paying job?

Romney: These past four years have not been good. We can’t afford it. 9 million American’s still without work. Medicare and Social Security not reformed, no proposals. Immigration same thing. Didn’t cut half the deficit but doubled it. Middle class taxes have gone up. It’s just going to keep going. Middle class is getting crushed because Obama doesn’t understand how to reduce employment. More people on food stamps..how about the growth of the economy? Uses Reagan recession recovery program as the ideal solution. Median incomes down. Who can get the middle class a better economy?
Immigrants

Romney: We welcome legal immigrants. Uses family as an example. We should give green cards to graduates. We need to stop illegal immigration, but put in place a legal work code. Military service to become a citizen. Obama didn’t do anything with a democrat senate/house. Romney admits to liking aspect of the Arizona law that determines whether an immigrant or citizen. Let people make their own choice to go somewhere else, not in favor of rounding up people. Criminals need to be rounded up.

Obama: Everyone wants to come to America. Need to fix the system. Made it easier for people to come and contribute to our country, create jobs. More border control, lower than it’s been in 40 years. Go after criminals, not students or families. Those who live here feel they are citizens, and they should have access to citizenship. Romney wants Arizona law nationwide. Republicans don’t support immigration.

“Mr. President have you looked at your pension?”

“It’s not as big as yours.”
National security/Benghazi

Obama: Close to those overseas, personally. We need to go after people who threaten Americans. Romney making political security an issue in the heat of the moment. Decreasing war, retreat from foreign issues. “I have to greet the coffins when they come home, I mean what I say.” Hilary Clinton works for him. Afterwards, told the American people he was going to figure out exactly what happened, and do what he could. Romney being offensive and insensitive after the attack.

Romney: Obama takes responsibility. There was a terrorist attack in Benghazi, not a demonstration. President flies to Las Vegas day after. Not a spontaneous reaction.
Gun Control

Obama: Our nation believes in the 2nd amendment for sport and protection. But people lose lives because of weapons. Colorado shooting example. We need to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. Military weapons don’t belong on the streets. Need an assault weapons reform. Need a comprehensive strategy in communities to catch violent impulses. Romney endorsed by NRA. Skilled worker training. Millions of young people can get education needed before. Teachers will grow our economy.

Romney: Don’t need to make more gun control, but enforce the gun control we have. We need less violence, more education like in Massachusetts. Need family base. “Fast and furious” – weapons given to Mexican drug lords by the government. Massachusetts pro and anti-gun people come together to create gun reform. Need to work on a bipartisan basis.

How to brings jobs back

Romney: Make America a place for entrepreneurs, small businesses. Need fair trade with China who is manipulating currency for profit. On day one, Romney wants to put a bill in place to limit China. Need to be competitive to keep more jobs. Obama care deterring people from being hired.

Obama: Wants to close loopholes to allow businesses to profit offshore. Romney wants to expand tax breaks. Need to change tax code and double exports, on pace. Trade deals make sure that country is getting a good deal. Reporters call Romney’s outsourcing “pioneers of outsourcing”.
Macs and Apple, bring to America

Romney: China is cheating by keeping currency down and stealing technology. Fake Apple in China. “Government doesn’t create jobs.”

Obama: Some jobs will not come back. Low skilled jobs. Need high skilled jobs. Need high science and research in world. Can’t cut funding to research, or we will lose technology race. Those investments will propel us into a better economy.

You as a Man

Romney: Campaigning attacks people. I care about every American. I spent myself in private sector, not in government. I believe in God and we have to care for each other. Pastor, family man, missionary. Schools in Massachusetts number one in the nation. We don’t have to settle for gas prices, food stamps, unemployment, college kids with out work. I will reform, change what Obama didn’t. I have done these things as a governor.

Obama: Free enterprise, self-reliance, individual, risk takers. But, everyone should have a fair shot, everyone should play by rules which created the middle class. Romney a good man. But, country does not view itself as victims. GI bills. Need similar opportunities.
Fact check to come.

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9/11 not forgotten

We at Not Your Coffee Bitch support and value Patriot Day as a day of reflection and observance; a day of mourning as well as a rebirthing of America. The death of thousands of people by a handful of terrorists has unfortunately brought our country together in ways that words can not.

Rightfully so, this post will end with a moment of silence.

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VOTE 2012

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As everyone knows (or should know), 2012 is an important year. If you are a Democrat or a Republican, woman or man, black or white yada, yada, yada, your voice and your vote counts. Numerous issues that are important to Americans are up for debate. Health care, contraceptives and abortions being funded by Obama Care, relations with Syria, relations with China, and the economy are all under a magnifying glass this year. They also effect each and every American citizen.

Before we can jump into the issues, there is one thing that all of us at Not Your Coffee Bitch would like to announce. If you don’t vote, or are not planning on voting in the election this year we DO NOT want to hear your opinion. In fact all opinions matter except those who do not participate in one of the most important things in our society. VOTING. If you don’t vote then you are part of the problem, not the solution.

We aren’t talking about those of us under 18 that are not able to vote. We are talking about the people who are too lazy, or who don’t care enough to vote. As we all learned in Government, there is no reason not to vote.

As far as  the ladies that don’t vote, picture my finger wagging at you right now. Shame, shame, shame. If you don’t know why I’m wagging my finger at you please Google the nineteenth amendment, rent Iron Jawed Angles, and open a book about Suffragettes.

Let’s make sure that we vote and voice our opinions on what is important to us as caffeinated and politicaly informed Americans.

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