Tag Archives: Washington DC

Walmart Encourages Grinch Accusations

WalMart NerdWalmart is a corporation that generates strong opinion. Unions — and their wholly–owned subsidiary the Democrat Party — view Walmart as a rapacious corporation run by brutal overseers whose overriding goal is exploiting the working class.

Many Republican officeholders view Walmart as a corporation run by a bunch of cheap so–and–sos who won’t make large campaign contributions and hire refugees from the Clinton administration.

Unions hold annual protests just prior to Black Friday and attempt to convince millions of shoppers that the largest private employer in the US might have low prices, but it’s only because the corporation harvests employee organs to sell on the black market.

The protests are held nationwide and union employees, rented homeless and liberal voyeurs demand the corporation pay full–time employees a minimum of $25,000 per year. Democrat officeholders show solidarity by attempting to pick the corporation’s pocket with minimum wage laws that give government the power to tell business how much employees should be paid, without government having any responsibility for the bottom line.

It’s vote buying through extortion.

In the Nanny’s Republic of Washington, DC animosity toward Walmart was so high the city council passed a bill amusingly titled the Large Retailer Accountability Act. (I wait in vain for the Bad Leftist Ideas Accountability Act.) The bill would’ve required Walmart to pay 50 percent more than the city’s current minimum wage. In fact the amount was more than the minimum wage the DC government pays its employees!

Fortunately for Walmart shoppers, the mayor vetoed the bill.

So one might ask at a time when Walmart is viewed as a penny–pinching, soulless exploiter of the down–trodden, why would a store manager in Canton, OH arrange a crèche of plastic bins in the breakroom with a sign that read: “Please Donate Food Items Here, so Associates in Need Can Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner.” I suppose it beats letting them dumpster dive, but the optics are bad.

When it comes time for the 2013 Bad Public Relations Ideas nominations, this will be hard to beat. Why not invite Occupy Wall Street to provide entertainment at the next stockholder’s meeting?

This only feeds the narrative of Grinch–like exploitation that the MSM, unions and Democrats work so hard to tattoo on Walmart’s corporate hide.

Even regular Walmart shoppers have mixed emotions. Just thinking about it conjures up associations with domestic drama in the parking lot, unfortunate fashion choices and dangerously high customer BMI.

Who hasn’t experienced that all too common Walmart shopping experience? You can’t find the item you want and you can’t find an employee to direct you to it. (I just assume all the on–duty workers are either manning the cash register or in back passing the hat.)

Even cemeteries have a higher ratio of employees to customers than your average Walmart store.

Which brings us back to: When there is such a cultural divide in opinion regarding your business, why do something that reinforces the negative side?

In fairness to the manager, the charity display was in the employees–only section and not outside next to the Salvation Army kettle, but regardless of location once the media becomes aware the damage is done.

And sure enough, anti–Walmart organizer Norma Mills, quoted on Cleveland.com, observes, “That Walmart would have the audacity to ask low-wage workers to donate food to other low-wage workers — to me, it is a moral outrage.”

When you compare this to Walmart’s profit in 2012, $17 billion, and the net worth of the Walton family, $144 billion, even the most dedicated shopper can’t help but wonder why the company can’t toss a turkey leg to deserving employees.

Unfortunately, the majority of that profit has been used in recent years to buy back Walmart stock, which is essentially financial onanism that creates nothing and only serves to enhance the value of stock the Walton family owns.

The WaPost had a story about a woman and her daughter who were struggling and homeless much of the time. The Post, as usual, ignores the choice the woman made that created the problem: having an out–of–wedlock child, a sure path to poverty. (This by the way is not blaming the victim. The victim is the child and none of it’s her fault.)

After that bad decision, the woman worked hard to turn her life around. She finally landed a job with the YMCA and found an apartment she could afford on her salary, but she couldn’t save enough for the security deposit.

Management at the Y heard about her problem and instead of asking the towel boys to hold a car wash for her, the Y gave the woman a salary advance and she got the apartment.

In the Cleveland.com story, spokesperson Kory Lundberg defends the company. “This is part of the company’s culture to rally around associates and take care of them when they face extreme hardships.” But that is not completely true. It is part of employee culture, not management culture.

According to Lundberg the company has a program called the Associates in Critical Need Trust. Walmart workers can receive grants of up to $1,500.00 to “address hardships they may encounter, including homelessness, serious medical illnesses and major repairs to primary vehicles. Since 2001, grants totaling $80 million have been made.”

Here’s the problem: Walmart takes credit for the charity and the concern, but it’s paid for by payroll deductions from the workers. Walmart needs to stop dunning employees for this money. The corporation should provide all the funding.

That way the company is really buying into Lundberg’s “culture.”

It is simply good business practice for management to demonstrate real concern for the staff. Putting the corporation’s money where the corporate mouthpiece is will go a long way toward blunting future attacks on the company. And that will help everyone — management, employees and stockholders.

2 Million Bikers Roll Into DC

Here are several videos of the 2 Million Bikers rolling into DC to honor those lost on September 11, 2001.

For a girl who loves her country, will never forget 9/11, and LOVES the biking scene, this is my DREAM COME TRUE! Oh, how I wish I could be there in the middle of it!

This is from last night, bikers from Smithfield, North Carolina, heading to DC!

Bikers from Stafford, Virginia. Virginia State Troopers shut down I-95 North to escort them through town!

Updated with another video:

And, in case you haven’t heard, only 21 people showed up for the ‘Million American March Against Fear’.

Liberals Love Monopoly Taxis

Many DC–area residents have a taxi story. Few have happy endings. Mine occurred on a very rainy day at Union Station. I’d been shuffling along in an endless taxi line when my turn finally arrived. The cab pulls up and fortunately I happened to glance inside before I entered.

The cab’s vinyl–covered backseat was already occupied by a puddle of rainwater. A situation like this is a win–win for the cab driver: He gets a fare and my pants soak up the wet spot. It’s harder so see an advantage for the passenger.
Since DC taxis operate under a regime of rules and regulations my role as a cog in this vast machine was to get in the cab, let my BVDs absorb the water and beseech the authorities to rectify this injustice to my private parts at a later date.

But I’m a conservative, so I asked the driver to wipe the seat.

He replied, “Get in the cab.”

I asked if paper towels had been invented in his country and he replied, “Get in the cab.”

Peer pressure began to rear its ugly head. Line dwellers pressing up behind me wondered why I didn’t get in the dang cab. What’s more, the petty line bureaucrat was holding the door open and motioning me inside.

Further negotiation with the driver appeared pointless. Instead, I decided to try a market–based solution. Taking this cab and getting to my destination sooner was not worth riding like a frog in a puddle, so I asked the rider behind me if he wanted the cab. Evidently worries about mold growing in places that are hard to reach were less for him than myself, so he took the taxi. I took the next one, which featured a dry seat.

Citizens are competent to conduct transportation market transactions like this without government intervention, yet in DC liberals are not only increasing taxi regulation, they are aping policies that have been proven to be monopolistic and anti–consumer in other cities.

Mayor Vincent Gray (D–What, Me Worry?) and Council member Mary Cheh (D–Serious, Intellectual Glasses) want to establish a taxi monopoly by instituting a medallion system. This would limit the 10,672 licensed cabdrivers and 116 cab companies to only 4,000 medallions, stifling future competition and guaranteeing higher prices.

The medallion system in New York and Boston has proven a windfall for medallion owners and a disaster for competition. The last medallion sale in NYC went for $1 million each. In Boston the average price is $400,000. Both prices are in indication of artificial market scarcity created by government.

As part of the medallion package, DC would impose vehicle age and mileage limits, while offering the ability to pay with a credit card — something that has been possible in Las Vegas for years — but there is no mention of installing paper towel racks.

Cabs would also be limited to a single color, white in the esteemed Ms. Cheh’s opinion, while potentially adding a surcharge to each fare so the customer can pay for the politician’s “improvements.”

This is why liberal government is so expensive. There is simply no area of life or color scheme that the progressive mind does not think it can improve with a few laws and subsequent regulation.

The question is: why is government involved at all? Medallion systems and cab commissions protect existing businesses and generate campaign contributions at the expense of the public. This latest taxi legislation only proves the DC council is incapable of embarrassment, since the last time it was discussed a staffer for Council member Jim Graham (D–Bribe, What Bribe?) went to jail for soliciting bribes from cab companies that would benefit from the bill.

The federal government deregulated the airline industry over 30 years ago and ticket prices are lower now than in the 70’s. (Of course this also made it possible for people who wear pajamas in public to fly, but you take the good with the bad.) Bus companies are competing on the DC to NYC route and fares have never been lower and the buses vie with each other to offer more passenger amenities, without design help from Ms. Cheh.

Government doesn’t need to set fares, limit cab numbers or pick the color. All that’s required is a background check and exam for drivers, vehicle safety inspection rules, a requirement that fares (determined by the company) be clearly visible on the door of the cab and a reasonable number of inspectors. The market can handle the rest.

Is something like this possible? Can we ever prevent government from meddling in areas it isn’t needed?

It just so happens I have an idea. Make it illegal for candidates to accept campaign contributions from any industry that’s operations are substantially regulated by the office they seek.

I think we would soon see a tidal wave of deregulation.

Obama Promotes Lawlessness in Our Nation's Capitol: Occupy DC Camps to Stay

White House spokesman Jay “The Carnival Barker” Carney announced that  President Obama  is aware of the recent raids on the [filthy, unsanitary, and lawless illegal squatters] Occupy protests across America in which the Occupiers are being evicted in droves from city parks/property, simply because the actual 99% of the people (taxpayers) who are paying for this mess have had enough.  NYC mayor Bloomberg raided Zucotti park on Tuesday night at 1 am, kicked the protesters out and brought in dumpsters, fire-hoses, and thousands of gallons of disinfectant to clean the park up, after which he announced that the park would be kept sanitary for ALL the citizens of NYC, and there will be no more Occupy pajama parties there 24/7. Although Bloomberg’s sudden acknowledgment his duties as per of the rule of law in NYC came about some 2 months late, enabling this debacle to get way out of control, in the end he came to his senses, so to speak. ( with heavy prodding from fed-up NYC businesses, citizens, and Stock Exchange employees) Now that the head of the Occupy Wall Street snake has been cut off in Zucotti park, along with several other cities taking action to eradicate the plague know as OWS, surely the Occupy DC plague will no longer be allowed to break federal laws and camp out in our nation’s capitol right? Not quite. I now refer you to Barack Obama’s personal carnival barker’s statement yesterday:

“We would hope and want as these decisions are made that a balance is sought between a long tradition of freedom of assembly and freedom of speech in this country…and also the very important need to maintain law and order and health and safety standards,” Mr. Carney said. (emphasis mine and for a good reason)

When Mr. Carney expresses Obama’s desire to “maintain law and order and health and safety standards” in our nation’s capitol, we have to question just how building a structure and occupying Federal land in DC applies to that statement. The following DC occupancy laws certainly apply to anyone putting up a structure that people will “oocupy” or live in, not to mention trespassing/loitering laws concerning federal land. Before building any structure in DC you must obtain a Certificate of Occupancy:

The purpose of the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) is to ensure that the use of a building, structure or land in the District of Columbia is compatible with the general intent of the Zoning Regulations and the provisions of the DC Building Codes. Consequently, no person can use a structure or land in the District of Columbia for any purpose other than a single-family dwelling until a Certificate of Occupancy has been issued for that structure. The fee is based on square-footage. No Occupy DC does not have a C of O., nor have they applied for one, therefore Barack Obama is condoning lawlessness in allowing the Occupiers to stay in DC. I supply the following photo from Occupy DC to make my point clear:

Alan Ball, 24 years old, frames a shelter with bamboo on Tuesday at the Occupy DC encampment in McPherson Square in Washington, D.C. (Wall Street Journal photo by Ryan Tracy)

With the head of the OWS snake now cut off in NYC, the Occupy protests will be looking for a new center, or headquarters for their movement, and Barack Obama now wants to give them McPherson Square right in the heart of our nation’s capitol for it. It is simply unacceptable for the President of the United States to be promoting the breaking of laws in DC just to further his reelection campaign and to appease the far left radicals behind this astro-turf, anti-capitalist Occupy movement, period. What kind of a message will this send to tourists from other nations coming to visit our nation’s capitol? Considering the criminal element that has reared it’s ugly head within these camps, what happens when a foreign tourist is robbed, raped, or even worse yet, killed by one of the criminals lurking within the midst of the Occupy DC movement? What would happen if the Tea Party decided to camp in front of the Washington memorial for a few months? Why, they would be run out of DC faster than a bunch of chickens at a national fox convention.

Call your Representatives in Congress and demand the enforcement of the rule of law in our nation’s capitol. Evict the Occupy DC camps before it gets any further out of control. 2012 just can’t get here fast enough !

I'm Canadian and This is My American Dream

I first came to America at 10 years old to meet my father in Washington D.C.  That trip was momentous for a couple of reasons, the first being that I was finally meeting my father 10 years after he left  my pregnant, Canadian mother.  The other reason being that I was also meeting  for the first time these mythical “States”… that’s what we call America up in Canada – “The States”.  As it turned out, both of those meetings changed the course of my life forever.

I approached the relationship with my father cautiously and suspiciously.  But America – well, I fell in love with Her right away.  It literally was love at first sight.  And now that I look back, how fitting that my first love blossomed in the capital of this great nation.  Washington D.C. in the 1980′s was not like it is today.  It was just beginning to turn into the “government yuppie” capital.  It was still powered by government, but the “Chocolate City” was bursting to the brim with culture, homeless people and ghettos.  Coming from an all white area of Canada (and I mean all white and someday I’ll write about that experience) it was certainly a culture shock to suddenly be in the presence of all types of Black folks – tall, skinny, fat, light, dark, red-haired, blond-haired, corn-rows, Afros;  it was an amazing time for me.  I embraced it fully.  I loved how you could buy anything you wanted, anywhere!  There were jobs and machines and businesses I’d never heard of let alone dreamed.  There was a subway!  I grew up on an island where they didn’t even have trains anymore.  Eventually I moved there to live with my father full-time and the first thing I did was master that subway system, the Metro.  My time with my father was tumultuous, and because we lived within walking distance of the Capital and many of the free Smithsonian museums I spent a lot of time escaping into the history of America.  I didn’t know it at the time, but I was setting myself up for my future conversion from socialist liberal to conservative American.  I went to see the Constitution on display at the Smithsonian.  I walked the Mall, past sculptures and displays and the amazing Monument.  I sat in the Botanical Gardens and daydreamed.  I would often walk to the deck of the Capital building as dusk was descending and look out over the lights of the city in awe and just ponder.  My favorite spot was the Air & Space Museum, which I walked through nearly every day after school.  As a science fiction fan and the granddaughter of an Air Force pilot I couldn’t get enough of all the planes, rockets and capsules on display, and if I had enough money from my babysitting jobs, I’d treat myself to the movie at the Planetarium there as well.

Washington D.C. was hot and muggy and full of pain for me, but I also found so much joy there.  Joy at the wonder that is America.  My conversion story is much longer, and someday, dear reader, I promise to share it all with you, but for today I just wanted you to know about the time I first fell in love with “the States”.  I knew then, in my first visit at ten years old, that I would be American someday.  I knew I would make a life here, and every day of my Canadian life thereafter was all about when I could get back to America.  I made it for good in 1992.  I have never looked back.  I love Canada dearly and I am proud to be from there.  But America is my home.  There is no doubt in my mind she has been ordained from her birth as the beacon of hope and freedom in the world.  America has given me so much – an education, amazing life experiences, wonderful friends, homes, an amazing husband and my very own American children.  I still look back at my life in Eastern Canada with a sense of incredulity.  I cannot believe I have come so far from that life.  But here I am. Thanks be to God.  Thanks be to America and our Founding Fathers. I am Canadian, and this is my American Dream.

Rare Earthquake Shakes East Coast

Earthquake Epicenter Mineral VirginiaAt just before two o’clock this afternoon, a 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck the East Coast of the United States.

The quake was centered in Mineral, Virginia and occurred at a depth of approximately 3.7 miles. Shocks were felt as far south as Georgia and as far north as Ohio.

The Capital building has been cordoned off with capital police siting “infrastructure concerns”. Reports of a small fire in the Capital has yet to be substantiated, but the information on-hand says that some damage to a portion of the House side of the building may have occurred. All monuments and memorials on the Washington mall are closed and being evacuated and there is word that a single capital policeman reported that there may have been a “tilting” of the Washington monument due to the quake.

The large central hub of Washington’s D.C.’s subway and train system experienced damage as well. Large chunks of the ceiling have been  reported to have fallen.

Philadelphia held planes on a ground stop at its airports for about 20 minutes and other East Coast airports are still suspending flights.

Two nuclear reactors in Virginia had been taken offline near the epicenter. No damage has been reported at the reactors and the shutdown is part of standard operating procedure. The reactors have since been given the “all clear”.

Experts are warning of aftershocks.

There have been no reports of injuries or severe structural damage at this time, but reports from the epicenter have not yet surfaced.

Recipe For Disaster

Washington may call the recent “debt deal” necessary, but the “ingredients” that went into making the “deal” sometimes seem a bit “seedy”. A more appropriate name might be a recipe for disaster!