cash and poverty Politics wankers

Burger King plays holiday Scrooge

THE migrant farm workers who harvest tomatoes in South Florida have one of the nation’s most backbreaking jobs. For 10 to 12 hours a day, they pick tomatoes by hand, earning a piece-rate of about 45 cents for every 32-pound bucket. During a typical day each migrant picks, carries and unloads two tons of tomatoes. For their efforts, this holiday season many of them are about to get a 40 percent pay cut.
Florida’s tomato growers have long faced pressure to reduce operating costs; one way to do that is to keep migrant wages as low as possible. Although some of the pressure has come from increased competition with Mexican growers, most of it has been forcefully applied by the largest purchaser of Florida tomatoes: American fast food chains that want millions of pounds of cheap tomatoes as a garnish for their hamburgers, tacos and salads.
In 2005, Florida tomato pickers gained their first significant pay raise since the late 1970s when Taco Bell ended a consumer boycott by agreeing to pay an extra penny per pound for its tomatoes, with the extra cent going directly to the farm workers. Last April, McDonald’s agreed to a similar arrangement, increasing the wages of its tomato pickers to about 77 cents per bucket. But Burger King, whose headquarters are in Florida, has adamantly refused to pay the extra penny — and its refusal has encouraged tomato growers to cancel the deals already struck with Taco Bell and McDonald’s.
This month the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange, representing 90 percent of the state’s growers, announced that it will not allow any of its members to collect the extra penny for farm workers. Reggie Brown, the executive vice president of the group, described the surcharge for poor migrants as “pretty much near un-American.”

Penny Foolish – New York Times

Art and Beauty rough living

Pictures from Hitchhiking Across America

Pictures from Hitchhiking Across America


Lakshmi, before surgery

Lakshmi before surgery to remove her “parasitic twin” that stopped developing in the womb. The two-year-old Indian girl, who was born with four arms and four legs, made her first public appearance since undergoing a 27-hour operation last week. Looking tired, the toddler was bundled in a blanket and cradled in her father arms.(AFP/File)


The Republican Debates (CNN-Youtube) – My Analysis

Huckabee smiled. Romney and Giuliani both snarled at each other and proved without a doubt that they are assholes (as if more proof were necessary!) Romney wouldn’t say waterboarding was torture, Giuliani showed he is desperate and petty. McCain (poor McCain) looked tired and discouraged as if he now knows that he blew it in 2004 by endorsing Bush and so blew his one shot at the presidency. Ron Paul, kooky and outspoken as always made sense. The man makes sense. Fred Thompson seemed arrogant and unconcerned as if he doesn’t care and used the chance to show a youtube style video that slammed Romney and Giuliani. And Tancredo…well…the man is the stereotypical dickhead. Oh yeah, Huckabee smiled and came across as one hell of a nice guy. In short, a number of rich white guys took the stage and tried to demonstrate that they stand for rich white guy values more than the other.
That’s my analysis.

Art and Beauty bartering cash and poverty in and out

Prostitute sells sex for Charity

God loves the working girls. At least he does if he is like me.

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – A Chilean prostitute has auctioned 27 hours of sex to raise money for the country’s largest charity during an annual fund-raising campaign.
Maria Carolina became an overnight celebrity in the conservative Roman Catholic country, making news headlines and appearing on talk shows since she made her unusual donation to the televised charity event, which runs for 27 hours starting on Friday evening.
“I’ve already auctioned off the 27 hours of love,” Maria Carolina told Reuters on Wednesday, saying she had raised about $4,000. “One of my clients already paid. It seemed like a good deed to him.”
Adult prostitution is legal in Chile. Chile’s two-day Teleton fundraiser is endorsed by television stars and aims to raise funds for poor, disabled children.
Speaking about Maria Carolina’s unusual donation, campaign organizer Mario Kreutzberger said he would not encourage “immoral” activities, but said he would accept her pledge.
“Everyone can do what they want, but if someone tells me that they’ll do something immoral … I’m not going to encourage it,” Kreutzberger, who as “Don Francisco” hosts the long-running “Sabado Gigante” program on the U.S. Spanish-language Univision network, told local media.
But Maria Carolina, who advertises her services on the Internet, defended her money-raising scheme.
“There are people who are going to be donating money that’s a lot more questionable than mine,” she said. “The only thing I did was publicize it.”
(Reporting by Antonio de la Jara; writing by Lisa Yulkowski; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

war is waste

Army Captains Critique Iraq War: Enough of this bumper-sticker patriotism

A powerful interview from Morning Edition.

Morning Edition, November 28, 2007 · A dozen former U.S. Army captains wrote a column for The Washington Post last month entitled “The Real Iraq We Knew” in which they set out to describe the war they had experienced, instead of the one generals and politicians had described.
The officers’ words have stirred controversy, with some critics calling them traitors. But that hasn’t stopped them from speaking out.
In the op-ed piece, published on the fifth anniversary of the authorization of military force in Iraq, the 12 captains wrote that they had “seen the corruption and the sectarian division.”
“We understand what it’s like to be stretched too thin. And we know when it’s time to get out,” they said.

NPR : Army Captains Critique Iraq War

Food and Booze The Life Aloha

Cracking the Code of the Zombie

A “tiki detective” cracks the secret codes of Donn the Beachcomber, kept in coded little black books.

THE culinary world seems to inspire a certain kind of dedicated, if slightly obsessive, connoisseurship. Think of Elizabeth Tashjian, who for 30 years ran the Nut Museum out of her house in Old Lyme, Conn., and spent her off hours painting portraits of walnuts. Or, more recently, Steven Kaplan, an American academic whose scholarly energies are principally focused on French bread.
Add to this list Jeff Berry, an easygoing California native who has spent more than a decade tracking down original recipes of drinks with names like the Cannibal Grog and the Nui Nui. A self-described “tropical drink evangelist,” Mr. Berry, who goes by the name Beachbum Berry, has written four slim books that serve as remarkably detailed bar guides to the tiki culture that began in the 1930s, sputtered out in the ’70s, and was revived a decade ago. He sees his mission as elevating the lowly reputation of umbrella drinks to their rightful standing.

Cracking the Code of the Zombie – New York Times

Oddities Politics

Bush screws up names of Israel and Palestine leaders

I’ve become a huge fan of the news program countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC. He seems to have one of the only mainstream news shows that doesn’t pull any punches. As an example, Olbermann showed Bush yesterday at the highly publiscized Israel Palestine peace talks introducing Abbas and Olmert and mispronouncing both of their names with them standing on either side of him. Olbermann pointed out that Bush stayed a whopping 3 hours, just long enough for the photo op and then showed Bush screwing that up too. He had to be prompted by the Israeli leader to come from behind the podium so that photographers could see the men shaking hands. If you aren’t watching Olbermann, you should.

Crime and Punishment fuck yes! Ink Dribblers

Stephen King: Waterboard Jenna Bush, Have Her Decide If It's Torture

Somebody needs to award him a Nobel Peace Prize for this….

Horror writer Stephen King has a solution for how to prove once and for all whether waterboarding is torture: Have Jenna Bush try it.
The bestselling author offered his unorthodox investigative method in a Time magazine interview during a discussion about the media’s coverage of celebrity news.
“I said something to the ‘Nightline’ guy about waterboarding, and if the Bush administration didn’t think it was torture, they ought to do some personal investigation,” King recounted to Time. “Someone in the Bush family should actually be waterboarded so they could report on it to George.”
“I said, I didn’t think he would do it, but I suggested Jenna be waterboarded and then she could talk about whether or not she thought it was torture,” King continued.

big screen, little screen, ipod monkeys Politics

Trent Lott's Likely Replacement Featured In Borat

Sen. Trent Lott’s resignation announcement Monday may have woken many on Capitol Hill out of their tryptophan stupors, but speculation over his replacement is not surprising anyone. The focus is on Mississippi Rep. Chip Pickering and Roger Wicker as the most likely candidates to replace Lott.
Pickering announced this summer that he would be retiring from Congress after ten plus years to spend more time with his family. If Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour appoints Pickering to Lott’s Senate seat, then he’ll be hitting the campaign trail instead of going home. Lott’s seat will be up for grabs again in a special election occurring the same day as the November 4, 2008 general election.
And if that’s the case, Pickering might find himself answering questions about his cameo in “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.” Pickering appeared at a Pentecostal gathering where theories against evolution were cheered and the Chief Justice of the Mississippi State Supreme Court declared that America “will always be a Christian nation until the good lord returns.”

Follow link for video.
Trent Lott’s Likely Replacement Featured In Borat – Politics on The Huffington Post