The poisoned workplace

We’ve all been there. Because the poison runs deep.

The identification tags shown above are for an employee at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.  Maurice Walker has detailed five years of such abuse in a lawsuit filed on Wednesday against the hospital and his supervisors.  Among other things, the lawsuit details “racial taunts, stymied job promotion, and forcing him to wear official hospital ID badges with the image of Jimmie Walker.”

What was the hospital’s response?  Continue reading

‘I care about 100 percent of the American people.’

Last night Romney was asked to discuss the “biggest misperception” people have about him.  His response:

I care about 100 percent of the American people. I want 100 percent of the American people to have a bright and prosperous future. I care about our kids. I understand what it takes to make a bright and prosperous future for America again. I spent my life in the private sector, not in government. I’m a guy who wants to help with the experience I have, the American people.

Debate transcript here.
Maybe that perception has to do with the now-infamous “47 percent” video, in which Romney says this:
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. And I mean, the president starts off with 48, 49, 48—he starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect. And he’ll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean that’s what they sell every four years. And so my job is not to worry about those people—I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

Full transcript here.

And at first Romney said his remarks were “not elegantly stated” but he did not refute them.  Later, his campaign began to promote the idea that Romney supports the “100 percent.”  Romney made this statement:

Well, clearly in a campaign, with hundreds if not thousands of speeches and question-and-answer sessions, now and then you’re going to say something that doesn’t come out right.  In this case, I said something that’s just completely wrong.

So you knew the word was out at Romney headquarters: Act like you care, dammit!

Then I saw this AP photo in the news:

Nice pic, right?  Ryan hard at work scrubbing those dirty pots and pans, with his wife in the background toiling away. The captions revealed what a great, kind, caring sort of man he is.  “Paul Ryan washes dishes at soup kitchen outside Youngstown, OH.”  “Paul Ryan scrubs a pan Saturday at the St. Vincent De Paul Society soup kitchen.”  Other pics showed him with his family.

Having washed a dish or two in my day (and I know what a Hobart is, too), I thought Hmmm, that apron seems mighty clean and even has a fold line in it.  And the dude is wearing a watch.  No rubber gloves.  No bleach water.  Plus his sleeves aren’t rolled up high enough.  And isn’t that pan awfully shiny?

Yep on all counts.  Here’s a video capture.

You can watch the video here.  See any food stuck to those pots and pans?  There’s additional video here and you can see the kitchen is all nice and tidy.  Nary a dirty dish to be seen.

Yet there’s still some denial in place:  NBC’s headline reads  Ryan did wash dirty dishes during soup kitchen visit.

See?  Did so!  Did so!

I understand the need for a photo opportunity.  But if the purpose was to highlight the efforts of the volunteers, as the campaign stated, why weren’t those volunteers featured prominently in the pictures?

And yeah, it’s one photo.  I understand that.  But look at the mindset behind that photo.  Take a look at policies that will “wean” people off government programs.  Watch the poor get poorer.  And remember, they will care about you.  Smile for your photo, now.


They serve vanilla


So a customer wanted to know if Wilcoxson’s delicious ice cream contained pork gelatin.  Of course the president of the company, Matt Schaeffer, was delighted to hear he had a loyal fan and rushed to provide an answer:

“We don’t deliver outside Montana, certainly not Pakistan”

Source.  Here’s the screen capture:

So much going on in that brief nine-word response.

First, it’s factually incorrect.  Wilcoxson’s does deliver outside Montana.  Specifically, it delivers to Sheridan, WY, which the first poster lists on his/her facebook profile.

Second, it’s fairly curt, even disregarding the content.  If somebody claims to “love” your ice cream, it would be good to acknowledge that.

Third, Schaeffer assumed the poster lives in Pakistan.  Which means he maybe assumes all Muslims live in Pakistan.  I suppose that isn’t too bad of a guess, since there are a lot of Muslims there.  He should have guessed Indonesia first, though.  Of course, there are millions of Muslims here, too.  And there’s this little thing called air travel.  Wonder if Schaeffer’s heard of it. I mean I’ve even been near Montana.  Not that I’d brag about it or anything.

Finally, it’s just plain dismissive.  Why wouldn’t you simply answer the question?

In any event, Matt Schaeffer’s pants are apparently on fire.  Because he claims he was overwhelmed with work and just reacted to the facebook user’s icon which read “Pakistan.”  If three brown people can spell out “Pakistan,” that is.

For those who ask “Why does it have to be racist?  Why can’t it just be stupid?” I say “Well, why can’t it be both?”

Photo by seelensturm/flicker

It’s terrible.

But apparently not enough to be fired from Rob McKenna’s campaign.  She has resigned.

McKenna’s office claimed that she was “suspended without pay” and that this was “under investigation,” but that didn’t seem to be the case until the story started gaining traction.   I always assumed that employers looked at prospective employees’ social media before hiring.  So either somebody was too lazy to do so or they looked and didn’t care.

Obviously Ehl didn’t think this tweet would affect her job prospects, either.  But once the shit hit the fan, she began furiously deleting.  Finally I guess the sheer amount of stupidity must have been overwhelming, because her twitter account is gone.

The benefit of the doubt

So some university students formed a Towson chapter of the Y0uth for Western C1vilization.  They most recently made the news after chalking slogans like “Wh1te Pride” and “Anti-Racist is Code for Ant1-Wh1te” around campus.

[Chapter president Matthew] He1mbach, a 20-year-old junior, said the group is only promoting traditional conservative values and is not racist. He said he’s advocating pride in his culture, not “wh1te power.”

“Wh1te pride is no different than gay pride or black pride,” he said. “I’m not trying to put anyone down. We want to celebrate our unique culture, and we encourage every other group to do the same.”

From another article, also He1mbach:

“What we want to do is be able to promote on campus for students who want to be proud of their heritage and the foundations of this country.  They have a place to do that and be able to stand up for themselves.”


Yeah, I might just buy the idea that He1mbach is just regular garden-variety stupid like so many other folks in the majority.   Continue reading

By the numbers

On the day when this story about white teens beating and running over an African American man wasn’t making the news, I was driving in my car and listening to the radio.  In that one hour I heard about the mob attacks at the Wisconsin State Fair three times.  Black kids terrorizing innocent white fair goers.

Yes, I agree it is terrible.  The news reports have been sketchy, but eleven people were reported to have been hurt.  None were murdered.

In my journalism class, I learned “if it bleeds, it leads.”

But when Filipino American Joseph Ileto was murdered, many of the news stories led with the wounded individuals at the Jewish Community Center.  In some of the articles, Ileto’s murder was relegated to an afterthought.  There was one where he wasn’t mentioned at all.

It’s about who is considered important.  Look at the numbers:

Continue reading

Fong Lee

Remember Fong Lee?  Lee was a 19-year-old Minnesota man who was shot eight times by a Minnesota police officer.  The police claimed he had a gun.  A gun was recovered by the body but mysteriously it had no fingerprints or DNA evidence linking it to Lee.  In addition, the gun had been in police possession just before the shooting.  The police officer received a medal for his actions.

Here is an update from Slant Eye for the Round Eye:

While some of you may know about this case, some of you probably don’t – but if you care about how law enforcement looks at members of the API community – I’ll just ask that you listen, and that if you can, help spread the word about the case as well as the upcoming press conference and rally being held this Saturday, October 2nd at 2:00 PM.

Background Information (From The Press Release)

On July 22, 2006, Hmong teenager Fong Lee was with a group of friends riding bikes near the North Minneapolis Cityview Elementary School when Minneapolis police officers chased them across the playground. Officer Jason Andersen shot Fong Lee eight times, in the back, side, and then five more shots into Lee’s chest as he lay on the ground. Andersen stated he was justified in the killing, claiming that Lee pointed a gun at him. He was cleared by the MPD’s internal investigation even though neighborhood eyewitnesses were not interviewed, many of whom contradicted the police officers’ version of events in community press reports. Continue reading

Journalism 101

A psychologist is not a social worker.

Remember Lisa Belkin, who never bothered to check out all the tiny little problematic details of Anita Tedaldi’s story?  Well no wonder.  Because she of course weighed in on the Russian case and she recounted that “Tedaldi sought counseling and advice before she made her decision, and then she found the boy a family where the mother was a social worker trained in helping children with attachment disorders.”

What did Tedaldi write?  “The mom, Samantha, was a psychologist, and the family had adopted another boy with similar issues just a couple of years before.”

Social worker, psychologist, whatever.  Trained in helping children with attachment disorders, sure.  Now we know why Tedaldi’s pathological story hit the New York Times in the first place.

Good thing Tedaldi just gave him away rather than shipping him back.  Because who knows if he’d end up in South America or Ethiopia.