MeredithMay2017

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Cookie makers fall victim to tyranny of globalization

For generations, kids from age 3 to 100 have loved munching on chocolaty Oreo cookies dipped in a glass of milk. But just over a year, ago, the tasty treat suddenly went sour.

In May 2015, bakery workers in Nabisco's monumental 10-story plant in Chicago's Marquette Park neighborhood had been expecting some sweet news from their corporate headquarters. Rumor had it that their renown facility — after more than half a century and millions of Oreos — was about to receive a $130-million modernization investment to upgrade equipment and to add new production lines. So, the future looked bright and spirits were high on May 15 of last year when management convened members of Local 300 of the Bakery Workers Union to announce that the investment was indeed going to be made.

In Salinas, Mexico.

For decades, the Marquette Park community has been proud that the delectable smell of "milk's favorite cookie" wafts through their neighborhood. But the noses of Nabisco's corporate brass are clogged with greed, incapable of sniffing out anything but ever-fatter profits for themselves and other rich shareholders. Taking the NAFTA low road, they intend to move the iconic Oreo brand — and the jobs of 600 top-quality bakery workers — from Chicago to Mexico, where the minimum wage is a bit more than $4. Not per hour, but per day.

This is the tyranny of corporate globalization in action. In 2012 Kraft Foods split off its grocery business, which retained the Kraft name, and rebranded its remaining snack-food empire as Mondelez International, which includes Nabisco and its many brands including Triscuit, Planters nuts, Ritz crackers, Chips Ahoy and Oreos.

Such corporate empires now reign over millions of working families, arrogantly and even lawlessly making self-serving decisions from within the shrouded confines of faraway executive suites — wreaking havoc on workers, local economies, democratic values, and our sense of community. People affected are given no input or warning (much less any real say-so) in the profiteering that now routinely strikes us, like a lightning bolt from hell.

Worse, the so-called humans who've enthroned themselves with this autocratic power find it amusing to toy with those they rule over. Mondelez executives did exactly that after their sneak attack on Chicago's bakery workers. In a crude ploy to shift blame for the loss of jobs to the union, the plutocratic powerhouse claimed it had made an offer to Local 300 to keep producing Oreos in Chicago, but that recalcitrant union officials refused.

Of course they did, for Mondelez essentially proposed that the workers commit mass financial suicide. Here's the "offer": Since the move to Mexico is expected to save $46 million a year, the conglomerate would graciously let the 600 ransom their jobs by paying that $46 million themselves. Just slash your annual pay and benefits (as well as your throats) by that amount, the executives told the union, and you can keep making Oreos for us.

This act was an astonishing, unprecedented insulting slap in the face of every middle-class worker in the U.S. Mondelez sapsuckers were effectively demanding that longtime, dedicated, productive employees subsidize the conglomerate and ransom their livelihoods by reducing their income to poverty. Note that Mondelez banked $7 billion in profit last year.

If its executives are so inept that they can't find an honest way to fill a $46-million hole, they should dock the pay of their top three executives by that amount. They can damn sure afford it, for they totaled $37 million in compensation last year. CEO Irene Rosenfeld alone took a $20 million paycheck in 2015, bringing her eight-year total pay and benefits to almost $200 million.

I'd say her gluttony is hoggish, but I don't want to offend swine. Swine have better manners and a more delicate appetite than that. To learn more, visit www.fightforamericanjobs.org/check-the-label.

(Jim Hightower has been called American's most popular populist. The radio commentator and former Texas Commissioner of Agriculture is author of seven books, including "There's Nothing In the Middle of Road but Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos" and his new work, "Swim Against the Current: Even Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow".)

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Many mass killings have occurred in 'conceal carry' regions of the U.S.

To The Daily Sun,

Heads are exploding in the delusional barrel-sucking world of ammosexuals.

First, the U.S. 9th District Court recently affirmed the constitutionality of banning concealed carry in California unless one can present "just cause" to the Sheriff's Department. Heller 2008 only speaks to home protection which the court made clear. Now the Supreme Court has turned down an appeal to overturn the ban on AR-15 styled weapons of war in New York and Connecticut. Turning down an appeal leaves a lower court ruling in place which means other states can follow suit if they wish.

Last year, the high court turned down appeals regarding gun lock-ups, trigger locks, gun taxes, and the Highland Park ban on assault-style weapons. They are also banned in Maryland. Colorado has tightened laws, after Aurora, regarding magazine sizes and gun transfers. All have been upheld in court.

Fortunately, the vast majority of people aren't with the macho NRA psychos and their "small" blood-soaked hands. The time has come to end the madness. Again. We do not take the gun nuts' ridiculous arguments seriously at all. If they were actually right, then a nation awash in 300 million guns would be a safer nation and we wouldn't have a gun murder rate that is twenty times the average of the rest of the OEDC — the Organization of Economically Developed Countries. But we do. Twenty times!

Every time I hear about gun-free zones being the problem, my eyes just roll so far back I can see my gray matter. Many mass killings have occurred in conceal carry regions. The Oregon college shooting is an example. They call them ambush killings for a reason. A good guy with a gun is useless in a split-second ambush killing. He is dead like the rest. Only those with superhero delusion disorders are dumb enough to think otherwise.

The gun nuts want to divert our attention to "all" Muslims for the crimes of a minority of insane fundamentalists, but more people were murdered by Americans in the last two days than were murdered in Orlando by the LGBT-hating Muslim fundamentalist terrorist.

Every day, 115 Americans are treated in the ER for gunshot wounds. More than 200 are shot and killed every week and the glassy-eyed far right could not care less unless they are Muslims or Mexicans. Just think what the shrieking sound would be like if 200 were killed in a week, every week, by Muslims instead of Americans. Don't listen to the crackpots. Dishonesty, delusion, and diversionary tactics are all they have. Fear is the truth-killer. Fear and loathing are them.

Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum couldn't wait to get the endorsement of radical anti-gay evangelical pastor Kevin Swanson Swanson is known, like many fundamentalist preachers, for retching like a psychopath from the stage for the death of homosexuals.

The Bible, like Sharia, teaches this evil with it's capital punishment which is why they use violent anti-gay scriptures endlessly ad nauseam. We shouldn't consider a book written by people having hallucinations and delusions who didn't know where the sun goes at night to be an authority on anything. Swanson is Pastor Scott Lively's pal and they and other Christian fundamentalists were behind the money pushing for the "death for gays" laws in Uganda. Lively is now fittingly on trial for crimes against humanity. Schadenfreude, Pastor Scott, your God hates you, too. (For your information, 115 LGBT people were murdered in 2015 for being themselves. You know who the usual suspects are.)

Donald Trump first responded to the Orlando massacre by accepting congratulations that he was right about Muslims. Now even the GOP establishment hates him for his ugly nature. Then Mein Dumpf couldn't wait to impress the evangelical right by tweeting a picture of himself with hate mongering anti-gay pastor and man of God, Robert Jeffress. Jeffress still conflates being gay with being a pedophile which is a common conservative religious tactic to incite anger, hatred, and hopefully, violence. Jews, Christians and Muslims get executing homosexuals from the Bible's Book of Leviticus mainly.

Paul's Book of Romans, Chapter 1 also decrees that those who give up their natural affections also deserve death. Sharia law actually originates from the Bible's Pentateuch which is actually more violent and inhumane than the Quran. Since both worship the "God of Abraham and Moses," Christianity and Islam can be considered the bastard children of Judaism. They are both tribal and cultural adoptions and adaptations of Judaic superstitions and its God of Abraham.

Before the victims were even identified, Pastor Roger Jimenez from Verity Baptist Church in Sacramento told his congregation that Christians "shouldn't be mourning the death of 50 sodomites." He said, "That's great. I think that helps society. You know, I think Orlando, Fla., is a little safer tonight. The tragedy is that more of them didn't die. The tragedy is — I'm kind of upset that he didn't finish the job!" Fundamentalism is just plain evil when it comes to equality and liberty no matter which religion you choose.

Commissioner Stacy White is a Tea Party Republican in Hillsborough County in Florida who was upset when the county commission decided to fly a rainbow flag outside the courthouse in honor of the Orlando victims. White called a meeting and complained that it created a hostile workplace. Yes, he said a hostile workplace. Stacy White is the hostile one. What a lowlife heartless scumbag.

James Veverka
Tilton

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