Unpaid Teens Bagging Groceries for Mexican Walmarts

They work for tips only. The only surprising thing about the article is that Walmart isn’t taking a cut of their tips.

July 31, 2007 – Wal-Mart prides itself on cutting costs at home and abroad, and its Mexican operations are no exception. That approach has helped the Arkansas-based retail giant set a track record of spectacular success in the 16 years since it entered Mexico as a partner of the country’s then-leading retail-store chain. But some of the company’s practices have aroused concern among some officials and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that Wal-Mart is taking advantage of local customs to pinch pennies at a time when its Mexican operations have never been more profitable.

Wal-Mart is Mexico’s largest private-sector employer in the nation today, with nearly 150,000 local residents on its payroll. An additional 19,000 youngsters between the ages of 14 and 16 work after school in hundreds of Wal-Mart stores, mostly as grocery baggers, throughout Mexico—and none of them receives a red cent in wages or fringe benefits. The company doesn’t try to conceal this practice: its 62 Superama supermarkets display blue signs with white letters that tell shoppers: OUR VOLUNTEER PACKERS COLLECT NO SALARY, ONLY THE GRATUITY THAT YOU GIVE THEM. SUPERAMA THANKS YOU FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING. The use of unsalaried youths is legal in Mexico because the kids are said to be “volunteering” their services to Wal-Mart and are therefore not subject to the requirements and regulations that would otherwise apply under the country’s labor laws. But some officials south of the U.S. border nonetheless view the practice as regrettable, if not downright exploitative. “These kids should receive a salary,” says Labor Undersecretary Patricia Espinosa Torres. “If you ask me, I don’t think these kids should be working, but there are cultural and social circumstances [in Mexico] rooted in poverty and scarcity.”

The Video Game Crash of 1983

Wikipedia on that dark, dark year:

The video game crash of 1983 was the year-long crash of the US video game industry and the bankruptcy of a number of companies producing home computers and video game consoles in North America in late 1983 and early 1984. It brought an end to what is considered the second generation of American console video gaming.

The crash was followed by a gap of two years, during which there was no significant development for American video game consoles. That gap ended with the success of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) (along with its landmark title Super Mario Bros.) which was first introduced in Japan in 1983 (as Famicom) and then in the United States in 1985, and which would become extremely popular by 1987.

This period is sometimes referred to as the video game crash of 1984, because that was the year the full effects of the crash became obvious to consumers. Hundreds of games were in development for 1983 release, most of which ended up in bargain bins. But few games were developed in 1983 for release the following year, resulting in a drought of new video games in 1984.

Top 10 Worst SciFi TV Shows Ever

From ForeverGeek.com:

You know, these days with shows like Lost, Heroes, and Battlestar Galactica, it’s easy to forget how bad we used to have it on television when it came to sci-fi shows. Sure, we remember the Star Treks, the Fireflys, the Babylon 5s, and so on, that managed to crawl their way into our hearts…but lest we forget – Forever Geek is here to remind you just how lucky we are these days. Sci-Fi on TV used to be BAD…real bad.

With that said, we present to you the 10 WORST Sci-Fi Shows of all time. Complete with video of each horrible, horrible, television mistake.

(via SF Signal)

Daily Dose of Ingersoll

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How can the Deist satisfactorily account for the sufferings of
women and children? In what way will he justify religious
persecution — the flame and sword of religious hatred? Why did his
God sit idly on his throne and allow his enemies to wet their
swords in the blood of his friends? Why did he not answer the
prayers of the imprisoned, of the helpless? And when he heard the
lash upon the naked back of the slave, why did he not also hear the
prayer of the slave? And when children were sold from the breasts
of mothers, why was he deaf to the mother’s cry?

It seems to me that the man who knows the limitations of the
mind, who gives the proper value to human testimony, is necessarily
an Agnostic. He gives up the hope of ascertaining first or final
causes, of comprehending the supernatural, or of conceiving of an
infinite personality. From out the words Creator, Preserver, and
Providence, all meaning falls.

Robert Green Ingersoll – “Why I Am Agnostic”