Jim Varagona

Category: walmart

>Lead Me Not Into Temptation

>I’ve been pushing ink lately. It certainly beats baby photography. It keeps me closer to home and doesn’t involve monotonous driving.

Nearby my place of work is a massive Wally Mart, which I recently stopped at to grab some gear to fight the winter weather. While looking for the supplies, I passed someone that looked eerily familiar. He was a bit worn since the last time I saw him about ten years ago, but I knew who it was. It was none other than Michael McGrath, my favorite molester priest, “the most sued former priest in St. Louis”, and also considered “the most dangerous St. Louis priest”. Needless to say I was in the presence of a local celebrity.

It felt good to see that he looked pretty rough. It is safe to say he’s packed on a few and his sneer looks more crooked than ever.

that sneer

After I passed the sick excuse for a human being, I thought about going back and confronting him. It actually made me recall the homeless man that molested my dogter. Are worthless people like these even worth confronting? He certainly hasn’t suffered much because of his behavior. He may be the most sued former priest here, but he’s yet to serve time or pay up as far as I know. That’s where the Catholic Church comes in to save the day.

I only wish he’d suffer a worse fate than obesity and aging. And I’m not even a victim or related to a victim of his. I only came close and that was close enough to piss me off. May his ills grow worse in the new year.

In other news dealing with abusive priests, the San Diego diocese is asking priests to donate a month’s salary to go towards the recent $198.1 million sexual abuse settlement. That dwarfs in comparison to the $600+ million settlement the Los Angeles diocese made in July, the largest ever by a diocese so far. The sad thing is that the San Diego Diocese is reaching out to its church goers and asking them to contribute to righting their wrongs.

The donation request is part of a new campaign called “Embracing Our Mission”
and will be used to help “cover the expense involved in compassionate outreach
to our brothers and sisters who suffered sexual abuse within the family of the
church,” the memo said.

They could at least have their own Bingo Night in America or something to rile up the troops.

The priests have also been taking things out on the nuns. I’m the last guy to stand up for the nuns, but the L.A. Archdiocese sold a convent that was still being occupied and had been for 40 years in order to raise funds for their record settlement.

Sister Angela has it right when she said “what hurts the most is what the money will be used for, to help pay for the pedophile priests. We have to sacrifice our home for that?”

How can Catholics support this nonsense? I know the priests must accept responsibility and make these settlements, but their methods are a bit ridiculous. Then again, I’m not sure how I’d raise hundreds of millions of dollars either…except for making a blockbuster motion picture. That may be their next move. Pay close attention to the producer credits of the movies you see at the multiplex in the future. It might include a Father or two.

>Disaster Strikes at Wal-Mart

>The fiance and I have been working on our wedding invites all weekend. It saves abunch of money doing it yourself, but takes a lot of time. I never realized I could be so passionate about certain fonts.

Anyway, today we set out to get seals for the envelopes. We hit up Party City, which certainly is, and got what we needed. The weather forecasters were then predicting severe weather, but who listens to those bozos anyway. We decided to go to pick up some ribbon for our favors while we were out, even though the skies were beginning to look a bit suspicious.

I was headed for Hobby Lobby, but our sense of budgeting and penny piching took over. We decided to go to the evil Wal-Mart instead, which I have done a pretty good job avoiding, but when it comes to ribbon, I figure save the fifty cents and give a kid in a sweat shop a job. I’m kidding, but saving money means a lot when you have none. That’s the trap these corporations put you in, and it works so well.

Of course the prices on pretty white ribbon were amazing, so we grabbed it, then the lights went out. I had experienced this before at Target and Home Depot, so it wasn’t a big deal, but Wal-Mart’s backup lights sucked and were for the most part non-existent. We considered shopping more, then as the rain and winds came, we considered running out with a cart full of merchandise like those folks in New Orleans did. Before we could finish our thought process, waves of people screaming “TORNADO!” started running our way.

This was it, the big one.

It was insane. Crowds were amassing at the rear of the store, some even daring to run into the back stock room for shelter. The workers didn’t even know what to do. As much as they wanted to rely on their walkie-talkies, they couldn’t hear anything because of the sounds of people screaming and crying.

Then it hit me–walk into a crowded theater and yell fire, or walk into a crowded Wal-Mart during a power outage and yell tornado. I called my mother for some kind of outside confirmation, because this all could be some really good, yet sick, joke. She did confirm that there were rotations in my area and a Tornado Warning was issued for the area we were in, but there was no confirmation of any touchdowns.

It was enough to calm us down, then the lights came on. We started to make our way to the office section for some envelopes when the lights went out again. This time management tried to gather customers at the center of the store, but we decided to keep shopping. It’s the American way. I’ll go down in a tornado, shopping no less…and for less.

I overheard different strategies people had. It is bizzare what you consider at a moment like this. One woman wanted to be near the food in case we were trapped, so she could be the closest to something to eat. A couple were running to the pillows and linens, to be near soft things in case of flying glass and other objects. I just wanted to go take a crap because the whole situation was making me feel funny.

We made it to the front lanes to check out. Some were trying to escape at this point. I noticed some women talking to an employee. One exclaimed, “What?! Why didn’t anybody tell us? What about my car?”

I thought maybe it meant hail or something, but I wasn’t sure of much. We got to the door, and the greeter was suddenly armed with a flashlight and checking receipts. Suddenly the most kind person in the store (and usually elderly or handicapped) has power. I just wanted to leave.

As we approached the exit to the outside, I noticed slabs of drywall scattered across the parking lot, apparently from the Lowe’s next door. The “1 Hour Photo” sign was destroyed from the winds and the “T” in the Wal-Mart sign was about to come crashing down.

The winds had calmed, but the rain was still coming down along with lightning across the gray skies. We were home free, but we know never to go back to Wal-Mart, because we received a sign.

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>I Could Make A Better Wal Mart Movie, But It’s Still Effective

>If you haven’t heard, there is a new anti-Wal Mart movie out there. You can’t see it in theaters, unless it’s at your local University theater screening. It is available on DVD though. Wal-Mart: The High Cost Of Low Price first caught my notice, because it is directed by Robert Greenwald, who also produced other expose documentaries like Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism, Uncovered: The War on Iraq, Unconstitutional: The War on Our Civil Liberties, and Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election. Obviously there is a bias to his films, but if it is based on facts, more power to him.

The doc goes into detail on how the biggest of the big box stores rips off its employees through meager wages and benefits, and basically takes advantage of government assistance programs for its workers. The company is very anti-union, and it is amazing what they do to squelch the unionizing of its workers. You get to hear first hand accounts from former workers as well as former higher ups with the company. Clips from speeches by their CEO and their own training videos and advertisements are sprinkled throughout to show how they like to spin these issues.

It is very effective in proving its point, which is how can such a lucrative company get away with being so cheap with their employees? I do think it could have been a bit more structured though. Greenwald’s other docs seem to go point by point more. At times during this film, I felt like they would throw something in because they had nowhere else to put it.

People go to Wal-Mart for jobs because it’s a job. I have considered going there because I have a background in retail and I need money. Even if they treat you like crap, I know of plenty of other companies that do the same to save money, which pays their big boys more. Michael Moore was right when he said the world is run by Stupid White Men. Can we stop them? Sure, we could stop shopping at Wal-Mart, but how many others can you convince, especially considering how much you can save by going there. It is selfish, but what are they to do when they are already barely getting by? It’s rough out there, and sometimes you got to do what you got to do. Right now, there is a better chance of impeaching our President than overthrowing one of the biggest corporations in the world.

The UFCW is pushing hard to do something about Wal-Mart. Check out their report here.

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