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17h26 UTC; MONDAY, 7 MAY 2012: As if the paranoia Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker continues proffering in prolefeed form to save his name and repute in the face of his June 5th recall challenge (tomorrow being the Democratic primaries) wasn't awful and pathetic enow, one needs to consider the prospect of his facing Serious Criminal Charges thanks to the John Doe Investigation, so explaining that Legal Defence Fund of his as is at the heart of a Wisconsin Democratic Party complaint contending that recall campaign contributions were being thus diverted.

Not to mention the clear and present likelihood of Governor Walker's having weird, unhwolesome and perhaps morally-questionable friends and associates, including some with known police records for Crimes of Moral Turpitude seeking in their service for Meneer "Wisconsin IS Open for Business" the prospect of Redemption for Value.

Which, to the credit-rating agencies, could be enough to raise serious red flags to the point of placing the Badger State's sovereign debt on Double-Secret Credit Watch and Ward, to be followed with a shock downgrade in ratings just before the recall elections to a point somewhere in between Junk and Toxic Waste, though not necessarily In Default.

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With the GOP and their conservative prolefeed enablers insisting that those who have incompatible or inadequate job or career skills "aren't making reasonable enough effort to find decent jobs," all the while blaming President Obama's "policies" therefor, may I suggest that about the only such job avenues available to such you're whining about are probably of a questionable, borderline illegal even, sort.

In particular, the likes of "work-from-home" schemes such as those packaged as "merchandise processing manager" (read: fence for possibly stolen merchandise), "mystery shopper" (usually involving MoneyGram and invoking its presence at Walmart locations, supposedly to "test performance") and "payment processor" (usually invoking the names and stylees of well-known companies with a presence in the United States supposedly needing cheap and cheerful ways to send funds back to their overseas HQ because of supposed "high taxes on corporate funds transfers" or "not listed on the Official Companies Register in the United States," as if assuming Our Dear Lovely Nation adopted the British practice of a central corporate registry such as Companies House), the last two known to pay with counterfeit or stolen money orders or cashier's cheques, encashment of which could translate into legal trouble (especially as there are no funds in support thereof) and damage to credit records which could prevent reintegration into the job market.

(BTW, you can check to see if a Postal Money Order in the United States is the real McCoy by way of the Postal Money Order Verification System on freecall 1-866-459-7822; in the case of Canadian Postal Money Orders, their freecall verification line is 1-800-563-0444, or they can be sent to Canada Post Corporation, Ottawa, ON K1A 0B1, with a polite message requesting verification. BTW, postage from the United States to Canada is now 85 cents.)

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Over recent years, various tourist trap businesses, claiming a shortage of dependable teenage and young adults seeking summer work experiences stateside, have turned to the State Department's J-1 Student Visa scheme to hire disadvantaged foreign students for a few months' work experience and travel in the United States, largely to help develop job skills and English-language proficiency. Which, as with any government-sponsored scheme, can be full of potential for abuse and exploitation, which recent policy revisions seek to correct and in some instances prevent.

The which is probably a major bone of umbarge among nativist, xenophobically racist and hyper-nationalist Zealots and True Believers who are forever bellyaching about "good American labour" from especially teenagers "needing to develop healthy work habits and skills" being available, yet somehow being "prevented" from applying for or working in such positions, never mind that employers can't lay off stateside help just to accomodate J-1 visa hires. Hence, their drooling(!!) in their Luscious Glory for some easily-manipulate patsies as can serve as "testers" for the prospect of Unfair Labour Practice and Reverse Bias lawsuits against seasonal employers declining job applications or CV's from qualified stateside applicants in favour of "cheaper" J-1 visa help (never mind that the courts might throw out the case because of the "insincere" tone of the charges, lack of credible substance to the supposed interconnexion, the sheer prolefeed value of the exercise, even the possibility for "jury nullification" being sought vis-a-vis the whole J-1 scheme as "needlessly preventing many millions of good Americans from finding summer work and developing healthy work experience" thereby).

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There goes Walmart's delusional slogan of "Save money. Live better," as is making the prolefeed rounds of late: The May number of Consumer Reports hath results of a consumer survey of 52 leading regional and national supermarket chains ... and among its More Important Findings As Should Be of Concern to the Socially-Aware Consumer is that Walmart scores at or near the bottom in terms of consumer satisfaction when it comes to various metrics of the shopping experience across the board. (Read it for yourself if you don't believe me.)

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Sticking with Consumer Reports for a moment: "Selling It" is a regular feature as appears on the inside back cover of each issue in lieu of outside advertising, which Consumers Union, as publishes Consumer Reports, is against as a matter of editorial policy in the interest of due impartiality, neutrality even. Said feature is aimed at exposing all manner of absurd excesses of advertising and marketing, especially repeated or all-too-frequent use of stock images, absurd-sounding brand names, ambiguous or vague language (including use of Engrish in packaging and/or instructions), unwittingly-deceptive offers and even glowing-sounding claims being deflated by qualifying language such as government-mandated warnings or other disclosures.

On that last area of target, case in point: This month's edition calls out a point-of-sale video ad for Camel Snus proclaiming "Be Free", only to be qualified by the prominent Federally-mandated warning-in-rotation "Smokeless tobacco is addictive." Consumer Reports' rejoinder: "Apparently, freedom is just another word for addiction."

Imagine how "Tea Party" and "9-12" types, or what remains of them (as in the "hard-core" support base), would react thereto.

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Even with gas prices stating to go into retreat approaching the summer driving season thanks to crude oil on the commodities markets falling below $100/bbl. over recent days (mostly thanks to the ongoing European socioeconomic crisis, even considering elections in France [Socialists taking the Presidency] and Greece [no clear winner among the three major parties, and a viable coalition government highly unlikely] yesterday), such should not be a time for complacent "Wise Use" (read: wasteful and profligate) fuel consumption and driving habits reeking of the wasteful; after all, some crisis could shape up suddenly and without warning as could jack up fuel prices just as suddenly, and, like the Scouts, it's best to Be Prepared and conserve fuel all the more. Including such common-sense measures as:
  • Maintaining proper tyre pressure;
  • Following recommended service schedules for your car (as per the Owner's Manual);
  • Changing motor oil and other fluids at recommended intervals;
  • Refilling the gas tank only when it gets near empty (and best still, doing so at or near sunrise to minimise vapour loss common with warmer temperatures in the afternoon and evening hours);
  • Avoiding wasteful and unnecessary acceleration, especially such intended as exercises in obnoxious machismo;
  • Driving at or just under posted speed limits (preferably at 60 mph tops on Interstate highways);
  • Switching off the cell phone while driving, except in direst emergencies (in which case you should pull off to the side of the road, switch on the hazard flashers, light road flares and call 911); and
  • Taking regular rest breaks every 300 miles (i.e., about every five hours at 60 mph) to stretch the muscles, get some exercise, sip something light and refreshing (avoiding alcohol, caffeine and so-called "energy drinks" if you can help it) ... and if feeling drowsy, pull off at the nearest rest area and get some sleep before returning to the road. (Many states prohibit outright camping in rest areas as opposed to merely parking overnight; check the signs if in doubt.)
Meanwhile, for the British friends of this New Explosion of Pedigreed Bull, I hope your Early May Bank Holiday today was sane and yet enjoyable, especially considering where this year's Spring Bank Holiday, normally May 28th, will be supplanted this year by the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Bank Holiday on June 4th.



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