Business Feed

What’s Up with Wal-Mart Dissing a Vet?

Can you believe that the can you believe the Department of Justice has sued Wal-Mart on behalf of former airman, Sean Thornton?

Allegedly, Wal-Mart violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 by failing to reinstate Thornton as a cashier at an Orange City store. The Act requires workers who leave their job to serve in the military be given their job back when they return.

Not a good look for Wal-Mart especially after the negative publicity from their attempt to take the insurance recovery from Debbie Shank, a former worker who is brain-damaged due to an automobile accident.


Another Reason to become Vegetarian: Massive Beef Recall

Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press

Information received by the federal agency shows that Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co. "did not consistently contact the FSIS public health veterinarian" as required when cattle became non-ambulatory after being inspected, the release said.

The Hallmark Meat Packing Company is the latest in a series of meat contamination scandals faced by the U.S. More than 143 million pounds of beef have been destroyed. A horrific video has permeated broadcast television and internet; it shows animal abuse and cows so weak they couldn't stand. They were shoved to slaughter. That same, likely contaminated meat has been shipped throughout the United States and consumed by who knows how many people.

What's happened to monitoring and oversight efforts in this country? Who's monitoring the finances? Who's monitoring the safety of the food we eat? Who's monitoring the viability of the roads, bridges and buildings we use every day?

Some instances can be considered out of the ordinary but there have been too many cases showing our exposure to danger and even death.

 


Credit Card Interest Charges Under Scrutiny

I owe Discover Card $367.10 $417.57 $418 and I'm paying I paid them off next week today. I could have engaged in a long negotiation over my balance but my time is more valuable than what I would have gained monetarily from such a debate. I have way too much on my plate to allow them to distract me. Good riddance.

If you haven't been keeping up with the hearing on credit card interest rates, please read the article below. As the economy worsens and the mortgage industry crumbles because of loan defaults, this becomes more of an issue and has a domino effect that touches all of us.

Watch for Credit Card Interest Changes

By LAURIE KELLMAN

WASHINGTON (AP) — Check your holiday credit card bills closely.

Some credit card companies are raising interest rates on good customers even if they pay down their balances, on time, every month. The reason they cite is that the customer's credit rating has fallen elsewhere.

That was a rude surprise to Janet Hard a stay-at-home mother of two teenage boys from Freeland, Mich.

Depending on her husband's salary as a steamfitter while she raised the children was financially difficult, Hard said, especially with college tuition on the horizon. To keep the family's finances in balance, Hard said she paid more than the minimum payment on her Discover card every month, plus an $8.00 Internet fee.

Or so she thought.[Continue reading…]


AlterNet Names Imus Enablers

Don 'Nappy Headed Ho's' Imus Is Ba-a-ack -- and So Are His Enablers

By Rory O'Connor, AlterNet. Posted November 19, 2007.

It didn't take long for Don Imus' Big Media and Big Politics enablers to crawl out of the woodwork and embrace the shock jock all over again. With a list of Imus's top 10 enablers.

Don Imus's Top Ten Enablers

  1. James Carville, CNN, analyst, ex-presidential advisor
  2. Bob Kerrey, New School president, former senator and former Democratic presidential candidate
  3. Rudy Giuliani, Republican presidential candidate, former mayor
  4. Sen. John McCain, Republican presidential candidate
  5. Gov. Bill Richardson, Democratic presidential candidate
  6. Tim Russert, NBC News anchor
  7. Frank Rich, New York Times columnist
  8. Sam Tanenhaus, New York Times editor
  9. Jeff Greenfield, CBS News analyst
  10. Howard Kurtz, Washington Post and CNN media commentator

Click here to read entire article.

Don't forget that the sponsors of Imus' radio show are enablers also.


Why I Don’t Like Shopping Malls

I went to Aventura Mall last Saturday for an eye examination and to get new eyeglasses. I didn't really need new glasses but I wanted a new look after wearing the same style for almost two years and it was time for a re-exam any way.

Let's just say that a rather simple task resulted in reminding me why I don't like shopping malls. Let's start with traffic. A typical 20 minute trip from my front door to the doctor's office took an excruciating 67 minutes. The first clue was a traffic jam only moments after getting on the expressway. Listening to Jill Scott and Common did little to soothe my frustration; that was so not a good sign.

As I attempted to exit I-95 to Ives Dairy Road, the traffic jam only got worse. Of course, several geniuses cut in and out of lanes when possible, just to rush to nowhere. I was sure there would be a fight, at any given moment, right in the middle of traffic. Although this area is called Aventura, it is still an annexed area of Miami and Miami has a well-deserved reputation for rude drivers.

The closer I got to the mall, the worse the traffic got. For some reason, five lanes of traffic were reduced to one. It appeared as though one of those huge street lights was being replaced. At that moment, the only thing those of us on the road could do was endure. If I didn't like my optometrist, I would have avoided the madness and returned home. I was disappointed that the Aventura police were not present to better handle the flow of traffic or that those signs that are in place to provide drivers with traffic alerts, were not programmed to advise drivers to use an alternate route.

Anyhoo, with Aventura Mall finally in sight, I would spend the next 20 minutes trying to find a parking space. The mall traffic was almost as bad as the traffic I'd just experienced on the road. There were people and cars everywhere. I know the mall is all about making money but Aventura Mall is ridiculously large. It's time to stop the development. Besides, the economy is in the toilet, why were there so many people there, right?

Aventura Mall has become such a huge monstrosity with an attempt at an identity that still remains undefined. Sure, you may see photos of some nice sections of the mall but as a facility, it looks a lot like way too much of Miami --- unplanned, added-on, hodge-podge construction. Palm trees and valet parking are not enough to overcome that and actually cultivate an upscale shopping experience.

I do give the mall management credit for a much better selection of stores, including: Michael Kors, Coach, Nine West, Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Juicy Couture, Stuart Weitzman, Gap, Sears, JCPenney and Betsey Johnson. Construction because of the February 2008 opening of Nordstrom exacerbate the traffic congestion and parking challenges.

Anyhoo, since I'm trying to live a stress-free life, and I can get most of those designer's products via Amazon.com, unless there's an unbelievable sale, I'll likely continue my shopping via internet as much as possible.


Don Imus Returns to Radio December 3rd

Don Imus is scheduled to return to radio on December 3rd. His show will be broadcast through WABC-Radio in New York. I don't know about you, but my first reaction to that is not positive.

[Rev. Al] Sharpton issued a statement on Thursday urging Imus' new employer to inform advertisers and others "how they intend to safeguard against Mr. Imus returning to his former vile and biased behavior.

More on Sharpton's response…

"But just three months later, Rev. Al Sharpton, one of the strongest voices calling for the shock jock's firing, said Imus had a right to make a living and could return to radio."

Hmmm…I'm not feeling that.

Disapproving voices…

"But prospects of Imus' return, anticipated for months, have outraged critics including the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Organization for Women, who said the idea of him coming back to the airwaves months after he was fired is nearly as insulting as the comments that drove him off the air."

Be sure to check out the NOW website and the message that can be forwarded regarding Imus' return.

I want to know what the difference in Imus' show will be also. I am fully ready to boycott ABC and their advertiser, if necessary. I know that we don't need to allow Imus to quietly return to radio without some explanation and assurances to victims of his insults.

I will send a letter to WABC President & General Manager Steve Borneman expressing my disapproval and concerns about the new show format and I'll forward the NOW alert.

 

Here's contact information for WABC:

Steve Borneman

President & General Manager

WABC Radio

2 Penn Plz

New York, NY 10121

(212) 947-0517

 

 

Related Links:

Don Imus signs deal to return to radio

 

Some WABC Advertisers:

Budget Rent-A-Car

Air Brook

New Jersey Lottery

Mac's Steakhouse


The first IKEA in Florida

The first IKEA store in Florida is set to open in less than a week in Sunrise, about 20 minutes from my home. Just typing that gives me chills which means I must work extra hard to control myself. I have been an IKEA fan since Queer Eye for the Straight Guy aired about four years ago. Those guys did some wonderful designs using the furniture and accessories from that store.

My first purchase will be storage solutions for my home. I'll likely NOT go the store's grand opening on Wednesday but I will check it out over the weekend. I know that shopping can be a serious threat to my financial well-being so my first visit to the store will be limited to checking out their offerings and taking measurements of the pieces in which I'm interested. I intend to make my visit to IKEA very methodical and unemotional. Please pray for me.


Topps Meat Company Closes but How Safe is the Food You Eat?

Ecoli E. coli and an extensive beef recall have forced the closing of the Topps Meat Company. Topps was one of the largest meat processing companies in the United States. If the safety of the food supply in the United States doesn't cause you some concern, I don't know what will.

If there was ever a time to consider the switch to vegetarianism, this would be it. If Topps sold tainted beef, isn't is reasonable to assume other companies are guilty of the same? It wasn't the company, it was the beef.

I know of a gentleman who died recently from e. coli tainted beef bologna. After a hospital stay and surgery, he was sent home and died a few days later in the arms of his daughter. I'll spare you the description of his body's reaction during his last moments but let's just say that it was horrific and disgusting to the point that I'm considering the ultimate transition to a vegan lifestyle.

By far, the most comprehensive and informative site is GoVeg.com sponsored by the folks at PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Yes, those are the same folks that went a tad overboard regarding the Michael Vick case but be sure to check out their website for shocking facts on nutrition and the food industry.

Going vegetarian is easy. Grocery stores are always stocked with colorful vegetables and plenty of other vegan foods. Almost all grocery stores now carry delicious faux meat products, too—from veggie burgers and veggie hot dogs to vegetarian chicken nuggets, ribs, steak strips, and more. With all these great products available, it's easier than ever to whip up delicious meat-free meals at home. Going out to eat couldn't be easier too! With more and more people becoming vegetarian these days, most restaurants now offer great-tasting, healthy vegetarian selections.

Making the Transition


Watch more videos at PETA.org

Pledge to Be Veg for 30 Days!

Famous Vegetarians

Nugget472

Common_peta_ad462

Have you been overcharged? Always check your receipt!

I've spent at least $5,000 a year at Office Depot for the last five to seven years. A recent headline about price scanner overcharges in California gives me much cause for concern. I can't tell you I check each and every item I purchase. I do check the larger purchases such as equipment and office furniture.

I will check every item from now on. If this problem occurred in California, it can occur anywhere.

Office Depot settles $2.3M suit


Would You Swap Your Ride?

My friend, William "DC" Clark is featured in the new Ford "Swap Swap_3 Your Ride" campaign. It's so cool to see he and his family on television with him talking about the Ford Expedition.

With the new campaign, Ford went undercover to find out what would happen if people who own other brands of vehicles were to get behind the wheel of a Ford. Clark and his family thought they were attending a party. Little did they know, they would become a part of a national marketing campaign.

In all, 90 competitive vehicle owners from New York, Dallas, Miami and Los Angeles agreed to evaluate one of 11 Ford vehicles, including a Ford Fusion, Focus, Mustang, Taurus, Edge, Escape, Escape Hybrid, Expedition, Expedition EL, F-150 or F-Series Super Duty during a week-long test drive.

The subsequent "Swap Your Ride" television commercials, which take their inspiration from the reality TV phenomenon, feature candid feedback from people who thought they were test-driving vehicles for market research.

"When consumers experience a new Ford vehicle for themselves -- especially when they haven't driven one of our products lately -- it's almost always an eye-opening experience," said Barry Engle, general manager, Ford Marketing. "In 'Swap Your Ride,' real people tell this story in their own words."

"Swap Your Ride" participants were asked before and after their test-drive experience whether they would be open to purchasing or leasing a Ford vehicle in the future. The results: Purchase consideration following consumers' week-long product evaluation doubled to nearly 80 percent.

Since the debut of the Fusion Challenge campaign with the help of Car and Driver in January, Ford broadcast, print and digital ads have emphasized the strength of its products versus the competition. "Swap Your Ride" is the latest to embrace that third party marketing approach.

"It really takes the credibility of a third party, in this case having actual people share their experiences, that we believe makes 'Swap' so effective," said Kim Cape, communications manager for Ford Division marketing and sales. "We're letting consumers speak candidly about our products."

The campaign is backed by an offer of up to $1,000 "Swap Bonus Cash" through Oct. 1 on most 2007 and 2008 model year vehicles in addition to all existing retail and lease offers.

The first of 28 "Swap Your Ride" television commercials, including Spanish-language ads, began airing last week. Print executions in USA Today and in major Top 25 market newspapers debuted Friday, Sept. 7.

Digital advertising for "Swap Your Ride" also will appear on a variety of sites including Google, Yahoo!, MSN and other automotive research sites. In addition, fordchallenge.com features additional behind-the-scenes footage compiled during the clinics.

Click here for DC's commercial.

Click here for the "Behind the Scenes" video.