What Would a Real ‘Right to Work’ Look Like?

Originally posted on Notes on a Theory...:

I just asked this question on Twitter, and realized I wasn’t going to be able to explain it  in 140 characters.  So I thought I’d elaborate here. First, the question:

There has been a lot of talk about how we need to reframe the horribly inaptly named “right to work” laws, which essentially require unions to represent workers who refuse to join or otherwise support the union in any way.  Since no one is ever required to join a union, this whole framing in nonsense, a cover for a policy designed to weaken unions that can’t be defended on the merits.

‘Right to work for less’ is a common one, but it is fairly clunky.  I like the idea of ‘loafer laws’ or even better, ‘freeloader laws’…

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Rice Bucket Challenge: Put Rice In Bucket, Do Not Pour Over Head : Goats and Soda : NPR

via Rice Bucket Challenge: Put Rice In Bucket, Do Not Pour Over Head : Goats and Soda : NPR.

More than a million people worldwide have poured buckets of ice water over their heads as part of a fund-raising campaign for ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

But when word of the challenge made its way to India, where more than 100 million peoplelack access to clean drinking water, locals weren’t exactly eager to drench themselves with the scarce supply.

And so, a spinoff was born.

Manju Kalanidhi, a 38-year-old journalist from Hyderabad who reports on the global rice market, put her own twist on the challenge. She calls her version the Rice Bucket Challenge, but don’t worry, no grains of rice went to waste.

Instead, they went to the hungry.

“I personally think the [Ice Bucket Challenge] is ideal for the American demographic,” she says. “But in India, we have loads of other causes to promote.”

Kalanidhi came up with a desi version — that’s a Hindi word to describe something Indian. She chose to focus on hunger. A third of India’s 1.2 billion people live on less than $1.25 USD a day, and a kilogram of rice, or 2 pounds, costs between 80 cents and a dollar. A family of four would go through roughly 45 pounds of rice a month, she says.

That’s why she’s challenging people to give a bucket of rice, cooked or uncooked, to a person in need. Snap a photo, share it online and, just as with the Ice Bucket Challenge, nominate friends to take part, she suggests. For those who want to help more than one person at a time, she recommends donating to a food charity.

Kalanidhi kicked off the campaign Friday, giving nearly 50 pounds of rice to her 55-year-old neighbor. He has a family of five to feed and makes a living selling breakfast to the neighborhood. But if he falls sick, his business suffers.

She took a photo with her neighbor, along with the rice, and posted it on her personal Facebook page. Responses poured in by the hundreds, prompting her to create a page for the campaign on Saturday. It received a hundred likes in just five hours. As of today, the number of likes has topped 40,000 in what she calls a “social tsunami.”

With 3 to 4 billion people in the world depending on rice as a dietary staple, the challenge has spread beyond India’s borders. People in California, Canada and Hong Kong are among the participants.

Based on the photos, Kalanidhi estimates that at least 200 people have taken part and more than 4,000 pounds of rice have been donated. Another 4,850 pounds were donated Wednesday by 2,200 students at Apoorva Degree College in a town near Hyderabad, she says.

The photos have been pouring in: Radio hosts, police officers, doctors and students have all taken part.

What if a recipient doesn’t want to be photographed — or if the donor thinks it’s not a good idea to take a picture? No worries, says Kalanidhi. A photo of the rice bucket will do.

Nearly 19,000 homes’ daily water usage has been wasted for the Ice Bucket Challenge

Originally posted on crazy dumbsaint of the mind:

I’ve been challenged three times to do this Ice Bucket Challenge goodness that’s been happening on an Internet near you. No, I’m not accepting the challenge. Sorry. No, I’m not annoyed by all the videos clogging up my feed,  as some random person I don’t even know suggested.My annoyance mostly  comes from people and their hurt feelings when I’ve pointed out some things about the challenge itself I find problematic. I really don’t have time for people having hurt feelings when their privilege is pointed out.

Let me get this out of the way right here. ALS is a terrible disease. I personally do not know a single person affected by it nor do I have the disease itself but I’m aware that the disease is awful. I think the pharmaceutical companies probably have better treatments they could be development that they choose not to (and that’s the same for…

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“The grinding poverty in Mike’s world only allowed Normandy High School to acquire two graduation gowns to be shared by the entire class. …”

The grinding poverty in Mike’s world only allowed Normandy High School to acquire two graduation gowns to be shared by the entire class. The students passed a gown from one to the other. Each put the gown on, in turn, and sat before the camera to have their graduation photographs taken. Until it was Mike’s turn.

But Mike wouldn’t be graduating in May with the rest of his class. There were additional class credits he needed to acquire and final exams yet to pass. So, Mike worked throughout the summer, every single day, to earn that diploma. According to his teacher, John Kennedy, Mike pushed himself hard:

Mike Brown didn’t have it easy, Kennedy said.

At the school’s alternative program, Kennedy was always the first one in the building. The place would be empty. He’d unlock the doors at 7 a.m. and he’d always find Brown standing there, smiling. Classes didn’t start until 8 a.m. But Brown was there. First one in the door.

On Tuesday, Kennedy, who has taught at Normandy for 19 years, struggled to reconcile that memory with how his former student was now part of a national debate, his death the spark for unrest in the streets. It wasn’t supposed to turn out like this. Not for Mike Brown.

This is a brief glimpse of Michael Brown’s life and achievements. In a haunting Facebook post, just days before his murder, Mike Brown wrote:  “If I leave this earth today, at least you’ll know I care about others more than my damn self.”

::

His death is another issue entirely and can only be understood against of the backdrop of poverty and racism in America. There are plenty of discussions going on here and across the nation about that.

None of these discussions will change anything in America any more than the endless discussions about Sandy Hook changed anything. It’s war. The American Civil war. And it has been raging for 160 years.

The question then arises:  “Why bother to blog about it? What is the point?”

Quite coincidentally, I ran across a statement today on another blog, where the owner answered that question. I was very moved by what he had to say:

Today is my 70th birthday. That means for me that it is time to think about the last part of my life….

My generation has left an awful legacy to the young. As you well know dear Reader, there is little that any one person can do to change things….

But, life is fluid and even tiny changes in one part of the universe can affect other parts in ways we cannot possibly comprehend.

When we act, we do it because we hope and believe that a known effect or effects might come from our actions.

So it is with no more than faith that I throw my blog, this tiny pebble in the ocean of human thought, hoping that somehow, something I say may indeed make it better for generations to come.

Therefore, I am going to throw The Tiny Pebble, below, into the ocean of opinions about whether or not the US and its militarized police are engaged in a civil war against minorities and the poor in America.

Who knows? It might make a difference.

 via UPDATE: Gentle Giant Michael Brown — ANON releases Dispatch tapes from Brown murder. Live..

No Poo: Why to Forego Shampoo And How it Will Reveal Your Healthiest Hair, Ever

One of my favorite blogs Thrift Core has a great post today on not using shampoo, or as it’s commonly called “No Poo”
No Poo: Why to Forego Shampoo And How it Will Reveal Your Healthiest Hair, Ever.

I haven’t used shampoo in ages. My foray into No Poo began because I couldn’t afford to buy shampoo and the hair care methods when not using shampoo are things that can be purchased with food stamps, but most importantly, they’re food stamp allowable ingredients that are very inexpensive and don’t use a significant portion of your food stamp budget. Not to mention, they can be used for other things in cooking and around the house.

After using “no poo” out of necessity, I discovered that when I had money to buy shampoo, I wasn’t crazy about how my hair felt and went back to no poo.
I use mostly just apple cider vinegar and baking soda for my hair care with an occasional Hair Smoothie whipped up when I need some conditioning. I also have started making my own apple cider vinegar with apple scraps, which helps shave more off the grocery bill.