Archives: Citizen News

Honest to Cheesiness

Honest to Cheesiness

iotdhtgindianalogo Indiana has selected a new slogan for its license plates: Honest to Goodness. Really? Is that the best we can do? Where are the creative people in this state? Who says that anymore? How many questions can I ask in this paragraph?

Being the civic minded Citizen that I am, I decided to post some alternatives. Please pick the one you like best and email it to your state congress mammal!


  1. Indiana, it’s not as flat as you think.
  2. Umm, what the heck was wrong with “Crossroads of America?”
  3. We poop excellence.
  4. We had a governor named Oliver Hazard Perry Morton. Top that!
  5. We know you got choked up during Hoosiers, it’s okay to admit it.
  6. No, I don’t know Bobby Knight. (He left the state 14 years ago.)
  7. You can order a liter of Coke with your meal here. Suck it, NY.

Carry on, Citizens!

This Law is Endorsed By…

This Law is Endorsed By…

Whatever you call the new healthcare law “Affordable Care Act,” “Obamacare,” or “Dear God this is a cluster…” it’s pretty clear that consumers haven’t cozied up to it as quickly as the Administration would have liked. So to combat this problem, the White House has lined up a team of celebrities to encourage you to sign up. Adam Levine is pitching Obamacare. Amy Poehler is too. So is Lady Gaga.

This of course got me thinking. Is there a law that I could endorse?  I don’t want anything big or controversial like Obamacare, abortion, gay marriage etc. Oh no, I want some absurd and  ridiculous. I want to be the official spokesperson of a law so out there, that you just shake your head and say, “Really, they had time to pass that?!”

And since Congress is filled with the absurd and inconsequential, I didn’t have to look very hard. Believe it or not, Congress actually passed the following law. And the President actually signed it. And you actually thought they weren’t doing anything!

In Liberty We Catch

The same month that the gun reform bill failed in the Senate, Congress sent a bill to the president that dealt with an issue of somewhat questionable importance: “To specify the size of the precious-metal blanks that will be used in the production of the National Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coins.”

The coins are set to be released in 2014 and are curved like a baseball glove with the words “liberty” and “in God we trust” printed on one side. The legislative branch amended the original bill for the coins “by striking ‘have’ and inserting ‘be struck on a planchet having a'” in two locations. (Quoted from ABC NEWS, written by NICKI ROSSOLL and JOAN E. GREVE)

Are you kidding me? This is a serious matter! We need to inform the public about the baseball glove coins coming next year. And I am willing to be the spokesperson for this important piece of legislation, Mr. President. And, because I believe in my country so much, I’m willing to do it for 1/10th the price that you’re paying Adam Levine. (Unless of course he’s doing it for free. In that case I’ll take World Series tickets as payment.)

Citizens you can help. Write your CongressMammal and tell them that I should be the spokesperson for the Hall of Fame Coin. Sure, I never played pro baseball. But as far as I can tell, Lady Gaga, Amy Poehler, and Adam Levine have never been doctors.

Carry on, Citizens!

Ashton vs Walmart

Ashton vs Walmart

Yesterday, actor Ashton Kutcher engaged in a war of words with Walmart on Twitter. You can read the details here, but the gist of it this: Walmart employees in Canton held a food drive for Walmart employees who were struggling to make ends meet this Thanksgiving. Rather than applaud their generosity, he took the opportunity to bash Walmart for their large profits last year.

So, my question to you Citizens is this: Is Ashton’s outrage justifiable, hypocritical, or simply misguided? Before you answer, consider these numbers. Ashton is offended that some of Walmart’s workers live below the poverty line, yet the company reported a $17 billion profit last year. Many people chimed in with their support. I wonder how many of those people knew these numbers.

  1. The entry level hourly wage of a set designer in Hollywood is $16/hour.
  2. The entry level hourly wage of a camera operator on a TV set is $26/hour.
  3. The entry level hourly wage of a stage director in TV is $10/hour.
  4. The entry level hourly wage of a producer on TV is $17/hour.
  5. The entry level hourly wage of a PR specialist in Hollywood is $17/hour.
  6. Ashton Kutcher’s salary last year was $24 million.

~Data from

My guess is the people working on the set of Ashton’s show make more than the wages above. It’s  a hit show and they can attract the best talent. However, the best talent didn’t start out as the best talent. They had to start out at the bottom and work their way up. That’s the way with most career fields. Walmart’s entry level jobs, just like most entry level jobs in retail, were never designed to support families. And that’s where the minimum wage arguments come in. Some tasks simply have more value than others.

I worked in the social services field for 10 years as a fundraiser. I’ve seen the poorest of the poor. I have seen people that had their circumstances thrust upon them, and I’ve seen those whose poor decisions created their circumstances. Neither were turned away from getting help. But I saw enough of the second type to know that businesses are too often vilified for the poor decisions of their entry level employees. I’m certain some of those people being helped in Canton couldn’t control the circumstances that brought them to a place where they needed help. But I’m also certain that there are probably some that made repeatedly bad decisions which limited their future ability to get good paying jobs.

Here’s another thing I’m certain about: in the 10 years I was in my nonprofit job, no company supported us at the level Walmart did. From cash, product, to staff volunteering, no company gave more to help support the poorest in our community. Does that mean they always do the right thing? Nope. No large organization always gets it right. But, unlike Ashton, I’ve worked directly with the people he is trying to defend and the company he is trying to vilify. And I know the truth. The truth is that issues like this are not as black and white as a celebrity detached from the real world would have you believe.

Happy to hear your thoughts.

Carry on, Citizens!

Pin It on Pinterest