In-N-Out Burger – Eureka CA

 

In a tread on Next Door, it was noted that an eighty year old hamburger dive was going out of business. Some folk immediately blamed the advent of an In-N-Out Burger (since April 2021) as the cause, calling In-N-Out a giant corporation “sucking the life out of local business,” ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

Here’s the truth of the matter:

In-N-Out Burger is an iconic California eatery.  It is a privately (family) owned corporation. The stock is not traded on any stock exchange. To acquire stock you have to be a Snyder family member. In fact in order to get an In-N-Out here, a family member had to decide to relocate his/her family here, as management are always family members. They pay their workers $15 – $18+ per hour and supply above average benefits for a fast food restaurant – actually, for many local business.. All of their ingredients ae locally sourced, as much as possible. They seem to gear their hours for the stoner crowd. They are open until 2:00 AM every night. Their prices ae way below what they should be for the quality you receive. For example. for just under $8 you can get a cheeseburger, fries and a Coke.  That’s the good news. The BAD news is that they include little Xtian bible verses on every cup and wrapper  (not the whole verse, just the reference (i.e., John 3:16 rather than “For God so…”) and not overtly.  You have to be looking for it. On the cups it’s written inside the bottom edge. On the French fry trays, it’s on the bottom. Probably the easiest place to find it is on the outer burger wrapper (on the back, near the bottom).

 According to public records, as late as 2020, Snyder family members (not the corporation)  had given money to both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party (See https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/in-n-out-burger/summary?id=D000072295). It should be noted that they gave money to Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Beto O’Rourke.  Someone among them did donate $10,000 to the California Republican Party and $7,000 to Donald Trump.

 

I read an article that claimed the company was anti LGBTQ, but that charge was tied to a Bay Area locations anti-mask, anti-vax assertions, which turned out to be the preference of that particular manager, and not a company stance. How do you jump from an anti-mask stance to an anti LGBTQ one? Oh wait, it’s those bible versus. The Snyders are Xtians therefore they MUST also be anti-LGBTQ. Nice broad brush, written with no evidence.

 

This single article, an opinion piece in the SF Chronicle, contains these spurious allegations. In doing a little research into this, I have not found even one other article anywhere stating such. And here is the killer fact: I am acquainted with several employees at our local In-N-Out. Two of them are Gay. I wonder how they passed the “strict employee screening?” Or, perhaps the manager/family member of our local In-N-Out is a tad liberal? Maybe he/she is the one who contributed to Bernie and/or Elizabeth?

 

Our local In-N-Out has been totally in compliance with local mask mandates. The In-N-Out story is (mostly) revealed at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In-N-Out_Burger

 

So, I guess what a handful of locals would prefer, is that In-N-Out Burger go out of business, and take the 100 (+/-) great paying jobs (with good benefits – it’s not likely In-N-Out will unionize, nor does it seem they would ever need to) with them.

 

Mike’s Hamburger King, the eatery going out of business, is well known for campaigning for Donald Trump and for supporting Rush Limbaugh.



What is “Natural?”

There are hidden contradictions in the minds of people who “love Nature” while deploring the “artificialities” with which “Man has spoiled ‘Nature.””

The obvious contradiction lies in their choice of words, which imply that Man and his artifacts are NOT part of “Nature” — but beavers and dams are. But the contradictions go deeper than this prima facie absurdity. In declaring his love for a beaver dam (erected by beavers for beavers’ purposes) and his hatred of dams erected by men (for the purposes of men) the “Naturalist” reveals his hatred for his own race — i.e., his own self hatred.

In the case of “Naturalists” such self-hatred is understandable; they are a very sorry lot. But hatred is too strong an emotion to feel toward them; pity and contempt are the most they rate.

As for me, willy-nilly, I am a man, not a beaver, and Homo Sapiens is the only race I have or can have. Fortunately for me, I like being a part of a race made up of women and men — it strikes me as a fine arrangement and perfectly “natural.”

Believe it or not, there were “Naturalists” who opposed the first flight to old Earth’s Moon as being “unnatural” and a “despoiling of Nature.”

If man is a part of “Nature,” and I believe we are, how can we produce anything that is not natural? Everything that we can make anything out of occurs in Nature, and nowhere else. Just like the beaver, we produce things for our own use and (generally) for the good of our fellow human kind.

On the other hand, there is evidence that suggests that Homo Sapiens is not indigenous to this planet. Our spinal cords do not seem to be made for the gravity on this planet. This explains why millions of people endure back problems. Of course it could mean that gravity on the planet increased after our evolution.

I really don’t know. Do you? Does anyone?



Class Warfare

Time to stop blaming the victims.

Some of us are failing to realize or acknowledge WHY people are unemployed; why people are homeless; why people are on welfare.

Class warfare.

The wealthy class NEEDS an underclass that will work for almost nothing, so they create this class by cutting available jobs across the board; exporting jobs to other countries; downsizing; etc. It isn’t any one persons fault that this is going on, this is part of a master plan.

The more desperate a person is, the more unlikely that person is to try to organize or join a union, and thus endanger the little that they have.

Welfare (as it exists in the US) does not pay anyone’s bills, nor does it feed anyone (unless children are involved, and then it’s still very minimal). Welfare actually causes crime. People will survive by whatever means possible. If you go to work, or if you’re a welfare mom and get married, you lose your benefits. But welfare isn’t enough to live on. What do you do? You sell drugs, or sell your body. Or your teenage sons rob stores, or whatever.

The power brokers know this too, and want it that way. Then they can blame their own victims.

In 1968 my family lived a pretty good lifestyle. I don’t remember ever needing anything, and in fact my mother insisted on my attending private schools. My mother didn’t work at all, she was able to stay at home and take care of me. Every year my father rented a cottage by a lake in Wisconsin or Minnesota and we all went on a fishing trip / vacation for two weeks. Usually a cousin came along to keep me company. My father was a union factory worker and in 1968 he made $5.00 per hour.

Today, I work in retail and I make $7.15 / hour. I work as hard as my father did. My job involves computers and so probably requires more skills that my father had. But to live the lifestyle I lived as a child, I would have to be making around $26.00 / hour.

I have never met anyone who “just doesn’t want to work.” I don’t believe such people exist. “They” are part of the right wing myth that “our corporate masters” want you to believe.

Written In October, 2004.



Totalitarianism/authoritarianism

“Do you realize that the mass of people still live under some totalitarian or autocratic regime? It’ll make you think.” – Ed Chigliak

 to·tal·i·tar·i·an·ism
(“)tO-“ta-l&-‘ter-E-&-“ni-z&m
noun
1 : centralized control by an autocratic authority
2 : the political concept that the citizen should be totally subject to an absolute state authority

It’s interesting to me that today’s Republican Party would have us living under a dictatorship – an authoritarian one man regime (Donald Trump) if they had their way.

I remember growing up in the ‘60’s and early ‘70’s, and how it was pounded into our heads that Socialism, and especially Communism, were evil and bad because they took away our rights to free speech, to worship as we choose, and to pursue “life, liberty and happiness.”  My father fought in World War II against the autocratic Hitler and his deranged attempt to control how everyone thought and lived in Europe.  We were told that that was the way Socialistic regimes were, and that we had to fight them to preserve our freedoms.

All well and good.  We won the “cold war” and so today there are very few Communist countries left, and few others are interested in becoming Communist. So why is it that in these United States, where our freedom of speech is allegedly guaranteed, that we no longer have that freedom?

“What do you mean?” You might ask.

Well, consider actor Danny Glover: he was fired from his spokesperson position with MCI because he used his freedom of speech to speak out against this government and the war in Iraq. (This happened when George W. Bush was our POTUS).

Congressperson Liz Cheney (daughter of GWB’s vice president, Dick Cheney) has been censured by the GOP because she has denied the lie that former President Trump  won the 2020 election.

Is that freedom?

Many conservatives would say that if you speak out against the President and/or against the war (any war actually) you are a traitor, and traitors should be killed. But I ask you, if you are only free to speak out in favor of the President and in favor of war, how is that freedom of speech?

Many conservative fundamentalist Christians will tell you that the First Amendment (and the rest of the Bill of Rights, and the rest of the Constitution) only applies to conservative fundamentalist Christians. Not only that, but they will also tell you that the freedom of worship only applies to conservative fundamentalist Christian churches (everything else is a cult). They will tell you that American citizenship is really only applicable to conservative fundamentalist Christians, because the founding fathers were in fact, conservative fundamentalist Christians themselves.

Now you and I and any other thinking individual will realize that conservative fundamentalist Christians are full of shit, have their heads WAY up their asses and don’t know what they are talking about (or worse, are deliberately making up the grossest lies ever conceived). But I warn you, people like Pat Robertson, Jerry Fallwell Jr. and other well known evangelists are spreading these damnable lies so far and wide that many otherwise educated Christians are starting to believe it, and if they have their way, conservative fundamentalist Christianity will be the law of the land, and this country will become the very totalitarian state that millions of our fathers, brothers, mothers and sisters (many of whom were Catholic, Episcopalian, Unitarian, Atheist, Moslem, Jewish, Wiccan, Pagan, etc.,) gave their blood and their lives to prevent.

I digressed a bit here. Freedom of Speech is not totally dead:

If you are very wealthy, you can say whatever you want, to whomever will listen, and get away with it (and if you happen to employ workers, you can force them to listen and even agree with you).

Likewise, if you are very poor (and I mean, homeless, nothing-to-lose, poor), you can also say whatever you like, whenever you want, wherever you want, to whomever will listen (but no matter how truthful or right you are, very few will listen to a “looser”(and in America today, anyone making less that $100k / year is considered a “looser”).

But the vast majority of us can safely exercise our freedom of speech only in the voting booth, or anonymously. With “Patriot Act” powers in effect, even the later is questionable, and maybe the former as well.

What good is the First Amendment if you can lose your job, or your house, or have to fear for your family’s safety, for practicing it?

And, if it is true that our fathers, brothers, mothers and sisters gave their blood and their lives to keep this country free of totalitarianism, why are we so willing to allow their sacrifices to go to waste?



“Slackers”

 

 

I have heard otherwise Progressive people refer to people on welfare or unemployment or even Social Security as “slackers.”

Here’s the thing:

The “slacker” thing is a myth.

A friend of mine has given the following feedback: “Back when I used to manage a McD’s I had a manager shortage and was putting in over 70 hours a week. The only other manager I had REFUSED to work more hours because she would loose her welfare check if she made too much money. I’ve had other experiences with that same sort of mentality and I know first hand of people who have deliberately arranged their lives so that they don’t have to ever give up their welfare or social security or whatever else they happen to be on, even when they have the opportunity and are capable of doing without that government check.”

I know what you are talking about here, but these people are not “slackers,” they are merely doing a balancing act to get the most “buck for the bang,” as it were. Such balancing acts can make the difference between eating and not eating.

People on unemployment, seniors on social security and some welfare recipients do this. First off, they are encouraged to do it and taught how to do it by the various social service officers involved. They would all much rather take higher paying jobs that would utilize their skills, but many of those jobs either don’t exist anymore, or the pay has been down graded from what it once was.

Typically, the average unemployment, social security or welfare client cannot make it on that money alone. It’s really a piddly amount. However, they can make it by carefully balancing a part-time job with their benefits. The way the system works is that if you make too much during a given week, you get no benefits. But, if you stay within a certain limit (which will differ from person to person, agency to agency, depending on other circumstances) they can actually make more money then they would with just the part-time job or just then benefits alone. Especially in the case of Unemployment, which rewards you for being employed part-time.

Seniors have to be especially careful, or work under the table. And, btw, how do you know your “slackers” aren’t working under the table elsewhere? They certainly can’t tell anyone, even you.

Like I said, the “slacker” thing is a myth. I’ve seen it over and over again. I actually know of people in our Order who are working part-time, receiving some unemployment, and working “under the table” to make ends meet. One person I know in particular works over 70 hours a week this way, and is still struggling to make ends meet, and supporting a disabled wife (she could get SSI, but their combined income (part-time job plus unemployment) is too high for them to qualify – either for SSI, MediCal or even food stamps). Currently they are driving a car with no reverse because they have no extra money to get it fixed.

Anyroad, my point is that it’s not all as black and white as the media and the right wing would have you believe.