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Polish bishops favour total ban on Sunday shopping

Good for them; I hope they and Solidarity are successful in getting such enacted in law.

Poland’s leading Catholic bishop has spoken out in favour of an almost complete ban on shops opening on Sunday, amid growing public controversy over the proposal.

“Free Sundays are what all Catholics, non-Catholics and non-believers need,” Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki told Polish Radio ahead of a meeting of the Bishops Conference on Friday, which is expected to support the ban.

The idea was put forward last year by the powerful Solidarity trade union, backed by a million-strong petition, and has been batted back and forth in a parliamentary subcommittee ever since.

The clerics are careful to base their argument on quality of life rather than religious grounds. “Families don’t just need financial support, they need time for themselves,” said the Archbishop of Katowice, Wiktor Skworc.

He appealed to the government to “show some compassion for women in the form of those who have to work in supermarkets on Sundays”, and accused it of showing “contempt” for Solidarity and the bishops by delaying consideration of the ban. He also warned local MPs and senators that he expected them to vote “in line with the views of their voters,” the Wirtualna Polska website reports.

[…]

The government and retail groups have suggested compromises like shutting shop every other Sunday, or only after lunch, and the rival OPZZ union confederation proposes higher wages for Sunday working, but Solidarity chief Piotr Duda is holding out for “Four free Sundays a month, full stop, end of story”, Dziennik daily reports.

I remember when Ontario ended its ban on Sunday shopping in 1990 or so, in the time leading up to it, the opposition to the overturning of the Lord’s Day Act which banned most stores from being open on Sunday came from both the Tories and the New Democrats, both Right and Left, against the Liberals.

The Right reflected the traditionalist sentiment that Sunday is the Lord’s Day, and ought to be a day of rest as commanded in God’s Word.

The Left, which still in those days actually cared about the workers, argued that workers needed a set day off.

They were both correct, and it was nice to see common cause from both left and right against the Liberals.

Alas, they lost.

But it was inspiring.

As are the bishops aligning themselves with Solidarity, the labour union that opposed communism. They represented workers against a regime that ostensibly ruled in the name of the workers.

Nice to see left and right together on this, over there. I wish them all the best, and will pray for them.

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Posted by on August 27, 2017 in business, government, law, religion, The Kulturkampf

 

Hiring locals due to ‘shortage’ of foreign labour

Not ‘The Onion’… (Hat tip.)

Businesses in Bar Harbor, Maine are turning to locals to make up for a shortage of foreign guest workers that normally fill summer jobs in the bustling seaside resort town.

Because the H-2B visa program has already reached its annual quota, Bar Harbor’s hotels, restaurants and shops can’t bring in any more foreign workers for the rest of the busy summer tourist season. Like hundreds of similar coastal resort towns, Bar Harbor has for many years depended on the H-2B visas for temporary workers. The program allows non-agricultural companies to bring in foreign labor if they are unable to find suitable employees domestically.

[…]

The annual limit for H-2B visas is set at 66,000, half for the winter season and half for the summer. In the past, workers who had previously come to the U.S. on H-2B visas were given a “returning worker” exemption and not counted against the cap. Congress did not include the returning worker provision in this year’s authorization, but instead gave Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly the power to raise the limit by as many as 70,000 extra visas for the summer.

Several lawmakers are pressuring the Trump administration to authorize more H-2B visas, and DHS is expected to announce a higher cap this month. Independent Maine Sen. Angus King has introduced legislation that would restore the returning worker rule.

In the meantime, Bar Harbor’s businesses are scrambling to find locals to pick up the slack.

Incredible…

If buttercups buzz’d after the bee,
If boats were on land, churches on sea,
If ponies rode men and if grass ate the cows,
And cats should be chased into holes by the mouse,
If the mamas sold their babies
To the gypsies for half a crown;
If summer were spring and the other way round,
Then all the world would be upside down.

The World Turned Upside Down

 

Cyborgs, or the Mark of the Beast; take your pick…

What some have warned us about is coming to pass:

Wisconsin company offers microchip implants to employees

Company says it is first in United States to offer the technology to staff

A Wisconsin vending machine company is offering its employees a chance to have a microchip implanted in their hands that they could use to buy snacks, log in to computers or use the copy machine.

About 50 employees at Three Square Market have agreed to the optional implant of the chips, which are the approximate size and shape of a grain of rice, said Tony Danna, vice president of international sales at the River Falls-based company.

The company, which employs 85, said it was the first in the United States to offer staff the technology which is similar to that used by contactless credit cards and chips used to identify pets.

The implants made by Sweden’s BioHax International are part of a long-term test aimed to see if the radio-frequency identification chips could have broader commercial applications, Danna said.

“We’ve done the research and we’re pretty well educated about this,” Danna said in an interview.

The company is holding an Aug. 1 “chip party” where employees will have the device inserted between their forefinger and thumb using a syringe-like instrument.

The RFID chips use electromagnetic fields to communicate and can be read at a distance of no more than six inches (15 centimetres), Danna said.

Critics of using chips in humans include Nevada State Senator Becky Harris, who in February introduced legislation that would make forced installation of microchips illegal.

“It is possible to hack the information that is contained within the chips,” Harris told a state Senate judiciary committee meeting at the time.

The company’s CEO Todd Westby in a statement predicted the technology could become popular among companies.

“Eventually, this technology will become standardized allowing you to use this as your passport, public transit, all purchasing opportunities, etc.,” he said.

Heaven help us…

 

On the recent proliferation of gambling in Canada

In the late 90s and early 2000s, I began to observe an increase in various forms of gambling in Canada; particularly in western Canada, there were more casinos and video lottery terminals in bars.

In recent years, I have observed the same kind of video lottery terminals in several bars in Atlantic Canada; thus far, Ontario has resisted them.

But casinos have spread greatly in Ontario in recent years, outside of some of the more obvious locations (some big cities, many native reserves), into small communities, as well. In the last couple of years or so, one even opened up in my small hometown, which surprised the heck out of me, as I didn’t see my area as the kind of place that would go in for them.

I am not altogether opposed to gambling, per se; I don’t believe it is outright condemned in and of itself in Scripture (yes, the casting of lots for Christ’s garments is depicted as the wicked thing that it certainly was, but not because of the gaming so much as the humiliation of an innocent man who is also God; after all, casting lots is shown in Scripture in general as a tool for decision-making, much like flipping a coin).

But as with other activities that are not wrong necessarily in moderation, but in excess are problematic (e.g. people enjoying some drinks at the pub or at home after work is one thing; people getting shit-faced, blackout-drunk, and puking on the streets like we see today in the U.K. in contrast to the healthier drinking culture of yesteryear is quite another), so too with gambling. A bit here and there, a few national and regional lotteries, a few casinos, a few horsetracks with betting, etc., no big deal for society; only for a handful of people with self-control issues. But video lottery terminals and casinos increasingly everywhere, that’s worrisome. We can expect to see more and more gambling addictions arising, the numbers increasing exponentially, the more gambling proliferates.

What is bringing this about?

Well, frankly, at the end of the day, I think it’s just greedy governments, greedy for increased tax revenues, and/or finding an easy way to boost tourism (and no doubt some corrupt officials on the take, in the pockets of would-be casino owners) – and business owners, esp. bars which play host to video lottery terminals, all too happy to go along with it, because they sell more drinks the longer people sit in the bar and play. I don’t blame business owners for wanting to maximize their profits nor not wanting to lose out to the competition down the street if they host such terminals, but I do blame governments for allowing / promoting such.

As for why the public enthusiastically embraces them, hey, it’s a thrill, and the lure of easy money for nothing is too much for many to resist. (Not me; I think I lack the gambling gene or whatever; I don’t even play lottery tickets, though I will enter occasionally contests to win a trip, or some charity 50:50 draws occasionally, but I don’t bet or go to casinos or the like, just because I have different interests, same as I’m not especially interested in sports, particularly. This of course doesn’t mean I’m better than others; just that my temptations / vices / weaknesses / preferred recreational activities happen to lie elsewhere.) And no doubt in hard times, it becomes even more of an escape, and something into which people place their hopes, rather than in God.

Anyway, just something I’ve noticed, of late; or rather, I’ve been noticing it over the last generation, but with recent increased rates of proliferation of gambling forms, I couldn’t help but be struck by it, and find myself contemplating it more.

 

Catholic farmer ousted from Michigan market over same-sex marriage views

Thought-criminal dissent from the prog zeitgeist will not be tolerated.

A Catholic farmer in Michigan is suing the city of East Lansing after he was barred from a municipal farmers market over his views on same-sex marriage.

Stephen Tennes filed a lawsuit at a federal court on Wednesday (May 31), seeking his reinstatement.

In it, Tennes says he was prohibited from selling his products after his business, Country Mill Farms, refused to host a lesbian couple’s wedding at its orchard in Charlotte, 22 miles outside the city and he stated on Facebook “his Catholic belief that marriage is a sacramental union between one man and one woman.”

Country Mill Farms had sold fruit and produce at the market for six years, but after city officials learned about the Facebook post, they “strongly and immediately pressured us not to return to the farmers market,” Tennes told a news conference at the state Capitol.

According to the lawsuit, Country Mill is the only business to have been prohibited under the market’s anti-discrimination policy.

In a statement, the city of East Lansing said the farmer’s refusal to host a same-sex wedding violated a “long-standing ordinance that protects sexual orientation as well as the Supreme Court’s ruling that grants the right for same-sex couples to be married.”

The Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian-based nonprofit legal organization representing Tennes, said his religious views have no bearing on his involvement at the market and said the city’s actions amounted to a First Amendment violation.

“Steve and his farm have been singled out and excluded from full participation in the life of the community for only one reason,” said ADF counsel Kate Anderson. “Steve expressed a viewpoint the city did not like.”

Flanked by supportive state lawmakers at the news conference, Tennes insisted his views on marriage had not prevented him from serving all farmers market customers equally.

“It’s our faith that informs us how to treat all who come to our farm and the farmers market with dignity and decency … serving customers of many races, religions, cultures and those who identify with the LBGT community,” he said.

His farm is outside of the city, and it’s his own property, but the city government considers his actions there to nevertheless be their business, when of course it’s none of their damned business.

But, that’s progs; no-one is safe, anywhere, from dissent, if they decide on a whim to bring the weight of the state to bear upon you.

Nevertheless, let’s pray that he wins his lawsuit.

 

Heineken promotes a world without borders


(Heineken’s previous foray into prog politics…)

 

More cultural Hallmarxism

Ugh

The popular greeting card company Hallmark is selling cards to affirm those who identify as “transgender” and to celebrate those who are undergoing gender “transitions,” the company has confirmed.

“Hallmark is committed to helping people share what’s in their hearts with those they love, and we strive to be inclusive and relevant with our products,” the company said in a statement this week, as reported by Bustle. “We are committed to reflecting people’s real lives and enriching their relationships, and our mission includes all people.”

While Hallmark began making its transgender line available in 2015, the offering just recently came to light. The company features a variety of cards on its website for homosexual relationships and transgender identification.

“Your identity is who you are. Wear it proudly, celebrate it with loved ones, and love out loud,” the site reads. “Hallmark is proud to offer a wide selection of greeting cards crafted to capture the colorful, inspiring LGBTQIA community in all of its shapes and forms.”

“Regardless of orientation or identity, whether you’re in a same-sex relationship or one that transcends labels, we are here to help you celebrate love and milestones with creativity and sincerity,” it states.

Hallmark’s offerings include cards such as “mommy + mommy + baby makes three,” “it’s a simple story of boy meets boy,” “closets are for clothes,” “party so hard you can’t ever see straight” and “queen for a day is for underachievers,” the latter of which celebrates drag queens.

The company also sells cards offering well-wishes for those who are undergoing procedures to identify as the opposite sex, including, “You’re becoming who you’ve always been” and “You are trans-tastic.”

(Previously.)