Make A Difference: Boycott Wal-Mart

Written by Gary Whittaker

Forrepparttar everyday individual, companies like Wal-Mart have been a source of great deals, where goods can be purchased at a relatively inexpensive sum. These companies preach never-ending low costs forrepparttar 132180 benefit ofrepparttar 132181 consumer. Most of us have taken that as face value, resulting in hundreds of billions of dollars of revenue annually. Wal-Mart in particular has been one ofrepparttar 132182 major beneficiaries of your hard earned dollar. They promote themselves as being concerned aboutrepparttar 132183 family, about customer server. Recent events however, have caused us to look a little more deeply into this chain of stores. Many of us have already heard about their North American corporate practices. They have responded to charges of forced overtime, pay inequity, unsafe working conditions withrepparttar 132184 usual corporate schpeal of having to better train their management staff. The average person has either accepted it, or simply chosen to ignore it, preferring to worry aboutrepparttar 132185 drama of their own lives. But that is notrepparttar 132186 end of this story. Wal-Mart recently decided to close downrepparttar 132187 first and only unionized store to date, sighting loss of profitability.

If a store like Walmart, who routinely subcontracts their manufacturing to companies that pays their employees much less than minimum wage, cannot make a profit in a unionized environment in North America, than what it that saying forrepparttar 132188 rest ofrepparttar 132189 companies out there? Wal-Mart is not only inrepparttar 132190 business of providing low costs on merchandise, but in human labour as well. While they are notrepparttar 132191 only ones doing it, they arerepparttar 132192 ones that have profitedrepparttar 132193 most by it. What prevents a company that sponsors 7 day a week, 12 + hour shift with NO overtime inrepparttar 132194 3rd world from trying to dorepparttar 132195 same legal equivalent here? This is a company that has made over 9 Billion dollars in 2004.

What does that have to do withrepparttar 132196 average everyday individual? Plenty. Many jobs inrepparttar 132197 manufacturing industry are being lost to those same 3rd world countries, because there is no protection forrepparttar 132198 common man. They do not enjoyrepparttar 132199 same freedoms and opportunities that we do in North America. They cannot just pick up and choose to work elsewhere. They cannot just choose to go back to school and get government loans. They will take, and stay with any job they can get, regardless of their working conditions because there simply are no other alternatives. So when North Americans lose their jobs in that industry, they are forced to work for lower and lower wages, and subsequently their buying power goes down. With a lowering buying power, companies like Wal-Mart make more profit as people seek to stretch their dollar as far as they can.

Florida's Child - Fatal Deception or Social Blindness?

Written by C. Bailey-Lloyd/LadyCamelot

Having had a personal opportunity to speak with Ms. Liles after all this time, she shared `Florida's Child' - Bradley McGee's life story with me. In her heartfelt words, she explained how she still advocates child abuse prevention, and still followsrepparttar case of Sheryl Coe, Bradley's biological mother. Today, we revisit Bradley's brief time on earth:

Most of you didn't know him. Most of you may never have heard of him. He was an innocent toddler, just a little over 2 years old. He worerepparttar 132178 face of many a child. Bradley, fondly known as `Braddie' to his foster mom, (Kip Liles), also borerepparttar 132179 fatal scars of abused & neglected children everywhere.

His story begins nearly two decades ago. Atrepparttar 132180 very tender age of just four months, Braddie was abandoned in a shopping mall (by his biological mother). Fortunately, an on-duty pretzel vendor took him to a local hospital where Braddie was quickly introduced torepparttar 132181 `system' of governmental child supervision.

After living in a safe foster home for nearly two years,repparttar 132182 `system' sent little Braddie back to his biological mother and stepfather. In merely 66 days after reintroduction into his original home, Bradley's life tragically came to an end (byrepparttar 132183 hands of his parents). Did Bradley becomerepparttar 132184 sorrowful product of a poorly constructed childcare system?

Bradley McGee, sadly, like many other abused & neglected children are often returned to their biological families only to find ill-fated tragedy awaiting them. In Bradley's case, countless pleas fell on deaf ears prior to his horrific murder in 1989. A number of persons, especially Ms. Liles, made several attempts to have Bradley removed from his neglectful home, all to no avail.

Upon his return, little Bradley incurred insurmountable, and brutal physical abuse. Beating after beating, his abusers finally took his small, innocent life by dangling Bradley by his ankles and repeatedly plunging his head into a toilet bowl. When they finally retrievedrepparttar 132185 battered tot fromrepparttar 132186 bathroom, they continued their torture by placing him in a cold shower to quiet his screams, and then beat him (with pillows) until his small body curled up into a fetal position. What was their reason for his fatal beating? He had soiled his pants. Inrepparttar 132187 end, Bradley purportedly ended up on a life-support machine where he died alone.

Bradley's mother (Sheryl Coe) had repeatedly mocked child welfare workers inrepparttar 132188 past by `hiding' when they (caseworkers) arrived at their mobile home to check on Bradley. [It is my personal opinion and review of said case, that logically, at some point, caseworkers should have made an effort to attain a warrant to enterrepparttar 132189 premises.] Psychologists who interviewedrepparttar 132190 Coes found that they were `immature and explosive.' How could a judge rule in favor of them (Sheryl & Thomas Coe) with this afore knowledge? The reason forrepparttar 132191 ruling was because psychological documents were never introduced intorepparttar 132192 hearing - a slight oversight?

Upon jury-trial commencement, Thomas Coe was sentenced to life in prison and Sheryl Coe was sentenced to 30 years; however, Ms. Coe was released after 9 years of time served. To date, she is again inrepparttar 132193 clutches of yet another court battle to retrieve another biological son in foster care.

Bradley is still remembered by Kip Liles (former foster mother), neighbors and by those who watched live news reports asrepparttar 132194 incredible drama unfolded on television. While I lived in Florida atrepparttar 132195 time, Bradley's story tugged at my heartstrings and resides in my thoughts forever. His story, like so many, needed to be told and retold until no child is left torepparttar 132196 wayside.

Below are some alarming statistics and information on Child Abuse & Neglect cases inrepparttar 132197 United States alone:

According torepparttar 132198 US Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children & Families, 2.6 million reports of child abuse or neglect were filed on 4.5 million children, of which 896,000 cases were substantiated in 2002 alone. In other words, a little over 12 children per 1,000 became victims of abuse or neglect by legal standards.1 But what substantiates abuse or neglect?

In a report byrepparttar 132199 National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information, over 40 percent of allegations are made by friends, neighbors and relatives. Sixty-one percent of all reports were found to be unsubstantiated, 30 percent of all reports included at least one victim of child abuse or neglect, and remaining reports were closed for other reasons. In 2002, 1,400 children died due to abuse or neglect. Infant boys were found to haverepparttar 132200 highest rate of fatalities - 19 per 100,000. Incredibly, nearly 1/5 of child victims had been placed in foster care at some point in time. 2

According to ChildHelp USA, `...homicide isrepparttar 132201 leading cause of injury deaths among infants (under one year of age) inrepparttar 132202 United States.' Furthermore, ChildHelp USA reports that '...the actual incidence of abuse and neglect is estimated to be three times greater thanrepparttar 132203 number reported to authorities.'3

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