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Archive for July 7th, 2010

Good Read: Then We Came to the End

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Then We Came to the End
by Joshua Ferris

Buy this book on Amazon.
(Your purchase supports WKMS!)

Product Description:
No one knows us quite the same way as the men and women who sit beside us in department meetings and crowd the office refrigerator with their labeled yogurts. Every office is a family of sorts, and the ad agency Joshua Ferris brilliantly depicts in his debut novel is family at its strangest and best, coping with a business downturn in the time-honored way: through gossip, pranks, and increasingly frequent coffee breaks. With a demon’s eye for the details that make life worth noticing, Joshua Ferris tells a true and funny story about survival in life’s strangest environment–the one we pretend is normal five days a week.

Angela Hatton says:
“If you’ve ever seen the television sitcoms The Office or Parks and Rec, you already have an idea of what this book is like. Ferris takes readers through the absurdity of office life, including the saga of the office chair and the burning cubicle gossip, ‘does the boss have cancer or doesn’t she?’ This book has both character and heart.”

Check out our Good Reads page for more recommended books.

Written by Matt Markgraf

July 7, 2010 at 2:13 pm

UFW Invites Anti-immigration Advocates to Put Their Money Where Their Mouths Are

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by Todd Hatton

In August of 2008, WKMS aired a story by Carrie Pond about the H-2A program, where U.S. farmers are allowed to bring in foreign workers for jobs not filled by American workers.  Considering that the Obama Administration is looking once again at immigration reform, and once again immigration opponents are rallying to the cry of “they’re taking our jobs,” the story’s worth another listen.  In the piece, Murray tobacco farmer Mark Pascal points out that the Mexican workers coming here aren’t taking anyone’s job.  He says, “They’re doing the jobs no American wants to do.  They’re good people, wanting to do an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay.”

Two years later, “they’re taking our jobs” is still a common sentiment.  But when one considers the nation’s 9.3% unemployment rate, Kentucky’s 10.2% rate, and Tennessee’s 10.3% rate, that sentiment seems, well, a little disingenuous if not downright hypocritical.

Now, the farm workers are calling us out on it.

In a Yahoo! news story from the Associated Press, the United Farm Workers of America say they’re challenging the unemployed and anti-immigrant activists to take their jobs.  They’ve even set up a website, takeourjobs.org, to facilitate the process.  They’ve also attracted some celebrity help.

Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert will spotlight the campaign on “The Colbert Report” July 8.

The Yahoo! story says the campaign is tongue in cheek, but the underlying issue is serious.  It cites a U.S. Labor Department report that says three out of four farm workers were born abroad, with more than half of them in this country illegally.  The workers, legal or not, face long days and little pay.  They’re excluded from federal overtime laws and may not even get minimum wage.  On top of that, the website farmworkerjustice.org says sixteen states don’t require farm laborers to be covered by worker’s compensation laws.  And yes, Kentucky and Tennessee are two of those states.

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Written by Todd Hatton

July 7, 2010 at 10:47 am

morning cram [rethink edition]

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“I may divide the old conservative coalition, but I’m not going to divide the new one.”

~ NPR talks to a prominent Southern Baptist leader about his stance on immigration.

KENTUCKY~ Murray book company drops $10mil into a prominent textbook rental website. Dry weather = poor pollination. Officials intensify focus on mine safety. Rand and Jack plan to picnic @ Fancy FarmKSP Checkpoint Stats: 176 DUIs, 715 seatbelt tickets, 68 drug arrests & 1 stolen vehicle. A Fort Campbell medic dies in an Afghanistan IED blast.

TENNESSEE~ Police investigate a string of thefts near Kentucky Lake in the Buchanan area. 9 people died in roadway accidents during the July 4th holiday weekend. Roy Herron has a nice (+$1.5mil) campaign bankroll.

ILLINOIS~ A Metropolis man regrets jumping 90 feet from the Brookport Bridge. Massac Sheriff’s deputies find 2 lost hikers in Shawnee National Forest. Governor Quinn defends raises he gave his staff. Federal stimulus money weatherized 17k homes and created 500 jobs.