July 28th, 2005

romance, flower

Wild About Harry

A website has been set up that is devoted to finding clues within Half-Blood Prince to help readers better understand things that happened in the book and offers predictions about Book 7. I've only read some of the clues so far but it's worth checking out.

There are lots of spoilers (including the website name) so visit only after finishing the book.

**edit** Spoilers in the comments. And Do Not click or mouse over the link if you haven't finished reading the book because the name is a spoiler. Link to the website.
(onemeatball I apologize!!!)

The Real Cost of Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart tries to get a newspaper columnist fired for an editorial that's critical of them. When that doesn't work, they stop selling his newspaper in their local stores.

The columnist is Mark O'Brien of The Pensacola News Journal. Here's some of what Mark wrote:

"I like Wal-Mart prices the same as the next shopper, but there's a downside, too. Many Wal-Mart employees lack the fringe benefits and insurance that makes the difference between existence and a good quality of life. Yet, we customers pay a surcharge from a different pocket — subsidizing health care for Wal-Mart employees who can't afford it."

Mark then described how a book he read pointed out that more than 10,000 children of Wal-Mart employees are in a Georgia health-care program, which costs the state's taxpayers nearly $10 million a year. Mark also pointed out that a New York Times report found that 31 percent of the patients at a North Carolina hospital were Wal-Mart employees on Medicaid.

Mark's column really wasn't about Mr. Walton's store, but about Pensacola and how we're becoming a Wal-Mart kind of town, "cheap and comfy on the surface, lots of unhappiness and hidden costs underneath."
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