The Daily Wrap: August 28th

We made it to Hump Day, isn’t that exciting?  Not really, happens every week.  But news like this doesn’t!

He Had a Dream

50 years ago today, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave one of the most famous speeches in American history.  Feel free to speculate on how he’d feel about America of 2013 and any progress we’ve made.  King’s speech was only one of many that day, focusing on equality for African Americans including the right to attend schools, get paid higher wages and public-works programs.  Today, a lot of what King wanted for his people are the sorts of things that people who work in fast food or at Wal Mart are clamoring for – the right to be treated like a human being, and paid of wage that can keep them alive.  Two steps forward, one step back.

Foot in Mouth Disease

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Ever heard of a sourtoe cocktail?  At some point in time, someone discovered a toe preserved in alcohol and presumably shrugged and drank the booze anyway, thus creating the Sourtoe.  Somehow this tradition survived in Dawson City up in Canada where the Sourtoe Cocktail was a local legend of sorts.  A drinker is required to do a shot and let the toe touch their lips.  However, an American tourist (USA! USA!) decided that was for pansies and swallowed the entire toe.

A sign on the bar warned of a $500 fine for swallowing the toe, so the man dropped the $500 on the bar and left, like some kind of bad ass, toe-eating super hero.


McChicken Wings

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First, this is actually news reported in numerous media outlets.  Second, McDonalds is going to start selling chicken wings.  That’s pretty much the whole story – they’re real wings from real chickens and you’ll be able to buy them nationwide starting in September.  There’s not much else going on, they’re not magic or from exotic chickens or anything, they’re the same wings you can buy at the grocery store or probably every single bar and restaurant for 100 miles in any direction.  But now they have a “Mc” in the name.


Starbucks and Sucks

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Remember all the jokes you’ve heard about Starbucks?  Here’s some cause for a new one.  A barista at a Seattle Starbucks, who has to be on food stamps to get by as he doesn’t make enough money to pay his bills, was recently fired for garbage picking.  Starbucks, like any food vendor, has to remove stock once it has been out too long.  At this store, an employee had just removed some breakfast sandwiches for sale and thrown them in the trash.  They were wrapped sandwiches that were being destroyed at the end of the day.  The barista, who hadn’t eaten that day after a 7 hour shift, figured it’d be OK if he took one.  Turns out he was wrong. His manager fired him the next week after calling HR and learning that what he did qualified as stealing.

Starbucks itself say it is not policy to fire an employee for this and that the issue isn’t stealing, it’s that product that has been “marked out” is a safety issue.  But if this is one issue amongst many, maybe you could be fired.  So yes, Starbucks could fire you for eating their garbage.


NYPD Labels Mosques as Terrorist Cells

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When secret files get released, they’re always pretty shameful.  Turns out the NYPD has, for years, been investigating mosques as “terrorist organizations” without any evidence or filing any charges against anyone, thanks to the ability to run “terrorist enterprise investigations” which they’ve been able to do since 9/11.  The idea of a TEI is to look into businesses that may support or fund terrorism.  They can involve sending in undercover officers to become employees or members, long-term surveillance and general spying.  For years.  So far, it’s all been used on innocent people, too.

The great part about these investigations is that, outside of the NYPD, they seem to be taken very seriously.  How serious?  Even the FBI hasn’t found grounds to perform a similar investigation anywhere yet.  The NYPD has done at least a dozen.