I love the Internet it has so much information out there one can browse through and look at. Although it can be a real task to find the truth when you see so many opinions, studies, articles and so many proclaimed experts. I would have never guessed fifteen/twenty years ago I would be able to see so much information it's mind boggling at times. I've been doing a little research into the connections between Monsanto, Cargill, their subsidiaries and the old Norwest crew. Trying to fit in my head where their all tie together and why? Is there any other reason besides greed and/or a hunger for power/control? The wars, the man made famines of places like Haiti it all goes through ones head and kind of leaves it spinning. I started searching again after reading AmericaBrave58's thread " http://www.usmessageboard.com/economy/103186-keeping-the-poor-in-poverty.html ". Boy did that set me off. A single mother trying to get off of welfare I bid on a state contract for a job I thought I could do. I got it. I went from a welfare mother to being a private contractor working for herself. I had tried to get a job but no one wanted to hire me in any position that I actually could actually do and support my children. When I read about lowering minimum wages I recall when I was blacklisted in 1981 for complaining about being sexual harassed on my first contract by the DOT's supervisor. I'll never forget my first day at the one job site where I met this guy. He looked me up and down and said, "We've never had a woman in this position before. It doesn't look like you have enough ass for the job to me". 5'3 not even a hundred pounds I'm looking behind me thinking, "What does my ass have to do with doing a job?" (you can laugh it is perfectly okay as I was very naive and only 25). Within the first month the harassment started. I tried to ignore it as much as possible but it got to be too much. I made an informal request for the District office to have it stopped. The next day I heard from the supervisor again. This time he screamed at me, "You don't rock the boat, don't you know shit rolls downhill!" I stood there and did not say anything back. I had this mental picture of a nasty turd starting out at the top of a hill rolling. By the time the turd hit mid way to the bottom it had all but disappeared as it stuck and slimed it's way down the hill. Inside I giggled and walked away. The harassment did get worse. I mean really bad. By the time the contract was over I was so tired, mentally exhausted and felt almost defeated. I bid on the new contract but I took the advice of one of the nasty little supervisor's nice superior's. I put enough in that bid to do everything the state actually wanted done and the cost associated with doing those task. I went to the state DOT contract administrator and asked for some information after the bids were opened. I did not get that contract. I wasn't low bid but I wanted to learn as much as I could for I could try and bid again. This administrator was a nasty man. He reminded me of a toad. He was nasty as he said, "I don't know who you think you are but I don't make that kind of money and I've been here for seventeen years!" I did not say anything. In my mind though my thoughts were going and I'm thinking, "Well it's not my fault you sat behind that desk for seventeen years." I did not pursue the matter any further for awhile yet I expected to receive the contract bid notices. It was when I got the notice for shit pumping services that I knew definitely blacklisted. I knew it was somewhat of a slap in the face. A family friend who was a previously a bigwig in the know told me one day how proud he was of me and he offered his help if I wanted to do something about the blacklisting and harassment. Still feeling pretty batter I thanked him and declined his offer. It would be several years before I got enough anger or nerve up I'm not sure which to fight back. I had sat there one day and thought it all over, "If they were doing that to me they are doing it to others." I told Rod that day when he walked in, "Them assholes, I'm not going to let them get away with it." I was pretty worked up by the time he arrived home. He just looked at me really surprised and said, "What in the world are you talking about?" We had not talked about the contract for several years. I told him, "Those assholes at DOT. If they that to me they are doing it to others!" He just looked dumbfounded and asked what got you so worked up? I couldn't tell him. I started searching to find out just how one company had gotten the majority of those contracts. I learned like myself the same had happened to other women. One she did not fair as well. She ended up having a nervous breakdown, divorce, lost her children and her home. The farther I looked into it the angrier I got. I felt like "How dare they. This is America. We are supposed to be the land of the free." I grew up believing that and I still hold onto that thought but it get's harder each day as I see the corruption that is killing this nation and has infiltrated every aspect of each and everyone's lives. I know that may sound naive but I also know many others feel the same way or there would not be so many angry people out there. I discovered that the preferred contractor was not required to actually provide the performance bonds either. Instead they used a letter of credit that was signed by a banker with the same last name as the DOT contract administrator, how convenient. I'm not sure how many of you understand the huge difference between getting an actual bond and using a letter of credit for a contract bid, it is highly irregular. Back then the one thing that made me the angriest was the fact that the state preferred company was only paying $2.70 an hour. That was not even federal minimum wage. That was in 1986. The state law was suppose to be for labor like restaurants and porters who also received tips or farmers who also provided housing. One woman who worked for that state preferred company had three jobs. It mad me even angrier as I heard the stories from these people that worked for the preferred contractor. I started making phone calls and asking questions. I got the rules and regulations and started reading. Many of my questions were about the way the state had let these bids out. If the rules stated one thing and I knew they were doing something different I wanted to know why? An attorney for DOT told me, "If you don't like it sue us!" I was spending a small fortune on long distant calls every month. I had to watch the time on each call, have my questions precise and to the point and be very careful I did not run the phone bill up to big. The last called I made before I was taken seriously was to an assistant AG. He called me back and our phone quit working. It did not seem odd that happened sometimes in our little rural town. Well until we called the phone company the next day and the tech told us that someone in the Attorney General's office had left their phone off the hook. You used to be able to do that, call someone and leave your phone off the hook rendering the other party's phone line useless until the phone company reset it. I decided even if I never got another contract I would tell everyone I could about the wage abuse that was going on out there for the working poor. I'm sickened every time I hear someone make a comment about how wages are too high and the minimum wage should be lowered. It is even more sickening when you hear a working class person go along with it. Don't these people realize or understand that every time you degrade someone else's pay in the average labor workforce you also degrade your own self worth in the workforce and that means your pay scale goes down too? When looking for the truth check every resource available before making a decision. Don't rely on just one sided propaganda or rhetoric to make that final call in your mind as to "Is this truth or fiction".