Li: ritual, propriety, etiquette. Hsiao: love within the family (parents for children and children for parents. Yi: righteousness--the noblest way to act in a situation. Xin: honesty and trustworthiness. Jen: benevolence, humaneness towards others. Chung: loyalty to the state and authority. --Confucius (Kong Fuzi)
All articles appear in reverse chronological order [newest first]:
I believe the past is relevant, sometimes more than others of course. In most cases we are seeing history being repeated, so it is most relevant.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Puppy dumped in laundry bag, left outside in cold

“Just wanted to share a press release from the Humane Society that went out today.  This is what I got to deal with on my first shift closing down the building.  Staff was originally going to leave much earlier in the day so I offered to stay until noon so that volunteers could come in to work.  We ended up hanging out longer than that - thankfully we did or this could have ended up a much different story.  I named her Krissy Eve and she is such a sweetheart.”                    Kelly

Humane Society of Indianapolis asking public for help in identifying vehicle

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Indianapolis, IN - A tiny puppy confined inside a laundry bag was dumped outside of the Humane Society of Indianapolis (IndyHumane) on Christmas Eve, and the organization is asking for the public's help in identifying the owners of the vehicle.

The puppy was dropped off outside of IndyHumane (7929 N. Michigan Rd.) at approximately 12:30pm on Friday. Surveillance video shows a dark-colored Jeep Commander pulling up outside the shelter. Two men, a woman and a juvenile exit the vehicle. One of the men, wearing light baggy jeans, a black hoodie and a ball cap then removed a laundry bag from the trunk of the vehicle, left the bag outside in the cold and drove away. IndyHumane staff saw the people acting suspiciously from the window and immediately went to investigate the contents of the bag. They discovered a small female mixed-breed puppy inside. After making sure the puppy was safe, staff named her Krissy Eve [pictured].

Krissy_EveIndyHumane is asking for the public's help in identifying the owners of the vehicle: abandoning an animal in Indianapolis violates city ordinance. According to Sec. 531-402, Abandonment of animal: "It shall be unlawful for a person to abandon any animal on public or private property in the city, and a violation of this section shall be punishable as provided in section 103-3 of this Code; provided, however, a fine imposed for any such violation shall not be less than two hundred dollars ($200.00). Actions taken by colony caretakers in accordance with this chapter shall not be considered abandonment of an animal."

"While we are grateful that the puppy was brought toKrissy_Eve2 IndyHumane, and we were fortunate to discover her before she froze to death, it was cruel to transport her in a dark bag and leave her out in the cold. She could have easily died," said Christine Jeschke, Director of Operations for the Humane Society of Indianapolis. "The plight of homeless animals in our community is significant, and we need the community's support to help give these animals better lives."

If you have information about the vehicle or the people who dumped the dog, please contact the Humane Society at 317-872-5650 x 0.  Donations to help care for Krissy and others like her can be made at the shelter or online at IndyHumane.org. The Humane Society of Indianapolis invests $600 - $800 in the average care of animals like Krissy.

 

Krissy_Eve3About IndyHumane: The Humane Society of Indianapolis is the leading voice for the welfare of animals and improving their quality of life. IndyHumane is the first choice in  providing direct services for shelter cats and dogs, including adoption, foster home placement, behavior training, appropriate medical care, and affordable spay/neuter services. As the voice for the animals, IndyHumane brings together like-minded animal-focused individuals and groups to educate the public about animal welfare issues and concerns. For over 100 years, it’s all about the animals.

A private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that receives no public or private government funding, the Humane Society of Indianapolis is Indy-based and independent, and  is supported solely by contributions, grants, bequests, investments, and adoption and service fees. For more information and current adoptable animals, visit http://IndyHumane.org.

courtesy of Kelly

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Fox News Viewers Are The Most Misinformed: Study

ORIGINAL POST: Fox News viewers are much more likely than others to believe false information about American politics, a new study concludes.

The study, conducted by the University of Maryland, judged how likely consumers of various news outlets and publications were to believe misinformation about a wide range of political issues. Overall, 90% of respondents said they felt they had heard false information being given to them during the 2010 election campaign. However, while consumers of just about every news outlet believed some information that was false, the study found that Fox News viewers, regardless of political information, were "significantly more likely" to believe that [the following false statements are true]:

--Most economists estimate the stimulus caused job losses (12 points more likely)

-Most economists have estimated the health care law will worsen the deficit (31 points)

--The economy is getting worse (26 points)

--Most scientists do not agree that climate change is occurring (30 points)

--The stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts (14 points)

--Their own income taxes have gone up (14 points)

--The auto bailout only occurred under Obama (13 points)

--When TARP came up for a vote most Republicans opposed it (12 points)

--And that it is not clear that Obama was born in the United States (31 points)

In addition, the study said, increased viewership of Fox News led to increased belief in these false stories.

see original post with updates

video

Monday, December 13, 2010

Civility:

"George Washington warned us against parties because he knew that they could turn citizens against one another...The two-party system gives us false choices..." - John Avlon interviewed at the Coffee Party Convention

"Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle..." Thomas Jefferson

Coffee Party:

We are Americans working to create a fair and inclusive society. Our members represent the diversity of thought, background, and circumstance that is found in the cities, towns, and neighborhoods of our country. (more...)

No Labels:

Not left, not right, FORWARD. Put the Labels Aside. Do What’s Best for America. We are Democrats, Republicans, and Independents who are united in the belief that we do not have to give up our labels, merely put them aside to do what’s best for America. (more…)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Another Smear Attack by Coats:

Politician, lobbyist, fibber too?

After Dan Coats and his campaign thought it was smart to smear Brad Ellsworth's record in Congress, Colonel Moe Davis, the Chief Prosecutor in the Guantanamo military commissions, spoke out against Coats in a video denouncing the smear and defending Brad Ellsworth in a video. Now Politifact.com has called Coats out:

“We've fact-checked lots of ads about health care reform and Medicare. But an ad in the Indiana Senate race makes the novel claim that seniors will now be forced into "Barack Obama's government-run health care program."   That sounds like a scary prospect -- until you realize that seniors are already in a government-run health care program, Medicare, and have been for 45 years. The law wouldn't force them to join any plan they aren't already in...”

Politifact rated the ad/video as an outright lie with its ‘Pants On Fire’ ratingimage

About PolitiFact:

PolitiFact is a project of the St. Petersburg Times to help you find the truth in politics.

Every day, reporters and researchers from the Times examine statements by members of Congress, the president, cabinet secretaries, lobbyists, people who testify before Congress and anyone else who speaks up in Washington. We research their statements and then rate the accuracy on our Truth-O-Meter – True, Mostly True, Half True, Barely True and False. The most ridiculous falsehoods get our lowest rating, Pants on Fire.

We also rate the consistency of public officials on our Flip-O-Meter using three ratings: No Flip, Half Flip and Full Flop.

We created the Obameter to help you assess the Obama presidency. Our reporters have compiled a database of more than 500 individual promises that Barack Obama made during the campaign. We research and rate their status as No Action, Stalled or In the Works and then ultimately determine whether it earns a Promise Kept, Compromise or Promise Broken.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Why Dr. Laura Is SOOO Wrong:

by Glenn Littrell

At least on this incident.

In response to an article on the Huffington Post:

The doctor has a right to her opinion, but putting it out there in a public forum, her forum, creates the opportunity for others to express their outrage and opinion. She warns the caller about taking things out of context, but as a ‘doctor’ the context is what she seems to forget or in this case ignore. It is that context that differentiates the use of the word amongst blacks from it use by whites. It is not a double standard but the context that leads to varying levels of what is acceptable .

Most African-Americans condemn the use of the word, but not being monolithic some have varying degrees of acceptance of its use. So even for African-Americans there are situations that it is not acceptable.

The origin, use and history of the word stems from one overriding intent: to identify in an insulting manner, to degrade and to inflict humiliation. I can not think of any single word, spoken by a black man to a white man, that would be guaranteed to give rise to as strong and passionate an emotion as the use of this word spoken in reverse.

Words like cracker, whitey, or honky wouldn’t even transcend generational lines amongst white people. None of these words even have a significant history before the 50’s. None of them have a place in time when they were used from a position of authority and power to inflict humiliation. The most common reaction to them amongst whites would probably be a giggle of amusement for being so ‘retro’. Those that would be offended by them would probably be more offended by the audacity and yes, context of the person using the words.

Terms like white trash and red neck are currently so commonly used by whites in reference to themselves and each other that they are barely taken as being negative.

If you were of Italian descent and your Uncle Marco was still with us and I said any one of several slang words for Italians or Catholics he would knock me on my butt in a heartbeat.
But things change. Through assimilation and acceptance Italians may be more tolerant of Italian jokes and ethnic humor today. The context today might be different to some. Marco lived in a world where the KKK burned crosses in the neighborhood because they did not like Catholics.

I not saying there aren't words that wouldn't offend a white person or anyone other than an African-American. My point is is that offensive words across lines of differences don't carry the same weight. Sometimes because of them becoming irrelevant over time and generations, sometimes because of assimilation or acceptance, hopefully always because we progress forward in an acceptance of each other not digress to the point that we tolerate offensive words because its easier.

As to the word being used by African-Americans amongst themselves and in reference to themselves and each other on TV and by comedians, again the doctor ignores the context.

Now if I refer to my wife as ‘honey’ and my daughter as ‘ sweetie’.  Does anyone think that it would me alright for a complete stranger, particularly a male, to refer to them in the same manner? I don’t think so. Coming from the lips of a stranger the use of those terms would be incendiary and very inappropriate. This is not a double-standard. This is the context that alludes the doctor and many people, black and white, and the context is about familiarity and appropriateness.

The above analogy is in reference to the doctor’s logic, her point, is that it's alright to use the word, or should be alright because blacks do it, but the doctor is ignoring all context.

In the conversation with the caller the doctor’s desire to repeat what she heard on TV was petty and inappropriate.

"Black guys use it all the time. Turn on HBO and listen to a black comic, and all you hear is n****, n*****, n*****. I don't get it. If anybody without enough melanin says it, it's a horrible thing. But when black people say it, it's affectionate."

She' claims its confusing, yet she gives advice? Or is it just that she wants to echo the ridiculous idea that a black president = the end of racism, not so that we can go forward to a non-racist existence, but so that we can have license to say offensive things without reproach, because racism is dead? i.e. "Don't NAACP me"  A statement that reveals a racially slanted stereotype.

If you turn on HBO you will also hear the ‘F’ bomb being dropped repeatedly. Does that make it alright? I know guys who use profanity all the time, except around their wife, kids and parents. These same guys would get very upset if any of their friends did it around those same people. I know guys who watch the shows with the "’F’ bomb who never use the word themselves and even though they watch the shows would never let their kids do so. Is this a double standard or is it about appropriate language? Before you say its a double standard consider that showing discretion involves applying varied but appropriate behavior and decisions to similar but not totally identical situations. It is the difference between the situations, not the similarities, that dictate appropriateness.

The most appalling thing about the doctor’s response to the caller is that she didn’t outright condemn everyone's use of the word. She actually unloads on the caller for being too sensitive about the racist actions of her husband’s friends and his condoning their behavior. This situation has potential domestic violence written all over it. The doctor’s inclination to want to make an asinine statement in support of the universal acceptance of the ‘N’ word, instead of offering sound advise to the caller in itself is enough to warrant the criticism and condemnation of her words.

by Glenn Littrell
in reference to:
“Dr. Laura's N-Word Rant: Radio Host Apologizes For Offensive Language” (AUDIO)

P.S.

Dr. Laura's History Of Incendiary Statements: Dr. Laura Schlessinger announced Tuesday that she is ending her radio show in the wake of the firestorm created over her repeated use of the n-word in a conversation with a black caller last week.     But it's hardly the first time she's made incendiary or controversial statements.

Also:


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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Oil Spill Video:

by Glenn Littrell

in response to a video post and comments on FaceBook comparing the BP Oil Spill to Katrina:

The timeline in the video is a ‘little’ misleading. 
Leadership from Day 1/3am phone call:

“The fire occurred at 10pm, the NEXT day: Day 1, after overnight explosion: April 21: Deputy Secretary of Interior, Coast Guard dispatched to region… following a briefing with President Obama, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen*, Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe, and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, "Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Hayes was dispatched to the region yesterday to assist with coordination and response."   

Adm. Thad Allen is the man it took Bush 8 days to put in place because of the appointment of “Brownie”, the horse judge. Brownie’s appointment was probably the single most contributing factor in Katrina becoming Bush’s Katrina.

The references to the offer of the Dutch ship on day 3 was refused supposedly because of the Jones Act?
At that time the Jones Act waiver was not as crucial as it became later because on day 3 it was still believed that the well was not leaking. The only oil in the water was believed to be that directly related to the fire and the sinking of the rig. The Dutch ship and others probably would not have arrived in time for what was erroneously believed or being portrayed by BP as manageable spill. 

Day 3: April 23: Coast Guard "focused on mitigating the impact of the product currently in the water." The Coast Guard stated:

“The Department of the Interior, MMS [the U.S. Minerals Management Service], and the Coast Guard continue to support the efforts of the responsible parties to secure all potential sources of pollution. Both federal agencies have technical teams in place overseeing the proposals by BP and Transocean to completely secure the well. Until that has occurred and all parties are confident the risk of additional spill is removed, a high readiness posture to respond will remain in place. 

Although the oil appears to have stopped flowing from the well head, Coast Guard, BP, Transocean, and MMS remain focused on mitigating the impact of the product currently in the water and preparing for a worst-case scenario in the event the seal does not hold…”

  Day 5:April 25: Response team implements plan to contain oil spilling from source, weather delays cleanup.
“The unified command is implementing intervention efforts in an attempt to contain the source of oil emanating from the wellhead at the Deepwater Horizon incident site Sunday.

The unified command has approved a plan that utilizes submersible remote operated vehicles in an effort to activate the blowout preventer on the sea floor and to stop the flow of oil that has been estimated at leaking up to 1,000 barrels/42,000 gallons a day.”

Day 6: April 26: Response crews "to resume skimming operations." On April 26, the response team stated, ”…Following adverse weather that went through the area, response crews are anticipated to resume skimming operations today," including 1,000 personnel, 10 offshore vessels, 7 skimming boats and more than 14,000 gallons of dispersant. At that point 48,384 gallons of oily water had been collected.

Day 8 April 28: Federal officials realize spill was far more severe than BP led them to believe. An April 28 New York Times article reported, "Government officials said late Wednesday night that oil might be leaking from a well in the Gulf of Mexico at a rate five times that suggested by initial estimates."

  The video cites Obama being on vacation, and of course golf, but lets remember Bush’s flyover was on his way back from vacation. So is that a wash? I hope so because The whole whose on vacation, who golfed the most is getting tiresome. We’re even attacking the family for going on vacation? Same situation has occurred before, so lets all get over it.

As far as statements on the campaign trail let’s remember that his opponent, and all the nominees from that party proclaimed the safety of off shore drilling, including deep water drilling. Remember “Drill, Baby, Drill”. Unfortunately Obama decided to drink some of that cool-aid shortly before the explosion. So if we’re going to dump everybody on the campaign trail for those promises I’ll go along with that.

If you want to paint this as Obama’s Katrina go ahead. He muffed some things. There were mistakes, both technical and political. But I would like to point out two things:

  1.   No one saw this coming, not even the ‘Drill, baby, drill” proponents. It was an isolated incident that barely made the news at first. We were all banking on the so called ‘safe’ and secure industry to handle it. Personally I was a little surprised it made the briefing list the next day. It happened without warning, the deaths occurred immediately, the damage was impending but unlike Katrina people were not in immediate and ongoing danger of more deaths and injuries. This is why the young lady in the video was careful not to compare this to Katrina. The makers of the video seem to miss that point, but it is a political video, and apparently an implication of accuracy is not required in politics In the long run though, absent of any other information, the waiver of the Jones Act should have come sooner.
  2.   The Obama bashing is just so perfuse, so saturating and in many cases so trivial that it is becoming so irrelevant. Can anybody in this country debate an issue anymore without it degrading to a shouting match of talking points without substantial arguments, or heaven forbid someone should have to defend against a counter argument, because they aren’t allowed. With Clinton we spent 4 years and $40 million dollars to prove a man would lie about having an affair. And to what end? Now for political points we deny employment benefits during the worse [and yes inherited] recession ever. We create fear with cries of imaginary ‘death panels’ and socialism! In a country where we claim to be a Christian nation we criminalize hard working people, blame the poor for being poor, condemn an acquisition of racism while ignoring acts of racism, and deny benefits to 9/11 first responders to protect off shore investors. All to score political points. I’m tiring of the whole thing, I should of shutdown and become a hermit when the guy I backed turned out to be a total sleazebag. It scares me that we are becoming a nation where only one side can be right, that disagreeing and dissent are no longer considered part of a republic.

NOW let’s look at the opposition’s response to the oil spill:

by Glenn Littrell

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Is $150,000 per pirated song a fair punishment?

reposted from 8-1-09:

by Glenn Littrell

I’ve been trying to warn people about the potential problems with downloading music.  Innocent downloader's are being sent bills for thousands of dollars because a file, bought by them online, has shown up on someone's website.  The fines are so steep and the law so one sided that out of court settlements for thousands of dollars are the rule not the exception:

“After admitting that he is liable for having “uploaded and downloaded music” illegally, Boston University graduate student Joel Tenenbaum faces some potentially steep fines. The jury, which will meet late today, has already been told by the judge that Mr. Tenenbaum must pay for pirating music. But they will decide if he did so “willfully.”

That’s the difference between a $22,500 payment to the record industry and a $4.5 million one.

Federal law states that juries may award $750 to $30,000 for each of the 30 songs that Tenenbaum apparently pirated. But if the music label’s copyrights were infringed upon “willfully,” then damages could reach $150,000 per song…

The Boston Globe wrote that this is “only the second of thousands of music downloading complaints filed by the industry to go to trial. Most defendants settle out of court for $3,000 to $5,000.”

The other trial, against Jammie Thomas-Rassset, started with the jury awarding $9,250 per song. During her appeal, that number rose to $80,000 for each of the 24 songs that she illegally shared. The total: $1.92 million…”

 

read the full article:  RIAA trial: Is $150,000 per pirated song a fair punishment? | csmonitor.com

When you download [purchased or free] can the file be encrypted with your personal info that you usually have to give to register or sign on?  If it isn’t now it probably will be in the future.  If your mp3 player is lost or stolen, or you let someone copy your music files and anyone of them ever shows up on the internet through Peer To Peer networking can the music industry retrieve any personal info.  If so, or when, you will get one of those bills.  I don’t touch downloading or sharing music online in any way, shape or form since the industry, which is losing millions to pirating and sharing have the lobbies to create laws that entrap people, yes kids too, as away of sustaining there excessive profits and lifestyles.     Glenn

note: Joel was found guilty of uploading/downloading copywrited songs and fined $675,000 dollars, which was reduced on appeal to $67,500. That’s just for 31 songs…that’s over $2,000 per song!!!!

Under Section 504(c) of the Copyright Act, the jury may award statutory damages of between $750 and $30,000 per infringed song in the case of “regular” or nonwillful infringement. If, however, the jury finds infringement to be willful, the maximum it may award jumps five-fold, to $150,000 per song.”

Monday, July 26, 2010

An Inspirational Story: Shirley Sherrod, the full video.

A truly inspirational story of self awareness and transformation is turned into a hateful weapon that could have destroyed the reputation of the speaker and others. Watch the video and then click the link at the bottom of the page to see a breakdown of the smear.

To introduce the full video let me quote Star Editor Dennis Ryerson of the [conservative] Indianapolis Star [7-25-10] “All of us need to check facts before leaping to conclusions

“If you missed the story, here’s a re­cap: A blogger, eager to portray the Obama White House as being insen­sitive to whites, and wanting to get back at the NAACP for its criticism of the tea party movement as racist, posted remarks made by Shirley Sherrod at an NAACP dinner. Sher­rod recounted how, while working for a nonprofit agency years ago, she rejected a white farmer’s plea for help in saving his farm from foreclo­sure and instead turned the case over to a white lawyer.
You almost could hear the ma­chine-gun rapidity of the criticism: Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad.
The NAACP, eager to avoid any charge of reverse discrimination, quickly condemned the remarks. Vil­sack, anxious to fend off similar alle­gations from the right, just as quickly fired Sherrod.
Then the truth emerged.
The post on the blogosphere, in a reckless rush to prove a point, was only a snippet of what she said. Her full remarks were a plea for recon­ciliation, not racism. The truth is that she didn’t like how the white lawyer handled the case, took it back herself and helped save the farm.
The farmer credited her for her work.”

To read: “Maligning What Should Have Been An Inspirational Story” click here.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Who Gets US Out of the Hole We Are In?

Robert L. Borosage: President, Institute for America’s Future

…This election, the president said, will offer a choice: "It's a choice between the policies that led us into this mess and the policies that are leading us out of this mess. It's a choice between falling backwards or moving forward."

His critique of Republicans has the advantage of being true. With unparalleled discipline, Republicans voted with virtual unanimity to obstruct every major reform offered by the president, breaking all records on filibusters along the way. To the extent that they offer any program, it is a retread of the very policies that drove us off the cliff -- top end tax cuts, deregulation, drill, baby drill, ardent defense of corporate subsidies and multinational trade accords. Their solution to health care, as Rep. Alan Grayson gibed, is don't get sick. Their solution to unemployment, as Republican Sen. Kyl and others have argued, is starve or work. (Kyl opposes extending unemployment benefits, so people will be desperate enough to take jobs that pay far less, assuming they exist.)

Will voters vote for party of no -- or as John Boehner ranted, in a health care
screed immortalized in a YouTube video, the party of "hell no, you can't?"

Well polls suggest that they just might. Off-year, low-turnout elections are the occasion to cast a protest vote. Voters aren't really voting for an opposition candidate or her or his policies, they are voting against. And that clearly is what Republicans are counting on.

Can a compelling choice be posed in midterm elections held in a bad economy?

The president would really like to campaign for credit for one of the most productive congressional sessions in decades. Against Republican obstruction, the White House and Democrats in Congress have passed the largest recovery act in history, the largest increase in student aid since the GI Bill, the most significant health care reform since Medicare, the greatest expansion of community service since Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, the biggest investment in renewable energy ever. This week the Congress will pass, again, over virtually unified Republican opposition, the largest reform of finance since the 1930s. The White House will roll out studies on the benefits of the health care bill, the millions of jobs created by the stimulus, the consumer protections in financial reform. They'd like a little credit. If only people understood what we've done, they strongly believe, they'd reward us at the polls.

These statements are true but largely irrelevant... As dramatic as the reforms have been, they have not been sufficient to the crisis. And, at the end of the day, what matters is jobs and the economy. House Minority leader John Boehner's response to Obama's argument is simply "Where are the jobs?" Many Americans may think the real choice is between those advocating the policies that got us into the mess and those advocating policies that have failed to get us out.

George W. Bush survived a jobless midterm, but only because of 9/11. In 1994, the economy was actually beginning to generate jobs, but Clinton and Democrats were punished, and the Gingrich Congress was elected. The last president to survive a bad economy in an off-year, first term election was Ronald Reagan. He cut taxes, ran up military spending and exploded the deficit. Despite a deep recession, Reagan got Republicans to unite on a message of "stay the course." He pounded relentlessly from the first day of his administration on the failure of liberalism, on government as the "problem, not the solution," blaming Democrats constantly for the downturn. Democrats made gains, but Reagan survived to go on to re-election.

Obama's message parallels Reagan's. We've begun to create jobs, stay with the policies that "are getting us out of the mess," rather than going back to those "that got us into the mess..."

From the Huffington Post: view the entire article.

Links:

Get Your Free Checks Here!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Get Your Free Checks Here!

by Glenn Littrell

Let’s see:

  • a paycheck or an Unemployment benefits check?
  • security or an Unemployment benefits check?
  • the ability to pay bills or an Unemployment benefits check?
  • the possibility to sustain or return to their normal standard of living or an Unemployment benefits check?
  • living above the poverty level or an Unemployment benefits check?
  • All the above or an Unemployment benefits check?

How can it be so easy to characterize people who have been working for a living as so lazy and lacking of a work ethic that they [and family] would be willing to exchange all of the above for a paltry unemployment check which, even with extensions, is still a short term existence.

It just doesn’t make since to so often portray people who need help as lazy slackers. Does the pitiful UI check make poverty attractive?

image
5 unemployed workers for every job.

Links:

Republicans To Unemployed: Why Won't You All Just Get Some Jobs Already?

Does Unemployment Money Help or Hurt?
Some Real Questions for Chamber’s ‘Jobs Summit’
Lack of Jobs, Not ‘Generous’ UI Benefits, Keep Unemployed Jobless
Progressive Breakfast: Address Unemployment Pain, Or Make It Worse
Who Gets Us Out Of The Hole We Are In?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Who Gets US Out of the Hole We Are In?

Will voters vote for party of no -- or as John Boehner ranted, in a health care screed immortalized in a YouTube video, the party of "hell no, you can't?"

Links:

Get Your Free Checks Here!

Who Gets US Out of the Hole We Are In?

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Whole Hand Over His Heart Debacle:

by Glenn Littrell

In response to a comment on a FaceBook post(from 2010):

In regards to President Obama putting his hand over his heart ‘all the time’, I too wish he would. Everyone should do so for a variety of reasons, but to not do so on occasion is neither criminal or proof of a lack of respect for this country. If it is then there is a lot of disrespect going around all over this country at sporting events, public meetings and assemblies. Out of the majority of people who do put their hand over their heart how many of them are doing it, as you put it, in reference to ‘public opinion’ around them? As members of military families you and I probably look at this from a more intense perspective than many, but what bothers me is the increasing level of Americans who make patriotism into a series of chest beating and loud-shouting clich├ęs and rituals. How many chain emails and talking head pundits do I have to hear criticize people for exercising the rights that others have sacrificed and fought for. Those who fought for those rights were fighting for everyone's rights, not just yours and not just mine. Along with rights comes a responsibility to exercise them. To suppress someone's rights is more injurious to those who sacrificed than to exercise those rights in opposition to something some of us may approve of.

Personally when I consider what might constitute or define patriotism the anthem, the flag and the pledge are not at the top of the list as these are just symbols and rituals that are used to demonstrate ones outward claims. What comes to the top of my list are things such as sacrifice, commitment, service, support of justice and equality, the willingness to defend your neighbors rights as much as your own, especially when they are in conflict, etc. The presidents reaction to the first few notes of the National Anthem may not be to automatically raise his hand to his heart, but is the automatic response anymore reverent? image
You say if this wasn’t an isolated incident it would be no big deal. Come on now! This is probably one of the most circulated political videos around and it is always accompanied by statements that it is unequivocal proof of his disrespect! Its usually titled “Barack Hussein Obama refuses to salute US flag” which is obviously a biased conclusion. You then state that further proof is that

“…he has went around the world and apologized for us to other countries when he should be proud of our country and not be apologizing. He says we are often arrogant as a country, etc,”.

What is the correlation between an apology and patriotism? I can understand that you may not agree with the apology. I can understand that you don’t think he should be apologizing, but what you see as unpatriotic others see as humility, and if your saying our country should not show humility when it has done wrong, or that this country has never done wrong, then aren’t you proving his statement that we are often arrogant?  You correctly point out many of the fine attributes and accomplishments of this great country but you ignore the darker and often hidden side of our history. I would point to slavery, genocide of native Americans, Jim Crow, segregation, etc. When you say we have “…overthrown the treacherous dictators, freed the people…” you overlook the fact that we have also supported dictators and corrupt regimes, as well as undercut or removed governments [some elected] that we have had the ‘arrogance’ to deem ‘not in our best interest’. The attitude that other peoples hate us only out of jealousy is also arrogant as it isolates all of those people we have differences with as not having valid grievances or the ability to reason and formulate actions. There are some whose dislike for us is rooted in unrealistic or unfounded perceptions but many have real or imagined grievances that could be addressed. I too am proud of this country. In spite of our transgressions I recognize the many great accomplishments, but pride without humility IS arrogance.

Is it that an apology is seen as a criticism of our country? I can see the logic of that, but is criticism of our country unpatriotic? I remember when criticism of our President was portrayed as unpatriotic and unsupportive of our troops [Bush and Iraq]. I remember when criticism of invading Iraq was portrayed as unpatriotic. But if criticism of our government and/or President is unpatriotic then where is the indignation over the criticism of this President? Where is the indignation of the Tea Parties portrayal of this country and government? I’m being sarcastic here because criticism is not unpatriotic, its as American as apple pie. That is, unless you are located on the wrong side of the political map.

As far as your statement that Obama ridicules America, I don’t see it, you have to show me what you mean.

In regards to:

“…yet to hear Obama tell it and to watch his actions, we are all heathens who need forgiveness for being so evil…”

this is your assessment and opinion. I disagree with it but your welcome to it. Also:

“…I don’t understand where this mentality comes from and it is shared by the liberal crowd…”,

again that is your assessment. I’m perceived as a liberal and I don’t believe that, but then as a liberal I am always subjected to right-wing explanations of what I’m supposed to believe.

The statement:

“I sure wish these same people would have been so quick to make excuses for Bush when he was president and Bush didn’t do anything that this president does yet he was called an imbecile and a racist and a monkey and the list goes on and on.”

First of all, to be sure. I didn’t call Bush a racist, never heard him called a monkey, and never questioned his intelligence. I just didn’t always see evidence of it. To say that Bush didn’t do anything this President does implies either this President didn’t do anything right or Bush didn’t do anything wrong. During Bush’s pre-911 months he was also making world stops like Obama, the difference was where Obama was apologizing Bush was offending. Not the same thing, but not really different either. Both could be seen as embarrassing. As far as wishing ‘these people’ would make excuses for Bush why is that necessary? He had and still has FOX news and conservative radio constantly doing that. If you want followers of Obama to make excuses for Bush then how about the reverse? If what you are saying is you wish we were more tolerant and less partisan then I can agree with that, but the video that started this conversation does not fit with that wish. It is meant to be divisive and inflammatory.

I tell you what… I’ll make a deal with you along these lines. I’ll defend Bush on something he was criticized for and you defend something that Obama was criticized for. You can choose what I defend and I’ll give you a heads up on what I would like you to defend, Obama’s Memorial Day agenda this year [2010]. It should be easy since the original portrayal of the FOX coverage of that agenda was totally rebuked before Memorial Day arrived. Once the facts as laid out by FOX concerning the agenda’s of past presidents was found to be false and misleading there shouldn’t be to much work in defending his agenda. People may find your defense unbelievable though if all they watch is FOX  since they never, as usual, retracted their misrepresentations.

In terms of people saying we should support the current President, shouldn’t we? Weren’t we supposed to support the previous one and the ones before that? I remember on numerous times when criticism of Bush was categorized as unpatriotic, against the troops, or traitorous there were some less inflammatory defenders of Bush saying support the office, if not the man. Support doesn’t mean we have to agree or vote for his ideals, but it should at least mean we don’t hope he fails or pray for his assassination.

by Glenn Littrell

Sunday, July 11, 2010

In Anticipation of a Future Chain E-Mail:

by Glenn Littrell

unemploymentorigA chart has begun popping up all over the place and will probably be showing up in emails soon, you know the ones, chain mail which will make some asinine unfounded  political claims implying the chart proves some anti-lib or anti-Obama point. It’s frustrating because in a country with such an open and free press there are enough facts floating around at any one time to provide valid criticism and debate without making stuff up. In this case the original chart only draws attention to limited facts [which party controlled congress] leaving people to draw a view based on limited data and no explanations.

Fine, but here's a version of the chart with a little more info.unemployment

So does our new version of the chart support or dispute the suggestions of the original chart?

The original excluded information on who was in the Presidency at the time as if their was no relative impact. It also doesn’t reflect any events that may of had a short or long term effect on the economy. The original figures presented in the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which were credited as the source of the original chart, are raw figures. Does overlaying one timeline [who controlled congress] prove a correlation by itself? Its like those election year comparison between who wins the world series and the which party wins the presidency. If there is a visual correlation does that mean there is a real connection between the world series and the presidency? Its not my suggestion here that who controls congress is not relevant. My point is that by itself it is suggestive more than it is conclusive. The original and this updated chart do not go back before 95, the obvious intent being to 'cherry pick' the info, so if you extend the chart back to before 1995 you will probably see that during all presidencies and shifts in congress, the most conclusive pattern is that no term has resulted in a graph line that is one directional. Even the Obama/Democratic line is starting to curve, so why don’t we give it a minute before we draw our doomsday conclusions.

You can go to the BLS website [ http://data.bls.gov/PDQ/servlet/SurveyOutputServlet ] and enter your own parameters and then draw your own conclusions.

Additional point: If I were to point out that the origin of the current high unemployment rates were the result of a excessive spending and deregulation under Bush we would find ourselves being chastised for continuing to "BIOB" [Blame It On Bush]. So even though Republicans blamed [and still do] Clinton for everything throughout the Bush administration we'll leave it up to others to decide whose recession it is.

by Glenn Littrell

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Kiss Z Cook:

Kelly, Jo, friends Melissa, Laura, Melvin Watts and I spent the evening at a 'cooking' cafe where we all cook a gourmet meal under the direction of Chef Dwight Simmons where we then all sat down and ate our creation.
It was a blast!

<click the arrow to start/restart the slideshow>
The pictures in the slideshow are from both classes.

We liked it so much some of us scheduled another private class except this time Felicia and Deirdra joined us.
The way it works is we are broken up into groups and either individually or in teams we are assigned a menu item and given a work station, ingredients and recipe and then under the observation and coaching from a gourmet chef we proceed to prepare the meal, have fun and learn. After all is cooked [no cleanup] we set down and eat our creation with the chef.

Don’t know when we’ll do another one but if you think you might want to join us click the “read/leave comments” link below and tell us.

 image

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

One Love

-pause other videos before starting video-
-click arrow to start video-
 
 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Is The Solution For Outsourcing And The Exportation Of Jobs More Incentives For Corporations?

by Glenn Littrell

NO! How much incentive does an American plant need? What about responsibility, civic commitment, and community? Why is it that when the oil companies where reaping record profits they were gouging us at the pumps? Then when people complained they pointed to their inability to drill off shore as 'unfair', even though they weren't exploring the permits they had. Yet, since then the proven cause of the high gas prices wasn't a shortage, but speculation and profiteering. At the beginning of the mortgage crisis all the blame was laid at the feet of those individuals who were losing their homes because they had taken out mortgages they couldn't afford on homes with inflated value. But who sold them those homes without concern for the buyers ability to pay? Who packaged those loans with the intent to sell them to reap inflated profits before the true nature of the loans were exposed? And the tail end of this predatory package is the purchasers of those bad loans who harass and harangue people at all hours of the day and night trying to get them to pony up even as they are going through hard times?

With 4 out of 5 Americans believing it is immoral to default on a mortgage where is the shame on the other side? Why don't corporations have any shame about defaulting on their commitments? And what's even more concerning is why do we hold the individual accountable for responsibility, patriotism and the welfare of this nation but then allow groups of individuals to hide behind their corporate shields to abuse the benefits that the working family struggles to obtain.
What more incentives could we give them? Less regulation? That's what got us into this mess [recession] Enron, Tycom, the banking crisis, the mortgage crisis etc. All [in a large part] results of deregulation over the last ten years. Lower taxes? Compare the top tax bracket for the last hundred years and you will see that current taxes are relatively low and what makes anyone think that lowering taxes for the wealthy will result in plants being built here? The lower taxes that we give to the rich and corporations are financing plants in other countries! And more and more of the rich are investing in foreign assets and hiding money offshore. Where's their since of responsibility to their nation?

How many of these companies and corporations only exist because of incentives given to them by us, this country? Billions of dollars in government funded and backed business loans, government grants, incentives etc., Years of sweat from their employees. Then they bail on us. Yeah they need more incentives.
How many companies are moving their plants because they're losing money [long term] and how many of them are doing it just to increase profits? What's the real incentive they want? Lower wages? Less employee benefits? Well there you go, now we have it. Lower taxes for the wealthy so that people who don't have to work for a living can better enjoy not working [when poor people do it we condemn it as welfare]. Less regulation so that corporations can continue to take greater risk and speculation with less public detection [when working families do it and loose their homes or worse its condemned as irresponsible if not criminal]. Less regulations by building plants in third world countries that have no environmental regulations, thus allowing the dumping of toxic waste directly into the air and water that is used by the workers they employ. Lower wages by employing third world or indigent poor to work for pennies an hour with no benefits. Could we possibly compete with that? So what possible incentive could we offer these companies to stay that they haven't already received. Lower wages and no benefits. None of us could afford the pay cut that would take. Which is ironic because none of us who would still have a decent wage would want to pay the cost [ever increasing] that would result from an ever growing lower class that comes from the exporting of these jobs.

We all want to condemn excessive bonuses for executives and the greed of Wall Street but we never want to criticize the greed and irresponsibility of excessive profits [not profits, excessive profits] and greed by corporations. THEY ARE ONE AND THE SAME!

Those executives work for the corporations! The corporations are what Wall Street is all about. Who do we think the lobbyist we all complain about work for? Insurance AMSchesinger croppedcompanies [corporations] spent millions of dollars to fight health care and are now raising premiums to pay for it. 'Poor' Oil companies with record profits, 'poor' mortgage companies who got ripped off by hard working people, 'poor' insurance companies who couldn't compete with a government option.
Don't want to eventually pay for health care, higher unemployment benefits, a resurgence of welfare, a crumbling infrastructure, more entitlements? Then we need to rethink our attitudes on whether the solution is to protect the working man and build our economy from there or cow tow to the greed and avarice of Wall Street, its executives and yes the corporations that run it and our country.

Glenn Littrell

Notes From Other Sources:

“ Today, 1.2 million jobless workers lose their extended unemployment insurance (UI) because some Senate millionaires think a $300 a week unemployment check will make people too lazy to look for a job. This group also is pushing to reduce the nation’s budget deficit rather than use short-term spending to create desperately needed jobs for the nation’s 26 million unemployed or underemployed workers…
…While more than 15 million U.S. workers can’t find work because there’s five
workers for every one job opening, the rich are getting massively richer. The ranks of the nation’s millionaires rose 16.5 percent, to 2.87 million, last year. Their total wealth in North America rose 17.8 percent, to $10.7 trillion…
…A
new poll shows the majority of the U.S. public wants government to take a larger and stronger role in making the economy work for America’s workers. Nine out of 10 agree that government and corporations should join with individuals to place the common good above greed….
…So, in short: Republicans in Congress are out of touch with the American people and are working with the growing group of millionaires—like
coal mine owner Don Blankenship of Massey Energy Co. and BP CEO Tony Hayward—to ride roughshod over those whose sweat and hard work built this nation.
Some say the United States is now a corporatocracy.”                
   
Millionaires Killing Jobs by Tula Connell, Jun 25, 2010 @ AFL-CIO Now Blog

Related Articles:

Monday, May 24, 2010

Profiling Is Not A Benign Event:

by Glenn Littrell

From A discussion On FaceBook

Kelly posted on her wall:

I'm baffled & need to vent. Of course we need immigration reform, but why do so many people support Arizona's new law? It legalizes racial profiling! Do people not understand that or do they just not care? I got home from AZ just before this law passed. I could have very well been a victim of such racial profiling as I have been mistaken many times as being Hispanic - even by those who are! Ok. I'm done
A posted comment:
"Have you really READ it? Mexico has harsher laws than us. Why should we allow illegals to continue to live off of us?"
In response to this comment Kelly said:
"Sure did. For anyone else who wants to read it: http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/2r/bills/sb1070s.pdf
We need to harshly punish those greedy American employers that exploit them - not those trying to survive and put food on the table. Not someone that might…. look like they are illegal. What does an illegal immigrant look like? There's no excuse for racial profiling and it should never be okay for someone to be questioned by police because that officer thought they looked illegal. There's nothing that makes it okay.
California and the southwest were built in large part by undocumented Mexican immigrants. Of course back then I guess Americans didn't mind letting them to cross back and forth over the border as long as they gave us cheap labor?
From the Dept. of Homeland Security: Around 75% of today's immigrants have legal permanent (immigrant) visas; of the 25% that are undocumented, 40% overstayed temporary (non-immigrant) visas. Undocumented immigrants estimated to be less than 2% of the US population.
We close factories here and ship American jobs overseas to Mexico (Wal-Mart is great at forcing suppliers to move factories/jobs overseas). We then pay Mexicans subpar wages. Their country does not have the same safety & environmental standards as the U.S. so they are forced to work in unsafe and unhealthy conditions on a wage that they can't live on in their own country. So they do what our ancestors did - come to America looking for an opportunity. An opportunity to survive.
We contribute to their problems in their own country, make it more difficult for them to come here legally, yet illegally pay them under the table to do hard work for low wages, and then criminalize them for doing what we made possible? And in the process stereotype them and anyone that looks like they might 'fit the profile'?
I see a lot of people joining the FaceBook group "If you hurt my daughter I'll make your death look like an accident" and other similar groups. I hear statements from parents like that all the time. I thought that meant parents would do what they had to in order to keep their families alive and safe? Parent or not - I think a lot of us might think differently if roles were reversed...if we had to choose between barely surviving at home or trying to make a better life for ourselves elsewhere. It's easy to say "I would still follow the law" when we sit in cozy houses, eat 3 meals a day, take our vacations and enjoy the 'better life'.
Yes, there is a problem with the way things are currently. Yes, immigration reform is needed. Yes, illegal immigration needs to end. But racial profiling does not solve the problem, but rather feeds hatred and creates new problems. I may have gotten out of Arizona before they legalized racial profiling, but I still might just get the chance to be victimized since an Indiana senator thinks we need such laws here.
Who are the victims? American and Immigrant workers. Who profits and created this system/problem - American corporations. We are attacking the wrong group."

I added:

"...villianizing hard working people for trying to support their family is just so un-Christian and un-American, especially when this law does more to promote profiling and animosity than it does to stop illegal immigration.
You stop illegal immigration at the border first and then you do something to break the cycle of exporting American jobs to third world nations and enticing illegal immigrants to come north for under the table wages. Focusing enforcement on the immigrants while ignoring the over-riding factors is like prosecuting the drug user but ignoring the drug pushers and suppliers. In this case the drug pusher and supplier being corporations, business men and individuals who exploit the immigrant [legal and illegal] to save a buck and avoid paying decent wages to American workers.
Ever notice how we don't have a major illegal immigration problem with our neighbors to the north? That's because when they come here looking for jobs they expect to make the same wages as us. They also aren't tempted to come here illegally because their wages, benefits, environmental laws, and safety regulations at home are similar to ours. Unlike in Mexico and other third world economies. Yet in most of our treaties with these countries they are supposed to establish such standards and enforce them, but American and Global corporations ship their manufacturing operations there specifically because we don't enforce those treaties."

Kelly added, in response to another comment:

I would have to add though, because I wasn't in AZ for pleasure the mental, emotional and physical state I was in (so stressed, disheveled, red teary eyes from constant crying - and I'll admit no shower or change of clothes for a couple of days) could have made me an easier target for 'suspicion'. If stopped I might have lashed out in anger or even just broken down in tears unable to speak clearly if at all. They would have made things worse. But it's the mere fact of being stopped and suspected that begins the victimization - just because you are let go doesn't take that sting away.
I remember vividly an incident as a child that still bothers me to this day. My dad and I were walking around downtown at some festival together. We were laughing and joking and having a good time. But the police stopped us because they wanted to make sure I was supposed to be with him. Why? Obviously because he's Caucasian and I'm not. Sure they asked me if I knew him and they took my word for it and let us go.....but it still hurt and I still remember it. The mere difference in the color of our skin was enough in their minds to stop us. Never mind the happy mood we were in. I wasn't crying, scared or sending out vibes for help. If I were Caucasian would they have stopped us - absolutely not. It's no different than the watchful eyes that are on me when I sometimes go into stores that don't get many 'minorities'. I actually experienced that in AZ (and that was when I was leaving and was more put together). It is sad that once I speak and/or pull out the wallet that seems to fade.
My frustration of course comes from the fact that the real root cause of the problems aren't addressed. That all the major players aren't held accountable. Why? Because for corporate America the current situation is ideal for them - they created it. So the 'answer' is to give the American workers a little something to make them feel better and think we are being looked out for. Give them a little cookie to hold them over. While we dodge the real problems and solutions that could really benefit the actual victims - those same American workers AND the immigrants workers."
"A new class we should all have to take in school "Walk a day in someone less fortunate shoes - a lesson in compassion and gratitude". It could take the place of Gym. :)"

In response to another comment pointing out that because Kelly spoke perfect English, if stopped, she would have immediately been allowed to proceed I wrote:

"If Kelly had been profiled and stopped in AZ and had broken down and lashed out at the police officer I don't believe that her speaking fluent English would have guaranteed anything. Having been to several South American countries and Caribbean islands there is no shortage of English speaking inhabitants. The whole argument about 'speak English' is part of the stereotype that makes profiling guesswork. Kelly's grandmother is German and has lived in America for over 40 years and spoke English when she came here, but many people still have trouble understanding her. [Did you know that along with this law in AZ the state has decreed that Spanish/English teachers with a heavy accent are being targeted for removal as teachers even though the main reason they were hired was because there was a shortage of non-Hispanic teachers who could speak Spanish?]
The people who wrote this law defend the profiling language as not really profiling and says that it doesn't allow profiling. If you take out the profiling aspect just what does the law do? By there own explanation its a tough law that does nothing? It certainly does nothing to address the problem of illegal immigration. The law at the very least encourages and allows racial profiling and at the most, and this is the most important, it institutionalizes racial profiling.
Most police departments are reluctant to get involved in immigration enforcement because it eats up the time, resources and budgets and takes them away from actually fighting crime and enforcing the law. Most police experts denounce racial profiling as less than a science because it is ineffective and tends to discourage effective police work. And last but not least it causes problems.
What if on that day Kelly and I were downtown I had become irate or upset with the police? They said they had received a call and had to investigate and I gave them the benefit of the doubt and cooperated. I figured some resentful person probably did make the call and the demeanor of the officers was such that as long as Kelly was in site I felt the best thing to do was cooperate. I didn't like it at all though. But what if I wasn't in such a good mood, what if Kelly wasn't having fun but was hot, tired and irritable? What if the officers were two butt heads with an attitude and yes there are cops who range from being unpleasant to downright arrogant and short fused. Theimage problem with profiling and random stops is that many of the arrest and conflicts that arise are not related to the original intent of the stop, it is the stop itself or a secondary, resulting, event that leads to arrest or conflict. Kelly was tearing up during the encounter but if her crying had gotten worse, if they had put her in the squad car or tried to remove her from my site would I have just stood there? If any of those things happened I would probably ended up in handcuffs and an upsetting incident would have ended up a traumatic incident. Even though charges MIGHT have been dropped I would have been arrested on a charge unrelated to the stop. In the absence of any suspicious behavior, a father or daughter downtown having fun on a sunny day is not suspicious, we were stopped because of our 'racial' relationship and a great day was tarnished. Racial profiling is not a benign event. It creates and fosters animosity, conflict and tensions between the police, the profiled community and the community as a whole. The racial profiling of suspected illegals will result in more legal immigrants and born Americans being targeted than it will in apprehension of illegals." 

Kelly McKinney & Glenn Littrell


Even law enforcement officials in Arizona are speaking out against SB 1070, also known as the “papers please” law.     from AP

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Latino 911!
www.thedailyshow.com
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Resources:

Additional Notes:

Our Immigration Problem

Profiling Is Not A Benign Event

I'm A Legal Citizen

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Thought Of The Week: Awesome...

Reposted from 6-12-2009

Jonathan McCoy
courtesy of Lawrence Woods

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fair Trade, Fair Markets, Fair Share Taxes and Responsibility:

by Glenn Littrell

Whirlpool spends 110 million dollars to build a factory in Mexico which is resulting in the closing of the Evansville, In. plant. Eliminating over 900 jobs and devastating the community.
Whirlpool is receiving about 19 million dollars in stimulus benefits this year. If their factory is less than 25 years old I would suspect that they received tax breaks to build it. Have they also received tax breaks for unemployment compensation premiums, for temporary jobs that were meant to encourage expansion and hopefully permanent jobs? How much have they tapped into government grants, government loans and tax breaks over the years? I would suspect that Whirlpool has lobbied for legislation that was favorable to their company as well as their industry and it wouldn't be a stretch to wonder if much of that lobbying was for policies that continue to make it easier to export jobs and close plants, to become importers of foreign goods as opposed to manufacturers of American products. I would suspect that they have probably spent millions to support the Chamber Of Commerce and their attack on any 'Buy American' legislation.
Can anyone doubt that they have probably lobbied the Mexican government for Tax breaks and looking the other way on already nonexistent or lax health, safety and environmental regulations. Bribing corrupt foreign officials is always cheaper than paying your fair share of taxes, just look at how much corporations and industries spend on lobbying here. The only way we could 'entice' them to stay here would be to let them operate tax free with no safety, health, environmental, wage or labor regulations and for the employees to take no benefits and a pay reduction to less than a dollar an hour. Only countries with corrupt governments and or an impoverished population could accommodate corporations in this manner and aren't we already getting to close to that ourselves?
With the 'Tea Party' movement crying for their taxes to be reduced and smaller government where would that leave us? Our infrastructure is already crumbling, schools are declining, and uninsured health cost are rising. These are just some of the many other things that need to be fixed because their cost are growing. 
The idea that free markets and unencumbered business will do the right things is idealistic. If you want to to see Free Markets at there most deregulated just look at the black market in illegal drugs. Unrestrained markets lead to unrestrained greed, not because everyone is potentially greedy but because enough are. Now that Corporations have been granted free speech rights maybe we should consider demanding that they take on more civic responsibilities before we end up granted them voting rights or the right to run for elected office. Here's a concept worth considering: Fair Trade in place of Free Trade, a Fair Market System in place of Free markets, more efficient government instead of larger or smaller government, and more responsibility not less from those who benefit the most from the virtues of this country.

Glenn Littrell

EBWhite

E. B. White was a journalist and the author of Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little.

Related Articles:

Is The Solution For Outsourcing And The Exportation Of Jobs More Incentives For Corporations?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Our Immigration Problem:

by Glenn Littrell

In response to a comment posted to my facebook wall:

I would disagree with that picture... There are two primary reasons for the presence of illegal aliens coming to America:


One: is that when US Corporations close American factories and ship manufacturing to Mexico they end up paying their employees there about 50 cents an hour. Because those factories don't have to adhere to any safety or pollution standards the workers live in pollution and squalor on a wage that can't even support them in their own country. As a result they come north for the same reasons our ancestors came to America, opportunity, in this case in the form of hard work for low wages. If I'm going to be upset with anyone over that situation it's going to be the corporations that don't pay those workers a fair wage.

Two: is they don't come north to take American jobs, nor do they come north to take jobs that Americans won't do. They come north to get jobs they are given by businesses and corporations that don't want to pay Americans a fair wage. The culprit there is those American businessmen who entice them with wages better than at home but below the minimum here. This cycle victimizes both the American and Mexican workers and benefits American and multi-national businesses and corporations. If they paid decent wages here and there it would stem most of the illegal immigration from the south. Don't think so? So then just look to the north, Canada. You don't see a flood of illegals from there because their industries operate under similar wage, safety, and environmental standards.

I want our borders to be protected, I want illegal immigration to stop, but I find it hard to villianize people who are only trying to do what's best for their families by engaging in hard work.

As far as the business about them taking money out of the country, not paying taxes etc., that is a misnomer. The facts don't bear it out even though it is constantly repeated. They may not pay income taxes but they pay excise, fuel, and sales taxes. Some pay income taxes but where they don't it is because they are being paid under the table by employers who know their illegal and are trying to evade paying THIER OWN taxes.
For an expose on how immigrants illegal or legal contribute to local economies I would suggest you watch an 8 minute video [ 9500Liberty ]on the fight over immigration in Prince William County,Virginia similar to the current fight starting in Arizona.

We need to stop illegal immigration and fix our immigration problem, but we can do it in a manner that reflects our claim to being a great and charitable nation based on values and compassion.

I'm sorry I tend to go on forever but I'm sure everyone in the family knows by now that I'm a 'bleeding heart moderate'. GlennDL

Resources: