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].

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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.

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

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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!
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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

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