Tag Archives: slavery

Let Your Freak Flag Fly

confedPiggly Wiggly
(Theme song to The Dukes Of Hazzard)

Just’a good ol’ boys
Never meanin’ no harm
Spendin’ all their summer days
With a pig in the barn

Makin’ their way
The only way they know how
By tryin’ to milk a bull
Just’a same as a cow

I’m a visionary. Decades ago I thought the Confederate Flag was as queer as a three dollar bill. It just took a while for this notion to become trendy enough for y’all to take it down.

I have a few words to say on the subject. As you can probably reckon from the subtle opening, I’m here to treat the topic with all the reverence that it deserves. I’m also going to try to avoid repeating all the same tired arguments we’ve heard from both sides of the issue.

A national Gallup poll this month found that 32% of Democrats and 78% of Republicans view the flag as a symbol of “Southern pride” rather than one of “racism.” Let that stick in your craw for a bit.

At the same time, 64% of whites favored the “Southern pride” view while only 19% of blacks felt the same way. Ya think?

Seldom are numbers so astonishingly black and white.

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How can a president create jobs?

A study in subtlety - Rupert Murdoch style. Better read on, because what you don't know could kill you!

Nasdaq OMX's Bob Greifeld

Nasdaq CEO Bob Greifeld illustrating what we hopes to accomplish by combining his camera with Twitter.

Yep. Another post based on something I saw in the WSJ. (Wealth Stealing Jerks.) Why do I keep looking at that rag, now owned by the honorable likes of Rupert Murdoch and News Corp? Oh yeah. I know. I really enjoy their “We Hate Obama’s Fucking Guts” section, or what they coyly call the “opinion”‘ pages.

Inside the paper the other day, it said something like, “Dear Mr. President: Private Ideas on How to Create Jobs.”

This is something I’ve been very curious about, so I decided to turn to that page and have the mysteries of life explained to me by the WSJ. I prepared myself to be amazed and astounded.

What did I find?

A picture of Bob Greifeld, the CEO of NASDAQ. And what was his advice to Obama? “U.S. companies need the ability to recruit the best workers. … We must increase the number of H-1B visas available and reform the employment-based green card process.”

Holy fucking shit! That’s pure genius!

Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States:

Obama: My jobs plan is simple. What we need is more foreigners taking the few jobs that already exist in our country.

Can you imagine a president taking this advice? Then standing up and saying something along these lines? Talk about an express ticket to his own unemployment. You don’t just take a shit on the majority of the population and get happily re-elected.

I’m sure Mr. Greifeld has a point. He sees the recession and unemployment as a function of a lack of skilled workers. Workers that the United States is not producing in sufficient quantities. Perhaps we have a problem with our education system and the number of our young people that are able to access higher education?

I only have a United States education, but I fail to see how Mr. Greifeld’s response addresses the original question, namely: How to create jobs?

I did learn one thing from the WSJ. Obama would be unwise to rely on their advice.

So, what do you think are the things a president can actually do to create jobs? What can be done that is reasonably within the auspices of that office, and what could be effective? Is the solution really supposed to come from the president or should it originate somewhere else?

It seems to me that these are no small questions and how well they are answered will likely determine our leader for the next four years.

One last thing. I know the H-1B visa program is for “skilled” workers, but how have American companies treated other guest workers? Let’s find out.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-h8EBP0JSs]

Vows, marriage and slavery

When I saw the headline that Mitt Romney had refused to sign a “marriage vow” it immediately got my attention. Did this mean he was going to actually support gay marriage, or if not (and more likely) at least not stand opposed?

A group called “The Family Leader” produced and circulated a document called “The Marriage Vow” that they hoped presidential candidates would sign. In addition to many other things, it asks candidates to support a federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would define marriage as between one man and one woman throughout the United States.

Mitt Romney declined to sign the vow. So far, so has Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, Gary Johnson, and Jon Huntsman.

So who did sign? Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum.

Perhaps if the document was limited solely to dealing with marriage issues more would have signed it.

Weirdly, it introduces the issue of race and slavery into the mix. As you might expect, that has created a shitstorm of controversy. What could slavery possibly have to do with a discussion about the definition of “marriage” here in the year 2011?

The original version of the document is quick to point out (in the very first bullet point) that “a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent-household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.”

One thing seems certain, at least to me. Some people sure seem to sit around and think a lot about race. An awful lot.

So, what’s their point? That has been the subject of much speculation since this document was released. (Note: The group has since published the “final” version of The Marriage Vow and the bullet point pertaining to slavery has mysteriously disappeared.)

Their factoid about slavery and 1860 may be true, but even if it is, what relevance does that have to a discussion about the definition of marriage in the here and now? It’s not like going back in time to 1860 is possible, right?

Also, it is intellectually dishonest to cherry-pick a single fact to prove that something was better than it is now. Only a complete viewpoint can do that. We have to ask ourselves: Were children born as slaves in 1860 better off than children born to unwed parents since 2008? If anyone answers “yes” to that question, I think it is fair to ask, just what in the name of hell are they advocating.

The fight against gay marriage can sure take some weird twists and turns.

Short Film: The Veiled Commodity

Today I’d like to share something serious with you. No, not my normal lunatic ravings but an issue of vital importance that touches us all whether we realize it or not.

I recently came across an excellent award winning short film called The Veiled Commodity. The film is an extremely powerful look at human trafficking and modern-day slavery. It is serious stuff and something that socially-conscious people must see. These issues are important and demand our attention and our action.

If you click the link above and visit the official web site you can currently watch the entire film for free. Just click the menu option that says, “the film.”

The Veiled Commodity is part one of a planned three-part series. Part one focuses on slavery’s past and present day issues. Parts two and three in the series will deal with related topics like sexual slavery and child soldiers.

The animation is top-notch and superbly captures the perfect mood for the content. The film is directed by Dickson Chow and Vinh Chung. The film is movingly narrated by Carmen Lezeth Suarez.

After you watch the film you can show your support by visiting the film’s Facebook page.

The issues explored in this movie are as timely as they are vital for us to face. For a topical example ripped from this week’s headlines see this video from the New York Times.

The people who brought you the film recommend the following organizations as ways you can help:

Human Rights Watch: http://www.hrw.org

Free The Slaves: http://www.freetheslaves.net

End Human Trafficking: http://www.endhumantrafficking.org

Not For Sale: http://www.notforsalecampaign.org

Polaris Project: http://actioncenter.polarisproject.org

The originalist view of the Constitution

Constitution of the United StatesI was talking with a guy about government and regulations. He favors less government, less taxes, more freedom, unrestricted markets, etc. He told me that he finds his beliefs to be in line with the founders upon adoption of the Constitution. I guess you could say that makes him a fan of originalism.

There is no doubt about it. The founding fathers were visionaries and we should cherish the system they have given us. But his unwavering belief and total committment to originalism raises and important question: Were they infallible?

The answer, of course, is a resounding no.

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