“What Is, Is Right:” Alabama and their shift in their opinion of Hispanics

At one time Alabama wasn’t much different on the immigration front – concerned about illegals walking into their nation, but happy to have them pick our crops for us and willing to tolerate them shipping their money to each other via Western Union (and thereby subsidizing our Poverty Industrial Complex).

Then they passed HB 56, a law that basically turned every non-Hispanic citizen in Alabama into the immigration police.

That state has since suffered. Crops that would have been picked long ago sat rotting in the fields or were plowed under, Billions in state GDP (and 250 million plus in lost tax revenue) lost, a dropoff in school attendance that led quite a few school districts to go into cutbacks, and other negative effects. Construction no longer happens, and even with an 8.1 percent unemployment rate there are a large number of jobs that remain unfilled.

But…how about the state citizens? What do they think?

Evidently, the non-hispanic citizens of Alabama support HB 56. Hispanics found themselves unable to get government services whether they were naturalized, full citizens or not. They also found themselves unable to get services from private citizens and companies. When Farmers started complaining about the lack of workers for their fruit and vegetable crop harvests, the citizens responded with catcalls and jeers – and when they complained about not finding enough workers, the people responded with “PAY A DECENT WAGE.”

They even went so far as to have some Germans arrested. Thereby proving to everyone that HB56 was serious business to them.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now I’m not going to go into a defense of Illegal Aliens, nor shall I sympathize with farmers long used to paying sub-minimum wages – although it would appear that the abuses have grown worse, and sprouted newer forms to boot. I also know what the law says. I also know and understand that America is probably the only nation that would welcome these people with any sort of willingness (I know how immigration laws work). And just so you understand, I’m not about to whine about how we should treat Hispanics as more American than us.

My point here is about how people tend to go along with laws because those laws are laws.

Before HB 56 was passed, one wouldn’t have heard about Latino children punished for the sins of parents wanting a better life for themselves and their children. You wouldn’t have heard suburbanites laughing at farmers who grew their fruits and vegetables. You wouldn’t have heard about kids being pulled out of school because they were afraid the kids would have been sent to a big-man’s jail for not having “proper identification” (name one kid who had proper identification. I know I didn’t carry mine around until after getting my driver’s license. There was no real need to before then, back when I was growing up.) Wal-Marts gave the people who asked for their money from Western Union their money, because it was company policy and the right thing to do.

But put HB 56 into the law books…and Latinos starve because their parents can’t prove they’re US citizens (never mind whether the kids, or the parents, are US citizens). Make HB 56 law, and fruit and veggie prices go up. Kids are withdrawn from school and taken by their parents “back” to Mexico-where its drug cartels are now at war with its civilian population (I wonder whether the American Government had its hands in creating that atmosphere, but I digress…) because HB 56 is so overwhelming. Inject HB 56 into the body politic, and Wal-Mart employees no longer give people who look like they came from south of the border at some point in the past 100 years the money that’s coming to them (and I can’t blame them, with HB 56 making “helping out a Latino/Hispanic in need” a felony worthy of long prison time).

And understand – the only thing that changed is a law.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Probably the one thing that your average American (I’d say “Libertarian,” but since Libertarianism is the default Economic/Political viewpoint of America, I say American) doesn’t wish to understand is that Government and Law affects people’s opinions and acts. And NOT in the way that your average Neocon wishes (“Governmental action provokes the proper opposite reaction from the free.”)

The fact is, whatever is the official activity/opinion of the government is generally the majority viewpoint.

Let’s look at bombing during the Vietnam War. While it was going on over 60% of the people SUPPORTED bombing North Vietnam; once the bombing ended it turned out that over 60% of the people OPPOSED bombing North Vietnam. That wasn’t because they were interviewing different people, it’s because of the bias underlying much thought that basically assumes that the Government reflects to some degree the will of the people.

You can see that with Abortion. When it was generally accepted that Abortion was a full right without any restrictions, that was what the majority of the people supported. Now that there’s a general air of restrictions that tends to imply that Abortion should not be done, the mood of the people is that Abortion should be a right…just not an unrestricted right. What’s interesting here is that a small group of people who have time to spare and are paid well enough to have that time to spare are driving the debate towards abolition, and it will be interesting to see what happens to public opinion when they get what they want (The ideal being a family with 17 Irish Twins and a set of Triplets) (and I do expect that they’ll get what they want – they’ve already changed the Republican Party to their image, and I think there’s enough people afraid enough of “the other” to give them their chance through this election cycle.).

So what happened with Alabama. The citizens of Alabama probably happily tolerated the Hispanics, made friends with them, served them and ate the vegetables they picked at sub-minimal wages before HB 56; now that HB56 is law they’ve turned on their erstwhile neighbors.

Not because of a change of heart. Because of a change of law.


Who ARE The One Percent?

Probably the one thing that everyone seems to agree on is their opposition to “The One Percent.” There’s something about being on the right side of an overwhelming majority of people that makes people feel good – whether it’s about the elementary school’s mascot (Gillespie Mustangs, anyone?) to rooting for your side to win a war. And since 99% of the population can’t be wrong (go along with me on this), then it’s obvious that being with the 99% means being on the right side of history.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, never mind the idea that almost everyone can be wrong, that sometimes it’s the oddballs who end up being right. Everyone loves such stories, but more often than not the single lone nut is known as a lone nut for a reason – he’s a nut, he’s dead wrong and people avoid him for that reason. That sometimes said lone nut may be right is an occasional occupational hazard that must be dealt with on the rare occasion that it happens (also known as the stuck clock syndrome – twice a day it’s going to be right and for a few minutes either way it will be about right, but that’s by accident and the rest of the time it will be either “wrong” or “with not enough of a clue to be considered wrong.”

Instead, let’s look at it another way: Who ARE The One Percent? Who are these folks who are, in some way, draining our money away like a vampire sucking on a virgin’s neck for dear life? Who are the people going out of their way to make Americans suffer – note that it’s not about money or exchange, that money and exchange are being used as tools here for the actual purpose (which is to create a feudal society, where certain peoples are deemed worthy of worship and surrender to because of who they are).

Here’s my list:

  1. Bankers (not the tellers, but those people who have gotten into suits and sit in the offices) – the obvious first part, as these folks have been proven to be actively creating and pushing the situation where houses are being foreclosed up and neighborhoods turned into ruins. Since the recent re-regulation of the bankers has set it up where they have to have a lot of money in the bank to be able to loan (and the Feds have given them this money), they haven’t had the need to give interest to whatever money has been saved by their customers. Ergo, they’re now in the position where they don’t need us but we need them – and they’re using it to their
  2. The Investment Class – You know the dream: to have enough money to make money off of it. It’s this dream that has made a wreck of what WAS the American industrial landscape (Don’t think metals or cars, think computers and can openers. Turns out that heavy industry and heavy manufacturing is the hardest thing to export and the easiest thing to import if you have a good enough market), turned the stock market into the gaming mechanism that it’s become and has turned corporations from private endeavors in service to their customers, workers and owners to entities who are SOLELY deserving of personhood in our nation (thereby classifying the actual humans within the USA as subjects at best…). These folks are also blindly in support of the bankers mainly because they understand that their money means nothing without banks to watch over it.
  3. Those directly helping the Bankers and The Investment Class. This includes stockbrokers, Newspaper editors who skew the opinions, politicians (from the Libertarians who baldfacedly support them in their impotence through the Republicans who have done their water-bearing to the Democrats who have hid behind “populist” stances and their buying out of certain groups who cherish their nickle more than the Bankers and Investment Classers care about their millions), even down to…
  4. The Police and Armed Forces. Yes, many of these people are unintentionally serving the one percent, but their actions works towards the support and expansion of the realm of the bankers and investment class. The arts of crowd control have gone so far as to become a science, complete with studies and a practice that has become rote.
  5. Academia. The fact is, there’s always been those who were part of Academia who have happily put themselves in abject service of the one percent. There are whole disciplines set up to serve the one percent (economics and Business are the two most blatantly in service to the one percent, although you can tell the degree of service by how well the various disciplines are funded…), and the universities that serve the one percent well are better funded then those who don’t.
  6. Black Bloc “Anarchists.” Cops crowd people into squares, arrest them like mad and beat them up…and these guys get to declare where they’re going to mess things up? I smell major tools of the one percent, getting behind the lines and allowing the other tools of the one percent to paint those in opposition (Occupy Wall Street/Occupy XXX) as raving lunatics out to destroy America.

I’m sure there may be a few other groups, but these are the obvious ones.

Just to note, we’re not just talking about one percent anymore. More like five or six percent. One percent couldn’t rule over everyone without a larger group of willing helpers (and the rest of us willing to put up with it, whether by going along or by being to scared to fight).

So…now we know whom are the one percent (or, more likely, the five in service to the true upper crust).

Komen “For The Cure” and Starbucks – The Link, For All To See

First, a look at what went on at Susan G. Komen “For The Cure” (SGK from here on):

On January 31, SGK declared they weren’t going to fund Planned Parenthood “Because of a investigation by Republicans over whether they’re a criminal group (Translation: Since you cannot separate ‘Public Money’ from ‘Private Money,’ there’s no such thing as ‘private money’ and therefor Planned Parenthood breaks the law by their mere existence).” After a backlash (including the resignation of quite a few people from their leadership), they turned around and declared that they were amending their criteria “to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political.”

Yeah, right. I’ve always had deep doubts about this group ever since they stomped onto the scene in Chicago in the early 2000’s. My doubts were confirmed when it turned out that much of their activity was actually suing other groups using the catchphrase “for a/the cure.”  So the seeming “departure” of defunding Planned Parenthood seems to me to be nothing out of the ordinary for this group – just a shift from economic neocon thought to social fundamentalist thought.

(indeed, they seem to me to be very much like Lance Armstrong’s “LiveStrong” charity, which is more a way to funnel extra money to himself then to actually help out people)

Second, The Cry Is Out For Christians To Boycott Starbucks!

That’s right, friends, because the state they’re based in is voting to allow Gays to get married, We Are Supposed To Buy Our Coffee From Dunkin Donuts. Never mind that the majority of practicing Christians live in areas that aren’t necessarily served by Starbucks (or if they are, it’s at a sizable distance), and never mind that few Christians actually have a daily coffee habit that involves the high prices from Starbucks (something that gays, with their higher income and very low likelihood of that income being eaten up by children they helped bring into the world, are more likely to develop) – they expect to bring Starbucks to their knees through a boycott.

Thing is, given that much of my growing period was as a Fundamentalist Christian (late seventies and early eighties – same fixation towards the end-times, same concern over the sinfulness of society, just the beginnings of some of the straying tendencies they would come to embrace later on) I can understand it well.  The portion Romans 1 that the above link refers to talks about what happens when people turn away from God – they find other things to worship, then they seek out sexual license and come to practice sodomy (the engaging in sex without risking the woman’s becoming pregnant), then that lawlessness would come to inform their actions and whom they support. Add in the misrepresentation of their comment that “This is part of our core values.” (more on that below, and why it links to Komen) and it’s easy to see why “Thou Shalt Not Drink At Starbucks” would become a candidate for the 11th commandment.

Thing is, I don’t think this is getting play because of the Washington Gay Marriage Vote. After all, I didn’t see much of a drive to banish Apple from the home when California was in the throes of voting Proposition 8 into its constitution (and Apple opposed it). And I’ve yet to see a movement to boycott Nike or Microsoft. So there’s something else.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, Here Is The Link For All To See:

Health care. For poor people.

Everyone knows that Planned Parenthood does abortions, but there’s a lot of other services done for women’s health that don’t involve the prevention of babies – they also teach health habits to women and try to stop breast cancer. Furthermore, there’s few Planned Parenthood locations in places where the wealthy people live (and one assumes they can afford to do what’s needed to prevent unwanted babies from being born).

Never mind that the Komen foundation gives little of its money to Planned Parenthood, nor that Planned Parenthood receives little of its money from Komen; Komen’s actions seems to be aimed at a high-level attack, hoping to gain sympathetic actions from other nonprofits.”

The boycott against Starbucks SEEMS to be about Homosexuality. However, the quote here is telling:

Starbucks overlooked the health concerns for homosexuals. CDC reports that one in five homosexuals have HIV, with many unaware they are sick. The average homosexual dies at 42 years and has a higher depression rate, Cameron reports.

Interesting that they’re talking at length about health concerns.

Also interesting that (as the core value they were referring to in the quote) Starbucks is one of the few companies that goes around insuring its part-time workers. More interesting that it’s probably one of the few who do so willingly. (UPS does so as well, but they got Union Representation there. I miss the good health benefits, both on the floor and further up.) Many of the people working at Starbucks probably couldn’t find affordable health insurance elsewhere (Certainly not at Wal-Mart, whose way of helping out their workers consists of handing out Welfare Applications when asked I’m sure Target could care less about their floor workers…).

So what do I see with this? A veiled attack on the poor trying to get health insurance and/or help.

Whether they’re being the driving force (The Komen “For the Cure” “funding” issue) or being useful idiots for the Kochs and others who hide behind them (The Starbucks boycott issue), the Christians seem desperate to destroy any chance the poor may have at decent health care.

After all, there’s plenty of companies out there that could be boycotted if the Christians wanted, some of whom could be struck harder. After all, chances are they’re using a Microsoft computer to read about the boycott (since Apple is a Satanic Company…), Nike Shoes and many others who would be easier to strike at than Starbucks (since they’re more likely to brew a cup of Folgers than to pick up a cup at a Starbucks store.

But it’s not about homosexuals. After all, Microsoft runs with a cadre of employees and uses an army of temps to fill in the computer code, thereby insuring that most of their employees has no real lasting rights. And Nike…let’s just say they’re not so much an American company as a Chinese company that happens to be based in Washington State.

Again, the items linking the two are health care for the poor.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Granted, I don’t think the Christians explicitly want poor people to suffer and die an early, gruesome death. However, their thirst for “justice” and “righteousness” has led them to take the fight against those trying to do good for certain flaws.

This would seem to be most egregious with the Starbucks issue. We’re talking about a company that supplies health insurance to its employees at a massive cost (right now it’s the biggest item in its cost structure), tries to buy fair trade coffee (freakonomics needs to have its head screwed on straight on this issue) and in general tries its best to not be an evil company (doesn’t stop them, but some things can’t be avoided). However, add in a stand that probably comes in part with being established in Washington State (Komen’s problem was that it had gone national, had they done their anti-Planned Parenthood stand as a Texas company they’d probably have become the queens of Texas) and suddenly you have the most evil corporation in the world.

Sorry, I don’t buy it. It’s not about faggots, it’s about health care to the poor. The Christians are being useful idiots in this case. Nothing more, nothing less.

Super Bowl XLVI: My thoughts:

First thought: I was right about the Giants winning the Super Bowl. However, more importantly: The game went sixty minutes. No mood shots on the sidelines, and better yet every eye had to be on the game. And since the Detroit Lions weren’t playing in the game, I have to say I was satisfied by that.

Second: in probably a first in ANY sport, we’ve got an “OH SHIT” moment in response to a score. Granted it turned out to be the winning score, but you could tell that Ahmad Bradshaw so DIDN’T want to score at that moment. Definitely NOT a transcendent moment, but something more noteworthy, in its way.

Madonna was a good show, in part because of the multiple “guests” that were in the show. In some ways, it was like the old extravaganzas that used to occasionally show up in the halftime shows before Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake ruined that with their stunt in Super Bowl XXXVIII.

And the commercials…I must say, they seemed to be better. Instead of trying to be “the be-all and end-all of commercials,” they just acted as they were and were funny besides.

And finally: Congratulations Giants. Four victories in five appearances – definitely one of the elite teams.