Washington State Wants You to Pick Apples

According to this article, the fruit industry in washington state is in trouble because of  immigration crackdowns. It’s getting to the point where farmers are offering *gasp* halfway decent wages for pickers! In some spots, the pay is still hovering around minimum wage with little to no housing provided. Other farms are going as high as $30/bin (totaling incentive pay) and adding housing to the mix.

I find this part of the article interesting:

“The governor returned home Friday after leading a 15-member delegation of farm group representatives to the nation’s capital. They urged members of Congress to oppose a Republican bill that would force employers to use a federal database called E-Verify to determine whether their employees are eligible to work in the United States. Gregoire criticized anti-illegal-immigration rhetoric prevalent in Washington, D.C., saying Congress should instead be focused on ways to get more foreign workers to help with harvesting.”

This bothers me for two reasons:

1) It confirms, in my opinion, that the unstated reason wages for picking are going up is because farmers know they have to make it worthwhile for WHITE PEOPLE to do this job.

2) By asking Congress to bring in more foreign workers, I believe Gregoire is saying, in that coded way white people do when we talk about race, that our lawmakers should know by now that “certain (white) folks” are just not going to do some jobs.

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People Are P&*%ing Me Off.

He said oh so calmly…

It’s about the We Are the 99% Tumblr blog. Take a look if you haven’t already. These are the heartbreaking, and sometimes familiar, stories of people who are the spirit of the #occupywallstreet movement. Mainstream news sources have suddenly discovered the blog, so it’s getting a lot more air time. And it’s the reactions in the comments sections that make me wanna punch people in their faces. Until their faces fall off, really.

Are we that low on empathy and the ability to share in someone else’s predicaments in this country? What’s become the issue? If it’s not on reality TV, it’s not “really” happening? We can be a bunch of snide, self-absorbed, catty a$$hats about the lives of other Americans because they just need to suck it up and do better?

Well, if you got yours, hey, that’s awesome. But don’t let that:

A) Let you think you have a free card allowing you to assume every person who struggles is just a lazy whiner who needs to be reminded that you’re fabulous.

B) Make you get selective amnesia or romantic fogginess about your own hard years.

These commentators, it’s like they think people don’t deserve any human courtesy. Let me give you a quick sample:

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The 99% Helped You Get Rich!

I really think Elizabeth Warren is one of the smartest women in the world. Seriously. And here’s some video to prove it. When it comes to the topic of fair taxation, she puts it right back onto the wealthy about exactly why they need to pay into the system more than they are.

Sunday Movie: The Corporation

Since #occupywallstreet is still going and getting stronger every day, I thought this Sunday’s movie should reflect what’s going on out there. “The Corporation” is a documentary that I learned a lot about how we got to Citizens United. Just keep clicking the “Up Next” link in the You Tube frame.

Enjoy!

 

She Is Every Poor American

This. I wept openly when I read it. This is what America is coming to when we turn our backs on those who need more help than a grudgingly given check.

A woman who is unemployed, on welfare, homeless and has already been turned away from shelter, tried to sell her three day old baby at a local Taco Bell.

She has nowhere left to go, and now she’s in jail.

While our politicians have been posturing about living within our means, this woman has been trying to live on money they could never comprehend.

When they talk about the housing crisis, they don’t see the thousands who have nowhere to go. In cities across this once great nation of ours, people are turned away from shelters every night. Shelters are fast becoming part of the problem, not a solution.

John Boehner wants to make sure his daughters have Social Security when they retire. This woman didn’t even see how she could keep her son. And he’s only been on the planet for THREE DAYS.

This is America hitting bottom. We should all be deeply ashamed. I know I am.

 

Speaking of Lobbying…

I wanted to learn more about the nuts and bolts of corporate lobbying, so I did more research. Solid research involves working as many angles as possible, which is how I ended up at the American League of Lobbyists website. Here’s their mission statement:

“Established in 1979 as a nonprofit organization, The American League of Lobbyists (ALL) is the national professional association dedicated exclusively to lobbying. ALL’s mission is to enhance the development of professionalism, competence and high ethical standards for advocates in the public policy arena, and to collectively address challenges affecting the first amendment right to “petition the government for redress of grievances.” 

  

Yeah, I snorted in disbelief too. Professionalism, competence, and ethical standards are assuredly NOT the first three words that come to mind when I think about professional lobbying. But wait, it gets better. I found their video. See, they want to dispel all the myths we have about lobbying and how evil it is. So they made a video on their site and put it up on Youtube.

They want us to understand that what they do is no different from a citizen visiting their elected official or a parent speaking up at a school board meeting. One of the big ideas they want you to take away from watching? Without lobbying, our First Amendment rights would be almost impossible to express. Especially the part about petitioning the government.

Watch it yourself….