Categories
Commentary Uncategorized

Nicely Done, 84

How about a shout-out to my fellow Westsylvanians, 84 Lumber, whose censored commercial is generating a ton of commendations and criticism this morning along with those other legendary political dissidents, Coca-Cola and Anheiser-Busch. I mean, who do they think they are? McDonalds?

84 Lumber had been getting some press in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl about their mysterious ad buy. Specifically, why is a regional lumber company from Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands spending millions and millions of dollars on the most expensive media night of the year. Sources at 84 would only say that they were looking to recruit a new generation of young, career-minded, not-necessarily-college-educated employees looking to exchange hard work for stability in the new economy. So, yeah, that ad was about attracting job applicants, not about selling you nails, shingles, and plywood. They wanted to get the word out, and I think they succeeded with an ad that, with few words and in just a few minutes, sums up the best about America–and the worst of our recent, wreckless indulgence in whining nationalism.

The predictable flurry of hyperventilating anti-immigrant verbal diarrhea immediately began splashing across the internet following the release of this video, “…but, but, but it they’re illegal and illegal is illegal and my grandparents had papers and went through Ellis Island and besides they’re white and learned English and…” you know the spiel.

Do I need to point out that the immigrant in the video doesn’t climb the fence or burrow beneath it? She finds a gate–that’s symbolism, folks–even Donald Trump said his shiny wall would have a lovely gate. The best gate, in fact. Better than anyone else’s gate (and he’s the only one who can build it.)  So, yeah. There’s no ass-covering here–the huffing and posting is garden variety xenophobia–and to hell with that. The symbolism that moves me–almost to tears, and in love of this screwed up country of ours–is at the very end when we see what the little girl has been doing with all the scraps of plastic trash and disgarded material she’s gathered through her voyage. Because yeah, I want that kid as my neighbor–not some melanin-obsessed speak-english-only redneck hump shouting just because he likes the sound of his own voice.

 

Categories
sheer awesomeness Tunesday Uncategorized

Tunesday: Jill Sobule Wants “Our America Back”

Jill Sobule always brings the goods.  She’s funny, she’s cute, and she’s crazy cool.  She says a bad word in this song, too–fair warning.  She does THE BEST concerts, too.

Categories
Uncategorized

Monday/Memeday

I’ve spent some time with a leaf blower in my calloused hands, so I get this on a visceral level–even as a white guy, I occasionally experienced the unfocused stare of someone–usually someone younger and new to their money–looking through me, which is to say purposefully “not noticing” me while I traded muscle for cash. That is not to say I have more than a sympathetic understanding of what a lot of hard working people, immigrants and “non-whites” (imagine being classed by what you’re not?)face. I don’t. I was only occasionally invisible, and never insulted out loud (don’t mess with the 320 pound guy in your front yard holding a spade or chain saw, even if he isn’t wearing a hockey mask).

When I lived in Oregon I used to talk to my ultra-conservative neighbor over the fence, over coffee in the morning or beers in the evening. He stood on a log. I stood on a overturned bucket, leaning against that fence. Often, our conversations coincided with the convoys of vans and old school buses that carried immigrant laborers to and from the coastal range Christmas Tree fields to prune or harvest. The men would walk in on land so steep that during harvest season a helicopter was used to carry out the fresh trees. During harvest, they worked dawn to dusk, and during the rest of the year it was just 7am to 5pm, using machetes to prune and shape the trees. I always marveled at their fortitude, but my neighbor, leaning against the rotting fencepost of his wildly overgrown acre, was never at a loss for words about the dirty, lazy, illegal bastards who were working for $3.25/hr at a time when the minimum wage was around $6.50. This is for you, Lou, wherever you may be….

fb5751424acd2f35f3d5a9b4a54fd5a8

Categories
Uncategorized

Monday/Memeday: F#&K Weed!

Funniest_Memes_mexicans-be-like_5330.jpeg

Categories
Funny and/or Strange Photo I Like

Illegal Santa

Santa at the check point.  Papers, please?

checkpoint Santa

Santa--no papers

Categories
Commentary

Immigrants Stealing “Our” Jobs?

I’m enjoying the sputtering protestations of simpleton would-be patriots in the wake of President Obama’s discussion of his plans to address immigration issues here in the USA.  At base is the outrage that, after 6 years of the legislative branch refusing to allow any relevant, useful legislation to even be debated, the President is threatening to creatively employ his executive powers to force the issue.  He’s been labeled a imagesself-styled King, a dictator, and both a fascist and a communist–sometimes by the same people, which while entertaining is not particularly productive.  A few minutes ago I received an email from a concerned citizen and acquaitance who has informed me, “they’re coming for our jobs.”

Um, yeh.  Right.  I somehow don’t think that the Teabagging Movement has a lot to fear in terms of competition, but just in case, I’ve got good news.  All those jobs the evil South Americans are doing, for mimimum wage?  Those jobs are available. They’re hiring!

Georgia’s New Immigration Law Leading To Crops Rotting In Farmers’ Fields

They’re hiring in the city
poultry processing

They’re hiring in the country, too!
o-FEMALE-FARMWORKERS-facebook

That’s right–if you don’t want those brown Mexican bastards to earn sweet American greenbacks kissed by god it/him/her-self, it’s your big opportunity to take a job from a illegal immigrant. You’ll get the satisfaction of doing an honest American day’s work, AND earn $7.25 (gross, sorry) an hour. You’ll live like KINGS!
Farm-workers-700x468

However, competition won’t just end so I’m proposing a new way of handling the citizenship thing–we’ll hold open auditions that would-be immigrants could participate in at varrious border locations. Should they succeed, they can earn jobs and pay taxes, but not collect benefits, but if they fail they’ll need to leave. The catch is that we’ll allow a limitless number of Teabagger applicants to try out for those jobs right alongside the dirty wetbacks. So, literally, a motivated Teabag movement could easily manage to use their unique skills and innate American-ness to outwork the immigrants. It’s like going out for the basketball team–whoever proves themselves to be most productive and beneficial to the team gets a jersey. I’m sure the Teabaggers will be gutting all our chickens and harvesting all of our crops in no time at all.

So, let the competition begin.
teabaggers1

Migrant_Workers_GA_zpsb7da99d7

070601_farmworker_bcol_11a.grid-4x2

teabagger

Categories
Commentary video

Paul Harvey: So God Made A Farmer

This one is a little different than the one Dodge aired during the Super Bowl, but it’s a little more reflective of the times.

Categories
Commentary

An American, Too

I found this interesting sign during a recent google adventure, and it led to some interesting research.

Frank Tanaka immigrated to the USA in 1903, when he was 16 years old.  Twenty-nine years of hard work later he opened a popular Japanese restaurant in Salem, Oregon and became a respected businessman.  His story, told on the sign he placed in the window of his restaurant after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, is not an uncommon one.

war_4

Not long after this sign went up, Mr Tanaka and his family were forcibly relocated to the Tule Lake concentration camp, along with most ethnic Japanese living in the western United States, regardless of citizenship status.  Like all internees, Mr. Tanaka and his family were allowed to take only what they could carry.  In some cases, non-Japanese friends were able to protect some of the internees valuables, but many more saw all of their property looted, or sold off illegally–or simply claimed by others.  After the war, many of them came home to find other people living in their homes, often still using their furniture, and they had no legal recourse for reclaiming their property.

Most Japanese-Americans lost everything they owned during World War 2, but despite this, despite losing their rights, special volunteer units drawn from the husbands and sons of the 10 concentration camps set up to punish the Japanese for their ancestry, fought tenaciously in some of the fiercest battles in the war.

Over 122,000 people of Japanese extraction were interred during the war–nearly 70,000 of whom were American citizens. Many others had been in this country between 20 and 40 years.  No person of Japanese heritage was convicted of  sabotage or espionage during the war.  None.

As the war progressed, small numbers of German and Italian prisoners of war were incarcerated at Tule Lake.  Though segregated from the Japanese Americans, these confirmed enemy combatants were often given much greater freedoms.

Mr. Tanaka’s restaurant did not reopen after the war.
Tule Lake Relocation Center

Categories
art Commentary

Found Image: Guest Worker Program?

immigration-policy

Categories
Commentary Photo I Like Uncategorized

Immigrants Always Taking, Taking, Taking….

or not.

http://www.shorpy.com/node/222?page=1
http://www.shorpy.com/node/222?page=1

 

http://thatdevilhistory.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/death-technology-and-the-rise-of-steel-why-workers-matter-in-american-history/
http://thatdevilhistory.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/death-technology-and-the-rise-of-steel-why-workers-matter-in-american-history/

 

http://www.100thbattalion.org/
http://www.100thbattalion.org/

060407_migrantWorkers