I am as far removed from agricultural production as one can be. Due to my recent appreciation of the centrality of agriculture to our life, I began watching Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Farm Monitor (Twitter & Facebook & YouTube) to learn more. I’ve really enjoyed the show, and I’ve been telling people about it & sharing clips on social media. Nevertheless, recent episodes have promoted industrial/pharmacological agriculture, and I’ve begun to think about the show more critically.Continue reading
I created a Twitter Moment from some of the United Farm Workers‘s status updates with the hashtag #WeFeedYou. As I went through these tweets, I thought about all the products that end up on my table which are mentioned: cilantro, sugar cane, apples, mushrooms, celery, lettuce, chicken, grapes, pomegranates, artichokes and bell peppers. Of course, since I don’t grow any food, everything I eat has been harvested, processed, transported and sold to me by workers. These workers, just like I do, have families. They have health issues. They have hopes for themselves and their children. They smile. And, whatever some know-nothing politicians says, they have skills! Don’t let bosses make all the money off of these workers. Support agricultural labor.
I recently subscribed to Hulu. Am I using it to watch original programming? No! I’m rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer!
Season 3, Episode 1, “Anne,” opens with Buffy working as a waitress in Los Angeles under the alias Anne. She had run away from Sunnydale, where she had been compelled to kill her lover Angel & send him into a hell dimension, kicked out of school by the tyrannical Principal Snyder and thrown from the house by her mother, who couldn’t deal with the news that her daughter was The Chosen One. Continue reading
I stayed up late last night watching Nick Kyrgios defeat Rafael Nadal in Acapulco. It was an amazing match.
I’m used to ESPN & Tennis Channel analysts bemoan Kyrgios’s alleged unprofessionalism, which manifests itself in injuries (from lack of training), lackadaisical effort and on court personal conduct violations. I was surprised to hear that Rafael Nadal himself criticized Kyrgios in the post-match press conference, channeling his version of Major League Baseball’s John McCann. Continue reading
I saw this commercial recently:
This special USA employee, after having a unicorn crash into the office, managed to get her paid vacation increased from 2 weeks to 3 weeks. Continue reading
From Farmers brace for workforce shortage under Obama’s executive action on immigration in the Augusta Chronicle of December 28, 2014:
Farmers already scrambling to find workers in California – the nation’s leading grower of fruits, vegetables and nuts – fear an even greater labor shortage under President Obama’s executive action to block about 5 million people from deportation.
Thousands of the state’s farmworkers, who make up a significant portion of those who will benefit, might choose to leave the uncertainty of their seasonal jobs for steady work building homes, cooking in restaurants and cleaning hotel rooms.
This article illustrates the hypocrisy of US immigration policy. Whole industries depend on cheap labor, and we deprive those laborers of a legal status so their employers can exploit them.
Let’s just be honest. If we want cheap fruit & vegetables, $0.50 chicken pieces, clean office buildings, manicured landscaping and construction workers on demand, then we have to have immigrants willing to do these tasks. Now the only question is whether we want them to have enough rights to be able to approach the police when landlords, employers and criminals exploit them.
If you believe in free markets for products, shouldn’t you believe in free markets for labor?
July 23, 2016 – Nick Kristof’s column in the New York Times of July 16 “We’re Helping to Deport Kids to Die”
Update: Sign petition urging President Obama to stop detaining children.
I like horror movies, but some, for no reason which I can discern, give me the heebie-jeebies. Stephen King‘s 1984 movie Children of the Corn was one of those. So I guess I can understand why my hometown newspaper’s editorial page was freaking out about the children of brown people from Mexico, Central and South America trying to reunite with their parents now living and working in the United States. Many of those parents used to actually grow corn, until NAFTA made it possible for US agrobusiness to dump its subsidized corn into their markets and make subsistence agriculture impossible. Continue reading