Grateful Dead

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slo lettuce's picture
Joined: Jul 20 2012
re: immigration reform...

Thank you, Anna. Your assessment of the illegal immigrant agricultural labor force is spot-on. Same situation here in WI. I've worked with Latino families in agriculture for the last 8 yrs here and there are at least a few recurring themes as to why they risk making an honest living here and risk deportation:

1. Most Mexican families leave Mexico for the lack of employment opportunities, but even more so, for the very serious corruption, mostly from police, organized crime, and gangs. Justice has not much meaning there or expense and young people are very serious targets for gang recruiting. The parents want their children to have a future and they know that can happen here.

2. The avg. American will not even apply for the positions that the Mexican families will apply for - thus assuring a steady and stable form of employment here. There is a greenhouse operation owner in Alabama who claims that in the last 33 yrs of his operation, not one caucasion person has even so much as filled out an application for employment. But that doesn't sell TV commercial space. We do get to hear about Mexican gang members and marijuana growers, though. That shit sells airtime.

3. Working long days in the fields, risking exposure to pesticides, is something that even minors can do and is it a not-so-well-known fact that [many] American employers overlook age so that they can have entire families employed, often for minimum wage (or less) or just slightly higher.

They are some of the most family oriented, happy-go-lucky people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. And you're right, if they were paid what they were worth, our food prices would easily double.

From what I can see after 8 yrs of observation, these native Central Americans simply want a chance to have a future for their family and they're willing to do the work here that no one else wants to do with low pay and often no benefits in order to achieve that goal.

Randall Lard's picture
Joined: Jul 30 2012
the rose has teeth in the mouth of a beast

a change from the venal side of US news.

thanks to Mark Gatiss for bringing it to my attention.

Gr8fulTed's picture
Joined: Jul 9 2007
You missed one Anna

Having been a southern man for a few years, you left out Fat Tuesday: folks in south Louisiana, and maybe along the gulf coast as well, get the day off to go party!
For all you yanks, Fat Tuesday is synonymous with Mardi Gras and falls each year before Ash Wednesday. 35 years later, I've retired from federal service. While working for the USDA, the Friday after Thanksgiving was never a paid holiday.

Anna rRxia's picture
Joined: Dec 25 2009
The South Shall Rise Again!

Most state workers had the day off because it was a Georgia government holiday, Confederate Memorial Day.

The official date isn't until Thursday, April 26, but the state observes it on a Monday to provide employees with a three day weekend.

Confederate Memorial Day was first declared an official Georgia holiday in 1874 and has been observed ever since.

Six other southern states also celebrate it: Florida and Alabama (April 23), Mississippi (April 30), North and South Carolina (May 10) and Texas (January 19).

The holiday was set aside to remember those who died fighting for the Confederacy, many of whom are buried in several local cemeteries.

(Texas takes the case for insensitivity, celebrating this holiday 4 days after MLK Day)

Anna rRxia's picture
Joined: Dec 25 2009
Immigration Reform is NOT a football

For the Republicans to punt.

Whether their constituency wants "colored" people in the great American ascendency or not -- they ARE! Just like the Jews, Italians, Irish, Swedes and every other color of people who ever passed through Ellis Island.

We all want our orange juice for $3 a half gallon and other similar citrus and farm products like milk (yes, milk!) at around the same rate. It is only by discriminating against illegal aliens that we get those prices. Think the price of food is high right now??

Here in Vermont we've got Mexicans down on the farm who can't get driver's licenses who risk their semi-legal status just to go to the store to send money or go see a prostitute after being on that snow-bound farm for three months.

More than that, the children of these workers become naturalized citizens and they enter the "ascendency' and go to school and compete for spaces among the professional classes with white people. They work twice as hard and they totally deserve those jobs and they add immeasurable joy to the broken arms, hands and bodies of those parents who dreamed that their child might some day make it, the son or daughter of an agricultural immigrant.

The Republicans just show themselves for the selfish, prejudiced people they really are. The elitist scum who have forgotten their own recent generational history.

Anna rRxia's picture
Joined: Dec 25 2009
@Unkle Sam

Admittedly, this is not a typical company, but the one my spouse works for gives part-time employees health insurance after a qualifying period of working 1000 hours in a one year period. They give 2 weeks of vacation (@22 hours per week or more) after working at least 2400 hours in two years. Oh yeah, they get 4 hours paid on the obligatory 6 holidays, though they might have to work the actual holiday

There are a small percentage (less than 10%) of companies that do the right thing and treating their part-time employees with the dignity and respect they deserve. My spouse works full time and gets family health insurance for $225 a month with reasonable co-pays.

Joined: Oct 3 2008
confederate memorial day?

never heard of that one or all the others that you have mentioned in your post, what part of the south celebrate these days, I lived in the south 39 years, never heard of any of these holidays, especially paid holidays. Believe it or not, a lot of people in this country never get any paid holidays, any part time employee does not get paid holidays, or paid vacations, or even pay that you can live on. It's only gonna get worse for these people. Now that there will be a flood of new workers out there since their unemployment has been cut, there will be a lot more part time workers out there getting no pay and no benefits, including paid holidays. Amerika, what a country.

Mike Edwards's picture
Joined: Jun 17 2007
Rock Star Pope
Anna rRxia's picture
Joined: Dec 25 2009
Pope Francis, Roman Catholic church crtiticized

For not moving quickly enough to turn in all known pedophiles within the ranks of priests and Bishops and Arch-Bishops and Cardinals. Bergoglio has no doubt shown many positive actions, many of them seemingly genuine. I, for one, was greatly moved by reports in the media that he went out into Rome and ministered among the poor during the nights.

But, when reports of such heel-dragging come to light it has to make one wonder if a genuinely motivated, simple priest was promoted too far through the ranks and his very humble actions are being cynically manipulated by a corrupt hierarchy of entrenched Cardinals to re-brand the church and keep the faithful throwing into the collection plate, especially among the Hispanics of South America to Mexico.

Bergoglio will have to show a forceful hand among that cabal of Cardinals who presume to plot the strategy of the Roman Catholic Church.

Anna rRxia's picture
Joined: Dec 25 2009
American Proles suffer Paucity of Holidays

It is little known that Europeans celebrate about 30 paid holidays per year. American proles are entitled to be paid 8 hours (if they work full time) for a total of six, count'em, 6 holidays. They are:
Jan 1
Memorial Day
4th of July
Labor Day

On the other hand, there is a class of people composed of Federal and State Municipal employees, Bankers/Lawyers/Insurance professionals (& elements of other professions), Teachers and students who also celebrate:

Martin Luther King Day
Washington's/Lincoln's B'day; President's Day; Mattress Day
Columbus day
Veteran's Day
Day After Thanksgiving

If you live in the South, this class might also get:
Lee-Jackson Day
Confederate Heroes Day
Robert E. Lee Day
Thomas Jefferson's Birthday
Confederate Memorial Day

The point is, is addition to an unfair minimum wage, the proles in this country have only six days in a year where they get a paid holiday. In a supposedly classless society the middle to upper-middle class manage to grab another 5. The whack-jobs in the South get another 5.

In none of these cases do the number of paid holidays reach that of the other modern industrialized countries. Why must American workers suffer this indignity? Is it really so much to ask for 30 paid days off a year in addition to 2-6 weeks of paid vacation along with 7 personal days, 7 sick days and 6 months of paid maternity/paternity leave?

Is that socialism or just a normal, decent way to treat those who create wealth? I hate to say what I consider those who feel this to be socialism.

By the way, Happy Mattress Day!


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