Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Oooh, the big bad foreigner has my job...or does he?

I go the following as an e-mail forward yesterday and there are some interesting things I would like to point out.

First, read the forward:


RE: This says it all

"Joe Smith started the day early having set his alarm clock (MADE IN JAPAN) for 6am. While his coffeepot (
MADE IN CHINA) was perking, he shaved with his electric razor (MADE IN HONG KONG). He put on a dress shirt (MADE IN SRI LANKA), designer jeans (MADE IN SINGAPORE) and tennis shoes (MADE IN KOREA). After cooking his breakfast in his new electric skillet (MADE IN INDIA) he sat down with his calculator (MADE IN MEXICO) to see how much he could spend today. After setting his watch (MADE IN TAIWAN) to the radio (MADE IN INDIA) he got in his car (MADE IN GERMANY) filled it with GAS from Saudi Arabia and continued his search for a good paying AMERICAN JOB. At the end of yet another discouraging and fruitless day checking his Computer (Made In Malaysia), Joe decided to relax for a while. He put on his sandals (MADE IN BRAZIL) poured himself a glass of wine (MADE IN FRANCE) and turned on his TV (MADE IN INDONESIA), and then wondered why he can't find a good paying job in AMERICA.....

Keep this circulating"

Okay, now it didn't transfer properly, so I had to recreate all the coloring. It's basically true to the design of what was sent to me. Anyway, here's the problem with what's listed above. A) It's wrong and B)It's ridiculously xeno- and ethnophobic. Ooh, the big bad foreigners are taking all of the good paying American jobs.

Please. That's absurd. First of all, no they're not. You want to know what the "good paying American jobs" are? It's called being a lawyer, doctor, accountant, working in the financial sector (investment banking). Okay? Those jobs are still here, the only problem is someone likely to agree with the statement above doesn't have the mental capacity to fill any of those jobs. Secondly, unemployment is at around 4.5% nationally. You can find the rates, broken down by state, here. We, as a nation, are not that hard up for jobs right now. Thirdly, those aren't good paying jobs. Who wants to work in the manufacturing sector? I'm not dissing it, I'm just saying most people don't dream of working in a shoe factory.

Now, about the racial aspect of the e-mail. Quit picking on foreigners. We as a nation now have a problem with both foreigners working in their own countries, because jobs get outsourced there for cheap labor, and with foreigners coming to America to work, because they will work for less than an American. The bottom line is Foreigners suck. We want them to stay where they are, but not if they will actually have a job over there. Fact of the matter is, we need all money and jobs here in the US. Only after we are done with them will we permit foreigners to work and eat too.

Now, I find it funny that the author of the e-mail made a few choices. One, he deliberately chose items from foreign suppliers when there is a comparable product here in the US. Why the fuck is he buying imported French wine? This guy has no job!! Buy the cheap shit in a box or some Cali wine. Why did he buy a Malaysian computer? Dude, get a Dell. Made in the USA. So is HP-Compaq.

Why the fuck is he buying a German car? YOU HAVE NO JOB DICKIE. What are you buying a BMW, Porsche or Benz for?????!?!?!??! For crying out loud. Get a Hundai (sp?) or go to Detroit and buy a car from there. Fucking idiot.

Filled it with Gas from Saudi Arabia...oh ohh, those big bad Arabs are at it again. This is the wierdest inclusion of all. First of all, the main exporter of oil to the US is Canada. It's a fact, look it up. Secondly, even if it were Saudi Arabia, what are the options? It's not like there's much of a choice here. No matter what, the manufacturing base in America is not going to figure out a way to magically make the oil appear under our land instead of their sand. What's the use of bitching about it? Oil is a commodity that is found. The labor market chases oil. Unlike cars, t-shirts, jeans, the sectors that chase cheap labor, this is the complete opposite of what is being complained about. But, it includes Arabs which makes it easier for people to draw on their little racist demons.

What's he buying designer jeans for? Again, poor decision. No job? No designer jeans. It's that easy. Also, who's going to hire you if you're wearing jeans and tennis shoes? Idiot. Save up and buy fucking suit (cheap one), some nice shoes (cheap ones) and figure out how to make a resume.

A New electric skillet? Are you kidding me? You're out there trying to figure out what you can do for money and your buying an electric skillet? Moron. You don't deserve a job.

Anyway, here's the response I sent to the person who sent me this:

If you were willing to work 18 hours a day for 15 cents an hour, maybe some of those companies would be willing to manufacture all those items referred to in America. That being said, however, I find it hard to believe that you would want that. Also, maybe instead of blaming the countries you listed below you should blame the manufacturers. There’s a novel idea. Maybe it’s not the fault of the poor people in Indonesia, Malaysia, China, India, Mexico or Sri Lanka who will work for the peanuts. Maybe, just maybe, it’s the fault of the company that is willing to exploit cheap labor around the world. Did that ever occur to you? That those who exploit the poor are slightly more culpable than those who are exploited? Also, if the people of this country were willing to pay a multiple of 4 or 5 for each of those products then domestic based manufacturers would finally have the incentive to base those jobs here. But, so long as investors (made in America) insist on high returns, US corporations will be required to outsource to attract capital. If you have a problem with the system, maybe you should start a grass roots campaign here to “buy American” as opposed to simply sitting there and whining about poor people overseas willing to work for the low paying jobs that most people here wouldn’t take.


Also, interesting that the author mentioned Saudi Arabian oil…First of all, the main exporter of Oil to the United States is Canada. Facts suck sometimes, I know, but you should use them from time to time. Furthermore, unfortunately for us, the majority of Oil in the world is located in the Middle East. It has nothing to do with
outsourcing, jobs or the decline of the manufacturing base in America. It’s simple geography. It’s located over there. Nothing we can do or say will change the fact that it’s still underneath their sand.

Finally, there is plenty of good wine grown and manufactured in America. Why use “French” wine as an example? It’s funny that the author of this piece simply picked and chose the country of origin, ignoring the fact that there are several American companies that make wine, electronics, cars, razors, etc. This e-mail is xenophobic crap that simply permits people to blame other countries for the problems of their
own.


Bottom line is: like I said above, until American investors and consumers actually start caring about source and origin of their products, then it doesn’t really matter. The cycle continues. In the meantime; don’t eat up my inbox with this drivel.

Soze


Friday, April 21, 2006

Heeeeeee'ssssss Baaaaaaaaccccckkkkkk

Well folks, I'm back. Spent a couple of weekends in Vegas. It was cool. Wish you were there, but then again, no I don't.

Today's discussion is going to be about perception. That's right, we're going to be perceiving things today.

Saw this today. Pissed me off something terrible. You know? First of all I want to say a couple of things:

1) This war sucks and is in desperate need of some kind of international attention. I don't care who, but someone needs to get his/her ass down there and stop it.

2) This discussion is going to be about the representation of the two sides in this.

So, reading the article a couple of things jump out to me.
It was sparked in 2003 as Arab militias, which the U.S. says are backed by the government of Sudan, systematically began targeting poor blacks in the region known as Darfur — killing, raping, looting and burning hundreds of villages. Hundreds of thousands are believed to have been killed, and more than 2 million have been displaced.

Those damned Arabs again!!! Every time someone tries to live a happy life in the world those damned A-rabs start doing their thing. I swear to God it's annoying.
Wait, what? Huh? Are you saying that's not what really happened? But this lady said it did. She even started her piece with a nice anecdotal story about seeing the poor, black African children. Awe, those poor kids.

I would like to point out a couple of things about what happens when people read about the tragedy in Darfur, Sudan. Primarily it is described as a conflict between the Arabs and the black Africans. This is to try and link Arabs with racist views of blacks. Now, I'm sure some do, but I can pretty much guarantee that none of them live in the Sudan. You know why? Go on, ask. Please....

Okay, here's why. Most Sudanese Africans are (drum roll please) black themselves. Yes, it's true. There are black Arabs. I swear. For those that don't know me I spent 3 months working in Qatar last year. While there I met a bunch of Sudanese who were working as scorers for us. Now, when I first met them I was surprised. I asked myself "Soze, why are the black Sudanese working in Qatar when at home they are getting slaughtered by the Arabs?" I mean, if you were getting killed by North Dakotans at your home in Maryland, would you escape ethnic cleansing by fleeing to North Dakota? No, that's assinine.

So, I asked one why he was in Qatar. Since the official language of Sudan is Arabic I found it easy to speak with him (slight problem with accents, but who cares). I asked him, politely, what brought him to Qatar. Actually, below is a pretty accurate transcription of the conversation.

Soze: "Hello, how are you doing" (flawless Arabic)
Sudanese Gentleman: "I am good my friend, how are you?"
S: "Fine, hey, what brings you to Qatar?"
SG: "Work my friend, work. There are many troubles in my homeland."
S:"Ahh yes, the Su-of the-Dan, I know it well. But why an Arab
country?"
SG:"Because I am Arab."
S:"But I thought that the war was between the Arabs and the blacks"
SG: (stares at me confusingly) "I may not understand your Arabic, it's
pretty bad, but those of us from Africa are mostly all black"
S: "Hmm, well I'm an idiot."
SG: "yes, you are"
S: "Well, Assalam alakum my brother"
SG:"Assalam alakum to you too"


Well, that was odd. But I didn't believe him. So I googled for pictures of Sudanes Arabs...guess what? They're black. They can be found here, and here.

The people of Chad living along the Darfur-Sudan border are being killed and raped, their villages looted and burned. Every survivor we talked to described Arabs on horseback, shouting racial slurs, and saying:
"You are black slaves."
"This is Arab land, not your land."
"If you stay, Arabs will come to kill you."


I don't know why, but something tells me that the inclusion of the word "black" in the first sentance is purely for our consumption. I am pretty sure that they weren't called "black" in a derogatory manner by another black. But, if you view it as an Arab, who's mental image is one of a slightly sand colored person (no pun intended) then you can play off of peoples assumptions and infer that not only are they evil, murdering, terrorists, but they're also racists too. See, they are actually the ones who are responsible for slavery all those years ago. Not the whites. Granted, Arabs have been living in Sudan since roughly around the year 1000 AD (wikipediad it), but in those 1000 years we still get ot refer to them by their ethnic heritage. Meaning my decendants in 1000 will still be refered to as Lebanese. Correct?
Something tells me that's not right.

Another thing: the inference in the first quote seems to imply that one day the Arabs up and decided to kill the rest. Well, facts have a way of disproving these little theories that people like to come up with to demagogue certain groups: For instance according to Encarta.com:
In 2003 Darfūr rebel groups mounted an armed revolt, accusing Sudan’s Arab government of neglecting the development of the region, largely populated by black African ethnic groups. Government forces and local Arab militias fought the rebels in 2003 and 2004. In the process, the Arab militias reportedly burned villages, destroyed crops, and raped and killed civilians.
Now, this is just Encarta. I decided that since the author of the article quotes the American government that maybe I should see what the government has to say. So, I went to Voice Of America. The VOA says:
Civil war broke out in Darfur in 2003. Complaining of discrimination by Arab Sudanese, African rebels attacked government facilities. Sudanese Arab Janjaweed militia supported by the Sudanese government responded by attacking members of Darfur's African Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawa tribes. A peace agreement was signed this year by representatives from the Sudanese government and the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement.

Now, ultimately it really doesn't matter who starts what. What matters is that people are dying every day. But doesn't an argument lose credibility when one starts embelishing and taking liberties with facts? I think it does.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Do I know you?

Sorry for the delay in posting. I've been backpacking through the Andes for the past week and unable to blog. What's that? No I wasn't? Shit, you got me there...I'm just lazy. Happy now?

Today's blog is going to be shrouded in black. We're mourning here today my friends. News reports today have disclosed that Jesse Helms has vascular dementia. For those of you who don't know what that is, let me explain. See, my dad's a vascular surgeon, so by proxy I'm clinically trained to provide expert medical advice on this. Furthermore, if you remember my Claude Allen post, you should be calling me Doctor anyway. Info on vascular dementia can be found here.

Now, I usually don't pick on people when they're down, but since Jesse probably wouldn't remember it if I did, I figured why not.

My first observation is: duh! We're only now noticing? Let's see, one of the first things that become evident with dementia is loss of short term memory. Well, this guy used to call all black men "Fred". Seriously, I'm not making that up. This guy was a Senator until January 2003!!! Think about that. Thought about it? Good. WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT? First of all, where did Fred come from? Was that the name of the only black man he ever spoke to?

This is, in all honesty, one of the most racist members of the United States Senate, and we're to suddenly feel sorry for him? I'm telling you right now, when the GOP starts coming out and paying "respect" to this man, I'm seriously going to throw up. I mean, even Strom Thurmond rejected his past and spent the final 30 years of his senate career repentant of being a bigot. I'll take that. Jesse Helms? Not so much. Here's an article from the Washington Post from August 2001:


In 1990, locked in a tight race with an African American Democrat, former Charlotte mayor Harvey Gantt, Helms aired a final-week TV ad that showed a pair of white hands crumpling a rejection letter, while an announcer said, "You needed that job and you were the best qualified. But they had to give it to a minority because of a racial quota." Once again, he pulled through.
This guy made a career out of being a frigging asshole. It's depressing. I for one refuse to feel bad for him. He was unrepentant, and now so am I. In fact:

FYOTW:

This weeks FYOTW goes to Jesse "How bout that Klan" Helms. Jesse Helms, former Senator from North Carolina is hereby awarded the FYOTW for his tireless efforts to reign in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties for the past 30 years. As a member of the senate he was one of the proud few to attempt a fillibuster of Martin Luther King day. Fortunately, most of the Senate, including Strom Thurmond, voted him down.
Anything else? Well, in fact there is. I've been reading idowhatiwant's linked people and I found this site. This is a former aid of Jesse's that was nominated for the 4th Circuit court. Now, I don't know what the hell is done on the circuit, but I know I don't want that guy there. So, when his nomination wasn't re-newed by Clinton, Jesse held up the nominations of ALL judges from his state. Nice one there, Jesse. Fucking Dick.

Another aide of Jesse Helms? Well none other than Claude "Why can't I steal?" Allen. That's right folks. Of course, maybe I should call him Fred Allen, seeing as how that's what Jesse probably called him. A question for Claude: What's it like to swallow so much of your pride that you would be willing to permit someone, your boss no less, to BLATANTLY degrade you in front of everyone by calling you a name he likes to call all black people? Was that the source of the self-loathing that caused you to steal? Did you tell yourself that at least he did it to everyone, so you didn't take it seriously?

Seriously, go fuck yourself Jesse.