Commentary on commentary: Unions – Home front
A Thanksgiving message in solidarity with Wal-Mart strikers
(Center for a Stateless Society, by Kevin Carson) “A wave of strikes by workers with no ties to any recognized union is a fundamental departure from the conventional model of unionism. But it’s also a return to an older model of organizing — updated for the network age. … This model of activism is just another example of the way agile networks run circles around twentieth century-style bureaucratic, hierarchical institutions like giant corporations and government agencies. Workers don’t need bureaucratic dinosaurs like the NLRB or AFL-CIO to protect them against big business. It’s big business that needs the state for protection.” (11/20/12)
Nathan: While I agree with much of what Kevin writes, it is obvious that Big Union has their fingers in this pie up to the elbows: their hatred of Wal-Mart is visceral and they have definitely spent millions to support this “grassroots activism.” Kevin is right: workers don’t need the AFL-CIO, but if this succeeds, you can bet that they will have the AFL-CIO whether they want it or not.
Commentary on commentary: War on some drugs, Government-run, tax-funded schools
We need to end the drug war!
(Liberty For All, by Mary J. Ruwart) “To save our children, we need to get drugs out of our schools. The only way to do that is to take the profit out through re-legalization. You don’t see pushers selling tobacco and alcohol in the schools because there isn’t the profit margin that prohibition brings. If we’re serious about saving our kids, we have to stop the pushers byslashing their profits.” (11/20/12)
Nathan: Mary is right, regarding drugs in schools, and re-legalization certainly will help with that (as much as ANYthing will help government-run, tax-funded schools that does not include separation of school and state). Of course, getting the “legal” drugs (like Ritalin and all its sisters) out of the schools won’t hurt.
BUT Mary is overstating her case, and that is bad.
YOU DO see “pushers” selling both tobacco and alcohol in the schools, middle schools AND high schools, and sometimes even elementary schools. We don’t call them that, but they are there, in large part because (1) they have a captive market, (2) schools are cesspools, and (3) there is prohibition and an underground economy as a result.
Drinking IS a problem for schools, as is smoking. And I would suspect in most rural Western and Southern American high schools, on buses heading to and from school and events, you will STILL find a bunch of “not-empty” soda cans with tobacco juice in them, just as you did in the ’60s and ’70s. These things you will always have with us, in part because we still have a partial alcohol and tobacco prohibition, one that is age-based. And in part because we have parents that refuse to accept responsibility, or allow/encourage their children to behave irresponsibly.
No, I am not advocating selling alcohol in schools or even offering beer on the lunch menu. And I am not advocating smoking in schools. But unless we recognize ALL the factors, we can’t deal with the problems. Government, and government-run, tax supported schools, are NOT the answer. And JUST getting drugs out of schools won’t “save our children” unless a lot of other things are done. Mary knows this, but she comes across a bit off message.
ON TO SOME OTHER NEWS:
Islamic wars: South Asian Front – War on religion
Pakistan: Blasphemy case against girl to be dropped
(Christian Science Monitor) “In what is being termed a historic verdict by the higher courts in Pakistan, charges against a Christian girl accused of blasphemy were dropped on Tuesday, in response to an appeal filed by her council of lawyers. ‘The police have withdrawn the charges and quashed the case against her’ confirmed Tahir Naveed Chaudhry, one of her lawyers, saying that the 14-year-old Rimsha Masih was quite relieved and happy about the court’s decision. Human rights activists in Pakistan say this is a positive development and will set a precedent in the future for the judiciary and law enforcement agencies to act responsibly in cases of blasphemy.” (11/20/12)
Nathan: This is, of course, good news that they are not going to execute a 14-year-old girl and make her a martyr for the faith. But she is actually in very great danger of being attacked and killed by those who will take the court decision as a personal affront and challenge, and if they DO succeed in killing her, you can be sure that either they will not be prosecuted or will have their hands slapped. This has happened time and again in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Iran. As for it setting a precedent? Don’t hold your breath.
War on some drugs
Pat Robertson Advocates Making Marijuana Legal on 700 Club
(Daily Paul) Pat Robertson Advocates Making Marijuana Legal on 700 Club 2.5 million, 62% of prisoners in federal prisons are there for drug crimes. The highest rate of incarceration on earth. Even more are there for crimes which “need to be punished” but are NOT threats to the peace and security of the community. Billions are spent to lock up “people we are mad at.” Justice should be about restitution and not revenge.
Nathan: Robertson’s 9-minute video shows (as I’ve pointed out elsewhere) that “conservatives” are seeing the war on some drugs for what it is; a war on people and a war for control. I am no fan of Pat Robertson or The 700 Club, but he is talking a lot of sense.
Debby: He has had some sort of epiphany, clearly.
Mama’s Note: Interesting indeed… the TRUTH has never changed an iota, but suddenly we have all kinds of people jumping on the bandwagon (or hanging off the back). My impression of Robertson has always been that he’s happy to tell people what they really want to hear, one way or another. I doubt highly he has any honest convictions of his own.
Stupid People Tricks
PETA: Turkeys are a mistreated minority
(Political Outcast) They’re at it again, and this time the culprit is President Obama. The occasion is Thanksgiving and specifically the tradition of the president’s “pardoning” of a Thanksgiving turkey. … By pardoning the turkey, Obama will be sparing the bird’s life. So, what is PETA’s beef? They wrote a letter to the President urging him not to participate in this “outdated and humiliating ritual.” Humiliating to the turkey that is. They compared these “gentle, intelligent” birds to blacks, “gays,” women and other mistreated groups who PETA say are ridiculed and mocked. The letter stated:
”You understand so well that African-Americans, women, and members of the LGBT community have been poorly served throughout history, and now I am asking you to consider other living beings who are ridiculed, belittled, and treated as if their sentience, feelings, and very natures count for nothing.”
The letter went on to explain that birds can’t even be pardoned in the first place. They said that the only thing these turkeys were guilty of was “being born into a world of prejudice.”
They urged the White House to serve delicious “tofurky” instead of murdering the innocent but tasty bird.
Nathan: Oh, my. First, according to statistics, counting their wild ken, turkeys are NOT a minority: there is about 1 turkey produced (hatched and grown and hunted or harvested and EATEN) per person per year: we average 16 pounds per person per year eating it – and that of course does not include the MILLIONS of loyal PETA members and other vegetarians. PETA claims that their “very natures count for nothing,” and I MUST disagree: their nature is to be TASTY, and that counts for a lot. Fortunately, Thanksgiving comes after election day or the “messiah” might have been tempted to end the horrid ritual to get a few more PETA votes. As usual, PETA is a source of almost endless amusement.
Mama’s Note: “Tofurky?” That even sounds nasty.