Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Post-May Day Roundup


Good Afternoon, Comrades!

Yesterday was May Day, International Workers Day, Ex-American Labor Day which turned into Loyalty Day. We put the American flag out for Loyalty, while humming the Internationale (in mumbled Russian as if I was in the cast of the movie, "Reds" which I love).

There is a reason why we put a picture of Lenin above our child's changing table in his first 2 years of life. Perhaps there is latent rebellion against my dad knowing that we are raising his grandson red. He has no right to complain too much. Even though he has been kidnapped by Fox News, he is only person I know who has voted for a communist -- in 1960 - he wrote in Kruschev for President.

While on a May Day drive to downtown San Rafael, I registered my support as we drove by a pro-immigrant protest to my dad's displeasure. When my dad offered to register his displeasure with them, I told him to settle down.

My view is that I don't see people lining up wanting to pick strawberries or other stoop labor involved in agricultural harvesting. I never hear the opposition offer up stories of Americans who missed out being nannies, janitors and housecleaners, fast food workers, or other manual labor. The only thing I could think of is construction work and truck drivers.

There is some work Americans just don't do and Americans are unwilling to hold corporations accountable for the low wages and no benefits they offer that we the tax payer have to pick up. If we were willing to start a national (if not international) workers rights movement and penalize corporations who do not hire legal residents for a living wage and provide health care, you are going to have illegal workers come over our border no matter how dangerous it would be. Wouldn't you do all that you could do to feed your family?

Quote of the Day

Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if Labor had not first existed. Labor is superior to capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. - Abraham Lincoln

What I Am Reading Right Now

Right now I am reading Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell. If you don't know her by her work on This American Life, you may know her as the voice of Shrinking Violet in the Incredibles. Vowell is a self-described "history geek" who has a particular or peculiar facination with presidential assassins and their presidents. From Lincoln to Garfield to McKineley, she visits landmarks well known and obscure to get insights on assassins and their prey. Along the way, she makes me chuckle at her dark humor. Speaking of This American Life, there was a pretty sobering episode called "Habeas Schmabeas" on our shrinking right to Habeas Corpus, which earned them a Peabody Award.

I'd Rather Be Kiting

Personally, I have always disliked windy days. Windy days blow pollen and leaves around. Then, I have discovered the zen of kiting, starting with a cheap Spiderman batwing kite. Once you launch a kite free into the wind, feel the frantic unwinding of string, and the tug and pull of the kite on your spool -- there is a calm adrenolin that flows through your veins. Today, I took out a 3-d Shark kite that is long as I am tall. The wind shook the shark out of my hand and as if it was on its own volition zoomed up into the somewhat cloudy sky in between two trees. It pulled out the entire string and dived and weaved through the air. It fabric body quivered in the gale and tugged at the string. We are still trying to master the dual line trick kite, but it is a little bit tricky for us. Nevertheless, I want to try all different kinds of kites and have a collection of them in the back of our van. It is kind of like when life gives you lemon, you make lemonade, but when life gives you wind, you fly a kite.


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