Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

I'm disgusted. Someone wrote a letter to the editor in the Lincoln paper Monday, deploring the racist new anti-immigrant law in Arizona, and the number of "comments" is now up to 148! People say the most hideous, bigoted, mean-spirited things when they can hide behind anonymity. This bothers me especially, since the person who wrote the original letter to the editor actually signed his name. I know from experience that the newspaper verifies that the name on the letter is really the person who sent it. Not so with the cowardly commenters.

I don't deny that illegal immigration is a serious problem, nor do I even pretend to know the answer(s), except to know that this law is NOT it. I am kind of baffled, though, when not a single proposal to deal with the problem addresses the fact that people from Mexico and Central America find that picking lettuce in CA, or working for minimum wage at a meat-packing plant in central Nebraska is worth risking their lives to leave their homes and families, and preferable to staying home. Why doesn't the U.S. government get on the Mexican government's case to make the living situation better there? Canadians don't risk life and limb to cross the border to work for peanuts here. Why? Because Canada has good jobs, good "quality of life," good health care, etc. Why can't Mexico enact laws that require employers to provide minimum wage, health care, etc.? Wasn't NAFTA supposed to address some of these problems? Apparently not, since the problem just keeps getting worse.

Granted, I'm not an economist, and most of my ideas come from, but this seems fairly obvious to me. I have long been a proponent of "maximum wage." Any person who can't live comfortably on $250,000 a year has a serious mental defect (and that is speaking as a person who makes less that 20% of that).

Corporate America is evil.

Good friends, good food, good music!

We had a house concert last Saturday in our backyard. It's been a long time since I've had so much fun! We had a great mix of roughly 40 people; and I cooked up red beans, rice, and cornbread (which I burned) in my outdoor kitchen. It featured Ember Schrag with our mysteriously talented son, Günter; followed by John Walker, also with Günter. This first photo is a little dark, but I'm anticipating people sending me some more, at which time I'll replace it.

I've been a fan of John Walker ever since I was a student at Wesleyan in the mid-70s (he was a philosophy professor); and I'm really impressed that he's still at it, still enjoys it, and is so very supportive of young folk musicians. Kudos also to Ember for providing a Lincoln venue for folk music! We're going to try to do this again in September.

I wanted to post a couple of little ditties, recorded by our friend Don, but Blogspot doesn't seem to have an option for audio-only. You can get more info at Ember's website and at John Walker's website.