Thursday, May 04, 2006

It is truly nauseating to examine the looking glass through which we have fallen.

I know it's there, and I'd just as soon acknowledge it without looking at it. The times when I do look at it, and I see the lens and its curvature, and see how it has distorted things and brought us to a place that is insanely removed from what rational, clear-headed people would ever want for themselves and for their children, I get a bit woozy. Nauseated.

So, via Atrios, here is a dose of nausea.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

An Ugly Side of Free Trade: Sweatshops in Jordan
Hazrat Ali, 25, who worked from September 2004 to March 2005 at the Al Shahaed factory, said he sometimes worked 48 hours in a row and received no pay for the six months.

"If we asked for money, they hit us," he said.

This gentleman seems to not understand the new economic order. The highest goal here is for a store to sell a piece of clothing for a low price. All other considerations are secondary not important.

If a U.S. manufacturer cannot make the garment at slave wages, that U.S. manufacturer should expect to go out of business. U.S. products and jobs are lesser goals than the low cost of that shirt. If a foreign manufacturer can avoid public notice in running a sweatshop, then U.S. retailers probably will not ask too many questions. Human rights and a living wage are lesser goals than the low cost of that blouse. If a U.S. consumer doesn't care to know where that garment is coming from, then U.S. retailers and foreign manufacturers will do whatever they can to make it, sell it, and profit from it. Solidarity and common decency are lesser goals than the low cost of those pants.

Cheap clothes. That's what our country is about.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Bush challenges hundreds of laws
President cites powers of his office
President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.

I'd have hoped we would openly discuss this before we hit number seven hundred and fifty. Call me crazy (or uncivil or loony or angry).

(Via Glenn Greenwald)

Update: Even if Bush was some benevolent dude (which he isn't), it would still be stunningly bad for the country to have all these signing statements lying around, just waiting for someone worse than Bush to use them. All the more reason for a Truth and Reconciliation commission in this country, to get all of this out in the open.