As of Tuesday, January 28, 2014
While leaving a supermarket parking lot the other day, I walked by a man operating a leaf blower and as I got closer he shut it off for a minute. That’s when I asked him: “Do you ever take requests when you perform with that instrument?”
Playing along, he chuckled as he considered my inquiry, then replied: “I guess I could — what song did you have in mind?” Trying hard to keep a straight face, I said: “What about ‘Dust in the Wind?’”
Something is wrong
When it comes to the safeguarding of this country’s most important strategic interests overseas, and quite a few of them exist, it is noteworthy that Washington, D.C., simply ignores issues related to “human rights” and allows its Third World client governments to do whatever it takes to preserve “stability.”
We have, for instance, averted our gaze for decades from the horrifically medieval methods employed by Saudi Arabia’s absolute monarchy to maintain control. It is really not too surprising that the American elite’s foreign affairs sympathies gravitate naturally toward overseas ruling groups of this nature. “Our” top dogs greatly admire “their” top dogs.
The whole process is greatly facilitated by the exchange of large sums of money.
Few developments in recent times have laid bare the overwhelmingly cynical and self-interested nature of U.S. foreign policy in greater detail than the relaxed reaction of our government to last year’s military coup d’état in Egypt.
Our own laws very clearly state that any and all material assistance on our part must stop when a democratically elected foreign government has been overthrown violently by men in uniform. That is surely a perfect description of what took place in Egypt last summer.
This particular military junta in Cairo is not at all averse to suppressing protests with plenty of live ammunition volleys. America’s official response is to preserve our generous flow of munitions and money to Egypt’s smartly dressed army officers.
Our national security apparatus likes to sermonize about “human rights” and warble sweet hymns to the notion of universally applicable liberties, but in reality this same elite of power wielders has no trouble at all with the idea of arming and funding dictatorships that do our bidding.
They’ve known this for a very long time in both Cairo and Riyadh.
Faulty economic theory
Mr. (Ron) Morgan, your letter “Raising minimum wage” (Jan. 24) dramatically downplays the value of unskilled workers and goes against the principles and history of our nation. Many of our roads, bridges, railways, and buildings exist only because of unskilled laborers.
I cannot calculate the true dollar value a McDonald’s worker contributes to the company. However, I have been in many McDonald’s. The worker making $9 an hour can certainly make enough burgers to justify a whopping $1.79 hourly raise, given the corporation’s profitability. The company simply chooses instead to give that money to shareholders and executives who already have insurance and financial stability.
This form of trickle-down economics has trashed the middle class worker for years. Families in the 1950s and 1960s could live on one income with a house, a college fund, and a savings account. Many today work hard to maximize company profits only to reap pennies on the dollar in return. Surely most savvy business owners can figure out a way to eke out an additional $1.79 an hour worth of work from each employee.
Companies fight salary increases because it reduces the personal wealth of the top executives and shareholders. Raising wages nearly $2 an hour forces the business owner or CEO to choose between buying themselves a new Ferrari or their spouse the Mercedes for $120K. Not a choice any of wants forced upon us.
The economic gap between their quality-of-life and that of their business owner’s continues to grow because of the unwillingness of many businesses to realize the true value of their employees. What I will never understand is why so many people vote for those who support the very model of economics which keeps them at the bottom under the current system.
Having been raised in an extended family of Republicans, I was one for almost 40 voting years. It makes me sick to see what the GOP has become.
From what I first voted for in 1964 it has gone from rational to virtual hateful insanity. The scathing railing against anything not far right, helping others less fortunate than themselves and government oversight of corporate greed is so pathetic.
What used to be reasonable has become irrational. Today’s Republican Party goals are little more than those of the spoiled little boy who takes his ball and leaves the game. What a sad state of affairs.
Kudos to the Port of Hood River and Liz Whitmore (waterfront coordinator) for realizing the need and placing a portable toilet at the Event Site this winter. The waterfront now has restroom facilities year-round at the event site and at the boat launch (open during the week during the winter).
Let’s hope everything goes well and they can continue this every year.
You are loved
Re: “Sympathy undeserved,” letters to the editor Jan. 22:
Dear Mr. Burdick,
Jesus loves you.