I've traveled the Philippines enough to see how hard those people work for very little money. My mother in law has five children. Four of them live and work outside the Philippines. The employment pages there are all about jobs outside of the PI. There is wealth there, but the system is unbelievably corrupt, so the people suffer. There is a growing gap between rich and poor in this country and throughout the world. People accept it because they think they'll be rich, too.
Right now there are many people who have lived here for years as guest workers. Many support families back home out of their $3.05 per hour paycheck. They are often separated from their children. Some have American citizen children and they are a family divided. I can relate. I have two American children and a Filipino wife. She still has not met my parents, and we've been married two and a half years. She can't get into the states -- at least yet. Her paperwork is in process, and it should be done soon enough, but the fact is, we are kind of a stateless family right now. We obviously aren't going to leave her. We can't go to the Philippines free and clear, and she can't go to the states. There are many people in this situation. I've seen how hard these people have worked. Many have suffered abuses. How many stories do we see in the paper about people who still haven't gotten their wages. I know some of these people, and they are model employees -- Cal Ripken like in showing up to work every day. I think they deserve a break, and if this harms the CNMI in the short term, that's life, we don't own these people. They are not indentured servants tied here to our meager minimum wage that we paid Jack Abramoff millions to bribe Tom Delay to keep.
The corporate influence on global policy is enormous. If you haven't spent some time reviewing and examining the thoughts of Noam Chomsky, you are doing yourself a serious disservice. His opinions on American foreign and domestic policy aren't flattering, and neither are his thoughts on the media. Many just can't handle what he says, can't think about it, can't even consider it. That is a shame. His work is well documented with countless footnotes, and he is in many ways a living Aristotle.
According to Angelo's Blog and Middle Road, the call is out to boycott Chamber President Juan Guerrero's places Herman's Bakery, Western Union and Mita Travel because of his stance on federalization. If you ask me, it is about time the contract workers stood up for themselves. Danny Aquino has a stick up his ass about white people and Filipinos, the exact makeup of my family. I appreciate the fact that he is open in his racism. I'm also not sending another nickel to his daycare center Little Darlings. I would hope Brady Barrineau's family would do the same there, but that is their call. Juan T is free to do his thing, and Dekada is free to do their thing. I will say this, if Filipinos can stay away from Jolibee, as they did with the Yumul bill, Herman's Bakery and the others will be a walk in the park.
I've been out of blogging circles until the last day or so, and I've gone around, and basically argued with Bruce Bateman on many a post. I have to admit, there was a time I only knew Bruce from his column, and I didn't like him based on that. Things have changed. I really like Bruce a lot and I'm glad to have him as a foil. He's funny, not PC, a genuinely nice guy and a good writer. We see the world very differently, but we are out there arguing with each other with respect and without personal animosity. We are strangely alike, yet different, a blogging paradox. We are both hyper-opinionated, non-pc, hypercritical, distrustful of government (albeit for different reasons), we both like mojitos, diving and the Blue Ridge Mountains. We both have Filipina wives and children. If I didn't know him personally, I might have gone off on him like Dengre did. I kind of did once. I'm really glad to have gotten to know him better.
Harry mentioned this the other day:
"I am not who most people think I am. They have a preconceived idea of who I am
and what I'm like from my radio presence. I do have some definite thoughts and
opinions about things, but if you think you know me from the radio, you're
The same goes for Bruce, Angelo, me, lots of us. When we offer our opinions, sometimes we misspeak and sometimes we are misinterpreted. I feel like my words were mangled here and here. My wife's office workers had a debate on whether I was saying all Chamorros were racist in my criticism of the Taotao Tano protest. The word Chamorro wasn't even in the piece, and all my comments were directed at the signholders. I wasn't even saying they were racist people, just that it was a racist display. There is a difference there. I found Mr. Cruz's defense to be pretty weak and lame. He'd have been better to have apologized and gotten back to the work he was doing before that revolting protest.
I have, to my great shock, not encountered much hostility to my critical public comments. Some doubtlessly don't like me because I'm critical of our system and our government, and I wasn't born here and I'm not "local," yet I have a lot to say. I respect people like Cindy Sheehan and Michael Moore, Harry Blalock and even Dennis Green who often times suffer personal attacks for expressing their opinions. I think everyone should be respectful of the risks they take if the speaker is honest.