Thursday, April 10, 2014

et ceteras

Some Sowell
Those who have "talked issues" with me know how much I respect Thomas Sowell. When there is something important that you know intuitively but can't quite express, it's a safe bet that Sowell will find the words that escape you. It's also a safe bet that he will frame the topic succinctly and in a way that can not be misunderstood.

In a column this week, he did it again with a single 17-word sentence: "Those unfamiliar with political rhetoric may not know that 'special interests' mean people who support your opponents." To read the whole column, go here.

And while you're at it, I recommend reading this piece that he published earlier today. It's about a man I never heard of until now, but wish I had.

Back in the late Eighties and early Nineties, Arsenio Hall used to talk about "things that make you go 'hmmm.'" On Sunday, Erika and I took the kids out to pick strawberries because that's one of the things our people like to do, and while we were (cough) laboring in the field (cough) I experienced a sight that literally did make me go "hmmm."

At the bottom of the field's gradual slope, near the edge of the property, stood several rows of featureless rectangular buildings that obviously serve as housing for the farm workers. In this country, it is considered a given that such workers are migratory and barely paid and probably here illegally; and at first glance, those buildings did nothing to dissuade anyone from believing the stereotype, because they brought to mind the kind of one-room, weekly-rental studio apartments you might get stuck living in at some point during your college years.

What made me go "hmmm" was not the housing. Nor was it the air-drying laundry hanging on clotheslines. Nor was it the nearby handful of plants that I am certain provide a food source for the workers and their kin.

No, what made me go "hmmm" were the cars, for parked in front of the bare bones housing was an eye-catching array of late model SUV's and sedans, most of which were shiny clean and many of which cost more than the Camry and Elantra that Erika and I own.

Don't get me wrong. I know we have it better than those farmhands. I am far from envious and would not trade my "station in life" for theirs, but the disconnect from the housing to the cars, and from the stereotype to the cars, was so stark that I find myself thinking there is something the media is not reporting about agricultural economics. I find myself thinking there is something the media is not reporting about the relationship between farm owners and their often illegal employees. I just don't know what it is.

America invaded?
If a foreign military (say, Mexico's) had a habit of crossing into the USA, and if in doing so it occasionally engaged in armed stand-offs with the United States Border Patrol, wouldn't you find that to be newsworthy? Wouldn't you expect that to be the kind of thing that earns banner headlines in our newspapers and draws major coverage on our news shows?

Of course you would, but you would be wrong.

Kudos to the Los Angeles Times for reporting about frequent incursions onto U.S. soil by the Mexican military, and disgrace to the rest of the MSM for not reporting the incursions yet being happy to tell us about Justin Bieber drag racing and various athletes coming out as gay.

I encourage you to read the Times article in its entirety. To be fair, the Mexican government did give a plausible explanation for the most recent incursion (namely, that the soldiers were chasing drug smugglers and got lost) but that explanation was not given until after the Mexican government was caught lying about whether the incursion happened in the first place.

More reading
This "et ceteras" has offered lots of links, so why not end it with some more?

Go here to see why we should be happy with Kirsten Dunst and offer her our support.

Go here to read why an avowed atheist deserves the unconditional support of those of us on the American Right.

Even if you are not in Florida, go here in the hope that you might save a five-month-old girl -- because really, she could be anywhere.

And finally, go here to read about why Eric Holder can not be trusted as the steward of our God-given and constitutionally-guaranteed right to bear arms.

Until next time...
...may life be bright and good despite its struggles and contradictions.

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