It's the same in any lingo

בַּת-בָּבֶל, הַשְּׁדוּדָה: אַשְׁרֵי שֶׁיְשַׁלֶּם-לָךְ-- אֶת-גְּמוּלֵךְ, שֶׁגָּמַלְתּ לָנוּ
אַשְׁרֵי שֶׁיֹּאחֵז וְנִפֵּץ אֶת-עֹלָלַיִךְ-- אֶל-הַסָּלַע

How can one be compelled to accept slavery? I simply refuse to do the master's bidding. He may torture me, break my bones to atoms and even kill me. He will then have my dead body, not my obedience. Ultimately, therefore, it is I who am the victor and not he, for he has failed in getting me to do what he wanted done. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? If not now, when? ~ Rav Hillel, Pirke Avot

This Red Sea Pedestrian Stands against Judeophobes

This Red Sea Pedestrian Stands against Judeophobes
Wear It With Pride

03 February 2008

Get on the bus 'Bus

I spent the last week on vacation with my girlfriend and her family in the Dominican Republic.  We had a very relaxing week that, apart from an uncomfortable bed and about 24 hours of on and off explosive diarrhea, was absolutely wonderful.  I spent the week sitting on my ass by the pool, on the beach, in our room with all the food and drink included.  I found it odd and obvious though that island that Columbus happened upon in 1492 turned out exactly as he intended; the native population hard at work making the lives of tourists soft and cushy.  The staff at the resort that we were staying at were friendly and hospitable.  They took care of all our needs as best they could.  But I couldn't help but feel weird about it all.  Virtually everyone on the island are descended either from the native populace, enslaved by the Spanish, or slaves that were brought there by slave traders.  The staff work 11 day schedules followed by 3 days off, many of them living away from their families for those 11 days, then driving 5 hours to Santiago to be with their families for 3 days.  And these are the lucky ones.  There are surely plenty out there who would love to have that situation.  We are so lucky to be American.

In spite of all the issues I face as a lower middle class American I am wealthy beyond the wildest dreams of avarice of an amazingly large segment of world society so believe me, I'm grateful every day for my ancient car, my job, my health insurance, the roof over my head, and the food on my table.  But I don't have any illusions that we have a long way to go.

Economic equity, balanced with environmental responsibility, must be humanity's goal for the next 20 years.  Sustainable agriculture, fair trade practices, and the establishing of green economies will make it happen.  But it will require the world's corporate conglomerates to change the culture of their think.  

I don't dispute that corporations exist to make money, but if they can't do it without going China with lead in toys, defective products, and poisoned pet food then they will suffer with the loss of market share.  Shoddy standards allow for lowered expenses and short term profits, but down the road it's bad for business.  The collapse of the credit and real estate markets, along with the sub prime lending fiasco has led us into a recession (anyone saying we're not in one is just trying to avoid mass panic) world wide.  But in the end, the billionaires will be fine.  Don't cry for them Argentina.  It's the masses, on whose backs the billionaires make their fortunes that will suffer.  In the end they will buy less, and the billionaires will make less money (unless they work for Exxon apparently).  In my mind it's stupid not to inject quality products, made by workers getting a fair, living wage, into the market place.  But then, I'm smart enough to know that nothing gold can stay.  Maybe one of these days it will become common practice...but I'm not holding my breath.

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