Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Ranting Again...

It has taken me longer than I had anticipated to get to composing this rant, so some of the steam may have escaped. However, I think that the main points are still intact. Here goes...

Illegal immigration woes are an often debated subject these days. Especially the problem with illegal immigrants from Mexico. I don't disagree that illegal immigration from Mexico is creating many problems here in the USA, and places many burdens on communities that try to provide health care, education, and other services for the illegal Mexicans. On the other side of the coin, these illegal immigrants are providing cheap labor force for industries that need it. Those arguments are not what I am ranting about.

I had the opportunity to chat with a very well educated, legal Mexican immigrant who has previously worked in our area as part of a faith-based organization called FAST (Faith and Action in Service Together). This group organized people to lobby local politicians to provide for community needs such as safer school bus stops. He left our area to work for a national immigration committee. My conversation with this man opened my eyes to a source of some of our illegal immigration problems.

It seems that at one time small individual or family businesses employed 90% of the work force in Mexico. Mexico has a minimum wage that was typically significantly lower than what the majority of the workers earned in these small businesses. Enter the American corporations... Small towns across our country have experienced a bit of what has happened in Mexico. WalMart, Home Depot, or similar types of superstores move into town and with lower prices, drive the smaller stores out of business. In Mexico these corporate gars generally do not pay much above the Mexican minimum wage.

Once again we see the results of corporate greed and arrogance. Fewer jobs, lower wages, and the lure of better things across the border tempt many Mexicans to risk their lives in an attempt to find work in the USA. If they make it (and many don't), they are able to send money home to Mexico to provide for family members left behind. The unlucky ones die crossing or get stuck in sweatshops or other underground jobs that treat them as slaves.

When we complain about these illegal immigrants, I think we need to consider the fact that it is some of our own corporations that are exacerbating the problems. They get to pay lower wages and make higher profits at the expense of both Mexican and American workers. Perhaps before our country spends exorbitant amounts of money on building a wall along the border, we could somehow address what could be done to reverse what our corporations have done in Mexico. If the number of illegal immigrants declines, we will be better able to deal with the smaller numbers and concentrate on those crossing that provide a security risk or are intent mainly on criminal activity.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Saturday, November 25, 2006

In Recovery

It tasted soooo good going down!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Getting Ready For Thanksgiving

This month has just flown by, and I find myself surprised that next week is Thanksgiving. I guess that I had better get myself organized to make my part of the big dinner! As soon as that happens I have a Rhodent Rant that I want to post! Hope you USAers are all looking forward to your Turkey Day, too!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

A Quick Look At The Cruise...

Caribbean Princes

St. Martin/St. Maartin

Promenade decks

View from our balcony...
at one point I saw some flying fish and several huge Dolphin fish (Mahi Mahi)

Mom's favorite pastime and spot!

Tim showing his umbilical cord attached to the machine.
This was Tim's favorite pastime.

Views and sunsets were always gorgeous from our balcony!

Atlantis Submarine, St. Thomas
This submarine holds 48 passengers comfortably.
I would go on this excursion again and again!
We saw sharks, Barracuda, sting rays,
2 types of sea turtles,
all kinds of brightly colored fish,
coral, sea sponges,
and even an eel!
It was terrific!

The food was all very yummy!

Teresa and Cathy watching the food coming.

Jerry, Lori, and Fr. Pat

Olson serving our soup at dinner

Sawad bringing mom another bottle of wine

Fr. Pat, me, my mom

Giovanni stopping by to say hello

Baked Alaska

Happy cruisers

Some of us got a little risque...
Jeanni's boss was happy to find out it would wear/wash off in seven days!

Waiting for Godot... aka Cruise Connection Bus

Hours later... still waiting for Godot...
(note to self: next time fly or leave from another port close by)

A little lighter than before the trip

More to come when I catch up on things...

Friday, November 03, 2006

Finally! It's Time To Pack Again!

Yippee! I can hardly wait! Last summer was just the beginning. I am getting ready to head out onto the sea again.

One morning soon I will be looking out a bus window on my way to Ft. Lauderdale to board the Caribbean Princess for a cruise! I am not looking forward to the bus ride, but at least I will be with friends for the long ride. Next time I will consider flying to the port.

This ship is a bit bigger and newer than the previous one I went on last summer. It even has an outdoor movie theater! Also, this time I will have a balcony to enjoy.

The cruise is a few days longer than the last one as well, so I should have more time to do some relaxing with a book and a Mimosa or two. Obviously, I will be absent from blogging while I am gone, but I will post as soon as I return. Himself will be looking after the cats and the house for me while I am gone, so I don't have to worry about things at home. I am also caught up at work. All I have left to do is finish packing!

Hey! What is this nonsense?
Yeah! How come she gets to go again!
Not fair! Not fair!
When do we get to go?
I don't know. Do you think there will be some goodies left behind?
Hmmm... this could work out for us...
Let's go check out the kitchen as soon as she goes to bed!
Yeah! Goodies!