Monday, November 26, 2007

Modern Slavery

We watched "Amazing Grace" over the holiday weekend. Even Emma paid attention through (most of) it. It was an inspirational story, and well acted, if somewhat cloyingly written. (I mean, the stuff about losing his singing voice and then finding it again? Come on.)

That film got me thinking about something I'd heard on Air America the previous week. Thom Hartmann was expounding on one of his heroes, Thomas Jefferson, and his ambiguous record on the issue of abolition of slavery. Hartmann's point was that the record was nowhere near as ambiguous as Jefferson's critics would maintain. However, none of that is what caught my attention; I'd heard most of it before. What captured my imagination was Hartmann's statement, at the end of his defense of Jefferson, that instead of ending slavery in this country, we've merely outsourced it -- and the free trade agreements of the last decade or so have made the situation worse.

There have been examples aplenty of U.S.-based corporations getting rich off of third-world sweatshop labor. This came to mind again this morning when I saw this New York Times story, linked via Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo; I'd never thought about government entities doing the same thing.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Except for our Canadian friends. (Did you wish me a happy Thanksgiving when you had yours? No? Then don't complain.)

We've had snow falling gently all morning (all night, really). Big, fat flakes. Not sticking too much, but still very pretty, especially for my mom, who is visiting from California.

Later we'll be having our traditional meat-free feast, accompanied by "Alice's Restaurant." Call us hippies if you like.

Which reminds me: does every Jimmy John's have a "No Hippies Allowed" sign inside, or just the South Saint Paul franchise? That combined with the sign dissin' the French ("Bread so French it has to be liberated") and the U.S./God sign whose language I can't recall offhand, and I felt pretty much out of place and completely uninclined to try it a second time. Just sayin'.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Not The Daily Show, With Some Writer

Jason Ross explains the writers' strike to you.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Did I Miss a Memo?

When did the Country Music Awards pick up a sponsorship from Starfleet?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Was there ever a country more awesomely stupid than my country?

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Monday, November 05, 2007


Sunday was a gorgeous day, relatively speaking; mid-50s and sunny.

Today, I went out to lunch. It was sleeting on the way back, with a biting wind.

Sigh. Just a little reminder of where I live.

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