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Agnosticsherbet's Journal
Agnosticsherbet's Journal
February 13, 2014

Every President will face a handful of fortuitous or disastrous events

Because the world is in a constant state of change. Massive changes in technology and communication made it easier to off shore jobs and save money for investors and owners at the expense of workers. China did not open the floodgates of cheap labor because of NAFTA. They did so because it made sense within the context of their own society and national agenda and the explosive growth of their own modern industrialization. For the same reason, a growling middle class created by that industrialization has increased the cost of their labor and many of these cheap labor jobs are migrating to other parts of Asia and Africa. Technology makes it cheaper to build a new factory in Sri Lanka or Uganda. This process was actually at work in the 60's with the development of Maquiladoras in Mexico that led to the shipment of jobs from the US. China actually poached a lot of those jobs with the promise of even cheaper labor.

I am not fond of Free Trade agreements, but they are not the only historical current that created todays situation. NAFTA is a symptom of the proliferation of International Corporations who chase poverty so they can use the desire of starving people for any kind of work. Once those workers get a glimmer of hope, the Corporation moves on to the next country because it is better for corporate profits to find the lowest wages possible for everyone but executives, the board of directors, investors, and owners.

The real answer is not bitching about NAFTA. The real answer is a world wide labor movement. Unions need to go international for real and fight for better wages in every country because a raise of $.05 an hour here is impetus for an industry to go where they can pay a worker $.01 for every dollar a worker makes here. As long as Corporations can move to take advantage of cheap labor for a fraction of the cost of transportation, this process will continue. Free Trade agreements are only a tiny fraction of that process, and they are not the cause of it.

February 6, 2014

California Kelp to be Tested for Fukushima Radiation in Year-Long Study

California Kelp to be Tested for Fukushima Radiation in Year-Long Study ?w=600
Kelp along the US West Coast will be tested for Fukushima radiation in an upcoming study spearheaded by California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

The Kelp Watch 2014 project is led by CSULB biologist Steve Manley, an expert in marine algae and kelp who has studied the environmental effects of the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster triggered by a 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that ravaged Japan's northeastern coast.

"The California kelp forest is a highly productive and complex ecosystem and a valuable state resource. It is imperative that we monitor this coastal forest for any radioactive contaminants that will be arriving this year in the ocean currents from Fukushima disaster," Manley said in a news release.

Nearly three years have passed since the nuclear incident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi power station, enough time for radioactive cesium released into the sea to cross the Pacific Ocean and reach the US West Coast.

The overwhelming scientific consensus is that by now, any radioactive material released into the ocean in connection with Fukushima will have decayed or been diluted to such low concentrations that it will not pose a public health concern. But there are several unknowns, including how the radiation may affect marine life.

I applaud the notion that real scientists will be studying the issue.
February 5, 2014

Liberalism, as a political philosophy,

holds as core concepts a belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual. In action it attempts to protect the political and civil liberties of individuals. For liberals government is a crucial instrument for amelioration of social inequities as those involving race, gender, or class. Economically, liberalism is closely associated with free markets and the individual right to own the means of production and private property. Because wealth, itself, is a huge contributor to social inequality, liberals back a strong regulatory control of corporations and banks that, otherwise, subvert governments in order to create a shadow plutocratic oligarchic order.

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Home country: U.S. of A.
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