The Jefferson Tree - A platform for debate and discussion of current events and politics...

Palestine Borders and Demographics Prove to be A Ghetto

Thanks to a good idea given to me by my partner here at STL, I started to research and analyze some geographic information regarding the Jewish land-grab in Palestine. I then followed by studying some demographic info on the Gaza Strip and drew some interesting conclusions. Here’s what I found: First, some great maps over at Wikipedia with adjoining historical context info and links portraying the boundaries of Palestine/Israel since the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement (The linked information could have you reading ...

Social Protest Lit: Ebenezer Elliot, “The People’s Anthem”

A poem from Ebenezer Elliot entitled The People’s Anthem from Book IV called “Out of The Depths.” This chapter is focused on man’s pursuit of remedy for social injustice: When wilt thou save the people? O God of mercy! when? Not kings and lords, but nations! Flowers of the heart, O God, are they! Let them not pass, like weeds, away! Their heritage a sunless day! God save the people! Shall bring crime for ever, Strength aiding still the strong? Is it thy will, O Father? That man shall toil for wrong? “No!” ...

Stephen Moore’s Ridiculous Anti-Clean Energy Rant

Hard right-winger Stephen Moore took a break from pushing debunked trickle-down economic policies to take a pathetic shot at clean energy.  Let the stupid begin. …radical Greens, one of the most influential political forces in America today… Seriously?  He goes on to mention the famed Sierra Club as one of these forces.  And where did they rank in 2013 on lobbying: 755.  In fact, if we look at the top 50 interest groups giving to members of Congress this year, no sign ...

Anti-Israel Policies/Actions Is Not Anti-Semitsim

There have been growing protests in Europe against the mass murder of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip by the State of Israel. These actions are in response to the IDF killing 500 Muslims there with the vast majority of them being civilians. But what is troubling about these movements is, according to this article in the NYT, an anti-Semitic tinge has taken place at these protests. The story reads that in France: Several recent pro-Palestinian demonstrations in Paris have boiled over ...

Warren For President?

Today at the the annual Netroots Nation conference in Detroit, the nation’s largest gathering of liberal activists and organizers, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) reportedly drew an applause that Hillary could only dream of. According to NYT and Politico reports, Warren was a rock-star while Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic candidate for President, was absent. Warren’s populist talking points and her history of taking Wall Street to task (remember that Warren was an early advocate for the creation of a new Consumer Financial ...

Social Protest Literatue at Sparking The Left

Here at STL we are starting a new feature. In between our political-insight posts, I will start publishing excerpts or entire pieces of great literature that speak to crucial social and political issues which span the centuries. Though almost all in the Western tradition, the subject matters are transcendental. Now first to name my source, I am taking pieces from Upton Sinclair’s selected and edited collection “The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Great Social Protest Literature of All Time.” ...

Pulitzer-Winning Journalist Detained for Being Undocumented

I was first brought aware of Jose Antonio Vargas’ story last week in a piece he penned in Politico. He explained that he was in the Rio Grande Valley, in the city of McAllen, just north of the Mexican border. He was there to see first hand the tens of thousands of undocumented children, most of them from Central America, and observe how they were being treated. The trip was also used for a news conference appearance and vigil organized by United We Dream, ...

GOP Refuses Funding for Border Children Projects

A humanitarian crisis unseen before at our borders is becoming more and more urgent everyday at Rio Grande Valley, TX, and other Southwest locations. And yet the GOP is arguing over numbers. Yesterday President Obama requested an amount of $3.7 billion from Congress to help aid the 57,000 unaccompanied minors who illegally crossed the border from the Mexico side since October. They are mostly from violence-ridden Central American countries, like El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (Honduras has the world’s highest murder ...

Selective Outrage

War is hell.  All we have to do is look around the world to see its toll.  That being said, I don't understand the lack of outrage coming from this President and his administration other than that aimed at our one ally - Israel which is doing no more than trying to protect it's people from rocket fire and constant raids from Hamas. The fact that Palestinian civilians are getting killed is a tragic yet unavoidable aspect of this war.  Why ...

Why Are We So Full Of Hate?

What has happened to human kind?  No matter where you look we find ourselves surrounded by a world filled with hate. What puzzles me is how it's combined with political correctness.  Take this country where so many words are now frowned upon and even forbidden because they are hurtful to certain people.  Redskins, squaw, savage plus a whole lot applying to blacks, orientals and hispanics not to mention middle easterners.  Has it dawned on anyone banning the names has done nothing ...

Has Putin Over Reached Once Too Often?

My, oh my.  We've watched this man make mince meat of Obama over the past several years.  Each time you could see the smirk broaden and the swagger get more pronounced. He and his allies - Iran, China, Syria and North Korea were truly enjoying themselves. But as happens with a lot of bullies, they get over confident and suddenly everything around them collapses. I'm wondering if this is the case with the downing of the Malaysian passenger jet. With the death ...

If Only It WERE The Heat!

What a day.  A passenger plane has been shot down over Ukraine uncomfortably close to the Russian border. Hamas reneged on the humanitarian cease fire so Israel launched their ground offensive. Children still pour across the border while Congress dithers. It's now being reported parents are giving them birth control in case they are raped during the journey. Along that line former member of Congress, Todd Aiken, who once talked about legitimate rape and the idea that women's bodies protected them from becoming ...

Hannity's Histrionics

For a person who doesn't have much faith in the intellect of pundits, I wonder why I watch them so often.  I wonder even more why the cable outlets and networks that employ them don't take more care in who they hire. Many of them get on crusades that bear no resemblance to reality.  Sean Hannity is one of the most prominent. The night before last  he was on his Bowe Bergdahl kick demanding to know why he was returned to ...

Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words?

If the President could run away from the border mess any faster I'm sure he would. It's being said it's because being seen in the setting of kids crammed into confined spaces with their scabies and lice would reflect badly on him.  It could even be his Katrina.  Well, maybe.  But who's fault is that? It goes to show his handlers aren't as smart as they think they are.  For one, drinking beer and shooting pool in Colorado, a state where ...

The Kids Always Went Home

Watching the immigration mess going full bore brought to mind a lot of things that have involved children from other nations.  The first thing that comes to mind is the Disney song It's a Small World After All that speaks to all we have in common. Hopes, dreams, all the warm fuzzy stuff. We've had exchange student programs where a student from another country lives with a local family to learn not only academics but what life in American and Americans ...

The Militia Is Coming, The Militia Is Coming!

That's all we need! News has it a call has gone out for militia, both unarmed and armed, to gather along the border to help private land owners protect their property in something called Operation Save Our Borders.  Terrific! Remember how well it went when militia turned out to help to  help Cliven Bundy in his fight over Federal grazing rights in Nevada?  It came within a hair's breadth of turning violent. I really feel for the border towns who are the ...

Our land-holders, too, like theirs, retaining indeed the title and stewardship of estates called theirs but held really in trust for the treasury, must wander, like theirs, in foreign countries, and be contented with penury, obscurity, exile, and the glory of the nation. This example reads to us the salutary lesson, that private fortunes are destroyed by public as well as by private extravagances. And this is the tendency of all human governments. Thomas Jefferson
Please visit the authors blog by clicking on the link below!

John Liming - American Liberal Times

Republican Says Poor Kids Should Get Jobs!

I started this article out with a picture of what looks like about an 11 or 12-year old boy who is shown taking a picture break from his job in a textile factory in the United States back when there were no such things as child labor laws.

This kid and thousands upon thousands like him worked 11 and 12-hour shifts, maybe seven days a week when business was good.  They had extremely low wages (Cents per hour) and they had no health care coverage and they often were forced to work through their breaks and lunch periods.  Of course, they all brown bagged their lunches if they had any.

I have read where some factories back then actually locked their doors so that employees could not leave until their shifts were over.

Kids like the one in the picture above worked in hot, dirty and dangerous “Sweat Shop” conditions for supervisors who often treated them no differently than if they were adults. 

 It was hard. harsh, heart-breaking and terribly dangerous. There are endless horror stories about kids like this getting caught in machinery and mangled to death.  When something like this happened, there was rarely if ever a safety investigation and the blame for the death was placed squarely on the fact that the kid had most likely been “Careless.”

Now I have been reading the AFL/CIO News Blog and I see this article where Republican Candidate Newt Gingrich (The candidate who is leading the pack in popularity among Republicans right now according to news reports I have read) has made the statement that child labor laws are “Stupid.”

In the article I am reading, Mr. Gingrich is quoted as saying that schools should get rid of their unionized janitors and hire low-income kids to clean the schools.  He is also quoted as saying that age nine is a good time to get a job.

I am assuming, without actually knowing, that under Mr. Gingrich’s plan for the kids to go to work, the rich ones would be cracking books instead of cracking  their backs at hard labor.

During this speech that the Republican Candidate for President of The United States was giving to a gathering at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of government, he is also reported to have suggested that putting scrub brushes and floor sanders in the hands of kids and firing school maintenance workers would “Lift Up The Poorest Neighborhoods.”

Mr. Gingrich is further credited with statements suggesting very directly that child labor law entraps poor children into poverty.

O.K.

When I read crap like this, I begin to understand why I often refer to some of the ideas coming from  the Far Right Side of Politics as (Can’t say the words for fear of offending somebody, but you get the idea.).

In the gentlest terms that I can muster so as not to ruffle antibody’s feathers, let me say that I find concepts that would do away with child labor law as patently undesirable. (Is that tame enough for you?)

It is my unvarnished personal opinion that any act to abolish child labor laws and to bring back sweat shop conditions and to allow kids to work at hot, dirty and dangerous hard-labor jobs (Or regular jobs of any kind for that matter), would deny them their rightful education and do irreparable harm to their bodies, minds and spirits. ( Under- Statement of The Year!)

 (I am talking about 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., ‘Punch-The-Time-Clock’ type work here folks, not the typical Part Time Delivery Person thing that most people with a heart might envision.

I can understand it if many Republicans desire to institute slave labor in The United States.  I can understand it and I can see it in almost every proposal they make or every law they try to pass.  I can see it in every job they take away from American Workers and send overseas somewhere.

I have often contended and still maintain that it seems to be that many of the Republicans desire to have every American Worker working 12-hour shifts, seven days a week for $5  day— just like back then (Way back when) and just like some who even now slave away daily in foreign countries…for American task masters. 

I really belileve this kind of stuff is great for the bottom line of a lot of greed-mongering Big Business tycoons. I am sure they are eating these suggestions from this  Candidate up and are frothing at the mouth and chomping at the big to be legally able to advertise for their first crews of vulnerable, naive kids who need to help their families out a little and who could use the work.

I cannot wait to see the kind of subtle and potentially deceptive advertising campaign that would support that kind of recruitment effort.

I know what a lot of Republicans and Conservatives must be thinking if they happen to read this blog:  I am guessing they are wondering why I am so against the poor having the flimsy trailers and shantys for shelter from the elements or why I do not necessarily see a cardboard box under a bridge somewhere as an appropriate place to raise a family.

How wonderful for the idea of the Conservative Utopia if we can finally hire kids to do the hard stuff ! What a day of rejoicing that will be! (Kids will  probably be easily convinced to work for far less reward than adults after all because they are often more trusting and can be more easily manipulated and lied to.)

Yes, what a wonderful world it will be when the Far Right and their allies finally are able to get rid of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Welfare and open the floodgates of “Unlimited Employment Opportunities” to the children!

What a wonderful world it will be when there are no more income taxes, no free public education and none of the governmental departments that keep food and air and water safe for human consumption.  How great it will be when there are no more price controls and no more minimum wage laws!  Why employers can offer  “$1.00 a day and all you can eat” to workers they hire for cleaning out their stockyard pens.

If America cannot see the disadvantages in some of the things that some on the far Reicht Wing Extreme are trying to sell to our Citizens, then God help us all!

I definitely am against using child labor for any purpose.  The idea (To my way of thinking) is regressive and dangerous.  Never in a million years will I ever cast a vote that might be responsible for paying a part in bringing something like that about. But, that is just me! I am old and eccentric, after all!– and a “Godless Liberal” to boot.

This article has been Strictly my personal political opinion like everything I write.

A Little More Reading About It:

http://blog.aflcio.org/2011/11/21/gingrich-put-poor-kids-to-work-cleaning-schools/

John Liming - American Liberal Times

Author: John Liming - American Liberal Times

I am an American Man, 72-years-old, and a Veteran of The U.S. Military. I have served honorably in both The United States Army (National Guard) and The United States Air Force for a total of seven years and three months active duty during what is now known as The Vietnam Era. I am a concerned citizen and refer to myself as "A Crazy Left Wing Liberal Nut Case with occasional Right Wing Conservative tendencies. I am particular fearful that we might get to the point, in our internal power struggles where we would be a One Party Nation.

2 comments to Republican Says Poor Kids Should Get Jobs!

  • You’re twisting the things Newt said, or you are purposely spinning them with bias, either way what you are saying shows very little comprehension of what he was trying to say.

    Newt proposed getting rid of unionized Janitorial jobs and allowing students to be paid to do the work.
    1) Newt never proposed slavery- to bring that into the conversation is sickening
    2) Newt Never said that specific children would be forced to do the work
    3) Newt isn’t proposing that children NOT be educated, he is saying that the education system is failing, and that more students would gain pride in their schools if they were paid to take care of them. (The point about lower income was made because lower income families like my own do not have money for children to have allowances, and also if you clean up your school, and get paid to do it, you are less likely to do things like vandalize the school)
    4) I have not found a single place that has a direct quote saying he wants 9 year old children to work.

    I understand being frustrated, but you make wild assumptions, then spread them around the world and you really just end up looking like someone who can’t think for themselves.

    And before you go off saying that I’m a republican, I’m not.
    and before you assume I’m conservative I’m not
    And before you claim that repealing all child labor laws is the goal, it’s not.

  • The one thing I really love about living in America is that there is tolerance for all kinds of opinions. I have expressed mine and you have expressed yours. I am on the winning side with this one. America will not tolerate such radical concepts as doing away with child labor law. Never! Get used to it!

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