Choice vs Prejudice
Sam Aurelius Milam III
Maybe Americans are getting more gullible with every passing day. I don't know, but it is difficult to resist that conclusion.
Some people worry that cheap prison labor in foreign countries is taking jobs away from Americans. However, last month Peter Jennings reported on the ABC World News Tonight that American prisoners in South Dakota are making prefabricated houses, in direct competition with local builders, for 25¢ per hour. The governor of South Dakota plans to double production next year. For those people who might not know it, South Dakota isn't a foreign country. It's an American state.
Other people worry about the "evils" of child labor. Such worries are a lot of nonsense. When I was a child, some of my friends and I got a job digging sweet potatoes for a local farmer. We worked for 50¢ per hour and nobody accused anybody of "child labor". We were praised for finding a job and the farmer was commended for providing it. If the working conditions are intolerable or dangerous, then that's a different issue. However, there isn't anything wrong with child labor, in and of itself. On the contrary, it keeps kids off the streets, teaches them responsibility and respect, and lets them earn money and learn the value of it. In most instances, the kids are probably better off with the jobs than they would be without them. Probably, there are ten kids waiting in line for every job. As long as the kids want the jobs, then it isn't slave labor and it isn't anybody else's business.
The strident pursuit of these two issues suggests to me either ignorance or a hidden agenda. If cheap prison labor is evil overseas, then it's evil here. If it's OK here, then it's OK overseas. Those who want to condemn it elsewhere should remove it here first. People who condemn child labor are probably the same people who wonder why some kids just hang around with nothing to do until they finally get into trouble. Those people advocate policies that deprive kids of jobs, create boredom, encourage delinquency, and then they use the results to justify a police state. Ultimately, they do far more harm to the kids than would be done by honest child labor.
The following is the transcript of a conversation between me (Jeffrey Charles), an unidentified female, and the male chaperon of the LDS Shelley Idaho Singles Dance1 on Saturday, November 27, 1999.
I was wearing a pink heavy cotton short-sleeved polo shirt and a black wool ankle-length loose-fitting skirt with black high top basketball shoes.
Chaperon: You're inappropriately dressed.
Me: Inappropriately dressed.
Chaperon: You need to go put on some pants.
Me: What about all the other people who are dressed like me?
Chaperon: You're male.
Me: What about all the females who have pants on?
Chaperon: We allow that now.
Me: You mean you allow the women to wear whatever they want, but the males can't. You are a sexist church.
Unidentified Female: We're LDS. We have standards.
Me: Standards. Your dress is a lot higher than mine and you have yours unbuttoned and I do not.
Chaperon: We don't like your kind.
Me: My kind.
Chaperon: Yes, your long beard.
Me: Let me get this straight, you want me to change into some pants to look male, but you think I should take off my true maleness.
Chaperon: I saw you come in, you didn't pay, did you?
Me: I thought it was donation.
Chaperon: You haven't shampooed your hair today, have you?
Me: No, you better check everybody else.
Chaperon: I'm through with this. I'm calling the police.
The police came and took me out and told me that if I came back, I would be arrested and taken to jail.
Send feedback to Jeffrey in care of this newsletter.
to the Editor
Dear Sam --
It's not for me to defend the rhetoric of the US government. However they do say: we do good where we can, not where it's not realistic or practical. I doubt their sincerity as much as anyone. But I also say from my position of limited influence as a propagandizing outsider: I try to encourage actions that will be good both in the abstract AND in the outcome. You seem to be condemning the US government, not for it's evil deeds, but for refusing to Quixotically rush in where angels fear to tread, even when the outcome might be to the disadvantage of the very people whom the US says it would like to help. For you, apparently, the principle of defending people's lives is more important than those people's lives themselves. You have the right to be that idealistic with your own life, but not with the lives of others.
But in the case of Kosovo vs Chechnya, I myself don't refuse to support the Chechen rebels because Serbia is an easier target than Russia (which may be the US government's valid point). I refuse to support the Chechen rebels because they have shown themselves to be aggressive, expansionist gangsters, not simple peasants simply trying to defend themselves, like the entire Kosovo Muslim population.
It's okay for your privacy to be invaded, so long as you don't find out about it. That's a perfect argument for covert police state surveillance. The peeping Tom is, after all, exploiting your privacy for his selfish pleasure, while the shadow government at least has the noble goal of protecting your collective "freedom," e.g. your right to privacy, & your right to freedom from exploitation. The covert cheat who is never detected is not more noble than the honest highwayman.
— Elliot; N. Merrick, New York
I haven't yet seen anything which suggests that the victims in Kosovo are more noble than the victims in Chechnya. Nevertheless, I'm not criticizing the U.S. government for failing to interfere in Chechnya. I don't want it to interfere in Chechnya. I'm criticizing it for interfering in Kosovo, when it shouldn't have, and for being hypocritical about its reasons. Neither Chechnya nor Kosovo is any business of either the US or NATO.
A woman wearing a short skirt in public doesn't have a right to privacy so far as the visibility of her derriere is concerned. She terminated any such right that she might have had when she voluntarily placed her derriere on public display. It's unworthy of you to liken that to my right to privacy in my personal affairs. If the nitwits want their fannies to be private, then they'll have to secure them from public view. They can easily do it with opaque clothes that shield them from observation. They don't need repressive legislation intended to regulate the behavior of men. If they really must wear short skirts in public, then I suggest the addition of undies with smiley faces.
As usual, I enjoyed the Dec. issue of the Frontiersman — I will have a copy made & put up in the Law Library — too bad the lawyers & judges & legislature don't have pg 2 (The Fundamental Principles of Liberty) framed on their desks!! And every "politician" should be e-mailed your article on pg 1 — "The New Imperialism"!!! & then have a recall election. (Having them resign is something even "God" couldn't do!).
And, of course women (female C/O's) watch the guys take showers & the male C/O's watch the female prisoners & the Prison Legal News is full of cases of the guards & admin personnel pleading guilty to having sex (coerced or uncoerced?) with both male & female prisoners! Yet "they" get PROBATION!! or suspended sentences! So what is one more "prohibition"? When people wake up, the Muffshot [The War on Muffshots, page 3, December, 1999] will go the way of alcohol!
Anyway, it proves that there is a cosmos-sized difference between Americans & U.S. Slaves.
— Eric; Calipatria, California
Buck Hunter Shoots Off His Mouth
Do you think Ross Perot should run for president again?
— Interested Voter
Dear Interested Voter
Well, I voted for Mickey Mouse once. I guess if a bird can talk and do tricks, I might vote for 'im.
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— Sam Aurelius Milam III, editor