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Freddy Martinez

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on torture part two [08 Jan 2007|04:48am]
After careful reading, looking at many sources etc, I realize I don't support torture. Mostly because it doesn't work. That's all.
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A Day Without a Mexican [15 Dec 2006|02:24pm]
This movie was bad in my opinion, for the following reasons:

Humor
I didn't find it funny at all. What was the punchline? The misleading title of the film? There was very little humorous about the movie. I just sat there in a stupor.

Acting
Not everyone is meant to act.

Content
I didn't find anything particularly interesting. Sure Mexicans make up a vital part of California's economy...and then? It seems like they could have pushed the boundries further. I enjoy documentaries, where interesting fact rise (did you know Muslims were the first to use wind energy or the gear) rather than the ad-lib movie I watched. I went to the show to see it when it first came out, it made me want to stay home and never go to the movies again.

Go join a union if you feel like it.
That's all.
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Presentations [15 Dec 2006|02:00pm]
Technology is a tool, not a crutch. I saw many slide show presentations that were scripts, basically reading off the projector. "Great, you can read on the spot." Now that sounds cynical and stand-offish and in general rude, however I stand by my statement. We have all for the most part taken CATA and learned that a slide show presentation is used to enhance a presentation, not be the end all be all in a speech. There were some fascinating topics, I especially like the topic of of Indians and our immigration affecting them. I though it was a great topic, it got me ready to learn something, but the presentation put me asleep. Also, I noticed some logical fallicies, one that I saw was generalization to a point that allows no exception. This made for some disappointing presentations. However, there were some solid presentation that I did enjoy very much.

Now, for my own presentation, I went ahead and just spoke feeling comfortable with my topic without my materials. Many people didn't like my statement that governments don't care for people, only what is popular. I stand by my statement, I believe it to be true. However, when I said that, I looked at my audience and saw visible anger at the statement. Was I mistaken? Maybe I was, but if I was, who spoke up? There was no counter argument, no dissent but rather a seething anger. Maybe people got upset that I spoke the truth? That is a possibility. I wish I had my dates with me that would have made my presentation more rounded I believe.
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Subject 3 [15 Dec 2006|01:35pm]
When we discussed torture, I found myself in shock that we didn't talk about the ethics behind it. I would have liked a civil discourse on torture. This idea has been kicking in my mind around for a while.

On War
I believe war is war. No Geneva Conventions necessary. The object of war is to accomplish a goal whatever that may be. To battle with rules is to play war in my opinion. "Let's kill each other, but be nice to me if I surrender" doesn't make sense to me. Armed forces go to war knowing they might die; is it logical to say "Sure you may die, but you sure won't get tortured?" Mustard Gas is awful stuff, so are atomic weapons, Sarin is awful stuff (one drop on your skin will kill you!). Zyklon B is another agent that is quite deadly as seen in WWII (although not on the battlefield). However, I see war an process that can't be regulated, it is contradictory to the very nature of what war is. If governments (or the UN) didn't want to see people suffering unneccesarily, there wouldn't be fighting in the first place. If I am leading a group of gentlemen (please, no women fighting) into battle, I will do whatever is neccessary to secure their lives, not the comfort of some enemy.

On the USA
The United States has come under fire for having torture or "harsh questioning methods" as Bill O'Riley of FOX put it. There have been many critics against torture (Senator McCain for one) and many have said it is weak on terror to not be "harsh". The US was found to be have secret torture prisons in Europe (torture == interrogation sites), which cause some anger in the international community. I was upset as well, but at the US government for getting caught. I assumed that we had secret beating cells, who wouldn't? I doubt that we would follow Geneva Conventions, we don't need to, we're a rich country. The US is given free reign where it goes and it wouldn't shock me to know we had prisons like this, because I assumed we did, as did most politically minded people. Sad? Sure. Illegal? According to the Geneva Conventions. News? No. I was just shocked that we got caught.
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Sweatshops / Freedom [14 Dec 2006|04:06am]
I have spoke several times on why I believe sweatshops aren't as harmful as people argue. I will submit the same argument, however for a few different reasons. I believe in the idea of laissez-faire markets, the idea of minimal government regulations in the economy. In fact, I will redact my previous statement that our government should increase number of inspectors, I must have been feeling ill or something to write something I didn't believe.

Consumer Responsibility

The United States lives in a system of economics that requires consumption. We are all consumers and we have consumer decisions to make on a regular basis. As consumers, I argue that it is out responsibility to be aware of the things we purchase. Most companies have a return policy, or a satisfaction guarantee in their product. I said before, I wear clothes that were probably made in a sweatshop. I am fine with that. If I cared enough, I would return the clothes for a refund, sell it and give the money to an anti-sweatshop group, or something to that effect. As a consumer, I made the choice to support this company, nobody but a government can force to spend my money. Similarly, I do not believe in non-free computing, I believe almost anything digital should be restrictions free (i.e, paying money for a Operating System) so I took WIndows XP off my computer. Now I am a heavy supporter of the GNU/Linux project, namely Ubuntu.

What does this all mean? Well I found something I was philosophically opposed to, and as a consumer stopped my support of it. As consumers we get choices in what we purchase, and I would not purchase something I did not agree with. If a restaurant makes your meal poorly, should you sit and eat it, or return it for something you want? I was at an IHOP recently and detested the service, so I left. There were plenty of other places to eat. Choice is a great thing.

On the "Inhumanity"
Sweatshops aren't as inhumane as people argue. If you'll excuse the double negative (I felt it was necessary), it can be seen that sweatshops are not the worst thing a person can work in. First, let me say that most people chose to work in sweatshops. I think it is deplorable that people are tricked to work in Saipan. That is never right. However, most people chose to take these jobs. Everyday we take a risks, you risk getting into a crash every time you drive. I've heard statements like "I won't go out, the weather is too bad" before in my life, a demonstration that the risk outweighs the reward. Furthermore, what we understand as "humanity" does not account for the other jobs. Working in a sweatshop is sometimes more humane that working in other industries. What would happen if a government closed these sweatshops? According to UNIFEC "an estimated 5,000 to 7,000 Nepalese children turned to prostitution after the US banned that country's carpet exports in the 1990s." Three cheers for progress! To further protect the children, when the Child Labor Deterrence Act was introduced in the US, an estimated 50,000 children were dismissed from their garment industry jobs in Bangladesh, leaving many to resort to jobs such as "stone-crushing, street hustling, and prostitution." The UNICEF study found these alternative jobs "more hazardous and exploitative than garment production." [1]

Sweat shops aren't as inhumane as people argue. I use the double negative again because I am not saying they are humane, but I'm not saying they are inhumane either.

[1]
Wikipedia Article
which has some good ideas on sweatshops.
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[05 Oct 2006|04:40pm]
I was thinking long and hard about the video on Saipan and I came to a few conclusions which I will break up in a few arguments.

On Corporations
Many people are truly unaware what a corporation is, that is what the structure of a corporation is. A corporation is a legally defined person with the responsibility of making as much money as is possible. Notice I did not say legally possible, but rather is profitable. The basic structure is stockholders investing their money, after which managment must return them as much money as they can. If it is more profitable for the corporation to dump their waste in a river rather than pay a garbage collection service, they must dump it in the river. A very well written book on this is called "The Corporation" and there is a documentary of the same name (available in the library if i remember correctly.)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Corporation
One of the highlights from this page is "...Noam Chomsky explains that a corporation is a very special kind of person with no moral barometer, solely concerned with generating the maximum profit possible for its owners."
There is a famous case on this idea Ford v Dodge in which the Supreme Court specifically stated the point of a corporation was to make money.
Therefore, let us tie this idea of corporations back to Saipan. The outrage is that in Saipan, these corporations are making a ton of money off these girls who live in awful conditions, work long hours, and make little money. However, what you have to realize is that these corporations should not be housing these girls is luxury suites, give them a suitable wage, etc. This is contrary to the goals of a corporations and will hurt the bottom line, therefore these clothing corporations are unable to provide for these girls in that sense. More than that, in the United States it would be illegal for a corporation to put human interest in front of economic interests. To blame these corporations would be to attack the capitalist system which made the US the world's richest country. Now, some of you may say, well we must reform the current laws, change the economic structure etc. That brings me to my next point.

On Politicians
Power corrupts. Those in power are unwilling to give it up (Joe Lieberman for example) and would seek greater power (George Bush for example). Power corrupts. I repeated that to be perfectly clear. Power corrupts. See there it is for a third time. Now what I am saying is this, some (not all) of our democratically elected representative are corrupt. Not all of them, but some. Now I will tell a story so follow me on this. Once upon a time, there was a congressman who liked the finer things. He enjoyes reading leather bound books, perhaps smoking a fine Honduran cigar (not a Cuban). One day, he visits Saipan on a vacation with some friends and family and at the same time, visits one of these sweatshops. He is taken on a tour by the sweatshop owner, talks to a few girls working, and then goes back to the tourist part of Saipan. He returns to the US and reports that everything is fine in Saipan, the working conditions are acceptable and concludes he had a fine trip. Didn't even spend a dime on the trip, it was all paid for. Oh wait, I didn't mention that, a lobbyist paid for the Representatives' trip. A lobbyist who was paid by corporate interest to keep Saipan's condition as they are.

The lobbyist: Jack Abramoff
The Congressman: Tom DeLay.

Power Corrupts.
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[18 Sep 2006|04:04am]
uhh am I the only one who isn't using this? I'm not really sure what i'm supposed to be doing with the LJ. Maybe updating about the class? Personal life? I'm up at 4 in the morning doing homework, that pretty much sums up my life at the moment. I'm reading the Koran, a few books on Malcolm X, and Das Capital (i think it is Das Kapital but I'm not sure.) Eh, I might skip Marx, i never saw his appeal. Economically, I thought he was wrong, and socially his ideas aren't anything new. Maybe its just me. Anyways, I'm just typing because i'm tired. yea, fun.

side note. i'm unistalling XGL but i'm on Knot 3.
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