Monday, September 17, 2007

A failed New World Napoleon, a.k.a. "Grey-eyed Man of Destiny"

Speaking of violence in Central America:

Few know about William Walker's imperial ambitions south of the border. However, folks in Nashville, certainly know about their hometown jack-of-all-trades (it was a lot easier to be all those things back then, but 2 out of 3 ain't bad, right NOE?) thanks to this sign that proudly proclaims the accomplishments of one of their native sons. Funny, the sign makes no mention of his crimes or pro-slavery motivations...

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, and $1 million keeps the rebels away ... from our bananas

Chiquita, (formerly United Fruit) the company whose name synonymous with "banana", has been fined $25 million dollars for paying over $1 million in protection money to Colombian guerrilla groups. No strangers to paying people off, Chiquita/United Fruit has a long history of fueling corruption and conflict in Latin America.

Although $25 million is peanuts to a big company like Chiquita, its certainly more than Corporate America is used to paying for its crimes. Let's hope there isn't any reduction in the fine on appeal...

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Marijuana article indefensibly racist

That's what the headline on Audra Baker's letter in this week's Town Crier should have read. "Lacking key fact" is way too forgiving a way to describe blaming Mexicans for marijuana gardens. To put it in context, imagine if Eliza Ridgeway had instead blamed some unsolved crime on black people or Jews without any evidence or, for that matter, relevance.

Two people ought to be censured for this by their employers: Sergeant Ed Wise of the sheriff's department, who made the claim, and Ridgeway, who gave it a veneer of legitimacy by lazily parroting it in print.