Minimum Wage

If you can work full-time on the minimum wage and still be in poverty, the minimum wage has FAILED. The Minimum wage first appeared in the National Industrial Recovery Act, but was called out by the Supreme Court. It would be defeated here, and reappear 5 years later in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

The background of the M.W. is actually fairly interesting. It was part of the N.L.R.A. in the beginning but was called out not due to the wage itself but due to the pressures Roosevelt was trying to put onto businesses for not conforming too the wage, because it wasn’t a required wage but rather one that if used would enable the businesses to have an edge in determining various aspects of business. The Supreme Court ruled the law unconstitutional.

But he’d get it through, by giving his suggested wage to government workers beginning in 1937, forcing private businesses to also begin to use the same wage in order to retain employees. He managed to get it in one state, Washington, and then a federal bill got passed.

F.D.R. once said : “In my Inaugural I laid down the simple proposition that nobody is going to starve in this country. It seems to me to be equally plain that no business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country. By “business” I mean the whole of commerce as well as the whole of industry; by workers I mean all workers, the white collar class as well as the men in overalls; and by living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level-I mean the wages of decent living.”

F.D.R. believed that the Minimum wage was a living wage. And so do I. Do you?

Some sources:

http://docs.fdrlibrary.marist.edu/odnirast.html

http://poverty.ucdavis.edu/faq/what-history-minimum-wage

http://www.socialwelfarehistory.com/eras/national-industrial-recovery-act-of-1933/

We need to know the history and purpose of the minimum wage. We need to remember that history. The minimum wage is meant to be a living wage. Not a wage that entraps workers in poverty.

Minimum Wage

Honduran Excellence and why it matters.

I want #Honduranexcellence to trend. And there is a reason I want it to trend. Honduras is becoming a more trendy topic, it’s becoming more and more popular to talk about Honduras in a remarkably limited sense. The people of Honduras are actively and openly marching against corruption quite regularly, every week. But that isn’t what I think #Honduranexcellence should be about. I think Honduran Excellence should be about exceptional Hondurans, who live in all corners of the world, whose work transcends Honduras, and is recognized globally. These are individuals like Luis Bogran a Honduran working for N.A.S.A., Skarleth Chincilla a student studying agricultural engineering whose research project earned heavy praised in the USA, Luis Orellana who is working on a device to help the blind gain a bit of independence when it comes to travelling, Madeleine Rodriguez and her fight against dengue. These individuals are fantastic young people who were raised in Honduras and studied in Honduras. Honduran excellence isn’t just a tribute to Honduran young people, it’s a tribute to Honduran education, and to Honduran compassion.

Honduras is far more than just corruption scandals and murder rates, and Hondurans know this, and educated English speakers know this, but #Honduranexcellence is meant to show the world the potential within Honduras. Honduran Excellence is meant to shine a magnifying glass on a place of brightness, that many mistakenly believe to be dark. But I believe in Honduran Excellence. I spend time translating articles by Honduran sources trust me, there is plenty to be optimistic about. But if we can make Honduran excellence more popular more people will believe me.

I hope I can contribute to the popularity of Honduran Excellence, by discussing these individuals in English. I hope that one day language won’t be a barrier to actually critically examining Honduras, and having an interest in the nation.

Honduran Excellence and why it matters.

Story Time!

“The Harvard v. Patterson case is the first case in history in which human science has been able to effectively demonstrate that a… spirit of some sort entered a human body, and for lack of a better term forced out the original ‘soul’ within, and inhabited the body for the sake of experiencing the physical world! The ruling of the Supreme Court has created a historical precedent for determining how to rule on cases related to the supernatural beings that universally accepted science cannot yet fully explain.” The T.V. was one of the many in the building which was playing news coverage of one of the most significant Supreme Court cases in living memory, the first ever case in which science and technology were able to reliably show and convince a court that a spirit of some sort was able to dominate a living body that had an original “soul” and had removed that “soul” somehow.
Current theories range on how it was done, and how to “define” the nature of the spirit that had done it. Some wanted to call spirits who provided some sort of incentive “angels” and others wanted to define more vicious and arrogant spirits “demons” but both were unable to clearly define what made each spirit an “angel” or a “demon”.

Story Time!

Positive News Network!

So Jessica and I know quite a few people who ignore the news because they are tired of the negativity of it. So we’ve made it our mission to end that attitude by starting up a network that is dedicated to positive news to get people to be more interested in news and in doing research.

We as a society cannot afford to become apathetic towards media and towards journalism. I think both negative and positive news serve important needs, and that both are equally valid, but the Positive News Network is dedicated specifically to positive news from all over the world. The videos will certainly be amateurish, especially in the beginning, but we don’t claim to have fancy equipment, or knowledge concerning video making. We’re just two college students with a goal and with some positive stories to share with you! 

We’re actively attempting to do something about all of the negativity that we see. We’re two inspired college students and we want to inspire you as well! Both of us know the importance of leadership, and of positive-energy and we want to instill both of those things in you. Right now we’re some college kids with a computer that has a web-camera, but who knows where/what we could be in the future! We want to lead the world in a more positive direction, and we’re actively beginning to do just that.

We both want you to know that we’re super excited about this and really want your help. We want to motivate you, and get you to assist us by sharing super cool, super happy stories, from all over the world!

Check us out! I’d love to see what you think. 🙂

Positive News Network!

Municipal Corruption in Honduras

Santa Barbara, a city in Honduras is currently in really bad shape. Or it will be. The government isn’t looking kindly at the city, after it was revealed that the previous mayor Thelma Iris Lopez spent 11 million of the 14.5 million lempiras that she was given, to make sure the city had all of the money it needed to fulfill it’s most vital needs, on undocumented things, but most decidedly NOT on what they were meant for. It’s also worth noting that she spent this money in roughly 25 days. How absurd is that?

Juan Alvarado, her successor as mayor of Santa Barbara, was stunned to find that he couldn’t come up with the funds for everything. He was also unable to pay back the transfer when he was supposed, which angered the government which now seems to be considering not sending Santa Barbara much needed funds.

This is a terrible example of governmental corruption in Honduras. Mrs. Lopez basically embezzled the money, money worth over half a million US dollars. However another article published today by La Prensa, says that the total embezzlement of funds by municipalities surpasses 520,000,000 lempiras, an amount totaling over 23 MILLION US DOLLARS. This is from the past 5 years, from 2010-2015. That is an absolutely terrifying amount. If we pretend that the amount of dollars embezzled each year is equal, then that’d amount to over 4 million dollars a year. That is… a tremendous amount of money, wasted.

The article in La Prensa talks about the actual amount per year (in Lempiras obviously), and it comes too 41.9 million in 2010, 142.6 million in 2011, 135.6 in 2012, 94.1 million in 2013, and 106.5 in 2014.

This is the sort of corruption Honduras faces. This is the sort of wasteful government that Hondurans flee from each year, and is exactly what Hondurans are currently protesting against. Imagine how the world would react, if facts like this were readily known and talked about.

Sources: http://www.laprensa.hn/honduras/861177-410/honduras-exalcaldesa-gast%C3%B3-l11-millones-en-25-d%C3%ADas

http://www.laprensa.hn/honduras/861063-410/malversaci%C3%B3n-en-alcald%C3%ADas-sobrepasa-los-l520-millones

Municipal Corruption in Honduras

The thin line between paranoia and memory.

As a historian, and observer of present events in Honduras, the brand new agreement between president Park of South Korea and president Hernandez of Honduras sends off some warning signals in my head. Gonna give some background as to these “warning signals”.

In 2010 in La Tejera, Rio Blanco a concession for a dam, was granted without the permission of the residents of the community. This concession marked the beginning of a long-term struggle which may or may not be on-going. The reason why I say “may or may not” is because there is a subtle… “media blackout” concerning contemporary events in La Tejera. Not many articles are being written, or have been written, about the struggles which the Lenca in the area face. Also worth noting: the primary articles I’ve seen on the topic are in English, not in Spanish. This is fascinating but also similar to trends related to other issues of national interest particularly when they are related to Indigenous people/Indigenous resistance. This is the case with the Garifuna in Trujillo, and the Garifuna who resisted charter city installation in lands that have historically and contemporaneously been settled by the Garifuna themselves. The latest article I’ve seen was in March, and it showed that the struggle was ongoing, with leaders of the indigenous community facing investigation by police and threats by private individuals.

An interesting occurrence in this instance was that the U.S. ambassador in 2013 made a statement concerning the residents of Intibuca and how they’ve peacefully but adamantly resisted. In 2013, on human rights day (which is December 10th), Mrs. Kubiske attempted to demonize the residents of Intibuca stating:

Human rights are an entitlement to justice. Signatories of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of other agreements recognized that a person who cannot get justice under the law may feel compelled to take matters into his own hands. This is not right, but we see this happening today in Honduras.

  • In Intibuca, some indigenous communities who feel they have not been adequately consulted regarding development on their land set up roadblocks to try to prevent future development.”

In 2010 a struggle for land ownership in the beautiful community of Trujillo kept on occurring between a private Canadian, his allies who include but aren’t limited too: former president Lobo, some Canadian governmental agencies/funds (at least one specific example is the “Canadian Shield Fund”), and local authorities, and his opponents: the local Garifuna community who own some of the land he wants to turn into state of the art luxury hotels and resorts. This is another quiet struggle of which people haven’t been made very aware.

In both cases there was justification, and support from foreign governments.

In both cases there have been instances of bullying, and some form of violence be it physical, political, or economic.

I have stated on other networks that I am quietly optimistic as to nature and execution of the agreement that president Park and president Hernandez reached concerning energy. I am honest when it comes my statements. However I also know that the South Korean government was one of the governments that was and seemingly is eager to see the implementation of charter cities in Honduras, an issue that has been notoriously debated, and one with a background of violence.

So it is in moments like this that I find myself wondering as to what is the thin line between paranoia, and memory. Because I feel like I am crossing it, on some level.

I’d LOVE to see your feedback on this article that I wrote! I hope you enjoyed it, and that piqued your interest on the writing that I do. Have a great day everyone!

The thin line between paranoia and memory.

Honest Honduran News

A repost from Tumblr, but one I think will be liked on here.

Gonna write something “not cool” first.

“Not Cool”: I’m sorry for posting so much about Honest Honduran News on here. But Honest Honduran News is my dream. It’s my ambition. I am dedicated to helping Honduras, the place I consider home, and if I am using my skills to the maximum of their potential that means I have to do something wherein I can make full use of my skills as someone who is bilingual, who writes regularly, who has the skills of a young historian, and as a young man who just wants to see the world learn. But I am “grinding”. I am “honing my craft”. Each day I translate articles originally written in Spanish, to English, so that people who want to learn about Honduras and don’t speak Spanish get that chance. Each day I learn more and more about the place I call home. Each day I work to ensure that Honest Honduran News gets a bit more name recognition. Each day I silently hope that someone sees my network and thinks, even in passing, “that’s cool. I hope that guy gets lucky and people decide to help him out”. I know it is probably annoying to see so much “Honduras” on your dashboards, but you have to understand that I see so much ignorance when it comes to my home. I see a lot of people not knowing why San Pedro Sula is so dangerous. I see so many unaware of the 2009 coup. Or of Miguel Facusse’s violence towards the people in the Bajo Aguan. Or people not knowing that abortion in Honduras is a crime with a heavy sentence. I see people celebrating Roatan, and people loving Copan, but only a few people wanting to help out the Lenca, or aware of Randy Jorgensen’s pressure on Afro-Honduran communities to sell or give up their land for his touristic resorts. And I am working on changing that. I am doing my best to build up an excellent network.

Wanna know something cool? My Facebook network “Honest Honduran News” grows every day. It is creeping up on 300 members.

And here’s the cooler part: I want to become the owner of the first viable multimedia network in Honduras that operates primarily in English. And this is actually something that could happen. The reason why this could happen is because of the MASSIVE growth the group has experienced it’s entire existence. Each day more and more people join. And the OVERWHELMING majority of those people live in Honduras. Specifically the Islands, because those are the touristic locations, and those are the locations wherein many people who work in the tourism/hospitality industries and of those individuals hundreds, maybe even thousands speak English as a first language and some don’t even speak Spanish, at all.

Here’s the coolest part (in my mind at least): You can help out. You can join my network. You can work with me, helping me find articles (no matter what the language), for me to post to my network. You can join the network. We can work to help the world learn. We can work to end ignorance, and apathy, regardless of the language. We can work together to help Honduras become a better place, a place with more investment, more opportunities, more education. Let’s work together! And let’s learn together. 🙂

Check out the group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/HonestHonduranNews/

Honest Honduran News