01-17-2005, 08:11 PM
It was Saturday night and the preacher still hadn't been able to think of a sermon for the next morning. About 9:00 p.m. he finally said to his wife, "Dear, I think I've come up with the perfect sermon! I'm going to give a sermon about horseback riding!"
She said, "Don't be silly! You can't give a sermon about horseback riding!"
He replied, "Well, it's going to have to do because I've preached on just about every other subject I can think of."
The next morning as they were driving to church, she said, "I can't
believe that you're insisting on doing this! You know, if you're going
to give that silly sermon on horseback riding, I'm just going to stay in
the car during the service."
He said, "OK, then, suit yourself!", so, she stayed in the car.
Entering church before the service, the preacher had a sudden
inspiration and gave a hellfire and brimstone sermon on SEX that just had the congregation in awe.
As the congregation filed out of the church, some of the members saw his wife sitting in the car and approached her window. One of them said, "Wow! You just missed the best sermon your husband has ever given!"
She said, "Yeah, right! What does he know about it! He talks big but
he's only tried it twice in his life! "Once before we were married and once after, and he fell off both times!"
01-17-2005, 08:12 PM
Check this out, America is so ****ed up. No wonder middle easterners hate us.http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/nws/main5.gif (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/tools/print_header_logo/*http://news.yahoo.com/) News Home (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/tools/print_header_logo_home/*http://news.yahoo.com/) - Help (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/tools/print_header_logo_help/*http://help.yahoo.com/help/news/) <HR width="100%" noShade SIZE=0>http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/nws/p/chtr.gif (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/DailyNews/trib/chi/SIG=chdc3v/*http://www.chicagotribune.com/) `Jobs that Americans won't do' filled by desperate migrants
Mon Jan 17, 9:40 AM ET
By Stephen Franklin Tribune staff reporter She is dizzy, almost wobbly. Her head aches, her coughing won't stop, and because she doesn't have enough money she has not filled her four prescriptions nor seen a doctor recently. http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/nws/p/chtr.gif (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/chitribts/ts_chicagotrib/SIG=110chdc3v/*http://www.chicagotribune.com/)•Chicago Tribune home page (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/chitribts/ts_chicagotrib/inline/jobsthatamericanswontdofilledbydesperatemigrants/14007551/SIG=11jdvvktu/*http://www.chicagotribune.com/?track=yahoolinkbox)•Subscribe to the Tribune (https://subscribe.chicagotribune.com/issues.htm)•Search the Tribune (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/chitribts/ts_chicagotrib/inline/jobsthatamericanswontdofilledbydesperatemigrants/14007551/SIG=12mv1m2bv/*http://www.chicagotribune.com/search/chi-advancedsearch.htmlstory?track=yahoolinkbox)•More Chicago news (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/chitribts/ts_chicagotrib/inline/jobsthatamericanswontdofilledbydesperatemigrants/14007551/SIG=11u8ee49m/*http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/?track=yahoolinkbox)
But that doesn't stop her. Soon it will be midnight, and Ipifania Dominguez will be back at work cleaning up blood, bone and fat in the world's largest pork slaughterhouse. She'll be back in the "head room," as she calls it, where meat is cut from pigs' heads. She'll be back reaching and bending as she scrubs the machines, walls and floors with a sponge, breathing cleaning chemicals that burn her eyes, clog her throat and linger, giving her a nauseated feeling when she stumbles home exhausted. She'll be back at a job few want except someone like Dominguez, 35, a Mexican immigrant illegally living in the U.S., who is thankful for the work that has allowed her to send money home to her six children in Mexico. For six hours nightly with no breaks or time to eat, she is clutching a sponge while shivering in the cutting room's permanent chill for a job that starts out at six bucks and ninety cents an hour. And she has to hustle because the factory must be clean for the start of a new day and the slaughter of up to 32,000 pigs. People like Dominguez are the ones President Bush (news (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/DailyNews/manual/chitribts/ts_chicagotrib/jobsthatamericanswontdofilledbydesperatemigrants/14007551/*http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news?fr=news-storylinks&p=%22President%20Bush%22&c=&n=20&yn=c&c=news&cs=nw) - web sites (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/DailyNews/manual/chitribts/ts_chicagotrib/jobsthatamericanswontdofilledbydesperatemigrants/14007551/*http://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=web-storylinks&p=President%20Bush)) was talking about recently when he spoke of reforming the nation's immigration policy to allow "good-hearted people who are coming here to work" while stopping "crooks and thieves and drug-runners." Bush is calling for a system in which foreign guest workers would have temporary legal status to work in this country. Under the plan, employers would have to prove that no U.S. citizens would take the available openings before they could hire guest workers to perform what Bush calls "jobs that Americans won't do." Not everyone agrees with Bush, however. "It's not jobs Americans don't want to do. These are wages and working conditions Americans don't want to accept," says Ira Melman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, an opponent of lowering the barriers for undocumented workers. "Why not let the free market determine what wages ought to be instead of flooding the market with low-wage, foreign labor?" he asks. Hard work has long been a burden, but also a stepping stone for immigrants. Yet some jobs are so dirty, so tough, so miserable that only the hungriest or most vulnerable of the newest arrivals do them. Vulnerable because they do not speak English, cannot offer anything beyond their arms and backs, and dare not speak out because they live in the shadows, afraid of being caught and sent home. Dominguez and 200 others work for a contractor, QSI Inc., which nightly cleans the Smithfield Foods Inc. plant in Tar Heel, a colossus that employs up to 6,000 workers and ships 6 million pounds of pork daily. QSI officials say their workers' papers show they are legally in the United States. But according to the workers and those who help them, many of the cleaners are illegal immigrants from Mexico or Central America, coming from poverty and Indian roots. They use fake identification documents with fake names to get and keep their jobs. Dominguez's employer knows her by another name, not Dominguez. These workers do the jobs turned down by other immigrants who have more skills and savvy--and more deftly falsified identification papers that allow them to compete for more desirable jobs. Chicago's day laborers In the same boat as these workers are the day laborers, who crowd Chicago's West Side street corners in bone-chilling cold or on blistering hot mornings, hoping a contractor will stop to hire them. A global stew of Hispanic, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Uzbek and Mongolian immigrants, they often risk their lives on dangerous jobs for little pay, or no pay at all from a handful of bosses who might cheat them or desert them if they get injured. Carlos Meija, a short, muscular 36-year-old undocumented immigrant from Mexico, is a street-corner veteran. Last year, Meija broke his arm while on a construction job. He says his boss refused to pay his hospital bill or help him out financially during the three months he was recuperating--despite his getting hurt on the job. On a chilly morning, he huddles at the corner of Argyle Street and Pulaski Road. It is 10 a.m., more than three hours since the first contractors came by looking for help, and he still hasn't snared a job. He is worried. He got lucky late yesterday by taking a job working on a high, steep rooftop. Not everyone wants such work, he explains. But this is how he prefers to work. "The work here is better than at a factory for the minimum wage," he says, his eyes trained on the street. A van pulls up, and several men pile in, pushing others aside. But then they hurriedly flee. "It's no good," a middle-aged man grumbles. "Forget it. It's heavy work. No breaks. And the pay is no good. Eight dollars." But Meija shoves his way in, and goes to lift heavy boxes for the next few hours. Except for a few homeless and some people out of work and down-and-out, nearly all of the day laborers waiting on Chicago's street corners are immigrants, says Jose Oliva, director of the Chicago Interfaith Workers' Rights Center. "Immigrants are much more willing to be exploited, not because they like it, but because they don't see any more options, and they are really just trying to survive," he says. There are no statistics on workplace abuse of undocumented immigrants because many are terrified to report wrongdoing, don't know whom to call, or, in dire situations, are virtual captives of their employers, according to immigrant advocates. "Since their immigration status is an issue, this creates a subclass of fearful workers on a grand scale. We are talking about millions," says Lance Compa, a lawyer and labor expert at Cornell University. "It is worse than 30 years ago. It is like 100 years ago." In a highly critical upcoming report for Human Rights Watch on the conditions of workers in the nation's meat and poultry plants, Compa points to the industries' reliance on immigrants, and especially undocumented workers who are fearful of speaking up. Latino workers are a majority in many of these plants, he says, adding that this is one reason why North Carolina, which has many such plants, ranked first in the nation in the last decade in the growth of immigrants. From about 100,000 immigrants in 1990, most of them Latino, about half a million live in the state today, he says. Latinos once were a rarity in the swamp lands, pine forests and small farm towns surrounding Tar Heel in southeastern North Carolina. But that's no longer true. Now, Latinos work at the poultry-processing plants and at hundreds of hog farms that serve the Smithfield Foods plant, where the company says they make up half of the workforce, up from one out of four employees seven years ago. Barbara Johnson, 61, a 12-year veteran and trainer on the cutting floor, remembers when there were "very few Latinos" at the plant. Latinos fill crucial role "We tried to bring in American people," says Johnson, who stands 5-foot-1 in heels, and grew up on a farm nearby, "but the American people, they are just lazy. . . . If they [the Latinos] would get out of here, we would have to close because we couldn't find enough people. "The Latinos, they'll stand there in pain all day without saying anything," she says. "I told them they could say something. But I think they fear that if they speak out they would get sent back. One day some of the ladies were crying and saying they want to stay, life is bad back in their countries." A woman known to her employer by the pseudonym of Sara Lopez clung in pain and weariness to her job on the cutting floor because she feared that she would be fired if she spoke up. Five years ago when she left her family in Guatemala, she vowed that she would send money back to her mother and four children. She is a rarity, a woman--a small, shy 30-year-old single mother--who made her way on the mostly male trail of undocumented workers coming from Central America across Mexico and into the U.S., and finally to this swampy stretch of North Carolina. The work was hard, cutting meat from the bone, but she learned to adjust. Three months ago a pain began in her right shoulder and spread to her arm. It ached so much she feared that something terrible inside of her would kill or cripple her. Finally she told her boss, who moved her to another job. But her arm still ached, and one day she said she could not do the job. She thought her boss told her to go home temporarily. But there was a mix-up. When she came back, they said she had walked off the job, and therefore no longer worked at the plant. Smithfield officials said they would not comment on workers' individual cases. But they said the plant has a low injury rate, and the company works to keep it that way. "This work," says the woman known as Lopez, who then turns away to cry. "This work is very important. I am responsible for my children and my family." Smithfield spokesman Dennis Treacy says his firm does not purposely hire Latinos. "We hire who shows up," he says. But for QSI Inc., the company based in Chattanooga, Tenn., that cleans the Smithfield facility and other meat-processing plants across the U.S., it is a fact of life, says company spokesman Gary Grauman, that Latinos overwhelmingly apply for its jobs. That is why, he says, about 90 percent of his firm's cleaning workforce are Latinos. Quality of workers "We've seen how these people want to come here and work and we embrace that," he says. "They are good workers. They work hard and they are reliable." The QSI workers offer a different explanation. Their ranks are nearly all Latinos, they say, because nobody else would do such work. And many Latinos are also new arrivals, desperate to pay off the smugglers, known as coyotes, who brought them to the United States, and so they must find a job, any job, soon. So, too, not all QSI workers are quiet and satisfied. Several QSI workers who feuded last year with company officials over pay and job conditions and who were fired, turned to the United Food and Commercial Workers union, which has been trying to organize the Smithfield plant for 10 years. In a complaint to the National Labor Relations Board on behalf of the workers, the union said QSI officials threatened to fire the workers as well as call immigration officials if they tried to join the union. The company denied the union's claims at hearings last fall, and a ruling is pending. At QSI, Saul Ortiz has paid a price for his American job. He says he is 16 years old, but he seems a very young 16, playing with a small plush toy while glued to a blaring television set in the trailer where he lives with his older brother. He was hired just over a year ago at QSI in Lumberton, N.C., using fake papers saying he was 25. North Carolina law bars anyone under 16 from working in such a facility. He was given a week's training, he recalls, and sent to work with a crew that appeared to have some workers his age or younger. He had arrived a few months before from Veracruz, Mexico, after his family urged him to go live with an older brother and earn money to send home. The sight of blood and the chemical odors made him want to vomit when he began the job, he says. Sometimes cleaning chemicals splashed on his hands and burned him. And his eyes began to burn. He was cleaning a machine on the cutting floor, standing on top of it, when he lost his balance one day last January. As he fell, his hand got caught in the machine, which rips apart pigs' skin. It tore the skin off his left thumb and ripped away the bone, even below the knuckle, leaving a stump. He went back to work after two months but says he quit because he needed more surgery on his hand and the work would prevent it from healing. At first he didn't think much about the accident. But lately he does. "I feel anger," he says in a flat voice, shyly looking away. "I'm not the same. I have trouble buttoning my shirt. Tying my shoes. I am not the same. My hand is not the same." QSI officials say they know nothing about Saul Ortiz, but they do know the person with the fake name that Ortiz used to get hired. That person, they say, was injured on the job. They also say their injury rates are lower than the industry average. The fear factor Ortiz's attorney in a worker's compensation suit against the company, Terry Kilbridge, has helped other QSI workers injured on the job. He questions QSI's claim of lower-than-average injuries. "So many of these people are illegal, uneducated or simply scared of finding themselves back home in Mexico," he says. "I would guess that only a few ever see their way to a lawyer." Dominguez, who works in the "head room," says she would never complain about her job because she doubts she could find anything nearby that pays better. And her children in Mexico are depending on her to send money home. She says her husband, who works the second shift at the Smithfield plant, barely shares his pay with her, saying he must send his money to his relatives in Mexico. When she comes home at dawn, more than an hour after finishing up, the last person in the van that costs her $5 a day, she stumbles up the hill toward her tiny, two-room bungalow, plops down onto the couch and rocks back and forth, holding her head. "I'm so cold, and so tired," she says. "Cold, cold, cold."
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