Friday, October 22, 2021

The Socialist’s Journal: Quick Hits 2016 Pt. 4

Brookins Head Shot

*Someone call the people at Webster’s dictionary because they might need to update the definition of irony. A vineyard under the Trump banner in Virginia has formally let the Department of Labor that it is looking to hire foreign workers for their busy harvest season next year.

This wouldn’t be such a big deal except for the fact that Donald Trump campaigned as being for American workers. Trump was supposed to be the person to keep immigrants out of the country. Trump was supposed to help Americans find jobs. This action by one of his properties seems to be the exact opposite of all he stood for in the area of labor and much of what he stood for in immigration. To be fair the jobs are only temporary jobs so any workers hired would theoretically be leaving the country by June. Nevertheless I bet (in contradiction to what Trump has said in the past about foreign workers) that there are American citizens willing to take these jobs. I don’t pretend to have everything figured out in terms of how to help American non-skilled workers have great jobs in the face of globalization. But Trump did, and I will point out when his claims don’t hold water.

I cannot imagine having a sex tape starring me out on the internet. One, I haven’t made any; two, no one would want to watch if I had. But I still feel sympathetic toward most celebrities, Hogan included. The basis for freedom of the press is that the public deserves to be kept abreast of things that are of public interest. That opens the door to a lot of things you might think are private becoming public if enough people want to know. Politicians can forget about any sort of privacy. Celebrities like Hogan are in danger of everyone they know selling them out. I can’t say Hogan is a good guy – I don’t know. But I can say he didn’t deserve to be taken advantage of while going through the life transition of divorce.

The conclusion I draw from the sexual assault scandal in the United Kingdom is the way young people get exploited when youth sports intersects with prestige and wealth. It is basically the same story whether it is young women and gymnastics, or young men and football (soccer). There is always a young person desperate enough to make athletics their career to obey the coach with no questions asked. There is always a coach who is willing to abuse that obedience. I would imagine that people who are attracted to pubescent individuals seek out coaching work because of the access to people of their physical type. But I can also imagine some coaches didn’t get into the profession with that on their mind but were tempted into pushing relationships over the line once they saw how easy it would be. As long as the stakes are millions of dollars, is it realistic to believe people will rebuff and report their coach’s advances?

Everything in contemporary society is trending toward digitization. That makes sense when most people walk with a miniature computer on their person everywhere they go. In one weekend of watching television I’ve seen advertisements for an app to lock your car doors in case you forgot, a way for someone to unlock your car doors in case you forgot your keys, a way find your car in case it was stolen. All of this is possible because all of your information is being stored online. Of course the downside of this is that all of your information is being stored online which means it is that much easier to be accessed by people who aren’t you. The chances of someone breaking into your house to find all of your banking information has always been low. But the chances of someone hacking into your accounts digitally are higher if only because it is much easier. The latest revelation from Yahoo about their cyber security tells me one of two things. Either they are the laziest company ever in terms of security because they had already suffered the worst breach in history so for it to happen again was unlikely, or there is really no way to ensure security in cyber space because there is always a way into a network.

I apologize for not having more positive stories to tell during the holiday season. But, especially during this time of the year, when so many are focused on having a fun time, we should all be reminded to be alert and to not take unnecessary risks.

Trevor Brookins is a free lance writer in Rockland County, New York. He is currently working on a book about American culture during the Cold War.  His writing has appeared in The Journal News. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @historictrev.




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