Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day, You Exploiters of Slave Labor
Roses are a symbol of romance to many people, but not to Beatriz Fuentes.

Like many of the roughly 90,000 workers on giant South American flower plantations, Fuentes helps pick most of the roses that will be delivered to Americans this Valentine's Day.

But she says she is paid less than $50 for a six-day week of demanding labor, often under difficult -- some say illegal -- conditions, including contact with dangerous chemicals.

Fuentes picks flowers for an American subsidiary of Dole, the banana and pineapple outfit. She also states that she is forced to take pregnancy tests as a condition of working there. Dole says they are just doing their damned best, and everything is peachy. I am sure United Fruit said the same thing too. So, enjoy those roses folks. Just like the blood diamonds they are awful purty.

Seriously, buying a hallmark card and roses is about the least romantic option available. Tell your signifigant other something genuinely from the heart. Speaking of which, I want to take this time to tell my wife that she is the best thing that ever happened to me, and she completes and fills all the empty holes in my life, and I definately married up. But baby, sorry... no roses.