Sunday, June 27, 2010

The World Helps Americans Celebrate Independence Day

Edgar Hernandez grabbed the two-foot by two-foot cardboard box that came from the huge container ship that was docked in Long Beach, California. Edgar had been working at the shipyard for two years. He was not a documented immigrant, but the shipyard paid Edgar's brother-in-law who had a working social security number. The cardboard box said 'Fireworks' in large block letters and 'Made in China' in small thin letters. The cardboard box itself came from wood in Brazil, but was milled and assembled in Tibet, though China did not advertize that fact. Edgar placed the cardboard box along with all the other fireworks boxes on the back of a Toyota pickup truck.
The Toyota pickup truck was driven by Irina Bromo, real name Irina Bromokovich, who had been hauling goods from the Long Beach harbor to the Los Angeles Airport for five years. Irina had a working social security card, but it was stolen from someone she was told was no longer alive. For whatever reason, no employer had questioned it, ever, and Irina had continued to get paid.
Irina pulled into the freight hanger at the Los Angeles airport about forty minutes after she left Long Beach, and the boxes of fireworks were unloaded by Fred Fuentes, a Philippine-American whose wife, Maribel, had been sponsored to be in the United States. After three babies, though, Maribel had too much on her hands to work at a job or to pursue her immigration sponsorship. So Fred was doing so, though on paper it was Maribel that was working. Fred had no working papers. So Fred just used Maribel's social security number and Maribel was paid directly by the airport hauling company that was fifty percent owned by a Norwegian shipping concern. Fred took the boxes to a motorized cart made by Hitachi, that drove the boxes to an Airbus jumbo jet that was being loaded by four Mexican day-laborers getting pain in cash.
The Airbus landed at Newark Airport seven hours later, and the boxes of fireworks were placed in a large Mitsubishi truck that drove the boxes to Liberty State Park on the Jersey side of the New York harbor where the boxes were unloaded by the Dupre Fireworks Company, a French company that handled Macy's department store annual fireworks celebration that can be seen all over the New York metropolitan area.
Kathy and Jimmy Smith with their two daughters, Jennifer and Sofie, sat in their Malaysian-made folding chairs in Liberty State Park drinking Italian red wine and eating English breakfast crackers topped with Persian caviar. Jennifer, eleven years old, was listening to U2 on her iPod that was designed by a Chinese-American who worked for Apple Computer which had it’s iPods assembled in South Korea. Sofie, fourteen yeas old, was talking on her Nokia cell phone to her Hispanic boyfriend, a relationship Sofie kept from her parents.
The fireworks started around 9:30 in the evening, and the blasting lights in the sky highlighted the Statute of Liberty in the harbor. From where the Smith family was stationed, they could only see the back of Lady Liberty. Sofie got bored with the fireworks real fast, so she walked back to the Honda Odyssey minivan that the Smiths drove from their home in Indiana where Jimmy Smith worked for the HSBC Bank, a British bank that also loaned the Smiths their mortgage money which HSBC immediately resold to a consortium of Japanese and Chinese financial institutions which were investing in American real estate. Kathy Smith was laid off from her job at Motorola due to cutbacks, so she decided to become a full-time mother, which she enjoyed. In fact, Kathy had become a soccer mom, because both her daughters loved the sport and were following the World Cup everyday. It was a great Fourth of July to be an American.

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