Sunday, March 17, 2013

Mexico: America's on-the-job construction apprenticeship training program

Been anywhere near an active construction site lately? I have. And the first thing that you will probably notice on almost any construction site in America these days is that almost everyone there is both skilled and hard-working. And the second thing that you might notice at each construction site in America is that almost everyone there is speaking Spanish.

"Where did those guys learn all those amazing and intricate construction skills?" you might ask after watching almost any construction crew in action. 

"They learned them in Mexico."

You want to receive excellent on-the-job training? Want to sign on to an excellent apprenticeship program in carpentry, woodworking, plumbing, roofing, whatever? Want to go to an outstanding trade school or attend a five-star-rated "technical institute" (as they used to be called in America back in the day)? Then just swim the Rio Grande backwards. Become a wetback in reverse.

No one here in America seems to be learning these skills any more. Plus, in many schools in America now, they don't even teach woodshop in high school any more. So if you wanna learn construction skills, go south of the border. Or if you want to hire a good already-trained journeyman carpenter, Mexico is your go-to source for qualified craftsmen.

Just like there used to be a brain-drain of highly-skilled doctors and computer geeks coming to America from other countries, now we also have a brain-drain of highly skilled carpenters, steel-workers, stone-masons and bridge-builders coming to America from Mexico.

And that's just sad; that strategically-important construction skills are no longer either the birthright or the passion of Americans born here these days -- because almost no one is teaching them here now. And, more important, almost no one born here in America is even interested in learning these skills.

Mexico has become our new source of future skilled labor.

PS: Like it says on that famous T-shirt, "Illegal immigration began in 1492". But instead of hating undocumented Americans, we should be grateful to them for helping to build America.

PPS: All those strong young American men and women who used to go into the building and manufacturing trades? They are now mostly specializing in becoming trained killers -- heartless killers being sent to foreign lands where they don't belong and instructed to murder children.

"The US war on Iraq has cost $1.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans. But the cost could grow to more than $6 trillion over the next four decades when interest payments are included, according to study released on Thursday" according to AntiWar News

And according to journalist Robert Parry, even the pope approves of this kind of carnage

And as for the rest of us? It's like Mark Morford of the San Francisco Chronicle just wrote, "37% of [Americans] are completely lost"


Advertizements for myself: In these hard times of brutal (and illegal) corporatist ball-busting socialism-for-the-rich-only, I am doing whatever I can to make a spare dollar. Here are some of my current alternate-economy schemes that never seem to work -- but I keep hoping!


 If anyone ever wants to hire me on as a travel writer (or war correspondent), "Have laptop, will travel!"


Need someone to help you throw out stuff? I'm really good at deciding what needs to be thrown out (starting with all those corporate-owned bums in Washington!)


Need an actor to play an older woman in your movie?
Then I'm your man! I can portray all kinds of older women -- from judges, business execs and other insane zombies to bag ladies, cancer patients, kindly grandmothers and dying patients in rest homes. I've played them all. So send me a script and let's do this. Hollywood, here we come!

Are you a plaintiffs' attorney who is tired of writing those pesky personal injury settlement briefs all the time? No problem! I can write them for you. Years of experience. And pay me only if you win the case.

I recently got my Notary Public commission!

Need a Notary Public? Have seal, will travel. E-mail me at and I'll stamp your document, make it official and only charge $10. Of course if you live outside of Berkeley, I may have to charge travel expenses -- but am well worth it!

Want something good to read? Buy my book! "Bring Your Own Flak Jacket: Helpful Tips for Touring Today's Middle East," available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It's like if Jack Kerouac, Mark Twain and/or Janet Evanovich went to war.

I also wrote a book about going on Hajj (also included as a chapter in "Bring Your Own Flak Jacket," but this book is cheaper -- but it's worth buying them both!) My book on the Hajj is so outstanding that I bet even Christian fundamentalists will love it! Please buy it here:


"Imagine a world where EVERY child is wanted, nurtured, protected and loved: World peace in one generation!"
You can now buy T-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, truckers' caps, baby gear and/or teddy bears with this logo printed on them. They make great gifts, especially for parents and teachers. To purchase, just click here:
"Life is a competition. The winners are the ones who do the most good deeds."
You can also buy T-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, truckers' caps, baby gear and/or teddy bears with this logo printed on them. They make great gifts, especially for those of us who are still idealists in these troubled times. To purchase, just click here: