my weblog

Sunday, April 30, 2006

The current immigration debate...This seems to be one of those issues that, once one gets beyond the immediate surface, doesn't clearly hew to party or ideological lines; business-interest conservatives and human rights activist-liberals seemingly on one side, nativist conservatives and some Big Labor liberals on the other, many folks in between, torn...Sadly, too many folks are- intentionally or not- blurring the line between legal immigration and illegal entry. It truly should not matter if these immigrants are from Sonora or Sligo, so long as they enter our country lawfully, legally. In this day and age of terrorism, we need to better determine just who is entering our country, and for what purposes. If folks are able to slip across our border to pick grapes for two dollars a day (or fly into the US and slip into a local immigrant community, be it East LA, Southie, or anywhere in between) what is to say that folks with much more sinister intent could not do the same? Also, there needs to be respect for our laws. Somone whose first act upon stepping on our shores is to break our laws (by entering illegally) is not "playing by the rules," (as the Bay State's senior Senator wrongly characterized illegal entrants.) And while not as big an issue in Massachusetts as in, say, California or Arizona, the social service costs incurred by illegal entrants and their families (education, police, fire, and EMT protection, etc...) are not negligible, nor are they likely to be adequately covered by the few taxes these- largely low-wage earning- folks pay (mainly sales taxes since, being here illegally, they have little means nor incentive to pay federal and state income taxes.) What to do? First- make the distinction in the debate between lawful, legal immigrants (whom we should welcome) and those who enter illegally. Second- yes, increase resources to more thoroughly ensure protection of our borders, by land, air, and sea. Third- expand opportunities for folks to come here to work legally, an expanded guest worker type deal, with the potential of citizenship status if worthy and so desired. Fourth- increase penalties upon both those who enter our country illegally and those who knowingly hire illegal entrants. Both are breaking our laws, both should face the consequences for doing so. Lastly, and the most intractable dilemma currently- what to do about the 11-20 million people already here illegally? Certainly we should not be in the business of rewarding folks for successful illegal behavior. However, the logisitics of determining and deporting that number of people is daunting. Perhaps allow a six-month grace period, whereby (upon meeting certain requirements) illegal entrants would be allowed to apply for legal status; after that point, anyone here and any future illegal entrants, would be subject to more stringent punishment and deportation.

As for tomorrow's proposed "boycott" much of the activity undertaken by some illegal immigrants and their supporters, this may well backfire. First- if successful, and certain businesses suffer due to illegal workers staying home, what it will show is that those businesses have flaunted our laws by hiring illegal entrants. They will deserve any loss of revenues they incur, because they chose to employ illegal entrants. And what if it is not so successful? What if the alleged "Day Without- ILLEGAL!-Immigrants" doesn't unduly affect the nation's livelihood? Might one not be somewhat accurate in concluding that illegals aren't as necessary, aren't as vital, after all? And what of any rallies? We've already seen that the Mexican flags so ubiquitous in the earlier rallies, marches, protests, etc... have, after the- deserved- negative criticism, been replaced more and more by the Stars and Stripes. What will we see tomorrow? Will we see people who wish to be involved in the American Experiment while also maintaining their heritage? Or will we see folks demanding that a sovereign nation treat foreign nationals- those who have entered our nation illegally yet- as equals, as citizens, that it is not up to them to join our larger society (by, for starters, obeying our immigration laws), but our society instead must acquiesce?

While it will probably be lost due to emtions running too high on both sides of the issue, ultimately this should simply be about respect for our laws, by those who break them by entering our country illegally and by those who encourage and knowingly hire same.

"We come from the land of the ice and snow/From the midnight sun where the hot springs blow..."

Friday, April 21, 2006

Random ramblings...

A friend of mine lost their wallet last week- bummer! The lost cash, cancelling and getting replacements for various cards, IDs, etc...the fear of identity theft...but how to ever replace that Official Rosemary Clooney Fan Club card, huh? ;)...I finally saw "Walk The Line" this week (via On Demand video) pretty good job...Joaquin Phoenix did a credible stint in the role of the Man In Black, and the story line stayed pretty true to real events, but I was completely blown away by Reese Witherspoon's performance as June Carter! If Reese ever decides to give up acting, she can make it as a singer, the girl can definately carry a tune!...There's something not quite right about the recent pizza jingle I heard reprising an old Go-Go's tune- "We've got the meat!" Hmmm...

Some good things...Trees and shrubs and plants and flowers finally coming into bloom...Longer, milder, mellower evenings...Family and friends- nothing is more important...Did I mention the On Demand feature for my cable?!...Disagreements that don't turn disagreeable...Morning runs and afternoon workouts- nothing better than that "good" tired afterward (well, almost nothing better!)...Seafood...Chocolate ('cept for the carbs, ack!)...Kids...Freshly-shaved legs under cool cotton sheets...

"Crimson and clover/Over and over..."

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Some folks need to appreciate the difference between "low maintenence" and "no maintenence."

That is all.

"If you waste your time a-talking to/The people who don't listen to/The things that you are saying/Who do you think's gonna hear..."

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Things I don't get...

So-called "reality" television shows. OK, I admit, I don't watch all that much television, but I am familiar with the concept behind many of these shows. Sorry, but where is the "reality?" A bunch of people shipped to some remote place and split up into teams to compete for...something- how is that "real," where does that ever happen in the real world? And speaking of the real world...MTV's "Real World"- how many 20-somethings do YOU know in the, um, real world, who live in an oh-so-hip living space in a trendy city with a bunch of people whom they have little-to-nothing in common with? Didn't happen to me! I have no problem with whatever the entertainment value of these programs is, but please, don't call them "reality"- they aren't!

Woody Allen movies. I've never gotten these. I've watched 'em (well, as much of 'em as I could take!) and I just don't get it. I may not be a Noo Yawk City sophisticate, but how this guy has been able to enjoy such a long career putting out these flicks...more power to him I guess, but...

Seen on the back of a car in Cambridge (and while poetic justice would have had these on the back of a Volvo, in fact they were on- I believe- a Ford Taurus)
Bumper Sticker #1- "I Don't Eat Anything With A Face"
Bumper Sticker #2- "I'm Pro-Choice And I Vote" the owner of the vehicle is adamantly opposed to killing an animal for food but supports the "right to choose" to abort a human interesting dichotomy, to say the least...

Christians who won't drink alcohol on religious grounds. I'm not talking about those who abstain for health reasons, or because they have a drinking problem, or because they simply don't like alcohol, but on religious grounds. Folks- Jesus and the apostles were hardly teetotlers! There's a lotta drinking going on in the Bible! You choose not to drink? Fine, nothing wrong with that. But don't try to base it upon some Biblical injunction against alcohol...

In a sorta similar vein...Good Friday. "Good?!" Jesus might've had a different opinion on just how good a Friday that one was...Holy Friday might've been a better name (but then, we have Holy Thursday already...and while not apropos, but one of my favorite sayings is "Get off the cross- we need the wood!" If you think about it, there's quite a bit of wisdom in that...)

NHL rinks. How can any major sport NOT have a standardized playing surface for all of it's teams? In the NHL, some rinks are longer than others, some wider than others, etc... It would be like if some NFL fields were only 95 yards, some NBA courts 90 feet long, some MLB fields had the mound 65 feet from homeplate, 85 feet around the bases, etc...

"Because something is happening here/But you don't know what it is/Do you, Mister Jones?"

Sunday, April 02, 2006

(Fortunately these have been fewer and further between as I've become- if not wiser- at least older...)

Sunday Morning Coming Down- Kris Kristofferson
Well I woke up Sunday morning with no way to hold my head that didn't hurt
But the beer I had for breakfast wasn't bad so I had one more for dessert.
Then I fumbled through my closet for my clothes and found my cleanest dirty shirt
And I washed my face and combed my hair and stumbled down the stairs to meet the day.

I'd smoked my brain the night before with cigarettes and songs that I've been pickin'
But I lit my first and watched a small kid cussin' at a can that he was kickin'.
Then I crossed the empty street and caught the Sunday smell of someone fryin' chicken
And it took me back to something that I'd lost somehow somewhere along the way.

On the Sunday morning sidewalk, wishing Lord that I was stoned
'Cause there's something in a Sunday that makes a body feel alone.
And there's nothing short of dying half as lonesome as the sound
On the sleeping city sidewalk, Sunday morning coming down.

In the park I saw a daddy with a laughing little girl he was swingin'
And I stopped beside the Sunday school and listened to the song that they were singing.
Then I headed back for home and somewhere far away a lonely bell was ringing
And it echoed through the canyon like the disappearing dreams of yesterday.

On the Sunday morning sidewalk, wishing Lord that I was stoned
'Cause there's something in a Sunday that makes a body feel alone.
And there's nothing short of dying half as lonesome as the sound
On the sleeping city sidewalk, Sunday morning coming down.

I heard a beautifully haunting version of this done by Trisha Yearwood (accompanied by the Silver Tongued Devil himself) on a Johnny Cash tribute awhile back...I first heard this back sometime early in high school...I've heard it described as "bleak"'s one of those songs that just seems to ring so true (in/for a certain milleu) one that still can hit home, in so many ways, on certain Sundays following certain Saturday nights...