Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Pay-Per-Net (sell the paper AND the advertising space)

"What if the Internet were like cable television, with Web sites grouped like channels into either basic or premium offerings? What if a few big companies decided which sites loaded quickly and which ones slowly, or not at all, on your computer?"

That's what some of the Internet Service Providers would like to do. Their legal ability to do so is a little up in the air since many of them use Ma Bell's infrastructure to carry their data and that may or not make them a "common carrier." So far ISPs are generally not considered common carriers, but if they push the issue by doing some very uncommon-carrier things like this tiering scheme, that may change.

As a libertarian, the only thing that draws my ire here is that this tiered network would be built on top of a largely taxpayer funded infrastructure. If they were doing this on a privately funded infrastructure, I'd have no problem with this from a political standpoint.

As a compter user, it bothers me that sites who are not in the business of making a profit would be relegated to poor performance. And according to current studies, the Internet is used primarily for social networking. How much of that will cough up the dough for top tier access? Also, what will happen to smaller regions. For example, suppose Amamzon really wants to be a top tier site but can't afford to be top tier everywhere. They're going to pay for top tier in the big markets and settle for bottom tier in the smaller markets. Now the ISP users in those smaller markets are getting fleeced because they're paying for an Internet service that doesn't provide any of the "services" they would like at a decent bandwidth.

As a consumer, it angers me that ISPs are trying to make money at both ends. Now a site that wants a top tier status has to pay for their own server hosting and they have to pay every single ISP on top of that for top shelf service. And that top tier site is going to pass those costs along to me.

What are your thoughts on the issue?

The Most Important News You Will Read

Found this one on the front page of MSNBC this morning. It was in my 'recommended stories,' and I really am wondering how it got there.

At any rate, the Washington Post (or "WP" as I sometimes read) went decidedly "WB" for this one, a 4 Page Monster Article on the Art of being a Wingman.

You know the wingman. He's the guy who accompanies his buddy to a bar to help him pick up babes. He does whatever it takes to give his friend some time alone with the girl of choice: telling flattering lies about him, enticing away the sidekick girlfriend, running interference at the approach of a rival male.

He's like the fighter pilot flying beside and slightly behind the lead pilot in a hostile environment -- thus the term.

I hadn't quite finished my morning coffee before reading these words. I wondered how I had gotten so lost from the real news, but it was too late. Like a car accident, I was now unable to stop reading this article.

Though I know what the "wingman" is, I have never, ever thought of it as "A mutual back-and-forth man love." (I actually thought that's what the wingman was supposed to help his buddy avoid....) I definitely would never refer to it as such. But the brilliant seniors at George Washington University just aren't as prudish as I am, I reckon.

I am also wary of the phrase "spit game," and find myself unfortunate to have come across this phrase more than twice in the last week when folks who appeared to be grown used it as vernacular. Maybe I'm just being elitist.

But the greatest media blunder involving this article comes from the following observation on Page 3, Duties of the Wingman:
As questionable as some of their tactics sound, wingmen profess to have a moral code when it comes to their buddies. One rule is, don't say something embarrassing about your friend to the girl he's after, even if it makes you look witty.

I don't think that's true at all.

Then again, Maybe I'm just being a hater. I gotta learn to let a playa play.

Fo' shizzle

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

No Crying Over Spilt Guilt

George Will pipes up about the dangers of white guilt. What is this, the new War on Christmas?

I was born an American of Pasty Complexion, of Christian religion and of middle class means. I can tell you as God's honest truth right now, that the most guilt that was ever shoveled onto my shoulders was heaved up there by other Americans of Pasty Complexion. This guilt had not a thing to do with Americans of Various Other Complexions. This guilt had far more to do with the money, time and effort spent by other people (of Pasty Complexion) on things for me that I neither asked for nor needed.

From what I have grown to learn, this guilt is a widespread phenomena that generally follows generational lines or cuts across gender gaps. I think many people may quietly agree with me, but may not actually say anything for fear of reprisal (again, from other Americans of Pasty Complexion). I know I'm skatin' on thin ice just by bringin' it up.

Of all the Americans of Various Other Complexions I have known, none have ever tried to make me feel guilty for some percieved injustice. None of those folks have ever expected me to do something for them because of skin color. None of them seemed to be waiting around for the white man to come pick them up to prosperity. Not a one.

As a matter of fact, in the world of those Americans of Various Other Complexions, there seems to be a great deal of poking fun at the Pasty Complexioned Ones who do feel guilty based on skin color. (Please see also: Chappelle Show).

Come to think of it, if I didn't hear about white guilt stuff from other white people, I wouldn't know what white guilt was. To George Will I say: put down the sociology books, just for a little while, and turn on The Original Kings of Comedy.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Sunburn Open Thread

Sorry I've been lax on posting this weekend, 'twas Memorial Day after all and that stuff gets crazy down here on Island City. Though we redifined rambunctious at last year's Memorial Day hellraisin', this year there were no supermodel neighbors and no Brantley County Bandit to keep up with, so my weekend was unusually tame.

I started going through old photos and putting them in photo albums. I know. How exciting. But that's OK, I got sunburned, too.

So, I'm opening the thread again. This time, tell us about your Memorial Day weekend (Coastal Companion does this with his Poolside Drive-By Barbecue) or about someone you think about on Memorial Day, in honor of our veterans. (DADvocate does this for his old friend Tex).

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Making the Rounds

This Week in the Blogs I Read

DADvocate talks about parenting and follows it up with more bragging on his kids. But that's OK, we need some good kids in the world (and, by God, we need to hear about them).

Andre at Georgia Politics Unfiltered is taking a job organizing Democrats in Iowa, hopefully this does not spell doom for one of the best political information sources in Georgia.

Hillary points to even more criticism of the surprisingly embattled Flagpole music editor over his coverage of the AthFest CD. We'd made mention of this last week but I missed the new dig in this week's issue of the Flagpole. This may seem a small topic, but since we talk about music and media a lot, I thought I'd point it out. She also links to a comprehensive piece on Athens Hip-Hop, which I will do as well, written by the same embattled music editor.

Athens Politics delves into the politics of banning gay marriage in Georgia. We're going over this again because the voter-approved referendum has been overturned, mainly because the referendum was conducted in a Constitutionally unsound way. I don't think it is Judicial Activism to uphold the exact letter of the law, is it?
Andre covers the issue as well.

Quadruple Keg Stand links to Slate's "Blogging the Bible" series. This is interesting, condensed Bible reading, and I've enjoyed every entry. The author has currently made it up to Jacob's crazy family life in Genesis.

Dangerblond rounds up some national media reaction to Ray Nagin's election, and we'll just say the overally reaction ain't good. I'm a bigger fan of her take on the election. I've said it before and I'll say it again, It seems to me that the national media was warming up New Orleans' funeral dirge even as Katrina was turning north in the Gulf. After 9/11 we didn't ask if we should negotiate with the terrorists, did we? We knew we had to fight them, and we've spent billions doing so. Winning requires a working plan, serious implementation and billions of tax dollars. Why is it, then, that we're willing to give New Orleans up to standing water? You can't negotiate with hurricanes, either.* All New Orleans needs to be safe is a working plan, serious implementation and billions of tax dollars.

(*And if you want to argue that point, riddle me this: why do we keep rebuilding Florida? And, no, giving up Florida, too, is not an acceptable answer.)

Gulfsails continues his assault on the media. It occured to me again, reading this, about how similar the critiques are concerning how mainstream media is reporting on both Iraq and New Orleans.

And here's yet another reason New Orleans is worth our time. This is not a city of people who do not care. From the Metroblog.

Closer to home, fellow Island City resident Coastal Companion writes about the joys of living at the intersection of Bad Parenting and Pool Maintenance. (PG 13)

And TAN celebrates sticking it to the man.

Open Thread

Go to the comments, and vent about whatever you like (or hate, which may be more appropriate). Keep it PG please, but be as snarky as you wanna be.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Retort

Note, this is a retort to a post by SAWB in which he refrenced a 2004 post by John Ross and Michael Hendrix. The parts refrenced below come straight from the Michael Hendrix portion of the rant. To answer Mr. Hendrix's question: What are you liberals going to do about the [2004] election? Well, Mr. Hendrix, I decided, after the last election, to get involved. Seriously involved. I figured the Democratic Party and the American Left had lost their way, in many of the funny ways you described, and could perhaps use a few Democrats from the 'Party Wing' to show up. So, get used to having 'bloody nose' liberals like me around (as opposed to the weak bleeding hearts you've been having your jollies with for the last 12 years). You may not feel what we are in 06, maybe not in 08. But don't worry, we'll be along d'rectly. Please see below, as I have straight up mad libbed your rant. Everywhere I have changed something, I have done so in bold.

Well, let’s try this, then. Let’s stipulate for the sake of argument that everything the Right claims to fear about the Democrats and Liberals and mainstream media in America is true.

Yep, that’s right, you morally uptight puritans, we’re coming for you. It’s only a matter of time now until you hear that late-night knock on the door you’ve been dreading all along. The ACLU is going to be working overtime rounding up every white, rich, Christian and SUV-driving subject of our communist regime, and we’re going to be mulching every last one of you into compost that we’ll then force Detroit to use as fuel for our pansy little hybrids. We’ll be mulching that compost on collectivist communes, and those communes will be devoid of any sort of man-woman marriage whatsoever, because we want to rip away all vestiges of tradition, morality and religion.

We’ll be eliminating money, and reverting to a barter system, and taxing every transaction 3 times what it is worth so as to kill off all innovation and forward moving economy. We’ll cram the drum-circles (which will be more numerous than ever) with all the newly legalized, non-pharmecutical drugs, and we’re going to wipe our asses with copies of the Constitution, but only after making sure every copy is made from acid-free, biodegradeable hemp-paper, after which we’ll mulch the soiled pages into the environmentally friendly compost you have become. Cindy Sheehan will be scolding everyone for that, too; we’ll call it "compost reeducation" and force you to listen over and over again about how bad your ancestors were to other people, as you wait in line to be thrown into the giant solar and wind powered meat grinders.

We’re going to subjugate the entire world through inefficient nanny state rules, handholding and guilt - endless guilt. We’ll be sending our doped, mindless stinking hippies to the remotest corners of the Earth to deny freedom to every little American backed banana republic dictatorship currently enjoying an tentative, foundering existence on the payroll of Halliburton, every tin-pot corporate slave client government who has thus far lived relatively free of the sting of international law. You and your ilk are no longer going to get rich from it, and we’re going to take all of that money and give it to starving people in Africa who have no idea what money is. They will still starve, but by-goddess our point will have been proven that money is really useless (unless you are a Kennedy or live in Hollywood).

Yep, it’s all true, every bit of it; the sensitivity training centers, which we terrorist sympathizers like to refer to as Canada, France and Hollywood, have been under construction since early 1916 (The Year of the Glorious Red Revolution) and are almost ready to open for business (you didn't expect us to be efficient, did you?). The liberal mainstream media has known all along, and have been helping us cover it all up and help sow the seeds of irrationality and moral decay, and now it’s too late; there’s nothing you can do to stop us. You all are going to be fed into the solar and wind powered mulching machines by the millions, and we’re going to make you part of the environment (so you know what it feels like when the little bunnies get hurt) and paint all the leftover nukes with pretty flowers on the sides - they won't be dangerous anymore, cause we wouldn't know how to work them anyway, and it’s all going to be done because we hate Jesus and Christmas and the Pledge of Allegiance and the American Flag (and really, truly, secretly - ourselves), and those are the only reasons we’re ever going to need. Because hey, we’re crrraaazzyy!!

Michael Moore? Deified soon, at our hands, as reward for daring to dissent. Karen Finley? Ditto. Hillary Clinton? She’ll be henceforth known as Your Exhultant Highness, Goddyss-Empryss of Humynity on Tyrra (the feminine name we will use to replace "Earth" as the name for our planet).

We’ll be giving all governmental power to the UN HQ in New York, of course. Then we’ll be giving up our Security Council seat, entrusting all future world security matters to France. The world’s oil, of course, is fine right where it is unexplored and untouched and un-moved to places where its spillage may affect any wildlife of any kind. The only stem cell research will be conducted involving the cells of aborted fetuses, which we will use your tax dollars to pay the pregnant, unwed mothers to have. There’ll be universal holistic health care, negating the need for medical doctors, so you can stop complaining about not being able to choose which one you visit. Enforced multiculturalism will combine with the collapse of your silly religion to give us all the shamanist witch doctors we will ever need. And if you dare to complain about life in the New Soviet Collectivist People's Democratic Republic of Hillary Clinton, Zog & Magog, we’re going to write you a sternly worded letter on acid free, biodegradable paper. If that doesn't work, we will frivilously sue your Red State ass.

All of that: so stipulated. Now, the question for you wingnut Right wing radio-talk show hosts and FOX News correspondents: What the hell are you going to do about it?

I mean, seriously; if you truly believe that all this is now in the process of happening right before your very eyes, doesn’t it become incumbent upon you, as the most basic imaginable of moral obligations, to do something to prevent it, or overturn it? I mean, obviously, you tried peaceful means of stopping us, but that didn’t work—because us lefty moonbats rigged the mainstream media and college campuses, not to mention our Super Secret control of all three branches of government through our in the closet liberals but elected as conservative Republican cronies, or finally our single minded liberal bureaucracy (that the President can't do a thang about) that continues to screw up the criminal justice, intelligence, immigration, tax, welfare and national defense mechanisms at the same time. And you can’t go to the courts because they’re all into Judicial Activism, all the way up to the Supreme Court. So your last legal, nonviolent means of resistance has been taken away from you, and you can’t even count on the media to publicize the reality of what’s going on because of their liberal bias, their fondness for special interest agendas, and of course the fact that they’re really nothing but money-grubbing corporations themselves whose only concern is the bottom line so they can pay for all those latte sipping elitists and limosine liberals like the Kennedys.

So what’s left, Righty Tighties? Where do you go from here? What are you gonna do about it?

Oh, yeah, you're going to keep hoping to ride your own whiny blame train, so that middle 10% of voters in the middle who gave you the President's office, the Congress and the Senate (and therefore the Supreme Court and the government bureaucracy) don't realize y'all sound just like the craziest of the crazies on the left. You're going to keep hoping that Michael Moore keeps making movies, that Cynthia McKinney keeps hitting cops, that the Kennedys' keep drinking and Cindy Sheehan stays in the news.

That way, you can keep the above narrative going and keep winning elections on the no-plan platform of "Vote for us, We aren't Democrats." Go y'all. You really real conservatives in the audience must be so proud.

When the narrative does break down, though, and people come back to the 'reality' that for every granola eating hippie activist who hates all the corporate things America stands for, there is a snake handling Jesus freak activist who hates all the social freedoms America stands for. Both of those people are the enemy, because it is they, not real liberals, not real conservatives, who want me to put down my red meat & bourbon, stop watching football & listening to kick ass rock music, and spend my tax dollars on some project that only interests them.

The NEW coolest guy who ever lived.

So in Georgia blowing a 0.08 on a breathalizer will get you a DUI. In Lithuania, that number is only 0.04 due to their severe problem with fatalities resulting from alcohol-related driving incidents. Lithuanian police recently pulled over 41-year-old truck driver Vidmantas Sungaila and gave him a breathalizer. He weighted in at 0.727. The police thought their machine was broken so they tested him on several different machines. The 0.727 figure was accurate. Anything over 0.35 can be fatal.

When the police asked about his drinking, Sungalia said that he had been drinking the night before and drank a beer for breakfast. Yeah right. According to my handy BAC calculator, a 150lb person could drink a liter of 80 proof liquor and still only blow a 0.61. This guy would've had to have had 26 shots of 80 proof liquor to achieve such a feat. No word yet from the good people at Guiness whether or not this is a record. The important thing to remember is that he was driving a large delivery truck when police found him. Most people can't tie their shoes when the hit 0.15 or so.

Monday, May 22, 2006

How I wish I had written this...

It's a tad old, but it's like they pulled the thoughts from my brain, and throwed them onto your screen. Enjoy.

Womp Rats

Friend of mine gets his photo in the newspaper (again). The first time he made the news was a picture of him actually making a respectable run of surfing on some of the ridiculously small Island City waves. This time it was for the First Annual Rafter's Womp Off.

Yes, I did brave the 90 degree temperatures, the clear blue skies, and the asphalt-without-flip-flops-tactical-error that was yesterday to witness the event. Though I didn't stay long (I apparently ended up arriving too late for the young ladies' hoola hoop competition), the Womp off was highly entertaining in and of itself.

Though there was some pretty decent skimboarding and some really impressive wipeouts, all with my boy Randy (AKA - Randle-El) running the show, you have not lived until the organizers of such an event call for the "Under 12 division" to hit the waves for 7 minutes of freestyle. The riot that ensued was bone crunchingly delicious, as what appeared to be 10-12 younglings with large wooden boards complete with two pointy ends began running towards one another, launching said boards in front of them and then jumping on top of said boards as fast as their pre-pubescent legs could carry them.

I left before the full chaos of the "7 minute session" was completed, so I don't know if any of the little rascals met their fate beneath those dirty green waves, but I do know that close to 200 well wishers were cheering loudly as I ambled back down the beach.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Monday Morning Coffee

So, Nagin won the Mayor's race in New Orleans, and some of the bloggers are ticked off, some of them are concilatory and a few folks have some choice words for the Republicans who gave him that victory.

Speaking of Republicans, here's some Monday moring thoughts on the Impending Impeachment Incident. Please feel free to comment.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Dear Ray

The New Orleans Mayoral race ends today, and Third Battle of New Orleans is directing traffic to those voters who couldn't be called 'undecided.'

TBNO links to two open letters to the incumbent. They are worth the read.

For example, if more people who wrote about politics wrote like this, I think more people would be interested in politics.

And here's the other one, a little less syrupy - to be sure - but telling nonetheless.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Spin Cycle

GulfSails puts Blaine Harden and the Washington Post on blast for overstating Katrina recovery in the Lakeview area of New Orleans.

Though there are many good points in Harden's article, comparisons between neighborhoods based on racial disparity may not be what the Crescent City needs more of right now. Here's the premise:
This article, part of an occasional series about two severely flooded streets in the city, examines an affluent white and a poor black neighborhood that appear to have reached their tipping points.

While I personally question how such a comparison can actually help the recovery & healing process, or even provide an adequate contrast (affluent anybody can recover from disaster quicker than poor anybody almost across the board), TAG takes exception to Harden using the Lakeview neighborhood as an example of speedy recovery at all. Hear his words:
It apparantly makes for a much more compelling story for devastation to happen to black people.

Now suddenly Lakeview is in the news because according to the Washington Post it is "roaring back to middle class life" while the Lower Nine languishes in some rascist purgatory.

Well sorry to break the news, but Lakeview is not roaring towards anything, unless as Blaine Harden, the WP writer, cherry picks his block.

Though that is exactly what Blaine Harden is doing, picking Memphis Street as a sample for all of Lakeview. TAG makes the point that Memphis Street may be the exception rather than the rule.

NOLA.com has provided a comprehensive map of the New Orleans neighborhoods being talked about here, so you can see where Lakeview and the Lower 9th Ward are. A map of floodwater depths for the respective neighborhoods can be seen here.

TAG goes one step further by linking to a NOLA.com picture of Lakeview as seen from above. Jefferson Parish is on the left of the canal, Lakeview is to the right.

Holy Captain Obvious

Apparently, in 2006, storms will lash the coast of the United States. While I consider this part of our yearly 'hurricane season.' It is also called, in many places, 'nor'easters' or perhaps in some remote locations, 'winter.' These devestating events are something that has been a consistent and yearly occurance for pretty much my entire life. I know this because I watch the Weather Channel or even NOAA, or have seen these stroms lashing the coast with mine own eyes.

But, Pat Robertson - loneley here these many months free of Jackass Nomination - is getting his weather forecasts straight from the top. According to Robertson's Ominous Biblical Barometer of Earthly Destruction (ROBBED), we may even be bad enough to get hit with a tsunami this year.

But we're definitely getting some storms in 2006. Pat Robertson says that God has let him in on the secret.

To Mask or Not to Mask

That is the question. Should law enforcement officers be allowed to wear face concealing masks when on security sweeps? I'm representing the "uh, yeah," side over on A La Gauche.

Or, does law enforcement wearing of face concealing masks violate someone's civil rights or erode officer accountability?

I checked the Pop's website and it doesn't say anything. I guess I'll have to ask Lawman later on.

The coolest guy who ever lived.

So a property manager gets a call from a realtor who says that he needs to come check out a property. When he shows up, he finds a townhouse full of empty beer cans. There were an estimated 70,000 cans, all of them Coors Light. It made the "Mountains of cans burying the furniture" line from the article a whole lot funnier. Approximately 24 beers were consumed per day according to the article. Either this guy seriously knows how to party or he has a severe problem. Given that the house had a terrible stench from the empty cans and that the water and electricity were shut off, I'd guess the latter. Too bad he didn't invest his time in constructing a beeramyd. A 70K can Beeramyd would be a thing of beauty.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Zero:



The number of actual corrections offered by Russ Hallauer of Ghostmeat Records in response to Flagpole Magazine Music Editor Chris Hassiotis' "11 hasty, uninformed remarks".

26 - Actual total of remarks made by Chris Hassiotis in offending original article.

15 - Number of Chris Hassiotis' remarks we must assume have not been determined hasty or uninformed by Russ Hallauer of Ghostmeat Records.

57 - the percentile of remarks Chris Hassiotis was apparently able to get right based off one last minute question emailed to Ghostmeat Records.

I wish I knew which 11 remarks Mr. Hallauer found particulary hasty and uninformed...but I am glad to see that thick skin on display.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Big Debate



(Photo from WDSU-TV)

Some observations from the New Orleans Mayoral debate. Transcripts will be coming soon.

1. Ray Nagin is going to win. If Landrieu even comes close, the votes are against Ray Nagin but not for Landrieu.

2. All future Presidential debates between the two eventual nominees should be handled in a similar format. Two candidates; two moderator/reporters; video clips from former debates and news; no time limits on answers, responses or rebuttals; clarification of questions. Basically, no rules.

3. Chris Matthews is a partisan hack. He should not be involved in any future debate in this or any other kind of format. He may have actually had more to say than the candidates on his way to occasionally asking questions.

Examples: [To Landrieu] You're kind of seen by people to be the classic Democrat, you care about people and you're about programs, you have to spend money and raise taxes but everybody likes you [to Nagin] you're seen as the guy making business decisions to get stuff done and it can kind of cause divisions. What do you see as your big phiosophical difference as it relates to being Mayor?

Can New Orleans be rebuilt without illegal labor [from illegal immigrants]?

What do you think of Hillary Clinton running for President? (To which Landrieu responded she had "no chance" but he liked her, he would vote for her and she'd do a good job. Bonehead)

How do you convince Republicans like Karl Rove to help you rebuild New Orleans and Louisiana, the only Southern state where Democrats can run statewide and have a chance?

Digust, utter disgust with Chris Matthews.

4. On the other hand Norman Robinson (the other reporter/moderator, picutred above) should have his own national news show on either CNN, Fox or MSNBC. While Chris Matthews was being a tool, Mr. Robinson was well spoken, asked very well thought out questions, letting the candidates respond and demanding clarification when he thought a candidate did not answer his question adequately.

5. Nagin has some really good debate preperation, and (chocolate city comments aside) could be one of the best off the cuff speakers I've ever seen on TV. Every time he stumbled on something he said he just powered through it and pretended it wasn't there.

For example: When asked by Mr. Robinson if a Nagin win would be more for ethnic solidarity than for accomplishment, Ray said something much like: In my first race [for Mayor] I captured a significant amount of the white vote. I also captured a significant amount of the black vote. This time the opposite could happen. But I don't think its about all that, its about someone who gets the job done.

What Good Hands You Have, Grandma!

"The better to count your money with...."

This is another 'insert witty tagline here' moment. I'm torn between "The Real Looting Begins" or "Oh, That's why it costs us so much"

I've never had a bad time with my car insurance skinnin' out on the check (knock on wood). That may be because I've only been in two accidents spaced ridiculously far apart (knock on wood). But I know plenty of folks who had homeowners insurance, flood insurance, fire insurance & various and sundry other unforseen-injury-or-happenstance-insurance. I've known far more folks to get the shaft when the insurance company they have duly been paying decides: "Nope, you are on your own for this one!"

You mean the folks who did handle their business, bought insurance and kept up with their monthly payments, evacuated the city in front of the storm, and did everything good Americans are supposed to do to keep from being an undue burden on other Americans, are gettin' the screws put to 'em?

That's what it sounds like to me.

So, just think about this kind of thing when you wonder why cleanup is so expensive, its not being done efficiently and we're still harping on this whole 'Katrina' thing.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Hilarious

The Moms likes to send me jobs she thinks I would be good at. She's also a raging conservative. Hard line and all that. Imagine my absolute curiosity when she sends me the job description for the following. This is not a joke.

Job Title Executive Assistant
Prior Experience (yrs) 1+
Job Description EXEC ASST for fast-paced marijuana policy reform lobby. Strong writing and organization skills req, light bookkeeping exp. a plus. $35K.
Desired Profile Strong writing and organization skills req, light bookkeeping exp. a plus. $35K.

I'm totally not kidding. What's even funnier than my Moms sending me this a job I should be interested in (I got rid of the hippie hair long ago, I can't hacky-sack, and I have a penchant for wearing large black boots) is the actual job description itself.

Fast paced & marijuana do not sound like a string of words, pop culturally speaking, that should go together. The fact that they actually repeated, almost verbatim, the job description is something that I laughed out loud at.

The Flood

Animated and timelined map of what happened in New Orleans. Very informative. This makes sense of some of the things you hear about in the news. Click Here.

I thought these guys were on my end of the aisle...

At least, that's what keeps getting repeated, when people say Bush and Nazi, Cheney and Nazi, and Republican and Nazi, over and over again. Wonder if this guy will be subject to the same witty equations?

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Blame Game

Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) gets tough on border security by ... going after the United States Border Patrol?

This is an excerpt from his letter to the Acting Commissioner of the US Cutoms and Border Protection division of the United States Department of Homeland Security:
"According to recent reports, the United States Border Patrol has provided the Mexican government with surveillance information about the location of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps. If true, these allegations are troubling as its only result could be to aid illegal immigration and put at risk law-abiding American citizens."

I guess this is more of that "personal responsibility" part by Republican lawmakers: when you control the US Congress for 12 years & the Presidency for 5 years, and you've been asleep at the wheel, wring your hands and blame the folks on the frontlines.

I know many agents who work with the United States Border Patrol, and they are fine, upstanding individuals who take their jobs very, very seriously. They are the good folks who have witness the humanity of the destitute masses seeking a better life and balance dealing with that everyday as they do their jobs to enforce our laws, fight the criminals and drug smugglers and human traffickers in the desert, and do so while short on manpower, equipment and leadership from high political office.

I wonder what the good folks at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center will think when they hear their Congressmen's stand on this matter.

Give me your tired, your poor, your really damned smart and productive...

While it is true that the highly-skilled worker aspect of the immigration debate affects far fewer people, it is an important consideration of the future of our country. After all, historically, in times of crisis, the US has gotten ahead not only by the hard work and ingenuity of our native citizenry, but also by swiping from our enemies as many really talented folks as we possibly could. This approach helped us immensely against both Germany and Russia. We must take care that we don't, in our efforts to protect ourselves, deprive our country of the valuable resources these would-be citizens represent. This week The Economist published an opinion piece about this issue in their Leader section. I've copied it for your reading pleasure.

Immigration to the United States

Brains and Borders
From The Economist print edition May 4th 2006

America is damaging itself by making it too difficult for talented people to enter the country

THE dominant images in America's immigration debate are now well established: illegal immigrants marching in the streets of Los Angeles or Chicago; angry congressmen demanding that the United States regain control of its borders. It is to be hoped that America will find a fair way to legalise the status of the masses who have risked so much to get there (see article). But the understandable focus on poor migrants has obscured the fate of richer “knowledge workers”. Computer programmers may seem less deserving of pity, but how America treats these people could be even more important to its economy than its attitude to illegal immigrants.

America's high-tech industries have been powered to a remarkable degree by people born outside the country. According to one calculation, 3,000 of the technology firms created in Silicon Valley since the 1980s—more than 30% of the total—were founded by entrepreneurs with Indian or Chinese roots. The science and engineering departments of America's leading universities have drawn the brightest graduate students from around the world. A great many have stayed and created wealth for themselves and the country they chose to settle in.

But fears about national security and concerns about economic insecurity mean that America is in danger of cutting off this vital flow of talent. In 2001 it authorised 200,000 H-1B visas for highly skilled workers. By 2004 that figure had shrunk to only 65,000. At the American consulate in Chennai in India, the wait just to get a visa interview is more than 160 days. In a recent letter to Congress, Bill Gates warned that the lack of visas and “green cards” for skilled workers was threatening American competitiveness “as other countries benefit from the international talent that US employers cannot hire or retain.” What he did not add is that big American employers can escape the long wait for visas. After all, Microsoft has four big research centres and only one of them is in the United States—the others are in Bangalore, Beijing and Cambridge, England.

The situation is so clearly perilous to the American economy that Congress seems likely to do something about it, if and when it finally passes an immigration bill. But the likeliest remedy—increasing the number of visas and green cards for skilled workers—does not go far enough. Ultimately, the United States should move towards a regime in which any person offered a legitimate job by an American employer is allowed to take it up. Even if fears about competition from low-wage labour make that politically impossible, there is still a strong case for accepting skilled immigrants with offers of work.



The brain game
Other parts of the world are already acting. The Australians, Canadians and Swiss have been successful in attracting foreign talent (see chart), by adopting a points-based immigration system which favours the highly skilled. The 25 countries of the European Union have been less successful, but some are trying to catch up. The need to lure in skilled East Europeans helped persuade four more EU members this week to embrace the free movement of labour. Even in sluggish France there is a controversial plan for a selective system.

To cast the debate in terms of threats and competition is partly to miss the point. America's top universities and high-tech industries are a magnet for the world's talent—and the whole world has benefited from the results. It is in everyone's interests that America gets its immigration policy right.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Anti-Incumbent Vote

Y'all know I love talking politics with conservatives like SAWB, Dante, VDOPM, DADvocate.

Conservative Atlanta blogger RightOnPeachtree is quickly joining that list. The man puts strong feelings into words about how really real conservatives like him are growing unhappy with the Out-of-Touch GOP and losing faith in the President.

Remember, this doesn't mean ROP is going to vote for Democrats, or even plans to give Democrats a chance. But the GOP can't afford to loose plugged in voters like him. And I'd bet, if the Democrats would realize that this voter frustration cuts across Party lines and get involved with some serious good government, they may pick up more than a few votes from across the aisle.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Gettin' 'er Done in the South

Democrats Kickin' Tusk (part 2)

I give Democrats who screw up a lot of crap. I think a lot of folks do, and there is one underlying reason for this: people expect Democrats to act better. Maybe it isn't even that, maybe it is that folks expect Republicans to act worse. I mean, not everybody can be born handsome and rich, right? That's why we have a Democratic Party (so said Zell Miller, back in the day).

So, I shall give (or reiterate) folks who I think make great Democrats, or places where Democrats are stepping up to the challenge of being the Opposition Party.

Our tour, of course, begins in the South.

I have already spoken at length about Representative and Candidate for United States Senate, Harold Ford Jr. from Tennessee.

And now I shall turn our attention to, Former Virginia Governor and soon-to-be President(ial Candidate) Mark Warner, who is stumping the South with gusto. Here's some of the good stuff:
Warner, an unannounced but unrelenting candidate for the presidency, is happy to help, urging Dixie's Democrats to break with the national party's Bush-bashing strategy and instead emphasizing bipartisanship and values. Warner is hoping big Southern victories in 2006 will prove that his Virginia success was a preview of things to come, not just a random stroke of luck in a region grown hostile to Democrats....

...In speeches in the South, he preaches the blessings of bipartisanship. He rarely mentions the words "Bush" or "Republican" and only invokes his own party to say, "I'm proud to be a Democrat, but I'm prouder to be an American." There is "a wide swath of Reagan Democrats or independents who are up for grabs," Warner tells NEWSWEEK,...

...Warner is also telling Southern Democrats to go on the offensive on values issues and run against "cultural elitism"...

...Warner says Democrats can't survive without the South.

(some items embolded by HR)
I couldn't agree more. Notice he says can't 'survive' without the South. I want to really expound on that sometime in the future, but I think he is right on target. Without the South, Southern Values and Southern Fried Liberalism, the Democratic Party would be in deeper trouble than just losing elections.

As far as the elections are concerned, however, there are a lot of Republican voters and conservatives up for grabs as well. I don't want those voters staying home on election day, I want them at the voting booth and voting for Democrats. We won't win the South without some of those voters deciding to vote for the Democratic candidates, and without the South, even in the short term, we can kiss majoritarian dreams goodbye.

Present and Voting

Stand up for good music!

The Representative from Island City has already cast his votes for the Flagpole Music Awards. You'd think 300+ miles would make me apathetic to Athens music, but I am here to tell you that is not true. All y'all need to vote (if ya ain't dunnit already)!

(Did Iron Hero name their album after Jmac's blog?)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A Decision to Make

My Democrats have high hopes for electoral victory this fall, and a real chance to take back at least one of the Houses of the legislature. With Congress hauling in an approval rating somewhere in the 20's, and Republicans making the big headlines (Kennedy goes into rehab, but Duke Cunningham could inspire a whole album about how "pimpin' ain't easy.") I wonder who frustrated voters are more likely to turn out of office.

But what do voters want more of: Better government, or an impeachment of President Bush? Do the President's low approval ratings mean that voters don't agree with his direction, or do those numbers represent a voter uprising calling for prosectution? Is the American public ready for our second impeachment in as many Presidents?

Is this the new face of American Politics: you don't like someone so you impeach them? I don't know if I like that plan of action.

Personally, I'd rather get a legislative agenda together. I'd rather get some competent Congressional oversight. The reason the President has been able to 'get away' with all his 'crimes' is because the Congress won't step up to their Constitutional duties and tell him "No" where they are able. I'd rather my Party focus on that.

If, in the course of responsible legislative business, they find some 'smoking guns' of Presidential misconduct, then we should be discussing such options. But making impeachment a plank in the platform? I worry about this one, Ms. Pelosi.

I remember hearing something about counting my chickens before they hatched...

Technical Difficulties

As some of you may have noticed, your favorite debate blog vanished sometime this morning. I have no idea why that happened, but the template section was wiped clean of HTML. Luckily, all the posts were kept, but all of our customizations and links were wiped away like sandcastles on a beach.

I guess this will teach me that I need to back up HTML documents.

So, here's another chance to submit additions in the forms of links & what not to hurricane_radio. If y'all have some favorites, let us know, because the reconstruction period is beginning as of now.

Thanks for reading!

-HR

Monday, May 08, 2006

Sprout Speaks

Some of y'all may have noticed that Sprout (patsbrother) sometimes has some things to say and he uses the comments threads of other people's posts to say them. What strikes me as odd is that he has been invited to be a contributor of posts on this blog, yet he doesn't post, he comments. This is the end of that era (for good or ill).

Today, the young man took exception to comments made on this post about Iran and the Middle East and how the United States should be involved. His sticking point:

My problem with people randomly using hyperbole as fact regarding the Middle East: ignorance ain't going to help create a solution, and when those that should know better play fast and loose with what sounds like facts, our problems get bigger.

After 9/11, one thing that really got my blood boiling was a Wolf Blitzer site on cnn.com called "Middle East 101: Centuries of Conflict". It's focus was on Arab-Israeli relations. Which started with the Arab Revolt in 1929, when Palestinians got pissed off the British consistently enforced laws against them in favor of Zionists, and failed to enforce laws against Zionists in favor of them. Before that, oh, you have to skip to wars fought by the Ottoman Empire some 300 years before (which, dear readers, I hope you realize has nothing to do with Isreal).

If you're rolling you eyes, saying come on, I will point out that the implication - THESE people have been fighting for thousands of years, that's all they know, they're just troublemakers - is false, unhelpful, and prevalent. I refer you to my father.

That's why (call it semantics if you want) I get annoyed when someone who purports to have an encyclopedic knowledge of world history makes an unsubstantiated statement that plays up stereotypes that it would be in all our best interests to dispell.

So Pat, I have made this the topic of this thread. Now, inform us what problems Iran/Persia caused the United States before the past century.

6:52 PM

Sunday, May 07, 2006

History Books (Part 2)

(This is a follow up to Part 1)

This is where I really wish we had some of the competent diplomats that usually come along with a Republican administration in Washington. I think the egg head neocons have walked us straight into a Chinese trap, and we're going to have to work like hell to get out of it. Was Sun Tzu's The Art of War not on the reading list for the University of Chicago? For years, we have put a lot of stake in the idea that making China a partner would take some of the bite out of their teeth. I think they have been playing us.

Because of the ineptitude or downright neocon fantasy-land that dominates the political leadership of the American international relations community and diplomatic corps, we have ignored a great deal of what has allowed us to prosper: the fact that the rest of the world can't stand the rest of the world. There were two things that kept them from teaming up against us: 1) they had no leading nation to organize resistance and 2) we were very careful not to make so many violent enemies at once without bringin' the whole posse with us.

But, today we ignore that.

The best example is our current flash point: Iran. For some reason, the West has failed to get Iran on our side when numerous opportunities have presented themselves. There was, of course, Operation Ajax, which poisoned the waters. The next pro-democracy revolution was also hijacked, this time by Khomeinists.

So began the time of calling Americans ifidels and of driving Israel into the sea. Even then, we could have overcome that rhetoric with a little diplomatc shrewdness.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is a majority Shi'a Muslim nation. The rest of the Muslim world is heavily Sunni Muslim. Their relationship is somewhat...strained. Like the Protestants and Catholics of the not-too-long-ago-West, Sunni - especially Wahhabi Sunnis - seek to destroy the Shi'a. Iran, surrounded by a sea of religious enemies (not unlike Israel, as a matter of fact), decided (rationally) to do something that would keep other Muslim nations from teaming up and destroying them: attack the percieved enemies of all Muslims - Israel, both rhetorically and militarily. How could Saudi Arabia, Afganistan & Pakistan team up against an ally against a common enemy?

Our nation has a long history of keeping the peace by playing powerful enemies off one another and the longstanding enmity and distrust that existed between the Soviet Union and Red China is testament to that skill. It would seem rational for us to exploit the rift in the Muslim world and keep a more palpable tension between Shi'a and Sunni factions (that sure could have saved a lot of Israeli lives). Instead of exploiting this rift to our own advantage - and that rift is still very much alive today, neocons arrived on the scene in the '80's. With their coming of age, we cast our entire lot in with the Wahhabist Saudis and the brutal secular dictator in Saddam Hussein. We cast all of our dice against Iran, and we cast it against all Iranians, ignoring the deep internal divisions within Iranian society.

Iran is an island, and the only rational ways they can defend themselves is to keep up the rhetoric against Israel and the United States until they develop a nuclear bomb. If I was an Iranian leader, I'd be racing towards a nuclear bomb and I'd be racing to ally myself with China and Russia. They are a nation acting rationally to defend themselves in a sea of enemies.

Besides, what happens when Iran tells the rest of the world that they "will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of [their] country?"

I guess we'll have to find out. Let us hope calmer heads prevail so we don't have to find out the hard way.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

You're Fired!

(What, do you think if we don't talk about it they'll just go away??)

I'm just wondering how Democrats, especially Congressional Democrats, are hoping to use the Republican culture of corruption as a campaign issue at this point. I ask this as a Democrat, a solid Democrat at this point, who is terribly concerned that we've given away the farm at this point in order to tolerate the jackassery of the few.

The campaign issue revolves around people in power (Republicans) using their power to give taxpayer money to friends and contributors; using their power to live life above the law; and facilitating government incompetency by appointing political cronies to high government office.

That's a great campaign issue, because it combines good policy with good politics. But until Democrats really get serious about fighting corruption, graft, cronyism and special treatment, they will continue to be the opposition party. I've got an idea of a good place to start really fighting this battle, to show the public we're really serious about government for the people, by the people.

Fire bad Democrats. I'm absolutely serious. National and State parties can remove a Congressional officer's Democratic registration. Let them answer to their constituency directly about whether or not to resign their Congressional seat, but show that being a Democrat means something more than just an election win, show that it means a more dignified public service behavior. If voters thought we stood for real change, we would have a much better chance.

People may be tired of Republican pigs at the trough, but what reason will they have to vote the other way if they percieve they will just be sending different colored pigs to Washington. The actions of a few indidivuals soil the reputation of all of us.

Take for instance, Democrats like Patrick Kennedy who continues to use his family name and family wealth to buy his way out of trouble with the law. You think that inspires confidence in the Democratic Party? Nope.

Take for instance, Democrats like Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) who is now allegedly implicated in a bribery scam for between $400,000 and $1 million to award government contracts for straight up cash. Yeah, he hasn't been charged yet, but two of the folks involved already have plea deals. Like the Blue Tom DeLay, Rep. Jefferson is going to hide behind his lawyers and jettison both his job (he represents New Orleans, and I'd say he has more pressing matters to handle than his legal defense) and his Party's credibility to the nation.

And, I'm not even going to go into the national damage Cynthia McKinney does to the Democratic Party.

The Democrats who read this can get as angry as they want. I am against corruption and inept government, wherever it lives, and we have to clean up our own House before we can clean up others. This type of behavior make it hard for good Democrats to gain traction, especially in Congressional races. We may loose those seats, but the credibility we gain is worth far more than the vote we get to tolerate such behavior. Luckily, I'm not the only one who feels this way. (Hattip, Instapundit)

Friday, May 05, 2006

Virtual Cash

Glenn Reynolds speaks often about the coming singularity, where technology will be advancing at such an astonishing rate it will change human conciousness.

This has got to fit into that singularity somewhere.

You can now have a video game character who makes money online, and transfer that into dollars in the real world at a (currently) 10 to 1 exchange rate. It isn't really that wierd, because you are still investing money (uploading dollars or pounds for video game currency) in something that has value to others, and if you charge other people to use that thing of value, you can make money on your investment. I'd just never heard of video game dollars being transferrable to real world dollars.

What is really wierd are names like "Nerverdie."

Chocolate Factory

Ray Nagin, a candidate Republicans can stand with! I can't make this stuff up. And this Republican move could guarantee a Nagin win. I can honestly say that this was the last thing I saw coming.

Thanks, Red Team!

Like Father, Like Son...

Police officers covering up a Kennedy with what appears to be a driving mistake? Perish the thought. I mean, it's not like there's any sort of family history with this sort of thing...

Oh well, at least Patrick didn't kill anybody...this time. And if you believe his 'prescription drugs made me disoriented' claim, then I've got some prime real estate in Florida that I'd love to sell to you...

UPDATE: paT asks, paT gets. Does the Boston Herald count as a legitimate source for you? I wonder if Sen. Kennedy the Jr. would have been driven home had he struck the police cruiser?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

History Books (Part 1)

I can't help but think what the history books will say about us in the years to come. We don't live in the end times, we live in historical times, and what is going on right now is not going to be relegated to footnotes.

One thing that I always remember from my political science classes is the idea of balance and rationality. To understand it, you must treat nations as individuals always (rationally) looking out for their self interest. It also serves that when one nation becomes very powerful, the next two less powerful nations will form an alliance of sorts to balance out the power of the first.

Right now, America is the hegemon. We are the hyperpower. But that could quickly erode, and then one day we will wake up - and look across the sea at a competing power that, through alliances of sorts, can challenge our hegemony. Then we will have gone from Hyperpower to Superpower. If we are truly unlucky, we will wake up one day, and we will be back to the instability of the Great Powers. We would undoubtedly be the Greatest among them, but that world is far more dangerous.

Here is how it happens:

The Russian Federation becomes alienated from the world.
"Russia has a choice to make," [American Vice President] Cheney said..."None of us believes that Russia is fated to become an enemy"..."[Russia has] nothing to fear and everything to gain from strong stable democracies on its borders."
You're with us or against us, the wrong choice makes you our enemy, and we have you surrounded. Real public diplomacy.

China begins to exert its power. Their new energy partners? Nigeria, Sudan, Iran. Those nations would sell their grandmothers (and may already have, in some instances) to China for protection from us. Saudi Arabia's listening, too, Lebanon. (Lebanon?)

Do you think China cares about human rights in those countries? Do you think China is really worried about an Iranian nuclear bomb? Nope. And they don't have to be. Not as long as we're in the picture as the big bad wolf.

The real question is how far China is willing to go to protect their new sphere of influence. That question can be answered in Russia's willingness to thow in with China as a 'junior partner.' I guess we'll see just how well these bedfellows are in the sack when the West decides what to do with Iran. Despite our resolutions, Russia and China have already said they oppose sanctions on Iran's nuclear program, despite Iran's continued saber rattling. If we push the issue, we may get more than we bargained for.

Screw. You. Hippies.

This, boys and girls, is what we like to call, "Game, Set, and Match".

See kids, healthy living gets you just as dead as excess, so, drink up, Shriners.

Flip Flops

President Fox said he was gonna vote for decriminalization before he voted against it.
"There are concerns the measure could increase drug use by border visitors and U.S. students who flock to Mexico on vacation."

It say we're a little too late to worry about all that, but I guess we got to keep up appearances.
"Hard-partying U.S. teens and college students have long crossed the Rio Grande to knock back cheap beers and tequila shots in Mexico away from the watchful gaze of parents, teachers and police.
“When I heard the news I said, ‘Mexico is going to be the new Amsterdam,’” said Texan student Matthew Flores, 23"

I bet his Mama's proud.

What I found interesting is that local police couldn't arrest drug dealers, and that this law is actually designed to allow them to. Only the Federales were allowed to touch the dealers before this law, (which deepens the suspicion, in my liberal brain's Conspiracy Gland, that Corrupt Old Mexico is indeed running a state sponsored racket).

But, I think I already know the real reason President Fox is choking on this bill: he looks north across the Rio Grande and sees 11 million hippies ready to cross that border and set up drum circles...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The battle against CO2

In an attempt to look important but accomplish little, "The nation's largest beverage distributors have agreed to halt nearly all sales of sodas to public schools _ a step that will remove the sugary, caloric drinks from vending machines and cafeterias around the country." Or will it? The deal still allows juices (which have as much sugar in their unsweetened form as sodas already have) and sports drinks (where Coca-Cola owned PowerAde has about as much sugar in it as a regular cola and Gatorade has only slightly less sugar than that). At least those vending machines will look a whole lot healthier to the folks who don't bother reading nutrition facts. At least they showed that CO2 who's boss!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Is Our Children Learning?

New study out: A whole lotta American kids don't pay attention to stuff. We'll file this with the "thank you captain obvious" brand of studies that elicit a response of "DUH." Glad I can still hit 100% on the MSNBC Quiz. (Though the last question should have been "Are you still a nerd?" Yup.)

I am reminded fondly of the year I worked in the UGA Map Room, deep in the bowels of Boyd Hall. Young Freshmen from Atlanta would come in, chasing geography assignments and hoping I'd do their work for them. The best one?

Student: "We're looking for the deepest part of the ocean."
Me: "Here's a map of the Pacific Ocean, you'll find it on this map."

-five minutes elapse-

Student: "Excuse me, what part of this map is the Pacific Ocean?"
Me. Incredulous: "Umm. The whole thing. That's why it says 'Pacific Ocean' at the top of the map."

(What I should have said: "The Blue Part.")

Mayday (3)

Political Ramifications

While there was an an event down here in Brunswick, the atmosphere was less confrontational, and the shindig went off after work. A wise decision for the landscaping and contractor capital of Georgia. All in all, I didn't hear a lot about it down thisaway. The Chamber of Commerce and many businesses love the economic boom that accompanies hard work and low pay, though I'm sure there are some serious contractors and laborers in the County who have lost jobs because they can't bid low enough or can't find legal work. Most folk, left and right down here, seem to think the whole thing might blow over awful soon. One great quote, "I'm illegal but I work hard."

I know the work is hard. I know we benefit from cheap labor. But I really wonder how much longer getting an inch, taking a mile and going after a marathon is really helping anyone. Schools & medical facilities still strain, wages get depressed, taxes don't get collected and the economy seems perched on the edge of a razor every time a Border Patrol squadcar makes its rounds.

A real deep look at the political ramifications can be seen in this article and associated comments in the Red and Black, the UGA independent student newspaper.

Especially the commentary under the name: Jessica. It gives an example of what I like to call "ideological inconsistency."

One of the organizers of the Athens march, she finds it "hard to believe that college-educated people can form such hateful opinions of people whom they know absolutely nothing about." She listed two reasons for illegal immigration.

1. "The economic oppression that these immigrants are fleeing in their home countries." This is the fault of "big business and government subsidizing in the United States." What? US business ruins other countries so folks come here to work for US businesses?

But that pales in comparison to the next logical leap:

2. American businesses keeping prices low. She said it, not me. "If these corporations hired legal workers, they would have to pay them more, provide benefits, and provide an 8-hour working day with overtime pay." This would drive prices up, and the American people would be sorry they got rid of illegals.

WHAT?

So I guess she's saying these illegal immigrants were protesting against legality, more pay, benefits, 8-hour workdays and overtime pay.

Yeah. We're bringing new meaning to the term 'counterintuitive.'

Perhaps I missed something, but I think this means 'Jessica' is not a 'liberal.' You see, liberals fought very hard for rule of law, higher pay, benefits, 8-hour workdays and overtime pay. That's kinda what makes us liberals, and lets folk like SAWB call me a communist. That's why May Day is International Workers Day in the First Place!! As a liberal, I still try to do my best to fight for all those things.

I think this illustrates the absolute incoherency of the defese of illegal immigration.

So, there's your political choice, America. You can have illegal immigration, 19th Century labor laws and $2/lb tomatoes on one hand. On the other hand, you can have legal immigration, health benefits, workers comp, higher pay, vacation time, holidays, stronger national security, retirement packages, less drain on schools and hospitals, and I'll just stop there for lack of space.

But tomatoes will cost $2.50/lb. Shaft.

I wonder who's gonna win this argument.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Mayday (2)

Something to consider over on Publius Pundit. They rarely discuss US politics, but this one touched off quite a debate. This issue isn't going anywhere.

Things were quiet down here in Island City, though I heard of interesting events up in the hinterlands of Athens. Does anyone have any interesting stories to tell?