Monthly Archives: November 2006

Is this guy relevant?

This is the type of blog post that forces us to defend blogging as an alternative to mainstream media. I mean, inedited? What a moron. Two school board members? It would be funny if it wasn’t so very sad. What. a. moron. Though I would say a “rock solid” moron.

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Satan’s wreath claims five

A Colorado Community is fighting the Devil as only a Colorado Community can.

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4 days of gluttony

How much does a person have to eat before it’s considered sinful? It’s been an orgy of food and drink over here, coupled with some of the prettiest weather I’ve seen since moving to Tennessee. I even got a little work done, spent a nice couple of days with a new blogger friend, it was great to get to know him. I felt funny not posting, I mean I’m letting down both of my readers….

Actually, I find this scary as all get out.

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Wanted: a job with 272 paid vacation days.

I heard this term on MSNBC the other night, and it has been rolling around in my cluttered head ever since. Apparently, some years ago, the Congress decided to be a “Family Friendly” operation. What this means, if I understood correctly, (always a stretch) is that they shortened their work week so that members of Congress could commute home on Wednesday, the better to be with their families. In fact, the joke around Washington is “What does one Congressman say to another on Wednesday?” “Have a nice weekend.” I think I also heard that the Congress worked a total of 93 days last year. 93. nine-three. I’ve been reading Flank Two’s take on the conservative Congress’s accomplishments over the last week, (and not at all saving the pics as screensavers, really.) and the facts are indisputable. Faced as we are with issues that could determine our collective fate, Congress wasted many of those 93 days attempting to ban flag burning, gay marriage, and though this wasn’t last year, I have to lump in the whole Freedom Fry thing. So naturally, I’m pretty frosted about that. But that’s another post. Today I’m wondering how our Congress can see the value of giving it’s members time to be husbands and fathers, but doesn’t work like mad to help the Average American achieve the same? American workers get far less time off, paid time off, that is, than our European counterparts. And yet, our productivity is only slightly higher, but our quality of life is demonstrably lower. I am certainly no economist, so I keep this guy bookmarked because I like his writing style, and he delves into economic matters in a way that I can usually follow along. Plus, when he was at Pandagon, he made me laugh. Alot. Anyway, my family made the decision long ago to get by on less, so that we would have more time together. Sure, retirement looks sketchy right about now, but this is time and an opportunity that we will never get back. I try to think of it as an investment in my children, that can’t be measured by a bank account balance or financial portfolio. It’s a roll of the dice, maybe, but I like the odds. That said, I’m wondering if either of my readers feel the same, that is, is it worth working ourselves to death to insulate ourselves from financial insecurity? And, if you think so, shouldn’t we then demand that our representitives do the same?

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I hit the half-century mark!

50. Shit. I know that the 40th birthday is supposed to be the significant milestone in a man’s life, but since I was hopelessly drunk on my 40th, and don’t remember any of it, (it should be noted, though, I was told that my friends found me face down in a snowbank, and threw me into a car, then drove me around until they got hungry enough to stop at the Waffle House, with me passed out in the backseat, the bastards) so I’m going to navel gaze a bit and try to decide what being 50 means to me. I know it means that in 5 years I can qualify for the Senior Tour, and that (more likely) in 5 years I qualify for the Senior Citizen discount at IHOP. I’m trying not to think about how many more years until I can draw Social Security, since there isn’t any guarantee that it will be there. My dad died when he was 60, but my mother lived to be 80, so I am splitting the difference and figuring I got roughly 20 years. Since I have a 10 yr old daughter, and an 8 yr old son, the numbers base line is tied to milestones in their lives. I imagine I’ll see them both graduate from High School, and (hopefully) college. My level headed daughter swears she won’t marry until age 30, so I’m sketchy about whether or not I’ll give her away. Chances are not good I’ll be a doting grandpa to her kids. Rats. My son has made no proclamations, so perhaps he will marry and procreate in time for me to completely trash his kid’s diet with sugary foods, and let them break every rule he holds dear when they are in my house. Actually, I think I’ll be quite happy if I see some evidence that I have done right by them, but how exactly does one measure that? I’ve decided that when the time comes that they are faced with some unexpected trouble, that they approach it without fear, and accept whatever consequences their decision brings, without whining or seeking to blame someone other than themselves. In other words, don’t panic, make a decision, and live with it. That’s really all I think I can hope for. I’m already reasonably sure that they will both be engaged, compassionate adults, and I think that they will look back on their childhood and heap praise on their mother and me for our wisdom and patience. (If they don’t, I have a sizable collection of photographs they won’t ever want to be public that I keep handy)
Lastly, I’ll say that perhaps the best thing about hitting this mark is that I have finally come to completely trust my instincts. I’ve lived in alot of places, and been faced with many trials, and I have managed to survive and prosper. I trust my judgement, but more important, I trust that the people I call my friends will point out when my judgement has failed me, and I trust that I will listen to them. Thats what I have to show for taking up space on this planet for 50 years. Check back in 2016 for an update…

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Hatchet Job

This one has me scratching my head. Kleinheider posts today about Yuri Cunza, and for the life of me I cannot figure out why. Apparently, another reporter contacted Cunza yesterday for a quote on the forced prostitution ring broken up by the FBI. Cunza, who was at lunch when the call came in, agreed to meet the reporter and comment. In the piece, he made some good points, not the least of which is that the immigrant community will have to keep watch for these types of awful crimes, and that it is vital for immigrants to know they can report crimes without fear of reprisals. That should have been the end of the story. Not so fast, you say, Adam? What about Yuri’s alleged fondness for strip clubs? How about his criminal record? Well, frankly, before Volunteers Voters posted those facts on their website, I didn’t know these things about Mr. Cunza. To my thinking, I still shouldn’t know. I don’t care if he set up an office on the stripper’s runway, it would have nothing to do with the story that he commented about. If I were Mr. Cunza, I’d be more than a little hot about this unnecessary personal attack. As I stated above, I’m still unclear as to his motivation. Was he attempting to undermine a colleagues story? Does he have some undisclosed personal vendetta towards Mr. Cunza? A more likely explanation may be that Mr. Kleinheider did not deem Mr. Cunza worthy enough to voice outrage over this poor girl’s plight. That would have at least been consistent, as evidenced by his rather souless post about Claudia Nunez.
Adam indeed has a penchant for Rule of Law. And I mean the strictest possible application of it as well. No problem, I know many people like him. But I have to ask, what law did Yuri Cunza break? Whatever his past history, absent some conviction for some offense of “moral turpitude”, the fact remains that he is a local businessman, well connected to the immigrant community, and therefore a suitable choice for a reporter looking for a quote about an immigrant related event. From time to time I am contacted by local reporters to comment about immigrant issues, however, I may be less inclined to grant an interview if I will be subjecting myself to this kind of scrutiny. Adam, this was a rookie mistake, and you should be man enough to apologize to Yuri Cunza as fast as possible…

Update: Volunteer Voters has cleansed their site of the article, so I am just going to post the link from Nashville is talking:

Volunteer Voters
Cunza Found Somebody Better?
Yesterday our wonderful Hispanic Affairs Video Journalist Amy Napier packaged a very important piece…
11/14/2006 (13:52:32)

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Lou Dobbs, mi casa es su casa

Night after night, millions of people tune into CNN to watch this supposed warrior for the Middle Class. They rushed out to buy his book. They send him fawning emails thanking him for his “sky is falling” warnings about the little brown horde. I wouldn’t call him shrill, but he does scrape the bottom often during his broadcasts. One of his favorite tactics (though not his alone, virtually every network “news” program does likewise) is whenever undocumented workers are mentioned (you know, illegals) they immediately cut away to a shot of 4 or 5 guys climbing through a hole in a fence, on their way to (in random order) rape your daughters, kill your parents in a drunken car crash, infest your neighborhood with all manner of third world maladies, or, if you are lucky, just take your job. He justifies his xenophobic rhetoric by hiding behind “National Security, and his heartfelt desire to protect the middle class worker.” I’m not going to bore both of my readers by rehashing that right now, except to say, ok, let’s for one minute agree that we should seal the border tight, until we have dealt with the 14-20 million undocumented people already here. Bear in mind, that is a HUGE concession, but I’ll make it, for the time being. This is where he loses me completely, and according to this article, and this article, and this article, this is where the GOP completely lost the opportunity to keep the roughly 42% of Hispanic voters that voted for George W. Bush. And what an opportunity it was. Had they undertaken the task with some guidance from, I don’t know, actual Hispanics?, and with a measure of compassion, they could have solidified the perception that they are the Party of National Security, and kept at least a portion of incoming immigrants locked into some form of indentured servitude, and retained a large bloc of Hispanic voters. What did they do instead? They let foaming at the mouth on-air “personalities” like Dobbs frame the debate. And boy did they. In their self-righteous slathering about rule of law, they rejected any solution short of wholesale deportation, and cried Amnesty! Amnesty! all the way to and through the mid-term elections. The result? An ass-kicking 69 percent, wait, let me repeat that, because it’s a litte like holding a caramel on your tongue for a minute…69 percent of Hispanics voted for DEMOCRATS. By the way, Lou, those are your numbers, I took them right off my TV screen. Now, of those voting, (which, by the way, the number of Latino voters in this midterm set a record) 69 percent said the main issue for them was immigration, compared to 29 percent of non-latino voters. I’m going to borrow my daughters favorite retort here, “well, DUH.” Having lived through this before, (California has had a number of would- be politicians attempt to build a career on the backs of Latinos) I saw this coming, in my sleep. Oh sure, for awhile, the cute slogans work, but, eventually, the American public snaps to the fact that no viable solutions are being offered, only hateful propaganda. In addition, many of them know Latino people, and embrace some of the culture. Some, God forbid, actually learn to speak a little Spanish so they might interact with them. I shed no tears for the Republican Party, they brought this on themselves. Again.

Lou, if you are truly a guardian of the Middle Class, do an expose’ on credit card and banking practices, for starters. If you truly believe that the American worker can outperform all others (as I do) then work to level the playing field, so that they have no exploitable pool of workers with whom they must compete. Get on board with a minimum wage increase, and while you’re at it, show some love for the Unions. We are a forgiving people, amigo, and will gladly open our homes to you, and show you just how much we bring to the American way of life.

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