aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
(Guest post by Harry)
Let me in, immigration man
Can I cross the line and pray
I can stay another day
I have to say up front that I don’t have an answer to the immigration question(s). I’m not even sure what the questions are. Not that I haven’t read enough about it, but the issue seems to change the harder I look at it. There are facts, figures, opinions, and tales of woe coming from all points of the political compass on this one. And I began to wonder - where did it all come from? What made immigration suddenly become Topic Number One on the national political scene? There has been talk about immigration for years, but in the past six months it seems to have exploded.
I have a theory.
One of my favorite lines from a political movie comes from “The American President”. Yes, I know it’s more of a romantic movie than a political movie, but it does have a political undertone. But in the movie, the President, speaking about his opponent in the election, says “He is interested in two things, and two things only: making you afraid of it, and telling you who’s to blame for it.”. I think that’s what has happened here. Somewhere deep in the Republican political advisor bunkers, someone had an idea. Make immigration the central issue in the 2006 elections. George Bush’s approval ratings, and those of Republicans generally, were plummeting like the proverbial stone tossed in a lake. US soldiers were still dying in a war that had yet to be justified by any explanation that wasn’t proven false or trumped up. The Federal government had bungled Katrina and Rita, gas prices were rising, and it was beginning to look like 2006 could possibly become a Republican nightmare. So they reached down into the bag of tricks and pulled out the bottle with the immigration genie inside, and decided to pop it open, thinking they could make people afraid of immigration and blame it on the Democrats, thereby insuring the continuance of Republican control of the government.
Then something unforeseen happened. The Republican Party had two great camps within it that saw immigration differently, and were, apparently, diametrically opposed. There were those that wanted to bring legal status to the millions of illegal immigrants already here, bring them out into the open so that they could continue to work and raise their families, contribute to society openly and perhaps get on some sort of track towards citizenship. And there were those who wanted to get rid of all illegal immigrants. The middle ground between now seems vacant and wide.
But why such a huge miscalculation? Why the inability to put the genie back into the bottle (other than the fact that genies, once out, tend to love that freedom and resist being re-bottled). I think it has happened because both sides tried to take a comples issue and reduce it to simplistic talking points. There are too many things we don’t know. What would be the effect on the economy if we suddenly removed a significant part of the lowest rung of wage earners? Which industries would be most affected, how, and for how long? Why do we have so many illegal immigrants, and why aren’t we catching them?
Why do we have so many illegal immigrants, and why aren’t we catching them? That last one bears repeating. I thought of an analogy, perhaps not a great one. Think about drivers on the highway. How many are exceeding the speed limit? Just based on my daily commute, I’d say somewhere between 35% and 50%. Why do we allow this? Mostly because we don’t want to invest in the vast numbers of police and highway patrolmen it would take to apprehend all the speeders, and we don’t want to pay for all the traffic courts that would have to be set up. Certainly there would be a benefit - safer roads, and less stressful commute - but of course, it would also mean that for many of us, that commute would take longer. We aren’t catching all the illegals because we don’t want to pay for the immense number of immigration officials it would take to find and detain all the illegal immigrants, and the immigration courts, and the vast detention centers required. Many businesses don’t want to lose part of their workforce. Nor would we really want to see the sort of armed border that would be necessary, harking back to the Soviet style of border control. If we become sufficiently concerned about illegal immigration, that could change. But for now, we’re treated to the spectacle of a political talking point that turned into a heated national debate, and a President desparately trying to reconcile two irreconcilable parts of his party. If he ever needed Karl Rove, he needs him now. Karl, unfortunately, may have other things on his mind.
(crossposted at Kudzu Files)
Now I’m insulted
Guest post by Rachel
For years I’ve been beseiged with offers of laptops, widescreen TVs and iPods if I would just click to complete the survey. For a gal like me who’s always believed that she could get something for nothing, it was hard to resist. But resist I did.
How could you even think I would click on the link for a dozen Dunkin Donuts or--worse--a case of Snapple?
What kind of a girl do you think I am?
I’ve never heard of a pink taco
Guest post by Rachel
But some citizens of Scottsdale, Arizona have. And they don’t want a second restaurant by that name--the original is in Las Vegas--opening up in their city.
Nearly half a dozen people in the upscale city recently expressed their objection to the name, claiming it’s a derogatory slang term for a portion of the female anatomy.
In late April, the city received four e-mails, three of which bore no names, objecting to the restaurant’s name.
One of those e-mails stated: “The City of Scottsdale has a very fine reputation around the world. Let’s keep the standards high. Let’s let what plays in Vegas stay in Vegas.”
Checking Your Blog’s Appearance
A guest post by Basil
Two Browsers Are Better Than One
Some time ago, we talked about the need to check out your site in multiple browsers. Some of you do check your blog in more than one browser, but so many of you don’t. And it shows.
How does it show? Well, think about it for a second.
How many times have you gone to a blog and it just didn’t look right? It happens to me about once a day. Sometimes more.
Wonder why that happens? Simple. The blog owner isn’t checking out the site in multiple browsers.
Here’s the deal. You probably use Internet Explorer. Most people do. According to W3C Schools, 62.3% use IE 5 (4.5%), 6 (56.7%), or 7 (1.1%).
But a large number prefer to use Firefox (25.7%). And even others use the Mozilla Suite (2.3%), Netscape (0.3%), and others (1.5%) such as Safari, Konqueror, Opera, and such.
Get To It Already!
It goes without saying (although we’re going to say it anyway) that a blogger checks out his (or her, but we’re going to say ‘his’ from here on out) blog after he posts something.
But most just use the browser they normally use themselves.
That is, if they use IE, they look at their blog in IE and only in IE. If they use Firefox, they look at their blog in Firefox and only in Firefox.
Because despite IE’s and Firefox’s ability to follow standards, they both treat Website code differently. And that can cause a problem.
Sometimes something looks just fine in IE, but looks all screwed up in Firefox. And sometimes something looks just fine in Firefox, but looks all screwed up in IE. Not always, but sometimes. And when that sometimes happens, it can really cause a headache.
So, to keep that from happening, always use both IE and Firefox to check out your blog. At a minimum.
But I Don’t Want To Use Two Browsers
Last time, I got some emails saying they didn’t want to use two browsers. Well, then don’t. But you run the risk of having display issues.
Quite honestly, you have a decision to make: You either care how your blog looks to your visitors ... or you don’t.
If you care, you need to know how it looks in different browsers. And that means you either need two browsers (IE and Firefox) on your computer.
Or you need two computers, one with IE and one with Firefox. (Hint: Two browsers on one computer is a heckuva lot cheaper.)
Or you need a friend that has the browser you don’t have.
Or you need a service that checks this for you. (Hint: doing it yourself is cheaper.)
But that’s only if you care.
When To Check
Should you always check in two browsers? Well, you should check under certain circumstances.
You should ALWAYS check in two browsers whenever you make a change to the style of your blog or blog template. For instance, when you add something to the sidebar. Or when you change the colors. Or change the layout. Or make any major change.
Now, you should PROBABLY check your blog in two browsers when you post something that has other-than-text in it. Like a picture. Or a Flash object. Or a YouTube item. Or anything that’s not text.
Simply put, it’s a good idea to check your blog in two browsers, so you know how your visitors see it. That way, if something suddenly changes, you can undo it and try again before the problem gets worse and worse and worse.
Why do I strongly believe this? The same way I learned fire was hot. I’ve been burned before.