Monday, April 24, 2006

The (cold) Boys in the Back Yard

Denver Weather, originally uploaded by George In Denver.

82 Degrees in Denver Saturday when I put the boys out. Now, tonight, it's 30 degrees and snowing.

How Much Is That Doggie...

Melissa checks out the excitement at the yard sale we had Saturday.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

British Soldiers in Iraq

Gotta love this interlude from ifilms in the horror that is Iraq.

(Gotta know some gay guy orchestrated this whole thing!)

Duke Embroglio - Alleged Perp Also Gay Basher provides information that one of the two young men (Duke lacrosse players) arrested for the alleged rape of a stripper, is also a gay basher. Go figure!

Methinks Collin Finnerty is having sexual identity issues.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Denver Post Columnist, Cindy Rodriguez, Loses Memory of Past Column

Cindy Rodriguez, writing in today's Denver Post, under the headline, "All Latinos feel hostility from dispute," asks the remarkable question:

"How did it become so ugly?

People are furious over immigration. We're not debating. We're screaming at each other, some of us using profane words and trading accusations."

Of course, the remarkableness about Ms. Rodriguez's quote is not so much that she is right about the ugliness of the polemic which has been created with regard to illegal (the adjective she does not use) immigration, it is, rather, that less than two weeks ago Ms. Rodriguez herself was comparing those of us who dare to use the word "illegal" as a noun are (dare I provide the litany again!) "Nativists, racists, brainwashed people, reactionary commentators, hate groups..." not unlike the despicable spew and spit of the Aryan Nation wingnuts which Ms. Rodriguez also likened a few of us to less than two weeks ago.

"Profane words and trading accusations..." Ms. Rodriguez ought to read her own columns.

Rodriguez goes on to decry the perception from former Colorado State Senator Polly Baca that people are giving her "...dirty looks..." presumably because people perceive her to be an illegal (once again Rodriguez doesn't use the adjective) "...immigrant."

Interestingly, Rodriguez latches on to a comment from Ms. Baca:

"It's the same as the bigotry I experienced as a child," Baca said. when she was a little girl in the '40s, she had to sit on the side pews with her family at St. Peter's Church in Greeley. Only Caucasians could sit in the middle."

Wondering here if Ms. Baca's banishment to the side aisle at St. Peter's was not something more inherently reflective of the Catholic Church, rather than a blanket presumption of societal bigotry? That the Catholic Church--even in Greeley--would allow such hierarchical ("Caucasians v. everybody else) discrimination is, of course, no surprise. Protestant sects actually allowed the up front pews to be bought (perhaps the Catholic Church did, too) and the rest of the good folk sat in the back or on the sides.

Incidentally, I was raised Catholic during the '50s and remember no such separation at All Saints in Southwest Denver. But, that was Denver, not Greeley. I suspect that, even then, Denver would not have given a Musgrave or an Allard the time of day, which argues for a Greeley state-of-mind, or Flatlander mentality that probably affected the clergy as well as the, um, "Caucasians" up north.

Ms. Rodriguez continues her column with a little story about an experience Delio Tamayo, a veterinarian and Columbian immigrant who has lived in Denver for thirty-five years, had in an "...upscale bistro..." Tamayo and his friends were speaking Spanish and, so the story goes, received the perceived rancor of a "...couple..." seated nearby. When the presumably (Rodriguez doesn't tell us) Anglo (Caucasian?) couple passed by, the man made an inappropriate remark to Tamayo's group. Tamayo (who was my and my mother's veterinarian for years) asked the couple to join his group for a drink and, well, Rodriguez tells us it became a "...teachable moment."

Good for Dr. Tamayo, who I deeply admire and respect and who my mother absolutely adored.

But, again, Ms. Rodriguez, continues to try to morph this issue by making that end-run directly to the word "immigrant" and pirouette so conveniently around that essential adjective "illegal."

Finally, it would be remiss of me not to mention that the final paragraph of Ms. Rodriguez's Sunday piece included the word "illegal." She wrote:

"But as TV tabloid shows continue to portray illegal immigrants in a negative light, Latinos like Tamayo will continue to experience increased hostility."

May I suggest, Ms. Rodriguez, that as long as the likes of, oh, say Jose Angel Gutierrez who is a Professor at the University of Texas, Arlington, continues to raise his voice in a particular rhetoric of threat and intimidation--witness my earlier post--and, yes, hostility, there is going to be little room for a meeting of the minds on this issue; an issue that cannot and must not ignore that fact that illegal entry into the United States is a crime. Period.

And, oh, by the way: I am not an Anglo or a Caucasian (thank you very much, Ms. Baca) I am an American, a citizen of the United States of America.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Aztlan Polemic

Saw a bumper sticker today that read: "Hmmmm... And, what would a Native American have to say about illegal immigration."

The rhetoric of the Los Angeles demonstrations is, at least, instructive.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Continuing Immigration Rant

No one, of course, can tell us how many illegal immingrants took to the streets over the past couple of weeks to join the superbly orchestrated and magnificently publicized primarily Latino social rant against what they believe to be oppressive and "unfair" legislation dealing with the criminality of illegal entry into the United States.

Bill Johnson, writing yesterday in the Rocky Mountain News under the headline, "Hispanic marches did my soul some good," tells us that:

"I have been tickled to all get-out these past few days by the stammering and excuse-making of the heretofore loudest of the anti-immigrant fear-mongers. To this exact minute, they still cannot coherently explain the stunningly public presence of hundreds of thousands nationwide who took to the streets Monday to protest legislation that would make felons of the undocumented and those who step forward to assist them.

"It was almost impossible not to laugh out loud at the feebleness of the response to the demonstrations by Rep. Tom Tancredo, the Republican congressman from Littleton who has risen to national prominence with his calls for ridding America of illegal immigrants."

Johnson being "tickled" in response to what he characterizes as a "...stunningly public presence of hundreds of thousands..." of Latino/Hispanic (and their supporters) social ranters in American streets is, at once, evidence of the naivete with which the illegal immigration issue is being viewed by LOL liberals (Johnson) and, in addition, evidence of a very serious diminution of the principle that this nation, the United States of America, is a nation-state based upon the rule of law, not men. Johnson's silly op-ed piece seems to suggest that the "...stunningly public presence..." of men (and women) marching through the streets somehow invalidates that time-honored principle.

Consider: In Florida alone, about $1.5 Billion is spent on "educating" illegal immigrants. In Florida, $165 Million is spent on medicating illegal immigrants. $155 Million is spent in Florida on the incarceration of illegal immigrants. In consideration of all "services" provided to illegal immigrants in Florida, the cost approaches $2Billion.

Or, consider for a moment data from the Center for Immigration Studies:

WASHINGTON (August 25, 2004) -- A new study from the Center for Immigration Studies is one of the first to estimate the impact of illegal immigration on the federal budget. Based on Census Bureau data, the study estimates that households headed by illegal aliens used $10 billion more in government services than they paid in taxes in 2002. These figures are only for the federal government; costs at the state and local level are also likely to be significant. The study also finds that if illegals were given amnesty, the fiscal deficit at the federal level would grow to nearly $29 billion.

Among the findings:

Illegal alien households are estimated to use $2,700 a year more in services than they pay in taxes, creating a total fiscal burden of nearly $10.4 billion on the federal budget in 2002.

Among the largest federal costs: Medicaid ($2.5 billion); treatment for the uninsured ($2.2 billion); food assistance programs ($1.9 billion); the federal prison and court systems ($1.6 billion); and federal aid to schools ($1.4 billion).

If illegal aliens were legalized and began to pay taxes and use services like legal immigrants with the same education levels, the estimated annual fiscal deficit at the federal level would increase from $2,700 per household to nearly $7,700, for a total federal deficit of $29 billion.

With nearly two-third of illegals lacking a high school diploma, the primary reason they create a fiscal deficit is their low education levels and resulting low incomes and tax payments — not their legal status or their unwillingness to work.

Amnesty increases costs because illegals would still be largely unskilled, and thus their tax payments would continue to be very modest, but once legalized they would be able to access many more government services.

The fact that legal immigrants with little schooling are a fiscal drain on federal coffers does not mean that legal immigrants overall are a drain. Many legal immigrants are highly skilled.

Because many of the costs are due to their U.S.-born children, who are awarded U.S. citizenship at birth, barring illegals themselves from federal programs will not significantly reduce costs.

Although they create a net drain on the federal government, the average illegal household pays more than $4,200 a year in federal taxes, for a total of nearly $16 billion.

However, they impose annual costs of more than $26.3 billion, or about $6,950 per illegal household.

About 43 percent, or $7 billion, of the federal taxes illegals pay go to Social Security and Medicare.

Employers do not see the costs associated with less-educated immigrant workers because the costs are spread out among all taxpayers.

All of this because American corporations, LLCs and small and large contractors exploit the Mexican illegal immigrant to the extent that the "chump change" paid to illegal immigrants for framing, roofing, foundation work, etc. is, without a doubt, not only feeding the voracious greed of American entrepreneurs, but is also holding that carrot out for more and more and more illegal immigrants to cross the southern border. The consequence, of course, is that a new culture of absolute poverty is being created in this country which, of course, the American taxpayer is subsidizing to the tune of at least $10 Billion a year.

Regardless of the militaristic orchestration of the national demonstrations by Latinos (Mexican flags a flying and the desecration of the Stars and Stripes at first, then, wallah! white shirts and the celebration of the Stars and Stripes during the second round of rantings) one fact remains tantamount: illegal immigrationon into this country is a criminal act. Period.

No, Bill Johnson, I was not surprised by the numbers of Latinos that took to the streets to rant against immigration reform. You see, when it's estimated that there are at least ten to twelve million illegal immigrants in the US today and, with the apparent promise from the Bush administration of amnesty for the criminal act those illegal immigrants have unabashedly committed against American sovereignty, it's a pretty good bet there are more than twenty million illegals in this country and more coming every day. So, Bill, laugh out loud all you want. I can only hope you'll still be laughing when the full consequences of this ignoble neglect of American sovereignty is realized; when the full impact of this new culture of poverty is eventually revealed to even you, Bill.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Monday, April 10, 2006

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird, originally uploaded by George In Denver.

I think we can be pretty confident that spring has returned to Denver when the red-winged Blackbirds show-up.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

70 Degrees in Denver Today

But, don't forget May 1 of last year! Yup, that's snow.

The Polemical Lexicon of Illegal Immigration

Cindy Rodriguez, a columnist for the Denver Post, wrote this morning in a column entitled, "'Illegal' as a noun breaks law of reason:"

"Those politicians are being goaded by nativists, racists and brainwashed people who are confused in our culture of fear.

"Their term of choice: 'illegals.'

"That shorthand term for 'illegal immigrants' - which they use as a noun, making linguists cringe - is being used repeatedly by reactionary commentators and politicians in every venue available.

"They rail about 'illegals' on radio talk shows. Hate groups like the Aryan Nation spew vitriol about the 'illegal invasion' in e-mail blasts. Bill O'Reilly and Lou Dobbs drone on about 'illegals' every night."

"Nativists, racists, brainwashed people, reactionary commentators, hate groups..."

Let's look at Ms. Rodriguez's claim that: the "... shorthand term for "illegal immigrants" ... make[es] linguists cringe..."

Dare I advise that my Merriam-Webster provides the word "Illegal" as a noun, the definition of which is "Illegal immigrants." Now, where, I wonder does Ms. Rodriguez--who has advised you that "linguists cringe," at the use of this particular adjective as a noun--get validation for her postulate?

Ms. Ridriguez's answer:

"'The terms 'aliens' and 'illegals' provoke fear, loathing and dread,' says George Lakoff, a linguist who teaches at the University of California at Berkeley. 'There is a physiology to this governed in the brain. Certain ideas activate the neurons in the brain, which result in visceral bodily reactions.'

"That is why if you think 'chocolate,' you feel happy; if someone says 'vomit,' you feel disgusted.

Lakoff: 'If you say 'illegal immigrants,' it activates an immigrant frame. And when people think of immigrants they think of their grandparents, they think of them as honorable, hardworking people.'

"But, he said, if a person cuts out the word 'immigrants' and uses 'illegals,' it conjures a different image: People who are dangerous and want to commit criminal acts."

Okay, so your "authoritative" source is a "...linguist who teaches at the University of California at Berkeley." No one in Colorado able to give you the answer you wanted, Ms. Rodriguez. Certainly a linguist from Berkeley has the credentials to debunk Merriam-Webster.

Let's take the word, "reactionary," which, once again, Merriam-Webster defines as: "relating to, marked by, or favoring reaction; especially ultraconservative in politics."

Well, at least for me, Ms. Rodriguez is partly right and partly wrong. Certainly--if you've read most of my prior posts--you will understand I don't have an "ultraconservative" bone in my body. But, I do react to issues. Who doesn't? And, if that reaction appears to lean a little right (or, most often, to the left), then so what? I abhor political parties. I am a registered Indpendent who sees little difference between Democrats and Republicans these days.

Now, Ms. Rodriguez lumps, "...nativists, racists, brain-washed and Aryan Nation hate groups..." into that single politically correct, linguistically challenged group of folks who react to illegal immigration into the United States; who react to the hate-filled rhetoric of the Mexican reconquistadors who revere Che Guevara in the context of recapturing the United States of America because it was theres' in the first place (Native Americans aside?); who apparently don't believe that the United States of America is a nation of laws, not men, and that illegal immigration is, surprise, a criminal offense.

The other day a thirteen year old child in a Longmont, Colorado school system wore bluejeans, a white shirt and a red sweater to school. She was told by the school principal that her clothing was inappropriate (red, white and blue) and confrontational. She was told that if she ever wore that combination again, she would be suspended.

The polemical lexicon of this particular issue, "illegal immigration" from our southern border has incensed this nation and, sadly, contributes to the extreme polarization of this nation that was extant before the "illegal immigration" issue took center stage. Gosh, wonder if this issue will eclipse gay marriage? Nah, that hot button will be resurrected by Senate Majority Leader Frist in June.

Yes, we are a "nation of immigrants." Most of our ancestors who emigrated to the United States of America came here legally. And, most of our ancestors began their lives in this country on the very bottom rung of the social ladder where the jobs were tough and the pay was low. But, even so, most of our ancestors (and the majority of Hispanic citizens in the United States today) yearned to assimilate, to learn the English language, to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, to pay taxes and to give back something of what the "American dream" had given to them. And, no, that assimilation did not demand that one's culture be abandoned; that is the strength of America; so many cultures adhering to an allegiance to the country that gave them that promise, that opportunity to succeed.

Building a wall along the southern border is ludicrous. Criminalizing as felons those who assist, or harbor or associate or hire "illegal immigrants" is absurd.

Ms. Rodriguez ends her column with:

"Without these [illegal immigrant] workers, crops would rot, trash would pile up in offices, hotel dust bunnies would become dust mongrels, and restaurants would have to be refashioned as places where 'u-cook, u-serve.'

Sorry, not buying that one, Ms. Rodriguez. I've got a little more faith in my country than that.

"When one considers American history as a while, it is hard to think of any very long period in which it could be said that the country has been consistently well governed. And yet its political system is, on the whole, a resilient and well-seasoned one, and on the strength of its history one must assume that it can summon enough talent and good will to cope with its afflictions. To cope with them--but not, I think, to master them in any thoroughly decisive or admirable fashion. The nation seems to slouch onward into its uncertain future like some huge inarticulate beast, too much attainted by wounds and ailments to be robust, but too strong and resourceful to succumb."

Richard Hofstadter - "History of Violence"

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Sunshine on Berkeley this Morning

Mount Evans this Morning

Mount Evans this Morning, originally uploaded by George In Denver.

Big Wind - Big Waves on the Lake

This morning at Berkeley Lake.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Sweet Melissa

Sweet Melissa, originally uploaded by George In Denver.

Sweet Melissa

Sweet Melissa, originally uploaded by George In Denver.

I know, not another Melissa shot! I just can't help it!